outstretched: Jake English from Homestuck standing with his back to you, staring at the ocean and sky. (HMSTK ♥ [Jake] Sea & sky & endless space)
For every mile of ocean crossed ☆ ([personal profile] outstretched) wrote in [community profile] thingwithfeathers2013-07-28 04:45 pm

In-line Stabilization (Dirk gen, vague Dirk/Jake, Homestuck, G)

~330 words

The priority treatment for someone who's suffered cervical injury is to stabilize the neck. Spinal fractures are easy to engender but impossible to fully repair, and the simple act of looking up can cause quadrapalegia with the right conditions. One second it's situation normal and the next you're on the floor, unable to move or piss or feed yourself. If the fracture's high enough, you won't even be able to breathe. All because of one thoughtless gesture.

You turn your head. The movement is smooth and easy, the impulse traveling from the voluntary motor centers of your brain to the muscles in your neck. You give an order and your body obeys, but there are literally millions of ways that can go wrong, autoimmune diseases, prions, infections, chromosomal malfunctions, chemical imbalances. Turning your head without incident is a fucking miracle. You're a man stuck in a box stuck in the middle of the ocean stuck on a dying planet and you're a fucking goddamn miracle, did you know that?

Jake would know, you think. After all, he's the one who's always laughing in the face of danger or whatever. Always getting those fucking concussions. One day you're going to type I warned you dawg and not have the strength to hit send.

Maybe you should modify Brobot and equip him with a detachable backboard, just in case. You're not sure where you'd put it, though—your design is elegant and crowded and there isn't a lot of wiggle room. Maybe replace the back panel. Would that jeopardize structural integrity? You'll have to run tests. The whole body could probably use some extra reinforcing anyway, it's been years since you built it, you've learned a thing or two since then.

It's hot, and the sun seems to pull the strength from your body. You lie in a comminuted sprawl across your bedsheets, listless. Data streams run seamlessly in parallel across your brain but they're all unremarkable. You've built ten robots in ten days and your fingers ache.

He's so fragile, you think.

P.S. - "Comminuted" is a word used almost exclusively to describe broken bone. It's a type of fracture when the bone is crushed, leaving it splintered into many fragments. It's very hard to repair.