The BLU Medic… really didn’t know how to feel about Freddie.
He was loud, he was energetic, he was always smiling about something, but he also seemed to pick up on Medic’s discouragement of interaction and left the older man alone. Granted, Medic had to give him his mandatory physical (Freddie was in great shape), and Freddie had made soft small talk while Medic poked and prodded him.
“Those are some really nice starlings,” Freddie said as he watched the birds play around in a basin of water. “They yours?”
Medic was bust watching the needle on the blood pressure cuff and ignored the new Engineer.
“I’ll take that as a yes. The guys said ya had a thing for animals. The crab’s a little out of place, though. I mean how is he going to keep warm? Least the corgi won’t have to worry, but is it really a good idea to let him gnaw on his cage like that? I mean, he could really hurt-“
“Shut up.” Medic hadn’t raised his voice, but the tone was commanding enough. Freddie sheepishly scratched the back of his head.
“Sorry ‘bout that, Doc.” And he was silent until the appointment was over and he left.
“Ach… vhy do zhey all have to be so damned chatty?” Medic removed his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Vhy can’t zhey just come in viz zheir mouths sewn shut? Little good talking vill do. Talking alvays gets you into trouble…” He slid his glasses back on, a faraway look in his eyes. “Alvays…”
BLU Spy, on the other hand, took a great interest in Freddie. The previous Engineer had been a valuable ally, but the threats near the end had made him too much of a liability to keep around. Still, if he wanted a good cage to keep a large wolf, then an Engineer would be just the one to make it. Of course that meant that Spy would either have to get Freddie on his side somehow (either through charm or blackmail), or trick him. Either way would work.
He knocked on the open door of Freddie’s workshop and opened his mouth to announce his presence, but was cut off by pained cursing and a rather sickening sound.
“Mother of hell!” Freddie had appeared from behind some machine, holding his bleeding fingers that were hanging on by only a sliver of flesh-
Spy jerked back in disgust, watching Freddie rush over to a dispenser and turn it on.
“Whew!” The soothing rays moved over Freddie’s injured hand, and he sighed in relief. “Oh, hey Spy! Just doing some work and got my first on the job injury. Let me tell you, even if a machine looks broken down… there’s a good chance it aint. And then next thing you know you have no fingers on your left hand.”
This man was insane.
Spy raised an eyebrow under his balaclava. He had never seen anyone react to an injury like that, and probably never would. He was beginning to think maybe he should get yet another Engineer, but that would be a waste of time. He’d just have to accept Freddie’s mannerisms and hope for the best.
“Ah… well, a good zhing zhat you ‘ad a dispenser,” he said, slowly walking into the workshop. The previous Engineer had always kept it shut and forbidden anyone to enter it.
“No kidding,” Freddie grinned as he watched his fingers join back to his hand. “One of these woulda been real useful back on the farm. Ya can only get kicked in the head so many times before things go a little blurry.” He raised his now healed hand and wiggled his fingers. “Boy, that cleans up nice.”
“Oui,” Spy agreed. “I ‘ave seen zhose ‘eal worse injuries. Very useful in battle. You ‘AVE fought before, non?”
“Me? Nah,” Freddie chuckled like Spy told a joke. “My ancestors fought in the war, but I was never one for fighting myself. I took this job cuz the pay is just what I need to get my Ma and Pa outta debt. Farm aint doing too good, and the crops aint coming in like they used to. Not to mention we lost a few prize animals to coyotes.”
“Coyotes?” Spy asked with interest. Coyotes were similar enough to wolves. Maybe he could use this to his advantage. If Freddie harbored a deep enough hatred of them then maybe Spy could twist it and convince him to help capture the RED Sniper.
“Yeah. Damn things. Been trying to get rid of them kindly, but it don’t seem to work. Build a few things to chase them off or guard the sheep, and then ya come back to twisted metal and bloody fleece,” Freddie turned the dispenser off and went back to the machine he had been working on. “Damn nuisances is all they are, but what can ya do? Part of the trade, as Pa would say.”
“Oh, well… I know ‘ow you feel,” said Spy. “Coldfront ‘as its own share of wildlife. Les lapins, les oiseaux, zhey can be very beautiful to watch. But zhe wolves? Non, merci. I try to keep my distance.”
“Wolves?” Freddie didn’t look up from the machine. “Well yeah, these are mountains. Wolves are expected. I just hope the Medic keeps an eye on his pets. Wolves’ll snatch them right up.”
“Oui,” Spy nodded. “ Zhat lesson was learned the ‘ardway. Zhe Medic still refuses to talk about zhe time a wolf made off wizh ‘is poor cat.”
“Huh?” Freddie looked up. “Ya serious? Awe, poor kitty. I bet Doc was a mess.”
“Oh ‘e was,” Spy acted sympathetic. “And zhe beast is still out zhere. Larger zhan life, blacker zhan zhe night. It comes around our base looking for food, and terrorizes anyone unfortunate enough to be stationed ‘ere.”
“A terror, huh?” Freddie rubbed his chin in thought, smearing grease into his goatee. “Well… maybe I can help ya out there. I mean, I don’t wanna kill nothing, but maybe we can catch it.”
“Oh Freddie,” Spy’s smile hid the malice and malevolent glee he felt. “I would love nozhing more…”