The woman is sitting on a small plane; alone except for the pilot. At the last moment, she realizes there is a bomb on the plane about to explode – someone is trying to murder her. She gets off the plane just seconds before it explodes, but she is still caught in the blast and injured. However, other people who saw her getting on the plane now believe that she is dead. The woman knows someone just tried to murder her and that they will try again, so she uses the explosion to fake her death.
The settings are 2009, a small airstrip in NY. The woman is a professional thief, about 30 years old, in good health, smart and resilient. The plane can carry about ten, fifteen people. The bomb used Semtex, which means it was High Order explosives (HE).
.So, I need the woman to get away from the explosion site on her own – she has to be able to sneak away and then drive a car to a friend’s place (ca. 20 minutes away). At the same time, I need her to be badly enough injured that for the next few weeks, long-distance traveling could be very dangerous for her (read: she can’t skip the country because her health won’t allow it). I also need her mostly recovered in about four or five months, walking around doing stuff. Her friend has some sort of shady contact – a vet or maybe a mob doctor – who could patch her up somewhat. What I don’t want is her going to the hospital – if someone finds out she’s alive, they will try to kill her again. (Both the woman and her friend are very capable forgers, so at worst case I could have them go to the hospital under a fake ID, but the explosion is bound to make the news and the woman could be recognized, so she would avoid that at almost any cost.)
So the question then is, how injured should she be (and possibly how far away from the plane would she be for these to happen)?
I was considering giving her an internal injury from a blast wave since there are common for HE explosions; something like a blast lung. This might work well for the “she gets away on her own, but then her injury catches up with her” – in some cases, you can supposedly go around for as long 48 hours before the blast lung manifests, and anyway adrenaline can help you do amazing stuff. From what I understand, blast lung is essentially a severe pulmonary contusion. If the woman had a less severe pulmonary contusion (not a “full-blown” blast lung), could the “vet” treat her on his own without her dying, maybe put her on some sort of ventilator? (Obviously it’s risky and she really should be at the hospital, but since that’s not an option, could they handle it on their own?)
What about other stuff? I can’t have her bleeding heavily, so anything like getting stabbed with flying pieces of shrapnel is out (blood trail would let people know that she survived). I’d like her to have some burns, possibly some that would leave scars – not too bad, though. Brain injuries can also happen, but can I do that without her being permanently affected?
To sum it up: how do I hurt her so that she can:
a) get away on her own, even if she collapses later
b) spends the next few weeks recovering
c) doesn’t sustain any major permanent damage, and
d) will recover completely within four to five months?
I googled Explosions, Explosion injuries, Explosion treatment, Blast injuries, Blast injuries treatment, Blast Lung, Blast lung treatment, Pulmonary contusion (+treatment), Burns (First, Second, Third degree)… possibly some other combinations of these.