This week we see what’s happening in the mine, on Level Two where they’re trying to reach the trapped miners. If you want to read from the beginning, start here. My picture of Sam Ryan is a young Leonardo de Caprio.
Intruders chapter 7 scene 1
Dr Robinson went to contact Ryan about the casualty transfer, when the call came that Level Two had broken through to the trapped miners and established communications. A doctor was needed urgently. Since Dr Thomas was treating Elwyn, Robinson responded, thinking he could send Ryan back once he got there. He fumbled his way to the pithead and carefully climbed down the rungs in the shaft, much to the miners’ impatience. On Level Two he was met by Dai Williams who helped him over the rubble steps, across the slab, and up the other end to where Ryan crouched with a monitor and a microphone. Ryan covered the mike and reported.
‘They’ve drilled a pilot hole down to the void where the men are trapped, and lowered a camera and microphone. The dark-haired man is Huw and the fairer one is John. They’ve got contusions, and severe lacerations from the quartz crystals. They fell into a new void. But Huw says John hit his head. When you finish, they'll start enlarging the hole.’
‘Thank you, Ryan.’ Robinson took the microphone. ‘Hello there, I’m Dr Robinson from the Kestrel. Now we know where you are, we’ll have you out as soon as we can. Now, John, can you tell me about your injuries?’
At the sound of his name, the fair haired man opened his eyes.
‘It’s hard to hear you from so far away, and I’ve got this headache. I’m awful uncomfortable, I think I’m bleeding on my back and legs. A bit bashed about too. Can you get me out?’
He started to move, but gasped in pain and fell back. The dark haired man spoke.
‘You lie still John. Hello, Dr Robinson, I’m Huw. John hit his head when we fell. I cut up my jacket and bandaged it. We broke through to this new void, but the tunnel wall was thin to the side, and we accidentally broke through there as well. There was a gas explosion. Brought the roof down and blew us into this new void. We’re cut up pretty badly - John’s arm is the worst, but I put a tourniquet on with my belt.’
‘Where did you learn to apply a tourniquet?’
‘My father was a miner, his friend died from loss of blood, so he taught me. We’re bleeding from too many places, Doctor. You have to get us out fast.’
‘I’ll leave that to your colleagues. They’re all prepared. As soon as the hole is large enough, we’ll get pain relief and bandages down to you.'
Robinson turned away from the mic to speak to Ryan. 'There's a casualty needs taking to the Kestrel via the outside, not through the dome. I want you to assist Dr Thomas and I'll stay here.'
Ryan's eyes went wide and he shook his head. 'I've little experience in zero gravity, sir, I don't think I can do it. What's wrong with the casualty?'
'Lung and spine damage, that's why he can't take the gravity in the base.'
'Sir, I'm not qualified for that. The base doctor will have to be responsible for the patient, I'll just try to assist with the transport.'
Robinson paused for thought. Ryan was right, he wasn't qualified to go. Robinson would have to go himself, much as he feared it. He put his hand on Ryan's shoulder, shook his head and turned back to the mic.
'Huw, I’m leaving my medic, Sam Ryan to monitor you both. Is there anything else you want?’
‘A stiff drink would be favourite, but I guess it has to be water.’
‘I think we can manage better than that, but alcohol wouldn’t be a good idea right now. Any changes, or anything you need, tell Ryan straight away. I have to go and help Dr Thomas with Elwyn’s treatment.’
He gave Ryan instructions before he left.
‘I’ll get supplies sent over from the Kestrel, including a life signs monitor - get it on John straight away. I’m going out on the surface, so I won’t be available, but keep me updated on progress and I’ll be back as soon as I can. Try to keep them talking, we don’t want them losing consciousness.’
[Next week Dr Robinson helps Dr Thomas take his casualty to the Kestrel via the asteroid surface, and gets into trouble.]
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