“Now, you should go to see Dr. Naw-Fan. She’ll cure your amnesia in a flash,” said Dze-Ts-Kwy.
[And now it is inevitably time for a note on kysp pronouns. Kysp genders are maddening to think about, so of course kysp languages don’t have gendered pronouns like ‘he’ or ‘she’. They have either one or two third-person singular pronouns, and when they have two they either refer to high- and low-status individuals, or members of the locally dominant religion and non-members. So I will use ‘he’ and ‘she’, because it sounds better that way. I will either use the individual’s sex at the time I first introduce them when I know it, or roll a die when I do not. I will arbitrarily count everyone who is not in male phase as being female, because it amuses me no end to have the females outnumber the males. Which is a silly conceit from a dragoness who has been outnumbered by drakes all her life! In any case, the pronouns I use for kysps have only a weak connection to their sex at the moment they are introduced, and far less to their sex later on, and these are details that matter not at all to the kysps. I have no idea what sex Dr. Naw-Fan was or is, but my dieroll came up 9, so she gets ‘she’. — Jʸ]
“Oh, dear,” said Dr. Naw-Fan, who was a chubby and dull-green kysp wearing a black bandarella and a white some-other-kind-of-garment, and who worked inside of a tremendous dry gourd hung about with platforms and crossbars and swinging bags of herbs and seeds, racks of probes and scalpels, and jugs and vases and jars. Ro-Ro-Ku submitted to a detailed examination. All that I heard of it was that, whenever the doctor inserted something into her, she took care to clean and sterilize it with vodka before and after.
“Well, physically, you are in the very center of health,” said Dr. Naw-Fan. “You are neither bruised nor contused, and there is not the slightest sign of any injury. Not to give you a headache, much less loss of memory. Next we consider drugs. There is no stink of alcohol or shpe-der on your breath, no cloudiness indicative of certain other drugs in your excreta, no signs of an incision which could introduce still others into your blood directly. The most plausible cause I can think of is that you might have been wrapped in leather and rendered unable to breathe for long enough to injure your brain, but not quite long enough to kill you. There is a case study or two of this happening, though usually the result is death. Of course you show no visible signs of struggle either. Did you do this thing voluntarily? Or were you assailed, but show no signs of a struggle? Your situation is utterly mystery.”
“I’m sorry,” said Ro-Ro-Ku. “I have no idea what to do about that. I’ve never been an utter mystery before.” She chuckled, which for kysps involves snuffling with both breathing-holes. “Or maybe I do it every day, for all I know!” As far as I know, that is the first joke Roroku has made in three duodecades.
“The question arises of what we shall do with you. You are clearly in no shape for us to set loose to go wandering about, to make your way in the world as best you can,” said the doctor. “I shall consult with Mayor Nao-Vim-We, and with Dze-Ts-Kwy who brought you in. Wait here for a moment. My assistant will bring you refreshments and damp cloths,” said the doctor.
“The damp cloths are for what purpose, doctor?”
“Comfort on this quite hot day,” said the doctor, and departed.Support this project! Show that you’re reading it by exchanging notes with the characters, other readers, the writer, and occasional other entities at sythyry.livejournal.com. And/or buy Bard Bloom’s books on Amazon, especially Mating Flight and World in My Claws, the prequel to this story. Also: Glossary and Dramatis Personae.