Let us start with the fact that I contracted flesh-eating disease during the course of getting a skin biopsy — that it was being all precautionary and taking proper medical care of myself that nearly got me killed. That’s just the start. There’s also this little snippet from the upcoming Crysis novel, my own words penned just a few months ago:
I’ve seen bioweapons in my time. I was there when Egypt laid that pimped-out necrotising fasciitis down on the Syrians, back at the start of the Water Wars: You could see it eat the meat right off the bones in realtime, like it was some kind of Discovery Channel time-lapse. Those poor bastards died in minutes; the wounds actually steamed because the Strepto’s metabolic rate had been cranked so high. They had to retcon a whole new suite of bacterial enzymes just to handle the waste heat.
(Oh, and given the recent resurgence of misinformation in the wake of the cracked Crysis-2 beta being released prematurely onto bittorrent, I suppose I should repeat yet again — for whatever good it’ll do — that I did not co-author that game script with Richard Morgan, despite what everyone and their dog seems to be posting. I just did the novel. And contributed a few tech specs.)
Let’s move on to the night of the surgeries. I was hallucinating for most of the time I wasn’t comatose, but they kept wheeling me past the big-screen TV in the waiting area — which, witnesses swear, was showing a biopic on one-legged amputee Terry Fox. I don’t actually remember that particular movie; I do, however, remember snippets of the one that played earlier on the same channel, glimpsed briefly as they wheeled me from surgery to ICU. There was a severed human leg. On the shore of a Canadian lake. Which was inhabited by, I kid you not, a giant squid1.
I mean, what are the odds?
My leg, still unsevered, remains an open canyon. The striped-bass appearance of the calf muscle twitching at the bottom of that fissure has faded; now it looks more like raw hamburger, or an uncooked taco that someone’s spat on. (Not quite sure what to make of the white slimy film growing on the surface. It seems a little too, too structured for my liking. I think it’s growing its own nervous system. And tentacles.) Anyhow, tomorrow they’re going to be filling the hole with some kind of miracle gel, slapping a seal over the whole thing, and hooking it up to a magic vacuum-cleaner to pull the edges together. At some point I am expected to walk again. In the meantime, at least the cats will stop lunging at me every time my calf twitches.
I promised pictures. I will deliver. Still waiting to get the actual jpegs the doctor took during surgery, so you can get Before and After all at once. Until then, all I can say is: thank Christ for socialized medicine. I’d be either dead or broke if this had happened to me in the states.
1“Eye of the Beast”, in case anyone’s interested. A movie so bad that even bittorent returns no seeds at all…