Strains and Stairs

Western Weyr - Infirmary

This long, rectangular cavern smells faintly of antiseptic and strongly of pleasant medicinal herbs. The general atmosphere is one of bustling but orderly quiet and strict cleanliness. The back of the room is dominated by a small hearth for heat and medicinal preparations and by swinging double doors that lead to a small DragonHealing bay, an emergency surgery for human patients, the main storage, and the staff area where Healers can eat, shower, change, and the like during their longer shifts. The front of the room is a waiting and reception area where patients and staff can check in to receive treatment and begin work, respectively. The east wall of the room features examination, birthing, recovery and outpatient treatment rooms while the opposite wall is curtained off to provide privacy and bed-space for patients requiring overnight care.

Western can certainly handle most of the routine and sometimes urgent treatment needs of its residents here. It lacks some of the equipment available at the main Healer Hall. Once they are stabilized, patients requiring specialized or ongoing care are surely transferred there.


It's getting later in the afternoon but it's still well before dinner time. A'ven is here, splinting the finger of an overly adventurous eight-turn old girl. With the kindest of smiles he says gently, "Now Jelenia, you have to be careful when your friends challenge you to a dare… it might seem like fun at first but then, well, you see what can happen right?", she nods, still a bit doe-eyed at getting her owie fixed by A'ven himself. Oh well, he's not that bad, she decides, it really does feel better. The receptionist at the front desk enquires politely, "May I help you?" and A'ven spares a look to see who that might be.

Having been in quite the rush earlier, Kiley may have accidentally gotten into a spill on her way back into the Weyr in her search for someone. Though at first, nothing appeared to be wrong or felt wrong but as the day began to go by did she really notice. This is what brings the candidate into the infirmary. The receptionist receives a rather sheepish look. "Ah, yes…" A visible fidget, "I fell earlier and didn't realize that I had really hurt my arm until it started to hurt. I'm not quite sure what I did with it, though I may have twisted it oddly. I was in a rush and I hadn't really noticed."

The receptionist looks professionally concerned with just that little wrinkle of the brow that Healers manage so well. Enough of a reaction to appear genuine, but not enough to frighten the patient. "Is that so?", she says "Well, A'ven's on duty. I'm sure he can look at it for you. Does it bend properly and all of that?", she says, trying to sound conversational. You and she both know that something not bending properly is a terribly serious thing, but still, the question must be asked. It's what happens here.

Jelenia looks over at Kiley with some curiosity. "Big people take dares too?", she says to A'ven in a whisper. A'ven shakes his head a little, "Not really.", he says, looking where she's looking for a moment. "Big people have accidents, and even if they were dares, we're smart enough not to say so.", he winks at the girl and she laughs with him. "You're going to be fine, just try not to move it and come back and see me in about two sevendays, can you remember that?"

Kiley nods, still looking terribly sheepish for the admittance. "That is great, thank you." As to the question from her arm, she nods. "Yes, I can bend it but it hurts to do so, and leaving it bent for too long makes it feel worse." The computer crafter furrows her brow and considers the arm with a single look. "I've never really hurt myself in this sort of way before." So the whole situation is rather new to her. "Twisting it hurts as well." A pause of consideration and the woman tilts her head back slightly, frowning just a bit before considering the receptionist.

A'ven lets Jelenia go on her way and starts to move toward the front of the room, "Who's next?", he says softly as the girl skampers back to her mom, sporting a new white bandage.

Kiley nods to the receptionist with a polite smile and a thanks before she is stepping towards A'ven, lifting her good arm. "Me, sir." A bright smile and she gestures to the opposite arm. "I took a spill earlier and I didn't realize how bad it was until I started using it once again. I may have twisted it or something, I can't entirely recall what happened."

A'ven nods, "Well then, let's have a look.", he says gesturing you back toward one of the exam rooms. "Twisted it you say? That's unusual for someone your age, were you trying to keep up with your fellow Candidates? Test of strength or something?"

Kiley inclines her head and moves to the exam room. Cheeks color a dark shade and she laughs. "Yes. I wasn't trying to keep up or do a test or anything. I was in a rush and ended up running into someone bigger than I was, took a bit of a tumble." The woman offers a sheepish smile, "it was rather important, at least, but I should've been paying attention."

A'ven blinks as he starts the exam. It begins routinely enough, "How did this happen exactly then? You were doing something important you say? Did you take the full force of the.. uhm, impact with your arm or did you get hurt after the impact when you fell? You say you might have twisted it, did it twist the same direction as the arm… or perpendicular to it?" He tries to indicate what he means with his hands, some of his patients aren't literate, and in fact most of them are too young to understand what a word like perpendicular means, so it's a habit.

"Yes, I had to find someone that would be willing to cover for me at the docks so that I could finish a craft project. The candidate that was supposed to take over didn't show up and I couldn't leave my chore empty. One of my friends covered while I found someone more permanent to take over." Kiley explains, "so I was running. I believe I caught myself with my arm. It twisted perpendicular."

A'ven nods, "May I take a look?", he says, asking your permission before touching you. "It's nice to see someone working.. half the class is busy looking for that silly… oh never mind.", he says "The less you know about the rest of the class the better I guess. I forget that you all have to get along in tight quarters for a while. You just keep right on doing your chores, no matter what you hear about some fool place…"

"Of course, sir." Kiley smiles and shifts to try and make it easier for him to examine her arm. "Looking for what?" Brows lift and she's giving the man a curious look as her interest is clearly drawn to that one little tidbit. "I can still do my work and pay attention to what the others are doing." Teeth have now sunken into the topic, more so when he mentions some 'fool place'. "Please, sir? I'll be tempted to look now as I'm entirely curious as to what they're looking for. I swear that I will not slack in my chores or my work."

A'ven smiles, taking a closer look at the arm and perhaps doing a bit of bending and gentle probing. His frown deepens for just a moment as he reaches the elbow and he turns it just so. "Does this hurt?", holding that position for just the briefest of moments. Then he answers your questions, "Roumor has it that there's some secret place that Candidates can go to get away from all the questions, the attention, the scrutiny…" He nods, "Believe me, I know it's not easy to be so… singled out." "Everyone's curious and that can get… awefully draining…" "So it's supposed that a resting place was built some time ago… just a roumor." He tries to pass it off, but something in the way he says it makes you think there is such a place, he's just not telling… trying to discourage further discussion.

Kiley winces at parts of the bending and prodding. And then the turn earns another wince, then a soft hiss as it is held. "Yes. Very much so." When he begins to answer, she is giving him the most curious of looks. "A secret place? It is hard being singled out." The candidate agrees softly and then considers him a moment longer. "What, perchance, would someone be looking for if they were trying to find this place?"

A'ven looks hard at Kiley, trying to size up just what she might be asking. He comes to a sudden decision with just the barest of smiles, "I suppose that depends on what they had found.. so far.", he says in a quieter voice. A little nod and then he's off to write something down on a chart.

Kiley blinks at him as he looks at her and then returning the smile that he gives her. "What should they be looking for? Where do they start?" Pause, "I heard something from S'chez in the living caverns, but…" There's a slight shrug of only one shoulder though he isn't exactly watching her. "Something about a rhyme. But he forgot most of it."

A'ven looks startled enough to stop his writing for a moment and then he barks a laugh, "Ah, that old rhyme..", he says smiling in memory, "Add the way up plus two, to honor the Weyrleaders that lead me and you, then reverse that answer and add it to the end. You've found your way through but you'll need a friend."

Kiley blinks at the laughter, coloring just a touch. Though when he speaks of the rhyme the woman relaxes visibly and smiles. Though, she is left staring blankly at him when the full rhyme is given. "Add the way up to what?" Blink. "Reverse and add again? That makes no sense…"

A'ven says "The way up to what indeed. Remember that it's a Candidate place. How does somebody without a dragon, go up?"

A'ven winks. "You have a sprained elbow. We'll need to wrap it and put it in a sling for just a few days. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation, can you remember that?"

"Stairs," Kiley states, "but, do you need to add how many stairs there are?" She blinks at him and then the results of her elbow. There's a sigh and then she nods, "alright. Thank you, sir. I can remember that, yes sir."

A'ven's eyes sparkle, "You're very quick, Kiley.", he says without hesitation. "Of course, you still have to figure out where…", but it's a start. "Shall we wrap your arm?"

"I love logical things and thinking." Kiley offers in response, cheeks coloring another shade and offering a bright smile. "It sounds like you need to add the stairs up to the Weyleader's complex?" A slight tilt of her head in question but then she is nodding. "Yes, please. The sooner the better, they say?"

A'ven says "… and just how many stairs are there, do you think? Just, as an example… for certainly there are more staircases than just that one, although the poem does mention, does it not?"

A'ven begins wrapping your arm. His touch is light and his movements precise. Trust a pediatrician to be sensitive to even the slightest thing that might cause discomfort. The little ones are not as forgiving of mistakes and so his habit has always been one of precision in such matters. It doesn't take long before your arm is deftly wrapped.

Kiley hums thoughtfully, "well, there are the stairs going up to the gardens. And I'm sure there are quite a few more than that." The candidate muses out loud in consideration. "But it mentioned the Weyrleaders' area. Unless there is another area in which we honor the Weyrleaders." She watches him wrap her arm, also considering what he does with interest.

A'ven says "I think you're well on your way. Of course, that's only the key… you still need to find the door."

"It sounds rather complicated. I believe I will be counting stairs, then." There's a bit of laughter and she smiles at A'ven. "Thank you for telling me, sir. I'll be sure to keep up my work as well." She promises, "at least, what work I can do with my arm."

A'ven nods, "I'm sure you'll manage. It won't be very long before you're just fine again." "It was a fairly bad sprain, but even bad sprains are helped tremendously by the proper treatment. So many people don't know what that is…", he muses "I'm not so worried about your chores, I just hope you don't become obsessed with finding the place so much you forget to eat. That's very important, don't forget to eat." His eyes sparkle in the light, suppressing another bit of mirth as he tries to be serious.

Kiley nods, "thank you, sir. I'll makes sure that I treat it properly so it will heal right." A firm nod from the woman and she smiles. "I'll remember to eat, sir. That is important. Thank you, again." She certainly looks brighter as she makes her way out of the infirmary with her arm set in the sling. She may be off to count stairs, even.

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