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 mid-afternoon at Western. The sky is dark with rain clouds which are spitting a mix of rain and sleet. The infirmary is slightly busy with those who are suffering from colds from the rain. Areia is not a unfamiliar sight here. Today, she comes in limping, favoring her right leg. She shuffles her way to a chair in the waiting room and sits with a groan.

After a short wait, /someone/ comes out of a treatment room. It's not, in fact, a Journeyman, or even a familiar-faced lackey but a gangly dark-haired older teen. Izkas is very new to Western, having arrived approximately three days ago, and is still getting used to things in the different infirmary. He notes Areia's presence in the room, straightens his shirt collar and slips behind the reception desk, fussing through papers for a moment before lifting his head again. "Can I help you?" he asks, head cocked slightly to the side.

Areia glances at Izkas, looking him up and down before standing - or at least, standing as well as she can. She still favors her right leg, bending it at the knee. "Knee trauma." She says with a heavy sigh. "Previously injured. A runner kicked me - again - right on the knee." With a wince, she wobbles her way up to the reception desk and leans on it. "I'm Areia. I've been here before." This last is spoken with a tone of mixed annoyance and dryness.

"Well, that's good — means I've got information on you already!" Izkas seems quite pleased by this outcome, considering he's got a winning smile to go with it. "No need to keep standing, though, if your knee's injured; I'm just an apprentice, I can't do much for it. Well. I mean. I /could/. But I'm not actually permitted to on my own. So there's still a bit of a wait." Why, he doesn't say, but it appears as if the only person not busy at work with something else is actually him. "Call me Iz. Want some water?"

"No, no, that's not good." Areia disagrees, but she's smiling - at least, when she's not wincing. "Yeah, my information should be in there." After a pause, she peers curiously at Iz. "You're… new." She guesses, waving a hand. "I know almost all the healers, and I've never seen you before. And some water would be great. I've just spend almost fourteen hours in a dusty, mucky stable."

Izkas nods, and disappears out of view for a moment; when he returns it's with a cup of nice cool water, extended out to her with a long-fingered hand, surprisingly deft and delicate for a man's. "I am new! I got here about, er. Three days ago. From the Hall. I didn't even know I was coming here myself, and I haven't actually gotten around to informing my family I've moved." He's very good at keeping up on the news, apparently. He's also moving behind the desk again, to rifle through files, until he finds hers. "This indicates you do that a lot," Iz says to — the file, but he means it for Areia.

Areia takes the water, smiling her thanks, and wobbles her way back to a chair. She does scoot the chair a bit closer to the desk so she can talk to him. "Well, welcome to Western! It's a great place. I think we'll become fast friends." She says with a touch of a sigh. "I -am- here a lot. See, there's this stallion who can't seem to keep his hooves off me. " A sip is taken from the cup and she sighs softly. "I work in the stables." She adds on, which seems slightly obvious.

"Maybe it's love," Izkas quips, either knowing little to nothing about runners or, more likely, knowing a lot about temperamental people. "And thank you! I'm liking it so far, though I've not got my own room and was also given a firelizard egg as a parting gift that has hatched into something that is eating all of my marks." He's actually looking at her when he speaks, but once he's done, he scribbles something on the folder in nearly illegible writing that befits his future status as a proper, trained Healer quite well. "Er, those are related because it's awfully hard to care for a baby in a crowd."

Areia stares at Izkas with disbelief. "Love? Oh, shards. You haven't met this boy. He's… well, violent." She motions to her knee, hidden under her pants. "He kicks more than he doesn't, and bites more than that." At the mention of firelizards, her mood sours. "I have two, and they totally despise each other. I mean, hissing, clawing, biting each other. I can't escape the drama!"

Izkas quirks a brow, and then looks — well, mildly disappointed. "I will scratch getting another one off my plans entirely, then, thank you for the warning, and have you got any other tips?" It's not even remotely snarky; he seems fully sincere. "Also, sorry all the entertainment we've got around here is me right now."

As if on cue, a brown and blue baby firelizard pop in from Between almost simultaneously. They swoop down to Areia's shoulders, land, and immediately start hissing at each other. "Oh go away!" Areia complains, batting at the older brown. "Really, come on! I'm at the healers!" The brown, chastised, goes to find a new perch, while the young blue stays with Areia and hids under her hair. "Yes, two can be a pain." She focuses on Izkas again. "And it's fine." She smiles, sincere. "It's nice to see new people. I'm used to the same old grumpy healers." She glances behind Izkas to make sure none of the other healers heard, then grins broadly.

"Ah. Drama." It appears as if Izkas sees exactly what it was Areia meant, there! He's clicking his tongue and shaking his head, trying /not/ to look mildly amused — that attempt fails. Iz appears mildly amused, but at least it's mild and he's not laughing! "Would you like one of these file folders? They serve as /excellent/ swatters." He offers an empty one up, dangling it in the air, swinging it back and forth it slightly. "And, well. I'm used to working for the same old grumpy people, it's nice to have a change of bosses, too." Grin.

Areia busts out laughing, holding her stomach. "Oh, I wish swatting at them helped." She says with a snicker. "But it looks as if they've calmed down -for now." She moves and winces, hands going to massage her knee. "Do you happen to have an ice pack or something, would you?" She can't help but grin at his mention of grumpy people. "I'm sure the Hall isn't much better, hm?"

"Oh, goodness, I'm so sorry! I can do ice pack," Izkas replies, looking just as regretful as his outburst of guilt indicates. "I should've considered there were methods of pain relief I could actually provide. Just not entirely with it, I guess, too much staring at walls — moment," and he sets the offered file folder back onto the desk and disappears again. Just about that exact moment later, he returns with an ice wrap that actually has ties on it. "I'll just wrap this around your knee — keep it straight, okay? — and tie it in place, yeah?"

Areia obediently straightens her leg, obviously expecting the apprentice to wrap it for her. "It's alright. A new place, new people, it has to be… well, new." She grins. "And a bit disconcerting. But you'll like Western, I hope." The blue on her shoulder peeks out from her hair and creels pitifully, but she just flaps a hand at him. "I fed you an hour ago." She complains. "You can't possibly be hungry again."

Her expectations do, at least, lie hand-in-hand with reality, as that is precisely what Izkas does: neatly wraps it around Areia's knee and tightens the ties so it stays in place. It is, in fact, very cold, but the pack is keeping it from being all that /wet/. (Slight condensation will, of course, happen as it melts.) "How's that?" he asks, and then the gears in his head begin to turn enough that he recalls she /did/ actually ask him another question. "And the Hall is — different. But not better, no."

Areia keeps carefully still as her knee is wrapped, although she winces in pain as the wrap is tightened. "It's alright." She says, carefully, bending the knee very slightly. "Keeps it from bending at least." She heaves a sigh and peers at the knee in question. "This is the… third? time i've been hit on this knee. That stallion seems to have it out for me. Bruises, knees, hips." She frowns, souring, before she considers his answer. "I never could join the Craft." She says with a mix of wistfulness and loathing.

"Which craft? I'm gonna assume the Beastcraft, go out on a limb," Izkas adds, with a coyer smile this time. He's still crouching on the floor in front of her, of course; moving has not occurred to him as an option. His hair's also starting to lop in his face a little bit. "And maybe you should consider knee-coverings. Something hard and at least minorly hoof-proof. Might still bruise, but it's better than — I didn't feel it very closely, because I wasn't thinking about it, but you might've cracked the patella."

Areia sighs, as if this is a topic often visited. "Yes, Beastcraft. I just… couldn't do what they wanted and join. It seemed so… suffocating." She winces, although not in pain - maybe emotional pain. As a change of topic appears, she takes the opportunity. "Yes, a knee covering would make sense, hm? I have one… I just never use it." She frowns. "I suppose I should."

"I would recommend it," Izkas agrees, with a lilting laugh, and then does something revolutionary — actually goes back to sitting on something. It's not his chair behind the desk, though. The nearest thing to Areia to sit on is, in fact, the desk itself, so that's where Iz sits. "And I bet the journeyman who sees you properly will, too. Whenever that is! And there's nothing wrong with not being in the craft. I love runners, myself, and I'm allowed to like racing — like, actually doing it, not just watching — without being a beastcrafter! When I make journeyman I'm gonna buy one, in fact."

Areia smiles a bit hesitantly. "I'll try to wear a knee covering." She promises, also hesitantly. "But honestly, sometimes things just happen too quick." She gives the young man another up-and-down glance, then looks at the floor. "Thanks. Unfortunately, many people believe it's craft, or nothing." She glances back up at him. "I love racing, too. Although I deal with everything - racers, jumpers… you name it." She pauses, then continues with a wistful tone. "I would love a runner. Unfortunately, being a mere 'stablehand' doesn't pay much."

Izkas looks thoughtful for a moment, and while he's thinking, he says, "Aren't they sort of all yours, though? I mean, you work with 'em all and you raise 'em and feed 'em and ride 'em, I assume; couldn't you be the Stablemaster, instead? Or is there already one of those? I'm not sure how this Weyr works — I am Weyrbred, but I mean, not here." He pauses, and then appears to think of something and says, "Hey. Can you wiggle the toes on that leg?"

Areia pauses for a moment before she grins. "I suppose they are all mine." She agrees. "Although I do have to share them with the beastcrafters. There is already a Stablemaster." She can't help but laugh a little. "And I doubt he's going to retire any time soon! But I think I'm high in his regards." She pauses to look at her leg, eyeing it with hesitation. "I think so." She tries to wiggle her toes, but her boot is in the way, so she reaches down to remove it. Removing her boot, she wiggles. "Yup."

Slightly growing concern on Izkas' face softens when Areia's toes properly move, and he relaxes a little, shoulders sagging more than one could say 'slumped.' "Good. I was worried I'd possibly — I mean, you're not supposed to do anything to an injured leg before making sure the extremity works." He extends his leg to poke her in the foot, gently, with the toe of his shoe. "Feel that okay? Also, no, this is not what a proper assessment is like at all, I'm being terribly lazy, but I'm not supposed to /do/ them alone."

Areia seems reassured as well as she wiggles. "It works." She assures with a smile. As the leg is extended, she can't help but giggle, slightly girlishly. "Are you really using your foot as a medical instrument?" She asks with obvious amusement. "Yes, I feel that. And for not being alone, you're doing pretty well." She can't help but chuckle at her own words.

"I'm actually generally graded quite high on my clinical performance," Izkas promises, still looking mildlly guilty. "But my role's restricted and all; I know how to do a lot more than I can actually do. So, right now? I'm using my foot as a medical instrument, yes." He's back to grinning, again. There is no shame.

Areia laughs. "I'm sure you are. And at least I got a confident apprentice!" Her amusement continues. "Restrictions stink. Thats one reason why I never wanted to go into the Craft, officially." She makes a sour face. "Being told what to do, when to do it… not my style. I'm a free bird." This last statement is said with a snicker. "I suppose a foot is as good as anything, right?"

Izkas, confident? Never. Or else, that's the sort of expression he's got — a callous, mock innocence. It's possible. He's doing it. "Restrictions are the bane of my existence, dear lady, but there will come a time when I will exist to restrict others, and will still be forced to, for patient safety and whatnot."

Areia kind of looks blankly at the man. "Um, okay." She grins. "So you're saying that one day, you'll get to order others around, hm?" She flexes her knee, although without a wince - the cold seems to be helping. Then she peers at Izkas curiously. "You know, you're awful easy to talk to." She states flatly.

Izkas shrugs, a gesture that leads to his shoulders practically being inside his ears. He's a pretty big fan of emphatic body language, maybe; it is at least his natural state rather than an act. "That's good, I suppose, I mean, it's good to be able to talk to the healer! And no, actually, I have no interest in ordering other people around. I'm saying I know I've /got/ to." Very mature for a seventeen-turn-old, really; or something like it, at least. "Because it's unsafe to let apprentices do certain things. It's all safety blather, you know?"

Areia hmms quietly to herself, "Easy to talk to can be dangerous." She warns, then nods her head with understanding on her face. "I understand." She says. "Much like telling the apprentices to stay out of a certain stallion's stall - for their own good. Otherwise, they'd be the ones in here." She glances towards the roof. "And, honestly, some of them are ninnys." She says in a whisper. "Although don't tell anyone I said that."

"Nah. I do great with secrets," Izkas confesses, softening the usual grin to a small smile. "And I'll listen to just about anything. But yeah — stuff like that. Don't they deserve to be the ones in here, though?" he prompts, and the grin? Definitely inching back onto his face again.

Areia looks at the teenager with a serious glance. "Well, Iz…" And she lengthens the nickname, knowing it IS a nickname. "Glad to know you are discreet." At the rest of his comments, she frowns. "Well, I'd rather it be me than a fifteen-year-old apprentice, ya know? I have experience, and I know that an injury is not the end of the world. And since I'm not in the Craft, I can quit at any time and find another occupation."

It's not getting elongated any further, though! Izkas does not proffer the rest of his name. He'll be Iz forever, thankyouverymuch. "I am as discreet as discreet comes, truly. This is the way of my craft, see! And — yes, I suppose that's fair." Another shrug, this one more abbreviated. "You must not /want/ to find another job, though, truly?"

Areia shifts a bit uncomfortably before she answers, expression in between thoughtful and a frown. "I've often considered joining the healers." She admits, although she looks sad. "You know, things transfer between species fairly well. You stitch a runner, you stitch a human… same idea." She pauses, then shakes her head. "I can't imagine not being with the beasts, though. I grew up with them."

"Healing's something hard to get into when you're older; it takes a long time to learn everything," is the only constructive commentary Izkas has. At least he's not still shrugging? And he doesn't look completely lost, either; his focus is still on the conversation. "But I believe some things transfer! It's anatomy that just — if I had been older, I wouldn't have learned it as well. Anatomy and physiology, really. You're, what, mid-twenties? Not too old, but it's a pretty major transition and the first few years are /nothing/ but study study study book book books."

Areia sighs softly. "Yeah, I know." She responds to healing being for the younger. "But I dream about it a bit. My parents weren't exactly keen on anything other than beastcrafting." Then her expression turns into amusement and offense. "Not old!" She can't help but laugh. "Not old by any means, thank you very much!"

"You are older than /twelve/," Izkas emphasizes clearly. "I certainly don't think mid-twenties is even remotely old! But, I mean. Compared to twelve!" He's not even guilty, this time; it's just incredulosity, that she could think he would say such a thing! Why, he's offended that someone might think he was offensive!

Areia laughs, although she tries to contain it. "I'm kidding." She says between chuckles. "I knew what you meant." The teen is given an amused, and perhaps shy, smile. "I know healers go through a lot. Thats one reason i've never transferred." She sighs a little. "But it's always been a temptation, if you know what I mean." That said, she focuses again on Izkas. "Do you like it? The healers, I mean."

Izkas can at least say, with the utmost sincerity, "I love it." After a pause, he adds, "Never been surer of anything in my life than that I wanted to be a healer. I've been Searched, what — five times? Refused all of 'em. Which is really all well and good, since I think my brother's stood about /fifty/ times — okay maybe not quite that much — and never actually Impressed."

Areia just kind of stares, disbelieving. "Searched… five times? Don't get me wrong. I have no desire to want a dragon. But really?" She quiets, thinking she went too far, and eyes the far wall with feigned interest. After a moment, she shrugs. "Although I suppose being Searched isn't really… that big of deal…" She trails off, not quite sure what else to say.

"Nah, it's not," Izkas agrees. Or else, apparently, he doesn't think it is. "I might do it someday, maybe once I'm twenty or something, just stand one time and see what happens. But only one time! No trying again and again, and I'd rather make Master than Impress anyhow. I might just wonder what it's like to stand, since Kaz likes it so much, and all." Evidently, as far as Iz is concerned, either there's no such thing as 'too far,' or Areia hasn't hit it yet.

Areia wrinkles her nose almost comically. "No Search for me, thank you." She says quite firmly. "I have enough on my hands with firelizards -" She motions to the two, "And runners. But, I mean, if you're Searched, there must be something there, right?" She raises one eyebrow quizically. "Although a healer who is or was a candidate seems like a good mix."

"You know what it is?" Izkas probably doesn't think that, in fact, she does, so he just keeps talking after a momentary pause. "It's that my father's a rider. That's all. That's all it really is. People say dragonriding can go in bloodlines, and so I've got a riding father, and a brother who keeps standing for every clutch /ever/ and that's really all it is. I don't suppose it has anything to do with me. A healer who's a rider can get to emergencies, and whatnot, quicker, but they're not exactly /rare/, I think Western's former Weyrleader was one, or something?"

Areia snorts in a very unladylike way. "Runner crap." She says. "Bloodlines have nothing to do with it. I've met some sons of riders who were downright disgusting. It's personality, and…" She trails off, thinking for a moment, before she shrugs. "I dunno. Maturity maybe? Either way, it's not always genetic." She's been talking a lot, and after shifting, she remember her knee and winces. "Or stuff." She finishes eloquently.

"Yeah, but," Izkas holds up a finger, looking like a — teenage boy pretending to be a wise sage, and is very well aware of the fact that he's faking it, and so is making it as fake as possible. "I've met some /riders/ who were downright disgusting. There's no personality type for dragonrider! It's something else. It's /definitely/ not maturity." He shakes his head, smiling. Still. Again. But he's smiling at that sentiment. "Believe me."

Areia chuckles, leaning back and crossing her arms across her chest. "Oh yeah?" She asks, amused. "Well, then, you must agree." She quiets, adjusting the ice pack before continuing. "It makes me sad to see dragonriders who are… unfit." This is said carefully. "But it reminds me that we are all human… with our flaws and such." Philosophical much?

Izkas nods, thoughtful. "Yep," he agrees, finally pushing some of the hair /out/ of his face. "And, I mean — what makes one fit or unfit to be a dragonrider? It's not like there's Thread anymore; dragonriders are just public servants who have to share their brains." Or else, that's what Iz thinks, and he doesn't appear to be bending on that opinion — nor does he get a chance to, as one of the Journeymen appears to hover over them. "Get /off/ that," he scolds, first, and Iz jumps off the desk, looking so terribly apologetic and innocent at once that he's not hiding how it's an act. "And come back in the exam room with your new friend here," the journeyman adds, and so off they go, all three of them, to fix up Areia's knee. Or at least figure out what's wrong with it and then scold her into covering it properly next time.

Areia follows, barely containing a grin at the teen's scolding. "We'll talk later again, eh?" She mutters to Izkas before she heads off with the journeyman. "Seeya later."

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