The Little Ones


abby6_icon.gif delia_icon.gif huruma3_icon.gif megan_icon.gif

Scene Title The Little Ones
Synopsis The Ferry's medical branch administers vaccinations to Pollepel Island's youngest.
Date February 28, 2011

Bannerman's Castle: Dining Hall

Word went out this morning that all Evo persons on the island needed to present themselves within the next couple of days for vaccinations for the H5N10 flu. Megan Young looks peaked though not sick — merely tired. And first in line are all the minors. As she gathers the first groups into the dining hall, the redheaded nurse addresses the assembled people. "There's enough vaccine for everyone on the island to be vaccinated. So there's no need to panic. We're going to do this in an orderly fashion, children first. If you're bringing one of the kids up, we'll do both child and escort at the same time."

In theory, this will go like clockwork. "If you have an adverse reaction to normal flu vaccines — assuming you've ever had one — do not get this. If you are allergic to eggs, do not get this. It could cause a life-threatening allergic reaction. Other than those situations, you should not have any reaction to the shot." Megan has her blue gloves on and she pulls the top of one of the cases off. Several volunteers are manning the front of lines, of course — basic injection procedures have already been covered. "All right… let's go," Megan tells the first person in front of her with a weary smile.

One of the volunteers is Abby, dressed in her usual, with the latex gloves on and getting ready to start dosing people up, prepared to dispense the advice that Megan just gave to the people in the room who can hear. It goes without saying that they'll ask everyone who comes to get one, just to make sure and in case they didn't hear.

She too dips her hand into the case after megan, retrieving the vial, getting the shots ready for Megan to dispense in an assembly line fashion. Already she can hear the wail of some of the kids that remain on the island with their families, clamoring against their parents, crying and begging that they don't have to get a needle. Dreaded as they are by children everywhere, it's Megan's - and others - job to try and vaccinate them. The alternative is far worse and already been seen.

And so, a blonde cherub of a child, big brown eyes already swimming with tears and kindergarten age is brought forward by her father who's trying to prepare the child. But it's not working, and before Megan is a child on the verge of a fit.

Another one of the injection volunteers, Delia, is wearing a droplet mask as well as the blue gloves. After dipping into the case and grabbing a few handfuls of vaccine, she lines them up neatly on her tray and piles a load of syringes on with them. When the first child and escort come up to her, she gives a weary smile that can only be seen by the crinkles at the corner of her eyes.

Of course the child is afraid, hearing the screams of the other children, he huddles next to his escort for comfort. "It's just a tiny pinch, like this," and to demonstrate, the younger nurse tweaks the cheek of the child. "I bet your gramma pinches those cheeks a little harder, huh?" With a swipe of alcohol pad, the needle is plunged in and it's over quicker than the little boy can scream. After disposing of the used needle, she dips her hand into her pocket and retrieves a sticker, "Here you go, it's Spiderman!"

Huruma hasn't been seen around Pollepel for what seems like ages and ages; when she did show up the other night, it was with the returning team. One can presume that they picked her up on the way. She still looks kind of haggard, having not gotten a full night of sleep since, and the lingering effects of being stunned seem to be bothering the hell out of her. The woman did, however, stay cloistered away for the most part until now. For her own sake, maybe. She seems somewhat surprised to see Delia there, her figure lurking in through one of the doors and slipping along one of the walls.

It's in time to see the result of one babe REALLY not wanting a needle, in the front of Megan's line. Keeping her hands down in jacket pockets, Huruma shifts her weight from leg to leg before coasting on up to where the nurses are working, turning a look down to the child with the big, watery doe-brown eyes and doing what she does best with kids- force them to remain calm, of course. Maybe not common, but hey- if it works, right?

The blonde cherub could be screaming bloody murder and Megan would give her the injection anyway. This is hopefully going to save her life. Because she's not Evo, the redhead's not wearing a mask. She offers the girl a gentle smile and she says, "It's all right, kiddo. It'll be quick and easy, I promise." She's an expert at the swab and fast-jab too. She's gentle with the child, the syringe in and out in a heartbeat just as in Delia's line. And a sticker comes from her pocket too! Left pocket for boys, right for girls — "Check it out! Tink!" She has a Tinkerbell sticker! The girl's father gets his in just as quick an order, too. Assembly line indeed. "And there, Daddy gets his too, and now we don't have to worry about that nasty old flu," Megan tells the child matter-of-factly.

Her entire attention is on the two in front of her, so she doesn't immediately note the presence of Huruma…. though when she does, there will be a very distinct sense of relief. Because with the empath here, people will stay calm.

Huruma's ability kicking in, combined with Megan's efficient pinch and jib - much like Delia's efficient pinch and jab - is an effective combo, big doe eyes less watery and more delighted with the tinkerbell sticker that is now in her hand. Arm is sore, but but Tinkerbell trumps sore arm and the girl slinks away with her dad, oblivious to Huruma's aide in the situation.

Abigail smiles at Huruma, knowing full well what the empath has done and will likely do to streamline the situation for the kids and the adults who have trepidation about needles. The lord above knows that Abby doens't like to be jabbed (but is okay with jabbin).

And here come some more kids, a family of three, two young ones and a teenager who are lining up for their shots. The two youngest putting on their brave faces, it's the elder that isn't all that thrilled. For Megan, it's a mother and an infant, likely the smallest baby that they have there on the island, a soother in her mouth and sucking on it, oblivious. "Is she too young?" Her mother asks. "I'm not evolved but she is. Her dad was and I'm… I don't want her to die, is she too young?" Worry chases around the edges of the woman's mind, fearful that they'll say yes.

The teen receives another crinkly eyed smile and a wink from Delia before she prepares the needle and speaks down to the two children. "Is your big brother showing you how easy it is? Do you think he should get all three stickers for being good?" Of course, the tease elicits protest from all three. The boy likely being too cool for princesses, Tinkerbell, Spiderman, or even Lightning McQueen. The other two outraged that their prize might be stolen from them.

"Okay, if you promise to be good and show your big brother how brave you are, I bet he'll let you have some of his stickers." The stickers are entrusted to the teen before the deed is done, giving him the responsibility of judging whether the younger ones are worthy. Two little arms are bared poste haste and the injections are even quicker. "Wow! I bet no one is as good as you guys today. Want to see if your brother is good too?"
Huruma stands there just a little awkwardly, getting a bit of a weird look from the next kid that is brought up. She looks to Megan when the other woman has her moment of relief, sparing her a wry little smile. She stays hovering around behind Megan's workstation, keeping her influence on the down low while the kids are getting the shots, letting motes of fuzzy quiet settle into them as needed. The dining hall is all well within her field, so all it really takes is her to pay the utmost attention.

"Do mine later. I'll wait." Huruma notes to Megan, finding a spot nearby on a bench to sit down and watch things from there.

Megan loves the smile she got for Tink. That's for darn sure. She winks at the father too. Blowing out a breath, the nurse starts to relax finally at the sight of Huruma. Gratitude for the invisble help — or she's assuming that if it's needed it will just be handled because Huruma seems like one of those folks who just does what needs doing — makes it easier to smile too. It takes her a few moments to figure out exactly how old the babe in arms is.

Blowing out a long breath, Megan says to the mother, "I'm going to tell you this up front. There is not a flu vaccine in the world approved for use under 6 months of age. She's not old enough. That said…. other vaccines are obviously given to infants. The side effects would be similar to all the others, unless it turns out that she's allergic. The final call is yours." She hesitates and admits quietly, "But if it were my child, I would take the chance," she says quietly. "If you choose to do so, I'm going to keep her until last — I want to do it over in the non-flu infirmary so she can be monitored carefully."
The three stickers are taken, and maybe it's that Delia's focusing on him, that she's a fairly hot piece of ass pardon his hormonal teenager thinking, but his chest puffs out and he puts on that 'I'm so tough' mask even as he's dispensing the stickers to his siblings. "Your turn!" Gleefully grasping at the chance to see her oldest brother get his. Even as she's rubbing at her arm over the injection site. And he rolls up his sleeve, pushing sweater and navy cotton shirt up out of the way. "Just get it over with" So gruff, so manly. Nope, doesn't hurt. Nope, he's not afraid. Nope, not at all.

And with Megan's first words, there's a sob from the mother, holding her daughter a little harder to herself when she's told that her child is too young. She's seen the other children and like those who live there, has heard about the death of the two kids and what they know will be more inevitable deaths.

But she offers a bit of hope, that she'll give it to her, if she wants. Forget the caution, she's nodding her head, tears sliding down her cheeks. "Yes" She tells Megan. "Yes. Yes I will, I'll wait" Abigail watches, frowning at Megan but keeps her opinion to herself. There's reasons that babies don't get some vaccines, and she understands the risks but… Abby slides forward the next few syringes filled, carrying on with her own task at hand, a gesture for Huruma to come over. Abby will jab her while she's here, the woman's going to be helping them out after all. That and there's enough for everyone.

The swab is given and Delia quickly injects the teen, pushing the plunger down on the syringe when the needle makes its prick. She doesn't have any cool bandaids, otherwise she'd probably offer it. Instead he gets another couple of stickers to dispense to his younger siblings. "Here you go, maybe later you can find a use for them as a bribe or something." She knows how kids work.

Giving the trio a final grin, the younger nurse ushers them away and then glances toward Megan and the mother of the infant. "Nurse Young, if you want, I can take them to the infirmary to do it." For now, another mask is procured and handed to the woman for her baby. "Here, if she'll wear it, it'll protect her."

Huruma isn't there for too long until Abby is calling her over; her gaze is stuck on the mother with the too young baby as she gets up and moves around towards Abby, only looking at the firebug when she stops there for her own vaccination. She doesn't much like needles either, but Huruma probably isn't going to be getting a sticker. Just a sticking.

"I heard about th'little ones. When I got back." Huruma tips her head a little when she speaks to Abby, subtly also asking the state or whereabouts of the one kid that is still significant to both of them.

She doesn't miss Abby's look. And she's not dismissing the dangers. But Megan also knows the survival rate of this flu — and if the baby catches it, chances are not good on the baby surviving. It's a complete craps shoot either way. There is a worried look in her blue eyes as she says to the mother, "Take her and go on over to the non-flu infirmary." She warns one more time, though. "There is risk in this. Think it over long and hard, Elyse. I'll do it if you want me to, but you'd be just as well served by keeping her and yourself isolated and doing a lot of handwashing. Not letting other people too close to her. Using the masks as much as possible. We'll talk about it more fully after I'm done here." This choice she will leave to the mother in the end, though.

Megan shakes her head at Delia. "No, it's okay. I'll handle it personally." Because if it goes wrong, it's only on her own head for allowing it. She wants the mother to seriously think about the situation as it stands.

She waves the next person forward, one of the men who regularly helps with the boats on the dock and makes the trip back and forth the mainland. The adults are going to go swiftly in spite of whatever squick needles give them, she's pretty sure.

"Kasha's not on the Island, Brian took her off when she didn't show any signs, with the others. She's safe Huruma. That and she's old enough to be vaccinated. I'm going to make sure that some get sent to wherever they are, that they're taken care of" She doesn't want their mutual blonde cherub to be become a victim. An alcohol wipe opened, she goes through the same procedure that others are doing. A pinch, the slender needle sliding home into the dark flesh, delivering it's payload and promise of protection to the empath. THen it's pulled out, and she's gestured back to her bench. "Get thee to your bench and watch over us oh guardian of our emotions. Make some kids happy and our lives easier for the next hour"

The mother looks between Delia and Megan, taking the mask from the younger so that she can tray and get it over the infants face, protect her in some fashion. "I'll wait for you there" To some, the risk of a reaction is worth the guarantee that one won't have to see their infant catch the evolved flu, and quite likely die. Little bodies weren't strong enough to survive something so horrible, not the least in an environment like this. Delia's teenager takes the the sticks, waiting while she chimes in an offer to deal with mother and infant and when she's rebuffed by Megan, he leans forward, whispering into her ear before grabbing his siblings and hightailing it off, red in face and full of pride.

A crimson flush makes Delia's face darker than her hair as the slight titter of a nervous laugh eminates from behind the mask. "Th-thanks.." She says to his retreating back, then clearing her throat and turning away to prepare another needle. Some of the adults go quicker, more afraid of the virus than the silver pin delivering the vaccine. One of the ones in her line is led into a chair after showing signs of fainting at the very sight of the syringe.

"It's okay, it's quick. Just sit and close your eyes, it'll be over before you know it." The injection is given before Delia is actually finished talking and she allows her squeemish patient to rest for a few moments while she actually moves down the line to deliver more injections.

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