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Walk A Mile In Their Shoes Part II

Posted on Thu Dec 1st, 2022 @ 12:21am by Lieutenant Junior Grade Howard Goldberg & Lieutenant Commander Hermia O'Rourke MD
Edited on on Thu Dec 1st, 2022 @ 1:22am

1,111 words; about a 6 minute read

Mission: Episode 13 - Crooked River
Location: Autopsy Room - Deck 5 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD004 2000 hrs

Last Time On Walk A Mile In Their Shoes Part I

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.

And Now The Conclusion

Howard had one of the feet on a dissection table. He had already drawn a measure of the necrotic blood from the foot, and had that under the microscope. Thus far he had found nothing out of the ordinary. "If we had something anything to look for jump for as it were that would be something. But at the moment it seems like we are looking for a needle in a haystack."

"If we do find something, we best share our findings with Nurse Rossi, since she's a qualified pharmacist." Hermia reminded Howard.

"Absolutely Doctor if we find something. Hmmmmm, right now it seems that the tissue is too far gone to get a good sample. I wonder if we could find a fresh one. Say a day or two old if we would have a better time at it." Howard spoke as he leaned over the microscope and looked at another sample.

Hermia collected a sample of her own and placed it under another microscope. After a moment she said. "Lieutenant, come and look at this."

Howard walked over to the Chief Medical Officer and took a look into her microscope. He would hate to confess that he was not too sure at what he looked at. "This is interesting. However, I am not sure what this is to be honest."

"From what I can tell, it appears to be a synthetic compound that shouldn't be present in the blood stream." Hermia said.

"Well if that is the case then we have proof that the victim was drugged in some way. Perhaps they were given a sedative so that the foot could be severed without a fight. Let's get a sample into the computer for analysis." Goldberg found all of this fascinating, and believed that they were finally on the trail of an answer.

Hermia took the sample and placed it in the machine and activated the analyser.

Howard looked into the scanner and everything seemed to be normal. However, when he took a closer look he saw that the blood cells, while filled with necrid material seemed even more of than they should be. "Doctor look at the white T cells they seem a bit off to me but I can't put my finger on it."

"Looks like the unknown compound is inhibited the action of certain t-cells." That seemed familiar to Hermia, she just need one more test. She took some nerve fibres from one of the feet and analysed it. Just as she thought it showed no sign of action by the neurotransmitters that indicated pain. The victim was calm at the time of the amputaion.

Hermia thought back to her different rotations after medical school. She put the clues together, it was probably a sedative, it inhibited the action of certain T-cells. "Ketamine." She said aloud. "If I'm right, the victims may have amputated their own feet as it causes dissociation and hallucinations. Their is a rare disorder called Body Integrity Identity Disorder, the sufferer believes a part of their body, usually a limb, doesn't belong to them and in some cases they attempt to remove it. A high enough does of ketamine could bring on this disorder." She explained.

Howard's eyes widened as he listened to the CMO's explanation. "To sever one's own limb that is horrendous. I can't imagine why someone would want to put another person through that. Would the Jutrai be behind this?" The explanation caused an untold number of questions to well up in Goldberg's head. "Perhaps we should test your hypothesis against a number of the specimens just to confirm." Howard's medical training kicked back in.

"The Jutrai could be behind it, but then why call us in?" Hermia asked. "Anyway, that's a question for Security. Yeah let's get testing, we'll each take several samples and see if my hypothesis holds any water."

"It is an old trick but one that works. When you commit a crime, or do something illicit you call in the authorities or an organization that is respectable to investigate. This way no one would suspect you because why would you do something and then call in the authorities." Howard rattled off what he had come to know from reading old case files, a hobby of his.

"Are you speaking from experience, Howard?" Hermia asked teasingly.

"No ma'am..." Howard began with a little laughter. "I enjoy watching and reading about criminology based stories. My mother said I went into the wrong line of medicine. She thought I should have been a forensic doctor. It can be quite interesting getting into the mind of a criminal. I do find myself wondering why someone would want to force another to cut off one of their limbs."

"Interesting, I mostly read military history, and romance fiction." Hermia said. "As for why someone would force another to mutilate themselves, it could be a display of power, or it could be some kind of unethical experiment, like those undertaken in Earth's past." She conjectured.

Howard nodded in agreement. "The ultimate sign of submission. Not only to do what you are told but to hurt yourself in the process. In my opinion that is the ultimate evil."

"Agreed." Hermia said. "Once we've tested the other samples, I'll contact Security and let them know what we've found hopefully it will be useful to them in their investigation."

A Joint Post By

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

Lieutenant Junior Grade Howard Goldberg
Medical Officer, USS Pioneer


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