1. Sarah Naidoo

    Sarah Naidoo Member

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    Plot Mechanics (Train Collision Victim)

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Sarah Naidoo, Jun 14, 2021.

    I have a character that was wounded by a collision with a train. My protagonist needs to move the wounded character to his home, where he will treat the man's injuries. How can he do so if he does not have a vehicle? The time period is the early 2000s in rural South Africa.
     
  2. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Contributor Contributor Contest Winner 2023

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    You need more specifics. What distance, and how quickly does the injured person need to get there? Are they life threatening injuries and they need to be there in minutes?
     
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  3. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin A tombstone hand and a graveyard mind Staff Supporter Contributor

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    He would have to carry him. Or use a magic wand.
     
  4. Joe_Hall

    Joe_Hall I drink Scotch and I write things

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    depending on the distance, the easiest way to move a casualty is generally the fireman's carry. Alternately you could run the sleeves of a shirt through two branches and make a drag sled if the distance is further. The downside to the latter method is if you are intending to have the casualty disappear, the dragging end of the branches will make a trail for others to follow.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b7/Fireman_carry_Army.jpg

    https://2rdrtx4bt29lo91s31mjhkji-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Improvised-medical-techniques-first-aid-trauma-hygiene-safety-medicine-12.jpg

    The pics were rather large so I put links rather than imbed them.
     
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  5. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

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    Possibilities off the top of my head, and I don't know if some of these would be impossible due to the fact that I haven't researched the location and the time period:

    • Get another person or 2 to help carry him
    • Call a cab
    • Call a friend with a car (Cell phone? Maybe not a reality then in SA)
    • A burro or donkey or horse? Maybe he's a farmer? Or stops one who's going by
    • Flags down a passing car and enlists the help of the driver
    • Carries the wounded man onto a bus. Ok, maybe not, but it's a possibility
    • Uses a rail hand-cart stored nearby and takes the man along the tracks, which pass near his house. There won't be any trains on this stretch for a while because the crashed one was supposed to be going through. He could know about the hand carts and break a lock and take it. Just brainstorming. Maybe he used to work for the railroad? Or played along the tracks as a boy and knows about the railcars.

    Ok, that's all I got. I was gonna say the thing about making an impromptu sledge but @Joe_Hall beat me to it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021
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  6. Thomas Larmore

    Thomas Larmore Senior Member

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    Uber.
     
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  7. KiraAnn

    KiraAnn Senior Member

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    Why would your protagonist not have a cell phone or car or at least a motorcycle? It's not like South Africa is stuck in the late 19th century.

    I suggest researching your location in depth.
     
  8. Abciximab

    Abciximab New Member

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    Train collision?
    That shouldn't be too hard, just pick up what you can find, make multiple runs until you have all the parts together.
     
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  9. SapereAude

    SapereAude Contributor Contributor

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    Xoic likes this.
  10. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

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    The OP lives in South Africa. It says so under "Location," and I don't know about rural SA, but the early 2000's were not a time when everyone in the West had a cell phone. I got mine in 2001, but it was a few years before most people had them, and years after that before they were universal to the point that even poor folks had phones.
     
  11. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

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    Not only that, but there has to be a cell phone network (towers etc) available in the area for them to work. Sort of like how you can't get cable or high-speed internet in an area until the infrastructure has been put into place.
     
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  12. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor Blogerator

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    Just did a real quick google:

    "Vodacom and MTN launched the first cellular services in South Africa twenty years ago, in 1994, which laid the foundation for providing most South Africans with voice and data services."

    Source
    I don't know if that covered all of SA or only the urban centers, or what kind of area the story is set in.* From here the research is up to OP.

    * She did say rural, but the research gets way more technical and specific from here.
     
  13. KiraAnn

    KiraAnn Senior Member

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    I apologize if I offended you, Sarah.

    What I meant to imply is that not having any means of communication or transport seems quite unusual to most people.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2021
  14. Whitecrow

    Whitecrow Active Member

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    The issue of transporting the wounded ...
    If there is a head injury, do not move. He would rather die in transit than you help him.

    If limbs, then make a bandage and carry on a makeshift stretcher.
    If carried together, then you need two sticks and a large piece of cloth. If in a lonely one, you still need to tie two ends with a rope where there will be no braggart and drag along the ground with an anchor point into the ground at the opposite end.
     
  15. Sarah Naidoo

    Sarah Naidoo Member

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    I'm actually a South African citizen, but the novel is set in the 2000s, where cellphones weren't very common in S.A.
     
  16. Sarah Naidoo

    Sarah Naidoo Member

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    Thank you!
     
  17. Francis de Aguilar

    Francis de Aguilar Contributor Contributor

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    Introduce a passing farmer with a pickup truck. Your protagonist runs up the slope to the track desperately searching for a solution and hears the engine.
     
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