Path of Lava Crossover Ficbit – Why Did it Have to be Snakes…

“And strike!

All but bouncing in place, Misao Makimachi flowed through the arm bar, throw, and heel stomp, winking at her prone sparring partner.

“All right,” her fellow college student panted to the dojo floor, blonde strands straying free of her barrette to glint over her navy-blue t-shirt. “Just what do you put in your coffee, and why haven’t you been arrested for it yet?”

“Georgette!” Misao tossed back her long black braid, green eyes alight with glee. “I keep telling you. When you know you’re going in to wrestle snakes, you have to wake up!”

“Thank god I’m just an Art student. Snakes.” Georgette shivered. “And you seem like such a nice girl.”

So what’s wrong with snakes? Misao rolled her eyes, and set the thought aside. Ever since she’d brought home her first shed snakeskin from the backyard as a little girl, she’d lived with the fact that seemingly sane, reasonable people thought she was out of her mind. Why, she had no clue. Herpetology was fun!

Though tossing people around the room under Kaoru’s watchful eye, and getting tossed, was almost as much fun.

But something’s wrong today, Misao thought, trading off with Georgette to go over the various nerve strikes. Graduate school’s demands meant the young herpetologist couldn’t attend quite as many late-night Kamiya Kasshin classes as she did these early-morning self-defense classes, but she knew Kaoru’s attention was usually just as sharp in both of them.

It’s the murders. It’s got to be.

The cops had tried to keep the details quiet, but two weeks ago some scandal-rag had run an eye-grabber on the “Killer Sword Style”, and nothing had been the same since. A lot of Kaoru’s students had melted away; others had come, only to take off in disgust when Kaoru told them her style was for self-defense only, and never touched lethal steel.

Though I know she has it. I’ve seen her practice with real swords….

One of Georgette’s jabs drew a hiss, and Misao dragged her focus back to the lesson at hand. She was here to learn. Even if her teacher’s mind was lurking in blood and fog.

“So.” Georgette sat on the edge of the dojo porch after class was over, lacing up her chic hiking boots as their fellow students packed up and took off. “Going to the campus blood drive this time?”

“Can’t,” Misao said matter-of-factly. She’d had to explain this to undergrads before, when they handled lab animals and talked about blood in the same breath. “Salmonella.”


“I work with snakes,” Misao filled in. “The bacteria might be in my system anytime. And since they store the platelets at room temperature, well… people can get really sick.”



21 thoughts on “Path of Lava Crossover Ficbit – Why Did it Have to be Snakes…

      1. I wouldn’t know, honestly – I’m literally in the same boat as Misao, just with a different disease.

        (Short version, I grew up in England during the 80’s – therefore, I am automatically considered a “potential carrier” for Mad Cow Disease, and thus permanently disqualified from donating blood.)

        Liked by 2 people

      1. That depends on which component. RBCs are stored refrigerated. Plasma and its components are stored frozen, then thawed out as needed. Platelets are stored at room temperature on a shaker that agitates them enough to help keep them oxygenated. Because platelets are stored at room temperature they only have a five day shelf life.
        One reference:

        Liked by 3 people

        PLTs are stored at 22 °C to preserve function; however, this temperature facilitates growth of bacterial contaminants. As a result, PLT storage duration is commonly 5 days, although in some countries that screen for bacterial contamination or use pathogen reduction technologies, this duration is up to 7 days [1, 2].

        That’s in the 70s, for those of us who speak English units.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Ok cool. So it does require temperature control and even then is of limited duration.

        I’d assumed it did and used that in an aside in a story*, but it hadn’t even occurred to me to double check the assumption.

        *They were in a setting where there was magic healing, but I assumed since they didn’t have a way to consistently refrigerate stuff, they would not have blood banks, even if they could do transfusions. Infections? No problem? Severed limbs? We can fix that? Not enough blood to function… Big problem.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Lots shelf-stable stuff can’t go over room temperature; that’s usually not considered temperature controlled, it’s “avoid extreme temperatures.”

        I’ve actually run into issues with that a few times where folks used them interchangeably.
        Item was fine at even warm room temp.

        It was not fine at +130*F, AKA “in a storage box in death valley.”

        Liked by 4 people

      5. That info about storage puts a new spin on the times when I donated platelets. For those unaware they take your blood out, put it through a centrifuge, siphon off the layer with the platelets, and put the rest back with some saline to make up lost volume. Repeat until they had enough. Took ninety minutes or so once they had you hooked up I think?

        Liked by 3 people

      6. You’ll see the room temperature comment because even though it is technically temperature controlled, the lab itself is kept very close to that temperature. There is a temperature monitoring device within the agitator unit, but when you pull them out the feel like they are the same temperature as everything else.

        In the same way if the samples are called refrigerated or frozen, it doesn’t mean any refrigerated temperature range or any frozen temperature range. It is a very narrow, closely monitored range of just a few degrees. If any of the temperature controlling units get out of range they will start screaming at you until you fix the problem.

        Liked by 4 people

      7. The only blood banks I’ve worked in even as a student have been parts of hospitals with 24-7 trauma centers. There’s always someone there. I’d never thought of it from the point of view of the collection center. There’s no reason to have someone working on blood at 3 AM for the collection center.

        Liked by 3 people

      8. Everyone’s given good info, and I’m glad to see another blood banker around! For research purposes, the American Red Cross is another good resource for basic blood banking in the US, particularly for the donation side of things. The AABB is also a good resource, although probably much less accessible to non-blood bankers. (It’s the organization that accredits US blood banks, ensuring they meet required standards.)

        Speaking of donation/testing/distribution centers, whether or not someone’s there 24/7 likely depends on what exactly they do. I have recently sent specimens needing advanced testing to the regional Red Cross center well after 5 pm and had a result the next morning. And if there’s blood products stored on site, the fridge/freezer/rotator will very likely have a remote monitoring system in addition to the built in alarms, both as backup and to make sure somebody gets any alerts regardless of who’s physically there or not.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. *starts looking for Miaso’s white-coated not-quite stalker*

    The number of things something supernatural could want with snakes… hmm… I am not convinced yet that Misaso isn’t mixed up in anything weird already, if unknowingly.

    Liked by 1 person

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