Handle with Care - 01/11/21


Whether Veldi had been aware of it at the time or not, Blue took her cover as a field medic with all the eagerness of one who inherently wanted to help everyone. While she clearly lacked the experience of others working across the battlefield, the Xaela still did her best, greeting the injured with gentle smiles and offering what aid she knew she could do. And for a short amount of time, that was enough. Cuts, bruises, scrapes, gashes. That was fine, Blue could handle that. Lami had given her the boon of being able to flit across the war torn earth without being noticed too often, popping in and out of visibility to get to where she needed to go unhindered. And so, when she spotted a little bit of blood seeping from the corner of a pile of rubble, Blue immediately darted for the area and the unseen injured.
Except there was no trickle of blood. There was a pool, with a soldier lying face down in it. Blood was gushing from the man's missing leg, but multiple bullet wounds had torn into his side as well, tearing through the armor he wore like paper. Blue fell to the ground in a crumpled, shaky heap, her eyes wide in shock. Was he even still alive? It was hard to tell, he was soaked in red and the Xaela wanted to scream. She pushed herself forward, patting at the soldier's shoulder gently. “S-sir?” Her voice cracked and she nudged him a bit, eliciting the man to sputter.

Can't. I can't, Blue thought to herself. Her own limbs had gone frozen, and she was fighting with them, trying to roll the man onto his back and then, harder still, push his upper body up against the rubble so he didn't choke on his own vomit or blood or whatever he'd swallow down. It felt like a painstakingly-long amount of time before she'd even gotten the soldier situated. At least his eyes were closed, because Blue couldn't bring herself to smile. She was certain she looked absolutely terrified. And he was still a fountain of blood and Blue's mental state was diminishing fast, at an utter blank as to what to do. Her fingers seemed to float slowly towards the pocket of her uniform. She vaguely feels herself click it and draws it up to her ear.


There's a long pause as Blue just stares through the soldier.

“There's a man here. He's lost his leg. Bleeding a lot. Think he got shot a few times as well. Lots of blood.” Her voice is clear yet expressionless, but the end of each sentence sounds frayed, on the verge of panic that's threatening to burst at any moment. In the background, one could hear gunfire, loud metallic groaning, and the screams and shouts of those who continued the fight fulms away.


A good day. Vinalo had just finished the routine of watering the many, many plants that populated their apartment, and was ready to sit down for a snack when their linkpearl buzzed to life across the room. Wondering who'd be contacting them today (another client who managed to nearly kill their plant again?), they shuffled over and placed the pearl to their ear.

“Hello? Blue! Good to hear you! Still in th-”

Vinalo found themself cut off by the uncharacteristically flat voice on the other side of the connection. Between the grim situation being described, and the various sounds of combat in the background, the healer suddenly developed a sinking feeling in their gut. Their eyes widened, though no one was there to see it. After a moment of mentally digesting what Blue reported, they managed to muster up a response.

“Blue!? Where are you? What's going on?” they said, a clear sense of panicked urgency to their voice. Vinalo was already mentally going over the injuries of the man described, but their concern over their good friend's situation made it out first.


A look of confusion crosses Blue's face when she hears Vinalo on the other end. Some weird wiring in her brain, had to be, why would she call Vinalo, shoulda called Veldi…Veldi's out here somewhere. That'd make more sense, right?

She could come help me with this, she'd help, she always did. But she can't come to help everytime. She's out there being a medic too. And investigating. And doing all the important things and I'm straggling behind. I can't drag her with me.

Some semblance of a strangled sob escapes Blue at Vinalo's tone of concern and her voice starts cracking almost immediately.

Linkpearl. People around. People listening. She told you to be careful.

“I-I'm helping my sister out in Bozja, t-trying to take care of the injured out here. Lots of fighting. I don't know where she is and I don't know what to do about this!!!”

Absolutely all of this was the truth, if not rather vague but the girl was also in a state of panic, so she did do pretty good for herself all things considered.

If I can't even handle this, why am I even here? Veldi already thinks I shouldn't be here, am just gonna prove her right.

Stifling little whimpers, the Xaela sets her pack down beside her, numbly moving it away from the ever expanding pool of blood. Her clothing and skin were already matted in it from moving the man. That did not help matters.


“Bozja!? That's… that's a warzone! Wh-”

Vinalo cut themself off this time. Blue was terrified, clearly terrified. 'Not the time for this. Not now. Later.' They took a deep breath and sat down at their desk, composing their thoughts. Leg. Body. Lots of blood. And Blue wasn't a trained healer or chiurgeon. This wasn't going to be easy.

“Okay. Okay. Blue, I know this is scary, but you're… I need you to try and calm down a bit, if you can,” they responded, knowing full well the absurdity of their request. Still… “What do you have on you for medical supplies? Potions? Bandages?”


Blue stared at the soldier, who through some miracle or other was still breathing raggedly. Long as their chest still kept rising and falling, they were alive. In pain and agony but alive. Just…just can't let that stop.

In a daze, the Xaela looks over at her pack and begins plucking out what materials she has obediently. She hadn't packed up supplies for anything this severe- only the kinds of things she was used to using. It was better than nothing.

In between her own staggered breathes, she recites,

“Bandages, gauze, tweezers, alcohol, fresh water, some rags..not enough for…for all this..blood…”

Blue shudders violently, then slowly continues. “I've got rope and tape and these potions Lami told me I should keep, I think maybe they ease the pain..”


The healer nodded along as Blue listed off her supplies. 'Not empty-handed. Good.' They drummed their fingers rapidly on the desk, trying to mentally prioritize treatment without being able to see the patient themself. Vinalo closed their eyes and visualized the situation best they could.

“Okay, Blue. Just… try to listen best you can. You don't have the tools or… experience to fix up the patient's wounds right there, so… you're going to have to do your best to slow down the bleeding so he can make it elsewhere.” A moment to think. “You said he was shot, right? Can you tell if he's breathing? Caughing up blood?”


Blue without hesitation, gently nestled her head against the bleeding man's chest, just enough to be sure that rise and fall had not faltered. It was weak, but present, and though the man sputtered out in response, no blood came out.

The Xaela pulled away, her eyes darting from the wounded to the scene behind her where fighting was still going strong. At the very least, no attention had been drawn to the small little sanctity that was this corner of the battlefield. It was faint, but she thought she could hear the sounds of gunfire a little too close for comfort.

Flinching, Blue shakily responded. “He's…he's breathing…no blood. Hasn't spoken though..maybe unconscious..”


A very short sigh of relief. 'One thing that isn't a problem yet. Good.' Vinalo ran down the supplies again in their head. What next…

“Okay. Not coughing up blood mean his lungs and stomach weren't pierced. That's good. We can do this, Blue. Just… just stay with me, okay?” they asked, trying not to sound too demanding. Vinalo was not used to giving emergency medical advice over linkpearl. “His leg. You need to slow down the bleeding from the leg. You've some rope, right? You'll have to make a tourniquet from it. I'll talk you through it, okay?”


Blue still felt as if every movement she made was as slow as lead, and it was taking an extra moment to process Vinalo's instructions as well. Her anxiety-ridden mind was grateful for the way Vinalo spoke though. She knew she had to stop the bleeding at the leg first. That made sense…but it felt like only when Vinalo advised it that the Xaela could follow through.

“Slow..slow the bleeding at the leg.” She repeats, hesitating briefly before grabbing at the rope and unwinding the length a bit to make it more manageable to work with.

The sounds of gunfire were getting closer. What must have been a large machine could be heard exploding in the near distance.

“What now?”


The garbled sounds of combat did not put Vinalo at ease. Doing this kind of triage was hard enough for someone inexperienced. Having to worry about being attacked just made it worse. They shook their head a bit and continued.

“Okay. You need to get anything he's wearing near the… remaining leg, away. Get rid of any armor. Pull back or tear off any bit of trousers there. Need to be able to get to the skin.” they explained slowly and firmly. The healer stopped and visualized what Blue was probably working with. A slight wince. “Not going to lie, Blue. The wound's going to look… bad. Very bad. But you can do this.”

Vinalo took a quick drink of the tea they had nearby. They'd forgotten what Misha had brewed for them before she left. Something calming, they hoped.

“After that, go up a few ilms from the wound. Needs to be skin all round the leg. You need to wrap the rope and tie it tightly around the leg there. Enough to pinch the arteries much as possible to slow the bleed.”


Blue stared blankly at her silent patient as she listened, a sinking feeling in her stomach adding to the mental stress and anguish the Xaela was trying to manage through. That sounded..almost rude, too invasive to be doing without permission, mismatched eyes staring into the soldier's face and willing him to wake up so she could ask him if she could. She even attempted to nudge him in the shoulder a bit, briefly forgetting Vinalo was still in her ear when she murmured to the wounded, “Wake up…just for a few seconds…am I allowed?”

There didn't seem to be a response, and the girl whined as she dropped the rope in her lap in exchange for pulling out one of her daggers from her belt and beginning to cut away at his clothing. The armor thankfully snapped off without too much resistance. When enough of the fabric had been cut away to expose the wound completely, Blue started sobbing madly, dropping her dagger with a little thud and a small splash.

It was a chunky bloody mass of leg stump. Darker rivulets of blood were beginning to gloss over the edges of torn leg mass and the tibia bone had been completely shattered, leaving only half of an upper leg to work with. It gushed even more blood with the Xaela having been working with it, soaking her hands and the dagger she was working with. Numbly, Blue wondered where the rest of the leg had been thrown off to, but a large part of her didn't even want to know.

Still crying, Blue picked up her dagger again and continued to work, cutting above the stump with some trouble.


Vinalo heard Blue's pleads to the patient, and her subsequent sobbing. They were almost certain what exactly prompted it. Rubbing their forehead, the healer remembered the first time they had dealt with a violently removed limb. 'Never ready for that.' They waited for a pause in the sobbing before speaking up again.

“I'm still here, Blue. If.. if you need to talk through it, I'm here.”


Blue flicked her ears at Vinalo's words, choking back a shuddering sob with a wild shake of her head. She wiped at her eyes with her arms and cut the remainder of cloth off, this time setting the dagger down at her side without such a clatter.

“T-This shouldn't be getting to me.” The Xaela admitted finally, pulling a bottle of water from her pack to douse her hands clean before she'd work with the rope again. “I can't be letting injuries and blood and death and everything be getting to me. I can't. I just can't…”

Picking up the rope again, the Xaela begins to wrap it around the area of the leg that hadn't been blown off completely. She steeled herself for a moment before pulling it tight with a yank.

She pauses before remembering Vinalo couldn't see any of what she was doing. “I tightened the rope around his leg like you told me to..”


“It's… never easy, Blue. None of the… 'firsts' I'd treated were ever easy. You just get… used to it, I guess.” they tried to reassure her. Vinalo had leaned back and was currently laying on the floor, looking up at the ceiling. Part of them wished they could be there to help best they could. “You're not weak, Blue. You can do this. We can do this.”

A pause as Blue reported her progress.

“You're doing good. You are. If it's tight enough, the bleeding'll slow down enough to keep him going,” they said calmly. A deep breath. “Okay. You said was shot, too. Might be a bit… intrusive, but you need to find out where.”


Blue closes her eyes, trying to take a calming breath before staring back at the leg wound again. As promised by Vinalo, there seemed to be less bleeding as a result of her endeavors. It hadn't stopped, but it had slowed, and that was all the Xaela could hope for at this point. How long had Veldi been here doing all of this? Course this probably wouldn't have phased her as much..

“I don't know how you do this. How can anyone do this in a warzone? How many other people are out here just as injured or worse?” She fretted, tail coiling and uncoiling behind her anxiously. Just gotta focus on the one. I don't have a choice.

“The blood flow is slowing,” The girl affirms after a moment, trying not to look at all of what had escaped the man before she'd stopped it. How could there be so much blood in a person? No, stop! Distractions! Blue shook her head, looking to the bullet wounds she'd previously mentioned when she first called out to her friend.

“I…there's at least four shots…” Clearly not wanting to bother the soldier again yet having no other choice, Blue timidly sifts over his clothing, noting where holes had penetrated the man's garb all along his left side. “One at his left shoulder, two down near his stomach I think…One at the leg I just treated.” The Xaela reported these things whilst shuffling her positioning a bit, grabbing at her dagger and cutting at the armor so she could see each one proper.


Various thoughts crossed their mind as Blue frantically questioned everything. Why is Blue on the warfront? Did Lami drag her there? Does Tret know? Things to be (hopefully) answered later. Vinalo sat back up and nodded to themself as Blue got to the matters at hand.

“Okay. Just… try to keep focused, Blue. Each of those wounds you're going to treat the same way, more-or-less,” they said. Vinalo thought through what Blue had on hand and what she might think of doing. “It's… it's going to sound odd, I know, but trying to remove the bullets right there is too dangerous. Likely do more damage rooting around in the wound, so… as much as it seems right, don't. Idea is same as before. Stop the bleeding much as possible. That'll be what the gauze, bandages, and tape're for.”


Blue listened intently, and as predicted, her own head questioned not pulling out the bullets. When Astra had shot her moons ago that had been the first thing the Xaela had done. But the healer knew best, and though they wouldn't be able to see, the Xaela would nod after a moment before responding with an obedient “..Okay. I know how to wrap up wounds.” There just, usually wasn't this many of them…

The Xaela plucked up the gauze and began to unroll it. Though she herself remained silent on her end, concentrating on wrapping up each wound to the best of her abilities, the sounds of warfare were growing ever steadily in the background. There was no time for Blue to look and see what all was going on around her, ripping up a piece of tape with her teeth before wrapping the leg up, and then the shoulder. Most of the bleeding from these wounds were coming from the soldier's stomach, and Blue wanted to take extra care and leave it for last.

Just then, a gun fires and it sounds CLOSE, as if the shot had gone off right behind the Xaela. And though that was thankfully not the case, it was clear something had happened because a surprised yelp suddenly sounds through the linkpearl followed by an even fainter “..Oh.”


“Yes. Just take it nice and easy. Pressure, but not too much. Enough to hold back the bleeding,” they said, their voice returning to the reassuring tone. “Just a bit more and you'll have him patched up well as you can until he gets to a proper healer.”

Vinalo started to relax just a tiny bit. There was only so much Blue could do, and she was within a hair's width from pulling it off. They began to wonder the best way for Blue to get herself and the patient out of harms way, when the sudden BANG and subsequent yelp snapped them back to the present. They'd hardly heard the follow-up voice.

“BLUE! What happened!?” Vinalo yelled, hoping they didn't just hear what it sounded like.


“Just a little hurt.” The Xaela answers after a long moment of staring at the red blossom growing on her arm. She looks down at the gauze she'd dropped upon being struck, then at the soldier who had almost been patched up. She wasn't going to let this stop her from finishing her work.

“Makes this…harder to bandage though.” The fingers of her injured arm didn't want to move while the arm itself didn't want to lift. Worse yet, it had been her dominant arm, leaving Blue to lift up the gauze with her remaining arm, at a complete loss as to how to continue.

After a moment, Blue snorts softly and brings the gauze up to her mouth to bite down on, making an honest if not meager attempt at trying to wrap up the soldier's final wounds with what she's got.


No no no. Not now. Not like this.

Vinalo's mind raced. They wanted to help. They had no way to. It was already frustrating enough not being able to attend the patient directly; now Blue was injured trying to do a job she wasn't trained for at all. They wanted to scream at whoever got her into this mess, but… not now. They had to stay calm.

“…How bad is it, Blue? Can you still get yourself moving?” they asked quietly, trying not to stress Blue any more than already happened. “You have to keep yourself safe, Blue.”


Blue fumbled a bit, awkwardly finishing up her wrapping job on the soldier's belly which was unfortunately coming loose no matter how much she applied the scraps of tape to bind it.

All the while a steady stream of blood is dripping down her opposite arm, not being helped by all the exertion and tiring the Xaela rather steadily.

“..Think I patched him up as best as I could. I'll bandage myself up now.”

Her voice carried a slightly sluggish tone, and again her movements felt like sifting through mud as she felt the need to put everything away in her pack with her only working arm first and foremost. Only after did she plop herself down beside her patient with the remnants of gauze and tape she had left, weakly wrapping it around her blasted arm.

…I think I have to call my sister after all. I can't move this guy and I'm feeling really sleepy.“

Blue leans against the soldier, but feels something pointy press against her leg. Blinking slowly, she feels around the side of the man that thankfully hasn't been shot, retrieving a small folded note from one of his pockets. Humming softly to herself, the girl has just enough clarity of mind to slip it somewhere safe before leaning again.

”…How're you Vinalo? Staying out of trouble?“ Blue nestles her limp arm against her lap and closes her eyes, wondering what she should say to Veldi.


She didn't answer the question. Vinalo's mind raced even more and the sinking feeling in their gut became impossible to ignore. 'Sleepy? No. No no no.' They leapt to their feet, as if they could just rush off to wherever Blue was. They knew they couldn't, but it didn't stop them from getting the urge to grab their robe, supplies, and whatever else they could carry and head out the door. Instead, the healer stood there trying to think. It wasn't working the best. Instead, an increase in volume seemed to win over.

“BLUE! Listen to me, please! You… you need to get to safety. You need to move!” Vinalo practically yelled over the linkpearl. “You have to make it back here! You have to! Tret's waiting for you. And we've got that garden to grow, remember? Please, Blue!”


Blue flicks her ears in mild agitation, slowly opening her eyes again. It was getting harder to keep them open, and she complains lightly,

“But it's comfy here and I'm tired.”

The Xaela wasn't used to the rise in volume coming from Vinalo of all people however, and her mind groggily shifted to thinking about Tret, and the garden deep in the Shroud. And just coming back to see everybody again.

Her mind begins to clear a bit further and anxiety bubbles to the surface once more as well, the Xaela reluctantly straightening up.

She'd be disappointed too.

With an agitated whine, Blue slowly pushes herself away from the rubble and staggers a bit before finding her footing. Her busted arm drops loosely at her side before she mutters to Vinalo,

“Can't be sleeping anyway…gotta keep proving that I can handle things…but what about him?”

She stares down at the soldier, swaying a bit from side to side, muddled, stubborn brain not wanting to leave the unconscious man behind, especially with the blasts and the shouting and the clashing going on nearby.


”…Right, right. No sleeping now, Blue. Can rest later. Need to get to safety now.“

Vinalo relaxed just a tiny tiny bit hearing Blue's determined shift. But her question on what to do with the patient remained. Not much time to think.

Carry? No, she's too injured, too unstable. Teleport? Too much for her right now, and… not experienced enough.' Their mind leapt from option to option, not wanting to reach the inevitable conclusion. '…Transform? No…no. If it was safe, she would've already. Too dangerous.

They brought their hand to their face, rubbing their forehead in a frustrated and worried motion. Never a good choice with this. Vinalo let out a long sigh and spoke again.

“B-Blue. I'm… sorry. Unless you can heal yourself, or get… much stronger quickly…” the healer said quietly. Hesitation. They didn't want to say the rest. ”…You have to leave him, Blue. You've done everything you can, but you're injured. It's too dangerous. You need to get to safety. Send for help if you can, but you need to go.“


Blue brought the back of her uninjured hand against her forehead, leaning into it a bit as she listened and clearly wasn't pleased with Vinalo's answer.

“B-but I tried! I worked so hard! I can't leave him now!” The Xaela nearly shouted herself before she stopped and took a breath.

“I…I'll get help. But I'm going to have to send out a call. I don't want to wait.”

There was that miserable sinking feeling again, mixed in with the numbness of one arm and the grogginess in her head. He'd been breathing last Blue had checked, but how long before someone came?


“Send out a call?” Vinalo asked, voice still dripping with concern. ”…Who else is there with you, Blue? Is Lami close?“

The Lalafell was pacing now, making small laps between the dining nook and their desk. They were worried. They were scared. The very last thing they wanted to hear was their dear friend's last moments over linkpearl. Vinalo took another deep breath and softened their tone.

“Blue. You've done a very good job. You slowed down his bleeding and gave him a chance,” they explained. “If… you really think you can get someone there quickly, then do it. But please… don't stay any longer than you have to.”

A pause. Vinalo knows the mindset. It's familiar. Comes with the territory. Hard to fight in the best of times.

“A dead healer can't help anyone else.”


Blue blinks, a bit of a haze lifting at the mention of Lami, her tail giving a slow wag.

“I think…she's still on the ship..might come back soon..Veldi is here though.”

The Xaela squinted out at the ravaged land behind and in front of her before she got too dizzy to do so again and leaned against a fallen pillar nearby.

“But I don't know where so I have to call her. She's a medic, she knows better than me, she could have handled this.”

Blue wipes at her eyes, seeming to wilt at Vinalo's final words.

”..I'll let you know when I'm safe.“

She pulls the linkpearl from her ear, drawing it to her face to stare at with muddled eyes before clicking it off. A few seconds, maybe a minute and the Xaela would bring it to her ear once more, sighing gently.

“Veldi? There's an injured person out in front of the ruins. Lost a leg, got shot some….bandaged up, don't know if it's enough.”

Blue's words are slightly muddled in spite of her adamant attempts to be as clear as possible, staring down at her injured arm distractedly. The blood had seeped through the bandages she'd wrapped around herself much to her dismay.


The linkpearl clicks on shortly after, but there appears to be gunfire crackling through nearby.

“Where were they…crackle..shot?”


Vinalo nodded to themself as they heard the connection drop. They slowly walked over to the sofa and unceremoniously flopped down, removing the linkpearl once settled. Staring again at the ceiling, they rolled the linkpearl around in their hand, unable to truly relax. Blue was still out there, just now they couldn't talk to her. They closed their eyes and began breathing deeply and slowly. In and out. With linkpearl held close, Vinalo simply thought, waited, and hoped.


The Xaela felt a surge of relief at the answering call, her eyes closing again, fins flicking at the crackling noise that wouldn't have been too different from where she was situated, though at least somewhat muted.

“Four shots, left side, lots of blood loss but didn't see any….anything else.”

Silence. Then, “But they're bandaged, bullets still in, don't think I can move him and guns're louder now.”


“Why can’t you move him? Are you boxed in? Actually where are you? Closest forward camp..crackle..can you call for reinforcements?”


“Uff..he's unconscious…camp?”

Confusion crosses the Xaela's face. What is she…Blue slides to the ground again with a thud, numbness extending to her upper shoulder.

”..Can you come get him?“


“Not if I don’t know where you are. Give me a landmark, a path—something! Why can’t you move him? Wait why are you talking like that? What happened to you?”


Blue tries to formulate where she is, bleary-eyes winking open briefly to look between the cracks and the rubble and the walls for something. The girl giggles quietly in spite of herself. “You got splashed by the water things!”

She drops her head and stares down at her arm, gently adjusting it into her lap with the opposite before leaning back.

“I'm just sleepy.”

“But they said I can't sleep. So I'm not.”

“n' you'd be mad.”


“I’m already pissed!”

There is the sound of an explosion going off nearby, followed by some pained grunting.

“Listen to me you runny shite, I basically begged you not to fuckin’—gah!” Another bombardment cuts off the transmission, but several moments later the linkpearl clicks back on. “You don’t get to die! I don’t care if you’re missin BOTH legs, you wake the fuck up, treat whatever is wrong with you RIGHT NOW, and stay alert or I swear to every god I will rip your soul from the gods damn aether myself just so I can put it crackle through a fuckin wa—“

More gunshots cut sound off before the transmission cuts completely.


Blue listened passively to the yelling, though the constant explosive sounds against her ears caused her to sluggishly flinch seconds after the fact up until the transmission cut off for the final time. She lifted her head and glanced around briefly. The gunfire never ended but attention had not seemed to be drawn to the safe cover of just another ruined building.

With nothing else to do and no one to talk to, the Xaela slowly made her way back to the soldier she'd treated. Even after Vinalo's urgings to get to safety, Blue hadn't actually made it more than a few fulms away from the wounded man, uncertain and unwilling to leave him. The numbness kept extending outwards from Blue's busted arm but through sheer stubbornness she found herself plopping in front of the soldier as she had what felt like bells ago- how long had it actually been? She leaned forward to make sure the man was still breathing.

But there was nothing. No raspy coughs or sputters, no rise or fall. Just stillness.

The tired Xaela draws back slowly at the realization. It wasn't enough. She hadn't done enough. He was dead. She couldn't stop it. Blue didn't think she had much energy for anything else, but apparently she had more than enough to start crying.


A very short while later, an au ra appeared near Blue's location, bending down to look her over before prodding her to test how alert she still was, even as she very quickly moved to assess Blue's condition. It was a Raen woman with skin pale nearly to the point of appearing white, and dressed in Bozjan battle attire. She had obviously fought her way to wherever blue was, as there were clumps of dirt and streaks of blood all over her. She appeared to have been looking for Blue specifically, seemingly growing more assured as the one legged man lay silently nearby.

“Can you hear me? I need to heal you, but I dont think we can expect a good enough job here. I'll need to just get you on your feet for now, understand?”


Blue didn't look good, her own complexion much paler than usual, face markings dulled to the point of nearly blending into her skin. Her attire was matted with both the dried blood of the motionless man she sought to treat and fresh blood oozing from the flesh wound on her arm.

It looked like she'd made a haphazard attempt at trying to stop her own bleeding again, but having used nearly all of her supplies on a dead man left very little for the girl to work with, made even harder by the blood she'd already lost.

To keep herself from falling asleep, Blue had brought her uninjured hand up to her mouth, biting down whenever she felt the urge to close her eyes, so when Veldi…was it veldi?…can't…must be… appeared in the Xaela's line of vision, she bit down even harder just to make sure it wasn't a dream before releasing it with a tired whimper.

She wagged the tip of her tail at the Raen's words, though it wasn't a certainty if Blue was comprehending everything. Still, she nodded her head after a moment.


The woman proceeded to very quickly go about healing Blue, mending the wound on her arm in short order despite the chaos ringing about the area nearby. Unfortunately, the healing did very little to replace the blood that Blue had been leaking prior to her arrival, and finding the woman mostly incoherent, ultimately decided to pick the Blue up on her own to carry her across the raging battlefield once she had stopped the most immediate danger to her life.


Blue could feel the healing aether on her arm, pushing back against the numbness she felt there. Her eyes wandered over to the wound itself but her arm still felt so heavy, like lead, too tired to even test if her fingers worked.

As such, she gave little protest when she was picked up, balancing unsteadily on her own two feet and bracing hard against the woman.

Her mind was murky and dark and thick with fog. She mumbled to the raen, ”…Are you mad at me? I tried….I tried….“ Stifling a sob.


“Now now, none of that. Always a few losses in this sort of thing, but I know how you feel.”

Perhaps surprisingly, the raen woman lifted Blue with relative ease, and despite the chaos of the battlefield seemed to carry her to the nearest forward camp with an almost unnatural speed. When they arrived, the area was already locked down enough that the woman could proceed to do further work on Blue and her wound. There were ample medical supplies on hand, but Blue's primary problem had been the damaged flesh which was already mostly patched up. Her lost blood could not be replenished at the forward camp, so rather than trying to force an immediate recovery, Blue would have been given a series of herbs, mostly to supply her with energy and to promote recovery as an extra precaution more than anything. Word quickly spread around camp about Blue's injury, and for the most part beyond noting who she was proceeded to shuffle her to a more secure portion of the camp with other injured individuals while an escort could be organized to take them back to a safer location.
After assuring that she was unlikely to experience further problems, the Raen that brought Blue to the camp moved on to more critically injured persons, remaining nearby to keep an eye on Blue regardless of the increasing chaos of the battle.


Blue briefly felt a moment of clarity at the Raen's answer, stiffening slightly when realization struck. And then it was gone and hazy and the Xaela curled up in the Raen's arms and just let things happen from there.

She was a willing patient at least, taking what herbs she was provided with but spending almost the entirety of the time in a deep slumber. With rest came a slow but steady recovery of her own inate ability replenishing what was lost, and color would begin to return to Blue's cheeks.

After a time, one eye would wink open, followed by the other, trying to clear the blurriness and clarify the forms and shapes moving or laying around her.


After a time, Veldi appeared in the camp, having been called there by the Raen woman. She seemed far more tired than usual, and seemed to be almost entirely caked in blood from the right side of her face down to her shoulder.

She did not say anything when she saw Blue, instead taking the time to speak with the raen about Blue's condition before coming near to sit down, removing her glasses to remove the blood dried to her lenses.

“You bring anything to eat with you out there?”


Blue had at this point cleared the fuzziness from both her vision and inside her head, but hadn't done much in that time either, turning on her side to watch the goings on with bright, curious eyes again. Trying not to think too much.

Course, soon as Veldi walked in, Blue perked up immediately, wriggled in place a bit, and observed her tired, bloody appearance with concern. Not that Blue had looked any better herself.

She settled down when Veldi sat beside her, her tone of voice happy, if not a bit withdrawn.

“Noo…didn't think I'd be out there that long.”


“Cant assume you wont be. Anything can and will happen, and often you need to force yourself to eat somethin even when you dont want to. Especially then.”

Veldi pulled what appeared to be bread crusts from her pocket, offering them without directly looking at Blue. She seemed to be avoiding her gaze entirely.

“Got a helmet?”


“Okay..I'll be sure to bring food with me next time.”

Blue answered, but studied Veldi as well before gingerly reaching out with her healed arm and taking one of the crusts delicately from her. Testing her fingers a bit before nibbling on the piece of bread quietly.

She still stared at Veldi even as she avoided her own.

“I don't have a helmet.”

“He died.”


“And you didn’t. Shouldn’t you go home now? This is enough, aint it?”


“No. I'm here cause I need to be.”

“I'll be done when you're done.”


“You don’t need to be here, you want to be. If you don’t understand the difference you’ll end up right back here or worse. Even if you do you still might.”


“No, I need to be here!” Blue insists before shuffling a bit and sitting up slowly. She tilts her head.

“I came here knowing I might die. I'm not scared of that. I'm terrified of leaving you alone.”


Veldi still did not meet Blue’s gaze, instead turning about in her seat.

“Well if you don’t got any gear to stop you from getting hurt, you damn well better start using that hiding shite you were taught. Thought you had to pass some test before you could come here? I’d get my money back if this is what you’ve got to show for it.”


Blue rubbed at her cheek. “I've been doing good with the hiding things. It's just harder to do that when my attention is focused on trying to mend someone. I'll pay more attention to my surroundings next time.”

Blue snorted softly and leaned forward, near threatening to flop herself onto her fellow lizard.

“Sis.” Seeking out her attention and her gaze, most insistent.


About this time, a group of Limsan Men and women came walking close to the infirmary. At their head strode a Seeker female that Blue would recognize as Lami, tricorn hat in her head and a rough jacket, she had a Gunblade strapped over her shoulder and seemed to be ready to take on a troop on her own considering the small pieces of plate that covered vital organs. Having caught Blue in the corner of her eye she’d pause for but an instant before she continued to walk by. Looking straight ahead. Knowing she couldn’t blow her cover she made a mental note that she would be delivering the medical supplies for a proper excuse to grill her student on why she looked so banged up.


Blue looked away for the slightest moment, mismatched eyes falling on Lami. Her arm twitches in a reflexive wave that doesn't quite get there before the Xaela corrects herself and continues to perch precariously from the edge of her bed. Wobble.


Veldi put her hand on Blue’s shoulder to physically force her to lie down again.

“Lay that arse back down. Can’t be bouncin around everywhere after passing’ out dammit.”


Blue folds like paper, unable to offer any resistance as she's made to lie down. Something about this fact elicits a strangled sob from the girl, notes of distress appearing in her voice.

“I'm supposed to take care of you, not upset you!”

She hurriedly rubs at her eyes, trying not to cry in front of Veldi, before just sticking out both arms in her general direction off the edge of the bed, reaching.

“I'm a terrible sister aren't I? No wonder you don't want to look at me.”


“That ain’t why I’m not lookin’. I know you won’t listen if I tell you to leave, but this place changes people. There’s no break here—nothin’ normal. If you’re only here for me, it’s not worth it. Cause I’m not. I can’t be the reason someone I care about is gone again.”


Blue takes a slow if not slightly unsteady breath, seeming to take a moment to actually listen instead of immediately protest.

“You're too hard on yourself. You can just blame me if you want. Cause just like you know I'm not gonna listen if you tell me to leave, you're not gonna listen when I tell you that you're worth fighting for. The world kind of sucks if there aren't people in it that make it better n' you're that to me.”

“Anyway, I felt good treating the injured out there. I don't know who they are or why they're fighting, but it makes no difference if I can help them get back to their own families. Sometimes a little care matters, specially here. That's kinda how we met after all.”

“So if it makes you feel better and lets you look at me again, I'm not just here for you.”


“What am I supposed to tell everyone if you don’t make it back then?”


The Xaela brings a hand back to scratch behind her earfin, staring at Veldi with a small frown on her face.

“I…I don't know. That's not your burden to bear, so I'll do my best not to let that happen.”

“But if it does? I made my choice with no regrets cept for making people sad. I'm happy being here and helping. That's all I ever want.”

Blue pauses. “Or need. Maybe they are both the same to me after all.”


“I think….I’m seeing the kind of person I really am. I don’t think I like it much, but it’s not like I can leave either. But…” she placed a hand over her right eye and pressed down, sighing to herself.

“I think you’ll be disappointed when you see it.”


Blue stretches her hands out again, 'pawing' at Veldi or at least making the attempt at a gentle swipe.

“I'm always worried I'll disappoint you. Makes me want to try and do better so that I won't.”

”…but if it's not that simple, if it does disappoint me for some reason, don't be thinking I'm going anywhere cause of it. I see you…and I'm here..“


Veldi stands, having said her piece for now.

“I should check on the others.” Was all she managed to mumble out before turning and standing up to go check on the other injured, the Raen from earlier quickly getting her attention to come help with someone else.



Both in a childish attempt to keep Veldi nearby for a little longer and also because she didn't know who else to give it to, Blue wriggles around a bit and pulls out a tightly folded piece of parchment from one of her pockets.

”..I took this from the man I was treating. Maybe it's got some names of family or…or someone to contact.“ The Xaela had forgotten why she'd taken it at all. Perhaps for safekeeping to give back when her patient had recovered. Except that wouldn't happen now.

She passed it to her sister with little fanfare, not wanting to stop Veldi from tending to others who needed aid as well. But she couldn't help but ask with a tinge of hopefulness in her voice. ”..Will you come back later? We don't have to talk or anything…just for a lil while?“


Veldi took the parchment, sliding it into her coat without looking for now.

“We need to organize a party to move everyone back to a more secure base. I’ll be there with a few other medics to make sure none of you go into critical condition mid-travel—or at the very least if it does happen one of us can treat it. So you’ll see me whether you want to or not.”


This seemed to appease the girl enough to nod softly and settle back down, curling up her tail to hug it like a scaly blanket.

“Okay..take care sis.” Blue seemed to tire out again, so she'd make to sleep just that little bit longer, having little trouble in drowning out the sounds around her soon after.

Letter Contents

The first thing Veldi would notice of the parchment when she had the time to look was the strange red insignia stamped on the front of it, marred by time and tampering. The texture of the paper itself was one that carried the heavy creases of a letter that had been folded and unfolded several times to a disturbing degree. While it had a few bits of dust and some spots of blood on it, care had been taken to assure that nothing would mar the contents inside.

In spite of all that care, the words within were just names. No locations or directions or instructions. Five names in total, two of which had been crossed out. There wasn't even a signature at the bottom from whoever had penned the list.


Weynild Cherrier


Gudrod Warcry


Blue would awaken a couple bells later and immediately remember that she hadn't called Vinalo as she'd promised to do so when she'd gotten somewhere safe. Hurriedly bringing the linkpearl to her ear, she'd make the call to her friend, assuring them that she was alright. Conversation would inevitably lead back to the soldier who Blue had not been able to save, words of comfort provided by the elder healer. In spite of the consoling, the sad truth that it was impossible to save everyone, the Xaela still took it rather hard, crying quietly under the blankets. She would go on to promise Vinalo that she'd try and be a little bit more selfish about her own life. A lot of people would be sad if she didn't make it back, and the talk with both Vinalo and her sister had assured her as much. A dead healer also wouldn't be able to help anyone else. Learning to let go…that was something Blue's stubbornness would not immediately allow. She would try to weigh her choices and options better in the future for the sake of those she held dear.

Meanwhile, a charred smell rose from the area where the soldier with the strange parchment had been. Ashes where a body used to be. It began to rain.

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