|Traumatic Injury for Gamers|
By James West
An aggressive street cleaning robot mistakes our hero, Buck Starblaster, for a bit of litter and rams a spike through his chest in an effort to clean him up. He is knocked down, and decides to stay on the ground and not move. While he is lying there, he notices that he is exhaling a froth of blood onto the floor plates right next to his face. Breathing produces a sharp pain in his back. After the street cleaner has moved away, he tries to get up and collapses again in pain as he realises that his right arm won't support him - the spike has shattered his right scapula (shoulder blade).
He eventually makes it to his feet, but is feeling fairly wobbly. His breathing is rapid and shallow, and he's broken out into a cold sweat. Buck's the sort of guy that irons his underwear, and so he's upset when he looks down and finds that his crisp, starched uniform shirt is soaked in blood. He feels a rising irrational panic, and tears his shirt open to reveal the puncture wound. Buck doesn't have any medical skill, but he decides it would be a good idea to close the wound, so he sprays it with the foam bulkhead sealer that all experienced spacemen carry.
He staggers down the alleyway. He doesn't feel like he's getting any air, and his chest feels swollen. He gets to the end of the alleyway, and falls to his knees; his legs won't support him anymore, and in any case they're going numb. He still can't breathe, and his vision is going dark. He wipes his arm across his mouth, and his sleeve comes away covered in blood. He can't see well enough to find a taxi, and falls prostrate on the ground, panting. After a few minutes he passes out.
Fortunately for Buck, loitering is also illegal, and a passing police cruiser stops to pick him up.
More evocative than "12 hit points of damage", eh?
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Copyright © 1999 James West