Physicians Across Borders: Episode 5

Bibi has been huddling in a tiny supplies room in Dr. Tavis's facilities, with Nattin between her and the door.

Bibi has recovered a little from her intensive efforts to keep Cristal alive for surgery, especially now that she's away from all those untrained Gens in the waiting room. She's still very ~~ tired ~~, somewhat ~~ shaky ~~, but no longer about to faint.

Nattin is still very ~~ concerned ~~ about the stress Bibi is under, from having her Donor sliced up just down the hall.

Bibi: I'll be okay, Nattin. I just wish this was over. I wonder how long it takes?

Nattin is trying to stay still and calm. Calm to help Bibi as much as a high-field general-class donor can, and still to avoid tripping on the cleaning supplies.

Nattin: I don't know. I've never studied surgery.

Bibi: They didn't cover it in channel school either. ~~ lame attempt at humor ~~

Nattin: Well, no, they wouldn't. Surely it was mentioned in the out-Territory schools?

Bibi: Not in any detail, for children, at least.

Nattin: I suppose they don't want to scare off prospective patients.

Bibi: Of course, it's mostly done in cities. I suppose we're lucky to have Dr. Tavis here. Cristal wouldn't have survived transportation.

Nattin: No, he wouldn't have. Either to New Washington, or to a big Sime Center across the border.

Bibi puts her face in her hands. It's so precarious here for her. What if this had happened immediately before her transfer? She'd have had to try to use Nattin for a shunt. She shudders.

Nattin: Can you zlin how Cristal is holding up, without exposing yourself to too much trauma?

Bibi: I'm too far away to zlin much detail...

Bibi closes her eyes, very carefully goes hyperconscious, and concentrates.

Bibi: He's not cutting... Oh!

Cristal: ~~ unconscious pain ~~

Bibi drops duoconscious.

Bibi: I think he's sewing him up now -- I can zlin these sudden little stabs...

Bibi puts her hands over her forearms.

Bibi: Maybe we can go in shortly.

Nattin tries very hard not to think through Bibi's words in a literal sense. Bibi doesn't need to zlin his nausea at the thought of sewing live meat.

Nattin: He is tolerating the surgery, though?

Bibi: He's still alive. His nager is fairly stable. It's full of pain, but because he's unconscious he isn't suffering.

Nattin: That's something. I wish my field was strong enough that you didn't have to feel it, either.

Nattin seldom feels ~~ inadequate ~~ for not being a Donor, but he is now.

Bibi: I greatly appreciate the moral and physical support you're giving me, even if you don't have a Donor's nager. And you're blocking a lot of the confused ambient out there from all the other Gens.

Nattin: It's not enough, though. It can't be, when something like that is happening to your Donor.

Bibi: No, it's not enough, but it's much better than nothing and I appreciate it.

Bibi performs a breathing exercise, then stands.

Bibi: I think he's done sewing. Let's go in. I want to start working on Cristal as soon as possible, and to be there when he wakes up.

Nattin is a little ~~ dubious ~~, but knows better than to stand between a channel and her Donor.

Bibi drops hypoconscious, opens the door, cautiously comes duoconscious and heads for the surgical suite, cringing slightly and not walking with Sime grace.

Tavis is sponging the sutured wound with an antiseptic solution, as Virginia prepares a dressing. He's keeping a close watch on the patient, who should be coming to fairly soon.

Bibi is ~~ relieved ~~ to zlin that the internal bleeding has stopped and Cristal is not in shock, although his blood pressure is still pretty low. Of course, some of that is due to the anesthetic.

Bibi: Dr. Tavis, may I come in?

Bibi isn't planning to take no for an answer, but civility never hurts as a first effort.

Tavis ~~ startles ~~ as Bibi's voice interrupts his concentration, then looks over his shoulder at her.

Tavis: He's not really ready for company, just yet.

Bibi looks exhausted and haggard.

Bibi: I'd like to start working on him, and to be here when he wakes up.

Bibi goes over to stand at the head of the table and puts her hands on Cristal's shoulders.

Bibi: I'm going to extend my tentacles, now, doctor.

Bibi nods to Virginia, including her in the warning. She makes a four-point contact and is further relieved to zlin Cristal's condition.

Tavis steps back, reluctant to finish dressing Cristal's wound while Bibi's tentacles are so close.

Cristal's body ~~ reacts ~~ to his channel, though he doesn't come even close to awakening.

Bibi is ~~ pleased ~~ and ~~ relieved ~~ at Cristal's reaction, engages his nager more deeply and goes into healing mode, working on the incision first.

Tavis ~~ dithers ~~, wanting to get the dressing on the wound, but not wanting to get any closer to Bibi.

Bibi: He's stable, but still pretty short of blood.

Bibi wishes she could do subtleties like stimulating hematopoesis, but she doesn't have the refinement.

Cristal's surgical incision slowly starts to fuse from the head end downward.

Tavis: We've got another unit for him, and now that the bleeding's pretty much stop... what are you doing?

Bibi: I'm healing the incision.

Bibi will want a five-point contact and better nageric isolation before she tries to figure out how to heal the internal damage.

Tavis: It's going to get infected, if you don't get your hands away from it. At least let me get the dressing on.

Bibi's hands are on Cristal's shoulders, a good distance from the incision under his ribs, but relinquishes and steps back.

Bibi: Sorry, doctor.

Tavis: At least wash your hands in the basin of disinfectant over there.

Bibi turns and does so, then wipes them dry.

Tavis takes the opportunity to apply the dressing to the wound.

Bibi realizes that she's rubbed the doctor the wrong way by barging in on him and touching his patient.

Bibi: You've saved his life, doctor. I can't thank you enough.

Tavis: That's my job.

Tavis is at least ~~ slightly mollified ~~ by Bibi's acknowledgment of his skill.

Tavis checks Cristal for signs of shock, Gen-style and grunts in ~~ satisfaction ~~ at his findings.

Bibi can zlin that Cristal's level of consciousness is increasing.

Tavis steps away from his patient to wash the blood off his hands.

Bibi takes Cristal's hands and gently wraps her handling tentacles around them, not wanting to risk her laterals if he wakes up confused and moves incautiously. She engages his field and suppresses his pain somewhat.

Tavis isn't happy about Bibi having her hands all over the patient, but he has noticed that Cristal seems to respond well to the treatment. He learned a few things in Cottonwood City.

Cristal returns to consciousness gradually, fortunately realizing that his hands are being held by a Sime.

Tavis is a little ~~ surprised ~~ when Cristal wakes a good five minutes ahead of schedule.

Cristal is unconsciously using the nageric linkage with Bibi to return to full awareness faster than he otherwise would be able to.

Cristal: [Simelan] Mama?

Bibi: [Simelan] It's Bibi, Cristal. It's all over. You're going to be okay now.

Cristal: Oh. Sorry. ~~ chagrined ~~ Thank you, Bibi. [English] Thank you, Doctor Tavis.

Cristal tries to take stock of himself, but can't quite manage it.

Cristal: Am I all right?

Bibi: You will be. You're all right for now.

Bibi fondles Cristal's forearms with her tentacles ~~ affectionately ~~, a comforting action from channel to Donor.

Cristal: ~~ gratitude hope ~~

Tavis's ~~ gorge rises ~~ at the sight.

Bibi stops, ~~ embarrassed ~~.

Tavis busies himself changing the almost-empty bag of blood hanging over Cristal's head with a new, full one.

Bibi notes that the selyn has dissipated from the bagged blood.

Tavis looks down at Cristal.

Cristal nods at Tavis and smiles.

Tavis: Do you want some painkiller? I gave you a little already, but you can have more if you want it.

Cristal: No thanks. I'm not in pain now.

Bibi: I'm suppressing his pain for him, but he may want some later.

Tavis: Is that the best use of your effort? The painkillers are very effective.

Bibi looks to Cristal to decide.

Cristal: If you're up to it, Bibi, I'd prefer not to feel, umm, sleepy.

Bibi: Okay, for a while then.

Cristal: Thank you. What happened, anyway? The last thing I remember was that animal stepping on me.

Tavis: It crushed your spleen. Which has now been removed.

Bibi: Virginia had you brought here. Dr Tavis sent someone to get me and Nattin.

Cristal: Removed? I agreed to that? ~~ extreme surprise ~~

Tavis: Yes, you did. Fortunately, or you'd be dead now.

Bibi: You agreed, since it was the only way to save your life. It was taking all I had to keep you from going into shock and bleeding to death.

Cristal: Well. Of course I believe you, but... Is this the same day?

Bibi: Yes. It's only been about an hour or so.

Cristal: ~~ relief ~~ Oh, good.

Bibi feels like it was much longer, but Simes can't fool themselves that way.

Cristal looks at his two healers.

Tavis: The good news is, your kidneys are relatively intact.

Cristal: "Relatively", Doctor? ~~ concern ~~

Tavis: You'll be pissing blood for a while.

Cristal: And then what?

Cristal looks at Bibi specifically.

Bibi: Drinking a lot of fluids will help reduce the load on your kidneys, and protect them.

Cristal: And you can work on them, too, I suppose. Is my field down?

Bibi: I'll work on you as much as I can. Your field is down some, but not as much as I feared. Of course, you'll need more of your selyn to heal.

Cristal nods ~~ sadly ~~.

Cristal: Can we go home now?

Bibi looks to Dr. Tavis.

Tavis ~~ wavers ~~ a little bit, but his professional responsibility overrules his desire to get the snake out of his office.

Tavis: We can evaluate when that bag of blood is in you.

Bibi squeezes Cristal's hand encouragingly.

Cristal looks at the bag for the first time.

Cristal: Oh, I see. ~~ chagrined ~~ I guess I agreed to that too. ~~ not hopeful ~~

Bibi squeezes his hand again and nods.

Bibi: Nesta and some of our other donors contributed.

Cristal: Oh.

Cristal decides he'll probably feel better if he can sleep after all.

Cristal: Hajene, can you put me to sleep, or should Doctor Tavis do it with his drugs? I feel a great need to rest.

Bibi: Sleep is good for you. I'll help you.

Bibi looks around.

Bibi: I'll have to extend my tentacles again for this...

Bibi waits for a reaction, then takes Cristal in a five-point contact and eases him into sleep. She wishes she could sleep herself. She's really wiped after all this stress and very hard nageric work.

Tavis watches, his ~~ appreciation ~~ of the neatness of the technique warring with his ~~ disgust ~~ over how it was accomplished. He's generally ~~ pleased ~~ with how the surgery went, although he wishes he had a better feeling for how the Sime is going to complicate matters.

Tavis: He's doing well. I'm going to go clean up.

Tavis is ~~ tired ~~ at the intensive hour's work.

Tavis: Call me if there's a change for the worse. I'll be back to check on him when the blood's gone.

Tavis addresses this command to the room at large, leaving it ambiguous whether he is addressing Bibi or Virginia.

Virginia is well trained in out-T medical etiquette.

Virginia: Yes, Doctor.

Bibi: Thank you, Virginia. I'm glad Dr. Tavis is employing you again.

Virginia: For surgery, yes. He doesn't have a choice. It's a little work, at least.

Bibi: If you'd like to help look after Cristal at the Sime Center, we can pay you.

Virginia is ~~ torn ~~.

Virginia: He really ought to have someone around who knows surgical wounds.

Bibi nods.

Bibi: Someone to make sure he doesn't overdo it, to help him with things that could injure him if he's not careful.

Virginia: I admit, I'd be glad of the work. It's just, well...

Virginia looks at Bibi a little ~~ nervously ~~.

Cristal mumbles in his sleep.

Bibi: I'm a Sime. Driver is a Sime. We may have new Simes staying with us.

Virginia: Yes. From what Cristal's told me, that could be a problem.

Bibi: It would give you an opportunity to learn to become more comfortable with us.

Virginia: It probably would. Eventually.

Virginia is a little ~~ apologetic ~~.

Bibi: Think about it. Cristal can use your skilled help.

Virginia is struck by an ~~ uneasy ~~ thought.

Virginia: Just before we ran into that drunkard... Cristal said that he wouldn't be able to go jogging for a week. And he told me why.

Bibi: Yes. I'll take transfer in about a week.

Virginia is ~~ unsure ~~ whether she wants to be in the same building with a Sime who's in active need, and has no source of selyn.

Virginia: Will he be able...?

Bibi: I'll ask my Controller to send another Donor, but if that isn't possible, there's a technique we can use so I can get an adequate transfer from a Donor who isn't a good match. Cristal and I are both experienced with it.

Bibi studies the nurse.

Bibi: Are you afraid of me, Virginia? Do you know that if were to try to attack a Gen, I'd die before I could kill?

Virginia: Cristal said something like that.

Virginia sincerely hopes that it's true.

Cristal mumbles again.

Bibi: Think about it, and let me know whether you'd like to help with Cristal. Or not.

Virginia: I will.

Bibi: Good.

Cristal distinctly says "Yes" in his sleep.

Bibi turns back to Cristal and resumes healing mode.

Virginia: Did he just say, "yes"?

Bibi: Yes, in Simelan.

Virginia nods.

Virginia: He's speaking more clearly. He really is coming out of this more quickly than most.

Bibi: He could do with more sleep, I think.

Virginia: Yes. The blood's nearly gone. It's fortunate there were enough blood donors available on such short notice.

Bibi nods.

Virginia: I admit, I didn't think Grisholm would do it, when he knew who was hurt.

Bibi: He was very unpleasant to zlin.

Bibi gives her usual understatement for these situations.

Virginia: He doesn't like Simes. Or those who associate willingly with them.

Virginia is a little ~~ apologetic ~~, and a little ~~ defensive ~~ as well.

Bibi nods, gives up on healing mode, and just frees her moderate need to have its healing effect on the Donor's body while she talks with Virginia.

Bibi: Many people are like that out here.

Virginia: Yes, they are. I hope Cristal doesn't mind owing his life to a man who hates everything Cristal values.

Bibi: I hope so too. He'll deal with it. Dr. Tavis isn't exactly a Simephile either.

Virginia: No, he's not. He's seen too many dead Gens for that.

Virginia, too, has seen enough to have her own doubts. She notices, with a tinge of ~ relief ~, that the bag of blood is empty.

Virginia: The blood is gone. I'd better fetch Dr. Tavis to evaluate him. We have one more bag, if it's necessary.

Bibi: I'd like to take him home. He'll do better there.

Virginia: That's between you and Dr. Tavis.

Virginia knows better than to be caught taking sides in a potential conflict between two prospective employers.

Bibi nods.

Virginia settles for bustling from the surgery in the approved nursely style.

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