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Jun 23, 2021 7:45 PM
Julie has a medical emergency. And several other emergencies.
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It reacts. All across her body, it flinches and races away from the touch of her magic, spreads out, is suddenly harder to see. Julie gasps. 

The crystal in her foot - dies, or goes dormant, or something; the life force doesn't seem entirely absent but it's much much weaker, barely perceptible. 

 

 

I'm gonna guess, Julie tries to think-say, that no one has invented pain meds better than booze yet? Because - I'd take some of that.

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:- We have better drugs for pain than that. I don't have any on me. I should - hmm...: 

She sits back on her heels. :I should check the woman who touched you, and then - figure out a way of transporting you without anyone touching you. And a place to put you...we'll have to ask someone to offer a room... If we get a litter over here, think you can crawl or roll onto it without help?: 

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Yes. The not being able to stand up isn't the infection - well, she doesn't know that it's unrelated, but everyone has trouble standing up if they spend a couple years in space and the last couple months neglecting their cardio entirely and then don't even take anything for blood pressure when they land - she's plenty mobile she just shouldn't stand up. 

Alternately they could get a vac suit out of the ship and she could be kept in that, it's airtight obviously, though it's going to have, like, four hours of oxygen.

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:Hmm I - think we should wait on using that until we really need it?: Shavri isn't quite following the reasoning behind the time constraint, but 'about four candlemarks' comes across. :Can you just sit tight, try to sip some water - go slowly - and I'll set something up for moving you -:

Shavri stops, frowns.

:...Oh, just had a thought, I can check -: 

She leans forward, focuses her Sight on the little pool of mostly-just-water vomit now soaking into the flattened wheat-stalks. Is there any sign of the separate foreign life-force in it? 

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Yep! Just the slightest traces of it, but it's there.

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:- All right, it's in your bodily fluids. So we're going to have to be really careful with that: Shavri glances around. :Will you be all right if I leave you here for a few minutes while I sort out, er, what to do?: 

 

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Well someone had better do that and Julie doesn't really feel up to it. 

 

I could go back in the ship? she thinks in case it's helpful? Probably could use the engine to sterilize this patch of soil though maybe need to eat something first.

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:Will it grow in the soil if we leave it, do you think? Or does it need people or animals' bodies?: 

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If this place is like Earth there'll be little animals in the soil. She doesn't know how the thing spreads, exactly, but if it were her planet she wouldn't chance it.

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:- Then I guess we'd better be as careful as we can. And - gods - make it up to the poor farmers somehow...: 

She stands up. :You just hang tight, then, drink some water. I'll go back to town and figure things out, and I'll send someone back with food: 

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Do the farmers not have insurance. She has no idea when that was invented, she's not really a big history person. She's pretty sure Basic is more recent than fields of wheat but insurance is a lot older than Basic.

 

She's too tired to think about this. 

Except what if she doesn't get less tired than this, since she's dying, and she's going to have to think about this while this tired, or else maybe fuck up and destroy this planet and everyone on it. 

 

I'll get back on the ship, she thinks at magic medtech, and does that.

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Shavri goes back to the farmers, hovering anxiously by their cottage. 

Before anything else, she asks the farmwife who touched the new-arrived stranger to come forward, and checks the woman over with her Sight. Any hints of a second, alien lifeforce there? 

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At least ONE thing is going well. Shavri sags in relief, and smiles at the woman. "You're fine. You didn't catch it."

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And then she remembers the second part, and her smile fades. "Just...we...I..." 

Her courage fails her, and she looks down at the ground rather than meeting the family's eyes. "We need to burn the field. Just to be safe. I'm sorry - we'll figure something out for you, for winter - just, this - disease - is really bad, and we can't let it spread. I'm sorry." 

She flees before she can make it any worse. 

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The tavern-keeper has a back room he uses to store grain and root vegetables, with its own door opening to an alleyway. He agrees - reluctantly, under rather a lot of pressure, and only with the promise that Shavri knows the Queen and can make sure he gets some taxes off this year once the Heralds learn of this threat - to empty it and offer it as a sickroom where they can keep the poor woman isolated from the rest of the town. 

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Shavri feels incredibly out of her depth with this sort of negotiation, but she bulls through it, running on the same sort of stubbornness that she pulls out when patients just won't. listen. and stop doing things that are going to kill them. 

She explains the setup she needs to the tavern-keeper's wife and daughters, who start hauling crates and sacks out, and bring in a straw-ticking mattress to lay on the floor. On top of a canvas sheet stolen from the awning, waterproofed with pitch, because it'll be a lot less costly to burn just a mattress than an entire inn. She doesn't know if the thing can eat wood. 

Shavri leaves them to it, and in one final, exhausting argument, talks the cheesemonger into letting her 'borrow' his cart, lined with the second half of the inn's awning. She doesn't tell him that she may end up having to burn it; that sounds like a longer argument than she has the energy for right now. 

Carrying a loaf of bread and a skin of apple cider - neither her first preference to feed an invalid, but they're what she could obtain quickly - she remounts her mare and treks back out to the field. 

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Julie has crawled back into her ship to lie on the floor and cry, which is kind of a waste of time but it's really really hard to pick her head up and do anything else. She keeps trying to motivate herself to do it by telling herself that this might be the best she will ever feel for the rest of her life, which will be measured in days, but it's not motivating at all.

 

Eventually she drags herself into her chair and gets the computers to simulate what'll happen if she turns the drive on in atmosphere to fry this field really thoroughly. What'll happen is that she will also fry the poor nearby town, and she gets the sense they can't exactly afford that, so she tries checking whether the thrusters can do it.

A voice in her head says that it's worth doing the more thorough way even if it burns down the town but -  she ignores voices in her head that are persuasive the same way her father is. 

 

When Shavri comes back she is slumped against the screen, pressing buttons and sipping water and blasting very loud breakup music since the computers didn't have music that was exactly appropriate for this.

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Shavri can't decide if she likes the music or not, but it's definitely intriguing and she wants Vanyel's opinion - which is off topic and can WAIT. 

:I have a wagon to bring you back to town: she tells Julie. :With a tarp just in case you vomit again and the disease - weapon -: it really needs a better name, :...anyway if that doesn't work, we'll burn it too. And I evacuated a room for you. It's not much but there's a bed: for some definition of bed, :and I can treat you there. Also I got food: 

She sets the basket with the bread and cider on the ground, and backs off. 

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Mmmhmmm. 

Do you need me to burn the field or have you got that.

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:How hot a fire does it need? If we just - set it on fire normally, is that enough?: Shavri looks dubiously at the green wheat. :It's not the most flammable time of year. But I guess we could heap kindling on the spot we want burned in particular: 

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I don't actually know anything about the weapon. We were trying to recover a sample so we could learn this stuff. But - I can't use the drive in-atmosphere or I'll burn down your village but even the thrusters burn a lot hotter than, like, a wood fire.

 

 

She should know the numbers offhand but her head is swimming again; she checks the computer. 

 

3500K. Which is to say, uh, lots hotter.

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Shavri doesn't know how to interpret that number. 

:How, um, dangerous is that. I - don't want to burn down their house either, they've lost so much already...: 

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That's what I was checking, I was having the computers show me what it'd burn. It won't directly burn down the house but I guess fires...spread...and you don't have fire suppressants yet?

 

 

And then her vision blacks out, and she makes an irritated sound and flops her head on the console.

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Going into the ship is...probably a bad idea? The woman will have touched lots of things in it. But also she's getting pretty worried. 

Shavri hovers, anxious and indecisive. :Hey. You still with me?: 

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