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In The Bingo Hall Grounds

calliaphone scampers back, alone and panic-stricken, with a metal badge-making machine embedded in the side of her accordion.


calliaphone patter-skids back towards reception, with an injured accordion that looks like it's tried to hybridise itself with a badge-making machine. nasty, that.


calliaphone races through from the courtyard, muttering, "hang in there cordy, we'll get the badge-maker outta you, i swear it, jus' hang in there." and she's gone, into some corridor or other.


calliaphone patter-skids into the workshop, cradling her broken accordion in her arms. she's horribly pale, freckles standing sharply in the gloom.

calliaphone yanks the handle down to power on the lights. there's a hum and a buzz a flicker, and they're bathed in a ghastly fluorescent glow. it ain't aesthetic, but it's bright. which'll do nicely, thanks.

calliaphone hurries to a workbench, and slips Cordy's straps off her shoulders. she lays him gently on the bench. he whimpers, but doesn't protest further.

calliaphone conducts a quick examination. it really doesn't look good. the badge-making machine is a solid lump of cast metal, and it's embedded deep in Cordy's workings. Callia winces, but keeps looking.

calliaphone suddenly has her little pink-handled screwdriver in her hand. she works with surprising deftness, undoing the screws that hold Cordy together. and as she works, she chitters and whistles softly.

calliaphone 's accordion lies very still and quiet. Callia's face is grave, but she doesn't waver. Carefully, she takes him to pieces, removing the undamaged sections and putting them aside.

calliaphone shakes her head at the state of things. splintered wood, torn paper. bent and twisted metal. and at least three reeds that are mashed beyond repair.

calliaphone realises she's not going to get this fixed in one sitting. it'll just take too long, and she mustn't make mistakes and hurt him worse. he's been through a lot, but he's not indestructible.

calliaphone gets to work on the first task - removing the badge-making machine. it's an intricate task, and she tackles it with painstaking care, gently levering and cutting where she has to.

calliaphone finally works the offending article free from the wounded accordion. she puts it down to one side, giving it a baleful glare. then she returns her attention to Cordy.

calliaphone reckons the best she can do for now is stabilise him. she removes the worst damaged parts, setting them aside, and starts cutting and fitting some temporary supports, to hold things in place.

calliaphone works with a mix of tape and drill and screwdriver, fastening everything into place until Cordy is braced and as comfortable as possible, and she is aching and goggle-eyed with concentration.

calliaphone straightens, setting aside her tools. She looks at Cordy. He is voiceless and unmoving, but at least his condition is no longer deteriorating.

calliaphone nods, and rests her hand on the damaged frame. "Okay buddy, just hang tight. i gotta take a break, and find some materials for spares. but we'll have you right as rain in no time. s'a promise."

calliaphone waits, as if expecting a reply. but at length she sighs, and retreats from the bench, to find a bit of card. digging out a fruit-scented felt-pen, she writes labriously: NIL BY MOUTH.

calliaphone adds a few sketchy notes - more diagram than words, but clearly marking the state of the patient's vital signs. and then, reluctantly, she hits the lights, and leaves him alone.

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