So I’ve been looking at “humans are weird/space orcs” things and thought what if a human’s on an alien ship, or a bunch of them are on the ship and they just start like jumping down stairs or launching themselves over things (and failing sometimes) but no matter what they always yell “PARKOUR!” At the top of their lungs before doing it so the rest of the crew thinks it’s like a battle cry or something.
If an woman were to vault over a second story balcony and land on someone, what kind of injuries could she expect? What kind of injuries could her victim expect? Would it be possible for her to come out relatively unscathed, if she put thought into the best way to land before she went for the jump?
Hey there! I’m glad you sent this in. Thanks for asking!
Your character has 2 things going for her:
1) She’s not falling from THAT high a height. She could
still have significant injuries, but a second-story balcony is only about 12-15
feet off the ground. While that’s triple body height – our threshold for where we
suspect serious injuries – it’s also not, say, the 5th floor (which
is likely fatal).
But the person she lands on—assuming she plants her feet on
their shoulders—actually helps reduce
the height of the fall, making it closer to 7-10 feet, which is a much more survivable injury!
2) She’s landing on something soft (compared to concrete).
The person may alter the way she lands, but they’ll also slow her down over a
longer period of time than simply hitting the pavement.
Remember, it’s not the fall that kills your characters,
friends, it’s the sudden stop at the bottom.
As to the specific injury patterns and “safest” way of
falling, I’d say she would be best off going feet-first and aiming for the
person’s shoulders or back with her feet.
Now, with a straight drop with a landing on the heels, you’d
expect to see a very particular pattern of injuries called Don Juan Syndrome. What
happens is that the person lands heel-first, and the force just travels
directly up from there, breaking calcaneous (heels), knees, pelvis, and spinal
compression injuries. DO NOT WANT.
However, if your
character has any kind of martial arts training or has taken any parkour at
all, she’ll have a better idea how to land: feet parallel, knees relaxed, land on the balls of her feet, allow
her hips to tuck behind (rather than hyperflex the knees and push the hips
If she does it right, and she controls not just the first
fall (into the person) but the second
fall (awkwardly, probably backwards, onto the pavement from the height of that
person’s shoulders), she may walk away relatively unscathed, though for realism’s
sake I’d appreciate at least a
sprained ankle or wrist, or a goose egg on the back of her head.
As for her victim, they’re in for a bad day. That kind of
force landing on them, completely unexpected, makes me think of things like
broken clavicles and shoulders, plus injuries from getting pushed to the
ground, so up to and including broken wrists, broken arms, head strikes (with
scrapes / hematomas / …) plus the possibility of a concussion.
Honestly, they could both walk away with concussions. Hooray
From a reader’s perspective, I’m really curious as to whether or not she’s aiming for the person or
if they just happen to get in her way. If she’s self-centered enough to think “they’ll
break my fall”, that’s a really interesting trait for a character to have. If
she’s trying to hurt them that’s even