Urgent Care


ande_icon.gif august_icon.gif jibram_icon.gif lexington_icon.gif

Scene Title Urgent Care
Synopsis August is nicely, politely, and very kindly asked to come see to a medical emergency.
Date October 16, 2020

The Atlantic Ocean

The last August remembers, he was with a patient. Someone new. The details are fuzzy in the memory and here, in the moment as he starts to make his groggy way back to consciousness. A couple vague shapes hover near by, clearing up little by little. Voices start to filter in, as does an odd rocking sensation. A bumpy ride. The smell of salt in the air.

He's on a boat.

"I think he's waking up," comes a quiet voice.

The figure at the controls turns to look at August, then at the speaker. "Well, get him some water. And make sure he doesn't throw up on the boat." He makes a gesture over the side, which is apparently a better place for such an activity. "We're almost there."

August feels the chill of a water bottle in his hand and the sense of someone sitting nearby. "Sorry about it, mate," says the first voice, low but soft and seemingly sincere. "Drink that, it'll pass soon."

The fuck, August thinks to himself, but his mouth is too dry for the words to come out, even if he tried to say them. The thought of something to drink is enticing, but clearly he’s been drugged, and why would he trust them? His hand recoils from the bottle, from the person apologizing to him.

“Fuck off,” he manages to say after ungluing his dry lips. The word comes out raspy, like a boot on sandpaper, and he can’t help but look around, to see where the water bottle’s gone. At the same time, he tries to get his feet beneath himself, to rise and get away from whoever’s so close to him. He swipes a hand across his eyes to try to push the blurriness and dizziness away.

“Who are you? Where are we going?” he demands, looking from the water giver to the boat captain – if only there weren’t two each of them. It would make it easier to focus.

"We're fr—"

"Don't say we're friends," the driver says, cutting off his compatriot before he gets too far into that. "We need a doctor. We heard about your work, thought you'd be an easier grab than someone out of a hospital." He doesn't seem sorry at all, or like he's particularly happy about this arrangement. Not as unhappy as August is, though.

"We're going to a… construction site," says the first man, the friendlier one. He picks up the water and sets it back into a cooler. No use letting it roll around the boat. He's darker skinned than the driver and wears a sheepish expression once it comes into focus. This is not his usual job. "One of our friends got hurt, no one there has the skill to help out. We'll bring you right back where we found you once she's stable."

August manages to get up, staggering a little thanks to the roll of water beneath the hull. One hand reaches out for whatever surface he can grasp to keep his legs, now he has them.

“You… what the hell. You could fucking ask. You can’t go around drugging people or doing whatever it is you did to me. What if I had an allergy, or need to take meds at a specific time?” The odds against both of those are high, but he’s a … well, he’s not a doctor, but he’s almost a doctor, and he’s thinking of all the medical scenarios first.

He drags his hands over his face, still struggling to come all the way up to the surface it seems. “This is all to avoid paying for it? You’re probably paying more on gas than I would’ve charged you, you know,” he grouses, folding his arms and leaning against the railing as he studies the water ahead, trying to get his bearings.

"Then I guess we'd all be fucked," the driver says, with a glance over his shoulder at August.

"Jib, watch the road, would you," the other man says, shaking his head, "you're making me sick." He lets out a sigh and rubs a hand over his short hair. "We discussed asking and the consensus was that it was better not to risk a no." From his tone, it probably wasn't much of a discussion. But still, he went along with it. "We can pay you. That's not the issue. It's just—"

"We're here," Jibram says, even though ahead of them is nothing but empty water. "Ande, get him to sit down or something, he looks like he's about to fall over."

Ande does not try to get August to sit, perhaps remembering moments ago when he didn't react so well to the water bottle. But, he inches closer, like he might be preparing to catch him.

Ahead, it's just ocean. Behind, too. There doesn't seem to be anything to arrive at unless they're about to dive underwater, which would really make medical attention difficult to provide. However, as they start to slow down, the water and sky in front of the boat ripple, and slowly the illusion peels away and August can see an expansive floating platform, with scattered construction equipment along it and people dotting the surface. Much of what's being built seems to be made up of modular units in a hexagonal shape, snapping onto one another. Some are settled in the water, half submerged, but many more are in various stages of being built along the platform. The boat they're on bypasses the construction deck and circles around toward the floating pods and a small dock attached to one.

“You might still be. I don’t take kindly to being kidnapped, or at least I don’t think I do. It’s a first for me.” Not the first time August has been brought offshore for some clandestine operation for medical procedures, it turns out, but he won’t get into that, and that was by choice.

“Here where,” the not-a-doctor says, a little sullenly – there’s something boyish and lost about him, despite his tall and presumably strong frame. He certainly was heavy enough to drag, unless one of his kidnappers had an ability that made him easier to lug.

But when the illusion drops, he looks around, startled. “You know there’s a lot of space not being used without going to all this work? I mean it’s kinda cool, don’t get me wrong, but what you might be asking to be run over by a boat who doesn’t see New Atlantis here,” he points out.

"Thank you," Jibram says, dryly, "for your observation." He cuts a sidelong look back, but refocuses on the dock after a beat.

"You should be nicer, we're asking him for a favor," Ande says, then he gives August an apologetic look. "He's grouchy, don't mind him. But don't worry, you're not in danger of getting rammed by a boat or a ship or even a raft while you're here."

And to be fair to Jibram, he parks the boat smoothly, helps tie it off and drops a wide plank for them to walk across onto slightly firmer ground. Wider ground, anyway. The dock moves with the water, but it's gentle at the moment. Much nicer than the boat going at speed. Ande stands, gesturing for August to climb out first.

"There was an accident, she lost a lot of blood and needs to get sewn up. We have someone with her, but people here… they know first aid, maybe. We're desperate, I hope that much is obvious." Ande lets out a sigh, spreading his hands in a helpless gesture. "Will you take a look, please?"

August shrugs, reaching into his pocket for the bottle of pills he keeps there, shaking a couple out into his palm and bringing his hand up to his mouth to swallow. He might regret not taking the water bottle, now, but he doesn’t ask for it.

“You don’t want my opinion, you shouldn’t have brought me here,” he says back to Jibram.

The plank is given a wary look, but August manages to get out with some modicum of grace. “If you’d told me, I could have brought the proper tools and drugs. You didn’t happen to kidnap Duane Reade, too, did you?” August says, glancing over his shoulder as if to look for someone else coming along with them.

"Who's Duane Reade?" Ande asks as he gets out onto the dock as well, where Jibram is waiting less than patiently. Now that they're here, he seems more twitchy than he was in the boat. So he's the one who leads the way into the first building. He doesn't even have a comeback for August. Possibly because he's got a point.

The building is a decent size; someone could make a nice apartment out of it. And it turns out there's a lower level, as Jibram leads them to a set of ladder-like stairs downward. He all but slides down. Ande waits for August to follow, apparently acting as rear guard. "We have some tools. And drugs aren't an issue. It might be a bit on the rough side, but— " He thinks it's manageable. But then, he's not a medical professional, not even close.

There’s an eye roll for the question, and August answers bluntly, “A pharmacy.” Not a pharmacist, but the pharmacy itself, named not for a man but for the streets the original store sat on.

He walks cautiously behind Jibram, long legs very capable of keeping up with the twitchy man but he’s less used to walking on floating jetties. He’s not in as much of a hurry, either, so he takes his time to take each step of the stairs cautiously, because he doesn’t want to end up with a broken ankle when he’s the only doctor on the premises.

The comment that drugs aren’t an issue gets a skeptical look from the medic, but then August looks around, curious as to what’s in the building – and who it is he’s here to help.

This pod is all white fixtures on the, so-called, first floor, and clean like a yoga studio reception area. Once they get down the stairs, things are a little more industrial looking, like they haven't gotten to the aesthetics here yet. And maybe they won't, because the hall they step into already feels cramped. Not unlike a submarine might feel. At least it has taller doorways.

Jibram knocks at a door, but doesn't wait for an answer before he enters. Inside, there is something like a clinic. A makeshift one, but it is clean and they do seem to have supplies on hand. Not what a hospital would have, but maybe what a military field medic would. In the center of the room is a cot with a red-haired woman lying on it. Her side has been packed with gauze, but it's already bleeding through. A woman sits with her, but retreats into a side room when the trio enter. Possibly to keep the place from getting too crowded.

The woman is awake, but obviously distracted by the pain. She doesn't look up when the door opens, but her hand is clenched around the side of the cot.

As he looks around, August scratches his left brow, squinting a little at the supplies and then finally the woman. His gray-blue gaze slides over the wound first, then the woman.

WIthout introducing himself first, if he plans to at all, he heads to gather some of the supplies – needle, suturing thread, gauze, betadine, scissors. “If you have pain meds or someone who can make her more comfortable with some mind magic, please get that for me,” he says a little tersely over his shoulders to the two men who’ve dragged him in. No please or thank you. He carries the tray over to the cot, setting it on a table nearby, then drags a chair over to sit down.

“What’s your name? Can you tell me what happened to you?” he asks, tone much softer, less brusk. “I’m going to take off your bandage, all right?” He does wait for her affirmative, not wanting to be stabbed for his voluntold Good Samaritanism.

Ande looks over at Jibram and the man sighs lightly. Mind magic. He comes over to perch on a stool at the head of the cot, putting his fingers on the woman's temples. August can just barely hear the quiet sorry he whispers to her before he closes his eyes and gets to work.

"Fucking— Lexi," she says, as far as her name goes, although it's likely just the second part that's actually her name. Unless her parents were very cruel. She nods her permission for him to go ahead as Jibram's power settles in over her mind. She relaxes, breathes a little easier, but there is a haunted look that comes over her and she stares up at the ceiling as she tries to keep fear from contorting her face. It would be easy to chalk that up to the wound and to the impending treatment, but for the fact that she responds to Jibram's apology with a reassuring pat to his arm.

His mind magic seems to have an unpleasant cost to it.

"A crane fell," she says, words staccato but less strained. "Didn't get out of the way in time. Clipped me," she says with a nod toward the wound. At least she wasn't directly under any machinery, but it does seem to have been a near thing.

The medic nods, a slight wince of empathy narrowing his eyes. He glances at Jibram, then notices the easing of Lexi’s pain – at whatever cost – before he slowly begins to peel up the dressing that’s already bled through.

“I’m August. Some call me Doc Yeats, but I’m not technically a doctor, but I’ve been told that doesn’t matter much to you.” The medic’s words are tinged with an accent that paints him as a local, raised in New York. “Hope you have some antibiotics here, but if not, if the boys here come back with me to my office and don’t make me swim home, I’ll send some back with them.”

As he talks, August surveys the damage, to see what has to be done, and if it’s within his means to do it.

“You got any idea if you’ve had a tetanus shot in the last decade, Lexi? Or even better, the last five years?”

"I've never been one for titles," Lexi says, glancing toward him as he starts to work, but quickly looks away. Under Jibram's influence, who knows what it looks like to her. Nothing good, seeing as she lies back and focuses on breathing calmly. "Ande— " she says, when August mentions antibiotics.

"I'll get them when we go back. No swimming, promise," he adds to August. "Jib's just gonna have to make another round trip."

"Tetanus— I couldn't begin to tell you," she says, which definitely means she has not. The wound is rough, but manageable for someone with experience. Which these people might have to look into finding. Or perhaps they just haven't had much luck so far.

August nods to Ande, a small smile for the promise of no swimming required for the homeward bound trip. When Lexi says she can’t remember her last tetanus booster, he nods again.

“I’ll send a shot back, too, then, just to be safe. Show them how to do it. Not afraid of needles, are you guys?” he asks – he’s not teasing them. Some people are.

“This will sting,” August promises as he begins to clean the wound – it looks clean enough, but he wants to be sure before he starts stitching her up. “What all are you building out here? Aiming to become the next Yamagato Industries?” That’s a gentle tease, but it’s more to keep her talking, keep her mind off the pain.

"We'll manage," says Ande. About the needles.

At least Lexi doesn't seem squeamish about the prospect. Or else she's just too distracted to be worried about a shot. She just gives him a nod to acknowledge the idea.

Ande and Jibram exchange a look at August's question, then a nervous flick of a glance to Lexi.

"My summer home," she says, which is quite obviously a lie, spoken with a crooked quirk of her lips. "Much more private than anything Yamagato has going on." Which may not be true, but it is to the best of her knowledge, anyway.

August’s brow lifts as he sets aside his cleaning supplies and swaps them for the suturing needle and thread. Despite his height, his large hands are quite graceful and agile as he loops some of the thread through the tool and snips it neatly. “My summer home,” he says evenly as he gently pulls together her skin to start the process, “is in Versailles.”

It too is clearly a lie, but spoken in a way that shows he doesn’t feel offended by hers. “I”m not going to tell anyone. Obviously I’m not all about law and order. A little order is nice, don’t get me wrong. But some of us work better outside the jurisdiction of legality, yeah?”

Despite being here under duress, it’s clear he takes care with the stitches, putting them close together to make as fine a line as possible for minimal scarring and less chance of infection. “Why here? Seems like it invites some troubles you might not have on land. There’s islands with not much on them, small but big enough for a crew this size, it seems. Why not one of those?”

"Which Louis does that make you?" Lexi says, peering over at him with a hint of a smile. Her haunted expression seems to have eased, but also, Jibram's focus has brought a strain to his features. But whatever adjustments he's making, they're helping.

"Mobility," Lexi says, circling a finger in the air. Her arm drops heavily, but luckily not on her wounded side. "Islands tend to stay in one place." She lifts an eyebrow, then looks over at him. "And legality isn't the concern," she adds, as far as why she isn't more forthcoming. "It's meant to be a secret. Difficult, if people know about it."

“Lost track,” August quips back regarding which Louis he’d be. “Hopefully not the one killing his own wives, though. Talk about toxic masculinity.”

His curious eyes glance up at Jibram, and then back to Lexi. “I’ll toss in some pain killers too so future pain killing’s not so hard for either of you.” The words are said in a neutral tone, but there’s a point to them, nonetheless. He blots the wound and carries on with his suturing, fastidious really in his approach. The kind who might get yelled at for taking too long to be perfect in an ER.

He doesn’t have a waiting room full of other sick or injured people to look after, at least.

“And you just kidnap people when you don’t have what you need on site? Not everyone’s as much of a pacifist as I am. How do you know they – I – won’t spill your secret?”

"I thought that was one of the Henrys," Lexi says, letting a beat pass before she adds, "But I guess that's probably a feature of several kings." When he mentions kidnapping, Lexi lifts an eyebrow and looks over at Ande. Completely coincidentally, Ande has found a spot on the floor that is extremely interesting, and so misses the look.

Her attention turns back to August, though, and she gestures clumsily toward Jibram. "I would assume they have a difficult time remembering seeing anything at all." And probably have some nightmares afterward. "However, I do sometimes rely on the idea that if someone were to rave about an invisible, floating city, people might dismiss it as nonsense." Which is, in its way, a promise that he won't have memory problems. "Even rarer— I may resort to asking nicely."

Ande looks surprised enough to imply that is rare, indeed.

August breathes out a laugh, his features lifting with the laugh a way that changes the features of his face entirely. “Right. Henry, Louis. I wasn’t ever good at history, but I won a lot of science fairs,” he says wryly. “Mostly didn’t care much about anything that wasn’t science or technology back in school.”

He finishes stitching as she explains the ways they have of keeping the island secret. “I’d say anyone who thinks any story is nonsense these days hasn’t been paying much attention. Who would believe anything anyone says anymore?”

Setting down the suture tools, August picks up another bandage to cover the wound. “All set. I suggest watching out for cranes in the future. I’m glad to see that you don’t condone kidnapping medical experts as a normal part of your operation,” he adds with a smirk, glancing over at the sheepish Ande. “I told them if they’d asked, I would’ve come, but it seems they’re afraid of rejection.”

"I mostly cared about chemistry. That's the one that lets you blow things up," Lexi says, tilting her head enough to check on his progress. "You know, you're right. Anything's possible these days and everyone is catching up to that idea. But I am going to assume between having your memories painfully ripped out or a much gentler request, you'd prefer the latter. As would I, since I seem to need some follow up care." Shots, medicine, whatnot.

"I would very much appreciate it if you could not mention my summer home to anyone outside of this room. And if you'd accept an apology for the rough handling. We have to assume that these two were in a panic and that if the need should arise again, that they will ask first." At least with this one medical expert. "And before I forget— thank you." She reaches up, tapping Jibram on the arm to let him know he can stop. There is certainly still pain, but there's no use in him ending up in a cot as well. When his fingers leave her temple, she winces, expression tensing with the pain. "See our gentleman friend home," she says, words less smooth now, but she is doing her best, "Safely home, hmm?"

Ande gives her a nod, as does Jibram before turning to August. "We'd offer you a room," Ande says, "but there aren't very many of them actually ready." At least someone had the foresight to make an infirmary a priority.

"And I'd guess," Jibram remarks, "he'd rather be home than with us." You know. The kidnappers.

August’s smile is mild. “I would definitely prefer to avoid painful rippings out, yes,” he says. He doesn’t add he’s already had his own ‘mind magic’ painfully ripped out of him, so he’s had quite enough of that sort of pain. Or pain altogether, really, but there are some things he can’t avoid, no matter how much he’d like to.

“I’ll send the meds back, but ‘til then, avoid aspirin. Tylenol or Ibuprofen, Alleve, their generics, those are all right, but try not to double up too much. You can mix Tyelonol with the others, but don’t mix the NSAIDS,” August rattles off as he rises, moving to the sink to wash his hands.

Once his hands are dry, he reaches into his pocket to pull out a card to set on the side table. “Your pals know where I am, but if you need some telehealth consultation, my number’s there. Not sure if you get reception here.” He squints upwards like he might be able to see the satellites somehow overhead, even though he’s indoors and that’s not too likely anyway.

“All right. I’d like to be home before dark. My dog needs to be let out,” he tells Jibram with a solemn look of disappointment.

It's hard to say if Lexi will remember his advice, but someone in this room will even if she forgets. She glances to the card, her smile turning crooked just for a moment. But even before his escorts can get him out of the room, she drops her attempts at looking casual. Pain and fatigue, that's what's left over, as one might expect.

It isn't long before all three of them are back in the boat and slipping out of the barrier around the construction. Looking back, it becomes more difficult to see just where the imperfections in the view are and given enough distance, impossible.

They don't quite make it before dark, but not too terribly long after. August gets paid by Jibram, awkward apologies from Ande, and then he's left to his own devices. Memories intact.

A week later, he receives an anonymous donation of medications and supplies with no indication of where they came from aside from a note in the box that simply reads thanks in a looping script.

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