After four and a half didactic hours, Frederick discarded his gloves and mask, still fresh with blood as the surgical dremel’s sawbit was removed and replaced with a fresh new one once the apparatus was sterilized.
“The operation itself was a success, no sign of damage of infection to any of his internal organs and all functioned perfectly well under the drug’s effect.” He turned back to his patient, looking at his young face for any signs of awareness as he buttoned up the boy’s shirt.
His skin was glowing red with fresh stitches in the shape of an I on his chest, but his chest cavity had returned to normal and was bound with gauze to keep his rib in place. The growth had eaten into the bone like a cavity, forcing Frederick to nearly saw it in half just to eradicate the infected cells during the operation. Six weeks in the infirmary and his patient would be back on his feet, but at least he would be celebrating his birthday with his eyes open.
Frederick removed his mask, tossing it into a bin of soiled garments before washing his hands again.
“I don’t need to remind you that sterilization and cleanliness are key to preventing infection. You may have flawless technique, but your patient still may become horribly ill if you do not clean yourself and your patient. Some of you may apply this knowledge to your living quarters.”
A few broke out laughing, Frederick smirking as he shook his hair loose, retying the semi-loose tail.
“Now then, the lecture is officially over, however, I recommend everyone take observation of the growth here on the table before it is given to the Research Hall to be dissected.”
He dried his hands on the last clean towel before tossing it beside the basin, slipping on his silver band on his middle right finger. His second ring was a bronze band, a deep, marbled green circular stone mounted in a base. He quietly slipped it onto his right ring finger as he came beside his patient, putting the back of his hand against the boy’s cheek.
“Strong boy.” He muttered, smiling before his assistants pushed his bed towards the Recovery Hall.
“Yes!” He acknowledged, wheeling around to see a young student of his standing there with her arms full of books, “Ah, Miss Hardenbrook, how may I assist you?”
Elizabeth Hardenbrook was in her third year of medical study, her face dazzled in freckles and untamed orange frizzy curls contained in a haphazard ponytail. She adjusted her circular glasses, trying to balance her books in the other arm.
“Ah, yes, Professor! I was w-wondering if y-you could explain to m-me the theory on-“ Hardenbrook stuttered, dropping one of her books while trying to adjust her glasses once again.
Frederick reached out and quickly snatched the falling notebook, smiling.
“It’s hard for me to understand your question, Miss. Am I so fearsome-looking?”
“Oh no, sir! Hardly at all-” she clasped her mouth, a faint rouge rising on her speckled cheeks, “It’s just, how did you ever gain such an esteemed title at only 26 years of age?!”
“25, my dear.” Frederick reached for his thin red necktie, flipping up his collar.
“But you’re only as old as a second year Residential Student, in the Medical Academy’s terms anyway.”
“Indeed that is true, and I do not deny my place here at the Academy is an oddity. However, I would not rely on such cannon-fire strategies to earn such a title. My policy has and will always be saving lives, not the immortality of my name.”
He turned his back on her to grab his vest, shaking out a few of his bangs.
”I know and respect that, Professor, I just wanted to know how-”
“Trust me.” Frederick’s voice lost its warmth and charm, now becoming grave, “My reasons for being on the Board of Medical Directors was due to my military services during the war with the Mystics. I do not recommend following this path. You are aiming to become a doctor, not a celebrity. Remember that as you continue to learn, Miss Hardenbrook." He turned to face her, folding down his collar and grabbing his coat. He sealed the jar that the cancerous growth sat within, turning to face Hardenbrook again, “Your objective is the preservation of life. Good day, Miss Hardenbrook.”
He strode past her, swinging on his coat with one arm while holding the specimen in the other. He shoved the double doors outward, greeted by brilliant afternoon sunlight.