Day 032: Station's Symphony
Summary: Tink drops by the Infirmary for a check up and gets a lesson in music.
Date: 06/30/2016
Related: None
Tink Salvador 

Infirmary - Mount Weather
This is a long room, accessible in various points along the level four corridor. It has an arched, buttressed ceiling like much of the compound. Circular white lights are embedded on the wall, following up the arch to create a bright, luminous space. The floors are in the same polished concrete as much of the compound, and these are well-cleaned to keep a sterile environment. Rows of beds line the walls, and there are mazes of flexible tubing running up from each bed, along the wall, and then back toward the secured medical labs.
Day 32

The infirmary is busy today, but not as busy as it was when the prisoners of the Ark first arrived. Most of the patients are now up on their feet, and have been slowly filtering their way to the dorms and mess hall to make less regular visits back here. The Medical Team at Mount Weather really is quite remarkable, capable of not only state-of-the-art treatment which would make even Dr. Li on the Ark look a little amateur — if only because she has to work with strict rations — but also very efficient scar-removal. Dr. Salvador Charles Montgomery stands by the bed of one of his own people, a patient listed as 'J Hughes', who appears to have suffered a few burns and boils on his skin, but is now awake. His condition does not look serious.

When Tink first arrived at Mount Weather, she was shell shocked, withdrawn and prone to tears. The shadow of a girl has been getting better. Her malnutrition has started to abate, she's not as skinny as she was before. Her neck wound is barely noticeable now. Her abdominal wound from that arrow that Salvador had to remove is healing nicely. As Tink looks amazed at the recovery that 'J Hughs' is making, she unconsciously fiddles with her own sleeves that hide her burn scars that go from just above her wrist to all the way up her arms.

After making some small conversation with patient J Hughes, to which the injured man lightly nods his head, Salvador smiles, places a comforting hand on the man's shoulder, then steps away and towards Tink. A nurse soon takes over his duties there, bringing the patient a glass of water to start.

"Ms. Kinsey," the doctor greets Tink, motioning her towards an empty bed. He remembers how shell-shocked this particular guest was when she first arrived, and his clear, wrinkled blue eyes are sympathetic. "How are we feeling today?"

"I'm doing better," Tink tells Salvador, "Still…not sleeping all the time but the wound in my stomach isn't bothering much. I think you might be able to take my stitches out soon." She gives what she hopes is a smile, "I've been eating five smaller meals…so I don't overload the system." Yes, she uses tech speak when she talks about her own body, "And drinking lots of water." She keeps fiddling with her sleeves, cause when she talks, her hands move and then there's a flash of scars and she feels the need to pull the sleeves down. "If you need me to do something…I could be active. I've done a lot more with a lot less." It does seem to bother the girl that she's just sitting back and doing nothing.

Salvador nods his head as Tink uses that tech-speak to explain her own condition. It's not that he doesn't have excellent bedside manner and couldn't understand perfectly well if she were to speak more vaguely; but being a doctor, her terminology is more automatic for him. "I understand that you and your friends are used to very intense work at all times," he surmises, motioning towards her stomach only to interrupt the more casual conversation with, "Lift your dress up, please?" And then, treating the business portion of the conversation as a separate thread, he continues with more personable matters. "Your friends Ruth Mercer and Madelyn Petrie have asked me the same thing. You are all very eager to help. I admire that, but you know —" smiling again, he assures her, "there is no harm in just taking time to relax and recover, now and then."

Tink nods as he asks for her to lift her dress so he can see her stomach. She stands for a moment and then lifts it up, showing her stomach so he can view that. She's not at all self-conscious, there's an inherent lack of body image, on everything but her scars that are on her arms. She continues to chat with him as he looks over her stomach, "Yes…I've never been idle." It's sort of a novel concept for her, "Your nephew, Mr. Cooper, shared a book with me." She flashes a smile because she likes Truman, "It's helped having something to do." So she's taking it easy but her mind is still actively reading, "But I've been giving my body some down time. Just keeping the wheels up here going."

Self-conscious or not, Dr. Montgomery examines Tink's injury in a purely clinical manner, then nods his head. "You can put that down," he says of the dress, though the mention of his nephew does get a humoured raise of his heavy black brows. "Trooper, yes? Sorry, that is what we call him." Despite the present formalities — calling Tink 'Ms. Kinsey' and himself being 'Dr. S. C. Montgomery', the Mountain Men have known each other all their lives, after all. Truman to him is Trooper, just as he is 'Uncle Sally' to Truman. "What book did he give you?

As they converse, he proceeds to check her vitals in the background. First her pulse with the stethoscope, double-checking for signs of infection, then motioning for her arm to check her blood pressure.

Tink lets go, letting her dress fall back down now that he's finished examining her. When she mentions his nickname, she wrinkles her nose and laughs because she just thinks Truman as 'Mr. Cooper' and it's funny to think he has a nickname like her. When she laughs, there's an indication of the pixie child-woman that's lurking underneath the sad face, "Epic of Gilgamesh…it's this fantasical tale that clearly did not happen. But it is very exciting." She shakes her head and it's all very weird to her, "I've never read anything like this. I mean…yeah, I've read manuals on how to build things but this…" It's a little hard for the work-focused girl but clearly Truman is opening up a new world of imagination for her.

"Truman Cooper…" Dr. Montgomery explains when Tink laughs, humoring her. "Trooper — you see the connection, yes? He is a very spirited individual. Takes after my sister Gloria." Straightening up, he smiles. He smiles a lot, really, but by his reckoning, with Tink's mental state when she first arrived here, half his job as a doctor is in fact to see her more at ease.

"Admittedly I do not read much fiction," he admits. "But I am an artist at heart. In another life I might have been a painter. My first name, Salvador —" he places a finger to the 'S.' on the golden label on his lab-coat. "I am named after Salvador Dali. A favourite of my parents. But I decided there were better uses for my hands, in the end." He wriggles his fingers in the air.

"And you, Tabatha? I understand you are all highly educated in the sky. Cameron is a botanist, Ruth tells me she is a doctor." He may not believe her, given he himself has had years of training and the girl in question is barely on the cusp of adulthood, but he'll elevate her for her friend. "Where do your passions lie?"

"I like fixing things…figuring out puzzles," Tink admits to Salvador, giving him a 100-watt smile, "Like this…" She pull out her notebook and opens to a page that shows the work she's done in trying to figure out the Trikru language, "When the Grounders came, I couldn't understand what they were saying. It was so foreign to me. I started writing words down but they were wrong. I couldn't get the pronouncation. It was a puzzle." She then turns the page, "But when I put the words to stanzas and looked it like a song…it started to come together. I started mapping their natural language processes and put their cadence to the equivalent to music. And suddenly it felt like I was on the urge on a symphony." She looks up at him with a shy smile, "Music is everywhere. Even a well oiled machine has a song that you can hear if you listen. When I was little, I would put my ear against the wall, close my eyes and then try to map the song. And I would write the song here…" She shows other pages where she's written her 'music' to Salvador, "That's how I knew the Ark was sick up there. I started to notice when things would drop off or grind. The dissonance in the song told me there was a problem…something that needed to be fixed."

Montgomery reaches out for Tink's notebook, slowly and non-forcefully enough to make the request for permission implicit. With a flick of his pale fingers, he does eventually look her in the eye and say, "May I?" Though his hand hovers by it already.

"So you are not only a very clever girl, but a musician," he notes. "Interesting." The way he says that last word is as a kindred spirit would. Though he doesn't present the pieces he's putting together, he too is beginning to put together the puzzle that is Tabitha Imogen Nimue Kinsey, or perhaps the Sky People as a whole.

Tink hands the notebook to Salvador, showing him the pages and pages of music that she's written down that's always playing in her head but she never really thinks about it, "I've never played this…" She's a little shy about whether or not what she wrote is any good, "Any of this…I just sometimes write and write….but my parents never had instruments so I just pour it here." She gives a shrug, "Maybe…maybe I'll figure out how to translate it so others can hear my song."

"But until then, I just put it there on the page. And when I have problems, I play my song in my head and put it in ways that make sense like…" She goes to the end the notebook where she's been writing new things, "I've been listening to your walls, starting to map the song. I don't know where your mountain is going to take me. But there's something here…just out of reach." She smiles at Salvador, "I'll figure it out eventually…I always do. Like with the Ark."

The doctor listens to Tink as he flips his way through the notebook, wrinkling his pale forehead in a more pronounced way as he furrows his brow in interest. The lines picked against it make apparent how thin and translucent his skin is, for even with all the excellent nutrition he receives here in Mount Weather, the people who live here have by and large never seen the sun.

"You should show this to Truman," he says of the book, then holds it up for a moment. "In fact, would you mind terribly if I borrowed this? It's fascinating stuff, in fact. We may be able to make some good use of it here in Mount Weather." After a pause, he curiously wonders, his tone enamored, "What songs have you been hearing here in our walls?"

In between the stanzas of music are other things as well. Inventions, like a steam powered grenade launcher and how to alter the Ark bracelets to make walkie techies. And also some mapping of radio static that she heard on the radio. That song shows that she might have been picking up some thing running on another frequency or channel, "Sure…I mean, you can look at it. But give it back soon or if I could have some paper because when my ears buzz I like to write it down."

She points to the song in the mountain and starts to hum the song for him, it's soft, haunting, there's a touch of loneliness there as if being all alone in the world, "I think it's searching for something…the song. It's very haunting." She thinks for a moment, "But the machine keeps running. I'm not hearing any hiccups. Not yet." She wrinkles her nose, "When I do…I'll know what needs to be fixed." She looks at Salvador and smiles, "And sure…show it to Mr…I mean Truman." She smiles a little, "I showed him some of the language mappings I did on the Trikru and he seemed pretty interested."

"Trooper is our resident linguist," Dr. Montgomery explains, using his nephew's nickname. "Very good at what he does. I know he would be fascinated." He gives Tink a lingering, fixed stare as he moves away, notebook in hand, which he folds over closed atop one of his fingers as a makeshift bookmark.

"With your permission, I'll have this photocopied and returned to you. Although we can always offer you more paper if you'd like. Anything you need, Tabatha, do not hesitate to ask." He pauses, and then he himself asks a question of his own. "Do you like jazz?"

"Sure…go ahead and copy the pages," Tink thinks for a moment and then nods to herself. Salvador might notice some pages were torn out of the book, "I don't mind. If it helps…figuring out the Trikru, I could write an algorithm once I got more inputs and put it to the language mappings I've done and then we could try to work out a program that would write their music…or language. Whatever you want to call it." She really enjoyed this conversation because people don't usually ask Tink what's in her head. They just give her things to fix and she does it. "And what's jazz?" Tink's never heard a note outside of the music in her own head, "Is that what they call the music playing in the visitor's residence?" Of course not having the context, she wouldn't know the difference between classical to jazz unless someone explained it to her.

Salvador points the notebook her way, smirking just a touch. He's a nice guy, generally speaking, but he can't help but be a little condescending towards those who lack the ability to appreciate Jazz. Jazz is one of the cornerstones of any ready mind, after all.

"We'll make a fine musician of you yet," he says. "Don't hesitate to sit down to the piano in the dinner hall, if you'd like. We usually have morning performances from our own people, but when the schedule's clear you're more than welcome to play around. It will help with the healing process." How? Apparently this doctor believes in a holistic approach. Eat your greens, don't rip your stitches, drink plenty of water, and remember to enjoy life too.

"I would like that," Tink tells him with a smile, "I would like that a lot." Music…a whole new world is out there and she just got 'permission' to go explore it. "Do you have any books on how to play it?" Cause once again, Tink doesn't have a point of reference on how to use the instrument, "If you do, I'd love to borrow it and then start tooling around." Just so he doesn't think that Arkers are without fun, "And they did have music on the Ark…parties…but it was loud, the kids drank and it was a total turn off. I liked my music better so I'd just go work…on my projects." She pauses and then adds, "I like the music in the visitor's residence. It's pure…not so angry. Helps the ideas flow rather than try to distract." She gives a shrug and then murmurs, "And I'll check out jazz too." Cause it's clearly recommended by the doctor.

"A book?" On how to play Jazz? Dr. S. C. Montgomery's pensive expression takes a moment to think about this, his clear blue eyes creasing. "Yes, I suppose I do. I will drop one off by the dorms this evening, before dinner and after seeing to the remainder of my patients." That is a firm promise. Salvador Montgomery always keeps his promises, being a redoubtably dutiful man.

"Until then, Ms. Kinsey, I'm afraid I have some bloodworks to check on, if you'll excuse me. See Nurse Ratchet if you find yourself in need of any more painkillers, although I think you're healing up rather well." He gestures to her now covered stomach, starting for the door towards the medical labs.

Tink walks out of the infirmary in a much better mood. Dr. Montegomery likes her music and is going to get her books on how to play it. This place just gets better and better. She gives him a flashing smile, "I look forward to seeing the new books. I'm just about done with Gilgamesh anyway." While she really enjoyed seeing a work of fiction, working on music sounds a lot more exciting to Tink. When he brings up the pain killers, she shakes her head, "Oh no…I don't need pain killers." She points to her own scars, "When I got these…they had limitations on what I could be given. The stomach isn't a tenth of that." So she doesn't need to drug out. She gives one last wave and heads out.

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