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Year 6 Day 46 evening

I am not a Healer, though there are times I have wished I were. Today was definitely one of those days.

I knew it would take Songbird a while to reach the hunters, so I intercepted the runner and had him tell me what he could about Little Gnu’s injuries – which wasn’t much. The runner was the youngest of the hunters, and from his description, Little Gnu (named for his shortness of stature, not his age) had been tossed in such a way that he had landed with his leg doubled under him, and the bone was sticking out. No telling what kind of internal injuries he had sustained, and at his age, he couldn’t be expected to recover as fast and as thoroughly as Songbird had. All I could do in preparation was check everything available in the computer about compound fractures, find several suitable splints and bandages, and pull together the handful of remedies I had been able to make with the computer’s help. These, thank goodness, included a wound dressing that minimized infection.

I stayed open for Songbird while I wrapped all of the things I thought I would need, including an extra warnoff, in one of the hides Meerkat had tanned for me. Meerkat herself had deputized one of the other women to watch WildDog, and was making up a pallet for the injured man in her dwelling. “His mate will tend him,” she told me, “but this place is easier to clean.” The arrangement would give her a good excuse to be important in the temporary village, I thought with some amusement.

Just then Songbird’s mind touched mine, and I picked up the hide bundle and teleported to her.

hyenas, MorguefileIt was a good thing I had thought of the warnoff. Hyenas, jackals and a couple of scavenger birds were already encircling the carcass, and the women could not have taken the meat back to camp safely without the aid of the hunters. Several spears had been broken in the desperate attack on the elephant, and the hunters were mostly using thrown stones to keep the scavengers back.

Little Gnu was barely conscious when I teleported in. A few of the hunters has seen me teleport before but most had not, and I was afraid I would have to waste time reassuring them. But Songbird promptly started explaining that this was simply the way I traveled. And I was able to concentrate on the injured man.

Setting the leg was not beyond me, and I hoped that with the aid of the wound powder it would heal properly. I suspected that Little Gnu would probably have a permanent limp, though. I thought getting him back to the encampment would be the real problem, but the other hunters had already rigged a stretcher. Their main concern was the scavengers, since several who would normally be protecting the group would be needed to carry the injured man.

I had set the warnoff to maximum range, and the scavengers were staying well back. When they moved Little Gnu to the stretcher, I bound the warnoff to it, as well. “This should tell the scavengers to stay back,” I told them. “Take him and the meat you have butchered back to camp.

The first runner had already come back with more hunters and replacements for the broken spear shafts, so I decided to leave my own warnoff with Songbird and teleport back to camp.

Jarn’s Journal is the fictional journal of a human-like alien stranded in Africa roughly 125,000 years ago. The entire journal to date can be found on my author site.

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