Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Only the Finest"

This poem is spillover from the September 18, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from rix_scaedu. It also fills the "amputation" square in my 3-1-18 card for the Disability Bingo fest, and the "safe" square in my 9-1-18 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] ng_moonmoth, [personal profile] fuzzyred, and [personal profile] mama_kestrel. It belongs to Skink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem contains intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features anxiety, earthquakes, mass casualty incidents, messy medical details, superpower overstrain, passing out from exhaustion, and other challenges. Please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

"Only the Finest"

[Saturday, May 28, 2016]

Skink fidgeted, unable to get
comfortable even in the cozy lounge
of the Dr. Mary Fulstone Visionary Hospital.

He had felt restless and uneasy for weeks,
his totem sending him flashes of warning,
but never concrete enough to act on.

"Still bothering you?" Rizal asked,
laying a gentle hand on his wrist.
"Do you need to call off today?"

Their appointment was scheduled
for early evening, so they had time still.

"No, I can do my work," Skink insisted.
"It's not like I have to do much, just
hold it together for like five minutes."

"Okay, it's your choice," Rizal said.
"You know I'll always support you."

That was true; Skink had come
to rely on him as much as a cousin
or an uncle. Rizal always made
him feel safe and wanted.

Just then the uneasiness
solidified into a sharp spike of
anxiety, making him gasp.

"Are you all right?" Rizal asked.

"Something's wrong," Skink said.
"My lizard is going nuts."

"Come on, let's go over to
Data Processing," Rizal said,
tugging him out of the chair.
"I want to check for hazards."

Data processing actually consisted
of two rooms in the administrative section,
the first for the office workers assigned to
information management, the second for
other employees who needed a computer
to look up health concerns or whatever.

It had built-in desks and cabinets lining
the walls, with computers and printers and
other equipment for those who needed them.

Skink huddled in the corner by the printers,
hoping to stay out of everyone's way.

Rizal took the empty seat beside it
and began tapping at the keyboard.

"No alerts on the hospital intranet,"
he reported. "The local weather
is partly sunny and hot out today,
no sign of storms. Let me check
the Nevada news ... nothing so far."

"I'm not imagining it," Skink said tightly.
His fingers dug into his elbows.

"Obviously," Rizal said. "I know you,
so I know that something's going on.
I'll check the national news in a minute."

Suddenly the floor shimmied.

Skink dropped flat and then
scuttled under the printer desk.

Rizal quickly followed suit, yelling,
"Earthquake! Everyone under the desks,
they're reinforced against hazards!"

The other employees scrambled
to obey, crowding underneath.

Just because Las Vegas hadn't
had a major earthquake before,
didn't necessarily mean it couldn't.

The subtle rolling faded away
without doing any damage, though --
the only disturbance was a few pens
tumbling from the desks to the floor.

As soon as it stopped, the nurses
jumped to their feet in a flurry.

Rizal grabbed Skink and said,
"Run for the emergency department!"

"What? Why?" Skink said even as he
got up. "It's safe. Nobody's hurt."

"Not here," Rizal said, pointing
to a computer screen gone scarlet
with warnings. "That earthquake hit
the West Coast hard. Las Vegas is
the closest out-of-state city to Barstow,
San Bernardino, Los Angeles, and
San Diego. We'll get their casualties."

Out of habit, Skink hooked a finger
into the collar of his Kokopelli scrubs,
making sure the vrip seams were there.
He never wanted to do his thing again
without having an easy-off shirt.

"I'm right behind you," Skink said.

They were running past the lab
when the hospital alarms went off
as their surge plan activated in
anticipation of mass casualties.

The speakers blared cancellation
of all elective surgeries, and directed
personnel to the emergency department.

As they passed the triage room, they
heard a sharp crack from the bang room
as a teleporter arrived, bringing survivors
to a safe place outside the damage zone.

"You're with me," Rizal said to Skink.
"In a case like this, I go in the trauma room,
where we'll see a lot of penetrating injuries."

Since joining the hospital, Skink had
taken enough medical training that
he could assist the nurses during
an emergency when the hospital
pulled in all the help it could get.

"This place is amazing," Skink said.

"Yeah, all nurses are made equal,
but only the finest of them become
emergency room nurses," Rizal said.

Skink could see why. The place
was crammed with victims already.

Bodies filled the beds, some
of them bleeding and crying,
others lying ominously still.

"Nurse Bagong-gahasa,
over here!" called a doctor.

Skink followed Rizal down to
the last bed, where a man seemed
to be wearing part of a brick wall.

"He has rebar right through him
here, here, and here." The doctor
pointed to the pieces of metal
impaling the hapless victim.
"I need you to cut those close
to the skin -- just leave enough
for us to grip and pull out."

"Can do," Rizal said. "Skink,
as soon as I cut the rebar, you
pull the metal and bricks away."

"There's a debris bin here,"
the doctor said, pointing to it.

So Rizal cut through the bars
and then Skink carefully peeled
the wall away from the patient.

"Thanks, now clear the way,"
the doctor said, stepping in.

No sooner did they back away
than someone else yelled for them.

There was a blue-haired woman
with six feet of telephone pole
impaling her torso, her body
already visibly healing around it.

"That thing must be crushing
her organs," Rizal said.

"Yeah, but the rescue crew
didn't have anything that
could cut it," the doctor said.

"I can get through it," Rizal said.
"You want it cut front and back?"

"Yes, and I'll need help pushing
the rest out," said the doctor.

Skink and another nurse
held the ends of the pole
while Rizal sliced through
one side and then the other.

Then Rizal and the doctor
pushed out the stump and
scrambled to clean the wound
before it could seal over with
all the splinters and dirt inside.

"I hope we got it all," Rizal muttered
as the skin scrunched itself closed.

"It doesn't matter," Skink said.
"Look, her body is already
pushing out the last bits."

A few splinters and pebbles
wormed their way out of her skin
to fall on the table in bloody blobs.

So it went, with the two of them
rushing from one patient to another.

Most of the time, Skink just served
as a glorified garbageman, collecting
whatever Rizal cut away from the victims.

Other times they needed him to help
hold someone steady, though, and
he had gotten quite good at using
alternative pain control skills.

Then someone yelled, "Skink!"

Rizal waved off the doctor trying
to get his attention, because
nobody else could do what
the two of them did together.

The unconscious victim wore
a black suit and his right arm was
missing just below the shoulder.

"He's a pianist," the doctor said.
"A big painting fell on him and
the glass sheared right through."

"We can fix it," Skink assured her,
looking around for something to sit on.

There was no cushy exam chair here,
so he grabbed an equipment case.

He had worked with so much worse,
and he was intensely grateful to have
a clean workspace and Rizal's help
instead of his own survival knife.

"Ready?" Rizal asked, grasping
Skink's left arm halfway up. He
tightened the surgical tourniquet.

"Do it," Skink said, nodding.

Heat sliced through his wrist,
followed a moment later
by the searing pain.

Skink panted for breath,
concentrating as he leaned
forward to rub the gel over
the stump of the man's arm.

"Done," he said. "It's a clean cut,
it should regrow with no trouble."

"Good job, Skink, now let's get
some meds in you," Rizal said
as he packed the severed hand
in a cooler to see if a surgeon
could tack it back on, which
worked more often than not.

"Skink!" someone shouted.

"Too late, Skink is done for
the day!" Rizal yelled back.

"Maybe not," Skink said suddenly.

"What do you mean by that?"
Rizal said. "You're one-and-done."

"Look," Skink said, pointing to
his wrist. "The gel is still flowing."

"You think if we got you to
another patient fast enough,
you do more?" Rizal said.
"What about the pain?"

"I want to try," Skink said.
"It's just pain, I deal with it
every day. I can take it."

"All right, we'll try this
your way," Rizal said.

They hurried to the next bed.

"That doesn't look good at all,"
Rizal said, looking at the mess
where a girl's left leg had been
torn or crushed off at the thigh.

"What about it?" the doctor said.

"I'd have to do a lot of trimming,"
Rizal said, then turned to Skink.
"Are you sure this is a good idea?"

"Look at her, Rizal, she can't be
more than five or six," Skink said.
"We have to try something."

"What are you talking about?"
said the woman with her. "I'm
her aunt Cardinia, she's visiting
me from Australia. The doctor '
said something about offering
an experimental treatment?"

"Technically classed as that,
although I do it every weekday,"
Skink said. "I can regrow her leg
but there's no time to explain --
it has to be now or never."

"You're a lizard, like me,"
the girl said, her smile
flashing white against
her mahogany skin.

It was encouraging
that she was talking
instead of screaming.

"Uh yeah, my name is Skink
because that's my totem," he said.

"I am Allira, and mine is Goanna,"
she said. "We're both lizards."

"Okay," Skink said. "My partner
needs to trim your stump, and I'll put
some goo on it. This will hurt like blazes
for a few minutes, but then the doctor can
give you medicine to stop the pain, and
your leg will grow back later. Do you
think you can handle all that?"

"I've gone walkabout," Allira said.
"I can find a line to follow."

"Rizal, you're up," Skink said.

Surprisingly, Allira made
only a muffled whine
during the trimming.

Skink peeled away
the half-formed skin
to make the gel flow more,
then rubbed it on her stump.

He could hear a low buzz,
almost like cidadas, but
he couldn't tell where it
might be coming from.

"Thank you," Cardinia said.

"No problem," Skink said,
feeling light and wild inside.
He turned to Rizal. "I think
I can go again. Who's next?"

"You're out of your mind," Rizal said,
but the trauma room was swamped and
people were yelling for Skink again.
"Fine, whatever, it's your hand."

So they hurried through the room,
moving from one patient to the next.

Skink treated severed arms and legs,
and once, a man's missing genitals.
He was on the fifth, or maybe sixth,
when he started to feel strange.

"Hey, Skink, are you okay?"
Rizal asked, frowning at him.
"You've gone really pale."

That's when the room faded out.

* * *


Allira Walker -- She has mahogany skin, almond-shaped black eyes, and long wavy hair that starts out dark but bleaches to a rusty blonde at the ends. She is the niece of Cardinia Walker. Their heritage includes Bunurong, Ngadjuri, Wurundjeri, and Wadawurrung. Allira speaks Bunurong and English. She lives in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and was visiting her aunt in Claremont, California when the earthquake struck. She is learning to play didgeridoo.
Origin: Her abilities grew in gradually during childhood.
Uniform: As little as possible. Allira tolerates play clothes in town, but prefers the bush where she can run around a tube top and shorts or a skirt.
Qualities: Good (+2) Endurance, Good (+2) Existential Intelligence, Good (+2) Traveler
Poor (-2) Sitting Still
Powers: Good (+2) Dreamer
Her abilities include awareness and control of Songlines, Dream Powers, and connection with Goanna.
Motivation: To hold the world together.

Bunwurrung is the language of the Bunurong tribe. They have a language revitalization program.

Goanna is an Australian totem.

• Manuri. ('big goanna people', an exonym employed for them by the Nganguruku)

Whitefella Dreaming includes arguments over art.  Some blackfellas believe that whitefellas have no Dreaming, no connection to the numinous, and in particular, no Dream Powers or totem spirits.  Allira knows better because she can sense them, but not everyone believes her.

Poor bugger whitefella got no dreaming : the representation & appropriation of published Dreaming narratives with special reference to David Unaipon's writings / Mary-Anne Gale.
Critically reviews the many and varied representations of Aboriginal Dreaming narratives that have appeared in print since Australia's colonisation. A special focus is the writings of Ngarrindjeri man, David Unaipon. Dreaming narratives contain knowledge, and all knowledge systems are influenced by the circumstances in which they emerge. Challenges those with an interest in representing indigenous knowledge in print to respect the rights of the indigenous owners, and to strive to maintain the integrity of their texts.

Cardinia Walker -- She has toffee skin, almond-shaped black eyes, and long curly black hair. She is the aunt of Allira Walker. Their heritage includes Bunurong, Ngadjuri, Wurundjeri, and Wadawurrung. Cardinia speaks Bunurong, English, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish. She comes from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is studying at the Pomona College in Claremont, California with a double major in International Relations and Women's Studies. Her experiences have given her an understanding of multiple cultures and how to interface among them. Cardinia was with her niece Allira when the earthquake struck Claremont.
Qualities: Good (+2) Citizen Diplomat, Good (+2) Cosmopolitan, Good (+2) Dreamer, Good (+2) Graceful, Good (+2) Interpersonal Intelligence
Poor (-2) Broke

Bunwurrung is the language of the Bunurong tribe. They have a language revitalization program.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia lies at the southern tip of the continent facing Tasmania. See maps of Australian tribes and climate.

Pomona College in Claremont, California is among the best schools for making an impact. It offers majors in international relations and women's studies.

International Relations Major
Requirements for the Major in International Relations
1. Introductory Courses.
Introduction to International Relations (POLI 008 PO)
Population and Environment (SOC 055 PO)
Comparative Politics (POLI 005 PO)
Modern Europe since 1789 (HIST 071 PO).
2. International Economics.
International Economic Relations (ECON 113 PO).
Prerequisite: ECON 051 PO
3. Methods.
POLI 090 PO: Statistics for Politics and International Relations
ANTH 105 PO: Methods in Anthropological Inquiry
4. Intermediate International Relations Seminar: IR 100 PO.
5. Advanced Electives.
6. Language Requirement.
Students can test out of the requirement with verification of language proficiency by language instructors.
7. Study Abroad.
Majors unable to study abroad may petition the IR Coordinator to find an alternative way to experience a connection with other cultures, such as through participation in a suitable domestic academic exchange program, internship, or sustained volunteer activity. International students who have lived and studied outside the United States up to their matriculation at the College are considered to have met the study abroad requirement.
8. Senior Thesis.
IR 190 PO: Senior IR Seminar in the fall of their senior year.

Advanced Electives. All IR majors must take at least two courses numbered 2 or 3 digits

ANTH152 PO - Ethnic Nationalism (major)
When Offered: Last offered fall 2016.
Instructor(s): D. Gladney
Credit: 1
Contemporary theories of ethnic and cultural nationalism from social science perspectives. Issues of nation-states, power hierarchies, modernity and identity in contemporary societies. Letter grade only.

POLI060 PO - The Global Politics of Food and Agriculture (Gen Ed)
When Offered: Each spring.
Instructor(s): H. Williams
Credit: 1
Addresses interplay among states and growers, how environmental problems affect farms around the world and the various ways that producers and governments attempt to address such problems; current issues in agricultural science and economics and debates about genetic engineering; international patent law and intellectual property.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 2

POLI061 PO - The Global Politics of Water (Gen Ed)
When Offered: Each fall.
Instructor(s): H.Williams
Credit: 1
This course examines how fresh water, an increasingly scarce per capita resource, is managed around the world. The course will consider how flood and droughts have shaped states historically, the contentious politics of dams and river basin engineering, and the costs and benefits of providing universal access to clean water.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 2

POLI070 PO - International Human Rights (Major)
When Offered: Each fall.
Instructor(s): H.Haddad
Credit: 1
This course examines the historical, political and legal dimensions of the current international human rights regime. Special attention will be paid to the power of the human rights discourse in world politics and the controversies surrounding human rights, including questions of universality, enforcement, Western bias and human security.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 2; Writing Intensive

Gender & Women's Studies Major
Requirements for the Gender & Women's Studies Major with Disciplinary Tracks
1. Four core gender & women’s studies courses:
GWS 026 PO
GWS 190 PO
GWS 191 PO.
2. One course in feminist theory, to be chosen from GWS 180 PO; LIT 166 CM; ARHI 186L PO; or another course approved by the GWS coordinator.
3. Three electives in GWS including one course cross-listed with GWS and a department of disciplinary focus and one course cross-listed with one of the ethnic studies programs.
4. The following courses in the department or program of the disciplinary track:
• Psychology (PSYC). PSYC 051 PO, PSYC 157 PO, PSYC 158 PO, PSYC 160 PO or PSYC 162 PO; one elective; and one advanced seminar from PSYC 180A PO, PSYC 180B PO, or PSYC 180H PO.

GWS026 PO - Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies
When Offered: Each fall.
Instructor(s): K. Tompkins
Credit: 1
Analyzes systemic and institutionalized forms of inequality and discrimination, production of sexual and gender difference historically and cross-culturally and articulations of gender with race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and colonialism. Embraces various feminist disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 3; Analyzing Difference

FGSS 036 SC - Introduction to Queer Studies
Course Credit: 1.0
This course introduces students to queer theory. Issues to be covered may include: heteronormativity, performativity, queer theory in a transnational context, and queer of color critique.

RLST181 PO - Prison, Punishment, Redemption (CP)
When Offered: Each fall.
Instructor(s): E. Runions; V. Thomas
Credit: 1
This course will explore ideologies of punishment and redemption in relation to the prison industrial complex. We will critique and redefine themes of redemption, correction, debt, virtue, shame, guilt, purity, atonement, damnation, hell and conversion as they influence, infuse and complicate popular understanding of prison, policy development and lived experience of prison. We will be analyzing religious teaching, literature, media, pop culture, policy, political discourse and art. The approach taken will be interdisciplinary with intersectional analysis that includes race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, age, mobility, literacy, education, nationality. Six times in the semester students will take part in a writing workshop in the prison California Institute for Women. Letter grade only.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 3; Analyzing Difference

GWS190 PO - Senior Seminar
When Offered: Each fall.
Instructor(s): Z. Kassam
Credit: 1
An overview and integration of work in gender and women’s studies through readings, student-led discussion and analysis of interdisciplinary issues. Guidance on research and writing the thesis. Throughout the semester, students also meet with the advisor in their discipline and/or department. Students turn in one thesis chapter at the end of the semester. Senior majors only.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Analyzing Difference

ARHI186L PO - Critical Race Theory, Representation and the Rule of Law
When Offered: Last offered spring 2017.
Instructor(s): P. Jackson
Credit: 1
Examines the role of The Rule of Law in constructing and maintaining racialized, gendered and classed disparities of justice, as they shape and inform the intellectual, aesthetic, scientific and political convergences of critical jurisprudence with representational practices in African Diasporic visual arts. Letter grade only.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 1

PSYC 102 SC - Psychology of Women
Prerequisite(s): PSYC 052
Course Credit: 1.0
Offered: AnnuallyA critical examination of current psychological approaches to the study of women's behavior and experience. The course will emphasize empirical ways of knowing and will address psychological questions of central concern to women. The nature and development of gender differences also will be explored. Students will conduct group and individual projects.

IIS 167 PZ -Theory and Practice of Resistance to Monoculture: Gender, Spirituality, and Power
Institution: Pitzer
Description: In this course we will examine theoretically and experientially models of historical and contemporary resistance to monocultural patterns of knowledge and social relations. This resistance historically has been and continues to be produced and/or molded in large measure by imperial and capitalist relations and by selected European scientific systems.

LGCS 110 PZ -Language and Gender (Gen Ed)
Institution: Pitzer
Description: The relation between cultural attitudes and language. The course will investigate how gender socialization is reflected in the structure of language at all levels and the extent to which male/female patterns of language use might contribute to the creation and/or maintenance of given structures of power, solidarity, etc. Students will be expected to develop their own fieldwork-based project.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 2; Analyzing Difference

SPAN106 PO - Images of Latin America in Fiction and Film
When Offered: Last offered spring 2016.
Instructor(s): N. Montenegro
Credit: 1
Explores the construction and dissemination of predominant images of Latin America through topics such as women, family, sexuality, religion and violence. A close examination of both narrative and film. Emphasis on the development of written and oral skills, including oral presentations. Prerequisite: SPAN 044 PO.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 1; Language Requirement

PSYC051 PO - Introduction to Psychological Science
When Offered: Each semester.
Instructor(s): Staff
Credit: 1
An introduction to the science of human behavior and experience. Emphasizes an integrative approach to understanding human behavior from biological, cognitive, developmental, social and cultural perspectives, along with applications. Students will be introduced to basic principles of design and analysis of psychological research.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 2

PSYC157 PO - Research Design and Methodology in Psychology with Lab
When Offered: Last offered spring 2018.
Instructor(s): S. Sher; A. Pearson
Credit: 1
Introduction to research design and analysis. The use of empirical methods to address theoretical questions. The course will examine experimental and non-experimental research designs, psychological measurement and basic concepts of statistics. Computer applications emphasized. Prerequisite: PSYC 051 PO. Letter grade only.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 2

PSYC158 PO - Introductory Statistics for Psychology with Lab
When Offered: Last offered fall 2017.
Instructor(s): P. Smiley
Credit: 1
Introduction to probability, hypothesis testing, tests of means, correlation and regression, including mediation and moderation, and analysis of variance. Emphasis on the logic of statistical methodology as it applies to studies of behavior. Required lab. Satisfies Area 5 of the Breadth of Study Requirements. Prerequisite: PSYC 051 PO and PSYC 157 PO.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 5

PSYC162 PO - Memory and Language with Lab
When Offered: Spring 2019.
Instructor(s): L. Abrams; L. Johnson
Credit: 1
Investigates the nature of human memory and how it interacts with language. Emphasis on architecture of memory systems from working memory to semantic memory and on memory processes in language comprehension and production. Evaluates research on how we remember, why we forget, memory without awareness and language and memory disorders. Prerequisite: PSYC 051 PO or LGCS 011 PO.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 2

PSYC180A PO - Seminar in Social and Emotional Development
When Offered: Each spring.
Instructor(s): P. Smiley
Credit: 1
Focus on social and emotional development from infancy through adolescence. Specific issues include attachment, temperament, emotion regulation, parenting, aggression, altruism, achievement, gender socialization, sexuality and peer relations. Readings include classic and current journal articles, as well as contemporary books on childhood. Prerequisite: PSYC 108 PO.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 2

* * *

All Nurses Are Made Equal But Only The Finest Become Emergency Room Nurses.

Don't panic!  Skink isn't dead, just unconscious.  He'll wake up in the sequel.

The Dr. Mary Fulstone Visionary Hospital is described here.

Data Processing consists of two linked rooms in the administrative section. The first is for office workers assigned to information management, the second for other employees who need a computer to look up something.

The storage room beside the triage room has been converted to a bang room. It has a compass rose with a GPS beacon for teleporters arriving with casualties.

A large waiting room serves the Emergency Department. The nurse station includes shared desks. The triage room has multiple beds in an open bay for sorting mass casualties. The trauma room for serious injuries has several beds that can be separated by curtains. The procedure room has one bed for complicated care. Individual exam rooms provide privacy for urgent cases that don't require as much specialized equipment. The bereavement room offers a refuge to upset visitors.

Although outside of the primary damage lines, Barstow lies amidst a cluster of fault lines in the Mojave Region. The earthquake is 4.5 with intensity V, light shaking but little if any damage. It has the Barstow Community Hospital and the Barstow Medical Group, but with low quality and range of services. While they can handle their own minor injuries from the quake, more casualties will pour in from coastal California, and Barstow definitely cannot handle that. So they pass the buck to Las Vegas, Nevada which does have some top-notch facilities.
4.0 – 4.9 about 10,000 IV – V light – felt by many people, minor damage possible
IV. Felt indoors by many, outdoors by few during the day. At night, some awakened. Dishes, windows, doors disturbed; walls make cracking sound. Sensation like heavy truck striking building. Standing motor cars rocked noticeably.
V. Felt by nearly everyone; many awakened. Some dishes, windows broken. Unstable objects overturned. Pendulum clocks may stop.

See the location of Barstow in America and a city map of Barstow.

See the Southeast California ShakeOut maps for probability and historical epicenters.

Barstow only has two hospitals:
1. Barstow Community Hospital
1.5/5 stars, 28 reviews
820 Mountain View Ave
Barstow, CA 92311
2. Barstow Medical Group
No reviews
555 S 7th Ave
Barstow, CA 92311

Los Angeles
In Los Angeles the earthquake strikes at 4:01:40 with magnitude 7.8 and intensity X shaking, destroying many buildings. It lasts for 55 seconds. Even well-built structures are damaged, and unprepared ones crumble. They have many hospitals, and better retrofitting, but they still take a lot of damage and can't accommodate all the casualties. But so much of the infrastructure is damaged or destroyed that the only practical ways out are air or teleport.
7.0 – 7.9 about 15 IX – X major – extensive damage, some buildings destroyed
X. Some well-built wooden structures destroyed; most masonry and frame structures destroyed with foundations. Rails bent.

See the location of Los Angeles in America and in California; here is a city map of Los Angeles. Los Angeles is in the Southwestern Coast ShakeOut area. See maps of probable shaking and historic epicenters. The water supply is vulnerable to disruption from earthquakes.

Claremont (Pomona College, aboriginal family)
The earthquake is 7.7 with intensity X. Even specially designed structures are damaged or destroyed, lesser ones wrecked along with their foundations.
7.0 – 7.9 about 15 IX – X major – extensive damage, some buildings destroyed
IX. Damage considerable in specially designed structures; well-designed frame structures thrown out of plumb. Damage great in substantial buildings, with partial collapse. Buildings shifted off foundations.
X. Some well-built wooden structures destroyed; most masonry and frame structures destroyed with foundations. Rails bent.

Here is a map of Claremont in California and a city map of Claremont.

San Diego
The earthquake strikes at 4:02 PM with magnitude 7.3 and intensity IX. Even well-built structures are damaged, while unprepared ones are destroyed. Because San Diego has not experienced many strong earthquakes, a lot of the older buildings collapsed. Most residents live within 15 miles of the fault, resulting in many injuries. The earthquake along the Rose Canyon Fault extends offshore, creating a tsunami that reaches the city within minutes. Little of San Diego lies in the inundation zone, so casualties are not too bad.
The famous San Diego Zoo is seriously damaged. The Archimedes Animal Academy is so wrecked that staff have to evacuate all the animals to the spinoff company Aristophanes Animal Academy in Las Vegas.
7.0 – 7.9 about 15 IX – X major – extensive damage, some buildings destroyed
IX. Damage considerable in specially designed structures; well-designed frame structures thrown out of plumb. Damage great in substantial buildings, with partial collapse. Buildings shifted off foundations.

See maps of San Diego in America and San Diego county with the city itself.

Read the ShakeOut page for San Diego and view the probability and historic epicenter maps. Here is the tsunami evacuation map.

Las Vegas
The earthquake is barely felt in Las Vegas at 3.0 with an intensity of III, only minor vibration and little if any disturbance of objects.
3.0 – 3.9 about 100,000 II – III minor – noticed by a few people
II. Felt only by a few persons at rest, especially on upper floors of buildings.
III. Felt quite noticeably by persons indoors, especially on upper floors of buildings. Many people do not recognize it as an earthquake. Standing motor cars may rock slightly. Vibrations similar to the passing of a truck. Duration estimated.

Barstow is the closest town to Las Vegas that sustained any damage. See Las Vegas in relation to major cities in California. Earthquakes from California can sometimes be felt in Las Vegas. A network of faults underlie the city, but they frequently slip into minor earthquakes that do little or no damage. The tension doesn't build up enough for severe quakes.

Nevada has some of the lowest risk of natural disasters in the United States. Thunderstorms and floods are listed as occurring in Los Angeles, but less often than many other places. Fire risk is low. Analysis of disasters and disaster avoidance areas reveals that Las Vegas is the safest city.

Read about skinks. They're interesting little lizards. Some animals, including reptiles, have been reported to notice impending earthquakes before humans do. The easiest to explain is responding a few seconds before the earthquake strikes, where animals may sense the subtle P-waves before the damaging S-waves. But there are reports of animals fleeing the area days or weeks ahead of the quake. In this case, Skink's totem has done both: a general sense of unease for a few days punctuated by a sharp spike of anxiety as the P-waves roll through. Rizal, already well attuned to Skink, does not waste time arguing that it's "imagination" but immediately checks for danger.

In a high-trust environment, people take each other's warnings seriously. When checking for danger, start from the center and work outwards. You're more likely to alert to close dangers than distant ones; and the closer it is, the less time you have to respond to it. Here are some tips for following your intuition. Much the same applies to following a friend's instincts.

Las Vegas, Nevada weather on Saturday, May 28, 2016
Time: 4:56 pm
Weather: Partly sunny.
Temperature: 91 °F
Wind: N/A
Humidity: 9%
Barometer: 29.67 "Hg
Visibility: 10 mi

Fault tolerance is the ability of a system to absorb loss or damage before it collapses completely. A surge plan details available resources, service goals, thresholds of activation, and steps to take when demand rises such as mobilizing additional personnel. Medical surge capacity appears occasionally in references to local-American facilities, but not all hospitals have a surge plan. Surge hospitals include closed medical facilities that can be reopened, nonmedical facilities that can be borrowed, and mobile units that can be deployed wherever needed. T-America requires hospitals to have a surge plan, most other emergency services do too, and so do other organizations that experience large variations in demand such as utility companies. Any business that has surges of activity will benefit from a surge plan, and it also works if you have several employees absent at once, so this is something lots of folks could create and use. In this case, the hospital is not yet overflowing with patients, so they aren't closed to admissions; but they know they're about to receive mass casualties, so they activate other aspects of the Internal Disaster plan such as canceling elective surgeries and mobilizing all personnel.

Adaptive clothing comes in many styles to accommodate different needs. These include options like pull-up elastic waist, side zipper, velcro fly, covered cutout seat, velcro or magnetic dress shirts, and back-fastening shirts. Check out Makoa and Adaptive Clothing Showroom for examples.

This shirt comes completely apart into front and back halves, fastened along the side and shoulder seams with velcro. The T-American version uses vrip, which is softer and more comfortable. It's a simple fix to replace any shirt's seams with vrip, or buy medical garments that come that way, so now all his uniform tops come with that feature. That makes it easier for Rizal to take care of Skink and also makes the process more comfortable.

(Gory medical details ensue.)
Penetrating injuries are common in car crashes. In an earthquake, the two most common types are crush injuries and cutting/piercing injuries as the shaking drives foreign objects against or into the body. Best practice is to leave foreign objects in place and stabilize them so they can't move, then rush the victim to a hospital. However, this relies on the hospital being able to remove them, and not all hospitals have the kind of equipment that a heavy rescue truck carries. Extraction requires not only knowing the options on the scene, but what will be available at the far end. Having a one-man cutting crew gives the paramedics much more leeway in treatment, because Rizal can cut apart a whole car door if someone comes in wearing it.

Point control is an aspect of hand-eye coordination that allows you to aim at a small target accurately, such as touching a dime with a forefinger or ticking a box with a pencil. Here's an example from fencing. I first heard about it in relation to goats -- if you move the horn buds together to make a unicorn, it improves point control enough that they'll use that horn for things like untying knots in ways that ordinary two-horned goats just don't. Skink needs to transfer the regenerative gel from his body to someone else's, so cutting just above the wrist gives the best flow and best point control for the least amount of effort to regrow lost tissue. Furthermore, the sensory homunculus shows how hands and fingers have more nerves than other body parts, which means they feel pain more keenly than the forearm does. Cutting off a finger wouldn't provide enough gel to do much; cutting through the hand would be miserable; cutting just above the wrist still hurts, but a lot less.

The wrist actually consists of many small carpal bones joined together, which attach the hand to the forearm. Cutting through that is more work to regenerate because it's such a complex area. Cutting through the long bones makes a much simpler injury, and then the wrist can regenerate as a whole unit along with the hand. The bumps near the wrist are the head and styloid process of the radius and ulna, which together form a cup to seat the wrist bones. Rizal makes the cut just above those bumps. Just an inch or two difference in position makes a huge difference in both point control and pain perception, thus in Skink's ability to perform. While Skink has figured out a significant amount of this on his own, it only takes once for the advantages of a medical setting to spoil him to the point that he never again wants to do this in the bush.

Tourniquets come in many styles. You can improvise one from any kind of sturdy cord or strap, such as the boot lace that Skink has used in the past. The wider the band, the more it disperses the force, causing less pain and damage. The narrower the band, the nastier it is, but the more concentrated force may make it easier to shut off the blood flow. A surgical tourniquet has fantastic features, but isn't durable enough to use in the field. In an operating room, it provides a much better experience than anything else Skink has used.

The radial pulse occurs where the radial artery crosses over the radial and carpal bones at the wrist, allowing the artery to be pressed against the underlying bone and felt through the thin skin to detect the heartbeat. This is one of the main pulse points on the body, and among the easiest to use. Since the purpose of a tourniquet is to cut off arterial blood flow, losing the pulse below it is a good way to know you've got it tight enough if the person isn't already bleeding from an injury.

Pain control methods include some non-pharmacological ones. Various breathing techniques can help. Distraction works mentally and physically. Both self-touch and being touched by someone else can disrupt pain signals, reducing the subjective discomfort. T-America has a much more refined and functional process for helping people choose, and use responsibly, methods effective in managing their level of pain. They also pay more attention to what they call Total Comfort Level, which is to say that someone might be less upset by a certain level of pain than by side effects or vulnerable feelings from taking a painkiller, hence Skink declining painkillers after his superpower activates. This approach requires more knowledge, skill, time, and attention but it pays off in better pain management and lower risk of complications.

(These links are graphic.)
The legs include long bones, large muscles, and major blood vessels. A traumatic amputation at the thigh severs the quadricep and hamstring muscles, sciatic nerve, femoral artery, great saphenous vein, and femur -- a serious and life-threatening injury.

Nonsexual intimacies, especially combined with moments of imprint vulnerability, can increase the potential for human bonding. In L-America, few people are consciously aware of this, which means a lot of bonding happens by accident and vulnerable people are not always handled with care. In T-America, more people -- especially health workers -- get education in the principles of kindness and the proper care of vulnerable people. This makes life a lot nicer for everyone.

Overstrain is a condition in which using superpowers beyond safe limits begins to cause problems. At lower levels, normal expression of powers tapers off, such as a glow diminishing or going out because there's no excess to tap off that way. Then comes tiredness, general achiness, and slow or fuzzy thinking. Using superpowers becomes uncomfortable and then painful. The most famous symptom is a terrible headache, similar to a migraine, which does not respond well to most medications. At higher levels, nosebleeds or fainting can occur. Sometimes people get other symptoms particular to their abilities. Overstrain usually builds up slowly from using superpowers too long, but it can happen quickly from pushing them too hard. Much like use of physical abilities, attempting to exceed your limits can cause ruptures in painful places. It is possible, though not common, for people to die of overstrain; rather like pushing oneself into a heart attack. The most important treatment is rest, preferably somewhere dark and quiet. Blue chamomile helps somewhat. Prescription-strength painkillers may or may not take the edge off, and are more useful for helping the victim sleep through the worst of the misery.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, spirituality, weblit, writing

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