Surgeon Simulator 2013: The Interns

Published on Jan 19th, 2014 by

Surgeon Simulator 2013

A while back, before I was working full time on Starbound, I made the first steps to apply for a freelance writing job at Bossa, the developers behind the awesome Surgeon Simulator 2013. As it was, I ended up working on Starbound just days after sending the email, so wasn’t able to take the application any further (the game I would’ve been working on looks super cool btw) but as a writing sample, I sent in this Surgeon Simulator fanfiction which I’ve decided to share here. Enjoy!

The Interns

“And this,” Nigel said, gesturing with a flourish. “This is how you perform a heart transplant.”
He looked over at the interns. They were pale. One of them was trembling. One of them was vomiting into a bin.
“Rookies,” Nigel muttered to himself.
One of the interns, a quiet girl – Nigel had forgotten her name already – raised her hand cautiously.
“Yes?”
“Is he… is he meant to look like that?” she asked. Nigel looked around momentarily, before realising she referred to the patient. He stared at the patient, back at the intern, back at the patient, finally settling his gaze on the intern again.
“Yes.”
He understood her concerns, he supposed. A medical drill was protruding from the patient’s midsection, and a bone saw was caught between the oxygen mask and the patient’s face. It was clean, for surgery. TOO clean.
“Now listen,” Nigel said. “What you’ve seen on TV, it’s not always like that. It’s not always blood and guts. Sometimes, things go smoothly. This was one of those times, and we should be grateful for it.”
The intern nodded meekly then turned away, gingerly stepping around a kidney which lay on the floor.
Another of the interns spoke up.
“Um, Nige, do you mind me saying something?”
Nigel hated being called Nige. Hated it. He wasn’t fond of this guy either – brash, obnoxious, a typical know-it-all med student. Nigel knew the kid would never make it as a doctor. He’d crash and burn during the prelims maybe, or end up with a medical malpractice suit on his hands before his training was through.
“What?” Nigel snapped. Surgery was tiring work. His wrist ached. All he wanted to do was find his watch, get the hell out of the OR, and back to his desk. That Deep Dungeons of Doom level wouldn’t conquer itself.
“Aren’t you meant to close the wound?”
Nigel stared down at the patient, at his wide-open torso, his large intestine trailing up over his shoulder like a feather boa.
“Not my job,” he said. “We have specialist teams for that, I assume.”
“Well, the textbook says…”
Nigel flung his hands up in exasperation. “The textbook! The textbook! Tell me son, what did anyone ever learn from a textbook? Does a textbook teach you how to cure the common cold? Does a textbook teach you how to perform a brain transplant in a moving ambulance, or how to remove shrapnel from your best friend’s ear during a hiking trip in the Cotswolds?”
He paused, waiting for an answer. The boy looked around sheepishly.
“I suppose not.”
“I suppose not,” Nigel echoed.
He didn’t enjoy working with interns, not one bit. They talked about things like health, safety, sterile environments and gross negligence. Strange, scary, modern things that had no place in the operating theatre. More trouble than it was worth, he thought. He thought back to his own training; of performing makeshift surgeries on his sisters Barbies, before advancing to his cousin’s Action Men, then some Avengers figures he’d bought from a shop because they were cheap. After operating on Thor, the God of Thunder no less, he’d felt ready for everything. A god! Could any of these interns claim such things? He doubted it.
The boy interrupted his train of thought. “Is this dude even alive?” he asked.
Nigel let out a scoffing noise. “‘This dude’? He has a name, you know. It’s, erm, well, anyway, his heart’s beating away, so I’d say so.”
“I’m not sure it’s so much beating as twitching.” This was the quiet girl again.
“And he’s lost a lot of blood,” the boy added.
“It’s not lost!” Nigel snorted, finally losing his patience. “It’s right here.”
He gestured around, to the walls, the floor, the ceiling, the medical supplies, the patient’s gown, the interns, and finally, slowly, his own face. He gave them a moment to let it all sink in. A little bit of slack, due to their inexperience.

“Now then!” Nigel exclaimed brightly, when the silence became too deafening. “Who’s up for some lunch?”

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