She fell out of a freakin' boat in the middle of November.
Or she was pulled. He didn't know her, or the whole story, so that part wasn't entirely clear. Jude wasn't particularly adept at using the intranet, yet. There was something too primitive about it that the how-to just shorted out somewhere in his brain. He got the basic gist of it, but missed all of the nuances. In fact, he was pretty sure there were no nuances to it at all.
Rae Alghren was a name that got around immune circles. She was a beautiful girl, which was worthy of attention these days alone, but she'd also garnered a reputation for being a reckless dangerhound-- and that was before escaping the massacre at Carnegie and taking a nice ice bath in what, the Hudson? The Harlem, East, or Bronx Rivers? Hypothermia wasn't a joke, especially not now. They were blessed to have access to infirmaries, because frankly, there was a whole host of ordinary illnesses that now had the ability to cripple and kill a person. Even if she was on the mend from the worst of it, words like Pneumonia, Chilblains, Trenchfoot, and Frostbite kept rattling around in his head, even after he closed out her message on the server.
He told himself repeatedly that he was worrying for nothing: not only was Rae not a little kid, but she was also in the infirmary and receiving the closest thing to structured medical care possible.
It's just that being sick more than sucked. For someone who was immune from the biggest sickness there was, being taken out by something unseen, only felt, had to make the girl feel incredibly helpless.
Entering the infirmary, he bypassed a man exiting it with a firm nod. He was guided to the curtain that was hers, and he wished that there was something to knock on. He made due, following the line of the curtain pole to the wall. He knocked on the wall's surface, only peeling the curtain back with a few fingers. Barging in felt wrong. It would have felt wrong even if he knew her. He hated the old hospitals with their open doorways, which served only as windows into private misery. There was no way to enter one of those without feeling like a gross intrusion either.
"Hey kiddo," Jude crinkled his nose at the endearment. By reputation, she was a little old for it. By appearance, it suited her. She was tiny, tiny, tiny. Even the book looked huge in her fingers. If he didn't know this girl killed zombies every day, he'd wonder how her bony wrists could even support the book. That probably had more to do with the illness dulling her pallor and the illness beating her down from the inside out.
"I-- ah. My name's Jude. I heard you went for an involuntary polar bear run..." A sport that never made any fucking sense to Jude. He gestured, bringing up one arm with a soft insulated blanket folded over it. His other hand came down to pat it once. "This is for you. I also brought those fluffy socks-" he obviously didn't know what they were called, or understood why they were flamingo pink but had the texture of a plush stuffed bear. He tried for a second to grasp what they were called for a few seconds before giving up with a shake of his head. It'd been a long time since he had to know what they were called. His days of raising a teenager had been short enough that everything he'd been trying to learn, but hadn't committed to memory yet, was just gone. "I have no idea what they're called. They have the tread on the bottom? It doesn't matter- they're warm. They're big too, so they can go on over what you're wearing if you need them."