He scrubbed at the congealed...stuff splattered all over his chalkboards. He would like to use a more accepted term for it, but there really was no other one. 'Stuff' fit better than 'goo' or 'slime' or 'mess that he will make Newton regret ever spreading – how did it even get up here? - all over his chalkboards and equations'. It was simpler at least.
He grit his teeth, glaring down at the epi-centre of the explosion where the biologist continued to work, oblivious to the homicidal thoughts the mathematician directed down at him. The very detailed from millenia of personal experience homicidal thoughts. Reaching further to pick at a spot just barely in his reach, his leg buckled and he clutched at the ladder, his rag falling from his hand to the floor.
Giezler glanced up from his dissection, but Hermann had already steadied himself back upon the ladder.
He muttered to himself in Latin, the dead language coming back to him easily. He moved to step down the ladder to fetch his rag again, but winced as his leg cramped up again; deciding to remain where he was.
The biologist continued working, cutting something out of the...disaster that he was working on and studying it for a moment before simply flinging it to the side. It fell short of the dividing line, but he still chalked it up to one more reason to hit the man when he finished here.
Or perhaps before he finished, he amended as he reached up into the tray to pick up a piece of chalk and hurl it at his partner's head.
"Hey!" He jumped back from the specimen, brushing his hair to rid it of whatever hit him; frowning in confusion when he felt the gunk congealed in it.
"Dr. Giezler. If you have quite finished being oblivious to the FEMA-worthy zone you have created, would you be so kind as to hand me my rag?" He pointed to the cloth lying on the ground.
"Huh?" He looked around the room, stilling when he noticed the chalkboards. "Oh man..."
"Indeed. Rag. Now. Unless you would relish sharing the same fate?"
He nodded absently, still studying the spatter pattern. "When did this happen?"
"How do you expect me to know? I merely returned from lunch and my boards were..." He struggled for a word and finally just waved at the mess, "this!"
The biologist frowned for a moment in confusion, then gasped and winced as the memory flashed through his mind. He glared up at the mathematician. "That's not fair!"
"What is 'not fair' is to make the cripple clean this disgusting congealment off – now hand me that rag!"
He got up and crossed the room to snatch up the rag. "Why don't you just heal yourself – then you wouldn't be crippled." He threw the rag up purposefully nearly a foot out of Gottlieb's reach.
"Because Hermann Gottlieb isn't immortal."
"Well, he should be. I'm not your go-for." He threw the rag up again, an inch closer.
"Nor am I your cleaning-servant."
"It's not my fault your precious chalkboards are messy!" The rag was only six inches out of reach now.
"Not your fault?" His grip was white around the ladder. "Tell me what other being engages in such disgusting tasks such as cutting into unidentified corpses at all hours of the day and night? I can hardly understand how you missed the explosion!"
"Well, maybe it was an implosion then. You weren't here – you said so."
He grit his teeth together again. "The walls, Dr. Giezler – the walls. Implosions would have left a concentrated mess to clean – not spread it over every available surface!"
He glanced around the room again. "You make a good point. Here." He tossed the rag up again, easily within the man's reach; but then tripped with the force and fell into the ladder, knocking it sideways.
There was silence for a moment – for hours? - as Hermann fell, his grip loosened on the ladder to catch the rag and his stance weakened by a cramping leg. There was a sickening crack as he hit the ground nearly head-first, and the biologist kept his eyes screwed shut for several seconds until he carefully opened them and looked down on the floor.
The mathematician was lying crumpled on the floor, so small looking. His eyes were moving, but he wasn't breathing; and Newton immediately dove to his side, feeling for a pulse. As he felt it, Hermann rolled his eyes weakly, tears gathering as he ran out of oxygen. The biologist tilted his head back to begin mouth to mouth, but froze as he heard the bones grind against each other – the neck broken.
"I really, really, really hope that you're actually immortal and not just delusional – because I really don't want to explain this. I mean – you died because I tripped and knocked over your ladder? After exploding a kaiju specimen all over your lab? They'll think it's murder or something!" He gripped the mathematician's limp hand. "I promise to clean it all up – just die and then come back, alright?"
Hermann's eyes slid shut, oxygen deprivation knocking him out. Beside him Newton twisted his hands together, looking around at the boards and walls and planning how to quickly clean it. There was a flash of faint rainbow colours, and the body disappeared and he couldn't breathe for a moment.
Then his breath caught in a sudden gasp and he nearly went boneless in relief. Immediately, he jumped up and grabbed the rag to begin cleaning; but he froze and slowly turned around. The memories of water and death tied together pulled for his attention, and he sighed as he figured it out: Hermann was going to reappear in the ocean and he really hoped there weren't any ambush kaiju swimming around in the ocean waiting like Jaws or something...
He broke through the water with a gasp the term 'visceral substance' coming first to mind as a substitute for the term 'stuff'. A wave hit him in the face, and he sputtered, swimming back to the surface for air.
He sighed, pushing himself up out of the water a little bit to orientate himself, groaning when he saw he was a couple hundred feet from shore. Being night, and still so soon after the Rift was closed, it was empty and dark; although he thought he glimpsed someone walking down it.
Amusing himself with thinking of the myriad ways he was going to kill his lab partner, he began swimming for shore.
The swim was rough and cold, but he was used to swimming in all conditions; and soon reached the shallower water.
"Oh man – Hermann! Dr. Gottlieb! Herms! Immortal man from the dawn of time – you're not really that old that doesn't apply. And wow you're actually immortal. You have no idea how lucky I am – that would have been terrible to explain..."
He closed his eyes with a sigh. Was there a patron saint of dealing with over-excitable scientists that dissected exploding corpses? If he were mortal, it would likely be him... "Dr. Giezler. Return to the shore before you fall and drown." He reached forward and snatched the clothes from the other's arms, following him up on the stony beach. "Dare I ask how you got my garments?"
He pulled the trousers and shirt on quickly, automatically taking the cane when it was handed cautiously to him; almost smiling when Newton immediately jumped back. He dropped the point down to the shore, leaning on it out of habit before realising that he didn't need it at the moment and swinging it at Giezler's legs.
"What was that for? I brought you clothes!"
"You also caused my predicament," he hissed. "Is it too much to hope that you thought to bring some sort of vehicle?"
Giezler didn't answer, carefully backing away.
He sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "You will scour the lab of any trace of that substance, Dr. Giezler, and you will see to it before I come in tomorrow morn."
He saluted. "Yes, sir!" He fell into careful step beside the Immortal as Hermann began the walk back to the Shatterdome. "Hey, can I have some of your blood?"
"I rather think not."
"But have you ever tested it with the Kaiju? Maybe it reacts differently?"
"What difference would it make, Newton? The Rift has been closed..."
"But what if they come back?"
"Come one – you can't say you're not curious!"
"I am quite capable of doing so, actually."
"Where's your sense of adventure, Herms?"
"It perished at the thought of you."
AN: …...my mind works in mysterious ways. *drops head on desk * Again, disclaimer such as 'I have no idea what I'm doing' applies here. And I don't know how far the Shatterdome is from water, so I am assuming here that it is about a half-hour walk away. 11-28-2015