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The doctor’s mask is mouthless, beaked, its eyes covered by red goggles. It wears a broad black hat and has no skin visible under its leathers. It carries a stick.

Fairfax only sees the doctor in crowds, and usually from a distance. It (he?) isn’t a hallucination; Fairfax has asked, and other people see it, they just don’t seem to care. “SCA nerd,” they say. “Steampunk. Cosplayer.”

Fairfax isn’t sure how he knows the figure is a doctor, but he doesn’t think it’s the kind that treats people.

It’s the kind that tells everyone else when you’re going to die.