A new entry in the Omicron Matter – Of Sieges and Sallies. Simone Campbell is not experienced enough to do treatment but she can help in first aid. With the ships gone, she helps at the hospital directing wounded to treatment. This time, the wounded are not just factory workers.
It is called so many things: collateral damage; mistaken intelligence; a regrettable error. We read about it in the headlines: a hospital, a school, a wedding was hit by a bomber flying by. But the damage is hidden from us just as it was invisible to the person who launched the missile or dropped the bomb.
Thank you for your support. Look for more on Wednesday
Tending the Wounded
Simone grabbed a notebook and ran to meet the next truckload of casualties. Two tall Uycarrans were carefully moving the Tymbrimi, Uycarran, Menanggung and others off the makeshift carrier. Simone and a Tymbrimi nurse screened the patients and prioritized the worst cases. Simone looked over a Menanggung who had a deep gash in her chest. The bleeding was stopped but her breathing was shallow. She signaled to two orderlies who took the Menanggung directly into the emergency room for treatment and probable surgery.
She moved to a Tymbrimi. He was pale but lacked in external wounds. She palpitated his abdomen and asked his name.
He said, “Gentlerain. I was teaching Physical Ed at Stargazer school near the factory…ohhhh that hurt…I didn’t have time to get them inside.”
Simone said, “You might have some cracked ribs or some bleeding…I’m sending you to imaging.” She called over the orderly and Gentlerain was moved inside as well.
The Uycarrans brought a small Tymbrimi girl down the ramp. Her face was covered with bandages. One of the Uycarrans was trying to sooth the child, “Easy now child. We’re at the hospital.”
“It hurts. Oh… it hurts. I can’t see.”
Simone said, “You’re at hospital. Where does it hurt the most?”
The child whimpered, “My face. I can’t see.” She moved her bandaged hands up to her face.
Simone stopped the hand and held it, “I’m going to look at it a bit. It is going to sting more. Hold onto…” Simone looked at one of the Uycarran’s who said, “Nikolao”. Simone continued, “Hold onto Nikolao’s hand while I look.” She started to work on the bandage. Then asked the second Uycarran, “Why the burns?” The child shook a bit as Simone looked around the bandages. The child’s face was badly burned as was her neck.
Simone said, “Take her to the main treatment. It is mostly burns. They’ll start cleaning and healing.” She leaned down and said, “You were very brave. They are going to take you inside and someone will make you feel better. I have a good friend who managed this. I want you to meet her.” She nodded to the Uycarrans who carried her away. Simone closed her eyes and breathed deep. She made an entry for the girl in her notebook.
Another tall Uycarran came running down the ramp with a tiny body cradled – a Menanggung boy. Simone ran up to the man who was shouting, “You’ve got to help him.”
Simone said, “Put him down.” The Uycarran set the small body down. The boy was covered with cuts and one of his legs was horribly twisted. Simone began chest pumps and then took the large Uycarran’s hands and said, “Do that. Move his blood.” The Uycarran took over muttering, “Com’on Wake up. …he was awake when we left. I swear.” Simone opened the shirt and gasped. There was a jagged wound 5 to 6 centimeters long. The boy had probably bled out on the ride. She put a hand on the Uycarran and said, “He is gone. There is nothing we can do.”
“No…No…I promised he would see his parents. “ The Uycarran pumped harder. Blood seeped out the wound.
“I am sorry.”
A Tymbrimi leaned and said, “Braden, Come along mate. She’s right and we’ve got others who need help.”
Simone said, “I’ll move him over to the shade with the others and we can deal with him after the others get help.”
The Uycarran nodded weakly. Simone lifted the small and light body and moved it to a tent that held the others who had died.
The two Uycarran were bringing another small body. Simone snapped, “Stop bringing children. Stop it. Please no more.”
A Tymbrimi woman behind them snarled, “I’d stop but the Guild aimed for a factory and hit a school instead.”
Simone slumped and said, “Sorry…” She looked over the boy then said, “Get him into surgery now…we can save him if not his leg.” They headed in and the Tymbrimi woman patted Simone’s shoulder as she walked by.
The Uycarrrans and Tymbrimi kept bringing out small broken bodies and some adults until the truck was empty. Most were sent into the treatment room to be cared for. But there was a row under the tent that were beyond treatment, beyond pain and beyond loss. With the wounded tended to, Simone felt empty as she looked at the row of small lumps under the sheets. Other nurses gathered around the tent. The Uycarrans from the truck and the Tymbrimi woman joined the circle. A Menanggung began to hum and rock. A Kaum Legit closed its eyes and turned its head skyward with its hands out. The Uycarrans begain to sing a low tune. The words spoke of green fields and fair winds. The Tymbrimi sang in harmony to the Uycarrans. Simone’s face was wet. She closed her eyes and began a prayer of her childhood, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures…”