Somehow the little green had managed to mislay her fair. How she had done so might have been a story for another time had she been able to remember it but somehow, though not much more than a baby, she had ended up here at the Weyr.
And it was nice at the Weyr. Already in the -- hours, days, sevendays? - she had been here, she had managed to determine that. There was food and-- actually, that was mostly it. In the little green’s life food was about as good as it got.
Right now for example she was watching some large creature scoop something that was no doubt entirely delicious out of a pot and he didn’t even know she was watching him! Highly pleased with her cunning she waited for him to turn away and then dived right in, determined to eat her fill before she was shooed away.
But it didn’t taste at all nice. It didn’t smell at all nice. And when she tried to fly right back out her wings didn’t seem to work and her legs wouldn’t work for climbing and even her mouth felt wrong so when she opened her mouth to yell in outrage it came out as a strangled wail and that was all she could do. Just lie there and wail.
Alyx was working in the back room, with some of the other older apprentices, since they were away from the more public spheres of the Infirmary, it was rather noisy as people conversed and joked about with each other. Though everyone was careful of the medicine jars. Since she wasn’t out around injured people, Ardy had draped himself across the back of Alyx’s chair and was snoring, oh so lightly. So the sounds of the poor little flits distress wasn’t immediately noticed.
In fact it wasn’t noticed until Alyx picked up the offending pot, and went to stick her fingers inside to add some of the salve to the mixture she was working on.
She wasn’t usually a bitey flit. She was usually a sweet-natured little creature, more inclined to flee than attack - or at least she thought maybe she was. But she couldn’t flee and now something was attacking her with weird pokey fingers. So, she bit them, and if it wasn’t hard that was mostly because her jaw didn’t seem to be working right just now. And then she wailed some more, just because the thing she sank her teeth into didn’t *feel* right.
Alyx jumped as she felt something pinch her fingertips in the small numbweed pot, numbweed shouldn’t feel like a pinch, so she examined her glove carefully, then glanced back into the pot. She was very surprised to see a tiny flit, stuck inside the jar.
“Oh my, you poor little thing, what are you doing in there?” She asked softly. Then, leaving the glove on, because she now realized the pinch was likely a bite, she reached back towards the pot slowly. “Come on now, let’s get you out of there, you’re going to be numb for a week little girl.”
The big thing was going to eat her with its big pinchy things! The little green flit howled and hissed and flailed ineffectively with legs and wings which no longer seemed to work properly to her, trying to escape or at least dig deeper into the bad smelling stuff.
Seeing that the poor tiny thing was terrified, Alyx reached behind her and lightly poked Adry awake. He was usually good at keeping other flits calm the times that she’d treated other flits for something minor that didn’t need a dragonhealer’s touch. The large bronze’s snoring stopped with a snort and sat up. He stretched his wings out once, then snapped them back and looked over Alyx’s shoulder, and into the pot. He let out a scolding chirp at the little green, and imaged very strongly about Not Moving.
There was relief mixed with panic because now she had started moving she had disturbed the numbweed and now she still couldn’t feel what she was doing enough to do it right but also she was sinking. She wailed again, trusting the big bronze to have a solution.
Ardy glued his eyes to the little flit, projecting calm and reassurance as Alyx once again reached towards the pot, as the fingers got closer, he projected the idea of grabbing the fingers and holding on, that she was safe, and would not be hurt.
Alyx hummed to herself, wondering who the unfortunate little green belonged too, and hoped she could get it out before it was too numb to breathe, as she was surely overdosing on how much numbweed a tiny body could handle.
Not biting took a lot of willpower and she couldn’t have grabbed onto anything if she wanted to, her limbs weren’t cooperating enough. Luckily they weren’t cooperating enough to fight either as she was scooped out, though she was shivering in panic that she could do nothing about. She gave another wail; a strange strangled noise which came from a mouth which wouldn’t open right.
Once the little flit was free, Alyx quickly grabbed one of the sterile bandage rolls and began to wipe off as much of the excess as she possibly could while Ardy crawled down the chair to sit closer to the little one. As she wiped she looked for any sort of banding, and didn’t see anything. Was this little one wild? Just a baby who managed to lose her colors? Alyx did her best to get her clean and turned to the person next to her and asked if he knew the little one. When he didn’t she supposed she ought to take it to the supervisor in charge today.
“Try Journeyman Cremsden?” the other apprentice suggested doubtfully. “I mean, he seems to have firelizards around him whenever I look. Could be one of his.”
“I hadn’t heard he’d gotten a new one, but it could be, Bitey seems to collect them.” She paused and put the lid back on the little pot, and grabbed a towel to wrap the tiny flit in to keep her warmer, as Ardy jumped to her shoulder.
She left the small mixing room and headed out to find Cremsden, heading towards his office first.
He was heading out as she headed in, Bitey perched on his shoulder muttering commandingly into his ear. Commands that Cremsden hadn’t the slightest hope of understanding but that Bitey gave relentlessly in any case. He stopped seeing Alyx though, pausing in the doorway. “Problem?”
“I am not sure, I was mixing some salves, and there was this poor little baby in the pot. I have no idea how she got there.” As she spoke she unwrapped the tiny body a little showing him the numb little green. “I’m a little worried about just how much of the numbweed got into her system. She isn’t moving very well, and seems really scared.”
Bitey tried to climb down Cremsden’s arm for a closer look. Cremsden shrugged one shoulder at him irritably. “Yes, yes, stay put, you,” he said distractedly. “Don’t be so nosy, you’ll pull my arm off.” He squinted at the firelizard. “Not one I know but if she was in the pot -- that’ll give you respiratory distress all right. Bring her into my office?”
Alyx followed Cremsden into the office, while carefully holding the not so wiggly flit. Ardy,took one look at Bitey, nodded to him, the typical ‘guy nod’ then proceeded to mind his own business.
“Strictly speaking we should go and find a dragonhealer, but I’m about to finish the shift and if they’re working on a dragon that little one probably won’t wait, so..” Cremsden said, gesturing to a cushion on the desk. “Set her there; Bitey won’t mind or at least it’ll be me he minds at so it doesn’t count. Doesn’t look like much on her, or did you scrape her off?”
“I wiped as much as I could off of her. I was hoping if I got enough off that it would help.” She gently laid the small bundle on the cushion and unwrapped her fully. Then she sat back a little so has not to crowd the poor thing any more.
“Mmm.” Cremsden peered at her and then fished into a drawer for some thick gloves; the type
generally used for gardening. Another drawer held a towel. “You’re not going to like this much, young lady, but I suspect it beats out being dead,” he told the flit apologetically. “Most things usually do.”
He was thorough; one limb at a time, roughly towelling until all traces were removed. There was wailing and snapping but the gloves were thick and Cremsden was used to that by now.
“I don’t know how she managed to get into that jar, or why. But she was making noises like that while I tried to fish her out. At least Ardy kept her from biting me much.”
Knowing he was being talked about, Ardy preened a little, then cast a disdainful look at the baby, and then chirped a simple scolding note.
“Yeah, I was assuming you’d avoided that else you’d be bleeding all over my floor already,” Cremsden agreed, not turning his face from what he was doing. “She managed to break skin at all?”
“Nope, I had gloves on too.” Alyx said, while reaching up to soothe Ardy.
“Lucky for you, else I’d be getting you to bring any bites back to be inspected daily,” Cremsden commented. “Mucky little mouths these fellows have, infect like nothing else.” He set the towel down and inspected the sad little flit. “Now, I don’t know what a firelizard’s pulse-rate is meant to be but I’m willing to bet that isn’t right.” Fast and shallow gasping rarely was.
“I didn’t think so either, Ardy’s has never been like that. I wish I knew who she belonged to, so I could send Ardy to tell them where she is, but she isn’t tagged, not even a few flecks of paint to go by. I’d best be getting back to my task, maybe if you take her over to the dragon healers, they will know?” Alyx was glad that the little flit would be in good hands, and get all sorted out, she hated seeing them in pain.
“Mmm.” Cremsden was watching the flit, tapping his finger on the desk. “...You know, I bet the young lady here would benefit from one of those breathing tanks we put together for Megin. Smaller of course but… can’t really justify that kind of set up on a firelizard.”
“I bet that would help. But how would we get it to work? What if, instead of a tank we used something smaller like the little bellows for starting fires?” Alyx was pretty sure that the little one just needed a little help, but if they could make an apparatus, and show the dragon healers how, then it could be used in the future to treat not just flits, but, size appropriate, for whers and dragons as well.
“Oh, the tank is just to keep the air in. Any box that’s relatively air-tight does the job really. It’s the chemicals that purify the air. It’s whether we could justify using the chemicals..” Maybe could if it was an owned flit, particularly if it was owned by someone important. Harder on a stray wild creature that had just happened to wander in. Cremsden turned his gaze on Alyx, thoughtfully. “Of course, if I happened to be giving a senior apprentice a training session on how to set up the equipment for an emergency.”
Alys chuckled a little, it really was a brilliant idea. “Should we grab a couple others and make an impromptu class?”
“Eh, one on one I think - I’d rather not feck around long enough that this little one dies while we’re answering questions and besides, the less people who know about it the less likely to grumble to K’ren about frivolous use of resources.” Not that K’ren would mind too much, he tended to give Cremsden a certain amount of leeway, still it was the look of the thing. “I’ll grab the chemicals, see if you can find a likely looking box.”
“Will do, I think I saw something in storage the other day that ought to be about the right size. Should we meet back here?” Alyx asked as she stood up to go search.
“Mm, be quick,” Cremsden nodded. He was used enough to estimating respiration rate to know the signs of something getting better rather than worse. If this wasn’t quite sanctioned.. Well, it was still better than watching something die in front of him that could have been prevented.
Alyx nodded and left without another word, she almost ran down the hall to the storage rooms and slipped into the one she’d been cleaning the other day and which would most certainly need to be straightened up again when she was through, because she didn’t put everything back exactly as it had been. Ardy had followed, and just as she was getting frustrated at not finding the one she was looking for, he cheeped from the top shelf, and pushed the little box she’d been thinking of, off into her hands. She smiled up at him and sent a happy feeling, complete with the idea of a treat when they were done. Then rushed back down the hall to Cremsden’s office with the small box.
“Here, this ought to work, we had some herbs in it that it was made to keep dry so it seals good. It’s been cleaned out really well, about two days ago.”
Cremsden had the little firelizard balanced on one of the small sets of scales more commonly used for weighing very new human babies and was quickly making notes. “Here now,” he gestured her over. “Just so I’m doing some actual teaching. This is your ratio for the chemicals. This is the amount usually used for a small adult female. This is her weight vs our little beastie’s weight. See if you can calculate the amounts for me while I get her settled.”
Alyx set the box down, and snagged a bit of hide, and started working the equations out, when she was done, she flipped it over to Cremsden to double check her work. Ardy settled on her shoulder again, and gave the little one a reassuring croon. So she wouldn’t be so scared.
“Good lass,” Cremsden nodded. “I’ll give you the papers on the method later. For now you can watch me set up and I’ll talk you through the equipment when little one is breathing better. If she needs a second round in a few hours, you can do it, got it?”
“Alright, sounds good. I’m on shift still for a while. So what’s next?” Alyx asked, then silently told her flit to find himself another perch and stay out of trouble. The large bronze rubbed his head against her cheek, then hopped up and landed in an out of the way corner and make himself scarce.
What was next was apparently setting up an intricate pipe system with one end releasing into the box. “Splits into oxygen and water,” Cremsden explained. “Just make sure the oxygen pipes into where you need it and the water has someplace to go.” He fitted the equipment together with practised ease. “Interestingly there are apparently other ways of doing this,” he added. “Unfortunately most people who tried the other ways in the last Interval or so tended to explode, so. We’ll stick to this one.”
Alyx watched intently, as various bits of things came together into something new, and snagged another hide, this one bigger, one of the many stacked around for apprentices and such to write notes on, which she proceeded to do. Thankfully her writing was pretty clear, and the diagram she drew, with labels at least somewhat intelligible. She wasn’t the best artist, but it served its purpose.
“Not that I’m saying Master Kregg wouldn’t be inclined to try the explosive method if you caught him on the right day - or the wrong day, as the case may be - but if we’re going to explode things I’d rather we do it somewhere without a large store of firestone - there now,” he regarded the set up approvingly. “That should do the trick.”
Alyx kept herself from laughing, just. Truth was she suspected most people were perfectly happy not exploding. “Alright, so what does this bit do?” She pointed to one of the pipes that came out of the box. She’d seen these in use a couple times, but wanted to know more about the details.
“That would be what gets our oxygen into the box. This here would be our reaction mixture and--” he offered her a small flask of something “--if you would like to pour this in there it should get things moving.”
“How much do I put in?” She asked while pulling the stopper and putting the spout where he’d indicated.
“The lot - don’t worry, I already did the measuring,” Cremsden reassured. “Besides, this one doesn’t explode anyway - at least not if you’re not daft enough to go around waving flames near it.”
Alyx nodded, and carefully poured the substance in. When the flask was empty she set it aside where it wasn’t likely to be knocked over, even if the little flit started fighting back against them.
“And there we go.” Cremsden set the stopper back in and pointed with satisfaction at the small bubbles rapidly rising from the bottom of the reaction mixture. “Separates out, just like that. Hopefully in a couple of hours the young lady will have gotten lively enough to between away and we’ll never see her again.”
“Oh I hope so, I’d love to see who she belongs to, if anyone but I don’t want her to get into trouble again for sure.” Poor little thing Alyx thought, she had been so scared.
“Well, I’ll leave the office unlocked and if she’s still here by the end of your shift come find me and I’ll supervise you doing the next dose,” Cremsden offered. He was almost certain that would not be the case. Either the young green would, as he dearly hoped, have recovered and escaped or she would have quietly expired (in which case he hoped to have enough time to remove her and assure Alyx that she had indeed escaped).
Alyx gave the poor little green a gentle pat, then rose with her notes, and summoned Ardy with a glance and a thought. “I’ll be sure to check in when I’m done, now I need to go clean up the mess I made looking for the box.”
Have fun with any of my characters. Alyx, Lerian (candidates), Vayka (Healer), J'hen, D'vik, Teyra, Cotai (Riders), Rotasta (AWLM)