Suvarin was just finishing up her shift at the hospital when her phone started beeping. One of the other nurses at the station noted the unusually urgent sounding tone. Suvarin started out dashing for her phone, then checked herself, and made up a lie about it probably being her mother worried about the TV not working. She made herself appear calm as she took her phone and made her way to the toilets. Once securely sealed inside a cubicle she took out of her phone and opened the message. It was however encrypted so she had to copy and paste a selection of garbled text and move it to the decryption app.
“Emergency situation has occurred. A training accident has resulted in a wounded knight. Much blood loss. Insufficient blood supplies for emergency surgery. Need 3 units of O- blood immediately.”
Suvarin gasped, her heart started pounding. This was not the situation she wanted to be dealing with when there were Tyranni about. Getting caught taking hospital supplies would get her accused being the thief and that could cost her more than her job. However, if a member of the Arshir were injured then she had to do her duty. She had sworn an oath as a Salvati and she had no intention of ever breaking her word. She looked at the time, she still had fifteen minutes left on her shift. She quickly left the toilets and finished the paperwork for the rest of her shift, then staying in her scrubs, rather than changing as she usually does, she went down to the emergency department. There was always a supply of O type blood waiting in the emergency department on standby should it be needed. So far tonight had been a quiet night and there was plenty of blood there. Including the O negative she needed. She had just reached into the freezer to grasp the three units of O negative blood when a heavy hand landed on her shoulder. Startled Suvarin spun around, there in front of her was Nix.
“Excuse me, what are you up to?” said the Tyranni agent.
It took Suvarin a few moments to realise that Nix had not identified her, recovering from her shock she continued taking out several units of blood and started explaining to Nix that she was just checking that the blood supply in emergency was in good condition. She started to go into a long boring talk about the importance of making sure there was plenty of blood in the emergency department. Nix quickly grew bored of listening to her. Suvarin was about to just take the blood she needed and leave when she decided that she felt brave to ask Nix what he was doing at the hospital.
“I am a new security consultant for the hospital. There have been some unexplained thefts of medical supplies here, and my job is to improve security procedures at this hospital to make sure these thefts of equipment stop.”
“Who better to protect against theft than a thief?” thought Suvarin to herself, then looking at the blood in her hands realised the irony of her predicament. Although she hadn’t stolen the other medical supplies, what she was doing now was a serious act of theft. “My brother is O negative, I will just insist that he becomes a blood donor after all this is over,” Suvarin told herself.
While she had been talking to Nix the duty triage nurse caught her eye and came over to see what she was doing.
“Suvarin, what are you doing here? I didn’t know you were rostered onto Emergency tonight.”
“Oh, I am not, I was just checking that we have enough blood in stock. There is a missing value in the system.”
The tirage nurse consulted her computer terminal. “It says we have forty units of blood. Thirty-two O positive and eight O negative.”
“Yes, that’s right,” Nix watched her suspiciously as she calmly put the blood back into the freezer, “It must have just been a glitch, I thought we had more.”
The triage nurse chuckled, “we’re always needing more blood. Especially that O negative.”
Suvarin left the emergency room empty handed. If she couldn’t get the blood from the emergency department, she would have to get it from the supply room in the basement. She was walking quickly to the elevator in the middle of the hospital building and something about her body language must have alerted Nix because has she reached the elevator he was just a few steps behind her.
“Are you working late?” he asked.
“Your name, Suvarin, that’s a really unusual name, where did you get that?”
Suvarin’s heart skipped a beat. It was a unique name, could Nix have recognised it from somewhere? Suvarin managed to keep a calm face, assuring herself that he was suspicious only, not certain.
“Yeah, my parents were hippies,” she said with a forced chuckle.
“Where are you going now?”
“Just back to my locker to get changed and then go home.”
Nix gave her a penetrating stare then followed her into the lift. She pushed the button for the sixth floor, while Nix pushed the button for the seventh. Suvarin got out on the sixth floor, and as soon as the elevator doors closed behind her she darted into the staircase and started making her way down to towards the basement.
She had not even reached the fifth floor when she heard the door for the seventh floor open and the voice of Nix call out, “excuse me down, there, please wait. I want to talk to you.”
She couldn’t see Nix, and Nix couldn’t see her, he didn’t know it was her, but if he found out it was her it could be the end of any chance she had of getting that blood. Suvarin drew in a deep breath and started running down the stairs taking them in threes, fours, and sometimes fives at a time. Within moments she could hear Nix bounding down the stairs above her. Suvarin, however, had learned ballet for years, and she found that she had little trouble keeping well ahead of Nix and indeed increased her lead so much that she soon reached the bottom of the staircase and Nix was a full three floors above her.
Slipping quickly through the basement door Suvarin headed straight for the freezers for storing medical supplies. She found the one with the main blood supply, grabbed three units, and closed the fridge door just as she heard the basement door pulled open violently behind her. She darted behind the nearest fridge and squeezed herself in flat. Nix walked out and looked around. He looked like he was about to leave when he stopped to pick something up off the floor.
It was a bag of blood.
Suvarin looked down and in her hand were only two units of blood. She must have dropped one. Nix pulled out a radio and called for backup. He walked back up to the entrance and stood there alertly.. She realised that he was waiting for someone else to cover the entrance so he could go searching for her, so Suvarin quietly slipped out from behind the fridge and deeper into the basement. She found a small cool box with dry ice and stowed the two units of blood she had and went looking for another way out of the basement. Everywhere around her were piles of discarded hospital equipment. Much of it obsolete or broken.
She heard the sounds of the elevator doors open and two more security guards came out. Nix started explaining the situation to him. Suvarin kept looking for a window or another door, but the basement was underground and so old that it didn’t have another way out. Nix called out to the security guards to fan out and be on the lookout for someone. Frantic Suvarin leaped underneath a blue tarpaulin. In her blue scrubs she was well camouflaged in the poor lighting.
She heard the sound of Nix turning things over to look for her. She felt against the wall in the dark and to her surprise she found a hole. There was a great hole in the wall and someone had put this tarpaulin over it! Suvarin quietly squeezed herself into the hole. She found herself inside the walls of the hospital. There were pipes, cables, vents, and wires everywhere and the air was humid and dirty. Pulling out a small torch Suvarin started to half walk, half climb through the viscera of the hospital. Carrying the blood as carefully and silently as she went.