Code Yellow Conspiracy
“Would someone mind taking this…fine gentleman to the hospital, please? It’s a Code Yellow.”
Oracle paid little attention to the request. Drunkard and stupid, that person, whoever they were, were of little consequence to him. Though, he had to admit that he was curious as to what a Code Yellow was. Hospital jargon, of course, but there had been a few such cases in recent days.
“You sure he’s ok? He was just talking before he just keeled over on me.”
Hearing Drayce’s voice was what pulled Oracle’s attention from the book he had been deciphering. He glanced over to where the redheaded dragoon stood with Lynus. The violet-eyed medic appeared to be reassuring Drayce, placing his hand comfortingly on his arm and speaking with him quietly. His expression remained placid, even as two guardsmen began to haphazardly pick up an unknown bar patron that was slumped face first upon the table next to the two.
“Don’t worry, the hospital visit is just a precaution. I’m sure it’s nothing more than excessive alcohol consumption.” Professional and courteous. And yet, there was something else hidden in the tone of Lynus’ voice.
“That’s the third time someone collapsed on me, though,” Drayce continued with his concern with a frown. “What-?”
“Don’t go blaming yourself,” Lynus immediately interrupted, softly yet firmly. “It may be that they can’t handle their alcohol. I’ll speak with Cass about perhaps lowering the alcohol content.”
Drayce didn’t look wholly convinced, but he nodded his head in acceptance regardless. “Ok. You’re probably right.”
Lynus gave his arm another reassuring squeeze before he turned away and moved toward the hapless stranger. Likely wishing to inspect him one last time before he was taken to hospital. Drayce watched the scene for a moment before he sighed, shook his head in annoyance and moved away.
Oracle idly closed the book he was reading as Drayce sat down at the table with him, his expression contorted into a look of confusion and frustration. “Another Code Yellow with me nearby. I’m starting to think I’m curse or something,” he complained.
Oracle allowed his gaze to flicker back toward the seemingly unconscious stranger as they were literally carried out of the bar by two guards in full armour. One holding him by the armpits, the other by the ankles. Not a comfortable position and if the stranger was truly in an emergency state, he was certain that one of the many medics would have intervened.
Lynus especially, with his innate skills to detect a person’s status clear across the room. Yet, he didn’t. Most curiously, he was the one that had made the request.
“I don’t even know what Code Yellow means,” Drayce lamented, prompting Oracle to turn his gaze toward him once more. “No one would tell me. It’s just hospital jargon, they tell me. I just can’t help but think it’s something more to it.”
“I’m afraid I don’t know either,” Oracle confessed.
Drayce folded his arms atop of the table and rested his chin upon his forearms, an annoyed little pout on his lips. “I’ve asked Lynus, Fiorello, Simon, Darrell, and even Owyn, but they all tell me it’s just jargon for someone who has drank too much or has an adverse reaction to alcohol. But I’ve seen others who are clearly intoxicated and blind-out drunk, and they’re never referred to as Code Yellow. It’s got to be something else.”
A small smile of amusement spread across Oracle’s lips. Trust a treasure hunter to pick up the small details. “Must be a conspiracy.”
Drayce huffed out a breath that pushed aside a strand of his red hair. “Nah. I’m sure it’s not done in malice. But it is bugging the hell out of me.”
“I imagine it would.” Treasure hunters were a notorious for their nosiness, after all. “Well, perhaps I should ask around.”
Drayce looked up at him in surprise as Oracle placed his hands atop of the table and pushed himself to his feet. He soon smiled, however, a rather cheeky and knowing grin. “Ah, you’re insatiably curious, too?”
Oracle picked up his book and slipped it into pocket of his jacket. “Indeed. With all the secrecy, it must be quite an interesting tale somewhere involved.”
“Be sure to tell me what you learnt, ok?”
With that, Oracle turned away from the table and cast his gaze around the Stickleback Mk2. Lynus was nowhere in sight, perhaps having decided to follow the stranger to the hospital to ensure their treatment. But perhaps he wasn’t the best person to ask about the secret meaning behind the mysterious Code Yellow. He was far too nice, too careful with his words. Anything and everything that could potentially frighten or concern someone would be said with perfectly chosen sentences and words.
Oracle didn’t have time for that. He wanted the blatant truth. Something that Isiah was quite comfortable with himself. Alas, he wasn’t within sight either. But another medic was. Darrell. He was rather blunt himself at times. He’d do.
“Ah, Darrell, a moment of your time?” Oracle requested as he walked over to where the redhead medic stood at the bar, scribbling something down on a small notebook.
Darrell raised his head only slightly, peering over his thin-framed glasses at him. “Need something?”
“Code Yellow. What is it?” Blunt answers require blunt questions.
Darrell rested against the bar casually as he inspected him with his eyes for a moment. “I’d tell you the truth, but there’s a few innocents I don’t want to worry,” he unexpectedly replied.
Oh? Quite curious.
“Shall we go for a walk then?”
Darrell quickly shoved his notebook into the breast pocket of his medical jacket and nodded. “Sure, why not? Doesn’t hurt to have more eagle eyes, as it were.”
Hm? He was hoping to recruit Oracle for something? Even more curious.
Without another word the two unlikely companions headed out of the bar and toward a quiet and rather secluded park area located several blocks away from the bar. It was a small place, a rather futile attempt at placing some greenery amongst the sturdy buildings and steel reinforcements.
“Is this efficient?” Oracle asked as they reached a quiet picnic area that was devoid of any souls.
Darrell glanced around almost suspiciously before he plopped himself down upon the wooden park bench and lounged casually. “Code Yellow, huh? Why do you want to know?”
“Curiosity,” Oracle answered honestly as he sat down next to him.
“It’s short for yellow-bellied,” he explained unexpectedly and bluntly, just as Oracle had hoped. “It’s for those who use easily accessible status potions and tonics meant for monster battles and use them against their fellow explorers.”
It took Oracle a moment to fully register what he had said, what he insinuated before he bristled. “They’re spiking and poisoning drinks?”
Darrell nodded. “Yep. For experimentation and for…well, I’m sure you know what the other, main reason is.”
Indeed. Oracle felt the immense desire to burn something. Or rather, someone. Someone who had been issued with a Code Yellow only recently.
“Code Green are for victims of those who would qualify as Code Yellows,” Darrell explained further.
“Are code words necessary?”
Darrell nodded as he stretched his legs out in front of him. “We’ve often wonder that, but we know that revealing the truth would only cause others to panic, worry, and become jumpy. The last thing this place needs is a bunch of jumpy explorers eying each other with suspicion. And it may cause those with ill intentions to change their methods. This way, we have them unguarded and at our disposal. Degenerates will always find a way to be degenerate.”
Unfortunately, that was true.
“What happens to them at the hospital?”
An almost sadistic grin slipped across Darrell’s lips as his eyes gazed vacantly into space. “Stuff.”
Oracle frowned. “I want details.”
“Best for you to witness yourself. Only if you promise not to tell anyone else what I told you.”
Ah. Poor Drayce. Looked like he wasn’t going to learn the truth today, either.
“Very well. I imagine this stuff is rightly painful,” Oracle commented. “Though, I’m surprised that Lynus willingly travelled to the hospital along with the Code Yellow victim.”
Darrell shook himself from his thousand-yard stare. “Lynus is usually the one who makes the call. And he has a hundred percent accuracy rate.”
Lynus’ empathetic abilities were likely very useful in that regard. Anyone who dared to poison or drug another person’s drink did so with pure malice in mind. He’d likely sensed their attentions long before anything was initiated. “Oh? Do tell.”
Darrell grinned as if recalling a memory. “Given the opportunity, he would purposely swap the contaminated drinks with the perp and then idly stand by until they experience full effects of their own drugs.”
Oracle honestly hadn’t expected that. “I must admit, I find that surprising.”
“Nah, not really,” Darrell said nonchalantly. “Lynus is equally protective, just not as up-front about it, like Axel. Or violent like Tobyn. Everyone of the Guardians is protective. He’s just more passive about it. Giving them a taste of their own medicine, as it were.”
“Well well, seems Precious Medic is more intriguing than it first appears.” Sarcasm was heavy in Oracle’s voice, but in truth he was quite fascinating by the reveal.
“That’s why he’s always prowling the place whenever he visits,” Darrell explained before he hefted himself to his feet and turned to stare down at Oracle. “Now, keep this to yourself, remember? And I’ll allow you access to certain Code Yellow cases.”
Certain cases? Did that mean…?
“Jaxen is a usual target, isn’t he?”
“And Kardos, believe it or not.”
Oracle bristled violently. “You have yourself a deal.”
Darrell made a sound that was a half snort, half laugh. “Well, I better get back. With Lynus away, I need to keep an eye on the place.”
“Indeed. I best get back, too,” Oracle said as he pushed himself to his feet. His protective hackles were still raised, but he consoled himself with the fact that he had never heard the words Code Green used to describe the treatment for anyone of his extended guild, let alone his own.
But god help anyone who dared to put his guildmates in such a state.
The trek back to the bar was a quiet one and as soon as they reached the interior of the bar, Darrell went on the prowl, focusing in on areas of explorers he did not know or recognise. And Oracle himself scanned the area with an air of suspicion. His gaze soon focused in on Drayce, however, as he spoke with Cass behind the bar. Likely questioning him about what Code Yellow was as the brawny man himself had issued the statement often.
Oracle walked over to him and took him by the elbow, abruptly pulling him away from the bar so that they could speak in somewhat privacy. “I’ve spoken to Darrell,” he said simply as the dragoon have gifted him a look of pure confusion.
Drayce perked up. “Did he tell you?”
“Indeed he did, but I’m not telling you.”
“What? Why?” Drayce practically whined, frustration evident.
Oracle planted a hand on the dragoon’s shoulder and looked sternly into his eyes, startling him greatly. “It’s for your benefit. The secrecy behind the code isn’t malicious, but those who obtain such a code is.”
A crinkle appeared in Drayce’s brow. “I don’t understand.”
“It’s not something you need to worry about. Just don’t go accepting drinks from strangers, ok?”
Drayce had absolutely no idea what was going on, or even how to respond. “Ah, ok?”
Oracle nodded his head and folded his arms into the sleeves of his purple robes. “Now, you must excuse me; there’s something I wish to witness at the hospital. This should be both educational and amusing.”
And quite entertaining.