> Far From Perfect (Riqimo)
Topic: Far From Perfect (Riqimo)
Post Number: 471
Total Posts: 2382
Joined: Oct 2006
Far From Perfect (Riqimo)
April 24, 2007 8:57:08 AM
This is something that I have been working with for a while. I always hated how my specs seem so mechanical, not flowing freely from my mind as I wish them to. So my solution was putting them all into a background story for my character. Thus I had to find a way to tie a medic specialty into Riqimo's current background, and came up with this unique idea.
To understand it, some background (for lack of a better word) is needed. First off Riqimo is left by his parents and sister (all smugglers) at about age 15; from there he starts smuggling on his own, and eventually runs into Brightstar. Later on he gets hunted on a bounty place by a Hutt. Ryan Kiba is the primary bounty hunter that chases him. He eventually escapes, to Ando Prime, but has become separated from Brightstar on the way there. He takes up a temporary job, and then uses the first paycheck to smuggle himself to become a citizen on Tadath. Eventually he is drafted by the VEA.
Further Explanation: The VE Stormtrooper Corps are separate from the Vast Empire Army. In a sense they are still part of the VEA in a similar manner of the USMC being both separate and at the same time a department of the US Navy (the men's department of course
Anyways, Riq is drafted as a normal infantry soldier; he is opposed to killing, and tries to become a conscientious objector. Anything further would be telling
Don't worry, the Riqimo present does not change the way he is, you'll see when I get there
If you have any comments please let me know, either if you can catch me on IRC, or just fire off an email to
Oh, there is some strong language after the first part, a few sexual references made in attempts to make this seem "realistic" if you think you will be offended, please don't read further and miss out on Captain Buttshot. You'll be sorry you did, but then you wouldn't know, would you?
The first section is okay for little kiddies, so at least read until the next line break please. Only "hell" is used near the end of that part
The walls of the room had a shade of brownish green and gray that fit with the smell of carpet pads mildewed from years of too much shampoo. Tobacco haze stained the windows and hung trapped in the tall hallways. Riqimo sat on a bench, his only pair of dress pants constantly slipping on the lacquered wooden seat. He straightened up a dozen times, not wanting anyone to see him slouch. He was supposed to be making a mature decision here. A sloucher couldn't be trusted to think for himself.
The sound of high heels clacking in the wide hallway stiffened his muscles.
"Riqimo Ray Pershaw?" Riq sat very still. Using his full three names always spelled trouble. "Riqimo Ray
" she asked louder. Riqimo was gawking. She had the thickest bifocals he had ever seen. The sides bent into S's with shiny pink jewels accenting the curves. She was wearing glass bookends on her face.
"Yes ma'am?" Riqimo wanted to disappear.
"The board is waiting," she pointed to an open door.
With no introduction, Riqimo went in and sat. A shiny wooden table and padded high-back chairs filled the bottom half of the room. Tobacco smoke filled the top. Three balding men sat smoking two pipes and a cigar. They were each reading identical papers.
They had Riqimo's words in front of them, words he had so carefully crafted.
...I am seeking the status of conscientious objection because I believe our conscience is often the truest guide in achieving some sort of understanding, love and compassion for our fellow sentients. And our conscience must be our guide if we are ever to achieve galactic peace, and peace of mind...
It all came down to this moment. Would these men believe the words they were reading? Would they even understand them? They had Riqimo's papers in front of them. This was possibly the most serious test Riqimo would ever face.
Going into that room, Riqimo had never considered the alternatives. It was him against the system from the beginning. They would ask questions and he would answer them, and they would decide whether or not to believe him. Never had Riqimo considered bartering or compromise or any other possibility. It was, quite simply, the draft board versus the conscientious objector. They wanted Riqimo to train himself to kill people. He would not do that.
But in the first thirty seconds with the board, they made it perfectly clear that there was no possibility of avoiding the draft, at least not without committing a crime or leaving the sector.
Riqimo finally just blurted out that he would go.
"I'll serve," he said, "I'll be a soldier and wear a uniform and do push-ups. Be a cook, medic, clerk, or ambulance driver. Carry a radio, polish belt buckles, police the area, march in step, call everybody 'sir,' and stand at attention. I'll salute people I don't even know. I'll wash tanks or change tires, mop, paint, dig trenches, scrub shower walls. Learn to shine boots, smoke, cuss, gamble, and drink coffee.
"I'll go, only not with a gun."
The board asked Riqimo hypothetical questions. "What would you do if you were driving down a steep road with a bus load of crippled children and the brakes went out with nowhere to swerve? Grandmother's house on the right, a steep cliff is on the left. Did we mention the kids were crippled? There's a baby in the road straight ahead."
Grandmother. Cliff. Brakes. Crippled kids. Baby.
"Now, Pershaw, what would you
any of them."
"No, Pershaw, as a pacifist, how would you decide who would die?"
"What does deciding who will die have to do with pacifism?"
"Answer the question."
"Who left the baby in the road?"
"Never mind. What would you
"I would have checked the brakes before driving the bus."
"Son, just answer the question."
"I'm not a philosopher. I don't know how to answer questions that have no answers. I told you I would serve, I'm just not willing to kill anybody. I won't train myself to kill. I won't pretend that I'm a killer. I can't. It's against everything I know."
"Answer the question."
Riqimo tried a different approach, "Why is it that you have a nonviolent type driving the bus? Why not Vader or Boba Fett behind the wheel?" He thought a little humor might help.
"It says here that you were a smuggler, surely you have killed then."
"No I have not killed anyone. Punched in the face a few times sure, but only in self defense. I was
"About your father," one mentioned. The other two looked up and nodded.
"Can we go back to the bus? I'm better off driving the bus," Riqimo forced a smile.
They said no. In fact, the said
no. Riqimo's status would remain 1-A (eligible for military service). No chance for alternative service as a citizen, and no chance for noncombatant duty as a medic or clerk. They saw Riqimo as a soldier. His efforts to convince them otherwise had only sealed his fate.
In three days, Riqimo went from repairing droids at a local droid shop to taking orders about how to brush his teeth from a redneck with an eight-year-old's education. To receive this sentence, all Riqimo had to do was fill a form required of every young Imperial man - register with the Selective Service Board. Never mind if you are a young woman; the Empire already assumes you know how to brush your teeth.
On the appointed day, Riqimo boarded a commercial shuttle that would take him to where he was to board a military shuttle. Then he was dropped off in the middle of a deserted field. A screaming collection of angry gene pools welcomed Riqimo to basic training, or boot camp. It turned out to be much more boot than camp.
In the wee hours following the long day that had begun the morning before, none of the recruits could be called very resistant. They shuffled into a line and were ordered to stand still with their feet on each side of white numbers painted on bright red circles. Nobody said a word. The guys that had been yakking it up on the shuttle bragging about sports and sexual; conquests, were now mute and totally passive. Everyone stared down at their number, trying to forget the humiliation of the induction physicals they had just endured a few hours earlier. Riqimo stood on number fourteen.
Roll was hollered. Everyone answered "Here!" and nothing else.
"You will not respond 'present' or 'that's me' or any derivation whatsoever, you fucking ignorant civilian piece of shit assholes! Do you understand?"
"AHH CAIN'T HEAR YOUUUUUU. ..."
After soggy toast and water-laced scrambled eggs, the recruits were marched into a barn, where they were ordered to strip naked and put everything they had worn or carried with them in a bag to be mailed home.
"If you're married, you may keep your wedding ring. Put everything else in the bag."
"Yes, Four Eyes, put those ugly frames in the goddamn bag. The Empire will issue a proper pair tomorrow."
"That's right, ass wipe!"
"Every goddamn thing in the goddamn bag, Gomer! Do NOT make me say it again!" The sergeant then took the question as an invitation to lecture the whole group. "Does anyone else have a stupid goddamn question? Wait! Stop right there. Don't fucking move a muscle. Before we do another goddamn thing, does ANY ONE of you stupid lowlife motherfucking civilian have another goddamn fucking question?"
Could've heard a tick toot.
"Good. Fine. thank you very fucking much. Now maybe we can go on putting every goddamn civilian piece of shit you brought with you in the goddamn fucking bag." He turned away and threw his arms above his head in frustration, shouting to the wall, "Before I lose the rest of my fucking patience!"
They shaved heads and issued olive green clothes and attitudes to turn the recruits into a cohesive working unit. Bodies were now Empire-issue, and their minds were supposed to follow close behind.
"If you somehow miraculously live through this training, you will be soldiers. If you do not, you will be dead. Far better in boot camp than in a real war zone where the lives of others could be put in jeopardy by your weakness." The beer-bellied drill sergeant leapt right out of central casting for holofilms. Smokey-the-Bantha hat. Spit-shined boots. Starched fatigues. Mr. Cliche marching about as if he were totally unique.
He bellowed and bawled. "Your ass is grass and I'm the lawn mower." and "We can play it my way or we can play it the army way," which left Riqimo and his mates scratching their heads. He wore his IQ on his sleeve in the form of three stripes and a rocker, willingly and eagerly accepting his calling in life to whip recruits into shape physically, emotionally, and mentally. The trainees' military lobotomies began as they placed all they had in one sack, mailed it home, and started their lives over from zero.
"Nothing you have brought with you is of any value here. That goes for attitudes, beliefs, prejudices, ideas, and desires. The quicker you learn that, the easier it is going to be for all of us.
"If you start thinking about home, forget it! Jimmy already has your girlfriend's legs spread like a wishbone and she can't even remember your face."
"If you start thinking about sex in the next ten weeks, look around you. These are the only sentients you are going to see. If you wake up with a hard-on, slap it once firmly and go back to sleep.
"If you don't like the food, you will starve.
"If you do not shit when it is your turn, you will explode.
"If you do not like me, that is expected and part of the program. I do not want you to like me, because I do not like you. I do not like fucking civilians. If you do everything you are told without question, I might shake your hand and wish you luck in ten weeks. And I might not."
Riqimo had gambled and lost. He thought he could convince the draft board, but he didn't stand a chance with them. Then he bet his maturity against military insanity, thinking that because he had a little knowledge and had been totally self-sufficient in the real galaxy, that would sustain him. If all else failed, Riqimo thought his irrepressible charm, optimism, and keen wit would carry him through the brainless hell of basic training. He was wrong. Any humor ant intelligence should have been dropped into the bag with the rest of his belongings.
It took Riqimo half of the first day to realize that personal sparks of life would be immediately stomped out by the drill sergeant. The only way to appear, physically and personably, was olive drab green. Shut up and stare straight ahead. Sink back into the landscape. If isolated and abused, suffer quietly and without protest. Everybody would get his turn. And when the bloated oaf reveals his bottomless ignorance with yet another insane utterance, for god's sake, don't giggle.
"Tonight, ladies, we're gonna learn to pee, shit, shave, brush, and shower in five minutes, by the numbers, the ARMY way!"
"AH CAIN'T HEAR YOUUUUUU. ..."
Don't laugh. Don't think. What good will thinking do when given thirty seconds to effect a bowel movement with twelve platoon mates waiting in a straight line facing you? There's no time to do anything but count and shit.
Boot camp leadership strategy consisted of limited information, a full measure of fear, and immediate nondiscriminatory punishment. After seventy days of ridicule and torment, recruits were to miraculously emerge as fighting machines. In reality, on the last day of basic training they were a scattered, whimpering mob of scared boys who would pee in their pants if anyone yelled at them, most praying out loud for duty as clerks or cooks.
A couple days in the field would change that. It surely did for Riqimo. Some would become more scared, some less. But none would remain little boys.
"Lies," Lieutenant Hutch said.
"Sir?" Riqimo was staring down at Hutch's desk and the poster sized photograph that covered it. A glassy-eyed face looked back, a white guy with Afro hair so big it didn't fit within the edges of the paper.
Why would the lieutenant have a poster of this guy under the glass on his desk?
"We're swimming in a pack of lies. Hell, I believe you, Pershaw, but why should anyone else? This whole platoon is swimming in lies."
"I can't go further with this, sir. I've never killed anything, much less a sentient. It's against everything I ever..."
"Draft board thought you were cooking it up to get out the army," he interrupted. "I appreciate your coming here and telling me straight, but there's nothing I can do. You can't just say you don't want to play the game. You know it doesn't work that way."
"I know, sir."
He nodded and waved his hand for Riqimo to sit while he thought.
Lt. Starsky Hutch commanded Riqimo's advanced individual training (AIT) unit. After basic training, everyone went through another ten weeks to get their military occupation specialty (MOS), like clerk, radio operator, cook, mechanic, or in Riqimo's case, infantryman.
"You'll need to flat out refuse an order," Hutch finally decided. "Refuse to fire a weapon or something like that. We don't want a radical demonstration or anything, just a simple refusal. No big fuss. It's against military law to refuse an order. In a war zone you could be shot for it." He laughed and caught Riqimo staring again at the large face on his desk.
"That's me about ten months ago," he smiled. "Can you believe the hair? You'll be put in the secured holdover barracks across the way."
"Okay. It's a jail barracks, guarded twenty-four hours a day. Bars on the windows. Everybody locked up by seven. Bed check. All that."
"What will I do there, sir?"
"Oh, you'll have plenty of company. Homos. Bedwetters. All kinds of freaks. You'll just
those guys. But during the day you can work in the orderly room. You type?"
"A little, sir."
"Well, you'll type a lot."
On the firing range during the third week, Riqimo put down the hand pistol he had been assigned and stood back from the shooting podium.
The sergeant barked something barely intelligible about seven years in an Imperial prison for refusing a direct order. Riqimo repeated that he wasn't going to train himself to kill anybody. Like falling dominoes, every soldier on the range stopped to turn and look at Riq. The sergeant called Riqimo a coward. Riqimo said again he wasn't going to shoot the pistol. The training sergeant raised his hand as if to slap the defiant trooper, then thought better of it and went to his hover-jeep to radio the commanding officer. Training stopped on the firing range as groups began to form.
It took Lt. Hutch little time to arrive. He directly approached Riqimo without even looking at the sergeant and ordered Riq to pick up the blaster pistol. Riqimo refused. Hutch spoke the same words three times, each time adding a witness. Each time Riqimo refused. The guys that Riqimo had been living with in the training barracks gawked with their mouths wide open. Riqimo had suddenly become on of the hated hippies beyond base perimeter. Or worse, he was about to become a "holdover." Riqimo stood out, exposed, embarrassed, wishing it would all require less attention.
It seemed like forever for the MP hover-jeep to arrive. When it did, it came gear grindingly to a sliding sideways stop, raising a dust bowl. Two eager-eyed barrel-chested linebackers leapt out and approached Riqimo as if the safety of the entire galaxy depended on their next few moves. Four rifle-range instructors stood at parade rest. Only the top sergeant moved, speaking out of the side of his mouth, not wanting to take his eyes from Riqimo.
"Fucking Rebel," he said, then turned to address the stunned gallery. "What are you looking at?" he bawled, "Your bantha fodder shit friend here is about to become somebody's girlfriend in an Imperial prison. Anybody want to fucking hold his hand for the trip?"
The rest of the platoon turned and dispersed, finding safe places to share a smoke and talk in hushed tones until the show was over.
The holdover barracks was on the outskirts of the company yard. It indeed had bars on the windows and doors, and its charm was enhanced by cold water only and no toilet seats. For the next four months Riqimo shared this hell with a group of recalcitrant head cases, dropouts rotated in and out of the twenty-two bunks. All of them were being held under lock and guard until orders came for them to return to camp, fly home, or go to jail. They were given no days off and could choose to sit waiting in the barracks or perform some task for the training camp across the street.
Riqimo's temporary assignment as an office clerk was a blessing that got him away from the idiots and kept his mind occupied. Working as a clerk helped the hors pass quickly. Riqimo's typing and filing skills improved, earning him some autonomy. He arrived early, made the coffee, stayed late, cleaned the pot, and didn't complain much. He managed to keep his spirits up. But hoped waned that he would get a reassignment away from the training company. Lt. Hutch made small talk and treated Riqimo like "one of the boys" around the office. Riq spent the evenings typing his request for reassignment as a noncombatant, and spent the nights sleeping four inches from barred windows, surrounded by jailhouse gutter and sporadic flashes of threatening teeth and knives.
They were more inmates than roommates. Roy Martin feigned asthma. Bob Robinson walked stooped over. Four of the guys said they were compassionate objectors. Getting to know them, Riqimo suspected they were more opposed to being killed than they were to killing. Smith and Friedman were said to be homosexuals, although nothing they did or said made Riqimo believe that claim. The sergeants gave them the worst time though, and they were discharged in two weeks.
Martin, the asthma faker, wheezed his way past a team of doctors, then even fooled a board of civilian specialists. When he got his discharge data pad, he used the phone in Riqimo's orderly room to call a cab, then went in to wait for the first sergeant in his office.
"Pershaw!" the sergeant bellowed, and Riqimo shot out of his chair. His superior had returned from morning inspection to find his back door wide open, letting in the freezing winter air. The first sergeant expected to give Martin one final lecture on responsibility and duty. Instead, all that remained of Roy Martin steamed off the defecation in the half-opened middle drawer of the sergeant's desk. The rest of him had gone.
"Pershaw!" The sergeant screamed as if he had been mortally wounded. "Get in here!" Cleaning the mess with his boss glaring at him, Riqimo bit his cheek as hard as he pictured the look on Martin's face as he squatted on the desk, his orders in hand, with a taxi fifty feet away.
Barely seventeen years old, Bob Robinson lied to get into the army and tried a more difficult lie to get out. He walked bent at the waist everywhere he went. MALINGERER glowed at the end of his bunk, stenciled in four-inch high red letters on an official army-issue sign. Malingerer. Riqimo had to look it up. Robinson barely managed to limp to the mess hall three times a day and couldn't do anything else. Stooped over, there was no way he could train. And no training... no war. His waking hours were devoted to whimpering in the fetal position on his green army blanket. Sometimes his soft wailing would put Riqimo to sleep at night, as well as wake him up in the morning.
"He wasn't exactly crazy when he got here," the first sergeant assured Riqimo, "but he's getting there now."
When they came to take Robinson away, he miraculously sprang to life, jumped out of his curled position, and ran screaming, shin up and shoulders back, across the shiny waxed floor, crashing through a thick, closed second-floor door. He flew off the landing and dropped in a lump in the company yard. Riqimo and his fellow inmates flatted their faces against the bars on their windows to get a clear look at the tangled mess strewn out below them. Riqimo heard the MPs radio for an ambulance, trying to describe Robinson's condition. Splinters of wood and glass from the door were embedded in his arms, chest, neck and face. His lower spine was twisted and appeared broken. He was frozen on the ground in the position he had fallen. Hearing his shrieks of pain and seeing his contorted face as they strapped him to a board and lifted him into the ambulance, someone commented that now he'd probably
walk stooped over. For the rest of his life.
After four months of clerk duty by day and holdover barracks madness by night, Riqimo got his reprieve. Somebody at the Army HQ finally decided to deem him noncombatant, and Riqimo flew away without so much as a "See ya!" from anybody. He landed at another fort, about fifty degrees warmer, for training as a field medic. Riqimo's new battalion commander took one look at Riqimo in his cold weather uniform and shook his head.
"You bear resemblance to hammered nerf shit, soldier," he said.
"Thank you, sir." He leaned closer to search Riqimo's meaning. "It's good to be here, sir." The commander grumbled some unintelligible grammar, dividing each syllable with a cussword, then assigned Riqimo to a training company that would begin a week later. This meant that Riqimo could rest in a barracks by himself for a few days. It was his first break in about six months.
In the ensuing ten weeks, Riqimo would train to earn an MOS as a field medic.
Riqimo "Doc" Pershaw
[This message has been edited by
(edited April 24, 2007 9:18:08 AM)]
Post Number: 482
Total Posts: 2382
Joined: Oct 2006
RE: Far From Perfect (Riqimo)
April 28, 2007 8:06:53 PM
"You have five minutes, begin," the head training instructor barked from his podium in front of the trainees.
Riq glanced over to the Bothan next to him before directing his attention to his own simulated droid patient. Riqimo's patient began spurting blood out of its right arm as son as "begin" was shouted. Riqimo grabbed a bandage roll and the unique sickly-sweet smell of bacta infused with the bandage filled his nostrils. After applying a pressure point to slow the bleeding, Riqimo started wrapping the light blue tinted side of the bandage against the injury. Once a single layer was secured, the medic-in-training grabbed two thin wooden splints and held them in place as he wrapped a non-bacta-infused bandage around to keep them in place.
Quickly securing the outer bandage, Riq moved on to grab his marker to mark what the injury was in medical shorthand. He finished just as time was called.
"Will the appointed instructors please grade their sections at this time?"
A tall, dark skinned woman approached Riqimo's "patient" and investigated his handiwork. Nodding slightly, she went on to grade the Bothans work while making marks on her data pad.
The first two weeks were very hands-on activities introducing the medic-to-bes with the tools, medications, terminology, and procedures. The simulated droid patient that Riqimo just completed marked the end of this training section. Now would come the boring third week lectures. First though came a well deserved rest after a day's worth of examinations.
(OOC - Medic - Level 1 - Story 2 - Bacta Therapy)
First lecture seemed pointless to Riqimo, several holovids showed doctors,
doctors, talking about their jobs. Nothing in that lecture could be of use to a combat medic saving a grunt's life while ducking enemy fire. Lunch was brought in around noon. It was slightly more substantial than the basic training meals, but still not quite fit for normal consumption. That was to be expected, however, as those pursuing a MOS as a cook prepared the meals.
Midway through Riq's meal, a head doctor specializing in Bacta Therapy took over and began a second lecture without giving a moment's pause after the first concluded.
"Bacta is perhaps the most important item in a medic's bag. This 'miracle fluid' works on a majority of injuries and ailments. It's only competitor is kolto, which is extremely rare and expensive.
"Most of you should at the least be familiar with bacta bandages already. The other form that
be in your medkit would be the bacta injection syringes."
Riqimo blinked at the speed of his speaker, only a n=minute and a half had passed, notes were being frantically taken by the training medics lagging a few seconds behind.
"Bacta is essentially a synthetic chemical created in medical laboratories by creating gelatinous, translucent red alazhi and kavam bacterial particles within ambori. The kavam is the key ingredient, seeking out wounds and promoting exceedingly fast tissue rejuvenation. A major plus is the lack of scarring, which traditional methods may leave as a souvenir for the unlucky patient."
The lecturer clicked a remote and the display behinf him showed a highly magnified image of a kavam bacterial particle.
"As you can see, the kavam consists primarily of a central body surrounded by several flagellae to propel itself towards ruptured or dead cells. The RNA of the kavam is highly mutable and floats in a mixture of essential proteins. Once a ruptured cells is detected and the kavam is right next to it, the viscotube comes out and inserts itself into the cell. This tube is indicated by item seventeen.
"The RNA will then copy this cells's DNA and return into the kavam. A new cell that is an exact copy of the ruptured cell is created inside this central body. The kavam will grow in size until a full-sized cell is created; then it will burst. And a new cell is ready much faster than a normal body may produce on its own.
"Once burst, a kavam particle is of no more use, and is left as residue on, or in, the patient's body. If inside, the liver, or other similar organ, will filter the residue from the blood stream. From there it follows normal exit behavior."
The medics that were able to keep up with the rapid lecture chuckled softly, but quickly went silent as more notes were presented.
"A bacta tank can usually be found in either established military bases, or in the rear end (mostly in orbit) of a battlefield. Immersion of a critically injured patient in a bacta tank is usually for severe cases only, such as massive amounts of frostbite. Before any patient may be submerged, several factors must first be taken care of. A sample of the patient's body fluids, blood in the case of humans, must be taken to match a fluid to disperse the bacta tank. Also an air supply is required that best matches the species' requirements.
"In addition, as last resort, and
as last resort, a bacta purge may be performed. This involves literally replacing the body fluids with bacta for a short period of time. This is extremely dangerous, and survival rates for a bacta purge are low at three point eighty-three percent."
The man glanced across the room of over 100 attendees, "Any questions?"
"Under what circumstances is a bacta purge recommended?"
"I have only witnessed one case personally, usually the situation would either be extreme body fluids loss or loss of several limps. Decapitation of a soldier was cured by a bacta purge once. Of course, he was rushed fast enough for such a procedure to be performed in time."
"Is it possible that Kolto may become as wide-spread as it once was?"
"It is highly unlikely, bacta works just as well, if not better, and is significantly easier to produce in massive quantities."
"Are there any other forms of bacta we should be aware of?"
"Yes, there are numerous forms such as bacta gum, bacta pills, and even bacta condoms that will not only protect but cure."
Riqimo finished up his notes and quickly pulled his shopping list out to update it.
"No more questions? Thank you for your time, it was a pleasure to teach a fine group as yourselves. May the Bacta be with you."
The rest of the week went on slowly, nearly every waking hour devoted to lectures on every possible topic from surgery to holovids on the reproduction of various species that looked like they were cut from low quality pornography that didn't sell too well. The fourth week gave much more promise.
"Okay, you all have been assigned a number between one and twenty. If you would report to the briefing room that corresponds to your number, you will meet your group for the next couple weeks."
Riqimo looked at his number, three. That would give him Sergeant Moss as an instructor. Sergeant Chris Moss was highly popular around base and made sure that his students were well prepared for their final tests.
"Welcome, Pershaw. Please have a seat," Moss welcomed Riqimo into the room. "As soon as... ah never mind. Welcome, Conrad."
"Now first off, I am Sergeant Moss, I will be instructing you for a while. There's eight of you? Perfect, an even number. That wil help with some activities we will be doing later.
"Anyways today we will learning about the common medical droids that you should be familiar with. Now if you will follow me please. We are headed to our facility's droid wing.
... ... ...
(OOC - Medic - Level 3 - Story 1 - Medical Droid Use and Interaction)
"Wait! Nothing is wrong with my fingers! Ahh! Not the whole arm! Not the arm! Take the fingers!" Screams were ringing out from behind a closed door. It was the only room on the hallway without some sort of window to peer into.
"Sir?" a young medic turned uneasily to Moss.
"That would be the 'chopper' room, we have five Chopper droids working in there. They tend to take a liberal view on what should be amputated and what shouldn't. They once took an on-duty medic's hand off because it feel asleep." Seeing the expressions on their faces, Moss grinned. "Don't worry, we don't have to go in there unless you want to."
Screams continued in the background. Riqimo rubbed his wrists uneasily.
"Thought so, let's move on a bit."
While walking down the hall, Riqimo heard one scream louder than the rest, "NOT MY PENIS!" Making a quick mental note to get an assignment away from choppers, Riqimo shifted uncomfortably and caught up with his group.
... ... ...
"Here is our stop mates," Sergeant Moss nodded to a room with several droids moving about, "Here you will become familiar with the medical droids that you will most likely encounter. Let's start with the FX."
Moss went over to a tall cylinderal-shaped droid with numerous arms. "This is the FX-7 model. It primarily serves as a surgical assistant. Over there we have an FX-5, 8, 10, and 3." Moss nodded to each one as he gave its model number. "They all are pretty much similar. We tend to use a seven the most in battlefield area, the other models are either stored away or used in hospital settings.
"One of the best things about the FX series would be its wide asset of tools. It can monitor several vital signs at the same time, which greatly helps prevent a mistake during surgery. Outside of the operating room, however, they are very rare due to limited non-surgery capabilities. Sometimes they may have a bacta tank protocol installed that will allow them to monitor bacta tanks."
Riqimo's attention was diverted from the FX to a humanoid droid approaching the group.
"Greetings masters, may I help you?"
"Ah, 2B-1," Moss nodded, "Mind telling these trainees about yourself?"
"Certainly, I am 2B-1, a much more carefully crafted piece of art than those FX's over there. You will find my model in virtually every medical facility across the galaxy; Imperial, Republic, or otherwise. I am specially programmed to serve thirty-four species with up to sixteen more should the need arise. And..."
"Thank you," Moss interrupted, "We need to move along now, we might swing by later." Once out of the room, Sergeant Moss grinned, "As you can tell, the 2B-1 series tends to be highly egoistical. Usually their medical knowledge is better than yours, however, when quick improvising procedures must be used, their knowledge and ego will cause some difficulty. Any questions thus far?"
Silence, except for the whimpering about a penis in the background. "Great, we'll put you to work with using one of the droids now, namely an GH-7, which you will generally find most frequently on the battlefield due to their maneuverability."
The group followed Moss through several corridors until they came to a courtyard. Droid patients were set up along the perimeter with a GH-7 hovering near each one holding the familiar black combat medic bag.
"Pick a droid, take the bag, and get a little acquainted. As soon as everyone is ready we will begin." Moss instructed as he picked a droid of his own, "I'll be practicing myself."
Riqi wandered over to a droid and introduced himself. "Pershaw, I am GH-7, utilised as a training droid for young medics as yourself." The two chatted a little bit about the limitations each might have. Then Moss gave the ready signal, "Alright everyone? Then begin!"
The droid immediately went beside the patient, Riqimo quickly followed in suit. "X-ray scan indicates break in upper left leg."
Riqimo carefully felt there and nodded, "Anything else?"
"Heart rate is extremely rapid, he must be calmed down; recommendation is Conergin to tranquilize."
"Go ahead do that, I'll start on the break. Standard dose for the body weight, whatever that may be."
"Sixty-five kilograms body weight."
Riq was impressed at how quickly the droid could diagnose and work. He shrugged the thought off and focused on splinting the leg. As soon as the first bandage layer was laid by Riqimo, the droid took the bandage and formed a second and third layer in a fraction of the time. Riqimo then focused his attention to the rest of the patient, there was some blood on his back and Riqimo waited for the droid to finish its current task before flipping the patient over.
"We have an entry wound, but no exit, must be a projectile weapon. Why didn't x-ray scan pick this up?"
"Must be non-metal projectile, else I surely would have."
"No matter, we need to get the bullet out," Riqimo took note of this design flaw as he pulled his gloves on.
"Yes, thank you," Riqimo took the instrument and made a slight incision. "Could you hold this open?"
"Certainly." The droid hovered low and used its two hands to hold the wound open.
Taking a quick feel inside the wound, Riqimo tried to find the projectile. After about thirty seconds, he found it lodged between two ribs in the back.
. Grabbing his tongs, he carefully pulled on the projectile. That didn't work quite well so he prepared for a sudden pull that hopefully wouldn't break a rib.
"Whew, lucky..." Riqimo sighed as the slug came out cleanly. "Inject a small bacta dose in the area, I'll make a few stitches." Once the wound was sealed, the droid gave Riqimo a bacta for a good measure.
"Sixteen minutes and twenty-four seconds." Riqimo jumped at the voice of Moss behind him. "Impressive for a first time with a GH-7."
"Thank you, sir," Riqimo nodded towards his droid, "I tend to work with droids quite a bit so that helps."
"Fair enough, you are dismissed until tomorrow's lesson."
Riqimo "Doc" Pershaw
Far From Perfect, the story of a VEA Combat Medic
[VE-ARMY] Sergeant First Class
Post Number: 913
Total Posts: 2382
Joined: Oct 2006
RE: Far From Perfect (Riqimo)
September 25, 2007 1:33:18 AM
Thought I get around to finishing this story sometime soon, finish a chapter in Riq's life
At thirty thousand feet, faces paraded in the dark beyond the shuttle's wingtips. Riqimo pictured those malingering guys over in the holdover barracks, and faces from bootcamp and medical training. He wondered if any of them were going to be there when he landed.
Were they still alive? Were they in action, or Tadath-side with some desk job? What were their names again? Were any of them still out there?
Was anybody looking out his window into the black night wondering about me? What about Terry? Jimmy? Had they looked out their shuttle windows and wondered? Had either a premonition that he wouldn't be flying home sitting up?
Riqimo did... The idea gagged him like a terrible smell.
When the sun appeared, it lit nothing but an expanse of blue water as far as Riq could see. He endured the thirty six hour flight literally as the captive audience of a noisy veteran sergeant returning for his third tour. Lifers loved to scare the giggles out of first timers, and this one was no exception.
"Poles stickin' up at an angle. Right under the surface. You fall into that hole 'n yer a skewered shish kebab. Dem rebels smear their shit all over dem punji sticks. If it ain't kill ya straight away, it'll make you swell up like a bloated nuna."
Riqimo would turn his head back to the window, ignoring the prattle, but the sergeant would elbow Riq in the arm or jab a finger into his thigh to get his attention.
"They can figure out new ways for a body to suffer. Rebs'll come up with somethin' new every time. POWs be better off dead."
The chatter ebbed and flowed until finally, toward the end of the of the flight, the sergeant slept peacefully; his head barely missing Riqimo's shoulder. Riq took the welcomed silence to read up on the planet he was being deployed to...
"Tormar is a planet not too far outside VE space. Its landmass consists of one primary continent with several small islands scattered in the ocean that covers 95% of the planet. There are no native sentient species. Around 10 BBY, two groups set up separate colonies on the main continent, one on the south and one on the north. At first, they were peaceful, ignoring each other. Then dispute over the resource rich central area began when both started to expand. War was officially declared in 8 BBY and has been fought ever since. As of recent times, the southern continent has applied the planet for Vast Empire territorial status. Once accepted, the Vast Empire Army was deployed to force the nothern government to comply. As what any intelligent military force does when faced with a superior and larger body, the northern group turned to guerilla tactics.”
The shuttle finally leaned right and lost altitude to enter the atmosphere of the planet. Riqimo wondered if his 100 days deployed to Tormar began when he left Tadath or when he arrived here. Riqimo peeked out again at darkness occasionally lit with dozens of orange and pink fireballs falling slowly out of the sky. The sergeant said the flares were announcing their arrival. Two modified TIEs were keeping pace below and ahead of them, waving search lights across a maze of textured green. Squinting through the smoky haze, Riqimo saw a carpet of green treetops. Then abruptly the jungle stopped. Some naked trunks caught the landinglights and disappeared, but the ground looked flat, barren, ugly, and lifeless. Red dirt passed by Riq’s eyes to fast for him to focus on. He glimpsed a span of brown water as the two TIE fighters flew into sight again, noiseless trails of red tracer beams spitting from their cockpits. Then two more bursts caught the tree line and exploded on contact. The light show danced outside Riq’s tiny window as he pressed his cheek against the panes of insulation. He tried to look as far as he could, straining to know into what kind of lunacy they were landing.
“Must be the place,” he muttered.
“Yer right! Tormaaar! Drop yer cock and grab yer socks, kid,” the sergeant rasped, “We’re underfire.”
He stuffed his order datachip into his open shirt and quickly refastened the buttons. Meanwhile Riqimo tried to get his heart back down in his chest by swallowing air.
There must not have been enough time for a safe, relaxing repulsorlift landing cause the shuttle bounced hard twice, a characteristic of a runaway landing. There wasn’t a runaway however, and the shuttle immediately screeched to a sideways skidding halt. Before anyone could do anything more than gasp in disbelief, the doors swung open and fifteen screaming sirens answered the passenger’s anticipation. A young officer shouted over the noise, ‘Get out! Everybody out, NOW! IN...COMING!”
“Here we go again,” Riq’s seatmate droned, “we got hit at this same damn pad last time. Nothing fucking changes.”
A whole platoon of virgins sat frozen in their seats, not even reaching to unfasten their seatbelts. The comfortable, sturdy shuttle seemed a lot safer than the clamor outside.
“Come on!” the sergeant shouted, pulling Riq’s arm as he negotiated the temporary stairs. “Get off the goddamn shuttle!” Riqimo took several steps at a time. “Hit the deck!” the sarge yelled when they got to the bottom. Something whistled far above them and went by. Riqimo winced, waiting. Nothing exploded.
“That’s ours,” the sarge said at Riq’s grimace. He meant outgoing artillery.
It felt like it was going out right through my chest.
Sarge’s eyes moved to a few soldiers huddled on the steps of the shuttle. “Assholes!” he shuoted in Riq’s ear while grabbing the medic’s armpits to haul him up to a dead run.
“Hit the deck!” Came seconds later. Down they went again, this time on the open duracrete. A blast deafened Riq’s ears. Riqimo couldn’t hear the sergeant, but he wasn’t lingering behind as the sarge regained his feet and shot out towards a row of bunkers. Riq did not run crouched over. He did not serpentine or change direction even slightly. He ran like a participant at the Galactic Games, standing tall, head forward, arms pumping, knees high, full speed straight ahead.
Riqimo gasped for each new breath, he sucked in damp air. Thick. Smelly. He couldn’t seem to inhale enough oxygen to satisfy his fear. Bellowing with each puff seemed to help. Riqimo ran and wailed, ran and panted, ran and snorted, all with the veteran sergeant biting on his ear the whole sprint.
“There’s no sumbitch place to hide out here!” he hollered, passing Riq at the sametime. Riqimo’s hearing had returned. “Some dumbass telling those recruits to get down by the shuttle. Shit!” He veered left into a row of square huts with sandbag reinforced walls. “If something hits,” he panted, “it’ll blow sideways ’n blow ‘em all. Shuttle too for chrissake.”
As they huddled in the safety of one of the bunkers, Riq looked over his should right under the shuttle to see a crowd of his traveling companions huddled under the shuttle. Others crowded on the stairs. “Fucking replacements!” the sergeant spat. Then he disappeared into the dark of the bunker.
Moving through the bunker door into the blackness, Riqimo heard a voice calling, “Who’s a doc in here?” Riqimo squinted to hear better. The voice called again, but Riq’s eyes still hadn’t adjusted.
“Didn’t they send one goddamn medic?” the voice asked.
something inside Riqimo hollered
Shut up, you don’t know what to do.
A light hit Riq in the face, then lowered to shine on the bleeding lacerated forehead of a soldier sitting on his butt in front of him. Before Riqimo had time to think, he dropped to his knees and applied pressure with the ball of his right hand. He asked the guy holding the flashlight to take off his shirt so Riq could use it as a bandage.
“Take off your own stupid shirt,” he grumbled.
“Here, try this,” a voice came from behind Riqimo. He handed Riq a bacta pressure bandage, like the ones he had to use in training. Riq followed a long brown arm to a pair of tired black eyes.
“Th-th-thanks,” Riq stuttered.
?” he demanded.
Riqimo’s eyes adjusted to the dark. The patient had bars on his collar.
Geez, not just wounded, but an officer.
Riqimo looked closer at the open cut, which bleed freely as he lifted the pressure. Training exercises began to repeat in sequence. Riq’s attention turned to applying gauze and grabbing a piece of neatly torn tape from the finger of the guy who had handed him the bandages. Riqimo noticed his tattered medic bag and muddy fatigue pants. He nodded approval, tearing more tape with a practiced snip between his forefinger and thumb.
“Good,” he assured Riq quietly. “Good job.” Packing his gear in his bag, he smiled. “You’ll do fine here.” He was clearly a medic, and had been for a while, but he hadn’t stepped forward when called for one.
Riqimo "Doc" Pershaw
[VE-ARMY] Sergeant First Class
Post Number: 916
Total Posts: 2382
Joined: Oct 2006
RE: Far From Perfect (Riqimo)
September 25, 2007 10:05:14 PM
As the all clear horn sounded, Riqimo didn’t just leave immediately. As the scare left him. Riqimo noticed he was dripping with sweat. The air felt hotter and more humid then he ever experienced. Cig smoke thickened it even more in the closeness of the bunker.
“How did you do this?” Riq asked the dizzy captain.
“Cracked my noggin on the bunker door comin’ in,” he said, tapping its durasteel frame as they passed outside into the predawn gray. The officer straightened to about six and a half feet tall, towering over Riqimo. The smell of burning waste hung in the clamminess. “Happens to me all the time,” he smiled.
“Give him a medal,” someone yelled.
“Medal? Can I have your name?” asked a second lieutenant with a datapad. “Injured in time of attack.” He looked about for approval.
“Go screw yourself,” the injured captain said as he walked away.
For the first time in fifteen minutes since Riq had landed on Tormar, no one was running, or screaming, or being shot at. He found a place to sit, leaning against a pile of duffel bags, and amused himself watching replacement troops wander about looking for their stuff. Riqimo wondered why the worn medic had ignored the calls for help in the bunker. A smack on the head from a low entry way was worth a medal to one guy and not worth the trouble to even look at for another guy.
Riq’s thoughts were interrupted by the old sergeant from the shuttle “Got hit right after the all clear,” he said. He had found his favorite easy to scare audience again. “Twenty, thirty rockets,” he pointed past Riq’s nose. “Wasted me over there by that truck. Wanna see the scar?”
To avoid his eyes, Riq searched where the sarge pointed. The flares were gone. The TIES were gone. And the men from the shuttle were forming a long line near an official looking building, and the big shuttle had already lifted off.
“Can’t see them comin’” Heobserved, “Hear ‘em whistlin’ right before dey blow ya away.” He jabbed at Riq’s shoulder to get the medic’s attention. When Riq turned to face him, he clapped his hands right in front of Riq’s face. “Wham! Bam! Lights out, baby!” He laughed as Riq grabbed his datapad of orders. Riqimo started towards the others and looked around for a place to pee. His second fifteen minutes on this planet would have to get better.
“Keep yer ass low ‘n tight!” the sergeant yelled at Riq’s heels.
Nice talking with you
, Riq thought.
Can I find permanent work in a bunker?
“Bunkers ain’t do nuttin’ if it is rockets,” he answered Riq’s unspoken question. “Only save ya from light ordnance. Mortars maybe.”
When Riq joined the line, a forklift carrying the rest of the duffel bags dropped its load in front of them. Several newbies had to jump to avoid the rolling baggage. Riq figured he had better fid his stuff and pee later, although it better not be too much later.
“You b-b-been here before?” a fellow first timer stammered.
“All my life,” Riq replied.
“Swear to God. I’m two thirds Tormarese.”
Wonderful, another conversationalist.
Riqimo spotted the first familiar thing since landing - his last name stenciled on the side of a grey duffel bag. He dragged it off to the side, stuffed his orders into the top, closed it, and threw it over his shoulders.
“Who’s that sergeant?” the man asked at Riq’s heels.
“My aunt Estelle,” Riq’s voice rose to a soprano, a sre sign of stress.
Riqimo stopped and took a deep breath, letting the guy catch up.
“I don’t know,” Riq said, looking right at him, “Some lifer that gets his rocks off by trying to scare us with war stories.”
“Heavy man..” he said after too long a time to ponder, “Got any deathsticks?”
A short shuttle ride from the receiving station landed Riq in a sprawling base called Beleg Tor, the home of the 11th Infantry Division. Riq’s group shuffled into a tent open on all sides, where they were given an hour of ‘on planet orientation.’
“Winning is staying alive!” the sergeant barked. “Staying alive is firepower! It is simply and totally about
power gentlemen. When the shit hits the fan, you’re gonna have a lot more of
shit in the fucking air than
shit in the fucking air.” Then he detonated a helpless oil drum.
That was supposed to give them a lesson about igniting det cord, but actually served to see how high they would jump.
Riqimo "Doc" Pershaw
> Far From Perfect (Riqimo)
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