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Trinity Hospital June 28, 2017 "Another one?" Ellie Espadas asked, watching as a weakly groaning man in multiple layers of worn clothing was wheeled past on a stretcher. Behind the check-in desk Joanne simply hummed an affirmation, focusing on the data she was entering. Ellie couldn't blame her for her laissez-faire attitude. This had to make at least a dozen similar cases over the past few days: people left weak and drifting in and out of consciousness. If this case matched the others after a night's sleep with an IV he'd be up and about with full-body aches and hangover-like symptoms for his troubles that would gradually subside over the course of the day. The prevailing assumption among the staff was that a new recreational drug was to blame, though so far none of the blood work had shown any evidence to support the theory. It didn't help that several of the sufferers had turned out to have warrants out ranging from petty theft to assault; one of them had reportedly collapsed in the middle of an attempted mugging. With the look of a man getting off of a double shift, Hernandez wandered over to join the so-far one-sided conversation, fingers laced behind his bald head. "Picked that one up outside a convenience store. Owner found him in a heap while he was taking out the trash, said something about it being dark or seeing a big shadow? I dunno, guy's English wasn't great in the first place and he was shook over the whole thing, yeah?" The big man rubbed his face and leaned heavily against the wall. "Had a baseball bat next to him so I'm guessing armed robbery. Braugher's all 'don't assume' but what, he's a Comets fan? C'mon." It was Ellie's turn to make a vague murmur in reply, eyes narrowing slightly as she watched the supposed robber disappear behind a pair of double doors. A junkie collapsing in the middle of trying to get money for another hit was a tidy enough story but the patients she'd seen didn't seem like they were going through withdrawal, they seemed... drained. There were stranger things than designer drugs in Freedom City. "Where was that convenience store, again...?" "Hm? Oh, y'know, the one a block down from St. Sebastians, on the corner with the yellow sign. I hear they found a few more like that over in Greenbank, too. Who knows how many that makes now." Hernandez realized a little belatedly that he was talking largely to himself and a still disinterested Joanne as Ellie had already begun to stride purposefully toward the door.
Ellie Espadas was tired, she was sore and she was pretty sure she was going to have to just burn the pants she was wearing rather than attempting to wash out the new stains. As the ambulance pulled into Trinity Hospital she reminded herself that she'd survived punishing superhuman brawls and weeks stranded on an alien world but in the moment it was difficult to believe anything had ever been as exhausting as her first week as an EMT-B. With her three years of pre-med behind her and medical school beginning in earnest in the fall, it had seemed like a good time to finally get her certification. After all her time volunteering and doing odd jobs at Trinity she'd gotten enough of a foot in the door to be hired quickly despite the competition and she had to admit that between her experiences with the Interceptors and her test scores she'd been feeling a little cocky. Patrolling the city's rooftops from behind a mask and with free reign to use her metamagi abilities was a far cry from grueling hours of hard, dirty work on the streets themselves. "Hey rook, you gonna make it? You look like @#$%," the EMT-I/85 driving the ambulance asked, glancing in the rearview mirror and letting out a shout, loud laugh. Hernandez looked more like a bouncer than a medical professional, with a shaved head and heavily muscled arms covered in sleeve tattoos straining the dark blue fabric of his uniform's sleeves but Ellie had seen his big hands administer an IV with the practiced dexterity of a concert pianist. His manners left a little more to be desired. "Still better'n you," the young woman snapped back with a little more bite than she'd really meant to, garnering another laugh from the driver as he parked. The third occupant of the ambulance, a serious woman with frizzy black hair pulled back in a loose ponytail, opened the back doors and hopped out. Braugher was an EMT-P, a paramedic, and Ellie knew she was there at least in part to keep an eye on the newbie. "Go grab a coffee, Espadas, we'll clean up here." It was about a close to praise as the older woman had gotten so far and Ellie simply nodded gratefully before heading into the hospital.
Monday April 25 Trinity Hospital After the events in Ocean Heights, Rhode Island, and Mexico, the heroes of Freedom City (and indeed the world) are aware of the global threat of the Makot Mitzrayim - the Plagues of Egypt. The threat isn't just the Plagues, of course, but the people driven to hysteria (one way or another) by an apocalypse that seems ("but only seems" Seven stressed in her briefing sent to the major superteams) to correspond to that of the three largest religions on Earth. The Interceptors in particular, thanks to Harrier and Echo's report from down in Mexico, have gotten a strong picture of what's going on. But with only one attack in Freedom City proper, it's easy for most people to let life go on. In the West End in the last few days there's been a freakishly rare flu epidemic, one of those bizarre moments that can happen in a city full of people and exposed to all sorts of exotic chemicals, viruses, and other ailments over the years. Things are bad enough that the hospital is nearly full, getting them to send non-emergency cases home, and they've called out volunteer doctors from other hospitals to help deal with the crisis. The flu can be a scary disease for parents, the elderly, the unlucky - especially when it turns to pneumonia. So if the hospital chapel is particularly packed with people praying for their families and themselves, well, maybe it has nothing to do with the Plagues of Egypt. At least until you turn on the news - and catch the continued cleanup elsewhere in the city, the nation, the world. But the heroes of Freedom have dealt with worse than this...right?