Lucent He was in the War Room, discussing possibilities. None of them very appealing. They knew the results. They knew a rough outline of the methods. Now just how to go through them, was the hard part. Especially for one with such a loose understanding of the intrincacies of Essence.
Lucent "Still not enough." Lucent looks at the papers around him, medical treatises from all over the Realm. "Still no idea how to do it. Surgery is hard enough to learn, but to deal with Essence is just... damnit!" A wave of his hand, and the scrolls fall down. "Not far enough."
zahara "Cerin can provide you with quite precise diagrams." She folds her hands behind her back
Lucent "Yes, but then I have to UNDERSTAND them!"
Varanim Varanim, shuffling by in the hallway and shaking off the remnants of an unintended nap, sticks her head into to the room to see what's happening. "Diagrams for what?" she says, then takes a closer look at the scattered books and scowls. "Oh, something stupid is afoot, I can tell."
zahara "I'll explain them to you, the notation is quite simple reall.... ah, hello Varanim."
Lucent "Hello, Varanim! Oh, diagrams for... Imrama's Essence. Thinking about what the doctor said..."
Varanim "Oh, have we given up on him?" Varanim says with some interest, coming in. "Because that's the only reason I can imagine for you to have cracked the Third Azure Lily's book on anatomy. The woman was an idiot." She flicks one of the many open books to indicate.
Lucent "Of course not!" He snapped! "I just... cannot find a way to do what he said."
Varanim looks over at Zahara. "You see what happens when you ask him to play doctor? And I thought you and Cee were exclusive." She sidles closer to scan the state of the diagrams, though.
zahara shrugs and smirks a little. "Calm down, Luc. We just need to study what to do."
Lucent "I am Solar, Varanim. I WILL be able to do it." He crouches to pick them up from the ground. "I just never expected it to be this... difficult. Most other arts have been manipulated by me in more... instinctive ways."
Varanim "Yes, I can see that it's making you hurty in your head-place," Varanim says to Lucent. To Zahara: "Did the Doctor ask for too much, or are you just comparison shopping here?"
zahara "Unresolved favors are almost always too much."
Varanim nods. "I'll see if I can pin him down on specifics, just in case. He's totally into me."
Varanim "Failing that..." she contemplates the assembled papers with a profoundly skeptical look.
Lucent "Hmmm..." He ponders. "The Doctor! Yes! Varanim, I need you to schedule classes with him."
Varanim "Wait, what?"
zahara "What now?"
Lucent "I need to learn with someone. I have other teachers in mind, but I think he has an unique viewpoint on this situation."
Varanim has the strangest look on her face, as if she's being simultaneously pulled by two strong and equally unattractive impulses.
zahara "Aren't you..." she trails off. "Seriously?"
Lucent "Yes! Well, unless Varanim has doubts about me taking classes in her mind, which I would certainly understand after what we went through last time."
zahara "In her mind? Are we talking about the same Doctor here?"
Lucent "The one who diagnosed Imrama, yes. Part of the Faculty."
Varanim "In my... oh, the faculty." Varanim looks briefly hopeful, then scowls again. "Look, what exactly do you want with the Doctor--just basic techniques? His specialty is necrosurgery."
Varanim "You think he's... oh."
Lucent "Just basic techniques, yes. It is all Medicine, and it is, like I said, a unique viewpoint!"
Lucent smiles, as if there was nothing wrong with that suggestion.
Varanim "The Doctor isn't part of the faculty in my rock," Varanim says carefully. "He's an outside specialist, where by 'specialist' I mean 'Abyssal'."
Lucent "... oh. When we met on that place, I thought... ah."
Varanim "Oh!" Varanim's face clears. "No, the space in the stone isn't really a Shadowland, although I agree the resemblance is there. But..." she looks uncertain.
Lucent "Who DOES he serve, then?"
Varanim "Look. If you're really hot for the Doctor, I'll put you in touch, although don't blame me if he doesn't call you in the morning. Or I could probably point you through the basic stuff, myself. I never did Essence surgery, but I was a doctor."
Lucent looks... wary now. As if he had delivered a friend to a Yozi without realising.
Varanim "He at least moonlights for the Lion. I thought you knew that," says Varanim, who had no particular reason to think any such thing.
Lucent looks at Varanim as if the Sun had not risen that morning.
Varanim "Oh, what now? I said he had good references," Varanim says, wiggling her wrapped soulsteel fingers. "Anyway, he's pretty much guaranteed to be a better teacher than me."
Lucent "We define the Lion as 'good' now? Rosada is a bastard of the highest order!"
zahara crosses her arms and leans back in her chair. This can only get better.
Varanim "Focus," Varanim says patiently. "We're talking about the Doctor, who did a very nice job on my arm, all things considered."
Lucent looks even more flabbergasted. "Wait... he is the one who did..."
Varanim "You know, I'm completely sure I said that at the time. It must have been lost in the general wailing and gnashing of teeth."
Lucent "I hugged."
Lucent "The man."
Lucent "Who took off your arm."
Lucent suddenly needs a shower. Or twenty.
Varanim "Mmhmm. If I hadn't been so angry at the time, I'd have shat myself laughing."
Varanim is slouched against a table now, watching Lucent's expression with honest curiosity.
Lucent inhales sharply, then turns to Varanim, "Oh, still... I still want to meet him. Still." He says with a most... earnest... smile.
Lucent tries to make his brow stop... twitching. Fails.
Varanim "Is this going to be some kind of weird proxy revenge thing? Because I'm way over it, the arm, I mean."
Lucent "... no. Not at all."
Varanim "That would be loads more convincing without the facial tic, just so you know." Varanim is starting to look quite cranky, and shoots a beseeching look over at Zahara. "Am I going to have to teach him myself? I don't want to."
zahara "Don't look at me, I only know how to take people apart. I always had the demons put them back together."
Lucent "Seems like, if you wish to protect this man so much..." The twitching goes away. Mostly.
Varanim "Hey, wow, Lucent's misunderstanding something I said. Has it been five minutes already?"
Varanim rubs a hand over her face. "I'll get you for this," she mutters sideways to Zahara.
zahara gives her a look of pure innocence, as unnatural as that is on her
Lucent grins. "Can I call you teacher now?"
Varanim gives Zahara a venomous glare, then turns it on Lucent. "Absolutely not." Then she starts digging through the assembled papers. "This is really annoying, you know. I have plenty of interesting work already."
Lucent "I promise not to talk about sunshine, butterflies and hope for the duration?"
Lucent puts a fist over his heart
Varanim "You're lying, but that's sweet of you to say," Varanim grumbles, then jabs her finger at a slim book. "Start with that one. Anything that's interesting, look for details... here," she pulls out a much larger volume. "But don't do any of that until you've spent a couple of days here," she scribbles an address on a piece of paper, "to see if you still have the stomach for it."
Lucent picks it up, hides the piece of paper, and begins his reading
Varanim "Get you," she repeats in a hiss to Zahara, then stalks out the door, snatching a couple of the scattered books on her way.
Lucent follows her, going 'oooh' at the book
Varanim "No, don't follow me! You should read on your own, it's best for the mind or something. If you have questions, I'll be... around." Varanim looks an unusual combination of shifty-eyed and nervous.
Lucent "Oh." He nods. "... alright. I will meet you for dinner to discuss it?"