Medical Tent

Captain Sarah Morgan

"Well, there you are. All of you, out of those snowy clothes," she says, not even conscious of how inappropriate such a statement might sound. "The last thing we need is hypothermia. There's some warm 'coffee,' in the back of the tent. Help yourself if you need some to warm up." Turning to Edelmann she queries, "Please tell me everyone else is on their way back and not off hunting giant snow hares."

With a sigh she looks at the bag on the floor. "Hey Nagle," she calls across the room at the chief of surgery, "how long ago did you have anatomy lab? This aught to be one interesting autopsy... once the poor guy thaws out."

Sarah nods to a nearby airman as she bends down to pick up one end of the bag. The airman steps forward and grabs the other end of the bag. "On three... one, two, three..." she counts and heaves the bag up. With a nod towards the back of the tent. "The OR is all set, let's take him back and have a look."

Nagle grimaces in response to Sarah's query, but begins gowning up all the same. The selected "corpsman" helps Morgan carry the bag to the OR, where upon unzipping the corpse is indeed quite stiff from the cold. The blood around the multiple deep cuts has congealed, and the flesh is blue-tinged from hypoxia and vasoconstriction. It looks like the poor airman got in a fight with a tiger and lost.

Captain Sarah Morgan

Short on sleep and running on caffeine like any good medical professional, Sarah is punchy. Nagle's grimace at the prospect of doing a post-mortem on the unfortunate airman who looked like he inadvertently wound up in the large cat enclosure at feeding time was about the only thing that made this endeavor bearable. A&P was interesting, in the necessary evil sort of way, but medicine was not her first love, even if she was a natural at it.

"No one told me forensics was part of this job," she comments wryly to the surgeon as she visually inspects the slashes through the parka and flesh, shaking her head as she takes it all in. Her first assessment of the "patient" made her break out in a cold sweat. Whatever had done this was large, powerful, and either not afraid of humans or incredibly threatened by their presence - neither of which made her very comfortable.

Nagle joins the OR a few minutes later. He takes a quick look at the cuts and whistles. "I didn't know the natives here carried titanium razors. Remind me not to tangle with them." He calls over to one of the airmen, "Get a camera over here and take a few snapshots of these incisions. They're almost as clean as scalpel cuts." Then, very carefully, he uses forceps and gauze to clean out one of the gashes. "Not very deep... surprising it killed him..." he mutters to himself before looking more closely at the gauze. "Hmm, what's this?" He points with his free hand to a viscous yellow-colored goop that's intermixed with some blood, raising an eyebrow at Sarah as if to ask her opinion.

Captain Sarah Morgan

Sarah had been noting the same thing about the wounds. They weren't superficial, but they also didn't appear to have hit anything major. The viscous yellow substance on the gauze confirmed her fears.

"Exactly what you think it is," she says wryly as looks up from the body, her eyes narrow and showing her aggravation at the finding. "Lovely. Truly lovely."

"Let's gather as much of it as we can from the wounds,"
she says to the surgeon as she goes in search of a tube to store the specimen in. "Maybe in our spare time we can figure out what it is and how it works - and an antidote. Damn I wish we had some medicinal chemists."

"See any puncture wounds from the teeth, or just these lacerations from the claws?"

Nagle looks the body over. "Nope, just those claws. Pretty unusual venom delivery method; perhaps it's a purely defensive tactic?" He starts to make incisions in the chest, preparing to go examine the internals. "A cup of coffee says it's a neurotoxin."

Captain Sarah Morgan

"Not that unusual. If it immobilizes the prey, he doesn't have to work as hard to catch it after just one swipe. You know, they say that some snakes swallow their prey while paralyzed but still alive.... The secretion could have induced paralysis and the cold could have induced bradycardia... Though with the damn sweet time security took to get us an escort to the site of the skirmish, this poor guy is now literally a stiff. We don't have even close what we would need to try to bring him back.... well and then keep him alive."

Sarah leans back against a tent pole and closes her eyes, deep in thought. After a few moments she begins to muse aloud. So, can we tell what he died from? Cardiac arrest, hypothermia, bleeding to death? Sarah opens her eyes and approaches the body. She lifts one arm and furrows her brow. "Seems a bit unlikely it was death by hypothermia... he's pretty cold still. OK, for giggles let's hook him up to an EKG and see if there is any cardiac action at all, before we do anything invasive."

After hooking up the leads and watching the flat line trace across the screen for several minutes, Sarah sighs, as much out of frustration as in relief. "OK, so he's not playing possum." She reaches over and selects a scalpel from the tray of surgical tools and begins an incision into the deceased airman's abdomen. Finding the descending aorta and inferior vena cava, she makes longitudinal incisions into each vessel.

"Dang! So, Nagle... Loser has to drink some of that sludge they call coffee? Our boy here died of a systemic embolism. That yellow goop is a potent coagulation factor! she says as she grabs a fistful of coagulated blood from the aorta. "His blood turned to jelly on him."

"With that mystery solved, let's leave him in a descent state." Sarah says, her normally flip demeanor and morbid curiosity suddenly gone as she begins to close up the incision. "I suppose in the end we should ring him up to the Hammond to join his other crewmates," she says morosely, her facade slipping as the adrenaline wore off. She was dead tired of everything and needed some rest.

"So," she says tiredly to Nagle as she removes her gown and gloves and cleans up, "about that coffee," she manages with only a small and tired smile.

Nagle glances down the length of the exposed sternum to where Morgan is showing off her grisly find. "Huh. So I guess cracking open his ribcage is.." he pauses, snapping the breastbone with one blow and prying the chest cavity open with very little care for perfect autopsy technique, "... mostly a practice exercise?" He examines the organs, looking for obvious abnormalities. "Go get your coffee, I'll finish up here."

Sarah stomps into the medical tent, brushing snow off of her parka and stomping her boots mostly clear. It was nice to see the tent patient free for a change. She looks around, and as expected sees one lonely medic sitting oddly at the desk. The rest of the tent is quiet. Everyone was probably either at breakfast, sleeping, or twiddling their thumbs in the back.

That suited her current mood just fine, as she was alternately fuming at herself, von Braun, and Thorsson. Some time to herself with the inventory would do her some good, even if she wished that some of the other medical staff would take some care or initiative and help. It irked her that everyone required orders to do the right thing.... but she had been reprimand before for just that.

"OK," she says quietly to herself as she opens the first crate and begins unloading the contents. They had made a point to bring down all the surgical supplies, narcotics, and most of the antibiotics, but all the more general items had been left in their rush to evacuate. Granted they hadn't had much of a need most of what she had been pulling from the crate, but to get medical fully stocked would be good, in the long run. And she had the sinking feeling they were in this for the long run.

Sgt. Jake Bishop

Bishop enters the tent a few minutes after his departure from the mess, a brief initial inquiry of the lone attendee sends him to the same general area as Captain Morgan. He stops a few feet away from where she was doing her work.

"Ma'am, if you could spare the supplies I'd like to put together field kit." He pulls a bright orange hard case, roughly the size of a regular first aid box, from the bag slung around his shoulder. Seemingly he is content to wait for an answer before making any sort of move.


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