Day 33 9:03 AM
I had spent the last two hours treating scrapes and bruises that were more psychological than physical; when a breathless kid that must have been 10 years old came running up.
“Doc,” he said, “The Soldier Lady says she needs you on the path on the other side of the ridge down from the Community Center. She said to tell you Code Blue and STAT.”
I started towards our tent immediately to grab the Trauma Kit. In the tent I looked at the interior frame that I had thought Andy had been paranoid to have built. All I could think of was his continuing mantra, “Logistics Capt. How can I defend something that hasn’t been built. Logistics First, everything else second.”
Moving over the ridge line I could see that Mariana at least had a Primary Care kit.
“Good to see you Kurt,” she said “Sally and Hilde dropped off this pack and Sally is on the way to Treatment to get ready. We have a really bad one here.”
I took one look and agreed. “Let’s get a full board under her and find some way to cut that damn thing flush so we can transport her. Shit we are going to need a litter and two people who know how to carry one.”
Mariana calmly announced, “That’s taken care of, transport is on the way and I will handle the trim.”
I watched her show me one of those energy knifes that I had seen Andy cutting dovetails with. That darn sure should work. We got the board under her and strapped up; then rolled her over on the opposite side from the penetration.
Mariana then proceeded to trim the wood on both sides. Like the Surgeon people forgot she was I swear she took off one layer of skin on both sides. We then packed on all of the surface antibiotics we could. We then used field dressings to cover and stabilize the object.
We had just finished when Andy’s voice said, “I was told you need me here.”
“This Lady needs to get to Treatment and I mean fast,” she said
“That’s what I was afraid you were going to say.” Andy groaned.
I watched him squat down and pick the woman up, I could hear the breathing ramping up. I could see his eyes as the pupils distended. Suddenly he stood and began to move, he was a blur disappearing into the distance. It dawned on me why people thought of Mariana as small, you always saw her next to that huge man.
“Well, pack up; it’s time to go.”
I started packing our gear into my now nearly empty pack, “How long is it going to take him to get there?”
She just looked into the distance, “He’s probably there by now, we need to move.”
We went the short way over the top of the hill, and slid down the slope not twenty feet from the entrance to Treatment. As we entered Sally and Hilde had the woman on the surgical table with hers clothes cut back, sterile field started and two IV lines already in. Sally was laughing, “Andy said you two would be along in a day or so. He left with some kid babbling about somebody caught under a tree.”
Mariana dropped the outside clothes for a smock and was scrubbing without a word. I had to hustle to catch up. We finished and the nurses snapped surgical gloves on our hands.
“I’ll get this sucker out and you back me.” She said. “ Then you start closing bleeders and I’ll back you, you are better with a suture and we both know it.”
There was not much I could say as she took the energy knife and carefully cored the tree limb. As soon as the central core came out and the pressure released we were in a race.
Three hours later I was standing in the lee of the hill trying to keep a smoke going in the downpour and Mariana was trying to work kinks out of her shoulders. I told her, “Well, now it all depends on how well that miracle snake oil you made from the slizzard works; what are you gonna call that stuff?”
“Steal a line from old Sci-Fi and just call it quick heal. Beats explaining where it came from!”
I could not help but laugh, try telling some of the die hards that the miracle cure came from an extract from slizzard gonads.