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Walk A Mile In Their Shoes Part I

Posted on Thu Oct 13th, 2022 @ 1:10am by Lieutenant Junior Grade Howard Goldberg & Lieutenant Commander Hermia O'Rourke MD & Lieutenant Junior Grade R'mes
Edited on on Thu Oct 13th, 2022 @ 1:13am

1,021 words; about a 5 minute read

Mission: Episode 13 - Crooked River
Location: Autopsy Room - Deck 5 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD004 1830 hrs

Howard donned his personal protective equipment (PPE) or gowned up as the slang term was. He was glad that he was asked by Dr O'Rourke to assist in the forensic examination. This was something that interested him greatly. Even though the large gray container loomed forebodingly. His colleagues doctors O'Rourke and R'mes were preparing as well. He smiled for what he felt was the first time in ages. "Commander thank you for asking me to assist. This is a truly fascinating case."

"No problem, Howard. I like my people to be versed in a lot of different disciplines, and I agree this is a fascinating case." Hermia said.

"If we set up the DNA and RNA sequencers we can learn the species of the feet. I think that may be a good first step. From there we can examine how they were removed etc..." Howard spoke rather quickly with excitement. He believed that learning about who these feet belonged to was as important as why they were there.

"I like your enthusiasm." Hermia said. "Get them set up, I'll perform a visual examination of the feet, might give us some information." This was how she performed autopsies on the Marine base, without all of the equipment she had here. She could just put them through a bio scanner, but scanners could only work within their programming, therefore missing thing that were outside their frames of reference.

"Yes Ma'am..." Howard set to the task of getting the equipment settled and calibrated. A quick glance at the feet as they had been laid out showed him something that made this all the more curiouser. "Doctors it seems that these feet have been removed without the aid of a laser scalpel or any modern technology. In fact the cut seems to be quite rigid."

"So that tells me two things." R'Mes said. "Lack of proper tools, and lack of proper training. Also the "foot thief" was probably in a hurry." The caitian said.

"Indeed." Hermia said. "Also the victims appear to have been alive when feet were removed, there's evidence of blood flow."

Howard's eyes widened briefly. "Who would remove someone's feet while they were alive. It doesn't add up. At least I can't see any remote reason why someone would do this."

"I can think of a few." Hermia said. "Torture, or perhaps a punishment for some transgression."

"But if that is the case then why discard the feet into your own waterways and water supplies. Decomposition would render the water unusable for drinking or anything else." Goldberg said without looking up from his scans. The more they discussed it the more he thought there to be something terribly wrong with whatever went on here.

"You know. The foot thefts may be some kind of ritual, or initiation of some kind." R'mes said.

"Perhaps they are not very forward thinking, and rituals are often convoluted in their construction." Hermia said. "For now this is all conjecture, we need more data. Goldberg, I'd like you to go over the reports we received from the Jutrai, make sure we didn't miss anything." She said. "R'mes and I will continue the examinations."

"Yes Doctor! It should take me about an hour to sort through all the paperwork and compile a report." Howard said as he was already getting to the task.

Hermia took one of the feet and placed it in a scanning chamber.

Howard looked up at the scans and noticed something immediately. He indicated what he spoke about as he talked. "It seems my initial hypothesis was wrong. Look at the jagged edge along the incision. This limb was removed as the saying goes as a hack job. Look here hesitation marks..." His voice trailed off as he became more enthralled with the scan.

Hermia examined the scan. "Could it be self inflicted?" She asked.

"It is possible. But if someone were to inflict this kind of injury upon themselves there would have to be some sort of outside influence. I mean I cannot imagine someone just doing this." Goldberg replied as he continued to look at the injury. The CMO could be on to something, the direction of the cutting does seem like it came from above the wound.

"Lieutenant R'mes, I'm going to need you to liaison with the Jutrai Medical Council." Hermia said.

The more that Howard looked at the wounds the more he thought the wounds could be self inflicted. "Dr O'Rourke, hypothetically speaking if these wounds were self inflicted what would cause someone to do such a thing?"

"Well, since there's no sign of physical disease, it could be psychological disease, either naturally occurring or caused by some form of intoxicant." Hermia suggested. "Though there is no way of telling for sure unless and until we find one of the owners' of these feet." She added.

Goldberg nodded his agreement with the Chief Medical Officer. "Well if you ask me I do not see anything else we can learn from this pile of feet. The summation as I see it is: We have a number of feet from a number of different species. All seem to be cut off rather crudely and possibly self inflicted. Although I cannot imagine..." His thoughts trailed off as something Hermia had said triggered in his head. "Your idea on intoxication. What if we ran tests on the necrotic blood in theses feet. We could look for any intoxicants or drugs that may cause self mortification. I mean the tests would not be perfect because of the dead tissue but it may give us a lead."

"Its worth a try. Go ahead." Hermia said.
To Be Continued...

A Joint Post By

Lieutenant Commander Hermia O'Rourke
Chief Medical Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Junior Grade R'mes
Assistant Chief Medical Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Junior Grade Howard Goldberg
Medical Officer, USS Pioneer


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