Disaster Strikes: Episode 8

Katsura gestures to Nick to stay close, and moves toward the doorway.

Mendels: Hajene, I'm impressed. Very impressed. And twice as eager, now, to ask you what I came here for.

Nick: What is that?

Mendels leads the way out of the cubicle, and out of Frick's earshot.

Nick has a casual arm around Kat's shoulders, which adds a very effective boost to the nageric shielding he's offering, without requiring a lateral contact or arm-grabbing, which might be misconstrued.

Katsura appreciates the physical contact. She'd like to have him work on her a little, but that would be self-indulgent. She didn't do too badly once Frack left and Mendels followed.

Mendels: I have fourteen assorted patients -- for whom I've done as much as I can, and it isn't enough -- who have consented to being treated by a channel. And six more who are unconscious, unable to give or withhold consent.

Katsura: Fourteen patients, or twenty... Nick, do you suppose we could move one of the prefab treatment rooms to Dr. Mendels' facility? It would give us good insulation to work in.

Mendels: You'll do it, then? ~~ relief ~~

Nick: Possibly. Doctor, can your patients be moved a short distance?

Mendels: A very short distance. I'd rather not take them outdoors, not in this weather.

Nick: Our prefab treatment rooms are about the size of a wagon.

Mendels: I can get a crew to move that. Is it on wheels?

Nick: Is there an out-of-the-way corner large enough for one?

Mendels considers for a moment.

Mendels: Yes.

Katsura: One is still unassembled. Can you send a wagon to carry it?

Mendels: Certainly.

Katsura: Good.

Mendels: Manpower, for the moment, is no problem. Do you need help to assemble it?

Nick: That would be very helpful.

Katsura: Perhaps one of our people can come with it and show how it is done.

Katsura wonders whether this is a good time to broach the topic of donation.

Mendels: Okay. I'll send a runner to set things in motion as soon as we're done here. But first... ~~ awkward ~~ Hajene, I'm not accustomed to being a professional impediment.

Katsura is ~~ embarrassed ~~ at having hustled Mendels out of the cubicle.

Mendels: But I see now that I will be, to you, until I'm... lowfield.

Katsura: Do you wish me to take your donation, then?

Mendels: Yes. ~~ courage ~~ determination ~~

Katsura is pleased that there is no fear to zlin.

Mendels takes off his coat and begins rolling up his sleeves.

Katsura: We will go to that treatment room there. It is well insulated.

Katsura gestures, using her tentacles naturally, on purpose. The treatment room also contains a transfer lounge.

Nick looks at Kat and raises an eyebrow, wondering if she wants to tackle this functional after finding Frick so stressful.

Mendels nods and moves in the indicated direction. ~~ fear ~~ courage ~~

Katsura isn't exactly eager, but feels it's her duty. She isn't going to shuffle it off on one of the Seconds. None of the channels have any more experience than she does at taking first donations of adult Wild Gens.

Nick prepares to focus his ~~ support ~~ again.

Mendels: ~~ courage ~~ determination ~~ fear ~~

Nick is a little ~~ concerned ~~ about Kat's ability to go through with something that even Gen eyes can see is likely to be trouble.

Katsura: [Simelan] Nick, who else can do it?

Nick: No one. But it doesn't have to be done today, when you've just finished another tiring functional.

Katsura: He wants us to start work immediately. He wants to donate now.

Mendels: ~~ courage ~~ fear ~~ courage ~~ determination ~~

Nick: It's your call. But lean harder, or you'll be a mess when you're done. He's going to be afraid, no matter how much he thinks he ought to do this.

Katsura: Yes, he's getting more fearful as we walk. I'll lean on you, and you can work on me afterwards.

Nick offers ~~ comfort and support ~~, gradually increasing his projection.

Katsura is ~~ grateful ~~ for Nick's skill and concern for her.

Mendels: (under his breath at first, then louder as he realizes they are listening) I am a surgeon and a healer. To this I have given my oath and my wholehearted commitment... I will do what is necessary, not because it is easy, but because it must be done...

Katsura opens the door of the treatment room.

Katsura: Please don't worry, doctor. Donation is very simple and completely safe.

Mendels: Let me finish, please. I speak this same meditation before every difficult procedure.

Nick: Of course.

Katsura is ~~ embarrassed ~~ to be witnessing, and having interrupted, some kind of religious ritual.

Mendels: But because it must be done. I will do my best, and expect no more of myself than my best. I will not fear, because fear only impedes performance. I am ready to do what I must. ~~ calm ~~ stillness ~~

Katsura waits to be sure he's finished, then gestures him in.

Katsura: Please, sit here.

Katsura indicates the Gen side of the transfer lounge .

Mendels sits as indicated. ~~ curiosity ~~ calm ~~

Katsura: Nick, would you explain how donations are done?

Katsura figures Nick has had a lot more experience with first-time out-T donors than she has, when he was out at the Dam.

Nick: Sure. How much have you heard about it, Dr. Mendels?

Mendels: Only what everyone knows, I suppose. You wrap your tentacles around my arms, and touch my lips with yours.

Nick: Yes. There's no sensation of selyn movement at all -- it'll all be too slow for you to feel anything happening. It is important that you stay completely still, however.

Mendels: Slow as in seconds? Minutes? I doubt I can hold perfectly still for more than about ten minutes.

Nick chuckles.

Nick: It usually takes about a minute all told, plus or minus a few seconds.

Mendels: Ah. A minute shouldn't be any problem.

Nick wonders if Mendels will find it as easy as he thinks.

Katsura sits in the channel's position, moving slowly. She pleased at how calm Mendels is, but doesn't trust it to last.

Nick puts his hands on Kat's shoulders and deepens his ~~ support ~~.

Mendels: ~~ calm ~~ curious ~~

Katsura: Will you take my hands, doctor?

Mendels nods, and extends his hands halfway.

Mendels: See? Steady as a surgeon.

Mendels closes the remaining gap and clasps the hot Sime hands a bit too hard. ~~ calm ~~ flicker of fear ~~ calm ~~

Katsura: Please let me move my hands into position, doctor.

Mendels relaxes his grip.

Katsura: Good. Now I'll hold you with my tentacles...

Nick: They're not slimy.

Katsura extends her tentacles cautiously and wraps them gently around his arms.

Mendels takes a deep shuddering breath. ~~ fear ~~ courage ~~ calm ~~

Katsura: And now my laterals.

Katsura leans solidly on Nick's nager, tightens her grip and gritting her teeth, extends her laterals.

Mendels: ~~ fear ~~ courage ~~ fear ~~ courage ~~ courage ~~ calm ~~

Nick rubs Kat's shoulders, hoping to calm her.

Mendels: You think a medic is bothered by a few bodily secretions? ~~ shaky ~~

Katsura: If you'll make the lip contact, this will take only about a minute.

Mendels takes a slow deep breath, then another, until he returns to ~~ calm ~~.

Nick hopes that Mendel can maintain his meditation for the next minute or so, and that he manages not to dwell on what's happening.

Mendels leans forward, and offers his lips without quite closing the last tiny gap.

Katsura does her duty, leaning forward to complete the contact, tenser than the donor. She swiftly but thoroughly zlins him for medical problems in the systematic routine she learned in First Year, and begins to drain his GN-3 level.

Nick goes to ~~ maximum calmness and support ~~, hoping to keep Kat from communicating her nervousness to the donor.

Mendels: ~~ calm ~~ calm ~~ fear ~~ courage ~~ courage ~~

Katsura doesn't try to get the GN-2 barrier to drop. One thing Sat'htine expects of its Farrises is moderation in the innate Farris drive for excellence. She releases her donor, more relieved than he is.

Katsura: There you go. You're low field.

Mendels gasps for air, as if he hadn't been breathing throughout the past minute. Now, and only now, he gets the shakes.

Nick: Just take a couple of deep breaths. You're fine.

Katsura is reluctant to lean harder on Nick. She doesn't want to look weak, and she doesn't want to tire him out. It's going to be an even longer, harder day than yesterday.

Mendels: Um. That was, uh. Not what I expected.

Katsura is curious about what he expected, but thinks it would be tactless to ask.

Mendels: I'll be okay in a minute. And I'll have at least a dozen questions.

Katsura smiles. Sounds like he's going to tell them.

Katsura: I'm sorry I don't have a voucher form here, but we'll be sure you're paid for your donation.

Mendels: That was nothing like..... when I was a kid. A Sime got my sister. In front of me.

Katsura is ~~ shocked ~~ and speechless.

Mendels: Paid? Oh, uh, put it into funding for medical supplies.

Mendels bursts into tears of ~~ relief ~~.

Mendels: I'm alive. I knew, logically, I would be... but I'm alive!

Nick chuckles.

Nick: I hope you aren't disappointed at how tame it was.

Katsura pats his hand, not sure how much physical contact is culturally appropriate.

Mendels sniffles and fumbles for a handkerchief.

Mendels: Tame? Maybe from your side of things.

Mendels laughs, slightly hysterically.

Mendels: Maybe next time it'll seem tame.

Mendels blows his nose.

Mendels: Uh, don't tell anyone I lost it like this. Dr. Tegman would never let me live it down. ~~ embarrassment ~~

Katsura: Of course this is confidential.

Mendels: Medic to medic?

Katsura: Yes. Also channel to client.

Nick: And healer to healer.

Mendels: I do feel more like a patient right now. But an impatient patient. I want to know... ~~ intense curiosity ~~

Katsura gestures to Nick to sit. She doesn't want him getting tired.

Katsura: Yes?

Nick sits down.

Mendels: Oh, a thousand things. What it feels like from your side. Which tissues in my body secrete the selyn. How you can tell whether...

Nick: Whether what?

Mendels puts a forcible damper on his ~~ curiosity ~~.

Mendels: Whether you're taking it slowly enough. How it moves out of my body and into yours. What the damn stuff is. But all of that can wait. We've got patients.

Nick: Yes.

Katsura: We will come with your wagon. I can read your notes while the treatment room is set up.

Mendels stands, a bit shakily. He rolls down his sleeves and reaches for his coat.

Katsura: Thank you, doctor. You know you have given a Sime a month of life.

Mendels: And you've given a doctor a window into a whole new world.

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