I watched Bianca rush out the door, presumably after Rusty. I wondered for a split second what on Earth I was even doing hanging around in that pub… I had again found myself among dangerous situations, and to what benefit? I tried to be strong, hold my ground… I tried to get Rusty to leave her alone, but I am certainly not an intimidating person. I was ready to leave, I figured I’d do best to make it back to the lab safely and not undergo another lecture from Ephraim on how dangerous Babbage can be.
Screaming – I knew the voice, it was Bianca. “My arm!!! AHHH! MY ARMM!!!” I’ve no idea the immediate reactions of anyone else in the pub… I bolted for the door. I shouted Bianca’s name, standing for a moment in the middle of the street as I tried to figure out where she had gone. I followed the crowd (it seemed they had better hearing than I did) to the alleyway.
I heard voices inside, but it was pitch black inside! I could barely see my hand in front of my face. I edged along the grimey walls, following the voices inside. As I edged closer towards Bianca I heard Ephraim’s faint voice back out on the street. Just what I needed… him to happen upon me in another situation. I spoke into the darkness, “Does it feel as though anything is broken, Bianca?” I could hear Bianca’s low growl, I was guessing at this point out of pain. “Nothings broken…but it sure hurts…” Another voice in the darkness asked if we needed to summon a doctor. Miss Anatra, I believe? I had met her on a couple of occasions, but I couldn’t be sure in the dark. I assured her I was a nurse, that if I could just find Bianca, perhaps I could help her.
I asked Bianca if she could stand, and I groped around in the black for her. My hand came in contact with something… something warm, fleshy, and wet. Bianca’s arm. She jumped back, hissing at me in pain. I knew from that small touch that something was very wrong… that this was no longer something simple as a broken bone, and I had to get her out of that alleyway to see for myself.
I slid Bianca’s good arm over my shoulders and tried to find my bearings. Suddenly, Ephraim’s hand was on my shoulder, guiding me out as I held up the wobbly Bianca. I squinted as we exited into the moonlight. There was a small crowd waiting there, though who was there I again can’t recall. The next thing I knew Bianca took a look at her arm, “Oh how nice…I can see the bo-” and she fainted, right against me. There were many people standing around watching, yet none rushed to help me as I slid her as gracefully to the ground as I could.
I quickly went to tearing off what shreds were left of Bianca’s skirt and wrapped her arm best as I could. I glanced up to the crowd, “I’m no surgeon, and I certainly cannot get her to one… does anyone know where the nearest would be? Miss Namori’s wound is straight to the bone, I don’t know what can even be salvaged.” Mr. Melnik responded, “Surgeon? The hospital. On the other side of town.”
It seemed we would have to carry Miss Namori ourselves, the emergency services in this town are quite lacking. Even coming from a remote area, I was quite shocked at this revelation.
A strange, short woman stepped towards me. I know I’ve seen her about town, I think I recall someone referring to her as Maggie. “I know a little o’ the healing arts… ifn’ She’ll pay the price.” Now, this crazy woman actually looked at Bianca, unconscious on the ground and said to her, “Say you’ll pay me wot I ask when I asks it.” Mr. Melnik and I convinced her we would remind Bianca of this later. Maggie pulled a ribbon from her hat, and spat on it. Yes, spat on it. Why, I do not know, and I wasn’t about to stop her… Bianca’s arm was already worse for the wear, and I figured this at least couldn’t make it worse. Maggie wrapped the ribbon around the arm, pushing the edges of the wounds together before tying it in a knot. Miraculously, the bleeding slowed near to a stop. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but I had no time for questions.
Mr. Melnik cocked his head, “So… do we actually need a doctor now?” He was so handsome too, why did he have to be stupid?
With the help of Mr. Hansome and Mr. Melnik, along with a trailing crowd, we carried Bianca across town to the hospital down in the Vernian sea. Luckily, Dr. Sonnerstein was there. I told him what had transpired, and after offering my assistance we went to work. He unwrapped the bandages, grabbed his materials, and started cleaning out her extensive wounds. Bianca slowly drifted in and out of conciousness, gracing us with her self-absorped attitude. “Well doctor… I have a lot of money…and a good lawyer…so if you don’t know what you’re doing…either let me die for I have no heirs to come after you…or make sure the repair is worth it.” It would have been better if she had stayed awake, but at least we were left in silence.
As I was assisting in prepping the arm, Ephraim came over, whispering into my ear. He made a request of me I’d soon rather forget.
Dr. Sonnerstein made attempts to salvage Bianca’s arm while I tried to convince him it was not possible. He seems a very capable doctor, and one prone to not accept failure. Eventually, it was decided her arm would have to go.
I hate that sound, the sound of saw on bone. To me, it sounds like death – something being ripped apart and lost forever. Neither one of us – Kristos, nor I – was familiar with the facilities, and so I searched around for something suitable to discard the severed arm in. I found a pile of cloth in a cabinet, and wrapped it carefully. I passed the arm off to Ephraim, “”I see no receptacles, this will not take long to give off an odor. Ephraim, do you think you could find somewhere to dispose of this?”
At that point I set to bandaging what was left of Bianca’s arm while Dr. Sonnerstein asked those watching whether any were suitable blood donors. Bianca had lost quite a bit and we grew more concerned as her pulse slowed further.
All I wanted to do was get out of there. I felt sick… so sick, deep in my stomach.
I finished tying off the bandages and asked the Doctor whether he would be alright to finish up without me, and then I quickly set foot back to the lab, where I was sure I’d feel just as ill.