Chapter 05: All Ashore

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Enzo glanced around the corridor, saw he was alone, and slipped into the storage bay. He quickly walked around the small room, searching in any potential hiding places between the stacks of crates and thickly packed shelves. He let out a sigh of immense relief as he realized he was alone. His hands trembled as he grabbed his personal medical kit and unclipped it from his belt. Walking over to a waist-high metallic crate, Enzo set the kit down atop it and cracked it open. He sorted through the contents, scattering medical supplies across the silver top of the crate, and finally found what he was looking for: a little syringe of clear liquid.

"Hello," he whispered. "Rescue me."

He moved his right arm in a certain way and a tiny hatch in the armor atop his right shoulder popped open. Enzo plunged the end of the syringe into his flesh and hit the release button. Warm waves of pleasure began to shoot into his shoulder and chest. Unfortunately, it didn't last long. It began soothing the pain away...then the pain pushed back, hard. Enzo groaned, extracting the syringe and dropping it to the floor.

He was sweating badly, his stomach twitching, ready to vomit from the agony. Turning back, Enzo grabbed a syringe of similarly clear liquid. He studied it for a moment. It was some kind of super-painkiller, something meant to basically deaden his ability to feel pain almost entirely. It was meant to be injected at the base of the spinal column. It was given to patients dying of some terminal illness or people with chronic pain diseases. Hawkins had been very reluctant to pass it over, but Enzo had finally talked him into it.

Enzo held the syringe up, groaning, his vision doubling. His hands trembled and sweat was getting into his eyes. He flicked the glass a few times, then pressed the plunger in a quarter of an inch. A little bit of the liquid squirted out of the top. Reaching back around behind him, he found the little release for another hatch built into his armor and hit it. The pain was coming back, hitting him like a hammer. He just had to get the needle in. Part of him knew that this was incredibly dangerous, that he could nick some vitally important nerve or do some kind of serious damage to himself, but the rest of him didn't care, he wanted to escape the agony.

The door opened up, then.

Enzo glanced over, groaned again, this time out of annoyance.

"What are you doing?" Greg asked.

Enzo laughed, sniffed, coughed. "Self medicating," he replied.

"Jesus...why are you sticking yourself in the back?" Greg asked, stepping in and shutting the door behind him.

"Base of the spine," he replied. "Next level painkiller..." He hesitated a moment, took a deep breath, closed his eyes, let out it slowly. "Would you help me?" he asked.

"I...yeah, sure," Greg muttered.

He crossed the room and took the syringe from Enzo.

"I already did the flicking and squirting thing," Enzo said, turning around and placing both palms flat on the top of the crate.

"That's what she said," Greg replied.

Enzo burst out laughing unexpectedly, then stopped and groaned. "Okay, let's get this over with," he said, gritting his teeth.

"Okay...uh, where is the base of your spine?" Greg asked, frowning, staring.

"There's a hole in my uniform, stick it in there but don't break the skin. Just place it against the skin and I'll guide you," Enzo replied.

Greg did so, trying hard not to punch through the flesh. "Okay, up just a tiny bit," Enzo said. "Now left...no, too far, back. Okay, right there."

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