'The World of Pern(tm)' and 'The Dragonriders of Pern(r)' are copyright to Anne McCaffrey (c) l967, 2000. This is a recorded online session, by permission of the author but generated on PernWorld MUSH for the benefit of people unable to attend.

Fort Weyr - Central Infirmary

This room looks fairly similar to most other infirmaries, with it's faint scent of antiseptic and an eerie quiet that goes along with convalescence. Rows of cots line both walls, each separated by a privacy screen. Breaking the line of cots along the outside wall is a entrance to the dragonhealing section of the infirmary. The far end of the oval room is filled with metal cabinets that hold the tools of the Weyrhealers trade, as well as a desk from which the healer can supervise his domain. Upon one wall rests a thick 'chart' containing the information on all patients within the infirmary.

Outside the rain has stopped, Rukbat blazed warmly thoughout the long, long boring afternoon, which has come and gone. It's now nearly dinner time which means this day has finally wound almost to the end. One down! The scents of anesthetic and cleanliness permeates the infirmary, all but masking the smell of dinner on those trays that are being brought in, but it still speaks of freedom. Not quite the kind of paint-your-face-blue-and-yell-it-at-the-top-of your-lungs sort, but close! It's this sort of quality change in the atmosphere that rouses Edani from a deep sleep. He starts to roll over, then hisses. Ouch! Not a good idea. But now he's as alert as a haze of leftover fellis will allow.

Marimn is, as she has been since she was carried in by that rather nice brownrider last night, flat on her back. Now, for some this would be ideal.. but not for her, she is already scratching at the bedsheet at the enforced bed rest.. even though she knows that she has to rest her foot. What doesnt help is all the noise… Whilst she got 'rescued' and treated in the field, the rider in question didnt have any fellis with him.. so instead got her drunk!!!! This has of course left her with the predictable result, a hangover from hell!

The signs of a hangover are unmistakable to Edani, having been there a time or two himself. He was in here last night when they brought her in and thus here to catch the smell of boozy breath and hear all the lovely vomiting and retching that goes along with the drunken state. He can tell she's young. Just HOW young, not clear but in his mind she's too young for that. He's holdbred born and raised. And thus his first words to her when they are both awake at the same time is a snorted disbelieving, "He got you DRUNK?? For a sprained ankle?! He's an idiot!"

What went on last night, well, the youngster doesnt really remember a lot of it.. she remembers being hurt… remembers being carried, sort of remembers floating, but thats about all.. the whole time in the infirmary is a blank thankfully. As she lays there thinking, the snort comming from a near bed jarrs her out of her daydreams. "W.wha???" she answers, shaking her head, and then wishing that she hadn't as it starts the waves of pain off again. "Who you mean?? He did NOT!!" she retorts, words not really making sense.

"Right, that's why you're sicker than a dog right now. And threw up all night. And reeked of booze when he brought you in." Edani doesn't say who, but she's got to know. "It's not like you were hours away. Why didn't the jackass just wait the ten minutes to get you to a healer and let them medicate you? Cos thats about how long it takes to get someone on a dragon and get them here." He's fuming. And why exactly? He doesn't even know her. Meanwhile, those healers are in that back room again in a meeting and there sit the dinner trays, out of reach where the kitchen girl left them.

Marimn looks a little flustered as the barrage of questions and statements are thrown at her, comming fast and furious, making her put a hand up to her head for a moment and groan slightly. "Cause…. cause… it was stormin.. n thunderin n lightning.. n he didnt wanna risk it till it was safe to fly.. thats why!!" she retorts, starting to sound a little like a petulant child, but, well, she IS a child… sort of. "Leave him 'lone… he saved me n thats all dat matters!!" She isnt going to mention that she probably wouldnt of fallen out of the sharding tree in the first place if 'HE' hadnt startled her in the first place, but thats for her to know and nobody to find out.

Edani still looks angry and this is probably another part of the mystery. He's the mild-mannered, ever-unruffled, cool-as-a-cucumber and in-control gentleman. But he's clenching his jaw so hard a muscle twitches on his rough cheek. But he's not angry at Marimn. He eyes the door where the healers are, then eases out of bed, wincing a time or two and pads over to where those trays are. He's missing his shirt, ribs wrapped tightly with tape but at least they didn't take his pants and give him one of those sissy gowns. He lifts one of the trays, carries it gingerly to the girl's side and places it on the bedside stand. "Nevermind," he says gently. "You should eat. You emptied your stomach long ago."

Marimn squints a little bit, trying to get her eyes to adjust to the rather bright lights in the infirmary, but blinks slightly as the man in the near bed climb out of it and start over to the trays. As he moves, she can see the wincing, and his attire makes her think about her own, and she peeks under her covers to discover that someone has undressed her, and given her one of those sissy gowns that she laughed at when she visited one of her friends in this very bay. Looking back up, she feels a little jealous of the other patient, especially when he brings a tray over and puts in on the table next to her bed. Whilst the smells are nice, the thought of eating makes a slight nauseous look pass over her face. "I… um… I dunno if I can…" she answers quietly, not meeting the other mans eyes as she says it.

Edani leans on her bedside stand for a moment, arms braced where he set down that tray and takes a few shallow breaths before he speaks again. "If it helps, they drew the screens around your cot before they… yeah." A lopsided sort of awkward smile tugs at his lips and though his face is a touch drained of color, he is hungry. And thus he makes the trek - yes trek because it still hurts to breathe - and takes another tray to his own cot. Easing down onto his, he settles the tray on his lap. "Try some crackers? It usually helps to have something in your stomach, actually." Then gruffly, "How old are you anyway?"

Marimn eyes the other man out of the corner of her eye, trying to be surepticious about it, but as always, she is about as subtle as a brick. Her face colours a bright pink as her being undressed is mentioned, an almost look of horror flashing across her face for a moment before she watches teh man painfully and dlowly go back to his own bed, via the trays again. She looks over at her tray, moving the items on it round a little and looks up as she is once more adressed, face still rather 'pink'. "Uh… um.. Im 14…." she answers quietly, but even so her voice travels the distance clearly, the walls seeming to echo the words. "I know… i dun look it.. but i am!!" she adds, pointing out the obvious as youngins do. Taking a deep breath and then letting it out, she succumbs to the advice, and picks up one of the dry crackers, nibbling at one corner half-heartedly.

"Chin up! They were women healers old enough to be your mother." Edani says roughly but not unkindly. The silence lasts as long as it takes for him to study his tray, though he's not really looking at it truth be told. Perhaps thinking everyone in here is sick rather than injured, the kitchen has sent them vegetable soup and crackers. Don't all sick people need soup and crackers? It's not that hard to figure out, it shouldn't take Edani as long as it does to pick up his spoon and take a bite, but it does. Into the silence he says quietly, "Yes you do." And how would he know she looks her age? "My sister would be- is- your age." He lifts his spoon, blows on it then puts it in his mouth dark eyes lift to her. Swallowing he adds, "I'm Edani of… well it doesn't matter. I'm here now. What's your name?"

The pointing out that it was women who undressed her doesnt seem to help, sending her face a bright pink once more, which she tries to cover by continuing to nibble on the cracker… not really eating, but making it look like she is. All the while her eyes are on the other patient, as if she is trying to figer him out. She misses the quiet comment about her looks, but catches the rest. moving the cracker for a moment she answers "Oh.. um.. I dunno where that is.. is 'Well it doesn't matter' near southern?? I never been anywhere but Fort… n im Marimn…"

Edani just nods and spoons more soup into his mouth, forgetting to blow on it to cool it. For all he knows, she heard and is ignoring the comment or simply isn't social enough to be curious. He shrugs, then shakes his head with a small chuckle when he hears her question. Really? She's that gullible? "Nono, that wasn't the name of my home. I'm from Emerald Isle. In the Western Isles," he says. Then she says her name and he closes his eyes, dropping his head. He just sits there for a frozen moment, then rises abruptly and places his tray on his bedside table with a rattle of crockery. His jaw is clenched once more and he's also moved too fast. The low-pitched curses aren't meant for her to hear and he bites them off. "You eat that," he says roughly pointing to the soup and stalks - albeit gingerly - out of the room. Without his shirt. Oh, the healers will probably come looking for him but right now he needs to get out of there.