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View character profile for: Lyen Giu
View character profile for: Lawrence Chakel
A Proposal Pt.2
This question was the opening he needed. However, just like a thief must be gentle with his pick lest the tumblers resist, Lawrence knew he must choose his words wisely.
"The aid I could give is medical, of course. While I specialize in dealing with stress and mental trauma, I have a fair knowledge of the healing arts, both in surgery and natural remedies. In terms of helping you, I could supply your medbay until more advanced, though pricey, medicines can be purchased or even lend a hand if needed. I am fully capable of doing this for free, though if the captain is adamant in keeping the boundaries between passengers and crew airtight then I am willing to negotiate payment for my wares."
Sensing that the mention of payment would bring barriers up, he held up his hand to show he hadn't finished.
"But I do want to be clear. I am not looking to make a quick buck with this crew. Such negotiations need only be on paper so that it looks official, otherwise my supplies are fully available for your use."
Pleased with the opening statements, Lawrence leaned back and produced a small bottle from a pouch in his jacket.
"I hope you don't mind my use of such drink, though as a gentleman I am obliged to ask if you would care for a glass."
She arched her brow at the doctor’s flask, “I’m content, thank you,” she said with a subtle smirk. “So you’d be willing to help out, as needed, free of charge? You’d stock our medicine cabinet with what you’ve acquired, fully available for our use, and when called upon in the middle of the night, you’d do what was necessary to save a life?” The nun fixed the passenger with a measured stare.
Taking a quick swig, Lawrence took a moment to enjoy the burning liquid from his bottle. After the sensation faded, he locked eyes casually with Lyen.
"I must admit there would be apprehension for the more exotic remedies, but I have worked with less. As long as this ship isn't suddenly swarmed with war casualties, I will do my best at any given hour."
Lawrence concentrated on not squeezing the bottle he held tighter as he made this promise. The thought of getting this deal approved and having no return in the long run was making his subconscious scream at him to back out now. Another small drink proved enough to push that voice back, a calm grin hiding the internal chaos.
"I know I can present myself as being "above it all", but I do come from humble beginnings and know that the only good that comes from life is through hard work."
“Indeed,” the nun replied. “Well, just so you know what this boat has seen: I’ve removed and repositioned eyeballs, treated radioactive burns, trimmed the necrotic tissue from a child’s leg after a wolf’s teeth shredded it, and treated stigmata courtesy our own one-eyed wonder,” at that Lyen’s eyes swept the lounge in case just speaking of Haddie would conjure the youngling. “We’re much more careful with our scalpels now.” Her gaze lingered for a moment on Lawrence’s flask. “That’s not to mention the…” her voice dropped slightly, “Reavers.”
Beneath that mischievous frown, Ly was thinking that at least she could give the man some background to the medical history of the Veil. Even in her relatively short time aboard, the medbay, manned by Dorian had seen half a dozen surgeries, counting Rebel the Bluetick hound. Of the list, there were some grisly applications of medicine in this infirmary. Even if their encounter with the Reavers had resulted only in the crew stealing so much meat that they had to consign one of the two detachable pods as a meat locker.
While a short list, the details given were enough to make Lawrence want a shower. He had done his fair share of... mostly successful.... surgeries, but he had never gotten used to being around large amounts of free range blood and guts. Thankfully, Lyen's mention of Reavers provided him with a start to his response.
"It would be a surprise to find someone traveling the Verse that had not met a Reaver or two and from what I have heard so far, it would seem that my anesthetics would prove most useful. If these examples are a test for my nerve, I can assure you I have my own tales to tell."
He was not sure if she was already this defensive or if there was a wall forming in the conversation. The voice in his head berated him for not trying to get a therapy session or two out of her first so that he could know her tells, but he decided to test things now given she had sat down to begin with.
"Another hope I had for this conversation was the possibility of providing therapy for any crew that desired it. I know many tend to seek out their own forms of coping, but I do try to give a choice when I can."
“I only want to prepare you for what may come as a result of your kind offer. This ship has, perhaps, seen more than its share of unlucky encounters, if you believe in luck. The infirmary has become a nexus for just about every problem large and small.” She turned slightly in her chair to point at the leather chair in the heart of the medbay, “Right there is where Serena first lay when Captain Keller and Dorian secured her release from a slaver ship. It’s also where Yeva and I studied for our certifications, and where Dorian and I spent many hours in impromptu surgeries. It’s had more than its share of successes. I only hope to maintain that streak under my watch.” Her eyes glinted before they lighted on her open palms resting in her lap.
“I don’t mean to try to scare you away,” her eyes found his, “I only want to express the breadth of how important this place is to me.” The nun straightened in her chair. “And to your hope, I agree that therapy is a worthwhile endeavor, however, I’ve seen that more often than not, this crew prefers strong drink and shoulder shrugs when it comes to discussing their emotions. Maybe you’ll have better luck than I did. Serena is just about the best communicator on board. She always speaks her mind. Her and Daisy of course.” A smile spread across her face.
At the mention of his favorite crew member, Lawrence realized his smile may have looked a bit forced and hoped he could recover with a teasing chuckle.
"Aha, yes, I have met the vibrant Serena. I found her charms quite useful when she accompanied me to gather supplies."
He had pleasantly forgotten about the little urchin, but now with his offer for therapy on the table, he realized his drastic misstep. If she were to dare enter his office....
"As for the others, I myself have not had much interaction with them since my boarding, all except for Ms. Thorne."
Looking to his bottle, the true horror of his plan dawned. He would need another foot in the door to get the crew into therapy, but that meant his best chance would be his worst nightmare. Clearing his throat, Lawrence replaced these thoughts with a sincere furrow of his brow.
"Now I know this might sound like a part of my "grand scheme" here, but I would like to ask about your wellbeing? With such a colored history during your time here, I must admit I am amazed you have seemingly avoided the trappings of strong drink and shoulder hugs, as you put it."
“She is quite useful in bargaining; most people don’t know whether to make heads or tails of her. ‘Mei-mei’ she was once called for her affectionate demeanor.” A shadow crossed Lyen’s visage as her eyes darted to the floor and back. “My well being?” The nun’s brow arched. Not many had asked, though she knew it was his professional prerogative to do so. “I find solace in prayer--” most of the time, she thought, “as I learned from my ten years at the monastery on Santos. It can certainly be trying--” especially as of late, “but we have each other. My own ‘coping’ as you put it, is out of the question. Not when so many depend on me.”