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Oh help me, please doctor, I'm damaged
Private  — Maven!
Loves: 0 ·
#1
Age
Uses
Height
Occupation
Class
27
He/Him
5'9"
Engineer
Inactive
questions of science, science and progress
do not speak as loud as my heart
Things are, uh... not so good, health-wise, for you. See, you started getting these itchy spots on your back a couple weeks ago but figured eh, it's damp, it's a new place, it'll be fine. But now you've got these terrible sores on your hands (inconvenient) and feet (super inconvenient), plus like three days of the shits, plus last night you woke up coughing so hard you thought your sternum might dislodge and go traipsing across the bedroom.

And if all this wasn't bad enough, today you have a fever.

So off to the doctor's office your aunt Gale sends you, probably as much to get you out of her hair as anything else. The plague isn't curable, you all know that, but damn if she ain't gonna make some poor med student try.

The place your aunt sends you to is called Wren's Soft Fix, and your instructions are to Tell Dr. Nate that Gale sent you, and he still owes me for the mushrooms. Except that it take you a while to reach the clinic, and by the time you do your fever is spiking, and so instead of the requisite message you instead tell the poor soul who greets you that "A gale'a m'shrooms sent me cus'a my hands."

Which, of course, the nurse writes on on your medical chart before sitting you in a dingy little room, where you dazedly await your fate.
ZEPH
#2
Age
Uses
Height
Occupation
Class
27
She/Her
5'6"
Doctor
Inactive
Maven
It's a new day, and Maven spends it as she always does, calling patients from the waiting area back into one of the many rooms in Wren's Soft Fix, hoping to heal their ailments. It's been more of the new normal: plague patients, and plenty of them. Maven hates to see them stumbling in, fevered and weak, covered in rashes and pustules, coughing and wheezing, hacking and vomiting. For weeks, she has hoped for an end to the suffering she sees every day; for weeks, she has prayed that the end isn't a permanent one. It's not like Gracelyn, she tells herself daily. They aren't getting sicker and sicker, spiraling ever closer to death.

But they aren't getting better, either.

She does the best she can, day by day, until finally, an answer is revealed: algal blooms in the water supply. Gods only know if it's spreading by other means, too, but at last she has something she can try to treat. Even if there is no real cure, not until the powers that be can remove the toxins. She doesn't even begin to try to imagine what that will look like. She's a doctor, not an environmental specialist.

She's looking at the clipboard in her hand when she opens the door to the waiting room, trying to make sense of the strange message scrawled on the chart. Something about mushrooms and hands, and she wonders about the correlation. Unless, perhaps, the patient ate some strange mushrooms. That could certainly cause some odd utterances to the nurses.

"Mr. Kavalino," she calls into the waiting area, and looks around to see who answers.
these roads never seemed so long
since your paper heart stopped beating
leaving me suddenly alone
#3
Age
Uses
Height
Occupation
Class
27
He/Him
5'9"
Engineer
Inactive
questions of science, science and progress
do not speak as loud as my heart
It takes you a moment to realize that you've been called, because you're pretty sure you can count the number of times anyone has referred to you as mister on one hand and a toe. When the realization does break through your foggy brain you naturally overcorrect, springing up onto your feet quick enough to cause the blood to flee from your head and leave you briefly dizzy.

Er. Dizzyer.

"Hi, yes, that's uh, that's me. Zeph- Zephyr- Zeph. Kavalino. Hi." Your greeting, like your mind, is fairly fuzzy and nonsensical, but you get an A for effort. Your eyes are glassy and hopeful as you look at the pretty doctor, trying hard to ignore the pounding (from the bronchitis) in your chest. Your heart flutters (from fever), and then there's a fit of coughing covered carefully by your arm, and when it's done you clutch at your sternum, blinking a little before announcing, "I got the red lung, doc."
ZEPH
#4
Age
Uses
Height
Occupation
Class
27
She/Her
5'6"
Doctor
Inactive
Maven
Maven sees her patient stand rather unsteadily, and she frowns, taking a few steps closer to offer the man her support. She hovers one hand behind his back, offering the other to steady him should he need it. "Hello, Zeph," she says kindly, soothingly, as though to tell the man without words that she is there to help. He seems so eager; he's trying so hard, even though she can tell he feels like shit. "Why don't we get you back to a room?" She leads him carefully through the door, keeping a careful eye on him.

She settles him in one of the first rooms on the right, watching to make sure he sits on the examination table without any trouble. "Now," she says, pulling over a wheeled stool and taking a seat. "Why don't you tell me what's troubling you today?" It seems like a silly question, given the sores on the hands (now the nurse's note makes sense) and the coughing, but it always helps to get a full list of symptoms.
these roads never seemed so long
since your paper heart stopped beating
leaving me suddenly alone
#5
Age
Uses
Height
Occupation
Class
27
He/Him
5'9"
Engineer
Inactive
questions of science, science and progress
do not speak as loud as my heart
The coughing ends and the nice doctor is there, hand behind your back to guide you into the exam room. But as the door slides shut you grow uncharacteristically quiet, nervous fingers fidgeting with the thin paper on the exam table as you stare pointedly at your knees. It's been a long time since you were in a doctor's office; you spent a fair bit of your youth in and out of them, and the memories are not all fond.

You can feel the heat of a flush on your face, half from fever, half from anxiety at the enclosed room. "Um," you begin your attempt at an answer, brow furrowing in concentration, desperate to find some clarity through the fog. "Well. Started with my back - rash. Real itchy." You scratch the back of your neck, as though to illustrate the point.

"Then my hands'n feet... then the coughin'... an' now I'm feelin' awful warm'n fuzzy." A quick glance up, gold eyes pleading above a weak smile. "If you could just gimme somethin' for th'fever I can be outta yer hair. Bettin there's a lotta folks you need you more'n me. I'm f-

But of course you don't finish saying it before another coughing fit overtakes you, leaving you clutching at your chest.
ZEPH
#6
Age
Uses
Height
Occupation
Class
27
She/Her
5'6"
Doctor
Inactive
Maven
Maven listens as Zeph confirms her original opinion that he is suffering from the plague. She raises an eyebrow as he tries to hurry her along, then devolves into a coughing fit. "You are certainly not fine," she tells him sternly. Then she softens. "But you will be. We'll get you fixed up." She stands from her stool and takes a few steps closer to Zeph. "Let's get your vitals, and we'll go from there, hmm?" She proceeds to pull a stethoscope from around her neck to listen to his heart and lungs, offers a thermometer to record his temperature, requests a look at his hands and back.

When she is done, she washes her hands carefully in a sink in the corner, then returns to her stool. "Well, I'm sorry to say that you seem to have caught the plague," she informs him gently. "The good news is that it's rarely deadly. The bad news is that it's difficult to treat." She makes a few notes on her clipboard. "I'll go get you a few medications to treat your cough, and a salve to help with the sores. As for the cure, we're going to have to see what they do about the water supply - that's where it's coming from. If you can, boil all of your water before you drink it or use it for now."

She jots down a few more notes, then tears off a sheet. "Here are instructions - I know sometimes it's hard to remember everything the doctor tells you." And she smiles softly, a quiet joke at her own expense. "Do you have any questions?"
these roads never seemed so long
since your paper heart stopped beating
leaving me suddenly alone
#7
Age
Uses
Height
Occupation
Class
27
He/Him
5'9"
Engineer
Inactive
questions of science, science and progress
do not speak as loud as my heart
Whether because of your fever or your fear, the rest of the exam is a blur. You comply obediently with anything she asks, meek and dazed as your heart continues pounding, sticky beads of sweat dampening your collar and hair. She's gentle, at least, which makes the whole thing easier, and by the end you can feel some of the terror ebbing out of your skin. That is, of course, until she sits back down and drops a hammer upon your head, leaving your with bulging eyes and a hole in your stomach that's full of worms.

You seem to have caught the plague.

Well. If those ain't seven terrifying words you never wanted to hear. And of course those words are swimming so tirelessly through the macaroni that is your brain that you hear absolutely nothing else, don't even realize that she's making notes until a piece of paper is thrust into your hands. And yes, you have questions (am I going to die?), but right now your tongue is putty in your mouth (will I get my cousins sick?), refusing to form any functional words (what about the mushrooms?), so instead of asking any of them you shake your head dumbly, wanting only to be given your medicine and go back home and curl up in the safety of your bed and wake up tomorrow with this all having been a bad dream, thanks.
ZEPH
#8
Age
Uses
Height
Occupation
Class
27
She/Her
5'6"
Doctor
Inactive
Maven
The poor thing isn't listening to a word she says. That much is obvious to Maven. Gods, she wishes people would bring a family member or a friend with them to the doctor, someone they could trust to share their diagnosis and treatment recommendations. In lieu of that, though, she makes do with the notes she writes out on the clipboard, the prescriptions on the bottles of pills she passes to him, and the gentle reassurance that he will be fine. They'll figure out how to cleanse the algae soon (they have to), and then he'll be right as rain. Right?

She sees him to the door, asks him if she can do anything else for him, and then he's on his way. She worries for him, as she does for all of her patients, their faces blurring together in her mind as she lays down to sleep that night. She follows her own instructions, boiling her water, avoiding it as much as she can. It means she hasn't had a true shower in a few days, but that's the price she has to pay to stay healthy. And staying healthy means she can see more patients. She can help more people. She can prevent more death.
these roads never seemed so long
since your paper heart stopped beating
leaving me suddenly alone
#9
Age
Uses
Height
Occupation
Class
27
He/Him
5'9"
Engineer
Inactive
questions of science, science and progress
do not speak as loud as my heart
And so it is that you are hustled out, feeling rather sorry for yourself and clutching your bag of pills and salves and important notes tight against your chest. When you get home your Aunt Gale will parse them, and shove some pills down your throat, and apply the salve to the pustules on your back, and generally tut over the state of things as she boils water for the family. Tomorrow you will wake up fever free, and the next you'll be (questionably) back to work.

But in a week or so a package will be left at the office, neatly wrapped in butcher paper with a tag that reads Doctor Solis, and no other name attached. Inside the good doctor will find a copper-handled reflex hammer, inlaid with a playful mushroom motif.
ZEPH

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