Wednesday, 24 November 2010

New Babbage: Hospitalised

After sleeping off my injury in the New Babbage free clinic, I awoke feeling sick with pain as the effects of the morphine had worn off. Mr Melnik looked in on me and decided my stitches could wait no longer. He could do it himself but he'd prefer a medical professional. My urchin friend Skyler Gant was visiting at the time, so he volunteered to head off to the hospital. Soon he returned with Mr Blackberry Harvey and a trolley stretcher. They lifted me on board and wheeled me through the streets of New Babbage towards the Vernian Sea.

Once at the port, I was loaded into a lift that took us under the sea to a underwater hospital, known as the Wilde-Huxley Center. It was a pretty grand place full of wood panels and tiling.

"Right in here," Mr Blackberry instructed Skyler, "let's put him on the surgery table".

Skyler nodded and helped to lift my stretcher. "Bloody 'ell Nat, you sure are 'eavy!"

I winced as they slid me off onto the table, but joked "That's all the mud!"

Skyler giggled "I must weight a bloomin' ton then."

Mr Harvey changes out his gloves and puts on a smock
Mr Harvey changed into surgical gear and started to thoroughly wash his hands. "Skyler, I'm going to need your assistance. Please wash your hands."

Skyler nodded and went for the sink.

"Do under your fingernails too!" I asked.

Skyler laughed "It'll take forever ta clean me nails."

Mr Harvey hurried him on, "Just a good washing is fine." While Skyler worked on his hands, Mr Harvey turned to me, "Now then, what happened exactly?" he asked.

Mr Harvey listens to my story
I began to tell the tale, somewhat distracted from the pain. "This monster thing, like a goblin or a giant baby all covered in blood, bit a chunk out the side of my leg."

Skyler shuddered "Cooor...Glad I didn' me' tha' beast."

"It bled and bled," I continued, "until the people who found me tied a tourniquet and bandaged it up."

Mr Harvey nodded, "Yes, it must have bit through an artery." He turned, "Skyler, sponge please."

As Skyler grabbed a sponge from the tray and passed it over, I turned to Harvey and added, "They gave me morphine too."

"Ah good on them," Harvey said as he began to cut through the bandages.

I winced, "I don't suppose you got some?"

Mr Harvey shook his head, "No, not until I get this treated." He paused and looked me in the eye, "I need to know where it hurts."

Mr Harvey working with the aid of Skyler Gant but without the aid of anaesthetic

I gritted my teeth, "Alright."

Harvey pulled away the old dressing while I grasped for something to hold on to.

Skyler cringed at the wound. "Jeez bloody 'ell mate! That looks awful."

"Goodness," Harvey exclaimed, "that's more like a tiger bite."

I looked away going pale.

"This will sting a lot..." He began to sponge the wound with alcohol, "be brave lad."

My knuckles were going white I was holding the table edges so hard.

"Tha' thing gotcha good Nat," Skyler said.

Trying to distract myself, I continued to tell my story. "We were trying to take a photograph and lure it into a trap, but it jumped at me really fast. We thought it was trapped!"

"I'd a 'elped ya if'n I wasn' ...drinkin'," Skyler said.

Mr Harvey turned to the urchin, "Skyer, you're officially a nurse now. Hand me the suture please."

Skyler looked around.

"It's the big needled and thread"

Skyler nodded and grabbed the suture, handing it to Blackberry.

He took it and turned back to me, "Here," he said, passing me a washcloth, "you'll want to bite down on this."

Skyler looked scared while I gratefully took the cloth and put it between my teeth. My heart was racing and I was starting to sweat. I don't mind telling you that I was bloody terrified of what would happen next!

Marvels of modern medicine
"Skyler, please be ready with another sponge"

Skyler nodded and grabbed a sponge, then paused for a moment and took out his flask of rum as well.

Harvey gripped my leg to hold it in place, he looked to me "I'm going to start on three. One... two..."

I tensed and stared very hard at the ceiling.

He inserted the needle into my leg, just above the open wound.

I grimaced trying not to squirm as the needle and thread went through my flesh.

Skyler pushed his flask towards me, while turning his head and cringing.

Mr Harvey started to tug the stitching taut.

I yelped and bit down hard on the cloth.

"Hold on lad," he said, "I'm told Babbage urchins are the toughest, isn't that right?"

"Tough as nails," Skyler nodded, "when we're drink." He pushed the flask towards me again. "Tha' stuff'll 'elp ya to no' feel pain Nat."

I turned away, remembering that the warning from the night before. The drink might make me feel good now, but my blood wouldn't clot right and I might end up bleeding out.

"Good lad, almost done," the surgeon said, tying off the suturing and sponging the bleeding again. "Gauze, please."

Skyler passed the gauze, then pocketed the flask in a hurry.  " tha' flask from some rich drunk bloke. 'Sposed ta be worth a fortune."

Explaining my post operative options
Mr Harvey wrapped the wound tightly and fastened the gauze together. Then straightened up to talk to me. "All right. Now, Nat, would you like a room in the hospital for a few days? If so, I can give you morphine. If not, only one dose."

I thought hard, I wanted the morphine badly, but I didn't want to get locked up in a hospital when my friends were in trouble.

Skyler poked me, "did you fall asleep mate?"

"Can I take a room tonight, and then see how I feel?" I asked.

"Very good then." Harvey said as he administered the morphine.

I thought some more. "How bad is it? Will it heal quick?"

"Looks awful, Nat," Skyler said. "Like some Tiger bite. Leas' it does ta me."

"Oh, it will take about a week, changing the bandage each day, but then it should heal up." Mr Harvey told me. "Unless it gets infected. You mustn't go for a swim, especially in Babbage waters."

"So I should come back every day? Even if I don't get a room?"

Harvey nodded, "Yes I'd like you to do that."

"And this place is safe from the beast?"

Skyler looked around, "It's underwa'er. Should be th'; safest place. 'Ell... If'n Mr. 'Arvey let's me, I'm gonna stay 'ere!"

Harvey chuckled, "It's fairly safe. The lifts can be locked to the bottom so nothing can get in if need be, and Tosh is on guard duty." He removed his gloves. "I'm going to help you onto your crutch. Don't put any weight on that leg though.

"Okay," I said as he helped me off the table and onto a crutch. Starting to feel the happy effects of the morphine, I took a few unsteady steps trying to avoid using my injured leg.

Trying my crutch
Mr Harvey turned and walked into the marble entrance hall. "This way," he said, leading us towards a door marked 'Patient Stay Ward'. "It should be very quiet down here. And you can shut the door for privacy."

I limped after him into a wood panelled room. "Will I get fed as well?"

"You're free to go down to Huxley Hall to lounge and have some pie when you feel up to it, and I'll check on you both regularly." He said, turning the corner. "I'll give you these two rooms."

I followed him into a curved room with fancy furniture and windows overlooking the deep sea.

My In Patient hospital room
"Wow look at that bed!" I cried, "fancy sheets."

"It's so big!" Skyler said, "Looks comfy."

Mr Harvey smiled.

"I bet they're worth a bit!" I said, running my hand over the golden embroidered design.

"Well, a bit..." he agreed.

I set down my crutch and crawled into bed, suddenly feeling weak and light headed.

"There's a bell by the bed that rings the office downstairs," he told me. "And I'll let Tosh know you're here."

Skyler went to the window, "It's go' a great view," he enthused.

Mr Harvey led him away and shut my door behind them. "You can use this one, Skyler" I heard him say.

I think I started to drift into sleep, but I still heard some snippets of conversation.

Sleeping off the adrenaline ...and the morphine
"So's they can bring up some"

"We've no nurses on staff currently, but there will be food for you."

And then I must've been asleep, dreaming of monsters, morphine and pie...

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

New Babbage: The Monster Attacks

Recently a statue with a beating heart was dug up in the steampunk city of New Babbage (where I play a street urchin), on bonfire night we discovered that somehow it had been ripped open from the inside and since then my friends Jimmy, Zaida and Gadget had all been attacked by a monster they said looked like a giant blood covered baby. In hopes of stopping the monster from attacking anyone else, Gadget set up a trap to capture it. Since then we've all been guarding the trap waiting for the Beast of Babbage to arrive...

Waiting for monsters

We had been up for hours staring at the trap and nothing had happened. No sign of monsters or anything. It was quiet, almost too quiet. We were both falling asleep, but then I saw a mysterious cloaked figure jumping out of an alley way in the distance and ran after him...

A mysterious hooded man warns us of danger
 "What are you boys doing here?" he asked.

I told him we were trying to capture a scary monster that looked like a big blood covered baby shouting for flesh.

"So this is how New Babbage solve their problems, by sending boys out to capture monsters?" he asked.

"The rest of them don't believe there is a monster," I told him, "they're just playing along really. But I trust the ones that saw it, three of my good friends." I straightened up and made myself look tough, "We've got to look after ourselves!"

"You poor things, if only someone in this retched place knew what they were dealing with."

"You believe it then?"

"Oh I believe in it all right."

"Do you know what the monster is? If you don't mind me asking."

"It is a creature that feeds on flesh of others, it is a creature that cannot die."

"How do we stop it then? Can we cage it up?"

"Only the strongest of cages will hold the creature for it has the strength of 10 men."


"And boys like you should not be out alone on the streets trying to capture it."

"I'm not alone, Gadget's here! There's been a whole bunch of us, safety in numbers."

The hooded man turned away. "The sun is rising, and i have need to be somewhere else," he said. Then he started striding away from me.

"Can you tell us what we can do to fight it? Or trap it?" I shouted after him. "Does it have a weakness? Stuff it doesn't like?"

He turned back, "you would do well to heed my warnings children, you are not safe on these streets, nor any who have no fighting skills." And then he turned the corner.

"Wait!" I shouted after him, "Who are you mister?" But he was gone.

...and then I realised that my shouting had drawn something's attention... up above me in the ruins of Loki's old shop, directly above the mysterious statue, something pink and bloody was scratching around!

Gadget had fallen asleep, but I shook him awake and pointed to the beast.

The monster appears and chases me
Suddenly the beast dived right at me, moving like lightening! I pushed Gadget out of the way and ran! It was right behind me, gnashing its teeth trying to bite my ankles but I was managing to stay out of its reach.

It was bloody scary and I wanted to get far away, but I knew I needed to lure it back to the trap! Thinking fast, I ran around the block and led it back to the trip wire and bait!

I lead it back to the trap which briefly slows it down
It seemed to briefly get caught in the trap so we moved a little closer, Gadget went to the camera and managed to take a photograph, while I tried to trick it into going for the decoy puppy bait, getting tied up by the snare and caught in the net.

It seemed like we might have it, but then suddenly it pulled free, and before I could think to move it was leaping through the air!

It jumps the rope, ignores the bait and goes straight for me!
I turned to run but it was already on top of me, making noises like the lunatics shout from the windows of the asylum! I ran but it nipped at my ankles! I shouted to warn Gadget and kicked at it, but then it grabbed my leg and sunk its teeth right into me, ripping out a chunk of flesh!

I nearly passed out it hurt so much! There was blood everywhere, it was horrible! It was shouting "YUM!" Gadget ran at it and fired his slingshot and I think I passed out.

Gadget's slingshot drives the monster off but not before a big chunk is taken out of my leg!
Next thing I know I hear Gadget shouting for help over and over. I'm in a puddle of blood, my leg looks so bad, I don't want to look. Gadget is shouting, making a hell of a racket. I was just cold and bloody terrified. I don't know where the monster went. Gadget must've got rid of it.

Eventually help arrives...
After Gadget made so much noise, a whole crowd of people arrived. I don't remember much of it, I wasn't thinking right. I just remember lots of people asking what happened and being really really cold. That archaeologist bloke Mr Blindside was telling me not to bleed on his dig and blaming escaped animals from the circus. Mr Canis was trying to help me with my wound and my grammar. The others were trying to find a doctor or a hospital while Mr Canis tied his cravat around my wound. Bloody hell it hurt!

Eventually Mr Blindside left to talk to the mayor saying he was an archaeologist not a doctor and they should bury me for a thousand years if they wanted him to be helpful. Giving up on finding a medical doctor, Sky Netizen, Scottie Melnik and Maltheus Canis decided to take me to the free clinic and treat me themselves.

Emergency medicine in the New Babbage free clinic
Mr Canis cleaned and disinfected my wound, it hurt like hell. I had to be very brave. I'm glad Gadget was there. He put a proper dressing on it and tied one of those tourniquet things.

More people had arrived, Zaida and LaughtonMcCry were there asking how I was. I was nearly passing out from pain it was so bad. Mr Melnik went to the counter and came back with a needle. Gadget and Zaida were scared he might be hurting or poisoning me, but the grown ups said it was morphine, a wonder drug that would take my pain away and make me feel really good. So I grit my teeth and let him jab me with it.

I would still need stitches, rest and my dressings replaced, but until then I had morphine
Pretty soon I was feeling better, that morphine is good stuff but they wouldn't let me have any more right away! Mr McCoy gave me a cup of hot cocoa instead, which was alright. They told me I was going to need to have my wound cleaned and redressed and a proper doctor would have to stitch it up so it heals properly.

I remembered the monster and told them they we have to catch it! I told them all about it, how scary it was. Gadget and Zaida agreed and showed them the picture Victor drew. The grown ups were finally taking us seriously!

They told me that I had to rest though, that my leg was worse than it felt. I wanted to go back to the hideout and barricade the place up to hide from the monster, but they insisted I'd have to stay close, stay in the warm and near a doctor. I was worried it was so near to where the monster had bit me, but Gadget said he'd stay by my bed and guard me until the doctor showed up.

I had to rest and keep my leg dry and warm, so I slept in the clinic while Gadget stood guard
While I was drifting off I swear I heard someone saying he'd give me 12 hours to live with a wound like that. Maybe I imagined it though, I'm feeling pretty good! Can I have more of that morphine stuff yet?

( Gadget's photograph and his side of the story can be found here )