Who

Neve, Sabina

What

Sabina has survived her ordeal mostly intact thanks to Neve. (Save a major injury.) Now Bina must heal and that translates to no work. Bummer.

When

It is the sixty-first day of Summer and 32 degrees.

Where

Southern Barrier Hold

OOC Date

 

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Hold Infirmary

It is a hardy space for a hardy hold, settled off the crafters nook and the Miner's hub: a good spot for certain, for the plethora of minor and major injuries that steadily flow out of the depths of the mineshafts deeper within. Not as large as an infirmary that one would find in, say, a weyr, it is nonetheless serviceable, with a single appropriated slab and several curtained, individual examination stations. A simple warming tissane is always to be found at the large hearth burning cheerfully next to the small waiting room, soothing to the throat and nerves.




A more cheerful air permeates the infirmary on this day. Whether that has to do with the convict patients having moved back to their quarters or Neve having been able to sleep through the entire night, thanks to Xieli transferring in from the Weyr, is impossible to say. But certainly there is more energy to be found in the journeyman's step, as she makes a circuit about the infirmary putting this way here, and that away there. There's a copper pot simmering over the hearth fire from which the most delicious smell of raspberry is wafting- a tea that will be her reward, once she's finished these tidying efforts. And if she pauses occasionally with an abstract look upon her face, if she hesitates while lost in thought, absently fingering this swath of gauze or that ceramic jar, well…quiet industry does encourage opportunities for one to sift through thought and memory, sorting them as neatly as the recently delivered supplies have been sorted.

The cheerful aura of the infirmary is a bubble about to be popped. A large wildling man backs into the infirmary with a limp form draped across bulging arms. His bald head is shiny from a sheen of sweat and as he turns to face inward to the room, his eyes are red-rimmed and swimming with unshed tears. When a man this size cries.. something has gone horribly wrong. Above his head are gold and green squawking blurs. A pair of piteous and unhappy firelizards. “Help!” The tone of this man’s gravelly voice is demanding of attention, not pleading for the same. “Drudge is hurt! Where you be?!” Because when he sets boots into the room someone is supposed to materialize out of thin air. Naturally.

It's the firelizards who give that first alarm, even before the wildling's distress is noticed- those shrill cries bring Neve hurrying from the herb room, her hands dusted with green and grey. One look is all she needs to this as rather different from the usual sort of patient to hobble into her infirmary. One look, and she's dashing forward. Her voice rises above the rattle of the wheeled cart she grabs on the way to the room's central exam table- cold stone, an unforgiving surface, but undeniably a place for bodies such as the one the man carries. "Here, put them here," comes the command- and it is a command, the little healer forgetting hesitations or awkwardness. "What happened?"

Taedun marches over with a flash of relief evident on his face. Happy to lie his burden down on the flat surface of the table. Upon which Aurum promptly lands by Sabina’s face, while green Viridis alights on the moving cart with an unhappy chirp. Taedun pays no attention at all to the flying rats and focuses on gently arranging Sabina. Who gives a low moan in response to his gruff efforts. “Found her.” And for a moment it doesn’t seem as though he intends to say more as he steps backward out of the way. “In th’ bar. Her ‘lizard came for me. Her back here,” he points to her left shoulder, “and arms. Cut bad.” He rambles in his tribes dialect before remembering himself. “Father in stores dead. I will take to bury.”

That simply will not do! Neve gives a single glance at the firelizards before glancing up- a silent summons that brings the most reluctant of bronzes blinking in from Between. He wings to huddle on the counter and gives an imperious miniature trumpeting to summon the frantic pets. He doesn't like it, being out in the open this way, but such is the burden he must bear. And it leaves Neve free to handle what she finds before her now. Namely, Sabina. Back? Right, first order of business is seizing the limp woman and hauling her onto her side, to probe for the back injury with firm but careful fingers. "Not yet you won't! Call the guard, now."

Sabina is exhausted from her night spent cowering in terror in a nook of the bar. Between that and the blood loss she passed out the moment she recognized Taedun. Now though she rouses to the cadence of voices. “Dun?” It is slurred in her state of shock and disorientation. Sounding almost like Done. Sadly nobody is done with this mess yet. But Taedun shifts forward enough to pat Bina’s leg. “Okay. Got you help.” His eyes move slow as molasses to the Neve. “Guards no good here,” his brow creases as he frowns heavily. “No good.” Still the lumbering man states his opinion and watches his friends ‘lizards fly to huddle with the bronze turd. Yeah he doesn’t like firelizards much. “I get. But.. no good.” His opinion of firelizards ranks above the Guards here apparently. “She lives,” he says this as though Neve is commanded to work a miracle. “Or I come back mad.” And he stomps off toward the door to bellow at the top of his lungs for the Guards. The sound echoing and probably scaring the beejesus out of several people.

"Weyr guards. Find one of those sent recently by the Weyrwoman," is Neve's admittedly distracted follow-up instructions. She's still busy with her initial assessment- and more inclined to pay Sabina attention than the man who's brought her in. "You're in the infirmary," she fills the young woman in, "you're in the infirmary and you're safe. Can you remember what happened? These cuts, they're at least two hours old." Silver lining: it means they've long since stopped seeping. Downside: shock has had far too long to set in. The healer's first order of business, after going head to toe over Sabina- the poor thing is going to lose her clothes, snipped off with a pair of shears- is to pull blankets from the lowest portion of the cart to pile over the patient. Where are her apprentices? Bother. Seven different things need doing, all at once, and she's only the two hands. It means Taedun's threatwarning is summarily ignored while she scrambles for the redwort, the numbweed, the linen…and the stitching kit.

Sabina grimaces and twitches at Neve’s ministrations. “Ow..ow..oof.” Sounds that often follow a poke or prod to the cuts. Strangely she can wiggle her fingers but is unable to actively move her left arm. “Taedom is dead.” The words are flat with no emotion. A side effect of the shock her mind has settled into. “Someone.. someone killed him. Then me.” But she’s not dead obviously. As her clothes are cut from her body the poor woman doesn’t even seem to notice. And everyone in the Hold likely knows how modest Sabina is. She is seen often around and about, cheerfully going about her work. So this lack of care could be disturbing. “Coin in my bed. In my pocket, can’t reach. Arm won’t go.” Her fingers twitch as she tries to get her brain to send the order to check her pocket. “Taedun says coins on Taedom’s eyes. Don’t know. Can’t remember.” Because she wasn’t there to see that part and hasn’t fully realized that.

"You aren't dead nor will you die," is Neve's stout assertion as she gets the blankets tucked under and over and around Sabina's body. Arms are left bare, shoulders are left bare, but the rest is bundled up snug. Thankfully she'd built up the fire for the tea and the infirmary is warm enough, compared to the rest of the hold. The woman's clothes are nudged aside with her foot, leaving the coin well out of reach. "I need to wash the cut on your shoulder. It might sting a little but I'll use plenty of numbweed, as much as I can. Just hold still, all right? Hold still and rest, you're safe now and the guards are coming. The good guards," she says as she moves around to the head of the table, to get a better angle on Sabina's shoulder. "Can you tell me your name? I'm Journeyman Neve but you can call me Neve."

Sabina may not die but it will take some doing to get use out of her left arm again. The knife plunged deep into the fleshy muscle and sliced or tore who knows what. The extent of the damage will be clear as the blood crusted to her skin is washed away. It’s a miracle an artery wasn’t cut the way the wound looks, so ragged. “Can’t feel my shoulder. Elbow and fingers are tingly and sore.” Even in her state Bina is trying to be helpful. This woman never takes a damn day off does she? I’m bleeding all over your table, but let me try to help. “Name?” She looks confused before it sinks in that Neve wants /hers/ and not her attackers. “Sabina.” Her head angles as she attempts to look at her arm. “Taedun is a good guard. I killed his father.” Oh that’s a horrible thing to say!

"Stay still," Neve counsels, a cool hand resting briefly on Sabina's forehead until she settles again. Not a trace of worry or concern shows in either voice or expression- the mark of a well trained healer- but there's certainly caution in the way she begins to probe at the deep cut to the woman's back. Not a trauma specialist! This could be bad! "I wish we could have met under different circumstances, Sabina, but…ah." Talk of killing draws a brief glance, a break from the trickle of redwort being poured over the lacerations to begin cleaning away the gunk to see the flesh beneath. "Sometimes when the body takes a wound like this, it turns off parts of itself. Movement, feeling. Just relax. Remain still. When I have this done, I'll get you some tea. It's raspberry, brought all the way from Fort. You'll like it, I've no doubt. Where did you come from before this?" A far superior topic to matters of murder.

Sabina’s mind is on a re-run loop of the murder without the side effect of emotion. Shock is such a weird thing. “He was so old. Never should have been there. My fault.” And so in her opinion, her fault that he’s dead. The soothing quality of Neve slowly clicks her mind to a different channel of thought. “Tea?” That sounds so familiar. The heck is that, oh yeah! “I haven’t had a raspberry since I escaped Bitra.” Her body twitches involuntarily but Sabina herself seems to be limp meat on the table. “I was born in Bitra. Mama was a difficult person. Mean a lot.” She shifts her head as an ache settles into her neck. “The den girls were ok. But I like it here better.”

Trust the Fortian to say something like, "I suppose it would be superior, to Bitra." Area prejudice: alive and well in 12th Pass Pern. But Neve isn't entirely focused on the conversation, and it shows in her voice. She's finished with the first bout of rinsing and moved on to surrounding the laceration with numbweed. Sadly, it cannot be poked into the wound but it should help dull things, at least a little, when she begins to poke around in there looking for the full extent of the damage. And, as she explores, it's looking more and more like Sabina's immediate future will involve drains and open wound care until she can get one of the Weyr's trauma specialists to venture out here. "Of course, I've never been. But one hears stories. I'm glad you were able to get away…perhaps you can be reassigned to the Weyr after this. Now hold on, dear, I have to start poking around and it isn't likely to be pleasant."

“Bitra smelled,” Sabina’s deadpan opinion is comical and lends toward the belief that she really doesn’t miss it there. And if weren’t for her current state she could be quite eloquent on just how much she despised the place. She doesn’t seem to register a lot of the pain that she should be feeling. Aside from the intermittent, “ow” here and there between dead silence and moments of discussion. The wound itself has been open to the elements long enough to have deadened some on its own. And there is likely nerve damage somewhere in there aiding Neve’s cause. “I’ve been to the Weyr. This is my home.” There is a boulder size grate to her voice now. “I will not be frightened away. Renalde is here and I am here. And Fenrir and Taedun. I am home.” She has put a lot of thought and determination into this matter long before the shock of her current situation. And nature is leading her brain through familiar territory. Else she might not be so adamant after all this.

The drudge will never know Neve's ulterior motives in getting her talking, nor her quiet satisfaction that it worked. A lot can be told just by how someone speaks, after an injury like this. And the healer, immersed as she is in exploring the poor woman's shoulder wound, makes for an excellent listener- she makes soft, sympathetic, active listening sounds in all of the right places to encourage Sabina to go on. And when she seems to come to the end of what she had to say? The healer begins it all again. "I haven't really had much opportunity to see a lot of the Hold. To make a home of it. What would you say is best about it?" she asks quietly as she reaches for some of her tool. A drain will need to be sutured into place, and bandages applied. This could take awhile. "I've heard some of the views outside are simply incredible but the cold…ah, I run away from the cold, I admit."

Sabina has no idea just how much Neve is keeping her alive by maintaining the running monologue. Her brain is fuzzy but active. An inner will to live staving off coma and death. “It grows on you,” she says and even manages a ghost of a smile. “At first it was so very empty. Just workers and the scant staff. But now..” she trails off a moment eyes drifting around the room. What was she talking about? Oh yeah. “After the candidates left for the eggs it got ever so quiet at night. Eerie. I miss them sometimes.” Neve’s competent work is starting to ache which causes her to grimace now and again. “Cold isn’t so bad really. Not when you can take breathers where the warm is.” At the Weyr one would assume. “You should see the mirror cavern. So many reflections of yourself and most look incredibly odd.”

"I can only imagine," Neve murmurs, giving no hint that the thought of a near-empty Hold is even worse than the Hold in its present state. So focused is she that there isn't even any shivering, which is typical for the mousy one. The blankets back there are getting rather damp, a fresh mix of blood and redwort that will need to be changed when she's finished. But for now, all eyes on the work being done by her hands- with the occasional wince for the pain she's causing the poor woman. "I think the mirror cavern is the one place I have seen. It was spectacular, I'll give you that. Though almost impossible to keep my feet under me. I never thought I was clumsy until they posted me here. Tell me about your friends, Sabina? Fenrir isn't a name I recognize."

The original emptiness of the Hold had been overwhelming at times. But the fact that Sabina knows how empty it had be hints that she has been working herself to death here for quite some time. Considering she is lying on a table bleeding all over Neve, the table, and anything else handy.. that rings a little too true. “The wildlings can take you up into the valley if you treat them nice. But remember to be nice so they won’t leave you up there with no fire. Too cold and the way back can be hard to remember without them.” Her chuckle turns to a hiss of pain but she doesn’t complain. Now would be the time to freak. It would be acceptable even. And still Bina just lies there as tears trickle from the corners of her eyes. “Ice is a tricky thing. The wildlings rough bark from the trees on their boots for traction. You should remember that.” Because this is lesson wildling moment. Well, Neve did ask about her friends. “Fenrir was a wildling. But she works in the mines now. Oh no! She will be SO angry I got hurt.” Bina turns her head to angle an eye at her arm. “Renalde will be cross. But I wasn’t all alone. Will you tell him I wasn’t alone?”

"Shhh, shh, Sabina. No one will be angry with you. And if they are, then they'll have me to contend with." That may be the weakest threat in the history of threats- one look at the healer is to know she's as threatening as a kitten. But Neve is good at soothing, her voice pitched low and warm, like a lullaby. "You did nothing wrong. Not a thing wrong, Sabina, and I'll tell anyone who needs to know. Now just one last stitch to keep this in place, and I'll get you that tea, hmm?" Which isn't entirely true. Yes, there is but one stitch left to place to keep the drain from shifting about, but then there is a loose bandage to apply, and blankets to arrange so the young woman can lie without pressing down on the injury. Support in all things, but the journeyman's hands are stronger than they look, and efficient, and soon the drudge is bundled up both warm and secure. The other cuts need cleaning as well, perhaps a stitch here or there, but first, the tea! Sadly, it will not come with a drop of fellis- the scarcity continues, and Sabina needs more strength first.

Sabina’s body relaxes against the table at Neve’s reassurance. But still she won’t be swayed. “He told me not to lurk around alone. That I was taking too many risks trying to keep things in order. But I wasn’t alone. I should have been.” She sniffs quietly, “Taedom died and that’s my fault. For not being alone.” Facts are if it hadn’t been for the old man, she’d likely be the one with coins on her eyes not him. “I love Renalde and he’s always so cross.” Oh for the love of! Bina shut up! She has the right to remain silent, but she does not have the capability. “T’ral should know. He will be fretful if I don’t tell him.” She blinks to clear her vision as Neve works to bundle her up. “I never realized I had so many friends.” Little does she know she’ll be locked away in here. Unable to do her part to keep the Hold running. Oh shells help the person around when that dawns on the drudge.

It is likely small consolation- should she remember these moments- that Neve is the least likely suspect to gossip or share about what she's heard. When it comes to patients, their privacy is sacrosanct. Less so their persons, unfortunately: when Neve returns with a mug of tea for Sabina, she presses it into one of the woman's hand (the good one), before moving right on to studying the cuts on her other arm. Redwort and bandages for those too! Her arms are stained red to the elbow but thankfully it is less the rust of drying blood and more just the dye of the antiseptic. "I'll be letting people know. I've no doubt you'll have a stream of visitors here but it's important you rest, first. You need rest, Sabina, it will help your body heal. Give yourself enough time and you'll be back to your life here, and it sounds a fine life."

Sabina picks at her blankets with her right hand. At least until Neve diverts it to holding a mug of steaming tea. Slowly she is registering that her left arm is throbbing painfully. But she gingerly lifts the mug to her lips. “This is very good.” Faintly sweet tasting. Another quick sip is had before Neve is eyeing her arm. So she offers up the tea and lays the arm on the blanket obediently. “Once my father hears of this he’ll burn my knot again for sure. The more I get to know him the worse he is about me being a drudge.” A little more lucid now Bina finds herself to still be really tired. But at least she’s stringing thoughts together finally. No doubt it’s annoying to deal with patients when they’re thoughts run off in odd directions. “Will it take too long to heal? I was supposed to scrub the floor of the atrium today.” Because THAT is going to happen. Yeah no. “And tomorrow is my day on the wash.” She pitches in everywhere. But then it’s possible Neve has heard that. “Not allowed to clean in here for some reason..” She sets her eyes to watching Neve. “I sure hope it’s clean.”

Or Neve is very, very, very accustomed to these odd flights of fancy the mind can take when suffering shock and stress. Certainly, nothing about her demeanor changes. She continues to nod, continues to make those soft listening sounds, interspersed with soothing ones, as the smaller, less serious cuts are tended to. "I rather doubt it's for him to say," says she who has no idea. But this is all about keeping her patient in a calm frame of mind. "Though I will say, as journeyman, that you aren't to return to duty until you've been given the all clear. As I said, you need to allow your body time or you could lose use of it. You might…you might never clean again!" And she rather suspects that could be threat enough to keep the drudge in line. As for the infirmary, well… "Healers clean their own space. It's part of our training, develops our attention to detail and keeps our patients safe…there." The last knot on the last bandage is tied and she straightens up, back a little sore, but soul satisfied with what she's done. For now.

Sabina murmurs unhappily when the slices on her arms sting from Neve’s work. But she does manage a hiccup laugh on the topic of her father. “Arguing with a Master Harper as a drudge is a tricky proposition.” Still thus far she is able to clean and interact with the residents. That is the real hook right there. The people, even the mean ones. When Neve starts telling her she has to lie around until she’s cleared for work her whole body tenses up. Eyes sparking in preparation for an argument or more likely a plea. But the fire goes as soon as it had come and she seems disheartened. “I would be put out if such a thing happened. What else would I do?” She’s smart enough to do a number of things she just has no idea of what. Her eyes roam about the tidy area as Neve assures her the Healers clean it themselves. “I suppose if you can do all this,” her chin tilts to indicate her dead arm, “you may as well know how to clean up the mess.” She glances at both arms and twitches her wrist on the right hand. Still moving so she nods. “Thank you, Neve. I’m sorry I wound up being such a bother.” Because it’s totally her fault she looks like a carved hunk of herdbeast after a famine.

There is a moment when Sabina receives a rather odd look from Neve. Startled, uncertain, perhaps a shade troubled. But that moment passes easily enough, lost when the healer half-turns to reach for a cloth on which to wipe her hands. "You aren't a bother at all, Sabina. Drink your tea, now, it will warm you from the inside. When the guards arrive, we'll get you moved to a more comfortable cot and then you can try to sleep a little." And Neve? Well, Neve has a number of notes to dash off- both of the record and the informing others variety. Truly, there is no rest for the wicked or the weary, but at least she had a full night's sleep! "We're going to do everything we can to get you back on your feet as soon as is best for you. And you're safe here. I'll be requesting guards on the door around the clock until we have whomever did this."

Sabina notices the odd look from Neve, but she attributes it to the thought that she may have misspoke somewhere. It’s highly likely given how dizzy and tired she feels right now. “Alright. I do feel rather tired so that will be nice for now.” After everything that has happened she is totally exhausted. And the more she remembers, the harder she pushes it to the fringes of her mind for now. “Please warn the Guards that Taedun will likely insist on standing guard on his own. I would hate for someone to get bonked on the head by a man that size.” Because for all that Taedom had been a shriveled old man, his son is surely not. Now that Neve isn’t digging around Sabina, Aurum gives an imperious warble before leading Viridis to land on the foot of the bed. Curling up near their human with Viri snuggling next to her older counterpart. All while Aurum takes up station to guard on her own. Not again on the Golds watch. Mkay? Good. Bina watches the pair and cracks a smile. “I think I may fall asleep soon. So wake me when the guards arrive?” Neve may not get a chance to answer because Bina soon thereafter passes out.

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