30 December 2009

Short Commercial Break

Look, I have to edit a lot of words Ladies aren't supposed to use in Steamlands Society from my next bit of my journal. I was (language redacted) upset with that (language redacted) medical professional, Dr Roundtree, and my parents read this. True, of the five of them only three would notice, and Mama might say something about it.

So go look at this entry about the Dragonlands rentals. I was there for a visit after returning to Steelhead to, erm... I have to check the statute of limitations on this one... just go read, then visit the Dragonlady and get yourself a place to sleep. I wasn't there, you didn't see me.

22 December 2009

Angel of Mercy, Angel of Death

I had to switch to a nocturnal schedule to monitor him properly. The hospital is bustling most of the day, and after watching the movements of the staff, I can just about mimic their patterns to further disguise my appearance. Shape-shifting into someone they expect to see takes practice, but not a great deal of energy. All it took was a firmer sense of self, and a strong need.

Being an under nurse in this place is absolute hell. It is a wonder anyone stays. We have to get that new guy in the slums straightened out enough to run a hospital full time. It's a wonder anyone survives this place. It's clean enough, and the science is usually sound, but there is so little contact it is a wonder if the diagnoses are right half the time. I had enough in the first day to switch to night watch.

Hiding in the attic was the only way, but this time I was close enough to react when the ward alarm went off a scant hour before dawn. Still wearing the seeming of one of the under nurses, I slipped past the ward nurse and into room fifteen.

The room was dark, and I wondered how a human navigated it - unless they were intimately familiar with the room layout. But of course, this one did know, she was supposed to be here.

As the figure reached into her cloak and pulled out her tools, I heard her murmur, “There, there, Mr Antfarm. I’m here to help you. You’ll be better soon. Let me take your pain away.” Her voice was gentle as the rain outside.

Grabbing her wrist before she could dose him, I growled, "That is enough of that, sister."

She shrieked, and stabbed at me with the pipette. Not the harridan that ruled the floor, this was the tweenie that got sent down today! In my surprise, I lost my hold on my shape, reverting to my default.

Well, of course that was a surprise for her. Cross-dimensional beings are not unknown here, but finding a bat-winged, fanged figure with glowing blue eyes holding your arm in a dark room will be startling to lots of people. As romantic as her notions about killing people as a mercy to them were, it was too much for her. She fainted dead away.

The commotion was bound to bring someone, and I had to make a quick choice. Nurse Rain was not authorized to be on this floor, but I was not even authorized to be in the building. Discretion being the better part of valor, I blended back into the shadows and shifted between planes to the stairwell.

When the night nurse came in holding her lamp aloft, saying sotto voce, "What goes on here?" there was naught to see but Mr Antfarm, and Nurse Rain, clutching her bottle of opium. I slipped back into my guise as an under nurse and quickly retraced my steps to the room. The evidence was there, and the night nurse was thankfully a sharp one. She barely glanced at me, ordering me to get the watchman and the doctor on call.

Luckily, I didn't have far to go to get Mack, as her screech had been heard downstairs as well. He was on hand to help restrain Nurse Rain as she came out of her faint, babbling about demons keeping her from her duty. The doctor on call was not Roundtree, but one of his students. This one had studied a year in Vienna, much to Antfarm's luck, and was able to sign her into one of the observation rooms. He noted the opium bottle, and her hysteria, and managed to write up a neat assessment dismissing her report of seeing me as hallucination, caused by her conscience and possible drug abuse.

All this went on without any need for me to guide it, and I stopped in to see Mr Antfarm. He had not gotten any further dosages, and his eyes tracked me well enough. I let my eyes show through the seeming, and told him, "I will make sure you get better, but I can't promise there will be no pain. I will do my best, though."

Downstairs, in a broom closet on the ground floor, I shifted back to my default, taking time to pull together my formal suit to confront Roundtree as soon as he got to the hospital.

01 December 2009

The State of Medicine

Roundtree may be an unfeeling bastard, but at least he is competent within the field of medicine. Pity he can't seem to manage the staff.

Sleeping on the roof is as close as I can get to my charge, seeing as how I am not a relative, and my medical credentials do not translate here. Besides, I had only made it into the internship program before this started. Since there is a pixie squatter in the belltower, I have to stick to the battlements. Once it snows I should see about getting into the attics, if he is still here.

I nearly missed the one overdosing Antfarm, because her aura was one of the ones who belonged there. I had a choice of slipping between planes to catch her, or diverting the opium syrup to a less harmful spot. Even the small displacement from his mouth to the spot under his cot was draining, enough so I lost the trace of her (I think it was female) as soon as she left his room.

This is no longer just a medical issue. Getting around the night watchman was too easy, so I felt there was the need to install wards around his room, taking a moment for a check of his vital signs. A quick sweep of his room, placing a listening device or two, and taking a sample of the syrup on the floor took as little time as I had between the watchman's rounds. The footstep at the end of the hall reminded me I should not be here outside the visiting hour, and forestalled me from changing his bandages. I slipped between planes and resumed my watch from the roof.

The more I visit here, the more I feel the need to build a proper clinic.

23 October 2009

The Dreaming One

He is stable enough to be moved, at least on this plane. I wish I could take him to the Infirmary, but his hold on this reality is too thin to make the transition safely. We have seen nothing of the sheriff's cousin, and since Father was exiled, we haven't got a medical facility. Regency Hospital is not what it used to be, and that just leaves the Tam San. I honestly don't like the idea, but he is being moved to Caledon.

I am going with him, of course. The sanitarium staff did care for Uncle Gus well enough when he was lost in Aunt Gem's mind, but the director has not had more cross-planar experience by now. His injuries are more extensive than Uncle Gus's. The Regency Hospital deals with the injuries to Caledonians well enough, and Lady Darkling is his sponsor there. She was distressed to find out the bottled lightning had any part in the fire. Rengerin tells me it was just another link in the causality chain, but not the key reason for the accident.

Another reason to go is I am responsible for him. He was injured in the house of my father, as a guest. I must honor the law, and do my best by the ger. He believed himself to be Zaide, but it was not out of malice. The taistealaí will be honored.

Mama's assistant arranged airship passage for us, as that would be the best way to move him. I also asked her to keep an eye out for those searching for him. I do not know if he has any family, but there are several people interested in him. The ones that have not come forward to ask after him in his convalescence are the ones that worry me.

Lifting off into the pre-dawn light, I locked the door to the cabin and settled in to nap beside his bunk, trying to reach him through his travels.

06 October 2009

The Parts Inbetween

He knows who he is, and is not, at last.

Though he hangs in the balance, not really here and not truly gone, he knows his beginnings. I am not a telepath, so I am unable to tell you his story, but he radiates peaceful contentment in his comatose state.

Soaking him in the trough filled with the burn ointments has made caring for him a delicate process. There were a few spots where his skin was burned away completely, but there is still a chance he will survive. It mostly depends on if he decides to wake up.

Rengerin tried to give me a report on what she found in the ruins, but I have honestly been too tired to focus on anything but his injuries. Tensai hasn't thrown me out of the sick room, yet. My sleeping on the pallet here has freed her up to manage Steelhead.

Could I have stopped him? What more should I have done to protect him?

30 July 2009

Can't A Girl Get Any Sleep?

Wolfgang finally transformed last night, no doubts about that. Vater was properly publicly offended that the sheriff had hidden the tribe past the marker oak. Hey, for all I know, he could have been actually surprised, since he doesn't have time to read all of the reports. My reports are mostly low priority, since I am not officially attached to the office, and all I had seen was a village in a pocket valley, with no signs of martial organization beyond hunting parties.

After Anya calmed him down, Wolfie was a little disoriented, and understandably upset by the transformation. He was mostly worried about what he had done, and Sheriff Ortega confirmed he was not in trouble, just that he had to learn control. To do that, they would be leaving at daybreak. Mama started organizing the staff at the dance, handing out assignments as she walked with her arm around Wolfie, getting back to the Consulate building. I checked Wolfie over and he had no strains or cuts from his escape. Some of it was that he was limber and possessed of the Trickster's own luck, but some of it was rapidly healed.

Papa was upset we don't have something strong enough to contain a teenage werewolf, but he shrugged and hid it from the rest of the group. I might have to arrange for him and Uncle Gus to talk about security cells later. I only know medical restraints, and I don't think anything I have at hand would be able to keep up with Wolfie's metabolism. He is off chicken for a bit, I think, but was able to eat a respectable amount of bauernfruhstuck with a side of sticky buns for the first time in a while. Good thing Bunică came by to help Mrs Parks with the kitchen duties in the small hours of the morning, what with trying to feed and provision everyone to be ready by daybreak.

Bunică managed to save a dozen sticky buns to send to Anya for helping out. Interesting that all she had to say was "They are for Anya" and Wolfie left them alone. He even added a bowl of whortleberries to the basket before he left to pack. His first reflex to pack for a scientific field trip was deflected by Papa turning out his pack, and taking out half the empty sampling vials, replacing weight-for-weight with field rations and the trail kit. Wolfie added the slingshot and the shepherd's sling on his own.

I headed back to the lab again and slept. It's gotten to the point I sleep better with the hum of Father's machinery in the background. No word back from him, but with the aetheric transmitter, we don't always match times anymore - but at least I get to talk to him and my sibs occasionally. I drifted off organizing my next report for him.

I woke briefly when Manager Lunar came in. There's another kettle of trouble, but even as a teen-aged human, he knows which things to leave alone. It was safe enough for me to doze off again until I heard the clatter of someone unused to the stairs past the decontamination field across the door. The newcomer who is not Zaide was downstairs. I moved silently to the edge of the sleeping loft to watch and listen.

The offhand way the Manager rattled off decades of the Foundation history rankled a bit, but seen from the outside, by a human in hormonal fluctuation, it was mostly accurate. Just leaving out huge chunks of boring incidentals that made the family history. My family history. I waited and watched the newcomer as Lunar left.

15 July 2009

Esoteric Ailments in Possible Neophyte Shapeshifters

At least it was not rabies. Even with what I have learned at the Infirmary, that is a blessing.

Though he has not shown any tendencies to the clan side of his background, my mentors were afraid what he might have gotten in that bite. He might only have the empathic resonances, which would be a good thing - he needs to learn control though. The library is extensive, but with as many planes as the clans travel, we cannot be experts on everything. What we have is likely as much medical knowledge Sheriff Ortegavich has of the condition, but honestly, it it likely to be less.

On the other hand, he has not had any accompanying infections, and the stability of form has not been breached. Wolfgang is going through the normal changes human children go through, which includes increased hirsuteness, and some personality changes. Some of these have accelerated, with the nocturnal wanderings, and his changes in appetite. He never much cared for vegetables before, and one expects an interest in less-processed meat as the palate matures, but usually that is also accompanied by a broadening of diet, not restriction to carnivore.

This goes without mentioning what one can see when perched in the topmost branches of a large oak tree, or when one is hovering above it.

11 July 2009

Not Dead

Though it has been close a couple of times.

I have not been able to write about losing so many family members. Being unable to save siblings, not being able to help when the battles here were at the same time as battles on clan borders...

Losing contact with a parent, when he is so far off that letters will take ages to find him, if they do at all.

Gaining a grandparent only to lose him so quickly.

Out of five parents, there is only one grandparent and one step-grandparent left... and now the business with my half-brother.

Father, I don't have experience with this sort of medicine, and neither do Mama or Vater... and Da's healing knowledge does not help as much either.

I miss you.

26 April 2009

Checking in

Dangerous, but I checked in with Vater and Papa.

Miss Genie is just not right, considering what I heard about her settlement offer.

Met with a member of the blood. Really not what I expected.

We need to find Father and cure him. That poison is not helping at all.

Zaide is going to help, and this time, I think it is the right sort of help.

Got to find Bubbe's books, now.

23 April 2009


found Koen

we are hiding

the kim chee is about to get very deep, but it will be worse if they find him