Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Notes for "Those Who Have Suffered"

These are the notes for "Those Who Have Suffered."


Sorley Xanthopoulos -- He has tawny-fair skin that quickly turns pinkish in the sun. He has blue eyes and short brown hair. He is a centaur, a palomino quarter horse with a sock on the left hindleg and a stocking on the right. His tail is nearly white. The sooty gene dulls his coat to a sandy color with faint dapples and a few dark spots. Sorley has a Celtic cross tattoo on his left shoulder with Greek key band. He is strong and stocky. His birth mother is Irish-American, his father Greek-American. His foster fathers are Scottish-American. Sorley belongs to the centaur herd rescued from the Umsetzung Complex. He is 15 at the time of rescue. He was 11 when he came to the compound, stolen during a trip to sport camp. He was 9 when he went into foster care due to neglect, but had bonded well with his new family. Strong and agile, Sorley does well with sports and other physical activities. He's a good follower, but not a self-starter.
Origin: Mad science torture. Carl Bernhardt cut him in half and spliced his upper body to the lower body of a palomino stallion.
Uniform: None in captivity. He is kept nude.
Qualities: Good (+2) Agility, Good (+2) Follower, Good (+2) Strength, Good (+2) Sweet
Poor (-2) Initiative
Powers: Average (0) Centaur, Average (0) Super-Immunity
Compared to ordinary humans or horses, centaurs have enhanced strength, speed, and stamina although not necessarily in super range. Generally, if a centaur and someone else have the same rank, the centaur is more powerful; if the other person has one rank higher, they're closer to equal. Most of the surviving centaurs have an additional superpower which helped them to withstand the trauma of their creation. The more common ones include Healing, Regeneration, Toughness, Super-Constitution, and Super-Immunity. Some of them also have Super-Strength or Super-Speed, and they are stronger or faster than other centaurs.
Vulnerability: Neuromuscular issues.
Due to Carl Bernhardt's erratic practices, centaurs also tend to have physical problems. In Sorley's case, the quarter horse tendency toward neuromuscular difficulties is exacerbated by mad science. Too much dietary starch causes aches and twitches. He requires a low-starch diet.
Motivation: To get by.

Palomino horses have a golden body coat with blond mane and tail. The sooty gene can turn the color to dingy brass.

Equine polysaccharide storage myopathy is a muscular disorder appearing in some quarter horses.


Lilita Nieves -- She has fair skin, brown eyes, and long straight black hair. She is a centaur with a bay pinto coat showing large brown spots on a white background, black feet below the knees and hocks, and a black tail. She is only 14, but already has full breasts. Her human heritage includes American, Hispanic, and Jewish. Her horse heritage is mustang. Lilita suffers from traumatic stress as a result of human trafficking which landed her in a mad science lab. It manifests primarily as shyness and a pronounced fawn response. She clings to other members of her herd when they are together, trying to hide behind them as much as possible.
Origin: Mad science torture. Carl Bernhardt cut her in half and spliced her upper body to the lower body of a mare.
Uniform: None. She is kept nude.
Qualities: Good (+2) Easygoing, Good (+2) Graceful, Good (+2) Observant, Good (+2) Pretty
Poor (-2) Shy
Powers: Good (+2) Regeneration, Average (0) Centaur
Centaurs are stronger and faster than ordinary humans. Most of the surviving centaurs have an additional superpower which helped them to withstand the trauma of their creation. The more common ones include Healing, Regeneration, Toughness, Super-Constitution, and Super-Immunity. Some of them also have Super-Strength or Super-Speed, and they are stronger or faster than other centaurs.
Vulnerability: Digestive issues.
Due to Carl Bernhardt's erratic pratices, centaurs also tend to have physical problems. In Lilita's case, her human and equine digestive systems don't work together very well, leaving her prone to colic and other problems. She needs a special diet and gets even sicker without it.
Motivation: To avoid punishment.

A bay horse has a brown body with black points (mane, tail, and lower legs). A pinto horse can be any color splashed with white. Often the legs are partly or wholly white, although they can be dark.

* * *

"Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand."
-- Patti Smith

See an aerial view of the Umsetzung Complex. The U-shaped set of buildings surrounds the courtyard where the centaurs emerge. The black line is the Waterfront Road.

An average (15 hands tall) horse can be comfortable in a 10' x 12' or even a 10' x 10' stall. An inside width of 6' (a trailer quoted as having a 6' width may vary by a few inches) with a height of 7' (square sided roof rather than rounded), and a total stall length of 10', will fit a horse from about 14 hands up to about 16 hands.

The large Temper Tent measures 20' x 32' and will fit six centaurs comfortably or twelve snugly.

The medium Wall Tent measures 13' x 16' with 5' walls and 8' peak. This tent will fit two centaurs comfortably or three snugly. It also works for two centaurs and several humans working together.

The small Hunting Tent measures 8' x 10' with 4' straight walls and 8' peak.
This would fit one centaur comfortably or two snugly. It also works for one centaur and one or two humans working together.

At the scene of an emergency, the hot zone is actively dangerous, the warm zone is potentially risky, and the cold zone ought to be safe unless something major changes. Only combat medics or other specially trained personnel will go into a hot zone. Regular paramedics may not even want to go into a warm zone. Usually people want to keep the medics away from danger because they are valuable. Firefighters and police often cross-train in emergency medicine, though, and some Emotional First Aides specialize in disaster scenes. So there may be someone willing to dive in even if the danger is not completely contained yet.

The Body Language of Horses: Revealing the Nature of Equine Needs, Wishes and Emotions and How Horses Communicate Them - For Owners, Breeders. All Other Horse Lovers Including Handicappers Hardcover – May 1, 1980
by Tom Ainslee (Author), Bonnie Ledbetter (Author)

Horse body language includes various behaviors that can indicate stress. Watch the tail in particular. This guide is organized by emotions.

Horse body language with each other can be quite different from their body language with humans. Horses often think that humans look predatorial, which can be used to influence their behavior. Ansel uses this awareness to show that he is not a threat to the centaurs.

(These links are distressing.)
Torture can have lasting health effects, one of which is depression. Rehabilitation offers challenges for clinicians. Sometimes energy work helps, such as qigong or t'ai chi. Caregivers can help survivors of torture, and there are self-care steps for survivors too. Similarly, human trafficking impairs access to support networks. Here are some things that torture survivors want caregivers to know.

(So are these.)
Traumatic stress can lead to conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder or prolonged duress stress disorder. When children or adolescents suffer extended hardships, this can cause developmental trauma disorder, as the abuse and/or neglect prevent some physical or psychological features from growing in properly. This is a different problem than when trauma disrupts the mature systems of an adult. L-America has limited resources on preventing PTSD; T-America does better. Because helplessness is a major cause of traumatic stress, the first steps in treating survivors must be establishment of safety and restoration of control. Forcing them to do things they don't want will exacerbate the problem. There are ways to cope with traumatic stress or live with someone who has it.

(And these.)
Similarly, trauma triggers open up a can of worms containing intrusive memories of misery. Traumatic stress is fundamentally a filing error that causes those memories to replay at inopportune times. Since memory is plastic, techniques like RID, counterconditioning, or anchoring can erode triggers over time. Creating new positive memories over a layer of trauma reduces the amount of conscious awareness those negative experiences occupy. Turq has batches of very strong positive and negative memories, which creates an erratic pattern of response. But he's getting better -- what he did today, he couldn't have done several months ago. For as much as he went through, he is healing astoundingly fast.

(These links are touchy.)
The core of trauma-informed care is asking "What happened to you?" instead of "What is wrong with you?" This forms the basis of the principles and practices. There are instructions for supporting trauma survivors and working through your own trauma. First responders typically have workplace procedures to minimize the risk of developing PTSD.

(This one is downright heinous.)
Mengele is a rude term for a mad scientist who experiments on nonconsenting subjects, particularly people with superpowers. There is deep, ugly history of atrocities committed in the pursuit of science without compassion, which makes soups extremely sensitive to issues of medical ethics. More disturbingly, it can start with small things that seem innocuous and then slide down into atrocities; people are keenly aware of that slippery slope. Like telepathic violation, this kind of abuse tends to be a very short route to a Go Home Charlie. Naries are less inclined to use a word as foul as "mengele" but they are still alert to the dangers; soups, who are preferred targets for unwelcome experimentation, will go for the throat. It derives from Dr. Mengele of Nazi infamy.

As prey animals, horses have a profound fear response to help them survive threats. This includes defensive actions such as spooking, bucking, and bolting. In the courtyard, the centaurs are anxious and uncertain, just short of panic. It doesn't take much to push them into a dramatic response. To deal with frightened horses, a person must remain calm and remove any threats while working to soothe the horses.

A circle of safety appears in knife skills and other activities. Most T-American folks are familiar with this technique. Here you can see that it's useful for emotional as well as physical safety -- it's a great skill for dealing with touch aversion or flashbacks.

(Messy medical details.)
Degloving injuries peel a flap or tube of skin away from the flesh underneath, like removing a glove. Even small ones are difficult to repair due to the risk of infection and challenges of keeping the skin flap alive until it reattaches properly. There are simple and more detailed descriptions of wound repair. Triangular wounds can be sewn closed, but tension at the corners poses a problem. One solution is a corner stitch, and another is converting a V to a Y closure.

(Includes kink and messy medical details.)
Horsehair is pretty aggressive stuff, sometimes used to make floggers. It can make tiny cuts that draw blood. Also, pieces can break off and slide under the skin as hair splinters. Wrapping a horse's tail can prevent slapping the long hairs against wounds on the flanks.

Qi Gong breathing sometimes comes with hand movements. There are text and video instructions. This poster shows Pulling Down the Heavens. You can raise your arms over your head, or just to your chest.

Total Comfort Level is a Terramagne-American scoring system for measuring how people feel when sick or injured, based on tracking individual issues. Pain, nausea, dealing with the health care system, seeing a doctor/nurse, taking medication, being stuck in bed, etc. are all common things to track. The numbers can be averaged to see the general level of comfort, or viewed individually to make sure that no one item goes too high. Similarly, effort goes into ensuring that the help given does not make one area spike while producing only mild improvement in the target area, because that can cause the person to feel worse overall instead of better. This is particularly a concern for soups, people with allergies, and people with mental challenges. Since high levels of discomfort interfere with recovery, keeping the levels low tends to improve outcomes. Generally 1-3 is the bad range, 4-6 is uncomfortable, 7-9 is okay, and 10 is terrific.

A laser shaver has been proposed here, but is not yet fully developed. The T-American version actually works.

(Messy medical details.)
Frostbite can destroy tissues and cause a line of crystals to form where the living flesh seals itself off. A similar pattern can occur with flap injuries; once you see that line starting, nothing beyond it is salvageable.

The psychology of color makes colored bandages relevant. Self-adhesive bandage wraps come in many colors. It took a ridiculously long time for L-America to produce bandages for different skin tones. In trauma, a sense of helplessness is most prone to causing severe complications, rather than severity of the incident itself. Therefore, minimizing the risk of traumatic stress requires medics to protect dignity and use patient-centered care to restore choices as soon as possible.

T-America offers skin-tone sets of many products. A three-tone set of Asian bandaids has sunshine (similar to Golden Fair on this chart), honey (similar to Medium), and ochre (similar to Bronze Medium).

EFAids are bandaids printed with positive messages.

Transporting horses typically requires training them for the trailer. Otherwise they tend to balk or panic. Sentient equines may express personal preferences; some would rather ride in a trailer while others choose to walk.

Here is a basic guide to first aid for horses.
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