The Cyber Cyber West
Doc Tanner Malone
Famous Trauma Surgeon of the Cyber Cyber West
Sand and Blood
“Is he gonna make it Doc?”
“Hard to say with this pool of blood at my feet gettin wider.”
“What can I do?”
“What’s your name son?
“Steeton Pine, sir”
“What’s your blood-type?”
“Same as Uncle Jamin – O.”
“Well Steeton look in my bag, the clear tubes, and the beaker. Get them with the needles and the whisky. Stat.”
Malone was working a day like any other. A small cattle rancher on the outskirts of town had a mis-hap with his bull. His son had dragged him into the house and into a bed – there was a red pathway to the room where Jamin was waiting. Now the Doc had minutes before the gored ribcage completely bled out – it was pure luck Malone passed by when he did.
“With Shorty comin back for his money any day now, Uncle Jamin wanted to have more than just a few bucks for’im. Ya know? We ain’t got much, but I’ll hand over a pig for ya, year old. Just don’t let him die, please.”
Steeton was standing over the doctor, setting the tools down around his Uncle. Doc Tanner Malone looked up into the lad’s eyes. The man was young still – a teen and vulnerable to emotion. Plugging the beaker and needle into the tube he then drenched it in whisky and grabbed the young man’s arm.
“Wait! I ain’t never been stuck with a needle before!”
“You want him to live, huh?”
The man forfeited his arm. Doc Malone pierced the fore-arm, and the vein began to pump out a stream of scarlet liquid. The beaker dripped and dripped until the small puddle was a glass-full of blood.
“Lay back on this chair. I need you higher up than him, so gravity can get more of your blood. I’ve stopped the bleeding and you should not allow him to move for several days. If the blood that goes into him works then he can make it if disease or dune-plague don’t get to the wound. Lay back son, it will all be over soon.”
The boy lay back in the chair with his Uncle just below him. Doc Malone observed as the beaker filled to a certain level, aware that every second was precious. He unhooked the needle from the young man’s arm once the beaker was full. The boy lay back, head woozy and light as air.
Malone moved the needle over to Jamin and held the beaker upside down. Doc Malone flooded a handkerchief with whisky and dobbed the area around the intrusion point. Hoisting the beaker high above the wounded man made the blood began to flow steadily into Jamin’s body.
Noticing the sounds of approaching hooves, the Doc took a look out the window to get a better view. Three men on horse-back were approaching the western villa, rugged and weatherworn Malone assumed they’d be armed. The trio stopped outside the front door to the house, no more than a few feet from the small room they were in.
“I’ll see what they want,” Malone offered to the disparaging child.
He stepped out to greet them with a head nod and bloodied hands, but no words. The three looked at each other at Doc Malone’s approach. The one in the center started, “Howdy.”
“Hullo. There is an emergency at this house and I am a doctor.”
“Surely. I’m Shorty. This is Pimp and Don. So whats the score Doc? We came to talk.”
“I foresee recovery, but my patient needs uninterrupted rest. How may I help you, gentlemen?”
“Well Doc. Simple. We want to get paid for what we done for this man, Jamin. As it is though, I’m hearing his life gettin saved fore’ my very eyes. My thoughts on the reciprocation of the matter is that you’s gonna make you a pretty penny fer saving this here man’s life. Im thinking, who’s more likely to profit from the situation. Ya know?”
Doc Tanner Malone watched the men. The situation steadily growing more and more edgy. He noticed that the men’s gun-belts weren’t locked. They’d come to settle a score.
“I don’t know what deals you’ve made with this man Jamin, but it will have to wait till he’s better. Now please, I must tend to my patient.”
The trio sat on their horses and made no motion of leaving. The leader spat on the ground at Malone’s feet. The other two laughed in mocking annoyance.
Malone turned to confront the rash display of rudeness. Beneath Tanner’s bloodied and weathered trench coat a mono-katana sat waiting and a revolver the size of an AMT. He watched with slight hesitation measuring up the men to see which one would act first, which one would die first, and which one would die under the scalpel.
“I will not ask you to leave again. If you do not depart, the Doctor will go to work on you too…”
The trio were insulted. They licked their teeth clean and displaying their contempt with raised eye brows and knuckle popping – Tanner was solid and made no motion. Then the Doc opened his coat and swept the sides away to reveal his fire-arm, strapped to his right leg in a large ostrich-leather holster.
Tanner’s draw was as fast as lightning. The chestnut-grip of the hand-cannon making a full three-hundred sixty degree swivel on his trigger-finger, until the handle came to rest at the thumb’s arch. His other hand dashed the hammer four times – as fast as his draw.
The trio were now sprawled out on the floor, and only Shorty was alive. Malone came up and kicked the pistol out of his pathetically extended hand. He dropped onto the shot man with his right knee, blowing all the air out of Shorty’s chest.
“I said I’d go to work on you. But don’t worry this service is free for you.”
Hands already crimson red from the previous surgery, Malone pulled out five emergency scalpels he kept hidden in his finger tips. Dicing the man’s chest open the Doc continued to disembowel him, while he was conscious. Shorty spat up bloody froth as his last conscious action on Earth. Doc Malone threw the corpse back onto the ground.
After tending to his patient inside and assuring Steeton that he would return the next day with supplies, he tied the three corpses onto their horses and led them into the waste. Far gone from anywhere he dumped the bodies and most of the deceased gear.
The next day Malone came back with money he had sold the horses for, and medicines for Jamon and Steeton. His calling card was a word of mouth thing, but Jamin promised his farm would be open to him anytime. Steeton was sad to see the stranger go, but Malone left eventually.
Seemingly a singular force of nature, Doc Tanner Malone wanders the unknown wonders of the Cyber Cyber West. Searching for peace of mind in the people he saves it helps Malone sleep at night knowing that people keep going. After leaving the big city for a more simple life in the desert thats really the only thing left to do until time kills you – Keep Going.