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Jan 27, 2021 7:58 AM
mid-Angband Kib lands on Leareth
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<Is he injured.> 

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<- Er, yes, Helga says he's in bad shape, she wanted to get him out of here right away.> 

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<I see.> There's a ten-second pause while Leareth tries to tally up the considerations here. On the one hand it doesn't seem like there's a particular reason to think the boy is dangerous; on the other hand, nothing about this makes any sense and Leareth is instinctively alarmed by situations not making sense. 

<Bring him to the Healers' station at the third backup staging-point.> That facility is small, underground, and not currently in use for anything highly sensitive. <Focus on treating his injuries for now. Keep me updated if anything changes, otherwise I will come in the morning.> 

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<Er, all right, thank you.> 

The mage looks helplessly at his colleague. "Third backup staging-point, which one is that again?" 

    "It's the one on the east side. I've been - are we Gating there?" 

"Sounds like it." Shortly later there's another Gate, and a very confused night sentry on the other side of it.

     "What–"

"It's complicated. We need the Healers' station." He glances over his shoulder. "Helga, you need help carrying him." 

     "I could use a hand." He doesn't look that heavy but she's a small woman. 

They haul the sleeping boy through the Gate, which involves being uncomfortably close to the SCREAMING, and then the other mage replaces the sound barrier and they leave him on the floor and wait until the Healers from on site, rudely awakened less than two minutes ago but handling it with reasonable grace, bring a stretcher to carry him to the station. They ease him from there onto a bed and then look at him. 

     "He's pretty dehydrated," Helga says, "we should get some fluids into him." She isn't expecting much cooperation with this, but starts trying to gently poke the boy awake. 

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She can get a flicker of consciousness, but he's really far too tired to stay awake for anything short of an actual stab with a sharp implement. His eyelids flutter and he goes back to sleep and SCREAMING.

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They are not going to stab him with sharp implements. They try propping him up and nudging him just awake enough to swallow spoonfuls of water. 

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Once they actually get some water in his mouth he will wake up enough to blearily spot the nearest cupful, grab it, chug it, and fall back asleep.

This time he doesn't immediately start screaming again.

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That's a relief. They'll let him sleep for a while, he desperately needs it, and get to work on Healing his injuries. Though they'll be able to make more progress once they've gotten him to eat too, Healing takes energy from the patient as well as the Healer and he really hasn't been eating enough before this. Some soup is obtained to be on standby for whenever he wakes up spontaneously. 

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He sleeps for 14 hours. There are a couple more periods of screaming and times when he just murmurs foreign words in his sleep. He wakes up.

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He's in a comfortable bed, the worst of his injuries have been healed, and a lanky red-haired man is sitting at his bedside. He smiles reassuringly. "Do you speak Valdemaran?" he asks. 

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He doesn't answer the question (because he doesn't speak Valdemaran). He looks faintly repulsed by the presence of the lanky red-haired man.

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He tries a few other languages with less and less expectation that any will be understood, and then shrugs and points at himself. "Landry." He points at the boy and makes a questioning face. 

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Eyeroll.

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The Healer shrugs and, rather than pursuing this further, offers him a bowl of soup and a spoon. 

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He will eat the soup. He is not happy about it but he gets through it pretty fast.

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He can have a cup of water too, the jug is here within reach on the bedside table. Landry the Healer attempts to convey, by miming, that he can ask for more soup if he wants it by miming that; he's not at all sure he succeeds and it's unclear the boy is even trying to understand him. 

He gets up and opens the door and calls out to someone else, and shortly later a dark-haired woman comes in. 

:Can you understand me?: she says in Mindspeech; she's a strong enough Mindspeaker to manage it with un-Gifted people. She's also reading all of his surface thoughts to gauge his reaction. 

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He is not especially repulsed by there being a dark-haired woman around. It transpires that actually he has a firmly ingrained habit of separating every thought he thinks into two categories, one intended for sharing and one not; he thinks of the sharing-thoughts as being bright, made of little dots of moving colored light, and the private-thoughts as being made of shadows. He replies Yes in the first idiom. In the second he is thinking that they haven't tried this before except he wouldn't remember would he and he should stop thinking about it because that can't possibly help.

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The red-haired Healer leaves. 

:My name is Tarla: the woman says. :I'm a Healer. So, you seem to have spontaneously teleported somehow to a - secret facility, nearish here, which set off some alarms so we went and picked you up last night. We're trying to understand how you got here, and - where you got here from, and whether we should be worrying about, er, pursuit from that quarter. It's fine if you're not up for answering some questions just yet, but we're very confused and it'd be helpful to know more context: 

She will grab as much of said context as she can from his thoughts regardless of whether he answers. 

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:There was a snake monster: he tells her with a sort of idleness that suggests he only answered because restraining the comment would have been harder. Again, he's thinking. He has no idea where this is pretending to be and that is how he wants it. He is not planning to compose an explanation of snake monsters.

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:Er, is it usual for snake monsters to result in you being teleported somewhere random? I've never heard of the concept: 

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He does not dignify that with a response. They already know all this, they're just trying to make him engage with the scenario.

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This is baffling and concerning and it's starting to seem like getting answers to their ever-building pile of questions is going to be even harder than she thought. 

She sighs. :I'll let you rest. May I do a bit more Healing now?:

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:You can do whatever you want: he says. Statement of fact, but it'll double as permission if - he forces down the train of thought.

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Wow this is really disturbing, why did she have to get mindreading duty. :Thank you: she says, and rests her hand on his shoulder. 

Healing doesn't hurt, at least not when it's done skillfully, but it does feel like something; there's a sort of tingling, the sensation of warm-then-cold delicately touching various bits of his insides, soothing away the remaining aches and pains one at a time. If he's paying enough attention, he'll be able to notice the remaining minor cuts and bruises that weren't dealt with earlier now changing colour and fading. 

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He is not paying attention at all. He is closing his eyes and lying there and focusing on not having any thoughts. Sometimes he counts to very high numbers in his head.

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