Crossbreeds Part 3: Chapter 46 Surgery by RedPhantom ()
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Jo sat in the healers’ observation room. She looked through the window at Nim. They were currently strapping him down for safety. They decided to do the surgery with Nim in human form. He wouldn’t be able to change afterward and the healing rooms where he’d be recovering weren’t built for dragons. It would also make it easier for Shunati to help with the surgery and Jo to help care for him later.
There was some concern with him going mad dragon while he was being patched, so he was being strapped down. The hope was that the bindings would distract him from breathing fire long enough to get him put to sleep.
The binding on his left arm allowed for some movement so he could draw. Under his left hand was a sheet of parchment and he held a piece of charcoal. They had mounted a mirror on the ceiling so he could see what he was drawing.
Nim turned and looked at Jo and smiled. Lately, his eyes no longer held the sadness of his past, but today, they held fear instead of the joy that normally replaced it. He was trying to hide it, but Jo could feel it through the bond. She tried to remember the good times they had together to help him relax.
“He’s in good hands,” Mishtali assured her. “Both Shunati and Thailyn are skilled healers and powerful mages.”
Joanne nodded. “I know. I’d rather have these two working on him than anyone else on either world.”
“Come lay down,” Shay said. “They’re ready to start.”
Jo moved to the bed they had put in there. From it, she could still see Nim. She would watch as long as she was able to. Once the surgery was started, they would close the curtain.
They started the patching and Jo could feel the pain and something else. She felt Nim react. “He’s starting to panic,” she reported.
Shay started chanting. At first, she explained how she would do the chant for children when they had nightmares and then for Thailyn when he read too much while healing and couldn’t get past it.
She continued talking, but Jo no longer heard. She drifted, floating. There were times she thought she saw Nim there but didn’t know if she was dreaming or if it had something to do with the bond. She tried to ask but was unaware of any answer so she wasn’t sure if she had managed to speak.
Time didn’t exist where she was. It could’ve taken minutes or hours. She thought others had entered the room, possibly to check on her and Nim. Then, slowly she drifted back. Shay had stopped chanting some time ago, but it took time for the effect to wear off.
She opened her eyes. She was still facing the window, but now, the curtain was closed. The surgery had started.
She looked around. Pt’this had joined them. “Look who’s awake,” he said when he saw her.
“I thought you had court this morning. It is still morning, isn’t it?”
Pt’this smiled. “It is. I’m taking a break.”
“How’s it going?” She asked.
“So far, as well as expected. It’s been about forty-five minutes.”
“How long is it supposed to take?”
“They don’t know. It’s not like they’ve ever done this before,” Mishtali said.
“We were hoping you could tell us how Nim was doing,” Shay said.
“He feels like he’s asleep,” Jo said. She went to the curtain.
“Do you want me to ask them to open it?” Pt’this offered.
“No. I don’t think I can handle seeing him like that.”
“I need to get back,” Pt’this said. “I’ll come by again when I can.”
Jo nodded. “Thank you.”
They sat for a while together. “His breathing feels weird,” Jo reported.
Mishtali must’ve relayed the information to Thailyn for a moment later he said, “They’re working on the lung itself right now. If you feel any change, Thailyn wants you to let one of us know so we can tell them.”
“Okay.” Joanne agreed.
Each of Nim’s friends came and sat with her for a bit. Even Emeton and Tylan stopped in to check on the two of them. The biggest surprise was when Kar and Tor came by.
“We might not be the friends we once were,” Kar explained. “But I do still care about him.”
Jo nodded. She had nothing personal against him. She just knew Nim was not ready to be friends with him again.
Kar was Pt’this’s older brother and had been friends with Nim even when no one else would be. But, then he had accused Mishtali of being and immortal during the war. It almost cost them the war. Mishtali was captured by Nor’than, Shintanillic was trapped on Earth, Mirimar was injured and Pt’this was put into a wizard’s trance that should’ve killed him. Then, he refused to help Pt’this recover but instead left Baj-tisk and Menthanla altogether.
He and his mate Tor had returned once to leave their son, Kithmar, with Pt’this to be raised since both were terribly sick along with most of the dragons they had left with. There had been confusion because Pt’this hadn’t been there and Kith almost died. They had thought Kar had abandoned him and Kith had died never knowing the truth. This all had an effect on Nim and he was still trying to work through it.
“Do you think he’d mind if we came by once he’s awake to see how he’s doing?” Kar asked.
“I honestly don’t know. I could talk to him and have one of the others let you know,” Jo suggested. They agreed with that.
Joanne reported anything she felt including difficulty breathing and once when he started waking. The breathing difficulty was expected and they were able to put him back to sleep.
Finally, the surgery was over. Thailyn and Shunati both felt things had gone well. Thailyn had given him a large dose of green bough to help block the pain. It also blocked the bond which had upset Jo at first until they explained to her what happened.
Shunati gave her the drawing he had worked on during the patch.
“Who is that?” Mishtali asked. It was of the face of a man with hands reaching.
“I don’t know. He’s drawn him before, often when he’s upset. He says he doesn’t know who it is or where he’s seen him before, except sometimes in nightmares or in a wizard’s trance. The man terrifies Nim though.”
“He drew dozens of those when you’re abducted,” Pt’this said. “He seems to draw him a lot when he’s upset.”
Thailyn gave her several doses of the painkiller and was told to give some to him whenever she started to feel him. Then, she went to sit with him until he woke up.
Nim woke suddenly, panicking. He was tied down, his scar hurt worse than ever and something happened to Jo. Then, hands were holding him. “Nim, it’s okay.” It was Jo’s voice. He realized he could feel her. She was okay. He relaxed some.
“Thailyn said you might be a bit confused,” she said. She sat on the bed where his drawing stuff had been.
“I couldn’t feel you. I thought something happened to you,” he said.
“That was the green bough,” she said.
“Why am I still tied down?”
“Thailyn doesn’t want you moving. He says the less you move, the better you will heal. The damage was much worse than he’d been able to read. He said it looked like you changed form when you’d been injured. Things might take longer to heal,” she explained. She poured a dose of green bough into a cup and with a bent tube it.
“How long will I be tied down?”
“Just a couple of days until he can close up the incision.”
“Drink this.” She held the cup.
“How? I can’t sit up.”
“Turn your head and suck on the straw. Do it slowly so you don’t choke.”
Nim took a small, tentative sip and then another. He normally didn’t like using green bough for his lung, but this was different. It was worse, and he didn’t want Jo to suffer.
After he finished, Jo poured another.
“More? I don’t need more.”
“Yes, you do. Thailyn said for me to keep giving it to you until I can’t feel you at all.”
“Do you know how much that’s going to take?” Nim asked.
“A lot. He gave me twelve bottles for just the rest of today. He doesn’t want you to feel the pain. Drink.”
“I’m okay. The pain isn’t that bad.”
“Yes, it is. I still feel it. Drink or Shunati said he’d give you liquid shade.”
Nim sighed and drank that dose too.
“Is liquid shade that bad?”
“Do you remember how I was when we watched the Shades of Night? It makes me like that. It does that for most people. That’s why it’s called liquid shade.
“So, not desirable.” She poured a third dose.
“Really?” He asked.
She nodded. “I still feel you.”
Nim sighed and drank. After a moment he said, “There, I’m not feeling any pain.”
Jo nodded. “Good.”
“But, I can’t feel you either.”
“It’s only for a few days. Then, you can choose when you want painkillers okay?”
“Is there anything else you need?” Jo asked.
“I want to hold you.”
“I can’t undo the bindings. You need to stay still.” She moved to the other side of the bed. After moving his arm the best she could, she lay beside him. “Does this work?”
“Thailyn also left some sleeping potions. Do you want one?”
“Are you hungry? I could find some dinner.”
“Dinner? How late is it?”
“I don’t know. It’s after dark.”
“It’s been a whole day?”
“Thailyn made sure you slept for quite a while. Do you want something?”
“No. I’m not hungry.”
“Do you want your drawing stuff?”
“Not yet. You laying with me is good.” Nim smiled.
Image Comments (4)
zaqxsw () 9:20AM | Mon, 07 June 2021
Nice chapter... the whole medical process is unusual for fantasy literature... it's typically just healing spells that work immediately. I really like how unique the magic is in your world.
Thanks. I had originally had ideas closer to DND style, but I didn't want to seem to copy it and I don't know enough about it to do it accurately, so I decided to do my own thing. I added non-magical medicine so that I could have people laid up a while and not always have instant cures for everything. I've got super healers and super mages. I needed to do something to keep them from solving everything with a wave of a hand.
Leije () Online Now! 10:22AM | Mon, 07 June 2021
Lovely characters, well posed and well dressed, great work !