Walking home at night was never pleasant for the Medic, especially when he got strange looks from passerby at his bloodied and frayed, red-tinged lab coat, red, elbow-length rubber gloves and strange equipment he carried on his back. This night was no different. Just keep your head down, he told himself firmly. Don't make eye contact with anyone...
"Oh my goodness."
The Medic looked up immediately, one eyebrow arched in curiosity. The voice had been quiet, but he heard it clear as day. It was only strange because... there was nobody else on this street. Running footsteps came from behind him, closer, closer- The Medic whipped around, an odd mixture of aggression and fear in his eyes. His right arm rose seemingly by itself. Just before the arm came down, however, he stepped back, his head bowed.
"I am sorry, Fraulein. Normally when I am approached from behind, it is by someone who wants to attack me. I expected the same thing to happen here." He looked up at the woman. She was tall, pretty, with dark hair... He couldn't quite make out her eyes, but he suspected them to be green... He loved green eyes, and hazel. He despised blue. Not only was it the color of his mortal enemies' uniforms, but it was their eye color too. Too many times has he turned around, a sharp object protruding from his body, and seen those blue eyes of the Soldier, the Sniper, the Spy, and seen them smirking. He looked away from the woman's eyes, for they had been gazing at the numerous bruises and open wounds on his head, chest and arms.
"Oh, no, no, gosh no! I only want to help you; I need to get you to a hospi- Oh, God... Sir, please, please, you have to come with me right now." She looked worried, almost petrified in fact, and was staring at something above and behind the Medic. He tried to turn around, but the woman grabbed his arm. Her nails dug into him, even through the lab coat and dress shirt he wore beneath it. "You can't see it, you're not able. Please, you need to come with me, now!"
The Medic hissed in pain as the woman's long nails dug into a once previously healed scar below his shoulder, and he yanked his arm out of the woman's grip. "I am sorry, meine frau," He said coldly, "but I do not appreciate being manhandled. I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself." He indicated the bright red medical emblem on his shoulder, easily distinguishable against its yellow, circular background.
"You don't understand." The woman whispered. She turned and ran, then, with a cloud crack, she was gone.
The Medic's eyes widened and he shook his head. "That was strange," he scoffed, turning back around with a shiver. Why had it suddenly gotten so cold? He rubbed the sleeves of his lab coat, hoping to heat up even a little, but the warmth seemed to drain out of him a little bit more each time he ran his hands along the course fabric. The street lights around him flickered, then went out. "Ach, wunderbar." The Medic rolled his eyes and continued to walk, somewhat blindly, down the street.
In the distance, the sound of rushing water met his ears, and the Medic quirked an eyebrow. There was no running water near this part of New Mexico... As far as he knew, anyway. He looked up at the sky, which still retained a slight, pinkish-orange glow, and through the branches of a dead tree, saw two dark, humanoid shapes fly past, one trailing slightly behind the other.
Normally, the Medic wouldn't look twice at objects shooting past or overhead, but this time, his attention was locked onto the two figures as they soared harmlessly past. Something was definitely not right here. His eyes followed the shapes, watching as they dived down, their long, tattered black cloaks billowing behind them.
As they flew over the Medic the sound of rushing water grew slightly louder and a sudden, odd feeling washed over him, as if every good feeling had simply vanished into thin air. That's ridiculous, the Medic thought as he watched his foggy breath float up and around his head. Happiness doesn't just disappear into thin air.
But... If it doesn't, then how was he supposed to explain that feeling that hung over him? It was so desolate, like an ever-present feeling of despair. He shook his head again and fixed his glasses closer to his eyes, not that they would help him much in his current situation. He continued walking, his mind still fixed on that strange feeling.
He hadn't heard anybody come up behind him, or in fact seen anybody else out on the streets, but suddenly a cold, bony hand wrapped itself around his upper arm, just as that woman had done earlier. The Medic's hand shot to his hip, where his favorite and most trusted weapon hung. As he unlatched his Übersaw from his belt, he twisted around to see who had grabbed him, and let out a startled shriek.
A large, skeleton-like figure in a tattered and flimsy black cloak which somehow managed to retain a completely opaque quality was hovering, actually hovering right in front of him. A scabbed, rotting gray hand was wrapped around his upper arm, and even through the fabric of his lab coat, the Medic could feel how cold the rotting flesh was.
The Medic raised his Übersaw and thrust it forward, smiling at the crackling, squishing sound it produced as he shoved it through the creature's chest. His smile was quick to vanish however, as the creature slowly, deliberately reached up with its free hand and pulled the weapon out of its chest. The sightless head moved from the saw to the Medic's face, and let the saw fall to the ground with a clatter. The tear in its robes mended instantly. It reached up with its now free hand and curled its fingers around the Medic's throat.
The German could practically feel his skin, muscles and trachea freezing instantly as the creature lifted him off the ground and pushed him up against a chain-link fence. The wire barrier rattled as the Medic was forced against it, his feet dangling inches above the ground. It sounded as though a waterfall were cascading over his head, now that the creature was so close. Even over the noise, the Medic could hear the creature's rasping, deathly breath, as if it were trying to take something even more than air into its lungs.
The Medic's vision faded, and in the distance he could hear screams. He recognized every single one of them, knowing that one of those voices had been his own. There was a loud, shrill whistling noise, and he could see both the shadow of that horrible creature in front of him, and that of the long thin object that had fallen out of the sky. When it hit the earth, a blinding flash of light silenced the horrified screams. Just before the vision faded, he saw an American airplane soar out of sight...
It was all coming back to him, all of it. Everything he had tried so hard to forget now forced itself back into his attention, replaying the most horrible moments of his life over and over again... A beautiful woman he swore his life too, bleeding out on the ground before him, unable to hear his last words to her... An older married couple, mere splatters of blood and viscera on the wall of the house he had grown up in... The town he had spent his childhood in, a simple crater in the earth...
The Medic cried out. He heard himself shouting things like, "I can't take it anymore!" and "Someone make the horror stop!" He wished for the pain to end, he pleaded for mercy, he was practically begging for death, for anything to make it all go away...
Through the cold, vast darkness, something finally answered his prayers. Through the visions of thousands of bodies, both living and dead, came another blinding white light, but instead of bringing more death, pain, and fear, it brought, warmth, safety and comfort.
The nightmares slowly faded, and at last were gone, as was that horrid creature. The Medic slid down the fence until he sat against it, in a catatonic state, trembling from head to foot. He stared into the distance, not knowing whether to faint, throw up, scream, or any combination of the three. Footsteps approached from the opposite side of the street, but the Medic didn't react. The woman from earlier appeared in his peripheral vision and knelt beside him. She said something to him, but the words went unheard, and she stuffed something into his hand. With a second loud crack! She was gone, just as before.
Minutes, hours, perhaps an eternity passed before the Medic finally moved. Slowly, he turned his head and looked at whatever it was the woman had put into his hand. It was a chocolate bar, with a small note taped to it that read "Trust me, it helps." The German climbed to his feet, and tore away the wrapping. Unsure of why he was going to trust the word of a total stranger, the Medic broke off a small chunk and put it in his mouth.
It was unlike anything he'd ever experienced before. As soon as the chocolate touched his tongue, sudden warmth spread throughout his body, all the way to the ends of his fingers and toes. After a brief reflection, the German took another large bite from the candy. Normally, he wasn't a big fan of sweets, but at this moment in time, that chocolate was the most exquisite thing he'd ever tasted.
He cast a nervous glance back at the sky. It was pitch black, but the street lamps had come back to life. Never, in a million years, would he ever wish that kind of pain on even his worst enemy. The Medic looked up and down the streets, hoping to get even a small glimpse of that woman, just to thank her for helping him.
After throwing another nervous look into the deep, inky black sky, the Medic shook his head and continued on his way. He was pretty sure nobody except for that woman would believe what had happened to him. But then again, he wasn't even sure if he believed it himself.