Varden, Amani, Ibrahim, R'zel


A hypochondriac, a sleep-deprived weyrwoman, deliveries, and red tide samples - all in a morning's work for the Weyrhealer!


It is midmorning of the nineteenth day of the eleventh month of the twelfth turn of the 12th pass.


Infirmary, Southern Weyr

OOC Date 04 Jan 2018 07:00


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"Do let me know if you hear anything else interesting."



Sterile and scoured, the surfaces of the infirmary, well-tended and beloved by the complement of Healers due a weyr of Southern's size. Soothing tissane simmers at the large hearth, while comfortable chairs circle that particular feature in a waiting-room of sorts. Tables of dull-gleaming oldtimer metal lie as examining slabs, neatly lined in rows with pull-curtains enabling full privacy as needed. A low wall separates the southern half of the room from the rest, and those practicing the apothecary's trade can be seen compounding medicines under the watchful eye of the posted Master.

"You do not have an infection," Varden's voice comes from behind a curtain, raised in a faintly exasperated way, and with an air of finality. "The staining is most likely from your new shirt. Please know that you can come back any time, should you be in need of our services." The curtain is opened sharply, and Varden walks away from the patient with the bright blue shirt, back out into the infirmary proper. It must have been a trying morning, to judge by the way the man drags a hand over his face and pauses near the waiting room area to compose himself. Outside, the storm thunders, but in here the hearth burns merrily, the air fragrant with the smell of various herbs and potions. Southern's Weyr Healer lets out a little sigh and lifts his head to consider his next move.

In from the direction of the living caverns comes Southern's youngest (and for the moment only) junior weyrwoman, hair damp from a recent trip to the baths. Despite looking refreshed from her time there, there are dark splotches lingering beneath brown eyes. It's a good thing her skin is on the dusky side; they might look worse otherwise. She's peering about for the nearest available Healer when she gets just that…in the form of the Weyrhealer himself. Her brows hike a bit as she watches him gather himself, her gaze flicking to the person with the eye-catching shirt before returning to him. "A trying morning already, Master Varden?" she ventures with a gentle smirk as she drifts a little further his way.

Always with the rain, these days; always with the rain. There's no recourse for the inevitable, though — all must sally forth and contribute to the wellbeing of the Weyr. In comes Ibrahim, a sack of greenery tucked under one arm, blinking bemusedly at Smurfboy as he makes his exit, before switching his dark gaze over to Varden, tilting his head to one side in mild curiosity. Amani's presence is noted with a gentle smile, then some concern at the splotches beneath her eyes. For now, however, he holds his tongue.

Varden's eyes drift to focus on Amani, and though the man does not straighten up from his slight stoop, he does give her a polite greeting in the form of, "Weyrwoman." Now he does straighten up, on his own terms, broad shoulders held back so he stands at full height - back to the normal composed Weyr Healer. "Igen's little blue fungus issue has inspired a few sensitive people to worry," he'll explain in a low enough voice so as not to be overheard by the man in question. "How can I help you, Weyrwoman?" And now there's someone else, and Ibrahim gets to be the focus of Varden's gaze now. "Ah - a delivery?"

"Yes, I'd heard about that," Amani says of Igen's "fungus" with an amused deepening of her smirk. Motion in her periphery draws her gaze to Ibrahim, who earns a warm smile and a little waggle of her fingers before her attention is back on the Weyrhealer. "I'm in need of something to help my sleep," she tells him, a slight frown appearing and her gaze dropping momentarily as though the issue might be a bit embarrassing somehow. "I haven't had problems with it since I was a lot younger, so…I'm not sure what's going to be helpful."

And here's someone else who appears to be making a delivery, though judging by the way in which R'zel frowns at those present, he's not entirely sure to whom he's supposed to be making it. He's carrying two large earthenware pots, glazed and with spongewood lids, well stoppered and with the lids tied on securely with string. He's stacked one on another, and they're bulky enough to make his progress through the doorway and into the room slightly awkward. He eyes the nearest bench for a moment, but apparently decides to hang on to them until he knows where they're going. But there's Ibrahim, also with something to deliver, it seems. He nods to the other man. "After you."

Rubbing a hand over his face, Ibrahim manages to remove the smirk of slightly malicious humor from his face before he's caught out at laughing at the vagaries of the young and idiotic. Meanwhile, the package in his grip is shifted so that Varden can get ahold of it. "Yep. Medicines for you, sir." The smile he now wears is much, much more sympathetic, for he's also heard all about that mysterious blue fungus, and the swirl of rumor and counter-rumor has been getting out of hand, even within the wildling camps. Amani's admittance of trouble sleeping makes him go still for a long moment, stern control exerted over the desire to question her immediately. The flicker of his glance over her face, however, suggests he might be coming to see her later, and possibly offer her help. R'zel's appearance evokes another soft smile, though: Varden's pretty popular today it seems.

Varden is not an unsympathetic man, and Amani's embarrassed-seeming body language is something he's seen before. Dealing with a Weyrwoman asking such a thing, in the middle o finfirmary - that require discretion. "Of course. There are a number of things we can offer. Something to drink before bed, to start perhaps, if that sounds amenable?" He's moving to the stocks of medicines as he speaks, already mentally going through what he wants to retrieve for her. And it's Varden's lucky day for deliveries! "Excellent. If you could put it over there, please." Varden will point Ibrahim to a spot behind the low wall, on the apothecary side of the infirmary. R'zel gets a curious look for his more awkward cargo. "Wingsecond - something for the infirmary?" Obviously it is, but the Healer's tone implies he'd like to hear what the man is personally delivering.

Amani nods, instinctively shifting off to the side and closer to Varden when the men bearing cargo enter in need of places to set things down. "It does," she says to the idea of having something to drink before bed. She has no doubt she'll see Ibrahim later, of course…but were the issue something he could have cured, she wouldn't have bothered coming to the infirmary. "Wingsecond," she greets R'zel with a small smile, though she's quite curious what could be in those big pots herself.

"Weyrwoman." R'zel nods to Amani. His knuckles are turning white and his fingers are finally starting to slip, so he gives in and sets the two containers down on the bench, then rubs his hands together. Those were heavy! He turns back to Varden. "Yes, Weyrhealer. These are the samples that someone here requested. A selection of dead fish - deep water varieties as requested - and a sample of, uh, red stuff. Also from well offshore, though it looks pretty much like what's washing up against the Boardwalk. Courtesy of the skipper of the Mariposa." As he speaks, he lays a forefinger on first the larger pot, then the smaller. The fish must be smaller species if there are several in there.

Ibrahim will take his pile of medicinal salad right on over to the indicated space, calmly certain that this whole affair will soon be sorted — at least Amani is getting help, though he'll remain as quietly supportive as always — and turn to squint at R'zel's delivery of deadly fish and red goo. This, too, he's gotten an earful about, and is exceedingly unhappy that it's curtailed his fun times at sea. Nothing worse for a sea urchin like him than to be stuck landlocked with the rest of them.

Varden is, fortunately, a multitasker, and he knows his way round the various pots in the infirmary's stores practically by touch. So, he can watch R'zel set down the heavy pots while he seeks out the items he wants for Amani's needs. "Ah, yes." The dead fish issue. "They've certainly been generous," the Healer quips, as he opens the pot he wants, and starts scooping the dried, black-brown contents into an empty smaller pot. "I believe Tareon will be rather excited to get his hands on those." There's no smile, but his tone is dryly amused. He does look down for a moment as he adds a sprinkle from another pot, measuring by eye. "I trust nobody has been swimming in it, against advice?" Because all Varden needs are blue AND red stained people clogging up his infirmary.

Amani can't help but wrinkle her nose just a little when R'zel reveals the contents of the pots. "I'm guessing you'll be studying all this to see just what sort of hazards the red tide might pose to us?" she ventures, and shakes her head to Varden's last. There is a sympathetic look slipped toward Ibrahim. He might be landlocked here for the moment…but when one knows a dragonrider, there are certain ways to relieve the stir-craziness.

"I sincerely hope nobody has," R'zel says with feeling. "We've all been warned to keep the dragons out of the water here, too. Fortunately, that's not a problem - the north coast seems clear." And even more tropical. "And the Seacrafter who told us about the stuff was quite graphic in his account of what happens if you eat the fish."

"That must have been… enlightening." Ibrahim finally speaks up, wry. Sometimes, a man just doesn't want to kow exactly how the poison is going to eat one up from the inside out. He offers R'zel a very, very sympathetic glance for the perhaps unwillingly gained knowledge before giving Amani one of tose mischevious little grins he's so oft fond of giving her. He solemnly swears he's up to absolutely no good. Poor Varden, with his visions of Smurfs and Anti-Smurfs dancing about the infirmary, all clamoring to be cured, like, RIGHT NOW. No wonder the man seems to be a bit pressed.

"Tareon can do the cutting up, I'll do the writing up." Varden says with dry humour, popping a top on the pot and offering it to Amani. "A spoonful in hot water or milk before you go to bed. Try it for two weeks; if there's no change. Come back to me." 'Me' might just have a little emphasis. Dealing with a sleepless Weyrwoman? Varden would rather keep that as his job, rather than any old apprentice healer. Ibrahim may get another look now, as if there's a little wariness in Varden about the man overhearing this talk. But…R'zel is speaking freely about it, so…. "Glad I'm not the biggest fan of fish." He'll consider the jars. "We'd better get those somewhere safe." Once Amani's medicine is handed over, he'll head over to the bench and R'zel, rolling up his sleeves ready to go some lifting. "There's a space towards the back of the apothecary, should be safe there from any curious folk. Ready for some more exercise?" He'll aim at R'zel, amusement in his voice even if Varden doesn't smile.

Amani accepts the pot with a grateful smile and a nod. "Thank you, Master Varden," she says, and mentally notes the emphasis he uses. She'd much rather come to him as well, given the option. There's another bit of nodding for R'zel as he explains some more about the fish and red glop, and a subtle blush in the wake of Ibrahim's smile before she decides she's more likely to be underfoot than anything right now. "Gentlemen," she says, and excuses herself via the exit that will most quickly take her outside, leaving the Healers and porters (official or otherwise) to their duties. She'll be doing a lot more one on one talk with some of them later.

R'zel studiously looks the other way while Varden is talking to Amani - if he can't see, he can't hear it, right? Instead, he gives Ibrahim a wry smile in return for that sympathetic look. "Maybe a bit too much information - for a non-Healer." He returns to the bench on Varden's say-so, though. "Sure." He's not going to risk carrying both those pots at once when there's no need; he just picks up the larger one and heads for the apothecary area. There's space on a bench: that'll do. He sets it down. "The old journeyman had seen this before, many years ago. When we went back and talked some more, it turned out that he'd found out the hard way about eating the fish. It it would help for one of your people to talk to him, I'd be happy to take them over."

Ibrahim smirks a little. "The way the aunties among my people talk — " Those wildlings DO have their own information network, unfortunately. Ibrahim's heard it all (and likely worse) before. " — I'm rather fond of hearing it's actually being seen to by folk who know what they're doing." He eyes Varden carefully a long moment, somehow well aware that it's not exactly kosher to go spreading the news at volume to all and sundry. Gossip is what got the Weyrhealer in this mess in the first place, plainly. "Sir, would it be… a good idea for the wildlings to send a representative to you? My little band's getting exceedingly… restless." And giving him the business since he's supposed to know 'everything' and all that.

Varden is being politely subtle with Amani, but his eyes follow the Weyrwoman as she leaves. He does care, really - especially so when it comes to one of the Weyr's two goldriders. Since R'zel's dealing with the heavier pot, the healer can carry the lighter one, and put it with its brother. His sleeves remain rolled up as he crosses his arms, listening to R'zel and Ibrahim though his eyes remain on the pots. "Hm. Yes. I think that could be interesting." As tight-lipped as usual. "Thank you, Wingsecond. Did he mention any effects on dragons?" Varden does finally look away from the pots, at Ibrahim now, as if seeing the man in a new light. Wildlings. Yes. "If we could provide some reassurance, then I would be happy to do so, once I know some more from these samples."

"Will do." There's relief in knowing he doesn't have to try and explain things that aren't even in his wheelhouse to the disturbingly sharp-tongued Elders of his people. When the topic becomes about the effects of this new and fun plague on dragons, Ibrahim decides he doesn't need to hear anything regarding the sickening implications of Healer business — with a mild salute to Weyrhealer and Wingsecond, he takes himself off to other parts and duties. He'll keep his medical knowledge limited to how not to poison himself out in the Jungle and how to keep injuries and illness from getting to the point where one needs a Healer to patch one up. As quietly as he came, he vanishes.

"Clear skies, Ibrahim," R'zel says to the departing wildling. Then he shakes his head and tells Varden, "The outbreak he saw was in the North and much smaller; apparently there wasn't a Weyr nearby. But he said their firelizards wouldn't touch the dead fish, back then. I'm no expert on firelizards, but don't they pass what they're afraid of round among themselves - like when that one got burned in the kitchens? It might suggest they'd learned not to eat the fish from experience."

With Ibrahim's departure, that at least leaves Varden alone with R'zel. Given the Wingsecond has been much at the heart of the ongoing problem, the Weyrhealer is more relaxed about discussing the matter. He leans against a counter, considering what R'zel says, dark eyes on the other man. "Yes, I do remember that." The people coming in to the infirmary with fire-lizard-induced panic attacks, mostly. His forehead creases slightly in a frown. "The fire-lizards at least should be safe, then. I'm not willing to allow any experiments regarding dragons. Southern's lost too much of late." Bailey's loss is still a raw wound for him; the fact it was entirely out of his control hits hard in a man used to at least being able to attempt to treat things.

"Well, they won't know until the first time some of them make themselves ill with it, if I've got that right." The firelizards, R'zel means. "But then they will. Or maybe some riders with firelizards could have their dragons try to get the message across. The fisherfolk said that the fish should be OK if it wasn't near red stuff or dead fish. But there's an awful lot of red stuff out there." R'zel considers for a few moments, then continues, "And, Weyrhealer, we might not want morale to take a hit, but people need to know about this. We've had sweepriders out spreading the message along the coast as well as tracking the red tide."

Varden's lips thin, but he can't argue that sometimes a small sacrifice has to be made for the greater good. "Perhaps only a small bite will be enough to warn them off." He seems unimpressed with the extent of this whole thing, but…what can he personally do? Other than helping to get the message out in the right way. Now R'zel gets a look that drips with exasperation. "We should draft a clear message. Faranth knows Igen is apparently running wild with rumours about whatever it is they've discovered over there. A badly handled conference about it, I'm led to believe." Varden rolls his sleeves down again, adjusting them neatly. "Perhaps the Weyrleaders might want to help with informing everyone. I can help with the wording, if wanted."

"The blue stuff? Yes, I've heard a couple of wild theories - at least, I assume they're wild. Presumably it doesn't actually cure all known diseases and… do something that sounded rather unlikely for cases of impotence?" R'zel's ears turn mildly pink at that last. More business-like, he goes on, "What we got from the Seacrafter was the best information we had so far, and that's what we've been passing on. But if there's something we should be adding or changing, we don't want to spread wrong information - here or out there."

Varden gives R'zel a long look when he mentions that, expression unreadable. Men and their pursuits of certain medicines. He's happier to talk business! "I can't put a number on how long it will take to go through the samples, find something useful - if we find anything useful." He's a realist, can't be helped. "Sounds like you've been doing it right, playing it safe. Stick to what we do know, rather than speculate." He does smile, a small, dry thing. "I'm sure people will do plenty of that for us." Inevitable, really. "Thank you for bringing the samples, Wingsecond. Hopefully it won't have been a wasted trip for you."

"No problem, Weyrhealer," R'zel smiles the smile of one who is being released from the hook. "And let me know if you or one of your people wants to visit the folk at Crystal Beach. If I can't take them, someone else from Ocelot will." A thought occurs to him. "Jens - the old Seacrafter - was from Boll. Occurs to me their people there might have records of this. I don't suppose they told Healer Hall about it?" Typical Harper: he thinks there should be records! He's not really expecting an answer, though. "Clear skies, then, Weyrhealer."

Lots of food for thought there. Plenty for Varden to ponder over. "I can certainly make enquiries." His tone implies it may well be a good line of inquiry, and his farewell to R'zel is, notably, less curt than he usually is to most people. "Clear skies, Wingsecond. Do let me know if you hear anything else interesting." Varden's already turning back to his work - patients to see, healing to do!

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