Tag Archives: medical

Inspiration – Injuries

Inspiration – Injuries

Background

Inspiration – Injuries
Inspiration – Injuries

What a weird thing to be inspired by, eh?

But it’s still something that has happened to me. It can still, in a backhanded way, be inspiring.

The Specifics of Creation

For character injuries, Star Trek always used to go beyond believability and hit a weird Twilight Zone, where everything was magically, mystically cured, with the patient suffering no or nearly no pain.

That’s not how the real world works, and I am so glad Enterprise made it a point of showing cures being neither instantaneous nor perfect.

It’s a weird image, but this is Malcolm Reed in rehab during the Dead Stop Enterprise episode.

Well, sometimes. At least , when Malcolm was injured in Minefield, he was still injured in Dead Stop and, in fact, Phlox had the automated repair station cure Malcolm’s broken leg.

For my own work, I have used it as a jumping off point. It is so easy in fiction to make people into super people, and make it so injuries don’t really affect them. This is deus ex machina-style unreality at its worst. Sprains hurt. Breaks make you limp or make your arm hang useless.  An allergy (not exactly an injury but certainly a medical condition) can make you stop breathing.

Perhaps the worst injury I’ve gotten is a set of three (hey, if you’re going to do something, go all the way, eh?) meniscus tears in my right knee. While this has not yet informed my fanfiction writing, it has affected my wholly original work. In The Enigman Cave, there is a character with that exact same injury.

In  fanfiction, I took the fight from Harbinger and reworked it twice, both times involving Malcolm. Once was with Doug, in Together. The other was in The Three of Us, with Jay (as a reprise of the fight, and Lili even laments that it might be a ‘second harbinger’). In both of my versions of the fight, similar injuries are inflicted on the men, as an homage to the canon scene. There are eye and kidney injuries, just as in the original. However, the addition of Lili to the dynamic means there is a witness and the aftermath is far more problematic. In Together, Lili is pregnant with Marie Patrice and keels over, overcome by intense kicking. Pamela ends up taking her to the Medical Center nearby in San Francisco, and the upshot is an uneasy truce between the men.

In The Three of Us, Archer finds the two men fighting. He orders the men to sickbay where Phlox begins to treat them, but they both continue posturing and refuse treatment. Lili is called in and is alarmed at their conditions. Going beyond the original, in this version of the fight, Jay suffers from a lung injury which results in him coughing, a reference directly back to Penicillin.  It’s a fitting internal bit of consistency which also foreshadows that short story’s significance in Everybody Knows this is Nowhere.

Upshot

Battered and bruised characters should not heal immediately and automatically, I feel. Even with advanced medical technology, it just seems as if that would be too much of a cop-out and would severely impair storytelling.

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Review – About Nine Months

Review – About Nine Months

From October of 2176 to June of 2177, the short life of Kevin Madden-Beckett.

Background

After writing Fortune, I had wanted to expand on Kevin Madden-Beckett‘s story for a while, but the opportunity kept failing to present itself.

Plot

Review – About Nine Months
Later Days

It is later in everyone’s life. The kids are nearly all grown. Doug and Lili have settled into comfortable married life. Malcolm is busy fighting a cold war, but otherwise things have fallen into an established pattern. Norri is writing her book. Melissa gets some small piloting assignments, as their nest isn’t quite empty yet. Joss is already at Cornell.

Then comes Kevin.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is Rated K.

Upshot

Kevin is a child with no chance, but he has a place, as both Lili’s spirit guide in Fortune and Tommy’s in Seven Women. For someone with such a short time among the living, Kevin proved to have what I feel is a compelling story.

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Review – Colleagues

Review – Colleagues

Background

For a monthly prompt about mentors, I decided to visit and put together two characters who had met before, but not under these individual circumstances. Joss and Dr. Morgan had met in Fortune,  but Joss was a rather young child at the time, and Morgan was just settling on Lafa II for his retirement. I was pleased to have the opportunity to trot out Dr. Pamela Hudson as well.

Plot

Review – Colleagues
Later Days (Colleagues)

As much a story of identity as it is of growing up and imparting wisdom to a new generation, the story opens with Joss asking Pamela if he can interview her.

She acknowledges that her life has gotten busy since she married (Treve). Plus she has a plastic surgery conference to attend. She instead suggests her Uncle Cyril, noting that he is a retired orthopedic surgeon and would probably love the company and welcome any questions Joss might have. Joss agrees, but not before accidentally calling her ‘Pam’.

When Joss gets to Cyril’s, he’s got a cake baked by Lili. The elder gentleman welcomes him in and they have cake while the doctor’s cat, Mimi, does figure eights. Joss asks about practicing medicine. He allows that veterinary medicine is different, but he is still looking for some guidance and advice.

Cyril, who asks Joss to call him by a childhood nickname of Skip, tells of a time when he failed to help a patient. It was not due to a lack of education or supplies or time. Instead, it was a treatment during the Earth-Romulan War, when a Xindi ally was injured. Morgan did not treat him as expeditiously as he should have, and the Xindi lost an arm. Morgan instructs Joss to be fair and as impartial as possible, and to not just treat cute animals or those where the owner is pleasant or wealthy.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

I like this story. It gave me a chance to shout out to some characters that I like, and to provide some more depth for Morgan. There is even a brief shoutout to Tommy Digiorno-Madden and his on-again, off-again relationship with Cyril’s granddaughter, Cindy. My peers agreed, and they liked the story enough that it won the monthly challenge at Ad Astra.

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Review – Worry

Review – Worry

For a prompt with the same name as the title, I wanted to do a little drabble about T’Pol and her sometimes uneven relationship with a certain crew member.

Background

Review – Worry
Worried T’Pol

In canon, T’Pol’s relationship with Porthos is a bit rocky. In the beginning, she is bothered by his smell and cannot adjust to the idea of a pet being an appropriate presence on a starship. Because Jonathan Archer is so wrapped up in the dog’s well being, and T’Pol and Jonathan do not get off on the best footing in the beginning of the series, there might be some carry over. That is, maybe T’Pol has issues with Porthos because she has issues with Archer. Fortunately, she warms up to both of them.

Plot

It’s just a little thing, but Porthos is sick. T’Pol has already rushed him to Sick Bay. The little drabble just covers her fretting and asking Phlox about his condition.

Story Postings

Rating

The story is rated K.

Upshot

Porthos has a value to the crew that T’Pol only begins to understand later in the series. To my mind, it made sense for that understanding to happen during the E2 alternate timeline as well.

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Spotlight – Stem Cell Growth Accelerator

Spotlight – Stem Cell Growth Accelerator

Background

As I began to write the HG Wells Star Trek fanfiction stories and conceive of them, I kept butting up against one unfortunate problem – how do you handle medical care?

After all, throughout the ages, medical care has, mainly, been abhorrent. Was I to show people undergoing bloodletting, being given leeches for treatments, or dunked in wells in order to drive out the evil spirits? Hell, even surgery was denounced as butchery by Leonard McCoy in TOS. What’s a time traveler to do?

Enter stem cell growth accelerator.

The Thought Experiment

Spotlight – Stem Cell Growth Accelerator

My initial inspiration came from, of all things, how I understand HIV to spread through the body. My understanding is that the retrovirus enters into a cell that becomes a host and essentially converts that cell into an HIV factory. The body does not recognize this as a problem for a long time, as the HIV is sitting within what, to the body, seems to be a normal, healthy cell.

And so I thought – what if, instead of making a horrible virus, a host cell was, instead, making some sort of cure cells. And what if it could make them at a phenomenal rate?

If a chemical like that could be introduced into a person, and it could self-replicate, and it would be healing rather than harming, the possibilities were very nearly endless.

In order to prevent things from becoming too good to be true, I further decided that, while the healing process would be fast, all pain would remain. Hence, a year’s worth of pain could be easily crammed into an hour.

Ow.

Upshot

Stem cell growth accelerator has turned out to be one of the easiest inventions for me to explain. Exposition is generally a snap, as I often have a character break an arm or suffer a cut or a gunshot and, voila! They are suddenly healed, but they cringe and nearly pass out while the healing process is occurring. I will definitely use this idea more, and may even at some point write something showing how it was developed.