[Junk XIII] Exams (J 8-2, S 8-1)

edited January 2014 in Junkworld XIII

The next morning you rose to find Parfait in a very sour mood. Not angry, just sad, untouchably sad and withdrawn. Ro accompanied you to the infirmary, which takes up half of an entire level. As soon as you step off the lift, you know you're in a remarkably clean and well-kept place. There is an almost oppressive smell of bleach and cleaning chemicals, like its been recently scrubbed down inch by inch.

The place is very busy, you can hear a number of patients talking, some in the halls. You see Omo first, she's moving from room to room with a cart full of meds. She looks up and sees you, her mouth drops. "Jack? Ro? Gods... its been forever!"

What do you do?


  • Dear gods, it smells like a plaguepool in here. How can people work here? Let alone recover from serious injuries? ... At the very least, I suppose it means the place is clean. That is good. I have Parfait's arm in mine, even though I know she's too distant to be reached right now by such a gesture. It is important for me.

    My eyebrows rise when I spot Omo, and release a single surprised laugh, "Omo!" Wow... She looks to be in reasonably good shape, considering she just had twins! Or... Is that a result of being with a gang of starving women? Well, either way, she appears to be in good condition now. "The candies told me you were working here, I had no idea you were a nurse though."
  • Omo comes up and hugs Ro first, then sort of hovers near you, seeing Parfait and not wanting to get in the way or something. "Yeah, been here for a little bit. Rinso and I are swamped with work, but it keeps my babies fed, and it reminds me of the Valley. Member how I told you I liked hanging out at Doc's? He was always nice to me. Well, for Doc."

    "You were Doc's pet and you know it, Omo." Ro chides.

    "Maybe so. Maybe so. Hey," she says to Parfait with a grin, "I'm sure you can tell I'm Omo. Nice to meet you."

    "Parfait." she replies.
  • edited January 2014
    I smile and put my arm around Parfait, and rub her shoulder protectively before addressing Omo, "apologies my dear — my wife, Parfait, isn't feeling very well. Payday mentioned you'd had babies — twins, if I'm not mistaken? Congratulations! ... We're here looking for some assistance in a medical matter... But perhaps once we've sorted this all out, if you are free later, we could catch up?"
  • "Catching up would be great! But you're here for a medical thing?" Omo asks, shifting the conversation suddenly, as she is wont to do. She motions her head towards one of the rooms nearby, an examination room behind a white curtain, "Come over here, let's get you taken care of. Who needs help? Just head over to sit on that exam table and let me get some information. I won't stick ya with anything, don't worry."

    The examination room has a grey table with cushions on top and it's covered by a long sheet of paper. There are pictures of human anatomy on the walls in odd cartoons, like cross-sections of the body parts. Lots of words about sickness, articles, too. A few small cabinets and some machines, for the exams needed, most likely.

    Omo pulls out a tablet from a drawer, powers it up with a swipe, and stands ready to take down whatever details from whoever. Parfait pauses, a little unsure about all this.

    What do you do?
  • I follow Omo into the side room, inviting Ro to join us, and help Parfait up onto the table. I don't hesitate when she asks for information... This is why we came here, and I won't leave without getting treatment. "Parfait is your patient. She is very healthy, about a year younger than I am, and ... oh... I would say a little under 2 months pregnant?" I look to her for confirmation before continuing, "She suffers from a condition ... Uh... I cannot name it, as it was never named for me, but it is characterized by extreme swings in mood, varying over the period of a few months, and can leave her anywhere from ecstatically happy, to emotionally drained and depressed."

    I hold Parfait's hand, and add, "I was told someone here could help us maintain her moods. That there was a way to help mitigate the severity of her attacks, and relieve her when she has them."
  • Omo diligently enters the information into the tablet. She's quick as a cat with the swipes and the typing, flowing through menus and windows and tables. She asks some questions of Parfait about her pregnancy, gets monosyllabic answers from her.

    The exam starts off getting a baseline on her current state of health, heart rate, weight, a quick scan of her for measurements, all kinds of different pieces of data stored in that little tablet. Each question, each touch or direction seems to bother Parfait more and more. The sheer alien-ness of this place is beginning to really freak her out, Jack.

    Omo either doesn't notice, or maybe its just that you know your wife so well. Ro seems worried, but well, he's been worried this whole time, for both of you.

    What do you do?
  • I hold a hand up when I notice Parfait is reaching her tipping point, and whisper, "Omo, my dear... Could we perhaps take a short break? This is all very foreign to Parfait... She grew up in a very small village where technology, and medical care like this is completely foreign..."
  • Omo's jaw drops a little, embarrassed. "Oh frak! I'm sorry! I just, all this drek is new to me, too, really. The nurse drek. I just, wanted to do it quick." She puts a hand on Parfait's arm in apology.

    Parfait shrinks back, "Please don't."

    That gets to Omo. She licks her lips, thinking, "Hey, I'll just step out for a few, check on some other patients. We're on water rations, so I can't offer you anything to drink right now, I'm sorry. I just... I'll be right back. Take it easy." She leaves.

    Parfait looks to you as soon as she's gone, "This is bad, Jack. This place is wrong. We should go."
  • I sigh, admittedly a little relieved that Omo's stopped poking and prodding my wife... I turn to Ro quickly before answering Parfait, "Ro... Could you please let Omo know this is nothing personal? I just need a moment with Parfait..."

    Presuming Ro agrees, I'll turn to Parfait and drop to my knees, taking her hands in mine, and kissing them tenderly. "Parfait, my love — you could not be more right about this place... There was a great evil here, and echoes of it still remain — but the whispers told me I needed to bring you here, for the safety of our child. I'm sorry I keep bringing these burdens down on you — but it breaks my heart to see you suffer."

    I look up into her eyes, and whisper, "I will protect you both from the evil here. Please, my love... How can I convince you to stay? For the good of yourself, and our child?"
  • Parfait looks at you with weary, watery eyes, "Jack... I just do not trust this place, or these people. Omo was one of the Candies..." It's like she has more to say, but she slumps.

    I want to see the dice decide this. Manipulate Parfait into submitting further exams. Make it, and she'll put up with it. Fail, and putting up with it will cost you, or you can let her leave (and leave with her).
  • Good gods, why is this so hard? This requires no thought — Parfait needs to be here for the good of our son... We need to do this. Why the hell is it so difficult to say we need to stay?

    I take a deep, cleansing breath, and whisper, "my love... Trust in me."
  • OOC: Manipulating Parfait. Roll+Hot.
    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 4, 4. Total: 9)
  • She looks at you for a moment with those weary eyes, "But Jack, I am not sick... I am me." She breaks eye contact, looking down, away from you.

    "Promise our son is not born here, in this smelly metal cave." She says it as she draws herself in, trying to pull away from your grasp, "Promise he will be born on the road, between places, between worlds." She lies down on the exam table, turning away from you, her body slack now. "Just... not here. Please."
  • That first bit hurt quite a bit... I feel my eyes misting up a bit, as I reconsider keeping her here. It takes me a good long while to remind myself that this is not a question of identity — Parfait starves herself, and cannot find the will to rise from bed for days on end. I know she is mind-sick, and I see the effects it has on her. I was told explicitly by the doctor in Boomtown to help her avoid any stresses possible. This temporary discomfort will help keep her happy. I want her to be happy. That has to be at the forefront of my mind.

    I stand up and reach over her side to take her hand. I whisper softly, "do you remember what I said back in Trench? Our son will be born at a time and place of his choosing — and if he is anything like his beautiful mother, that will be in the middle of an empty field, miles away from the nearest part of civilization." I kiss her cheek, "and I will take you there. And I will watch over you. And I will love you both, as you are, until the last bit of life leaves me... But you are unhappy, my dear, and it breaks my heart. You are suffering. I crave your beautiful smile like nothing else. Please... Do this for us?"
  • She doesn't respond. She doesn't pull away her hand, she just lies there, withdrawn.

    Omo and Ro return, and Omo stops asking questions, just works through what she can of the exam silently. Parfait sniffs a few times, lying there and letting Omo do what she wants to her body. It's pitiful, the inexperienced Omo trying her best to be thorough and Parfait lying there sobbing quietly.

    Ro shifts uncomfortably, and he ends up rubbing at his eyes. It doesn't hit him as hard as you, but you can tell this is not what he expected.

    It feels like an eternity, but ends up being maybe fifteen minutes before Omo finally says in a slightly dejected tone, "Well, that's it for now. You can rest here, Parfait. Thanks for your help." She steps back, then leaves, telling you she'll give the info to the doctor and to wait. Then it's just you three.

    What do you do?
  • I nod thankfully to Omo, my mouth drawn into a tight line — a feeble attempt at concealing my concern. "Thank you, Omo," I whisper, "I know this was difficult — but I know you can help us, and that this is for the best." I agree to wait for the doctor, and wipe some moisture from my eye before before facing Ro.

    "Thank you for being here... You don't have to stay, if you're uncomfortable, but you don't know what it's meant having you here."
  • Ro's voice cracks when he replies, "It's alright, Jack. I won't abandon my friends." He swallows, then rubs his eyes a bit more.

    And you wait...
  • After a seeming forever, you hear a familiar male voice, "Hey folks, sorry it's taking so long. The doc has a bunch of patients lined up today..."

    You had your back to him, but you know who it is. Ro calls out, "Rinso? Whoah, man, it IS you!"

    You turn to see big Rinso in a white uniform that's a little tight on him. He looks at Ro, but then glances over at you. His face splits into a grin, "Jack!" He rushes forward, on two very strong, healthy legs, and scoops you into a bear hug in powerful, uninjured arms. "Gods above and below, I can't believe it! Jack!" Then he laughs his deep laugh that vibrates through you.

    What do you do?
  • The smell of bleach is offensive, and nauseating. I find myself kissing Parfait's shoulder simply to fill my nose with her sweet scent. I wonder if places like this exist on the old world — and can't help at how mortified people must have been if their doctors were unable to see them in the space of a moment. If a doctor is outnumbered here ten-to-one hundred, then what would a doctor on the old world be outnumbered by? Ten-to-one thousand? Ten thousand? More? Surely there could not be that many doctors...

    I'm rubbing Parfait's bicep with my thumb, and humming a lullaby Parfait sang to me in the bunker to distract me from the whispers here, when that man's voice booms through the room. My grip tightens and I cut the song short in the middle of a bar. I freeze, instinctively bracing for another gunshot — given the strength of his hug when I spin around to face him, I think I may have not been much worse off had he shot me.

    I suck in a painful breath through clenched teeth, and laugh nervously when he lets me down. "Good gods, Rinso — it's what miracles have the doctors here done? It's like you were never touched!"
  • Rinso recognizes that you winced pretty quick, and he put you down, gently, "Jack, are you hurt? I thought the girl was the one here for Stitch?"
  • I nod with a pained smile, "apologies — she is, but I'm recovering from a gunshot wound... Aquafina does not share in your generous opinion of me, you see. I'll be fine. My wife Parfait, Ro, and a young lady named Topps took good care of me."

    I raise a hand to dismiss the subject, and pat him on the shoulder, "so you obviously survived! I saw Kiddo on the road — she mentioned being thankful for your return. I take it things are going well then?"
  • Rinso grins wide, "Yeah, thanks to you, we both made it. Kiddo an' I are working things out. VB's in the mix, but it's better than it ever was before. A hundred times. Got some perspective. Almost dyin does that, ya know? Well, of course you know, Jack." He cocks his head, "What did Aqua do? She shot you?!?"

    "Yeah, Rinso, she did. No reason, just up and shot him at Armour," Ro answers.

    "Damn, Jack," Rinso says, looking ashamed, "I'm sorry that happened. I talked to her. All the way up to the Ascendant. I thought... I thought she'd get over it. She was so crazy about that, like she kept saying she was completely betrayed. Didn't make much sense, but I let her talk it out. Thought it would calm her. But it never did, really."
  • I smile, pleased that they are working things out, and cock an eyebrow at his almost disappointed inclusion of VB in the relationship... Kiddo found another lover, I suppose? Interesting. She always did have very diverse tastes...

    I sigh, and rub the stubble on my chin at the mention of Aquafina shooting me "for no reason"... That's not entirely accurate. I nod approvingly of Rinso's attempt to council Aqua on the ride up to the Ascendant — I suppose giving him the jingle probably gave him a different perspective on the matter. "I appreciate that," I say in a low voice, "but she believes me to be a "Wendy" — a monstrous creature that eats children, and rapes innocent people on the road." I sigh, "it is difficult to help someone recover from that..."
  • "Well, I know who you are, and hell, Aqua should, too." Rinso assures you. "You helped me at Cat, again at Oasis, then out there with those Wendys, man. You're a real friend. Hey, you want me to look at your wound? I've got some first aid training now." He takes your arm, guides you over to the chair you and Ro have been pacing around. Do you let him?
  • I am a little too anxious to sit at the moment, but... "Well, the wound is mostly healed, but I suppose I shouldn't turn down the opportunity to have it checked out."
  • Rinso helps you work up the shirt and takes a look. He checks around the wound, and makes a few notes. "You're coming along, but there's still risk of infection. I'll get you ome sterilized bandages and an ointment."

    After that, Rinso stands up, "I'll get your stuff now, the doc should be in soon. Sorry for the wait."
  • I nod thankfully, and put down my shirt. "Thank you, Rinso."
  • Stitch,

    Half an hour ago, Omo brought you a brand new file on a patient named Parfait. The details are sketchy, but Omo's notes say she's pregnant, which is rare, of course, and that she's mind-sick somehow. Wild emotion swings, that kind of stuff. The person who checked her in is a guy named Jack.

    Rinso just came up to interrupt you with a patient. What were you doing with them? He says, "Stitch, when you get free. My buddy Jack, the guy who saved me from some Wendys, he needs to see you."

    What do you do?
  • I nod at Rinso, barely glancing up from the chart. It's sort of an unofficial rule that pregnancies take priority over non-life-threatening things. I make my way over to the exam room and my stomach growls- I let the kids eat most of the food. Saff never would have eaten anything if she'd known I went hungry to give it to her.

    I knock on the door and wait a beat, then walk in.

    "Hello." I introduce myself. "I'm Stitch." I look at each of them but don't hold my hand out. I look down at the chart, then over to Parfait. "How are you feeling today?"
  • Parfait doesn't answer.

    The man with mocha-colored skin looks uncomfortable and glances over at the man who is standing by the patient. He must be Jack from Rinso's descriptions.
  • edited January 2014
    I stand when Stitch enters, and move to the side so she can have access to Parfait. When Parfait doesn't answer, I know the burden of conversation is on me.

    "Forgive us Stitch, Parfait has not been well of late... I fear the exams Omo administered have drained her. I am Jack, her husband, and this is our friend Ro."
  • I give them a warm smile and nod at Jack's introduction.

    "I'm sorry. We lost a nurse a while ago and have been short staffed." I explain. "If you'd rather come back another day?"

    I don't want to force an exam on someone who isn't comfortable.
  • "Just do it." Parfait says sullenly.

    I assume you do?

    Using infirmary rules, you are able to gather the following. Parfait is bipolar. She needs a regimen of medicines to help her with mood swings, as well as counseling. You know Metro is better "equipped" to help her with this.

    The best you can do with the medicine is a crap version, weak and unreliable. Your pharmacy is running low on supplies right now. You need to resupply, which means you need to either go with a raiding party, or send some smart folks to a recent crash.

    Long term, you might be able to partner with Beneful to grow some of the plants to harvest as bases for medicines, but some stuff if just beyond the natural order of this alien planet.
  • I do it.

    I sum up what I learn for Parfait. I don't tell her the medicine I've got her is crap, but I give her the gist. I don't sugar-coat the diagnosis, either. I've got a good bedside manner but I believe in being honest with patients.

    "I know someone who could counsel you. You'd talk to him and he might be able to help you work some things out." I tell her.
  • Parfait nods, numb from all the information.

    --END SCENE--
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