the real universe is always one step beyond logic

POSTED: Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:31 pm

It was storming when he left the cave, staggering like a drunkard and bleeding from deep gashes left by the coyote. There was equally as much damage done by the mine's collapse as the fight, though O'Riley had the luck of the devil and had escaped the worst of this. He knew something was wrong, though – his chest ached and breathing hurt. His whole throat hurt, though this certainly had as much to do with the great arching wound the coyote's teeth had ripped open.

Had the urgency of getting away not been so great he might have remained in the dry refuge his twice-used killing ground provided, but O'Riley was driven by an instinctive need. Measured by a subconscious fear of discovery, he walked through the rain and thunder until a rocky alcove low in the mountains foothills provided him cover. There he collapsed and could not fight off the grappling hold that rest demanded, and slept fitfully through the storm.

There were, of course, others out there.

O'Riley had feared allies of the coyote finding him, but it was his own which now traveled over the mountain. The big fluffy wolfdog seemed less certain of himself on the narrow paths and so avoided them. He had waited out the rain, and when O'Riley had still not returned grown concerned. When his cousin could not be found, Igor set out on his own to the places they most frequented. All of these had been without sign, and this was what eventually drove him to the further reaches where the Erilaz was known to traverse.

Igor had been surprised to find Neith in the hills, but impressed the urgency of his situation upon the higher-ranked doctor. Together they covered more ground, though it was a search without clear understanding – Igor could not explain what O'Riley was doing (he didn't know) and grew more anxious and irritable as their task began to look impractical.

Everybody hit the ground
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Salsola
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Mel
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POSTED: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:01 am

The storm found him before he returned to Salsola from his wayward studies; it was anticipated in the sky for some time beforehand, but its proximity went underestimated. The young doctor dawdled under cover while he waited for it to pass, turning increasingly dampened pages of his sketchbook, until an individual he vaguely recognized as a fellow Salsolan interrupted, bemoaning a disappearance of the Erilaz. Not eager but sympathetically compliant, the doctor joined him in his search, leaving behind only his books under cover for a later dry collection.

To Igor, the doctor likely appeared level-headed and rational despite the relative emergency that was a potentially missing Salsolan leader. There were many reasons for this, least of all Neith’s quiet distaste for the Eternity—but more relevantly, wasn't O'Riley trained as a scout or something?

The storm passed with their search, washing away any helpful scents or sights with the wind and rain. With fortune, Igor identified the alcove from a distance, wherein the two discovered a collapsed and wounded O’Riley. Without speaking, Neith set to his work, first by assuring a pulse and second by palpating carefully through the double-coat at his throat, searching for the source of such blood volume.

The bruises and cuts Neith could handle. The wound at the throat of the Erilaz? The doctor had not treated so sensitive a place before. But the wound was intriguing, and the Heiwa calculating; he scoured his experiences and studes in his mind and decided the best place to begin was cleaning. He requested for Igor to wet a rag with rainwater, and while he was done, the doctor pulled and sliced away intrusive furs at the victim’s throat with a knife to get a better look. Once cleaned, he worked in an anxious silence, wholly stone-faced and absorbed.

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Lin
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POSTED: Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:44 pm

True to form, his impulse upon being found was to bare his teeth and snarl. It was only Igor's pacifying voice that managed to sooth him, but not before he took one vicious snap at his cousin's extended hand. Luckily for them both he missed.

Awake enough to recognize he was in safe hands, O'Riley began to slip. He drifted in and out of awareness – conscious, suffering – and breathed in a heavy, forced manner. All parts of him hurt. Neith's touch was familiar enough that he could trust it not to cause further harm. Even if he doubted the man's personal opinion about him, Igor's presence surely meant that no funny business could take place.

Igor should have been there earlier, O'Riley thought sourly, but the cave was secret and personal to him and he wanted to keep it that way.

Situated between the men inside the little alcove and the world beyond, Igor's bristling frame reflected his own anxiety over the matter. He winced each time O'Riley make a noise (most of them were painful grunts and growls) and wrung his fingers like he ought to be doing something.

How bad? He asked.

Everybody hit the ground
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POSTED: Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:51 pm

The Erilaz snapped at the bystander, but not the doctor himself. His touch was recognized, or so Neith guessed, and thanked his sister’s gods not lose any fingers to his work. He needed each of them. The Heiwa rolled up his sleeves and set to work.

Consciousness came and went for the wounded O’Riley. The doctor maintained a keen awareness of this but paid no intervention, for the Erilaz fidgeted with pain whenever consciousness neared or persisted. More than once, Neith paused and waited for O’Riley to fade away once more, if only out of mercy for the physical stitching and searching and adjusting necessary for the doctor to help him. Best to save the worst parts for when O’Riley could not feel them.

He winged it, mostly. When prompted by Igor, the doctor replied, “Bad enough,” and left it at that. He had faith O’Riley would recover, for the Erilaz had far too much will to live, but Neith hadn’t faith in his own abilities. He was experienced to a length. He could stitch and block bleeding. But a wound to the throat shook the doctor, and despite a proud reputation against squeamishness, Neith found himself avoiding looking too hard at the mangling left behind. Surely some of this would scar.

By the time the bleeding was under control and he had performed all he knew to do throughout the Erilaz’s variety of cuts and bruises, Neith had but a sliver more faith in the proceedings. His hands bloodied and consciousness fuzzied by stress, the doctor rose and stepped back.

“He should pull through, but I’m not confident,” he said to Igor, hands held up to avoid spreading the Eternity’s blood any further onto his already stained clothing. “I’ve never treated someone in this condition before. He’ll need rest and something for the pain. A lot of it.”

Against his better judgment, the doctor glanced to Igor and continued, "I want him in my clinic. There's still more I need to do and monitor." He wasn't used to pulling rank, but— "Would you be able to carry him?"

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Lin
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POSTED: Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:50 pm

I think so. He is heavy. Going will be slow, Igor admitted. He was cautious in his approach, but O'Riley was all but asleep by this point. Shock and adrenaline had gotten him this far, but exhausted as he was the Erilaz could no longer retain consciousness.

There were no dreams in this dark place. He stirred when Igor hoisted him into his arms, and proved to be difficult to maneuver with his neck so damaged. With some advice from Neith and brute strength on Igor's part, they managed to find the best way to get O'Riley off the mountain. The going was slow. Every so often O'Riley would jolt awake, only for Igor and Neith to calm his reactive mind. Pain made everything very difficult, and when he was awake he became awfully aware of it.

Over long miles and under this stop-and-go process that was dictated by Neith's careful eyes, the trio managed to get back to Salsola's clinic. Igor remained but lingered near the door, obviously concerned about being seen. O'Riley's injuries were serious, and this made him vulnerable. That made all of them vulnerable.

Everybody hit the ground
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POSTED: Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:30 pm

It was a slow crawl, getting O’Riley back into safe territory and beyond any curious or concerned Salsolan eyes who may have witnessed their passing. Neith patched up what concerns he had remaining with his full quantity of supplies at hand, then left the Erilaz to rest on the clinic cot while the doctor paced the front room and thought aloud to himself.

“Even asleep, he’s suffering.” The dark, O’Riley-loathing place in his heart had been rarely but sufficiently silenced, this time in favor of intellectual pursuits. This was a unique patient, a unique case, unique wounds he was not certain how to proced with. The stress of pain would not do well for the healing process, and a poor healing process meant the Erilaz would be in his clinic longer than absolutely necessary. Silenced or not, that loathing place in his heart still recognized this as non-ideal.

Neith paused, mid-step, thinking. What was it Sally had said? “Painkiller and a good nap.

“I’ve never administered it before, but... But I’ve a small amount of opium. I’m told it will help with the pain.” He connected eyes with Igor, reading the wolfdog’s interpretation of this news through body language. “I’m not even certain I’ve extracted it correctly. Worst case, it does nothing.”

He put water to boil at the makeshift furnace near the back of his home, ground a light amount of ingredients in the meantime, and combined them into a tea. Mug in hand, he drew in a deep breath and gestured to Igor. “We pour this down his throat now, I suppose. Come, I’ll need your help.”

It would be a hell of a risk, but the prospect of testing a months-old hypothesis muted any doubts in his mind.

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Lin
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POSTED: Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:40 pm

The foreigner did understand. Opium was a devil's dreaming thing, made from plants and designed to rip feeling from the body. As a boy he could remember seeing sailors and hearing warnings about supposed-dens were these shark-eyed folk seemed to gather. It came from all over the world – he knew this much. It was difficult to make and terribly potent.

Neith had done everything right so far, though.

Frightened by the prospect of making a decision with consequences, Igor surrendered to his superior's instructions with the same blind faith that had seen him cross the ocean.

O'Riley was in a state of light-sleep when Igor wrestled his mouth open. It was a task that he loathed all at once, feeling his cousin try to buck beneath him, knowing that if O'Riley could remember this he would make his life miserable for it, but wanting terribly to do the right thing for him all the same. A horrible braying snarl was the most noise O'Riley managed to make before Neith poured the tincture into his gaping maw.

He coughed and sputtered and drank it down.

Though he managed to stay awake long enough to growl horrendously at the both of them, the opium worked its way into his blood and with this, finally dragged him into a deep, dark sleep.

Everybody hit the ground
avatar art: alaine

Salsola
The Erilaz
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Mel
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