MD #001: Data never lies

Col. Nadir & Ensign Zahav conduct the autopsy on the deceased master of arms.

MD #001: Data never lies
Summary: Col. Nadir & Ensign Zahav conduct the autopsy on the deceased master of arms.
Date: Thu 11/Apr/2017 (OOC Date)
Related Logs:
Miri Samtara 
Sickbay - Morgue - Deck 3 - Battlestar Orion
A small well ventilated room with autopsy tables, medical equipment, etc.
Wed 25/Oct/2028 (IC Date)

Some eight or so hours after the explosion and the bodies of the crew that were killed in the explosion have all been visually identified and are aligned for autopsy. First on the list and at the head of the list in fact in priority, after the DNA evidence from the hangar has been collected, bagged, tagged and ready to be analyzed, is the former master of arms. Major Hamilton's remains are waiting on the next autopsy table over, draped in a sheet, already prepped. Wearing a face shield, scrubs, and long gloves, Sam is standing at the head of the gurney and staring down at the empty face of the man that needs to be autopsied and wears a bit of a frown, eyeing the screen nearest her where the pertinent medical data of the deceased is listed.

In her scrubs, masked, gloved and hair-netted, Ensign Zahav lays out the instruments and takes some notes on a tablet nearby. "It's for the best that it's us," she remarks, breaking the cold, solemn silence of the morgue.

"I didn't even know him," Sam replies as she continues to study the empty face of the deceased. "I know his name only because it's on his chart, and his tags, and his fingerprints match up, I presume his dental records will as well. But I didn't know him. I haven't done an autopsy on a. . well on someone I could have known in years. Cadavers are usually donated for medical use. It's different," she exhales a breath through her nose then nods as she finally looks up and over to Ensign Zahav. "Well alright," and reaches for the scalpel and draws another slow breath in through her mouth, exhales through her nose, and begins the recording before making the initial Y-incision.

"I knew him," Miri says simply, reaching for the rib-spreader after she makes the incision. She places it just so inside the cavity and begins to turn, the sickening sound of wet flesh and breaking bones competing with the ventilation system for worst sound in the room.

Setting aside the scalpel for a moment, and listening to the unpleasant sound and exhales as the smell begins to waft up from the body. Even freshly dead, death still smells like blood, escaping gases and excrement. It always does. "Was he a good man?" she wonders softly, waiting until the rib spreader has the rib cage apart before she'll reach in, scalpel ready, and begin the necessary job of extracting the internal organs, starting with the heart, knowing that if she extracts it first instead of last it'll be easier to remove. A few careful angles of the blade and the heart is gently withdrawn from the chest cavity and set aside to be weighed. "I know," she admits, "I know I shouldn't ask. And it's none of my business."

"I didn't know him well as a man," Miri admits, marking down the weight, disposition and dimensions of the organs as the doctor extracts them one at a time, "But he was a good commander and a good Marine. He always did right by his troops."

"He was a marine," Sam says this aloud between extracting the internal organs necessary to complete this autopsy. "I've always respected marines. Not just because I'm married to one, but they were always so ferociously brave. In a way that I absolutely did not want to have to see again in this lifetime." She uses the metal scoop to extract the liver intact and then the kidneys, working her way down. "He was a good commander, and a good marine, who always did right by his troops. Is there anything else that any marine would want said in the end? He was a good marine."

"I didn't know you were married. Have… have you always been and I was too stupid to notice?" Miri asks, measuring the diameter of the ureters. Perfectly average. "I don't know if I want a friend or a stranger when it's my turn on the slab."

Sam looks up, a fine gleam of amusement in her eyes as she smiles at Miri from across the table, behind the face shield. "Not until the war was over, the first time, or maybe just the most recent one prior to this one, if we're counting wars. You'll probably recognize him, Colt Stone? Our son is serving aboard as well." She sets aside the blade and uses both hands to lift the intestines out and sets them in the bin waiting for them to go on the scale. "What about you? Twenty two years is a long time."

It's always amazing how many feet of intestines the human body manages to cram into such a small space. No wonder that whole system is so finicky. "Congratulations, incredibly belatedly," Miri offers genuinely. "Never married. No children. After I got all of the Arpay modifications, it felt like less of a rush, you know? Barring unforseen tragedy, I still have plenty of time."

Swabbing the interior of the chest cavity, then taking other tissue samples that are labeled and bagged accordingly, Sam pauses to glance up with a smile. "Thank you. And yes," she exhales a small sound that's a quiet laugh, "it's not as though you're up against a clock at this point. And lets not gamble against the odds that .. lets just not gamble," she decides and leans back slightly, having extracted all the internal organs needed for this part of the autopsy and eyes the collection in their assorted trays. "I much prefer living patients," she admits before picking up the small bone saw and walks around to the head of the table. "OK, brain tissue sample and that's the lot of it to go to the lab."

"I don't gamble, but I also don't settle. In my experience, settling ends up worse than gambling for everyone involved, and just increase that if you plan on living a few centuries." Miri sets herself to the task of putting the organs back in and stitching up the torso incision.

"Oh absolutely not, no. If you settle, you'll aways know that you settled, and it's a bitter feeling. I was prepared to settle for a life alone, and it made me bitter, so I speak from a certain understanding," Sam replies before switching on the saw and cuts through the scalp and slowly works her way around to create a flap just large enough to gather a sample of unspoiled brain tissue. This last bit of tissue is set in the small dish set aside for it and gently eases the flap back into place. "There. We'll put all of this through analysis, one piece at a time. The only answers we're looking for will be in the numbers, and the data will speak for itself."

"And here's hoping the data makes sense," Miri adds, cynically. She finds a fresh sheet and pulls it over the master of arms poor, ravaged body. "We knew this would be a different war. I don't think we had quite anticipated how different it would be."

"I had hoped that this war would wait long enough that our children wouldn't have to know it," Sam admits quietly as she strips off her gloves and pulls on a new pair before uncovering Hamilton's body to begin the next autopsy. "I haven't been back a full twenty four hours yet, and we have dead bodies in the morgue, wounded in recovery, and all I keep thinking about is how lucky we were that our son wasn't in the front row when the explosion went off." She shakes her head and sighs before getting to work again.

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