After leaving Garatt and Cremsden, Kassia went back to her office and had a note sent for Culyar to come to her as soon as he could. Then she waited.
Cuylar reported as soon as he received the summons. It was never wise to keep the Weyrwoman waiting, especially when she had a say in whether he could continue his work in the Infirmary.
"You called for me, ma'am?" he asked.
Kassia didn’t waste time. “I need to know everything you know about Garatt,” she said.
Cuylar expected that Kassia would want to know about Garatt, but he had not expected to be asked for everything right at the beginning. Not in so many words, anyway. He was not sure where to begin.
"Uh," Cuylar stumbled for a moment. "Well. I met Garatt when he came in to the Infirmary with trouble sleeping. It was then that I first discovered the injury to his hand. I documented the visit and prescribed a sleep study, which began when the Candidates returned from their field trip. I also volunteered to travel to the field on a nightly basis to administer medication for Garatt to help with his restlessness until such time as they returned."
"Of course, you know, the trip was cut short after… after the attack on the Sands. I brought another Healer with me to witness Garatt's injury the night the attack happened. If… if there was a delay in the first report, it was partially my fault. But the explosion distracted us all."
Kassia nodded. “Unfortunately understandable,” she said. “A lot was missed due to the explosion. Go on.”
"The sleep study was partly just to get Garatt out of the Barracks. To observe whether it was anxiety induced there that was causing his sleep problems," Cuylar explained. "And it proceeded apace after the Candidates returned. He slept well every night with no need for medication."
"It seemed that everything was going to be fine after that. Until the Hatching. The Candidate who was banned left his firelizard with Garatt. And after the Hatching, I had a long shift in the Infirmary to take care of those who were injured. So the next night, I had the night off. And Garatt didn't get on well with the Healer who took my shift for me. I still don't know exactly what happened, but he wasn't doing the best job of listening, and he lost Garatt's trust. He had his first rough night since beginning the sleep study and required medication to sleep."
"The next night, he didn't make his appointment. So I went looking for him in the Barracks. I coordinated with Candidatemaster Nayari, and we conducted a search for him. We found him with Master Tolfast. And he had, as you are doubtless aware, been much more severely injured at this time."
"Now, I have met his father and his aunt, who had a hand in raising him. Garatt, that is, of course… is there anything else I've missed?"
“Describe the exact injuries and any other observations you can think of,” she said, making notes.
"I submitted reports detailing the injuries both times, which will be more accurate and detailed than my memory," said Cuylar, "and I'll make sure to get you another copy of those if you need. The injuries were the result of a prolonged battery with a cane. Garatt's hand suffered severe bruising, and his backside – lower back, buttocks, and upper thighs – suffered bruising and minor lacerations, which I treated with redwort and numbweed salve. He also showed indications that he had been assaulted with hands. There were handprint shaped bruises on his buttocks."
“Did you ever ask or did he ever indicate who was the perpetrator?” Kassia ignored the now familiar pang of guilt. There was nothing she could do for past Garatt, but she was working hard on helping current and future Garatt.
"Garatt and I spoke at length about this, because I was also a Candidate under M'ayen. He was very reluctant to name his abuser, but I am familiar enough with the way M'ayen operates that I assumed it was him. When I spoke to Garatt under the assumption that it was M'ayen, he did not contradict me," Cuylar explained.
"And further, when I found Garatt after he ran away, I offered Elphith's ear to him. She agreed to listen for him so that he could call to her for help, if he should ever be in need of it again. And when he tried, for practice, well… he more or less overflowed. Anything and everything that was on his mind, he showed to Elphith. Jumbles of words and thoughts and feelings and memories. I can say with confidence that these memories confirm that his abuser is M'ayen. If Garatt is unable to testify, I am willing to ask Elphith to submit to questioning from Foreth to provide that evidence."
Kassia nodded. “I wish we’d gotten this information sooner, but I think we have enough information. I’ll take Elphith’s information if needed, though. Thank you. Anything else you can tell me.”
Cuylar blushed. He had assumed the reports would be forwarded through the proper channels… but that explanation had felt just as hollow when he had given it to Attlin and Sherill. He could say it was not his fault until he was blue in the face, but it would not change the fact that Garatt was hurt, and what he had done to try to stop it had not been enough.
"If anything else comes to mind, I'll tell you immediately, ma'am," he said softly.
“Thank you,” Kassia said. “Please send me those full reports as soon as you can. Dismissed.”