Friday, May 15, 2015

Yet Another Vignette From The Necklace

Cassie found him tangled deep in the jungle ball. She saw the feet first, toe thumbs pointing in, curled. Ustin! She reached out and grabbed his naked foot. Nothing. No pulse. Oh, God! Ustin! She called in on her comm, asking for medevac, gently untangling Ustin from the branches as she waited. Cassie knew better than to move him, but she could move the branches around him. She double checked when she could reach his throat. No pulse.

His face was puffed up. Bluish. Tongue protruding. His eyes were bugging out, milky. Cassie examined his face, his arms, his legs and feet. Aha! Two puncture wounds. Swollen and red. Right on the muscle between the left toe thumb and the index toe. One of the problems of being an Altisherpa - we don’t like boots.

The medevac cycle came just then, and the medtech - Josay - and Cassie put Ustin into the Life Stretcher. No chance of pulling him back, but it was standard protocol. Wouldn’t hurt, anyway. She hooked him up while Josay buckled him in. As a Nurse Practitioner, she was qualified. They had a short cry for Ustin. Poor guy! So young!

On the way back to the Camp, she input the parameters and symptoms into the report. Then she cross-indexed the data with both the Xenobiology and Medical databases. With this she was able to work up a profile of the culprit. Every jungle ball was different. The distance between the fangs, Depth of wound, Shape. There it was - a Walker’s Myriapede. She began working up a way to neutralize it. Predation? Yes - she could release Tinker Wasps. And they didn’t like Sweet Heliopang. She ordered the wasps out of stasis, and Sweet Heliopang planted around the camp. There! That was appropriate!

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