Cylus 19th, 719
The half-breed watched serpentine fingers carefully sort through jars that the half-breed herself had no clue to the contents of. The half-breed would have jumped at the chance to help if she hadn’t already been order to sit out of the way. “Night-” the woman began as though to ask for help. Before she could finish her sentence the door to the small clinic burst open.
“Valencica! It’s Havel,” one of the older mutants declared. The was carrying a much smaller boy who was shivering like a leaf, his bat like wings limp. Havel was one of the mutants who’d received wings in his transformation. He was also one of the more normal looking mutants, baring the now bat like appearance of his ears and the bat like wings that weirdly functioned like actual bat wings. It was a bit like having two sets of hands.
He was also the one who’d taken to flight the quickest when the half-breed offered to teach those who’d gotten the additive of wings. Some just couldn’t fly, their bodies weren’t made for it and their wings were rendered pointless, but some could and they rarely took to it with much ease.
“Put him down on the table, tell me what’s wrong, and then leave. We’ll deal with it,” the elderly snake like woman said with a huff as she stopped her hunt for whatever she’d originally been looking for.
“He said his wing suddenly went numb and he dropped out of the air, boy knocked himself unconscious on the way out. I’ll leave you to it now,” the man said as he put Havel on the table and quickly retreated from the building.
The half-breed felt the blood in her veins freeze. Numb? Was this The Still? If so, then how could it have possibly gotten here if not on Night? None of her own limbs had gone numb recently, but how else would it get to Lakewatch? If it was already in his wings did that make Havel a goner, or could his wings be chopped off to save him? He’d he so distraught, just as soon as he was actually getting good too…
Valencica had been the only person Night informed about The Still, thinking it best that a doctor who was remarkably tight jawed know. Unless it become an actual problem the two could keep that detail between each other. The reptile in question seemed to pick up on Night’s sense of panic. “Calm down. We haven’t even properly diagnosed the boy, there’s no need to be jumping the gun,” she hissed. She seemed to be able to perfectly predict the thoughts rushing through the half-breed’s head.
She frowned deeply, but nodded quietly. Valencica was right. Jumping the gun wouldn’t do anyone any good. They needed to inspect Havel first and see what this actually was. Valencica continued to speak, her rough voice coming as a comfort. “Besides, haven’t you been awfully cautious? You most certainly don’t have it. I can smell these kinda things, I’d know. That means there shouldn’t be anyway for ol’ Havel here to have contact it, right?”
Pressing her fingers against the thin wings of the boy Valencica let out a quiet hiss through her teeth. “As I thought. His wings don’t have no feathers like you and some of the other flyers around here. He likely just froze out there without any protection and his wings stopped moving. Luckily he was brought in quickly enough we should be able to salvage him whole. Go get some towels and place them by the fire?”
The half-breed nodded, sighing in relief. She gathered the towels and placed them by the fire as commanded before voicing her curiosity. “Just froze?”
“Right, hypothermia it’s called. Happens when the body gets colder than it’d like. Ellune don’t get it because they’re made for the cold, but most other races can. I dunno if Aukari can because the fire in their blood, but I’d reckon if it got cold enough they would. I’d guess a lot of doctors would mix it up between this Still you were telling me about. Idiot quack doctors, but people that idiot quack Etzori would trust,” the woman huffed as she rubbed Havel’s wings gently, trying to get the blood flowing through them as well as get a little friction going.
“The problem with something like hypothermia comes with the treatment. If you don’t catch it soon enough you might lose anything between a finger and a leg depending on how bad it gets. And you can’t just warm yourself up either. Direct heat will just do damage, it need to be gradual,” she said as she placed a couple blankets over top the small boy. Night nodded quietly as she observed. Havel was shivering, not yet conscious once more.
“Should we check his head? I mean, he did knock himself out,” the half-breed said as she stood up and approached. She was cautious as she watched Valencica gently poke and prod at other limbs. Valencica gave a quick nod in response to the half-breed’s question.
“Careful though, you don’t know what might be hurt and touching the wrong spot could do worse damage. You gotta be gentle with the sick. Always be gentle with the sick,” Valencica’s voice took on a quiet and almost motherly tone as she spoke. Her fingers grazed along Havel’s wings once more as she looked at him. Night couldn’t decipher her expression. Grief, perhaps? It dawned on the half-breed that Valencica was one of the those who never brought up her old life, never made mention to who she was prior to the mutations, at least not past admitting she put the mutations on herself after discovering the source. Besides that, the half-breed was entirely unaware as to what kind of creature… what kind of person the elderly snake like woman actually was.
The woman shook her head for a moment. “Keep an eye on his breathing, I’m going to go get something from the back quickly,” Valencica said. Night nodded her head as she turned her own attention towards Havel. Hopefully this would help to make the boy a little more cautious. Honestly, sometime the half-breed thought that he had enough confidence and pride that he could put Avriel to shame! There were a couple nonhuman races who had gotten caught up in the mutations. A single Avriel was among them. The man had not left his dwelling since Night had become liaison. He simply left valuable writings and knowledge outside of his home during the day and by night time someone would have put put on his doorstep as something of a payment. Night wasn’t sure of the exact deal.
Havel wasn’t too unlike Lithlilim, but Havel’s pride hadn’t come until after his transformation took place. The half-breed couldn’t help but marvel at the younger boy’s optimism and willingness to learn how to fly. She wished she could have been more like him when she was younger, but her nature hadn’t allowed it. Perhaps now that she was older she could be more like him in nature. What a thought.
She watched the silent rise and fall of his chest, trying to be careful to listen for that raspy breathing. It was hard to pick up on, but she made certain to continue keeping an ear out for it. She didn’t know what to do if he stopped breathing. She understood the importance of watching his breathing, but what was she supposed to do if he stopped? A question for Valencica the half-breed supposed.
It took longer than the half-breed was comfortable with for Valencica to reappear, a tin of something clutching in her hands. Taking the blankets off of Havel the woman scooped whatever cream was in the tin out and started to apply it to the wings of the boy. Havel shivered and the half-breed could hear him whimper. Whatever the concoction was, it smelled absolutely awful! The half-breed winced, honestly a little amazed that Valencica didn’t have to plug her nose considering how good her sense of smell was.
“What is that?” The half-breed asked, her gaze narrowing as she looked at the offending tin like it was the cause of the reek.
Valencica laughed as she shook her head. “A special concoction to help with the blood flow as well as to help warm him up enough that we can start putting him closer to the fire. It’s a mixture I made a long time ago before I was due a trip to Viden so that I could better study the application of certain cold climate herbs in medicinal practice. It was quite an interesting study, but the trip there was tasking. I needed something to help. This came in useful since it kept away the cold but it also helped a great many of my traveling companions who underestimated the ice and the frost and ended up catching hypothermia due to their stupidity,” the woman said as she closed up the tin.
“You see, I’m very used to saving idiots from tricky situations. Dear Havel here might be one of the smarter ones I’ve had to babysit. You as well,” the reptilian like woman once again laughed as the half-breed muttered under her breath. “Come now little bird, I’ll make you a deal. You help me organize some of this tinctures and I’ll teach you how to make some of my concoctions, including this one. Though I warn you, it’s not entirely… scientific.”
The half-breed had the feeling for a while that Valencica wasn’t all she seemed. This only helped to prove that. The half-breed agreed to the deal. There were worse deals she’d made.