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 A Touch of Madness

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Anna Roberts
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PostSubject: A Touch of Madness   Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:16 pm

Throbbing, pounding, pulsating, drilling. Every word Anna had heard to describe a headache could be applied to how her brain seemed to be trying to escape and to be honest, she couldn’t blame it. Doctor Anna Roberts’ head was not the best place to be as of late.

While the CMO waited for the lift to ascend from the Morgue to the Medical Centre, she impatiently tapped her foot against the metal flooring while looking down at her Blackberry waiting for signal she knew wouldn’t come while the lift acted as a Faraday cage, blocking all electromagnetic signals.

Level Four Medical Centre. Doors opening. The mechanical female voice announced.

The doctor slipped out of the lift before the doors opened completely and marched into her chaotic kingdom. The refurbishment was well underway and too far gone for Anna to change her mind and cancel what she’d been planning for months. A proposition which had crossed her mind regularly. The building operation was being conducted by Army Engineers who were efficient but up against problem after problem. From a major water pipe bursting and setting back the completion of the medical labs by a week to a quarter of the crew being called away for an emergency, Anna was ready to call it a day.

Walking on uneven, dusty flooring which hadn’t been tiled yet, Anna passed a couple of steel girders which held up old, cracked walls which were ready to be knocked down and be replaced with cleaner, reinforced, bulletproof glass. Anna passed the entrance of the infirmary and stopped to press a large red button which commanded the brand new large, glass doors to open revealing the large, cavernous room the same as yesterday, completely gutted out however today there were hundreds of wires hanging from where the lighting used to be.

“Morning Doc.” Came a voice she had come to recognise as Sergeant Samuels of the Corps of Engineers.

Walking in only a couple of steps, not daring any further, Anna replied, “morning. How’s it going?”

“Good.” He said firmly, “the new lighting will be installed in the next couple of days, nothing so far to change that.”

Anna smiled, “let’s keep it that way.”

Leaving she continued toward her destination, Med Lab 3, where she had been summoned while getting an update on the new air conditioning system in the Morgue. There was no door to work through this time, there was nothing at all in fact for the crew had finished knocking down the wall last night. She did however have to carefully pick her way through rumble in three inch heels.

“What’s up?”

Lieutenant Abigail Markham approached, dressed in dusty black BDU’s with her long blonde hair spun tightly into a bun, Anna felt towered over despite only a couple of inches between them.

“Over here.” They walked toward a wooden fold up table upon which were extensive blueprints.

For the next hour the two women argued over this and that, Anna refusing to back down even if she made the unpopular choices because it was to be done right. No short cuts, no backing down. Even if it meant pissing off a woman who could snap her like a twig.

“You might want to try boots next time.” Markham called as Anna left.

Patients were being treated in Labs 4 and 5 while work was being done and luckily they were very few. Anna followed the corridor round until she reached her office, knowing that as lowest priority, it hadn’t been touched yet.

Opening the door, she breathed a sigh of relief. The air wasn’t heavy with soot and dust and when she closed the door, the sounds of construction faded into the background. Sitting down at her desk, Anna rested her head against the back of her chair, kicked off her heels and put her feet on the antique wooden desk and massaged her temples with no success.

The phone rang, destroying the marginal peace she had brought to the raging headache. Reaching over, Anna grabbed the receiver without opening her eyes.

“Doctor Roberts.”

“Morning Anna, I trust you are well.”

The sound of her boss made Anna jump to attention. She swung her legs round onto the floor and straightened her back as if he were in the room with her.

“Professor Michelson, I’m well thank you and yourself?” She inwardly cringed when she heard her middle class accent go up several notches.

“I can’t complain, I was just calling to see how the refurbishment was going.”

Checking up on me... typical. The ageing professor’s attitude toward women in high places was well known and when he was appointed scientific liaison to the government on the supernatural, Anna’s hope diminished.

“All systems are go,” she replied trying to fake as much enthusiasm as possible. “We’re slightly behind schedule but the condition of the building couldn’t be foreseen without getting beneath the surface.”

“How far behind?”

Anna’s heart suddenly felt heavy like it did when teacher’s found a mistake in her work. “A couple of weeks, manageable most definitely.” A lie, it would be a month at least but he didn’t have to know that.

There was a moment’s quiet before he answered, “very well, I’ll be in touch soon.”

I bet you will. She replied as soon as the handset was returned to the cradle.

Sighing Anna swung her legs back onto the table and glanced at the clock above the door. It read ten in the morning, “only another eight hours...”
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Jacob Garrison

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PostSubject: Re: A Touch of Madness   Sat Oct 02, 2010 12:40 am

The chaos of the medical centre was so unorganised, so hectic Jacob could bet that Anna was going crazy with each passing minute. He knew her all too well and the fact that her beloved medical bay was in pieces around her would kill a part of her every time she thought about it. Was it sadistic that the idea of Anna’s turmoil brought a slight smile to his face?

Slowly he walked down the corridor that led to the medical centre. The sound of drilling and hammering were so loud Jacob could hardly hear his own thoughts; it was not helping his headache. It had been pounding his head for the past three days and it had gotten to a point his mental discipline could no longer ignore. With constant searching around his office for painkillers, which was to no avail, he made the unfortunate decision to voluntarily go see the Chief Medical Officer of the base. One decision he would most likely regret in a few minutes.

No security identification was required but he was nodded through by a burly security guard standing to attention. “At ease Lieutenant,” Jacob said with a smirk. The regulation and control the military officers projected was laughable at times but Jacob respected them immensely, he had been saved by it too many times he could count.

The scene in the medical centre was one that he had not expected. Rubble littered the floor, walls half demolished as engineers fitted various electrical fixtures. Jacob’s eyes widened at the sight, he had not expected it to be this bad when the plans for retrofitting of the centre were presented. Stepping over equipment and dodging workers with an ease that was befitting someone who was twenty years younger than he would care to admit. His headache was really throbbing now, but he forced it back as much as he could as he leant round the door of Anna’s office. Knocking the frame twice he smiled, “Having fun?”
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Anna Roberts
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PostSubject: Re: A Touch of Madness   Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:16 am

A red elastic band took Anna’s interest as she looked over her busy desk in an attempt to find something to do. This was seldom a problem for the woman, in fact there were what felt like a million things to do, but this morning she was lacking all motivation. Picking up the band, she played with it for several moments while her mind tried to take stock of the refurbishment, Infirmary would be done in a couple of weeks as would the Morgue...

“Having fun?”

So lost was Anna in her mental status report, picturing room by room in her mind’s eye and putting a time estimate on it, that Anna physically jumped when Jacob’s voice suddenly brought her back into the office.

“Oh hi,” she said, not meaning to sound indifferent as she kept her feet on the table.

The sounds of construction came through and as a result she felt her blood pressure rise again. The doctor was cool headed and level minded during emergencies, dealt with a high pressured job with relative ease but this was something else. Prolonged stress from chaos which was spiralling with every new report telling a tale of what went wrong this time was fraying her almost damaged nerves.

Realising that Jacob was probably here for a reason, Anna came back to the present, “come in and please close the door behind you.”

Her office was an oasis with its carpeted floor and wallpapered walls. Outside was a desert of grey, newly plastered walls, more dust than she thought possible with matching rumble collecting at every dumping ground.

“How can I help?” She forced a smile knowing he wouldn’t buy it for a moment.
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PostSubject: Re: A Touch of Madness   Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:10 pm

Jacob grinned a toothy grin as Anna invited him in, to which he obliged closing the door sharply behind him. He slid into one of the chairs opposite Anna’s desk and looked directly at her. She looked stressed, well so would he if his department was in pieces around him every day. The reports of the refurbishment laid on his desk, luckily nothing major had gone wrong with the development. He only hoped that it was finished on schedule or before any missions occurred that would require intensive medical reaction.

“I just thought I would come down to see how you are,” Jacob smiled as he leant forward, his elbows resting on his knees.

A loud bang reverberated through the walls, though it didn’t force an overt response from Jacob, only a slight turn of his head over his shoulder. A small sigh left his lips as he turned back to Anna. Alex had only just left the base and Jacob wanted to know how Anna was coping with it. However, the question was how he was to broach the topic with her. Go full out and ask her straight or be diplomatic?

Picking himself up he let his hands rest in his lap, “I also wanted to talk about Alex. I wanted to see how you were after his departure.”
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Anna Roberts
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PostSubject: Re: A Touch of Madness   Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:30 pm

The sudden bang thundered its way into the office and all Anna could do was momentarily close her eyes and pinch the bridge of her nose. This was every control freak’s nightmare. Anna thrived upon ordered organisation, it was a tried and tested method which worked. The fact that her medical centre was a mess, that they were falling behind on the work schedule, was a testament to her belief in of ‘if you want something done right, do it yourself’ theory. Unfortunately she couldn’t see herself wielding a sledgehammer or on her hands and knees tiling a floor in her Gucci work shoes and tight pencil skirt.

“I’m fine honestly,” Anna replied with a tight smile as she swung her legs off the table and adjusted herself so she sat upright in the chair. “Of course the sooner the Engineers are out of here the better.”

Although she knew the Alex question was coming, it didn’t take the sting out of it. Jacob’s intentions were good but she really didn’t need to share her feelings at this time. To make matters worse she didn’t know how she felt about it, her relationship with Alex had always been fraught with difficulties and the latest chapter was no different, just more complicated.

“Are you hungry,” she deflected, “I haven’t eaten and I need to get out here for a bit.”
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