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 Not angry, just sad, untouchably sad and withdrawn.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?
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."
"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.
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 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."
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?
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."
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?"
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).
I take a deep, cleansing breath, and whisper, "my love... Trust in me."
(Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 4, 4. Total: 9)
"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."
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?"
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?
"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."
And you wait...
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?
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!"
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?"
"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 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..."
After that, Rinso stands up, "I'll get your stuff now, the doc should be in soon. Sorry for the wait."
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 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?"
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.
"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'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.
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 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.