As usual, the Hospital was crowded and there were people waiting for one thing or the other in all corners. It was a good thing then that Alban had brought along his friends from the government then, with a flash of their badge and a silent glower, doors were opened and people made way.
Marina's room was set in the far end of the Hospital, completely closed off from the others. Alban wasn't entirely sure why this was done but he didn't complain.
Entering the room, the first thing he observed was that it was a single man bedroom, Marina didn't have anyone she was sharing the room with, perhaps that would have been different if he'd been injured as well.
The second thing was marina herself, she had her hands wrapped up in sloppy bandages and had almost fallen over reaching for the pistol she now pointed at him. The dogs Alban had brought along shamelessly backed out of the room, choosing to stand outside rather than help diffuse whatever situation might be occurring.
"Alban," she greets, still pointing the gun at him, she looked dishevelled, tired and quite lost. The look she held in her eyes as they slowly began tearing up was one Alban greatly related with.
Alban draws her into a hug, completely disregarding the loaded pistol she held in her hand, her sobs were muffled as she bawled out her eyes into his chest, but they were loud, loud and clear to Alban.
Her cries continued on for minutes, letting out all her unspoken frustrations and her grieve into Alban.
"I'm sorry," she mutters, wiping away at her face with a tissue.
"Don't apologize, in fact, I'm sorry for not making it here earlier."
She's quiet for a moment, her words hung in her throat, the thought of letting them out, making them real, was enough to make her tear up again.
"I heard about Daniel…"
"All that was left of him was his arm, I don't know which." Alban responds, chuckling a bit at the wickedness of it all.
"Are you alright, Alban?" her hands glides over his, turning it over and taking it in hers, giving him a gentle but reassuring squeeze.
Again he chuckled, albeit much louder this time. "Am I okay? I still don't know why you fifty percent of why you were crying your eyes out, Marina. But I'm willing to bet it has something to do with how you're bandaged all over."
True enough, she averts her gaze from his, her hand caressing her bandaged legs. "My arms were broken by the explosion during the mission, but my legs…well, lets just say I've been sick for a long time and I can't get the treatments I need here."
Alban knew what that meant, the only other country you could travel to as a citizen of Schelar was Madagascar, that is, unless you were government funded. But despite working in the government the two weren't privileged to such. And even then you'd be sent in strictly for espionage purposes, watched like a terrorist by both governments.
In short, Schelarian's were not privilege to any sort of services outside their own country.
"What…what does that mean for you?" his mind had raced through several possibilities of what it could mean for her, but only one stuck out; Death.
"My leg is being cut off," she choked out, a terrible smile graces her face, eyes pleading to Alban, or whoever would dare rescue her from her reality, "The doctors here don't want to try another angioplasty, I'm never going to be the same again, Alban."
He didn't know what to say, if he should say anything in fact, was beyond him. He could only stare on at her, mouth agape. He soon shuts his mouth as yet again tears peek out from her eyes. Not knowing what else to do, he swallows and takes her hand in his, squeezing it like she did his moments ago. With that an unbroken stream of tears pours out.
"I…" she sniffs quite a bit, trying to get herself to stop crying with little success, "I'm never going to be myself again, I'm never going to be useful to anyone not even what's left of myself afterward."
"Marina…" again he struggled, the world of unlimited opportunities wasn't the one they lived in, whatever comforting words that would escape his lips now would only be lies, "Marina, I'm right here with you, I promise you that, we'll get through this together, we'll figure out what this new life will look like together Marina."
One wouldn't think it possible but Alban left the Hospital with greater hatred for his government than when he came in.
He'd ditched the dogs that had been following him around, making a scene when they insisted on following him. He didn't want any of the governments stink around him any longer.
But that made him a hypocrite didn't it? Almost everything around him was funded in one way or another by the wretched government, from the kiosks to the nationwide supermarket brand. The schools, the news, the houses and every corner drugstore, all of it was the government. Including him, especially him now that he was the 'Hero of the Schelarian Republic'. He carried their money, their health privileges, their pride.
It made his skin crawl that he was everything that represented the Government he so hated and as much as he wanted to throw it all away, he couldn't, not anymore anyway.
Within moments of seeing Marina in the hospital, he'd begun fantasizing of what it would be to have her as family, but his fantasises easily became something he could enact. She hated the government just like he did and he'd promised to stay by her side, as Alban, saw it he intended to give all health benefits to her when the time came that the cursed nation would be open to the world at last. Unfortunately to do that, he needed every bit of governmental favour, health benefits aren't where it stops.
With two people the cash reward he received would burn out quickly, especially with Marina needing extensive healthcare after her operation. It sucked, it sucked a lot but there wasn't anything left for him to do, there was no escape.
With a great sigh he chugs down the last of his beer and slams the glass on the table with a satisfying sigh.
"Another round here!" he called out from his table.
"Woah there champ, might wanna hold off on a few of those a bit or at least share with a friend."
A man, set in a polished corporate look took a seat across Alban. A man he didn't know or particularly recognize.
Alban had been a regular in the humble bar for close to five years, if called upon he could fill in for the bartender and remember the usual's of every other regular that came in, not that he would of course. Alban was the silent type, intent on drowning everything out, not bothering anyone with his drunken slurs or general offending stench. And as a courtesy, no one did with him.
There were the occasional curious types that would want to see what the man with a government pass was brooding all about but those would either learn the hard way or one of the waitresses that served would kindly ask them to spare him their presence. And Alban was grateful, except now it seemed this man wasn't either of those.
The man waved off the waitress who'd politely asked him to move back to his previous seat, this worried Alban greatly, he was in no particular mood for a chatterbox.
"I see you're a regular here," he smiled slyly, "got all the hotties around your finger…or is it the other thing?" he then proceeded to laugh quite loudly at his crude joke.
Still Alban stayed silent, murmuring a thanks when his third round of drinks arrives.
"Aren't you a bit too drunk already? Huh, maybe that's why you're silent."
Quite honestly, Alban was a bit too sloshed to be having any sort conversation, again he stayed silent.
The man shuffled closer, rudely pushing away his bottles and glass so he could be at an uncomfortably close proximity from Alban's face. "You're Alban Bezara aren't you?"
Loopy as he was, Alban still managed a look of surprise. His lips parted to ask the obvious question but the man wasn't done talking.
"The Hero of the Schelarian Republic as of today I presume?" he grinned, "the man who single-handedly turned this war in the favour of his country? The man that despises that country."
Whatever he had wanted to say was now stuck at the back of his throat. How had this stranger found out about these things? Even worse, he knew of his hatred for the government, if he worked for said government he could be screwed. But then that didn't make sense for a lot of reasons.
"I'll spare you the brainstorming, Alban." The man chuckled, "I'm an agent from Madagascar and you're my most recent assignment." The man swung a suitcase onto the table, clicking it open and pulling out a strange device.
"What is that? Who are you exactly?" Alban finally blurted out, he couldn't begin to control his paranoia. What in hells name did the Malagasy want with him of all people?
"This little do hickey, courtesy of your friends in Madagascar and another project of mine, is what you'll be using to exact all the anger and rage you want on Hasina Fatah and his cronies."
"What does it do?"
The man's grin grows sinister, "Glad you asked, it shuts down the entire Schelarian Military."
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