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Basic premise: Main character's (MC) body gets destroyed, "soul" transfers into the first responder (Ally) trying to save him. MC gains mind powers.

What is the best place to find a body, to transfer to, given that the body has to work, at least insofar all the organs, but the brain are concerned.

There is a difference in-universe between brain dead and comatose, so if there are separate ideal locations for them, an answer for both would be nice.

Things to consider/Additional challenges: Ally is a former Marine, but more importantly, a EMT, so would have some access to patients in a hospital, I assume. Ally is, a ally. MC doesn't force her to do anything (she actually acts as his moral compass, of sorts) A surplus of time to "search" the potential bodies for a "soul", given that both MC and Ally didn't think mind control and souls were real, and have to acclimate.

Also, assume this happens in present day USA

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closed as off-topic by sphennings, Mołot, Josh King, Frostfyre, Bellerophon Nov 7 '17 at 16:18

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    $\begingroup$ If your story is set in present day USA, your world is already built. This question isn't about creating a fictional world. It's about a story set in that world, and as such is off topic for this site. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Nov 7 '17 at 14:19
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    $\begingroup$ The hospital, or a long term care facility. Go figure. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Nov 7 '17 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ Does he want to avoid attention or doesn't he care if people notice that something is up, e.g. nurses that see comatose patients walking around and leaving the hospital? Is he the only one in the world that can do that or is this common in your world? $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Nov 7 '17 at 14:26
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    $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 If you're asking questions about the intent of a character for clarification the question is too story based. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Nov 7 '17 at 14:38
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings It probably is too story based, in the real world, yeah. Simply wasn't sure, and in the search I did through other questions, that just simply didn't dawn on me :/ $\endgroup$ – MartinArrJay Nov 8 '17 at 8:04
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Combat hospital.

https://pilotonline.com/news/military/nation/afghanistan/a-chance-in-hell-part-inside-a-combat-hospital-in/article_ca40c8e4-10a8-546b-8306-4d2186ad21e1.html

field hospital

A field hospital in a combat zone would be better than a long term care facility for several reasons.

  1. People's bodies will be in better shape. These will be combatants (mostly young men) and civilians swept up in the violence. They have not been sick long.

  2. It will not be a miracle if a person recovers. If a person has been comatose or brain dead for months or years it will be suspicious and even scary if he suddenly recovers. In someone just injured, everyone is hoping the individual will recover and working very hard to make it happen, and it sometimes happens.

  3. MC may have to take it slow - if he opens his eyes and starts working differential calculus it will be weird. He will have to play the part of a soldier slowly recovering his function. It will not be unexpected if he is missing some memories or does not know things he used to know.

  4. Your characters will be in place here. Ally is a first responder and ex-military. It would be unusual if she wanted a job in a long term care facility. But if she decides she wants to use her skills in a combat zone she will be welcomed with open arms.

How will your characters tell if a given soldier is really brain dead or permanently comatose? It can be hard to tell for sure for any given individual, and that can be part of the story as well.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think this is worse than a civilian facility, now days psychologists are virtually assigned to recovering veterans (which anyone waking up here would be). Let alone the possibility you could just be shoved back into the field and if you disobey getting court marshaled and sent to military prison. $\endgroup$ – anon Nov 7 '17 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ Whatever trauma that caused the brain death would, most likely, disqualify the soldier from further service. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Neely Nov 7 '17 at 15:14
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    $\begingroup$ I think part of Will's scenario is that not enough time passes for the soldier to be officially declared brain dead which wouldn't necessarily be declared at a field hospital. $\endgroup$ – anon Nov 7 '17 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ You two are both right. And @anon: for a written work of fiction the assigned psychologist is a really stellar idea: you have an opportunity (via her interaction with MC) to show how MC is faking / bluffing his way along. $\endgroup$ – Willk Nov 7 '17 at 16:19
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Is there something wrong with the obvious?

Hospitals or long term care facilities (depending on country).

You could also try crack houses, might be able to find some recently brain deceased people.

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  • $\begingroup$ The obvious problem is that he wouldn't have much fun with a body he got from the hospital. Even if he got out of there, people would start looking for missing patients, especially if they are brain dead. You really don't want to have to explain to relatives that you don't know where half-dead grandma went. $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Nov 7 '17 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ Assuming he has relatives, but at the same time Hospitals and longterm care facilities would be the most likely places to find unloved comatose patients as families would likely support them in their homes to reduce care costs. $\endgroup$ – anon Nov 7 '17 at 14:32
  • $\begingroup$ Unloved or not, people do not like it when their patients go missing and nobody knows where they went. People really keep track of those things at hospitals. This might be possible if it was negotiated with those relatives beforehand or if the staff turn a blind eye to someone going missing, again negotiated before, but I'd assume it's really difficult to even possess crazy cat lady and just go on with your life. $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Nov 7 '17 at 14:38
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Ideally need more information about the setting.

In a present-day setting, as anon has already said the only real place to find one would be a hospital or long-term facility.

In a more sci-fi setting, say for example there's a VR-like leisure facility akin to a cross between the Matrix and the VR Arcade place in Minority Report. Your character could steal bodies away while their consciousnesses are plugged in, this would be easier to get away with if this kind of activity was illegal or frowned upon.

Although I can't think of any scenario where you could find a still-living, unconscious body and steal them away without prompting people to search for a missing person. Maybe a drug den or similar? But then your character would have to deal with jumping into a drug-addled vessel.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't think VR would ever work like that, It would be incredibly unnecessary processing to house a consciousness in a remote machine versus synchronizing a virtual reality with a remote consciousness. $\endgroup$ – anon Nov 7 '17 at 14:53
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The Jefferson Institute

Seriously, if Robin Cook can make up a place where such bodies are cared for in an otherwise real-world setting, than so can you. Use the name as an homage, even.

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    $\begingroup$ HA!, terrible answer but applaud worthy $\endgroup$ – anon Nov 7 '17 at 15:20

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