Thursday, February 17, 2011

What If... You Spotted Someone Drowning?

Last week, we tested out a new exercise at Come In Character – the “What If...?” prompt – a chance for authors to answer a question from their characters' unique perspectives. Considering how well it went, I thought we might try it again.

This time, the scenario is a little more serious. So, characters, I ask you:

What would you do if you spotted someone drowning?

Would you ignore his or her frightened cries, seek some professional help, jump in after the poor victim, or do something else altogether? And remember, my friends, honesty is paramount.

59 comments:

Kaelin said...

I guess it depends if I'm in the middle of something else or not, like a fight. There've been a lot of human casualties in this war and there'll be more, I'm sure.

Aidan said...

I'd save them if I could. I'm an okay swimmer and I can't drown, so there's that.

And way to be a cold-hearted bastard, Kae.

Derek Daniels said...

I would save them, nanites or not. Usually, someone drowning only needs something steady to grab on to.

This question brings to mind a poem by Stevie Smith: "No, no, my friends, I was too far out for all my life, and not waving, but drowning."

Sometimes, the obvious threats are the easy ones.

Breg Nilbog said...

I... I don't think that I could do anything... I couldn't possibly go into the water. I would have to watch her die.

Olivia Harper said...

Wow. So I guess I'd better make sure that I'm never drowning near Kaelin and Breg.

But, thanks, Aidan and Derek, for trying to help if you could!

Having lived on a Gulf Coast beach for many years, I was bound to spot a drowning victim once or twice. And even though I'd always believed that it was better to call for help than risk being drowned myself by a panicked swimmer, when it happened the first time, all my instincts told me to help. I'm a strong swimmer - and I just couldn't bear to watch someone die while waiting for assistance. So, I dove in and did my best - of course, between the undertow and the young boy's thrashings, my worst fears were almost realized. But, luckily, I was able to drag him to shore, and neither of us died that day.

Kaelin said...

I didn't say I wouldn't help, I just said if it was between saving a human and killing an enemy, I'd kill the enemy.

Aidan said...

Too late, Kae. The damage has been done.

It's okay, Olivia, we're practically always together. He could kill the enemy and I could save you.

Marc said...

Aye, it is convenient we keep a spare twin around in case of emergency.

I've had occasion to save people in the ocean before, living on the coast as well. It's not so difficult and doesn't take much time.

And that pretty girl in the string bikini that time was amazingly, gymnasically appreciative. Hmmm.

Olivia Harper said...

Thanks, Aidan. Guess it's true what "they" say - two heads ARE better than one.

Nutmeg Cross said...

Uh, Marc? Please don't tell me that you only saved that bikini-clad lass so that she'd, uh, reward you with her flexibility.

Marc said...

I assure you, Nutmeg, it was an unanticipated benefit from playing the hero. And refreshing, as well. It's why we fight this war, after all, to protect the goodness in humankind. Reminders help keep an old soldier in the trenches.

Candy said...

Hey Nutmeg, at least Marc probably couldn't see that the victim was wearing a bikini until he reached her.

I don't know what I'd do as I can't swim at all. I'd probably jump up and down shrieking for someone to help. It would be awful! Oh, Man, I'll never walk along an empty beach again!

Daryl Harper said...

Why not, Candy? 'Cause you'd be afraid of drowning - or 'cause you wouldn't want to see someone drowning and be unable to help?

Aidan said...

I get you, Candy. It sucks when you can't help. When I first came to after the enemy took me captive, there was a dead ranger in the room. Freshly dead. And I kept thinking if I'd just woken up a little bit earlier, maybe I could have done something.

Kaelin said...

That wasn't your fault, bro.

Katriel said...

I'm doing my best to save Prince Aric. He's not drowning, but he's in danger.

Sometimes it doesn't seem like he wants it though. Since my husband destroyed his planet, I guess I can't blame him.

Marcel/Poizon Layce said...

Let's get specific here. Are we talking about a nude beach, or a regular one?

If it's a regular one, is she skinny dipping on a dare or something?

Candy said...

Aidan, if you were on the beach I might even pretend to be drowning, just so's you'd save me.

I can't think of anything worse than having to watch someone in trouble and not being able to help. That's why I'd stay away.

Aidan said...

Or Candy, we could skip all the pretending and just go for a swim. ;)

Kaelin said...

I can't believe you just used an emoticon. What are you, ten?

Marc said...

Marcel, she can be clothed or unclothed to any degree you like. Whatever best brings out your helpful nature.

I, for one, find bikinis quite compelling to my sense of chivalry. Topless, perhaps more so.

Nutmeg Cross said...

Oh, Marc, you're so chivalrous.

Daryl Harper said...

Oh, well, there goes that idea. I was going to suggest, Candy, that I could save you if you were drowning... but I can't compete with a demi-demon.

Cal and Robert said...

"Dive right in for the rescue!"

Robert Sloan said...

If the drowning cat was another Smilodon fatalis, I would probably swim out and try to drag her back to shore. I'd wash her and try to revive her. More females in the pride are always appreciated. If he was another male, he might as well drown unless he's my cousin Clever who's like a brother to me. Or if he was Dad or Uncle Acrid. I'd probably rescue Dad but I wouldn't let him take over my pride.

I might rescue another Smilodon if he was a cub. I like cubs and might even take care of cubs that aren't mine. I'm just more social and amiable about that than most males. It's what Elder loves about me. I don't just love my cubs and defend them with my life, I like cubs and enjoy teaching them and playing with them just like Dad did with me and my sisters.

I never met humans so I probably wouldn't do anything if I heard one screaming. Unless I was hungry. Then I might swim out to try to catch it since it's already in trouble and might be tasty.

(Musky the lead pride-male from Sabertooth)

Anonymous said...

Galen:

Of course, I would save her. It is what is right. Never mind the Humans on my estate, who would forever damn me for touching their pure daughter.

Teddy Leadville said...

I wouldn't have any freakin' choice now would I? I'd have to go in after the sucker.

It might help me get the guardian angel gig back, ya know. The one I got fired from because I took a day off and the numb-skull skydiver's ripcord wasn't attached...to anything.

Of course, the job I have now isn't too bad. I could just watch and take bets on whether the guy goes Uptown or to the Other Place after he drowns.

Hugo Spengler said...

A hundred dollars says he won't last twenty minutes, Pers. A man fell of that sailboat and the water's still pretty cold this time of year.

I'm betting that he won't last twenty minutes.

Rev. Perseus Cade said...

Somebody will get him.

Hugo Spengler said...

Look at the water, Pers. This is a weekday, there's no one out there.

What do you say? A hundred on twenty minutes?

He's got a life jacket on, he might make it.

Rev. Perseus Cade said...

As much as I'd like a shot at your hundred dollars, Hugo, I'm thinking that the Church can always use another miracle. It's good in the press.

(picks up phone)

We need a helicopter, the White Bird. Make sure it comes in from the sun with the light reflecting off the cross.

Aidan said...

Helicopters? Friends like that could come in handy...

Marc said...

I don't know, mate. They've got the crosses. Such blokes tend to avoid our kind.

Timothy Bentle said...

It would all depend on whether or not I pushed her in.

Abigail said...

I would want to help, but I am physically unable to assist (Combination of anemia and asthma in a world with pre-modern medicine), so I would call for help

Joel said...

Grab a long branch and wack them on the head so they drown faster.

Candy said...

You guys are so mean! I sure wouldn't save any of you even if I could swim!

Olivia Harper said...

I know exactly how you feel, Candy. Sigh.

Kaelin said...

But what gives us the right to determine whether someone lives or drowns? It's why I answered as I did. Circumstance should decide for me.

Anything else rings too close to Asmodai for comfort.

Candy said...

Kaelin, Hasn't circumstance already decided by putting you there? Of course, if you're in the middle of a fight maybe, with your powers, you could just finish your opponent off quickly and plunge on in. I guess circumstance will decide that too.

Olivia Harper said...

I'm with Kaelin, Candy. The question isn't meant to gauge all possible scenarios... just your gut instinct - and, therefore, your basic character. Life - no matter what manner of creature you might be - is full of choices. So, would you - given the opportunity - choose to save a stranger or let him/her/it die? Of course, certain conditions - such as one's swimming ability, level of preoccupation, and feelings toward the victim - would affect a real-life situation. But, if you were a strong swimmer, not engaged in a life-or-death battle, and unaware of the drowning victim's personal story, would you take the time to help someone in need - or not?

Nutmeg Cross said...

Then again, Olivia, no real-life situation is ever so simple. Of course, that's the problem with a hypothetical situation.

Candy said...

As a nineteen year old who has never been in water deeper than my bath tub I would be an idiot to try to save anyone from drowning. Of course, I'd want to, whoever it was.

I thought we were able to discuss things amongst ourselves on here, that's why I was answering Kaelin.

Aidan said...

I'm with the girls, Kae. It's a cop out.

And I say you'd save her.

Kaelin said...

You don't know shit, bro.

I might. I might not. Depending.

Aidan said...

I got one word for you:

Emma.

Kaelin said...

That was different. She was in over her head with the demons.

Aidan said...

In over her head...like someone DROWNING?

Come on, Kae. You knew they'd use her against you and you kept her around anyway. You tried to protect her when you KNEW you couldn't.

So I say you owe the world one. Diving in after a drowning human ought to settle the score.

Kaelin said...

All right. I save the drowning person. Right after I kick your ass.

Olivia Harper said...

Of course, we're able to discuss things amongst ourselves, Candy. I was actually trying to defend you to Kaelin. But I accidentally said that I'm with him when I'm actually with you. That's what I get for typing while driving.

Michael Harper said...

Good job, honey. You unknowingly ticked off Candy because of your typing snafu.

Boy, people really get upset over hypothetical situations.

Olivia Harper said...

Well, what would you do, smarty pants?

Michael Harper said...

Of course, I'd try to save a drowning person. I'm a doctor who lives on a beach. Isn't that what I'm supposed to do?

Aidan said...

I think the point with Kae, and I can say this cuz he's gone overnight in a mission, is that he would save the drowned. We fight our war for humans mostly, and ourselves too. But it's important to him to pretend to be a bad ass. Cuz we do lose a lot of humans in the war and it would be easy to give up if he admitted he cared.

Jason said...

That's rather ... astute of you, Aidan. I'm pleasantly surprised.

Aidan said...

What?

Marc said...

Never mind. Lets go for a swim, mate.

Nutmeg Cross said...

Be careful, boys. Even demi-demons can get sucked in by an undertow.

(And no matter what anyone else says, I'd try to save you if I could.)

Herring said...

I got one word for you: Emma.