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Otto Meyer and his squad of medics

Marcus was a rock if ever there was one. Black with a beard and mustache you could see some kind of fierce determination in his eyes whenever we got into combat. Nothing ever got to him. He was always in control of his emotions, which made him a great field surgeon and a better leader. Calculating and logical. Sometimes he'd go off and do something, or order the others to without any explanation, but it always ended up saving somebody's life. He was the only person, apart from Alex, to carry an SMG1.

Luke must've been a soldier before or during the Seven Hour's War; he had the discipline of a trooper. He was probably a sniper because he could shoot the wings off a fly without killing it at five hundred yards. Always clean shaven and hair short he had a bit of a round face and piercing black eyes. Along with his AR2 he kept a crossbow handy. And instead of carrying splints in his kit he had bolts. We joked that if he used them to splint your fracture, you'd better be careful 'cause he might come back for it. He kept to himself and his guns when there was down time, but when we went out he was always in a bad mood. He hated the Combine with a passion, and enjoyed killing them--particularly those non-trans-human ones (though he did hate those "traitors," too).

Rachel was sweet. Dangerously empathetic she refused to let us leave someone behind. That's not to say that Otto would've, he was devoted to protecting anybody shooting at the same thing, but whenever a situation where it was an option came up she would shoot down any suggestions of abandonment. All human death she encountered really bothered her. Particularly the bodies we'd find and, worst of all, the zombies. Short, light skin, round face, wavy brown hair she tied back and a bright smile that lifted spirits made her one of the most beloved members of our small unit. She carried an AR2, but wasn't too great at using it. She was almost always our medical support when we needed it and couldn't spend the time. She and Amanda would playfully taunt each other. It was a competitive, good-natured friendship. She was optimistic, bright, funny and energetic. It didn't take long for us to realize how important she was to our sanity.

Amanda was the only other girl on the team. She was also the only one to carry a shotgun. Two actually. Unlike Rachel, she was average height and her face was pointed. Her hair was longer and straight but also tied in a ponytail. Deep brown eyes that could speak volumes and hands that would fly like nurse spiders across a wounded body. She and Rachel were a tag-team when it came to triage work. Each had skills that the other was not highly proficient in, and they augmented each other. She acted feminine but could adopt a "kick-ass" attitude when we needed a boost. On those occasions she could seem almost as nuts as Luke. I only ever saw her flirt once with Otto, but then again there was never much time. Anyway Otto was pretty strange on his own.

Richard was our Designated Strider-Stalker. Or DSS if you prefer. We nicknamed him that after he got his hands on a long awaited rocket launcher (which he never since let out of his sight) and took down three of them with four expertly placed shots. His pointed face and short brown goatee and hair gave him the look of a psycho when his eyes lit up at the sight of explosives, which we always gave to him. But he was no nut with them; he was the best combat pyro-technician I have ever even heard of. He could do things with a tiny amount of C4 that we never thought possible even with a nuclear warhead. He only ever used explosives and his revolver. Sometimes he'd take a lead pipe to something, but Combine never got that close. He was one of three guys in our squad who were not medics.

Bob was another non-medic comrade. But what he lacked in medical training he made up for with his Ph.D. in Psychology. He was our councilor and always gave us advise on how to cope with the situations we encountered. He was closest with Rachel, who had problems dealing with any human deaths. He was also a propaganda expert and good graphic designer. He made posters we'd leave about, give speeches to motivate tired rebels, and even made some nice designs for our gear, guns and clothes. He was quite old (for a fighter that is) and his black hair was streaked with grey and white, like his short, bristly whiskers. The last knight on the face of the earth, he was beyond gentlemanly, he was down right chivalrous. It was perfectly clear to everyone that he would sacrifice any number of people to protect the girls. Despite his older age, he was just as good a fighter as the rest of us, and he could dismantle an AR2 just as fast as Tim.

Tim was given the nickname "Suicide Tim" when he leapt across three balconies on the outside of an old building, five stories up. He did it to get into a room where some ammo was kept and unlock the door from the inside. But that wasn't the craziest thing he ever did. The stories of his acrobatic feats would stretch into the long hours of the night, sitting around campfires with rebels and Vortigaunts. He was very modest, had short light brown hair and an even lighter brown mustache. From behind his frameless glasses he'd watch us through blue eyes, until he found some precarious structure to climb, vault, dodge, or otherwise navigate swiftly and expertly. He and Marcus would joke, this being the rare time when Marcus would show some emotion, and whenever Tim was going to do something suicidal and needed a weapon, they'd toss-swap their guns. He always kept a large knife on him for close encounters and would have deep, philosophical conversations with Rachel which bummed the hell out of the rest of us but kept them happily occupied for hours. Tim didn't have the stomach to be a medic, and always went for a quick and clean kill.

Eric was the only other black guy in our group, and he had a voice like Samuel L. Jackson's. He was a good sport about it, very funny, and he'd humor us by quoting amusing movie lines from any movie and role. He had scars across his face and was quite thin but a master of martial arts. He'd spar with us to keep us fit and ready for close-quarters when our guns ran dry. We weren't racist, so whenever we mentioned it, it was always in good humor which he took to gleefully. A better sportsman you could not find. He knew all kinds of different physical games, and a lot of card games which we'd spend the short breaks between combat and triage playing. He had a background in structural engineering and directed efforts of fortification. He also would check the integrity of a building we were in or about to enter, and when he said not to enter (in his own special way), you'd laugh before taking them to heart like Freeman said them to you himself. Such a personality I was blessed to have met, it was just an all-around humorous one that relieved any tense situation. He'd sometimes say something absurd at the wrong time, but we never held it against him.

Alex was a Latino, his real name being Alejandro. Nobody was sure where he was from; it was only his skin tone, facial structure and black mustache and hair that hinted at his background. I'm almost dead certain he was a serial killer before the Combine took over. Maybe even then. He was quiet, moody, mysterious, cold and distant. But when he got his hands on something to kill, you'd start to have nightmares. For a while when his "techniques" got really bad we'd assign someone to stay up and keep an eye on him during the night. Not that it made too much of a difference, he rarely slept and ate even less. Built more like a twig than anything, he could fit up to his elbow into a wound to fish out a bullet if he had to. But no matter how obsessed he was with killing, he was twice as nuts about keeping someone alive. If you started with the right prompts, you could get him talking. And when he started talking, you'd get an idea about how his mind worked (though it didn't do much good, since we never knew if he was lying or not). He once told me "It's easy to kill something, easy to destroy, but to create and keep something alive, to maintain it, that's the true test of skill." And boy did he believe it. I once saw him tend to a wounded rebel in the middle of a street while a dozen snipers aided by Striders unloaded so many rounds at him they dug through the road and down to the sewer line. For five minutes. All the while acting like nothing was going on around him. Like he was with his wounded comrade in the middle of quiet, peaceful nowhere. He always had his SMG1 on him, but would kill with anything and everything he could find. We trusted him accept for the two occasions on which he expertly kidnapped the two girls for fun. It was a harmless joke but Otto knew otherwise. His prowess in that art scared the daylights out of everyone, and nobody slept for a week after that.

Otto. Our fearless, modest, honorable leader. He would risk everything he had to keep us and anyone else on our side alive. He himself was a surgeon with a lot of German in his veins, mixed with Native American and a little Ukrainian. Don't ask, he'd say. He kept no secrets from us, and insisted upon what he called the "Communist" way of brotherhood. We would give our all for the group, and the group would give its all to the larger group and, in turn, the cause. He believed in the rebellion but had a small hatchet to burry with Black Mesa. He worked with Aperture Science for most of his working life and came to hate their research and development rival, who ended up causing the end of the world as we knew it. His guilt was probably what drove him to be so devoted to our and other's safety, and I say this because of the stories he told us about his career with Aperture. Those would keep haunting the back of your mind, even in this chaotic world of death and destruction. He always kept himself clean-shaven and washed his face every morning, unless he could take a full shower, which was rare. He was a logical thinker and an honorable leader. I could not think to have served anyone better than he.

Does this qualify as a profile?

(C) me
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February 7, 2011
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