Echo, Tallel


Echo isn't feeling well so she heads to the Healer's Yurt where her cousin Tallel is on duty.


It is evening of the seventh day of the eighth month of the thirteenth turn of the 12th pass.


Zingari Healer's Yurt, Caravan Grounds, Igen Weyr

OOC Date 31 Mar 2018 04:00


Echo3.jpg tallel_default.jpg

"This, too, shall pass, Echo. Just breathe."


Caravan Grounds

Deep grooves in the hard packed earth criss-cross a large patch of denuded ground, bearing mute testament to the caravans that frequent this area. Despite the midden holes set back a ways from the main center of traffic, the air is sweet, redolent with the sagebrush that forms a loose perimeter around the flattened expanse. In what is as close to its center as the vague boundaries suggest, a stone ringed fire pit has been dug and surrounded with the odd log or two, ash overflowing from its darkly blackened core.

It is the thirty-seventh day of Summer and 108 degrees. Mercilessly bright, Rukbat's light heats the desert as a small dark cloud appears on the horizon.

It's been a challenging day for the Caravan's resident farrier. Echo has been feeling out of softs for several weeks now, since they returned from the Telgar Steppes surely. For the last couple of weeks, it's been almost non-stop nausea, with actually revisting her meals several times. Thinking it was merely some kind of bug going round, she didn't really worry, but now it's been going on for a while. The last straw has been when she impressed a bronze firelizard hatchling when she'd come across a nest in a remote corner of the pens and when she went to find scraps to feed it, the mere sight and smell of raw meat caused her stomach to lurch most violently when she had no previous problem with it. So now that she just finished with one customer, and the next isn't expected until a candlemark from now, she makes her way to the Healer's tent, little Colt curled up around her neck, peeks in the door with a tentative, "Hello?" as her warm brown eyes scan for a Healer.

Tallel has been in a state of consternation ever since the Zingari's return from the Steppes. He's been exhausted by the newborn twins, of course, not that he would trade that for the world. But aside from that, there has been an absolute rash of women ending up in the family way, enough so that he knows it can't be a coincidence. Something is going on, and he's racking his brain trying to determine what. At least he's only had one pregnancy come through today. The rest of his shift thus far has consisted of heatstroke, a burn, a broken toe, and some insect bites. He's enjoying a little spell of quiet in a back corner when he hears someone come in…and that someone bears a familiar voice. "Echo?" He appears in full view with one step, straightening his white tunic. He's smiling at first as he greets her, though his brow soon furrows in mild concern. "Are you alright? Or just looking for someone?"

Echo looks relieved when she sees her cousin there, because she is still emminently more comfortable around people she knows. But at that moment, she feels like her stomach is about to rebel again and she gets a pained expression on her face as she tries to swallow hard against the rising bile, managing to push it back again as she puts a hand to her lips. When finally she trusts herself to open her mouth without spewing, she smiles weakly, "It's this damn stomach bug Tal, it keeps coming back. It's more annoying that anything, but now I can't even look or smell raw meat without hurling, and this little guy is only two days old and he eats all the time." She remarks as she reaches up to rub at Colt's tiny wedge shaped head with one fingertip as she wanders towards him, her other hand settling on her upset stomach.

Tallel recognizes several things here. One is the look of someone about to lose their lunch, so he immediately starts looking around for a basin when Echo's expression changes. Fortunately, she seems to be able to control it…but he still hands it to her when he gets one, just in case. "Still, hm?" he says of her assertion that it's a bug, but he's dubious about that diagnosis because, "No one else around camp seems to have it." However, nausea triggered by specific scents, nausea being persistent - yes, these are two things that have been a little too common lately. "Alright, come on over here," he says, guiding his cousin by the elbow to sitting on a cot behind a divider for privacy. He pours a glass of water and hands it to her as he folds himself down onto a stool before her. "Has there been anything worrying in your vomit, like blood, or even nothing at all so that it's mostly clear? Are there any other smells that aren't sitting well with you?"

Echo takes the basin thankfully and keeps it close in case her lunch decides to try and make a break for it again. Her brow furrows slightly when he mentions that no one else seems to have gotten a bug and she's briefly troubled as she's guided over to the cot, settling down on it as she considers Tallel question, "No blood, amd I some mornings I can't even keep down water." she says as she considers about other scents, "The curry hasn't smelled right to me for weeks, and even horse manure, which is a smell that's never bothered me in the slightest before, is setting it off." she says, a touch of worry creeping into her voice as she searches her cousin's face for any hint that he might know what's wrong with her.

For all Tallel can emote quite plainly (as Echo well knows), he's a bit different when in healer mode. His initial concerned expression has faded, handsome features schooled to a neutral thoughtfulness as he rises and touches his fingertips gently beneath Echo's chin, feeling for anything swollen. He studies her eyes, passing a lifted finger before them and quietly instructing her to follow with her gaze alone. "Well, that would make doing your job a bit difficult," he notes unnecessarily. "Have you been more tired than usual lately? Any headaches or dizziness?"

Echo watches carefully as Tallel goes through his various examinations, following his instructions as he gives them. Then she is considering his last question and she nods slowly, "Yeah, I guess I have been more tired lately, but I have been working a lot. Some dizziness on occasion, especially when the nausea gets really bad, but not really any headaches." She answers him as she tries to keep her own tone even but there are certainly worried undercurrents there.

Tallel nods slowly with Echo's reply, his hand moving down to catch her wrist while his other fingers find her pulse. He's still then, so that he can gauge what he's feeling and count beat. His tawny gaze flicks to his cousin's face as he notes the worried notes to her voice, and he gives her a little smile. "This, too, shall pass, Echo. Just breathe." He's quiet a moment longer before letting go of her wrist and picking up a long wooden tube, wider on one end than the other with smoothed edges, about the length of his forearm. Setting the wider end against Echo's back, he places the other in his ear. "Just breath normally for me. Other than curry, are there any other foods that have been seeming particularly unappetizing, or foods you've been craving lately?"

Echo feels slightly reassured but her cousin's calm words and she returns his smile with one of her own, taking a few deep breaths to try and calm herself as well as follow his instructions. The little bronze draped around her neck rouses slowly, his small head rising and cheeping inquisitively at what Tallel is doing. Reaching up in hopes of coaxing the hatchling back to sleep, Echo again considers for a long moment and then shakes her head, "I can't remember Tal to be honest with you. I haven't really been paying attention. It comes and goes several times a day." She continues with her deep even breaths, the happy side effect being that she does feel a lot calmer now, the furrow between her eyebrows smoothing slightly.

Tallel's eyes flick up at the stirring of the little bronze flit, and he smirks, lifting a hand to rub a finger across tiny headknobs, also urging him to be calm. "Several times a day…" he echoes as he takes the listening tube away from her back. Sitting back down on the stool before her, he holds her gaze steadily. "You're going to have to forgive me these questions, Echo, but I have to ask them," he tells her gently, leaning closer so that she doesn't feel like she's projecting past the divider when she answers. "First, have your breasts felt different at all recently, as in being tender or sore or tingling? Anything like that?"

Colt settles back down with a soft whuffle, lidding jeweled eyes slowly. Echo nods when he repeats what she had said, her eyes going to him right away as he settles onto the stool in front of her. A blush quickly colors her cheeks as he asks his personal questions, her eyes dropping demurely as she considers for a long moment, "A little bit, especially in the last sevenday or so, but it usually happens when my cycle is coming on, so that didn't seem a big deal." She finally looks back up, brown eyes find his again, searching deeply as she wonders if all these specific questions might mean he has an idea of what it could be.

Again, Tallel nods, lips pressing together in a small semblance of a smile that shows she's answered in a way he was expecting. "And speaking of those," he asks softly in the wake of what she mentioned with her last, "have you missed lately?"

Blinking at his next after registering that small smile, Echo pauses and rolls her eyes towards the ceiling as she considers that question, wracking her brain for the answer to his question, and suddenly feeling rather worried when she realizes how long it's been. With a nervous clearing of her throat, the herder girl squeaks a little bit when she answers, "Well my last one was while we were still at the Steepe, so I guess I've missed one…or two?" Suddenly she has a moment of realization and with it, a panicked look causes her warm brown eyes to widen significantly. "You don't think….?" and Echo can't even finish her question as a wave of nausea choses just that moment to rise in her and it's lucky he had given her that basin previously, because now she is going to put it to use.

When it becomes evident that Echo is about to void her stomach, Tallel moves, shifting to sit beside her and rubbing a soothing hand over her back as she does what she needs to. Once she's done, he finds that glass of water again and gives it to her, encouraging her to wash her mouth out as well as drink if she can. He sighs, slow and soft, considering his cousin in profile as she recovers. "I have a tea that will help this not be such a problem. It worked well for Willimina," he tells her, giving a tiny hint of his answer to her aborted question. "This is something I've seen a lot of since we came home. And recently enough with my own wife. There are things unique to each woman, but so much more that's common across every case." Reaching up, he tucks a bit of Echo's hair behind her ear. "I do believe you're pregnant, cousin."

With his hand on her back, Echo feels a small amount of relief as she lifts her head again and wipes at her mouth with the back of her hand. The glass of water is taken with a smile of thanks as she takes a big swallow and rinses out her mouth once before she takes a small sip to swallow down, hoping it won't immediately come back up. She closes her eyes tightly when he mentions a tea he gave to his wife, shaking her head in pure incredulity. When she feels him tuck her hair behind her ear, she turns her gaze to look at him with a thoroughly confused expression. "But how Tal? Milosh is obsessive about us taking our herbs on time, every time." Her tone of voice completely bewildered as she continues to shake her head slightly.

This time, Tallel huffs a sigh of frustration, his gaze troubled as he looks down for a moment. "Him and many other people. Yet it's been happening. I think…there must be something wrong with the latest batch of herbs. It's the only explanation, with you being…somewhere around the half-dozenth." He lifts his eyes again, intent on his cousin's. "If you have an inkling he might be upset, Echo, then he can take it up with me. Or the healers in general; we have to manage this. What's important at this moment is how you feel about it." Which is the question he's asking in the way his eyes survey her.

"Bad herbs?" Echo repeats softly as she looks at him with those widened eyes of hers, "That many huh?" again she shakes her head until he mentions something about Milosh being upset and she blinks several times, completely unable to fathom how he will react to this. "I don't think upset is the right word. It's going to come as a shock, that's for sure, beyond that, I have no idea how he is going to take this." But his next indirect question causes her to pause and consider a moment before answering, her hand dropping to her stomach unconsciously, laying on the still flat tummy there. "I am feeling blind-sided to be honest with you cousin. I don't think I can feel anything other than shock at the moment." Then considering something, she takes another longer drink of her water before asking, "What about my work Tallel? I can still work and ride right?" Her tone is softly desperate as she watches him intently.

Tallel nods; he's not exaggerating! And at this point, there are likely more that will come forward soon. "You would know better than I," he says of Milosh and the man's potential reaction. To her answer, he nods slowly, but can't help a chagrined chuckle as Echo's thoughts jump straight to her work. Of course they do. "Leave it to you to think of that at a time like this, cousin," he says. "You'll still be able to ride for a while. There will come a point when it won't be safe, and then you'll have to keep your feet on the ground. But it won't be forever." He takes her hand, clasping it in both of his. "One step at a time, Echo. Sit with it, see what comes up after the shock passes. Talk to who you need to. I know Willimina would be glad to. And you'll certainly have to talk to Milosh. Once that happens, knowing how to feel and what to do will be easier. But know that, more than anything else, we're here for you - my family and I. And more and more people will gather around you as you go on. That's they way of things with us."

How can Tallel tell Echo to not think about these things right now? Ever practical, it's all the herder can think about. She sighs heavily, "That's just how I am, I can't know how I feel until I know exactly how this is going to affect my life…our lives." she corrects her last as the idea of the conversation she is going to be having with Milosh is making her head spin slightly as she takes another long sip of her water to steady herself. As he mentions that she can still ride for a time yet, that does settle her a little bit as does his reassurance that he and his family and the other Zingari will be there for her. "So next step…talk to Milosh then. Well, I'll catch up with him tonight, I still have a couple apointments this afternoon." A small smile plays on her lips now as the reality of her condition starts to sink in, eager to see how her lover is going to take the news, although it is mixed with some apprehension as well. "Is there anything else I need to know?" she asks her cousin.

"Come, and I'll get you some of that tea. You'll want it before you get back to work." Tallel stands, offering Echo his hands. He knows that's how she is, but this is also just how he is. "Use the time while you work to really know how you feel about it so you're confident in that when you talk to him, Echo. You're the one carrying the baby, after all." As for what else she needs to know, he shakes his head. "Just that things are going to keep changing with your body for several months. You'll need a more thorough exam, though you can see one of the female healers for that, if you'd rather. And if you're worried about anything, don't hesitate to come here. Or to talk to Willa. She's done this four times, after all." He works as he talks, dropping tea sachets into a little jar and finding a mug and the kettle near the tent's brazier to prepare some for her now.

Echo takes Tallel's hands as she pulls herself up to her feet with little effort. His very sage advice is accepted with a firm nod of her head and a bright smile, that is until he says the B word. Cause that's when what being pregnant actually means, and her breath catches as she places both hands over her lower stomach, looking down, and she repeats, barely a whisper, "The baby." her voice full of wonder as her eyes suddenly swim with tears as she's overcome with emotion. Her hand reaches up to wipe at the tears but they just keep coming, and Echo has no idea how to stop it at this point, reaching into her pocket and pulling out a hanky as she tries desperately to dry her eyes. "Thanks Tal, I think a female healer for the exam would be great." she tries to keep talking through the tears as she fights herself for control. "And I'll see about talking to Willa too." her last word turns into sobs as she throws her hands up in the air in frustration, "Why can't I stop crying?" she exclaims as she looks helplessly at her cousin.

Oh dear. Fortunately, Tallel is quite used to this, too. Between being a healer and a father, he practically feels like a veteran. He finishes setting the tea to steep as Echo starts wiping at her eyes. He nods to her wish for a female healer, privately relieved even though he'd more or less expected it. "That's something that'll happen, too," he says with a sympathetic smile, gently pulling her into a hug. "It just does. Carrying a baby takes everything balanced within you and throws it off kilter as your body learns how to handle another life growing within it. Things are going to happen that seem absolutely ridiculous. That's the simplest way I can put it." Releasing her, he reaches over and takes up the mug of tea. "Here. It doesn't really need sweetener, but there's some on the table if you need it."

Echo lets herself be comforted by his hug, finally feeling her tears slow as she listens to his words and takes comfort in them. When finally he releases her, she can manage a weak smile and though there are still tear stains down her cheeks, her eyes are drying as quickly as they welled up now. With one final wipe of her hanky, she looks more composed. "Thanks for that cousin. I will try and remember all that." She takes the tea and blows on it softle before trying a sip and finding it not too bad as it is. "I'm really glad it was you on duty when I walked in." Her voice is matched with a warm smile as her eyes begin to swim again and she chuckles. "I had better go before I set myself off again." Moving her mug from one hand to ther other, she also grabs the jar of tea sachets he's prepared for her. As she moves over to the door, she turns back, "I'll let you know how it goes when I talk to Milosh." she says firmly, and she fully intends to, she doesn't want them to drift apart again. And then she slips out of the tent to head back for her next appointment.

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