Early in the morning, the school people dumped me with this other assistant girl named Kori. She was nice enough, I suppose; a sort of quiet, studious type. Jace followed us down to one of the school's unused classrooms where she had prepared a small stack of books and some small containers of what looked like food-gone-bad.
We spent several hours with her explaining to me how the body repairs itself naturally, aided with illustrations from several books. Periodically she'd quiz me on the information, sometimes orally, sometimes via a sheet of paper that looked like it was mass produced specifically for the school. What was annoying was that I knew a good portion of the basics, but she insisted on making sure I knew them inside and out.
After lunch, Kori quizzed me on things one more time and then got out the containers. She explained that they were petri dishes filled with bits of tissue samples from patients who had recently had surgeries. It seems that the school keeps things that would normally be discarded, and puts weird preservation spells on them so that the students can use them as practice material. How very strange...
So she had me work on regrowing some things — which I didn't have a problem with. I grew up having to close up my own wounds. I was really kind of hoping she would have had me move on to something a little more advanced, like healing broken bones. You know; something hard. But after Kori was satisfied that I knew how to properly deal with the tissue samples, she called it a day. It was only early afternoon! Annoying and tedious as all of that morning studying was, I was a bit let down that this was all I was going to be given in one day.
I said so much to Jace as we were heading to the dining hall for dinner that evening.
"Crawl first," he said.
My lower lip jutted out. "I know
how to do simple stuff, though! That psychic girl from the first day knew I knew how, too!"
Jace shrugged. "Verifying before moving on."
I snorted. "Tomorrow better be better."
"Than nothing?" He raised a brow at me.
That made me stop and think. "Well... Not nothing
, I guess. I mean, yeah, it was all stuff I knew how to do, but... Some of the stuff I had kinda figured out from trial and error and she explained why
it worked the way it did."
Jace nodded. "Not a total loss, then."
I narrowed my eyes at him and blew a raspberry. "Ruin my pouting... What's wrong with you?"
He smirked. "Homework?"
"I hate you," I said, crossing my arms.
Jace actually laughed. ... Jace doesn't laugh. Jace hardly shows emotion at all. Ever.
"Crim never did his homework, either," Jace said, shaking his head. "Smart, but hated doing work."
I blinked at Jace. "You knew each other growing up?"
Jace nodded. "Kyle and Twest, too. We come from the east coast."
"Ya don't say..." I tilted my head. The prospect of learning more about the boys and their growing up years was intriguing. After all, I'd only known them for a few months, now.
Right as I was about to ask more, though, there was a loud crash accompanied by several panicked shouts. It came from the end of the dining hall, where the kitchen area was. On instinct, Jace and I took off running toward the source of the occurrence. Much to my surprise, no one else did.
In the kitchen, all of the employees were gathered in a corner. Some were shouting for others to call for help. As Jace and I got over there, it became apparent what they were doing. A large freezer unit had fallen forward. The kitchen crew was straining to lift it.
"We've got to get him out from under there!" one of the employees was saying.
My stomach knotted up. Someone was under
Jace never paused. As soon as we reached the freezer unit, he grabbed what would have been the top of it and started trying to lift. Jace is a big
guy. He's all height and muscle. These kitchen people were just... normal. Jace's added strength in lifting the thing made it rise a good two feet. He wasn't able to lift the heavy unit completely, but it got up enough that one of the other kitchen hands and myself could get down underneath everyone else and grab the hands of the guy who was stuck under it from one side.
The guy screamed when we pulled him.
"My foot! My foot!"
I called up a small flame for light and shown it further under the freezer. The guy's foot was jammed in the door, as though the door had been open when it fell forward.
"Jace! Shift around to behind me! His foot's stuck in the door!"
Jace barked for people around us to shift. The guy under the freezer continued wailing in pain. A moment later the weight of the freezer shifted. I shoved my back up against it as it dipped for a moment, but then Jace must have gotten a hold on the side, because it lifted again. This time it went slower, but Jace got it a little higher than before. Maybe more people were helping him now.
"We're good! Pull!" I shouted.
The other kitchen person who was helping me took the arm of the stuck fellow and we both pulled him back out from under the freezer. He was still yelling bloody murder, though, and as we got him out into the light it became apparent why. The freezer door must have had a sharp edge. The entire front of his leg was chewed up, his shoe was half off, and the front of his ankle had a huge gash in it.
The kitchen person who had helped me pull this guy out quickly turned around and vomited. I guess he couldn't take the sight of blood? One of the other kitchen ladies yanked off an apron and tied it around the ankle gash to try stopping the bleeding. Another of the ladies shouted for someone to get one of the professors or medical students from the dining hall. I guess the chances were good that at dinner there would be someone
who could handle this.
But I was here. So I started work on his leg up by his knee. Something in the door had dug deep cuts into him, but it wasn't anything worse than what I'd sustained in my growing up years.
I held the wounds shut as tightly as I could (thinking of a butterfly bandage as I worked) and started a healing spell. After a moment, my confidence level went up a bit and I was able to work a little faster. By the time I got completely down the front of the guy's leg, the lady who had tied her apron around his ankle had applied ice packs all around it. So I paused and looked around.
"Didn't any doctor-y people show up yet?!" I blurted.
There was a loud bang, which made me jump. Jace and the rest of the kitchen staff had just completely righted the freezer.
When no one answered me about the doctor question, I grimaced and started easing the ice packs away from the injured guy's ankle. The restraint and coldness had made it so that it wasn't bleeding profusely, but it was still a bloody mess, and more was starting to seep out now that it was unbound. The fellow hissed in pain while we were unwrapping it.
"Can you fix this?" The woman who'd bound his ankle asked.
"Well, since no one else is going to..." I swallowed a lump in my throat and started to press the area shut. The man screamed and thrashed about, but was suddenly pounced by the apron-lady as well as Jace, and one or two other kitchen hands.
"Shut up and let her work, Josh!" one of them said.
Assuming Josh was the injured guy, he quieted to a pained whining after that. I held the wounded area as shut as I could and tried to work backward, from the inside out.
His front leg bone had been visible when I didn't have muscle and flesh held around it, so the first thing my magic had to tend to was making sure it wasn't damaged. It's been forever since I've done any reading on bone structure, but I seemed to remember they were multi-layered. Whyyyyyy hadn't that Kori girl gone over bone stuffs with me today?
As it turns out, my magic was able to heal the small scratch on the bone by adjusting it to match the rest of the bone around it. Not quite as complicated as I thought it was going to be. Figuring out where exactly the ligaments and muscle were supposed to attach around the gashed open part was a bit more difficult. Eventually, with some fine inspection, I was able to determine how one damaged area was different from another damaged area, and reattach things where they ought to have been. It was slow going and Josh cried horribly.
"Don't you know any pain killer spells?" one of the kitchen hands holding him down asked.
Someone else shushed him harshly.
At great length
all I had to do was finish closing up the flesh around the wound. By that time, not only was my head pounding and my heart racing from tension, but the magic strain was exhausting. All I wanted to do was sit back on the cool floor and nap.
Right as I finished, there were hurried footsteps racing into the kitchen behind me.
"Who got hurt?" someone shouted.
I sat back, done, and a yawn overtook me. Jace patted my shoulder, then ushered me back out of the kitchens to one of the dining hall booths. On the cushioned benches, I slept for an hour or so before he woke me up for food. At least by then I was able to walk myself back to our rooms before going back to dream land.
Jace explained to me on the walk back that the teachers had all been in some sort of meeting when the freezer went down on that guy. It took that long to locate them and get them to understand the severity of the situation, according to one of the kitchen hands who went to fetch them. Apparently none of the students in the dining hall at that time felt they were experienced enough to attend to the situation, but a few had come in and watched from the back of the crowd. He said that while I was snoozing in the dining hall, the professor who had come to tend to the injured fellow checked him out and said I'd done a good job for a first timer. They mistook me for one of the second-year students.
Later that evening, the girl who'd spoken with me on the first day we'd been here, the psychic one, Sheeba, showed up with a whole boatload of chocolate.
"I will share with you, Miss Carmine, the best kept secret in all of medicine."
I blinked sleepily at her, since it was almost one in the morning.
"Chocolate fixes whatever ails you."
Then we both laughed.