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NewKidOldKid
02-15-2014, 01:54 PM
Ok, this is more or less a technical question. I have a vampire-like creature (they're not really vampires, but it's easier to say that than try to explain) can only be killed by piercing the heart through the side (because the front of the chest is too strong/hard).

For all intents and purposes, their bodies are the same as human's, except for the extra strong chest. So I'm trying to get my hero to reach the heart through the side. If their bodies are the same as a human body, where would the sword need to enter (under the ribs, in between ribs, lower in the stomach) and in what position to reach the heart?

Also, how long would the blade need to be (minimum) to get this done?

What would the blade cut through to reach the heart?

Being technical is ok, since my hero is a doctor and he would probably be thinking in technical terms as he tries to kill the monster.

T J Deen
02-15-2014, 02:04 PM
I think something very similar to this was done in the movie Blade 2 where they had to kill this newer kind of hybrid vampire by stabbing it through the armpit to get to the heart because its bone structure around the ribs was changed making it stronger and denser.

NewKidOldKid
02-15-2014, 02:07 PM
I think something very similar to this was done in the movie Blade 2 where they had to kill this newer kind of hybrid vampire by stabbing it through the armpit to get to the heart because its bone structure around the ribs was changed making it stronger and denser.

Really? Through the armpit? My knowledge of anatomy is a little rough, but that seems like a weird angle, doesn't it? I've watched the movie but can't remember this.

King Neptune
02-15-2014, 06:18 PM
If you just have to avoid the ribcage, then through the abdomen is the easy. Stabbing a heart through the armpit can be done, but it is cumbersome.

NewKidOldKid
02-15-2014, 06:31 PM
If you just have to avoid the ribcage, then through the abdomen is the easy. Stabbing a heart through the armpit can be done, but it is cumbersome.

How low in the abdomen? Most of the front part of the body is supposed to be harder than usual. That's why I thought about doing it from the left side, in the area under the ribs.

HSLane
02-15-2014, 07:28 PM
Unless the guy is a giant, anything longer than a small dagger should be able to pierce the heart. Going between the ribs would be the easiest; to do it beneath the rib cage would require a long sword and stabbing up at an extreme angle, which would be difficult to do, to say the least. It would require a large amount of force, which can't be easily generated from a standing position.

I'm a bit skeptical of how successful that would be - the arms naturally cover the sides, so your protagonist would need to either catch him with his arm up, or yank it up, then use a shorter blade to pierce the heart. That still requires a lot of precision and strength, however.

Hope this helped.

mirandashell
02-15-2014, 07:37 PM
If your character is using a sword, wouldn't it be easier to just cut the vampire's head off?

NewKidOldKid
02-15-2014, 07:52 PM
If your character is using a sword, wouldn't it be easier to just cut the vampire's head off?

It would if it was a vampire and you could kill them that way :)


Unless the guy is a giant, anything longer than a small dagger should be able to pierce the heart. Going between the ribs would be the easiest

Ok, this sounds doable. How precise do you have to be to find a spot to slide the knife between the ribs? I mean, would it be easy to find an "opening" to get in or is this going to be a series of bland stabbings and "oops, bone, let's try again"? If I go in between the ribs, the knife has to get through the lungs to get to the heart, right?

My knowledge of anatomy is worse than I thought.

King Neptune
02-15-2014, 07:56 PM
How low in the abdomen? Most of the front part of the body is supposed to be harder than usual. That's why I thought about doing it from the left side, in the area under the ribs.

The exact spot and angle would depend on the one being stabbed, but one only needs to get under the ribs. If the bony front extends lower, then you're right; stabbing from the side would be easier.

HSLane
02-15-2014, 08:12 PM
Ok, this sounds doable. How precise do you have to be to find a spot to slide the knife between the ribs? I mean, would it be easy to find an "opening" to get in or is this going to be a series of bland stabbings and "oops, bone, let's try again"? If I go in between the ribs, the knife has to get through the lungs to get to the heart, right?

My knowledge of anatomy is worse than I thought.

If I had to stab someone in the heart from the side, I'd go with a long stiletto-type blade - it's a thin blade. Unless the vampire has super-strong lungs, then I don't think stabbing through them probably will be a problem - we have a rib cage for a reason, after all.

As for the actual act of stabbing, it could be difficult depending on the stabbers experience and the stab-ee's resistance. If the doctor is an experienced knife fighter and knows how to restrain someone and/or does it quick enough, then it'd certainly be more plausible. The difficult thing would be the vampire; if he knows what the other guy is doing, and he's got supernatural strength, then it might be very difficult.

NewKidOldKid
02-15-2014, 08:21 PM
If I had to stab someone in the heart from the side, I'd go with a long stiletto-type blade - it's a thin blade. Unless the vampire has super-strong lungs, then I don't think stabbing through them probably will be a problem - we have a rib cage for a reason, after all.

As for the actual act of stabbing, it could be difficult depending on the stabbers experience and the stab-ee's resistance. If the doctor is an experienced knife fighter and knows how to restrain someone and/or does it quick enough, then it'd certainly be more plausible. The difficult thing would be the vampire; if he knows what the other guy is doing, and he's got supernatural strength, then it might be very difficult.

Stab-ee is an excellent word :)

Thanks for this. It makes perfect sense, especially the part about the stiletto blade.

The part about it being difficult (the supernatural strength, etc.) is a huge issue in the book, so I'm prepared for it.

mirandashell
02-15-2014, 08:34 PM
It would if it was a vampire and you could kill them that way

Not sure I would believe in any creature that continues to live with no head.

NewKidOldKid
02-15-2014, 08:41 PM
Not sure I would believe in any creature that continues to live with no head.

lol

No, they have a sort of metal ring around their necks (sort of a slave collar) so it would be hard to cut their heads off because the ring actually protects the neck. I guess you could aim to cut half their heads off or the top of the head or something...

mirandashell
02-15-2014, 09:07 PM
Ah I see.

Hmm.... something heavy to cave the skull in? Would be a lot easier than trying to stab them under the arm. Or if it must be a stab, how about through the eye and into the brain?

NewKidOldKid
02-15-2014, 09:23 PM
Ah I see.

Hmm.... something heavy to cave the skull in? Would be a lot easier than trying to stab them under the arm. Or if it must be a stab, how about through the eye and into the brain?

I thought about that, but I always associate the head with zombies, so it feels a little weird.

mirandashell
02-15-2014, 09:45 PM
I see what you're saying but you also have to think about your reader. If you go for a convoluted way of killing them, you need to have a damn good reason as to why there isn't a simpler way.

I mean, if the 'vampires' know the only way they can be killed is to be stabbed under the armpit, then wouldn't they make sure that isn't possible?

HSLane
02-15-2014, 10:08 PM
Ah I see.

Hmm.... something heavy to cave the skull in? Would be a lot easier than trying to stab them under the arm. Or if it must be a stab, how about through the eye and into the brain?

Those do seem plausible, but it would take a lot of force and accuracy - splitting a head and pounding a stake are two different things, most especially where movement is concerned. And if you miss, that kind of head crushing force will work against you; you'll be left wide open, and not be in a good place to counter/guard. Stabbing the eyes would be a better bet, although again, accuracy would be an issue.

Does this need to be done in a fight? As it sounds, the best way to kill the vampire would be taking him by surprise, or stunning him first. Not many things can shrug off getting run over by a truck or hummer.

King Neptune
02-15-2014, 10:52 PM
Not sure I would believe in any creature that continues to live with no head.

Apparently you never heard of Mike the headless chicken.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_the_Headless_Chicken
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATz3AdbjyRI

and there are more

mirandashell
02-15-2014, 10:59 PM
Apparently you never heard of Mike the headless chicken.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_the_Headless_Chicken
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATz3AdbjyRI

and there are more

Yes well...... I think I would need to see that for myself first.

mirandashell
02-15-2014, 11:02 PM
Stabbing the eyes would be a better bet, although again, accuracy would be an issue.



Easier than under the armpit, though?

That just seems a very tricky way to kill someone? If it is in a fight, anyone who knows what they are doing certainly don't lift their arms up to expose their sides.

Hmm.... yeah. Hitting them with a truck would be favourite.

blacbird
02-16-2014, 12:04 AM
Directly below the sternum, aimed upward. This is actually a pretty common way people get stabbed to death, either deliberately or accidentally. Australian animal adventurer Steve Irwin died exactly in this manner, being lanced in the heart by a sting ray. The heart is only a short distance up from the base of the sternum.

caw

kuwisdelu
02-16-2014, 12:09 AM
Sounds like an awkward angle to try to stab with a sword.

I'd just wait (or bait) for the thing to raise its arms, then cut through from the side.

Gyaku-do.

Or, y'know, stab from behind.

Or is it hard all around the chest, not just the front?

HSLane
02-16-2014, 01:35 AM
Directly below the sternum, aimed upward. This is actually a pretty common way people get stabbed to death, either deliberately or accidentally. Australian animal adventurer Steve Irwin died exactly in this manner, being lanced in the heart by a sting ray. The heart is only a short distance up from the base of the sternum.

caw

This would probably be best. I feel pretty stupid for looking over the upward stab; I think I got confused by the whole "strong chest" thing.

wendymarlowe
02-16-2014, 03:56 AM
Have you ever had barbecue ribs? Human ribs and muscle are like that - there's not just blank space between them; there's some pretty tough muscle and cartilage to get through. It's certainly *possible* to get a lucky shot with a blade while fighting, but it's not likely. A much better option would be for the hero to find some way to knock the bad guy out or restrain him - then he'd have time to line up a proper shot (and get a second go if the first didn't work). And then the exact angle wouldn't matter as much.

NewKidOldKid
02-16-2014, 04:01 AM
Does this need to be done in a fight? As it sounds, the best way to kill the vampire would be taking him by surprise, or stunning him first. Not many things can shrug off getting run over by a truck or hummer.

It probably won't be during a fight, actually, since the difference in strength would make it difficult. I can get the creature injured or stunned first and then use the stab as the final killing blow.

A truck might work :) except that this is a post-apocalyptic setting and there aren't a lot of vehicles on the road. They would hear a truck coming a mile away


Directly below the sternum, aimed upward. This is actually a pretty common way people get stabbed to death, either deliberately or accidentally. Australian animal adventurer Steve Irwin died exactly in this manner, being lanced in the heart by a sting ray. The heart is only a short distance up from the base of the sternum.

caw

I haven't worked out the details yet, but when I thought about a "strong chest," I was thinking something like a big plate (a sort of bony shield) covering the entire front area of the body. That would certainly cover the area below the sternum. But this could be changed if necessary.

NewKidOldKid
02-16-2014, 04:05 AM
Have you ever had barbecue ribs? Human ribs and muscle are like that - there's not just blank space between them; there's some pretty tough muscle and cartilage to get through. It's certainly *possible* to get a lucky shot with a blade while fighting, but it's not likely. A much better option would be for the hero to find some way to knock the bad guy out or restrain him - then he'd have time to line up a proper shot (and get a second go if the first didn't work). And then the exact angle wouldn't matter as much.

Yeah, being restrained would work. And since my hero is a doctor, I suspect hitting the right spot wouldn't be too difficult in the case (with a restrained victim, I mean).

King Neptune
02-16-2014, 04:21 AM
I haven't worked out the details yet, but when I thought about a "strong chest," I was thinking something like a big plate (a sort of bony shield) covering the entire front area of the body. That would certainly cover the area below the sternum. But this could be changed if necessary.

That would be mighty uncomfortable. How would they bend? Or would they? No "soft under-belly" on these.

NewKidOldKid
02-16-2014, 04:32 AM
That would be mighty uncomfortable. How would they bend? Or would they? No "soft under-belly" on these.

I need to think about this one some more, but my original idea wasn't that the entire front of their bodies was rigid. More like the entire chest area (imagine a straight line under the ribs, rather than an inverted V)

T J Deen
02-16-2014, 04:43 AM
Really? Through the armpit? My knowledge of anatomy is a little rough, but that seems like a weird angle, doesn't it? I've watched the movie but can't remember this.

Here's a link to the scene I'm talking about. You must have missed it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kD1dq9YDeYw&feature=player_detailpage#t=194

GHO57
02-16-2014, 05:22 AM
How about the shoulder stab?

Sweep the leg and stab down through the shoulder all the way into the heart when they're trying to get up; it's a straight stab with nothing but the shoulder muscle to go through... and it would justify carrying a sword.

NewKidOldKid
02-16-2014, 05:26 AM
Here's a link to the scene I'm talking about. You must have missed it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kD1dq9YDeYw&feature=player_detailpage#t=194

Thank you! I paused it right at the moment he stabs the vampire and it seems the blade goes through the ribs. This is about what I imagined (I was thinking slightly lower, but that could be because my knowledge of anatomy sucks)

NewKidOldKid
02-16-2014, 05:27 AM
How about the shoulder stab?

Sweep the leg and stab down through the shoulder all the way into the heart when they're trying to get up; it's a straight stab with nothing but the shoulder muscle to go through... and it would justify carrying a sword.

Oh, I love this. Let me do some research.

King Neptune
02-16-2014, 05:39 AM
I need to think about this one some more, but my original idea wasn't that the entire front of their bodies was rigid. More like the entire chest area (imagine a straight line under the ribs, rather than an inverted V)

Or solid bone to a little above the hips?