there is worse cases than a bruise on the arm, a broken tooth and the hurt pride after a fight.
my verdict was swift. aside of working swift through the nights to prepare the medicaments again that i'd lost on the bridge, i was ordered to care for the sick in the deeper levels of our mun'stery, place i had only heard whispering about but never had been before. master lu'man took me down, past the infirmary, into a place of rooms, each filled with moans and mumbling, ibus stretched out on filthy beds, willed with stench and moisture of bodily fluids.
some of these will survive, he said. some of these will overcome what eats them alive, no one is immune down here, not with any blessings of a god; this is where we all face the truth of ourselves.
and i saw what he meant, saw it in the faces of agony and luxated limbs, saw the madness of defeat in bodies that once were strong and prospering; but down here all was decay. and i was here to help prolong it, easing poor suffering souls by wiping the sweat of their conterfei and cleaning excrements too groce for the masters to look at when they made their rounds through the lazaret. not that they could help in most cases - they just watched, learned, wrote down in their books how their patients slipped down every slime induced step on the ladder of demise.
and in all that, i got better and better and better. healing from the wounds of hybris and pride, all the joy i assumed so wrongly that life is.