Den-telligence Gathering (Day 3 - Afternoon)

As they worked, she was aware of the old man’s eyes upon her. Though his study was primarily upon her face, Kate observed that his gaze would occasionally dart to the opening in her blouse. Qualifies him as normal, she thought as she adjusted the suction.

“We don’t just use pliahs,” Dorian explained as he brought the dental saw to bear. “The root system of a molah is broad and three pronged. By cuttin’ tha tooth tah pieces,” he said over the keening of the saw, “we don’t need force, tha surroundin’ tissue doesn’t swell, an’ we don’t do damage tah tha underlyin’ bone. How yah doin, Mistah Worth?”

“Uhhhrah aiiii” the patient managed to utter, despite the fingers and tools currently projecting from his mouth.

“One more little cut…suction ovah there, please.” As Yeva rinsed the tooth’s base and vacuumed away the water and debris, Adler activated the saw once more. The posterior cut was always the most challenging, as one needed to avoid nicking the next molar back with the tiny saw blade. “Nice an’ still,” the dentist soothed as he made his careful way down. Once the little blade reached the gum line, he withdrew the tool. “Numbah two forceps…tha curved ones, if yah please.”

After providing the new tool, she glanced down to meet Worth’s studious eye. Yeva smiled, her cheeks bringing the surgical mask to ride upward. “Meester Worth,” she offered a cheerful tone, “you are near done. We get you back to fes-tee-val soon, yes?”

“Quite soon,” Dorian agreed as one by one, the pieces of Jesse Worth’s decayed molar landed upon their work tray. “Miss Yeva, that tube labelled Implant-ex… would yah open that fah me?”

“Yes, Doktor.”

“What we’re doin’, he explained, “is fillin’ tha gaps where tha roots used tah sit. Implant-ex is a cement. It’ll set up an’ cure itself right inta tha bone of yah jaw…saves tha spot from any potential bone loss in tha future.” As he lifted the tube, he instructed, “give us a good rinse, right down tha empty socket. But have a look, first,” he offered. “Okay if mah assistant takes a look, Mistah Worth?”

The man nodded, his eyes shifting to her blouse as she leaned over him.

“That iss….amazing!” she exclaimed. “I can see the bone of his man….mand….how you say?”

“Mandible,” Adler replied as he set to work with the filling cement. As it set, she watched Dorian’s hands as he gently scraped and leveled the repair’s surface. “Gum tissue will grow right ovah this,” he said with a final scrape, “so a mildly abraded surface aids it takin’ hold. “That’s it, Mistah Worth,” the dentist proclaimed. He lowered his mask as the treatment table moved to its’ upright position. “Evahthing looks good. But that gum has tah heal propah. Brush gently. Most important, gargle with warm salt watah…at least twice a day...fah tha next week. But yah won’t hurt mah feelin’s if yah make it more.”

“Kin uh drink?”

“Alcohol?”

“Yessir,” the old man nodded. “Festival’s once a year. Gotta make ‘er count.”

“With mah blessin’” Dorian smiled. “A couple shots of liquah will help mitigate sensitivity.”

“Meester Worth,” Yeva bubbled as she removed her mask, “what should we do for fes-tee-val?”

She assisted the man, who seemed grateful for her touch as he stepped down from the seat.

“Purty simple,” he replied. “Stay inside! It’s gorram cold out there! Drink a lot, eat too much, find yahself somebody tah curl up with…that’s how I do it. Oh, almost fergot,” Worth lifted a finger to remind himself. “There’s good music and liquor at the sly bar.”

She feigned confusion, glancing from one to the other. Vat…iss….sly? Sly bar?”

“Homosexual,” Dorian nodded her way.

“I ain’t sly…homo-sekshul,” Worth blurted, “but this year? Those boys done picked up a singer…little Spanic woman. Sings Spanic songs. Purty little thing, and she’s gotta voice on her’ll surprise yah.”

She and Adler traded glances. “Is that so?” the dentist asked. “Do yah speak Spanic?”

“Nary a word. Don’t matter. I spend muh whole year listenin’ to a rip saw. She sounds one helluva lot better’n that, I conjure,” he said as Yeva offered his coat. “Thankee ma’am.”

Adler nodded. “That sounds interestin’. Whatja say tha place was called?”

“It’s all Franc,” the old man contorted his features in an attempt to pronounce the name. “Lay…lah? Cab-ar-ett deh Mon-tag-nee? It’s a block off Main. Can’t miss ‘er. How much I owe ye?”

“Twenty. Thank yah kindly,” Dorian waved as Yeva lead their patient into the cargo bay.

At the personnel hatch, Worth made his play. “Miss Yeva,” he said, “I shore would be honored if you’s to share my table tonight.”

“You are so sweet!” she exclaimed as she patted his arm. “If I come tonight, I am sit with you. We dance, yes?”

“You got me dancin’ right now.”

“Oh! Charming man!” she chortled, encouraging his departure with a gentle push. “Goodbye! Goodbye!” Once the hatch slammed shut, Kate emerged long enough for a single eye roll. With an abrupt turn toward the cargo bay, the smiling Yeva faced Lunar Veil’s crew once again. “Ooh!” she exclaimed. “Meester Vas! Meester Vas! Your hair is so…erect? No?”

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