Author’s Assortment #2 – Who Needs a Cleric? – Pt. 2

Posted: July 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

© 2018 G.N. Jacobs

The dwarf convulsed arching his back in ways that most humanoid spines didn’t grow back. After feeling the initial sharp hit that had made her want to learn medicine in the first place, Carmen pulled up a few feet short to take in the spectacle of that red beard moving on its own to save the life of the owner. Tellaria, allegedly the worldly she-elf that started this clinic to save the life of a few more adventurers, also had to fight back the widened violet eyes of wow, never seen that before and I live here.

Approximately, half of the mass of chest length hair just wasn’t long enough to reach up towards the dwarf’s right ear, an indication of a possible diagnosis of the location for the embolism. The other half made a hair fist to pound the man’s heart. Tellaria recovered from the surprise sooner and pushed Carmen closed to the examination table.

“My patient!” Carmen called out to no one, or perhaps the hair fist.

The hair fist actually made a thumbs up gesture as it flopped back down across the dwarf’s chest. More questions for later. Carmen appreciated her training to date allowing her to operate on a – probably an embolism, where is it? – basis even before her mind formed the words. The magic she didn’t know she had listened first putting up the weird and off-putting heads up display without recourse to her activation phrase.

A microsecond later, the display put – CHOOSE LANGUAGE OF POWER Y N? – where her harried eyeballs could find it. Clicking Y brought a scroll down menu with a list of languages, some from Penulton and a few from Earth. Of the many languages she knew, only Church Latin and Caesar’s Latin appeared, apparently Spanish, English, Danish, Klingon and Tolkien Elvish were either spoken by too many or not enough people back home.

Her eye movements jammed between the two flavors of Latin separated by 2,000 years of linguistic drift. She could read both languages and sound out sentences from both, but like her remaining tendencies towards Spanglish when excited her words tended to split the difference. The heads up display understood with – COOL, CARMEN’S LATIN WILL DO, SEE THROUGH FLESH SPELL Y N? IF SO SAY THE WORDS.

“Per corpus!” Carmen cried out.

Instantly, the dwarf’s innards revealed themselves to her much like the grayscale live feed from a MRI machine. The circulatory systems wasn’t too different from regular human arteries, veins and capillaries. Well, there was the extra branch on the aorta that Carmen hadn’t made the time to comment on while doing the surgery. Of more immediate need the blood clot.

She followed the flow of white and red blood cells all marching off the war with flesh no deemed useless. Of course in the simple logic of the Girl Scouts doing survival class “observe the animals, first,” Carmen followed the wreckage up into the skull finding a mass of blood and other cells caked all over a cranial artery and a nearby nerve cluster known in humans for producing the worst spasms every. And, yes, the hair hadn’t been wrong, the mass waited about two inches below the bone just above the ear canal.

Carmen processed instantly the truth that fantasy dwarves are tougher than average humans remembering a generally similar blood clot on her last case before becoming a resident. If switched with this dwarf, that human would already have been patting down pockets to pay the Boatman. Still, the current patient needed less thinking and more doctoring.

Inspiration. “Calor Fluctus Foci,” Carmen incanted softly.

Her index fingers glowed orange and she touched the patient’s skull angling to meet at the clot. The modified transparency spell showed her what she needed to aim properly. The mass basically broiled away into smaller bits and gasses. Within thirty seconds the dwarf relaxed on his bed clot completely burned away without needing to open bone.

Tellaria put a friendly hand on Carmen’s shoulder. “Carmen, are you sure you’re not a priestess?” she asked. “From out here, the spells look the same.”

Carmen laughed all the way to a sit on the floor. “Tellaria, I have no idea. Mi madre, Mom and Abuela are huge into La Bruja…”

“A local subset of witches, I understand.”

“Yeah, I did all the rituals, but not a whole lot happened so eventually I go to medical school,” Carmen said speaking between her laughter spasms that nearly ripped out her lungs through her nose. “Thought I was going to take the herb knowledge into regular practice and be better.”

“So your mother’s letter said,” Tellaria said. “Earth is a net importer of magic, so they say. The herbs are about all you could apply from your tradition without coming here.”

“Yeah, so I just learned,” Carmen said breathing easier now that things weren’t quite so funny. “So anyway, the point I might’ve taken too long to make is that during those rituals we called upon a goddess. Several in fact, one an Aztec femme and a couple sort of European ones likely handed down through Spain.”

“I see,” Tellaria said catching the chuckles herself. “It does muddy the answer to my question. But, if you would like to explain your process…”

“Modified Transparent Wall to see,” Carmen said. “And made a focused heat beam to burn off the clot.”

“Something a very creative witch, wizardess, or female wizard would do,” Tellaria said. “Earth is mostly a mystery to us, but the confusing gender labels from there are less so. You’ll teach this?”

“See one, do one, teach one,” Carmen said. “When do we start?”

“Tomorrow,” Tellaria pronounced. “Tonight, we steal the calm of a now quiet ward and get a drink.”

Carmen leaned into the hug and gestured out the door.

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