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Who am I? I am a tinkerer, a studier, a philosopher and meddler. The intricacies of the Living Organism are fascinating, but so are the intricacies of the Machine, the Clockwork Insight. It has been said that when one contemplates the mysteries of the ether for too long, one goes insane. Well, I do say! Is that true? Meddlers beware is the old warning. Sometimes you eat the bear. Sometimes it eats you!
Doctor Zedock Tregoran Feany, Magician Medical Doctor
If you happen to be in need of medical assistance in Jek Town, out in the Dustlands, come knocking at my office door only as a last resort. HAHAHAHAHA!
The ringing of the door bell brought Zedock Feany from his tinkering. It was a small mechanism, to be sure, but one had to start small when delving back into the clockworks. He took off his magnification goggles and glanced up at the blueprints of prototype S-8 pinned over the shelves of books and spare parts, flasks, bottles, and rolls of previous prototype blueprints.
The bell rang again, and he pounded his fist on the table. Morning had come quickly. He smelled of perspiration and copper. The doctor rose, selected a cleaner shirt from the cabinet, and combed his beard with his fingernails. Then, locked the door behind him to protect his secrets, marched to the front of his office and threw open the door.
�What do you want?� he bellowed at the mother and young son who stood on his doorstep.
�I beg your pardon, sir, but it says there you�re open.� The mother meagerly pointed to the sign posting hours below the wood-etched Dr. Z.T. Feany, MMD. �I cain�t tell for sure, but I think my son, little Pyek, is sufferin� from a peckit bite.�
The doctor leaned down close to the boy. �Didn�t your mother tell you not to play around the sharp trees?�
Little Pyek shrunk even smaller under the mad glare of the doctor, one blue eye and one brown.
�He smells of iron.�
�I tapped him with a poker to tell if he was suffering from the bite, and it made him turn flushed and he said it hurt his belly.�
�Very well,� Dr. Feany said. �Come inside. Put him on my examination table.�
�Oh, thank you kindly, Doc.�
This was just the kind of thing he�d hoped to avoid for the rest of his life, but circumstances were lacking in the monetary end of things when he�d arrived back in Jek Town. Still, running a magician medical doctor clinic in a Dustland town was about as irritating as a moneymaking operation could be. How stupid was this little idiot peabrain child? You almost had to go asking for it to get a peckit bite.
�Well,� he said, �before I commence, we shall take care of payment first. I�m not a charity service.� After he extracted a fairly outrageous amount from the mother, cleaning out her coin pouch, he proceeded to the examination. For this, he returned to his work room and got his magnification goggles. He slowly scanned the surface of the boy�s left arm. Then, upon scanning the right, noticed the two delicate fang marks in the flesh of the bicep. He grabbed a nearby jar of iron filings and a pair of tweezers. He dropped one filing onto the area and immediately a red ring formed around it. �This is indeed a peckit bite,� he said before blowing the filing away. Now, there was an oral elixir for such, but nothing amused him more than giving a child a shot with the largest needle possible. The look in their eyes...Little Pyek would stay away from sharp trees from now on. �Let me get my needle kit. I�ve got peckit panacea already brewed.�
�Does he need a shot? Cain�t he swaller it?�
�My dear lady,� Dr. Feany said with a grin. �Look at his stupor. That critter�s venom has already addled his brain, unless he normally has such a moronic countenance. Intravenous is the fastest way to stop the venom and cure the fever and chills, and also turn mischievous little boys from disturbing peckit nests. Now, if you please, go and wait outside. I don�t need any interference.�
The mother nodded and reluctantly backed out of the examination room, but poor little Pyek was already starting to sweat. Feany picked a kit rolled in brown velveteen and the nearest bottle of bluish peckit panacea. He unrolled the kit beside the boy, who gasped as the collection of needles and syringes unfurled before him, most long enough to run his arm through and then some. The doctor popped the cork on the medicine bottle and took a sniff to be sure it hadn�t expired.
�I don�t want to get stuck!� the little boy wailed.
�Well, if you don�t, the peckit venom will melt your brain down inside your head until it starts to trickle out your nose, and a sharp tree will start growing in your stomach until the needles pop out in such quantity, you won�t be able to wear clothes without them ripping to shreds.�
The boy started to cry for his mommy after the doctor's tall tale. Feany took the largest needle and syringe, and then in a clean jar, lit a quick magical fire and cleaned the needle with it before he filled the syringe. He tapped it and squirted a bit out the top. �Brace yourself, boy. It�s going to hurt!�
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