02-01 Playground Problems

by Ernest Bywater

Copyright 2007 by Ernest Bywater as Ernest Edwards

Drama Story: One of the kids at Gordie's school has a major problem, but it comes out well because of his early training. However, changes must be made.

Tags: Drama   School   Workplace   Extra Sensory Perception   Vignettes  

Clan Amir 02-01

Gordie Mannheim

When you’ve a high genius born into a ruling class family of a clan noted for its ethics, warrior traditions, and a history of caring for the people - how do you raise him? When his grandparents are noted for their warrior attitudes and wisdom, his father is a renowned warrior, and he’s often in close contact with the country’s most renowned warriors of modern times; what do you do when he shows a high understanding of tactics and strategy? You aim to make him someone who’ll look after the people, don’t you? And what if he turns out to be much more than you expect, to be at the high end of the physical norm with other skills?


Born Gordon Edward Rodney Rohan Yancey Mannheim on 28 April, 1992, the fifteenth and last child of King Herbert and Queen Lara. He’s known as Gordie to his family, friends, and locals. By his third birthday his family realise he’s a genius with a flair for command and military tactics. The last aspect is most noticeable when he’s dealing with older siblings and cousins, because he outmanoeuvres them with ease. With the younger or simpler children he has a sure command and they obey him without delay. This wasn’t noticed at first, because he only took command when no adults or older children were around to control the young children.

Three year old Gordie’s command of the other under-fives becomes known when the supervising teenage girl gets caught up in a phone call with a friend. She fails to notice the pool gate doesn’t lock properly behind a departing adult and it stays open just a little. The small children aren’t allowed in the pool without adult supervision. Two five year old visitors head for the gate for a swim. Gordie orders them back, but they want to argue and go to push past. He orders the other children, many older than himself, to form a blocking square to keep them out of the pool. A short fight follows, and it’s soon won by Gordie’s irregulars. With the two visitors held down he sends a five year old cousin to get an adult because none of the children are strong enough to lock the gate. The whole affair is known when an adult arrives, and they take charge. The security camera recordings are reviewed, and his involvement is obvious.

By the time he’s five years old and ready to go to school they’re aware he has some empathetic ability. He can tell which babies and children are upset, or which are in need of cuddling, or which are angry, or which are hungry. He’s a great asset in keeping the nursery mayhem down to a dull roar. No major fights occur while he’s in the nursery. He also knows how to read by this time, and he spends a lot of his spare time in the clan library reading. He’s a self-learner who teaches himself from books. He does a lot of his advanced education work and study at home while he goes to school for social skills development with his peers.

Due to security concerns all of the clan children are taught martial arts and basic weapons skills as soon as their instructors think they can handle them. Most start learning the Way of the Hand, the local form of martial arts, when he’s four or five years old. Gordie starts when he can barely walk, and he progresses at a much faster than most of his older cousins. He has phenomenally good reflexes and he’s quick to grasp the lessons. By five years of age he’s very accurate in throwing finger knives and he has good knife fighting skills, excellent ones for someone his size and age. At six years of age he’s rated marksman with a pistol - one altered for his small hand, light rifle, bow and arrow. About this time he’s ready to be ranked as a first level black belt in the Way of the Hand; once they can find a suitably qualified opponent of the same size to compete against, because the final evaluations are done in competition style bouts.

For safety reasons each child in his family has a personal medical technician assigned to them, along with a small team of well-trained bodyguards. The bodyguards are all good at making themselves seem inconspicuous, while many of them also have secondary duties at the school to make it easier for them to be close at hand without it being obvious why. Each young person who regularly leaves the residence also carries a personal communicator on the civilian emergency band to give them the ability to radio for help if it’s needed. The older children and adults have mobile phones as well.

These skills and abilities are very useful during his development. They help keep Gordie, and those around him, safe. The following incidents from his life demonstrate the type of person he is, and how his training and life experiences affect him and his attitudes.

Playground Problem

Like all of the other children of View Port turning five years old during 1997 Gordie is going off to school in the first week of February. The event isn’t as big a shock for him as it is for many others. He’s grown up in a clan residence with lots of cousins and siblings, so he’s very used to being with large numbers of other children. He has several cousins starting school with him, as well as a number of friends from around the town. His parents believe in socialising all of their children, and they’ve kept him involved with community activities relevant to his age group from his birth. So he knows a great number of the town children from the playground in the town square, and the other pre-school activities.

The first few days of school are a bit hectic for everyone while they get used to where everything is and the school routines. As is his nature Gordie spends a lot of time finding the children who’re very nervous or new to the area then introducing them to the other kids. He helps many to settle into the new routines. By the end of the first week of school most of the children have worked out some friendship groups, but many are still in the ‘getting to know you’ stage. By the fifth week everyone is settled in with new playground friendships, and routines are becoming evident.

At lunchtime on Wednesday of the fifth week Gordie is sitting down talking to Melody Hilston. She’s very shy and only moved into town in the middle of last year. Gordie is trying to get her to be more outgoing, because he’s one of the only three children she’ll talk to. The bench seat they’re on is on the side of a small games area about four metres wide and is opposite the seat where his cousin, Peter, is sitting with another new kid, Alistair Sibley. The adult on playground duty in this area is Gordie’s medical technician, Janice Rogers, she’s standing at the corner of the building watching the children. Gordie isn’t really watching what’s happening across the way, but Melody gets nervous if he looks at her all of the time, so he often glances over at the two boys opposite him. Most of the kids are running around or at the school shop, only a few have paired off and are starting to eat their lunches from home.

Gordie notices Peter and Alistair swap their sandwiches and start eating. Alistair is halfway through his third bite of lunch when he convulses and falls to the ground, he thrashes about. His face is already visibly swelling up. Gordie jumps up and yells for the adult supervisor. Janice runs over, and stares at Alistair. She kneels down and tries to hold him still. Gordie asks, “What’s wrong?”

Janice replies, “I don’t know, it could be an epileptic seizure. I just don’t know.”

Training Tells

There are no other adults in the immediate area, and the next sure place for an adult is a few minutes’ walk away. True to his training, Gordie does the best thing he can do right now. He pulls out his pocket radio communicator and he hits the emergency alert. He waits for an answer. All of the members of his family have one these communicators.

Jenny Smith is the radio operator in Clay Comm (the Claymore Command Communications Centre) on listening watch of the civilian emergency alert channel when the call signal beep occurs. She hits the button to initiate the triangulation of the call’s origin as she responds, “Clay Comm Emergency Desk, go ahead.”

The communication protocols are kept simple on this channel because they know they’ll be dealing with youngsters and civilians not trained in the proper protocols. But Gordie is well-trained in this area. On hearing a response he says, “Falcon Nine, medical emergency, View Port Primary School, East Playground. Code blue, code blue.”

Jenny replies, “Copy, medical emergency View Port Primary School, code blue. Help is on the way.” Having seen Jenny react to a message the shift supervisor links in. As soon as she hears the words ‘medical emergency’ she’s contacting the medical response team. They’re quick off the mark and are halfway out of the garage door in their ambulance before she can tell them where to go.

The ambulance is dashing through the town of View Port at high speed with its siren screaming. Arriving at the eastern side of the school concerned they exit the ambulance and head for the group of concerned looking people. The medical technicians are carrying everything they can think may be needed. Even with this heavy load the three people in the crew of paramedics are fast to race across the grounds to the scene of the emergency.

On seeing the ambulance arrive Gordie orders all of the other children back from the adult and child on the ground. They move back to give the ambulance crew room to work in.

Janice is fighting hard to hold Alistair still while she keeps saying, “I don’t know what it is, I don’t know!” Her voice is almost hysterical in its sound. The boy’s face and arms are very puffy and he’s beginning to choke when the three paramedics reach them.

One starts attaching sensors while another is breaking open cases to get equipment, and the third asks, “Did anyone see what happened?”

Gordie says, “Yes, Sir. He was taking the third bite of the sandwich he swapped for when he started having convulsions. His face is now much more bloated than before.”

The medical technician looks at Gordie, and asks, “Any idea of what the sandwich was?”

Gordie looks up at Peter, who says, “Yes, Nutella.”

The medical technician turns to the one with the drugs case, and says, “Flood him with antihistamines. It looks like an allergy reaction to nuts. And I do mean flood, by the look of him we haven’t much time so we have to really jolt the system.” Activating the radio link to the hospital the medical technician starts telling them about the situation. The other medical technician is fast to prepare a large needle, and he injects Alistair’s left arm. He prepares another, and injects his right arm. He prepares an inhaler, and he forces a gas down his throat. He looks at the medical technician monitoring the sensors. The fellow looks up, and shakes his head. Another heavy dose of gases into the mouth plus two more injections, into the thighs this time.

Gordie looks around, the principal has arrived and he has another staff member leading Janice away. She’s still mumbling, “I don’t know what it is, I don’t know!”

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