Rance

Character Type: Healer
Rank: Senior Apprentice
Age: 20
Gender: Male
Sexual Preference: Hetero, you dweebs

BASIC INFORMATION

Rance came from one of Ista's smaller seaholds, second of a handful of children of dubious parentage, raised as much by the docks and their inhabitants as by his own parents. His mother's time was always taken up by her work and one baby or another, and his father, well… his father was almost always at sea, or down in the tavern on the rare occasions when he was home. Like many of the dockyard brats, Rance took to scrounging and looking for work and meals on his own early, and that was how he fell in with the hold's old healer: rolling bandages, carrying his kit for him, assisting where necessary in exchange for food or a few thirtysecond pieces if he was lucky. He turned out to be a bit more reliable than some of the other brats, at least, and the old man ended up keeping him around as an apprentice. He showed enough promise, in fact, that at fourteen he was sent off for proper training — not Hall material, perhaps, but the main Hold and Weyr had better facilities and needed more hands with the Pass approaching, and it just so happened that the Weyr had a spot come open first.

What might have been "acceptable attitude" and "better than average retention of knowledge" back at his backwater seahold, though, was hardly apprentice standard at Ista Weyr's Infirmary. Rance was rough around the edges, full of attitude and resentment, disrespectful of his elders — what had any of them ever done for him, after all? — and wholly unprepared for the academic rigors of his craft. Healing, for him, was a useful skill that ended in a meal ticket, not some great way of "giving back" or "supporting the Weyr", or whatever it was some of his new apprentice cotmates claimed was their motivation. He scrapped with his peers, he got loaded down with demerits and punishment shifts and ration cuts, he managed to alienate most of his instructors within the first month of his arrival.

Over time, though, he did show improvement. As he settled in more in his new environment, his attitude improved — or at least he got better at knowing what he could get away with and what wasn't worth fighting about. He worked hard, all on his own, to catch up on his reading and math, and showed a steady hand and steady nerves in a crisis. He learned much more than his written scores would suggest — he's very much a visual, hands-on learner — but still, his performance wasn't quite up to par. He was passed over for senior apprentice once, twice; the third time, the senior staff had to make that difficult decision: is the apprentice ready to move up, or is it time to send him on his way?

Senior Journeyman Braughan had his eye on the boy anyway, but when Sarada gave her "boot him" vote, along with a particularly scathing critique of Rance's potential contributions to the staff (which amounted to exactly negative seven), that was the last push he needed to volunteer to take the lad on.

"Boy just needs a firm hand," Braughan said. "I'll straighten him out!"

Despite his mediocre-at-best test scores and colorful discipline record, Rance is a good hand with a scalpel and is utterly unflappable when it comes to doing gruesome things under pressure, which gives him the makings of a decent surgeon. His rather rough manners, posturing masculine ego, and crude sense of humor are a good match for Braughan, and the boy already has plenty of experience dodging flailing belts (and taking his licks like a man when he dodges too slow). Even so, he's still a bit of a thug. He'll bully his fellow apprentices at every turn if they'll let him, considering it just desserts now that he's senior, and he can be lazy if his superiors don't keep an eye on him. He's all grabby hands with the women around the Infirmary, and still occasionally has to be reminded of his manners when interacting with senior staff (though he gets it right most of the time these days). While there may be a young man looking for love and attention in there somewhere, Rance doesn't respond well to coddling and is suspicious of anyone who tries to "understand" him or "help" him. He only seems to respect very firm, very clear, and very physical authority: if he's not being yelled at or cuffed when he does something wrong, he doesn't know what to do with himself. Braughan is convinced that all the boy needs is a good strong male authority figure in his life, and it seems to be working so far… at least, Rance's performance is better than it has ever been. He's proud to be tapped as a potential surgeon, and using that pride to spur him to better behavior is probably the quickest way to improve his attitude. For the first time in his life, when someone says "you oughtta be ashamed of yourself!" he actually has enough of a sense of self-worth and belonging to something bigger than himself that he feels shame, on behalf of his representation of the craft if not for himself.

Braughan brings him home for dinner sometimes. Sooty is… less than thrilled.

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