Who: Batavia What: Working hard When: Late night Where: Dragon infirmary
Batavia sat on a stool, drumming her fingers on the counter top. It was the middle of the night shift; rounds had been made, inventory had been taken, hidework had been filled out. Now she was sitting near the entrance, trying not to think the one thought that was pressing against the inside of her head.
It's quiet was quickly followed by I'm bored.
She leaned her elbow against the counter and propped her head on her fist. On her very first day in the Southern Weyr infirmary, the journeyman had been very adamant that 'quiet' was a word to never be spoken or even thought about in the infirmary. It was the quickest way to curse a peaceful shift, he'd told her. Batavia wasn't normally a superstitious person but that was one that had stuck.
She heaved herself off the stool to do a quick check of her patients, just to be sure. There weren't very many being kept over night, and really the Threadscored green was her only major concern. The green had a history of infections while her rider had a history of panicking, which meant headaches for the healers. Satisfied her everyone was still alive, Batavia headed back for her stool near the entrance.
Oh for Faranth's sake, old Tinal was right, she thought and quickened her pace as noises from the triage area echoed down the corridor. It looked like her night wouldn't be so quiet after all.
It was late, that's for sure, and most of the Weyr was asleep. S'lain's last round of the Weyr for the night took him through many of the pertinent areas. The infirmary was always his last stop as he checked the patients and the person on night shift to see if they needed anything, be it help or a cup of klah. He walked through the arched doorway into the infirmary even as a commotion began inside. Feeling the bottom drop out of his stomach, he reached for Jaxith's mind, but the blue was deep in sleep and would be unable to help him.
He entered the triage area and blinked in surprise at the gold wher waiting demurely while her handler worked to remove an unconscious, bloodied man from her back. "What in Faranth's name happened to him?" The bluerider asked while Rozen assisted the healer in getting the limp form to a bed. He began assessing the wounds despite his dragon training, wishing one of the other healers were present.
"We don't know. Nightwatch found him near the herds after an alert call came through. I assume he was on watch." The woman's shortened replies huffed out between breaths of effort -the man was no light weight to the small handler- S'lain caught a glimpse down the corridor, suddenly glad to see a familiar face coming towards them. "Batavia! We need Tess, or one of the other human healers. We've got a bad one here, deep lacerations along the torso and legs. Could be a feline attack." To the bluerider's practiced eyes, the wounds seemed too small to have come from a fully grown feline... maybe a mother letting her kits test their claws? If so, this man owed his life to that fact, or else he'd be dead already.
The gold wher, Rozsk, slipped to the side as her handler worked, leaning her head around to sniff at the blood on her glittering hide. Something was different about the other smell that came from the twolegs, and the wher impressed the strangeness upon her bonded. Rozen glanced up across the room with a nod. "Rozsk says it wasn't a feline. Doesn't smell the same."
"Oh, Faranth," Batavia muttered, seeing the bloody man being deposited in the infirmary. "I'm on it, boss," she replied, executing a skidding turn and jogging back down the corridor. Times like these made her wish for a well trained firelizard. Thankfully S’lain had been by; at least he had some background in people healing. She turned the corner into the regular infirmary, panting slightly and glad the Weyrhealer was right there. Batavia almost ran into her but stopped herself just short.
“We need a regular healer,” she said in a fast, low tone to avoid waking her patients. “One of the wherhandlers brought in a guy. Deep lacerations to the torso and lower body. Unconscious. S’lain’s with them now in our triage area.” Not waiting for the woman, Batavia pivoted and started back to the dragon infirmary.
S'lain seemed surprised at the wher's decision that the wounds were not created by a feline at all. What else on this island was dangerous enough to attack someone? A large wherry's claw marks were easily distinguishable because over half the damage done was from the kick that delivered the blow, rather than the laceration from the claws, and they were plant eaters anyway. It would take a lot of intruding on territory to get one to attack.
"Do you think it was a slasher pack?" He questioned the wherhandler, who frowned as they began peeling back the clothing around and even in the wounds, cutting most of it away. The cuts were shallower than the blood soaking the man's clothing had led them to believe. He might not need surgery, but stitches for sure. "Can't tell. Rozsk says it could be, as she's never smelled one before, and I've never seen one, though I've heard about them." The blond handler jerked her head around in surprised and blinked at her wher, who's eyes held just a tinge of yellow. "She says it smells something like a wher."
"Shards... I thought the island didn't have a large enough pack to hunt humans... but these are still too small for a wher too." S'lain cursed. Batavia returned then, and he nodded at her. "Glad to have you back, lass. We'll have to start without the other healers or he'll bleed out. No need for numbweed, he's likely out for the duration. Hand me the redwort though and the clean bandaging, I want to see these lacerations cleaned out well. No telling what's gotten into them."
(I thought Tess was gonna get posted, but she took too long!!! XD)
Batavia quickly handed S’lain the necessary supplies. She moved two glow baskets to give him better light and opened the rest further. She rubbed her hands down with redwort and began preparing a tray on a stand with needles and suture. She stood on his ‘good’ side, out of the light, and watched intently. Humans seemed so small compared to dragons, and not the right color either. Batavia was used to green ichor rather than red blood but she stood firm and watched carefully, ready to help out any way she was needed.
It wasn’t a wherry, it wasn’t a knife, Batavia mentally ran through her experiences with laceration injuries. Too small for a dragon, too big for a firelizard. “Maybe a baby wher,” she offered, glancing briefly at Rozen before turning her attention back to the injured man. “Are there any wild ones on the island?”
Tess had to remind herself that it wasn't becoming of a lady to swear. This, of course, did not diminish her urge to, but it did help to keep her tongue in check.
There were times when the infirmary was quiet enough to hear a pin drop and she had to fight to stay awake because - face it - eventually you run out of things to do. ...And then there were nights like this one. Snapping out a few orders to her assistants, Tess finally got that sharding bone set. It was luckily an easy fracture, and one that didn't require opening the poor man up. Or, rather, poor idiot as that was the only thing you could really call someone who thought pretending he was swashbuckling along one of the docked boats' masts, drunk or not.
Even with sedatives, it had been a chore, and she'd needed several of her burlier assistants' help in pinning the rest of the writing man down. But, now, it was done, and she could now see to the new patient Batavia had informed her of. An apprentice could handle the cast.
Making sure to clean her hands thoroughly, she donned a sterile robe to protect her from excess blood and stepped into the area behind the curtain. She hesitated for only a moment to take an inward breath. That was a lot of blood. "S'lain, Batavia, ...Wherhandler, wher," she greeted briskly, after giving the woman a once-over and seeing the wher. In the back of her mind, she took the time to sigh and mumble about how she'd found yet another person she'd have to call in to go over their medical history for.
Slathering her own hands in redwort, she took in the exposed injuries. "Shallow, surface wounds. Careful, though. There's a lot of blood, so it could have nicked a major bloodvessel." At that, she began to prod gently around a few of the wounds that were near arteries that were close to the skin. Satisfied that none of them were that serious - just that there were a lot of them - she quietly asked Batavia to hand her a suturing needle. She had stood opposite of S'lain, so she couldn't get to it herself without leaning over the patient - generally a bad idea.
"I take it from what I walked in hearing that you don't know the cause? Where was he found?" she asked as she worked, closing the worst gash first with deft fingers. Not a knife, not a wherry...it would have to be a tiny wher, if it was one. "Slashers grip with the forelegs and try to disembowel with the back claws. These are all reaching upward with the claws, not down. Probably the front claws..." Flicking her gaze back to the wherhandler long enough to ensure she knew she was being spoken to, she continued. "I assume you're Nightwatch, correct? Would you be able to secure the area he was found in? I don't think anyone would be able to identify tracks in the dark. I'm sure that our various guards," a small smile to the wher, "would like to know what they should watch for, and I would certainly like to know what I can expect coming in to me."
~J.man WeyrHealer Tessarin, blue Jaser ~V'taph, brown Veneth, dud Tiieh ~Weyrling L'cin, brown Queth, gold Brillia ~Weyrling S'ren, blue Feynth ~Wherling Mira, green Misk
S’lain looked up with a grim smile as Tess came in and took charge in her usual brisk bedside manner. He had to nod at her description of slasher methods of attack. He also nodded at Batavia. “We do have a small number of wild whers on the island, but they’re in competition with the felines and we haven’t seen hardly hide nor claw of them since scouting the island." He moved aside to let Tess have more room, mopping up blood as he took secondary healer position.
“He was found on the outer bend of the feeding pens closest the jungle. He’d sounded the alarm, which was why we even knew something was wrong.” Rozen answered, giving a sharp nod at the female healer. The prim gold’s eye began whirling faster as she settled down on her haunches to wait and watch, her eyes directed at her handler, who nodded.
“Rozsk says the other handlers have already worked to search the area for whatever attacked him. We scooted on out of there to bring him down soon as we found the area of attack. There weren’t any tracks that we saw, but it wasn’t our main focus. We’ll know more from the Nightwatch who are there now.” Now that the man was clearly being assisted by better hands than hers, the goldhandler stepped back. “Healers, do you need further assistance? I would like to get back to them to see what if anything they’ve found.” As if to accompany her words, a brown flitter blinked out of between with a letter scroll around its leg. Holding up her hand, Rozen let her brown land, working to loosen the small piece of parchment.
Turning to the handler, S’lain shook his head to the negative, his brows furrowed in concern at the sudden message. “Unless Tess says otherwise, we have enough help here now. Finding out what did this is the next most important thing for us to be doing. Check the herdbeast pens to see if any were taken or killed. The more food they took down, the better idea we'll have of numbers and size.”
Batavia handed Tess the needle, then backed away when she took over and S’lain moved to assist her. She had a bad feeling about things and was beginning to wish for her quiet, boring night back. If the nightwatch leader had no idea what had gotten the man, it had to be a rare animal. Hopefully the man had seen what attacked him and would be able to describe it. She watched Tess work, glad dragons offered large swaths of hide to work on, rather than small places. Dragons also cared less about getting scarred, allowing for faster work.
With slashers ruled out, and wild whers unlikely, their most likely culprit was felines. There could be a smaller breed that had developed just on the island. While most of the continent had been explored, new types of animals were still popping up. Even though she was quiet, and gave all outward indications of being absorbed by watching Tess, Batavia was following the conversation around her closely.