Ch. 57. A Glass of Magic

Sea of Lyr, aboard the Wolf

“Take some strange medicine?” said Y’lanna.  “Are you sure? How can I be certain it’s compatible with Zoneloger physiology?”

“Physiology?”  The naval physician looked up sharply from the notes he had sat down to write.  This strange, hairless, oddly colored creature seemed so like a young girl, and in his disciplined, military way, perhaps, the elf responded reflexively to her as to a child speaking up to an authority — a common enough habit among healers of many kinds when questioned by their patients, to be sure.

Physiology? Has the multiverse sent us a new scholar then?  That potion is not meant to be compatible with any physiology at all, young person. It will attune your natural aura to the prevailing vibrations of this world, and it is composed of ethereal conjurations suspended in water.  I presume your physiology is compatible with water, isn’t it?  You seem to have survived the ocean with no ill effects.  We have done this before, you know.”

The barbs in his words were belied by a slight softening around his dark eyes as he regarded her, however.  Pressing his lips together with an almost parental disapproval, he returned to his logbook.

“Drink it or not, as you wish,” he said as he resumed writing his observations of her.  “Your aura will naturally align over time anyway.  The potion merely speeds the alignment to spare you the sickness and pains some beings suffer during adjustment.  But if you will take it, do so quickly, please.  It loses potency upon exposure to air, and will be useless in a few more minutes.  It is too expensive to waste.  What is your name, please?”

With a visible effort, the healer returned his attention to his logbook, filling out the particulars of his examination.  He had her height, approximate weight, description, and the standard list of intuitive observations sensed by laying his hands on her.  Her name was all he needed to ask her.  Bending his mind to his work, he left his patient to make her decisions about the small stack of plain clothes and the glass of swirling, clear, cerulean blue liquid that smelled and tasted of burnt walnuts, if the purple alien would know what a walnut was.

The clean, white walls around her creaked, and the flooring under her rose and fell with the movement of the Wolf through the water that rushed by on the other side of the hull in a continuous whisper.  The scratching of the medical officer’s pen on his big, heavy book.  The tiny clinks of the many glass and ceramic bottles, vials, pots, etc., behind the cabinet doors of the ship’s infirmary.  The sailor waiting, in his red and blue uniform, his long hair tied back in the regulation naval braid, revealing the angular cast of elven features, the pronounced bone structure and longish ears.  The glass of magic in her hand.  Was it all as alien to her as she was to Aeldreth?  The healer could guess, but it was not his place to do so, and so he did not.  It would be up to the captain to answer her questions.

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