Psychic Lemon Juice and Emergency Surgery

"This man has been injured! Call the paramedics and bring me your first aid kit, I'm a doctor!"

The foreman doesn't take much convincing. Someone is already on their way with a woefully inadequate medkit. Doc tears it open to see what he can do with it. Steve is going to require surgery, and this pile of bandages, burn patches, and aspirin is not going to get the job done. At least it's enough to change the bandages and disinfect the wound some.

"You didn't answer my question, doctor. What are you doing in my oven?"

Doc is considering how best to answer this question when he is distracted by a flashing signal in his HUD sunglasses.

Q-NET Uplink detected. Connecting... Established. Welcome to Q-NET!

Doc doesn't know much about computers, but he knows what this means.

"The Pear is in Orbit!" he shouts out. "Veronica?" he calls. There's no response. "Veronica?"

The foreman looks at him funny. He turns to one of his workers. "Call an ambulance. And the police."

"Hold up, there, Jose," calls Mark, leveling his assault rifle at the man. "I don't think ya' oughta be callin' no police."

"Mark!" Doc yells. "Put it down!" He turns to the foreman. "Look, sir. I'm sorry we interrupted your production line, but we've got a serious situation here and I have no time to explain."

Doc removes his sunglasses and looks deeply into his eyes. He's an overworked sort, trying to achieve something worthwhile from this dead-end job. He's been on the rocks lately, heavy drinking involved, something dissatisfying at home, etc. This big contract with StarScape Voyages to make teacups for the Marriott was going to help him out financially and emotionally, but it all now looks to be in ruins.

Doc forces his will further into the man's mind. He finds a soft spot- his mother's death. Something about the blood and guns opens up this grand old wound. Doc tears it further and throws on some psychic lemon juice.

"We're being hunted," he says. "You can't call the cops or we're dead, understand? I need to get my friend to a safe place or he will die. I want nothing more than to be out of your hair, but I need your help to do that. I need a ship that can get me into orbit."

"There's no way I can do that," replies the forman.

Doc knows he's asking a lot, so he presses hard on the sympathy button. "Please. You have the chance to save a life here, a chance you never had before. Please, help us."

The man begins to well up with tears.

"We'll be out of here and you can get your machines back on and you can get your life back in order."

"Yes," the forman chokes. "Jesus!" he calls. One of the workers steps forward.

"Yes, sir?" The sunglasses needlessly translate for Doc.

"Bring a cargo lift out front. Yeti 9 should be available. Get them the hell out of here."

The other workers look at their foreman in total shock. They've never seen this side of the man before.

"Yes, sir," the sunglasses again translate. Jesus runs off, grabbing a keycard from a chain on the wall on the way out the back door.

Doc continues to hold pressure on Steve's wounds. Within a minute, he hears the whining sound of a fusion engine spinning up. Thunderhorse and Mark lift Steve while Doc maintains pressure on the bleeding hole in his back. They carry Steve out the fire exit, held open by the foreman.

The Yeti is a simple conical craft not much more than an engine and a cockpit. The nose of the cone can extend (and is currently retracting), revealing a superstructure that can hold six of the trapezoidal cargo containers seen all over this industrial area. As the nose finally fits its self into place.

Jesus opens the hatch. There isn't much room since the Yetti was only designed for two crew members. The cockpit takes up half of the cone, with only two seats. Behind it, in the other half, is a small sleeping and dining area. The table doubles as a bed, and only one person can really occupy it at a time.

Mark and Thunderhorse place Steve gently on the table. Doc, still holding the wound, takes a seat on the bench around the table. Thunderhorse sits next to him. Mark climbs into the co-pilot seat next to Jesus.

"Hold on to your hats, amigos," warns Jesus. They can feel the primary thrusters building up underneath them. The ship rocks and vibrates a moment. It begins to lift and gain momentum. Soon their ears are popping and their breath is stolen. The cabin pressurizes its self unsteadily. There's a hissing, leaking sound.

Soon, they feel that familiar sensation of their stomachs trying to escape through their mouthes as the ship's acceleration dies off and they find themselves in freefall. The hissing leak gets louder.

"What's that sound?" asks Doc.

"There's a small hole in the hull somewhere. It needs fixed."

Doc looks at their driver incredulously. It's then that he notices the web-work of duct tape all over the interior of the ship. There are several red lights blinking on the dash, each poorly covered in electrical tape so as not to distract the driver. Loose wires hold on to the reminants of a speaker assembly, what was once the alarm buzzer.

"So, where you heading, amigos?" Jesus asks.


It takes a while, but they arrive at the Younger Brother Pear in orbit somewhere over the Pacific. It's fully intact with the Pu docked. Doc tries to raise Veronica again to no avail. Fortunately, Steve had programmed some of the control codes for the Pear into their sunglasses. On Doc's authority, the cargo bay at the bottom of the ship opens up. The small Yeti fits easily inside.

"Wow, man, this is nice," says Jesus as he opens the hatch. The Time Operatives and their wounded employer scramble out of the transport.

"Thanks for the lift," Doc says as they exit the Yeti. Thunderhorse and Mark carry Steve to the elevator, Doc still holding the bleeding wound tight. He barely has time to feel relieved to be back on the Pear.

They rush Steve up to the medical bay and get him in one of the beds. Doc was an emergency medic in the army, not a trained surgeon. It's been a long time since he's done anything like this.
Doc takes his time. With these beds and equipment, he can afford to. The bed can keep Steve in stasis if something goes wrong. The Clone-o-mat can make replacement parts if necessary. The pharmacuticals available can slow Steve's heart rate to almost nill without killing him.

Doc has to break ribs to gain access to all the bullet fragments. He has to vacuum out all the bits of blue gel from Steve's failed armor. He has to clone Steve some new artery and lung pieces, remove the torn, useless parts, and install the fresh ones. He has to glue the broken bones back together. This is actually made very easy by the bone glue, a substance which stiches the bones together quickly and strongly without the need for screws, metal, or even plaster casts.

The procedure takes almost seven hours. After he cuts the final thread of stitching, applies the antibacterial super-glue salve, and slaps on a bandage, he slumps into the nearest bed and promptly falls asleep.


ERR said...

Doc Treat Injury: 4 hp restored to Steve, XP+15
Doc casts Read Emotions. Foreman Will save 11 vs. 14, failed. Doc succeeds -1 chi, XP+11
Doc casts Suggest Emotion: Sympathy. Foreman will save 18 vs. 23, faild. Doc succeeds, -2 chi XP+18
Doc Bluff check: 35(17 roll + 9 skill + 4 read emotions + 5 suggestion) vs. DC30, Success. XP +30
Doc Surgery on Steve: 26(15 roll +12 skill -4 untrained) vs DC 20, Success. Steve +12 HP.

Doc said...

I'm better than I thought. Anyone with a .50 caliber wound I would have written off. Must have been a hell of a first-aid kit or I am a better doctor than I thought. Let's hope for the latter.

Spend Steve's recovery gathering our wits and narrowing down what we need to do. It would help to have a long, long talk with Steve.