Beyond Recognition
Beyond Recognition
Summary: Craven, D'artanion, and Zaharis get an unpleasant surprise in Sickbay.
Date: 17 BCH (27 October 2008)
Related Logs: None

Sickbay Genesis - Deck 13
17 BCH 2185 Souls

The medical facility is large enough to hold a few dozen beds. Each bed is set with a curtain for privacy, a chair near the bed and any monitoring or medical aids needed. A nurses desk sits at the front near the hatch and a surgery area, Medical Officers area and supplies are on the far wall behind the desk. Nurses, doctors and medics man this area at any time day or night. Visiting hours are usually kept to the day and evening schedules, unless stated otherwise by medical staff.

Sickbay has calmed a little, though 'calm' is relative when they're still dealing with over a hundred people. What's slowed the panic down a little are the deaths that have steadily occured through the night and next day. It seems nearly every half hour there's another body wheeled out from an exam room or surgery, covered over with a sheet.

It's rough on the Pandora crew stuck in here, at least for the ones stuck without the blessing of unconsciousness to pass the time. The noise level in here - the talking, pained moaning, terrified screams, clanks of crash carts and metallic instruments, the beeps and alert bells of equipment - remains at a steady level, enough to drum a fierce headache into even the most seasoned medical personnel.

Those sounds; screams, clanks of metal, beeps and alert bells are all sounds that Craven has come to accept. To deal with it. Little heed is paid to all but the most important of beeps, the most painful of screams. But at this moment, there's nothing that requires his attention more then changing out of the scrubs that he was in. Slowly and carefully pulling them and then balling them up, he disposes them into the proper bin and then dons a new set. Next, a pair of gloves are claimed and slipped onto his hands in a fashion that shows that it's becoming far too routine. Stepping out into the main portion of sickbay, he pauses for only a moment, before his gaze begins to look around.

Although the sounds have become familiar, D'Artanion is not as practiced at sorting them than Craven is. Sickbay is Navy territory and is missing the gunshots that tend to go with her own practice. Stripping off her gloves, she tosses them and pulls a new pair from a nearby box. Surveying the area, she purses her lips slightly and pulls the new gloves on. "Okay, then. What's next?" The death? She has noted it and is carefully stuffing the frustration she feels into a corner to be worked out later. Maybe on a punching bag. Or on Taylor.

Zaharis has been back and forth through every room in Sickbay, checking in with personnel, directing traffic, and getting his hands dirty as much as the next doctor with the endless stream of patients. He strips off what must be the 100th pair of gloves in the last few hours, tossing them into a trash bin, and stepping aside to avoid a gurney barreling through towards an OR as he passes by the two medics. "PO. Sarge. How are you holding up?"

A shift of his gaze over towards D and Craven is offered a slight shrug of his shoulder. One thing can be said, there's always strength to be found in numbers and at times, the two worked and even took a break together. Allowing his gaze to shift over towards Zaharis, he offers a nod of his head and only the slightest of smiles, "Well enough, all things considered, Cap. And you?" Oh, the death's been noted. And filed in the back of his mind. He'll probably a few drinks for the navy and marine personal that lost their lives.

Coming to a stop near Craven, D'Artanion nods and stifles whatever she is about to say as Zaharis speaks, "Doin' a'right, thanks. Nice of your folk to keep the coffee flowing and the snackage coming." She nods toward the glassed in place where cut up apples, cheese squares and crackers have been set beneath clear plastic wrap. The coffee is actually fresh. "Not as good as the java down in Marine territory," she teases lightly, "but it's passable." Her gaze flickers around the patients, then settle on Zaharis again. She pauses long enough to hear the man's answer to Craven's query.

Zaharis gives a very faint smirk. "Well you know in Sickbay we at least realise the importance of one's blood sugar." He nods to Craven. "Fine, fine. Listen we've got-…" He trails off, his attention flickering to the doors as two medics wheel a gurney up the side of the reception area, a body wrapped in sheets. Not moving, not hooked up. "Lieutenant, what you doing?"

The Lieutenant turns around, wincing. "Sorry, sir. Morgue said bring him back up here for an hour or two…they're kinda busy."

Zaharis purses his lips, but nods, motioning the gurney-pushers over towards him. "Have an ID yet?"

To which the Lieutenant replies, "No, sir, not yet. Marine gear, that's all we can really see right now."

There's a quick nod of Craven's head in agreement to the blood sugar, but there's no time for anything to be said as the doors open and a gurney is wheeled back in. A slight arch of a brow and he's looking towards the medics, then to D and finally, back to Zaharis. Listening, he finally offers a quick shake of his head. "Morgue not have room for the Marine at the moment?" Though the PO is looking at Zaharis, the question could easily be posed to the Lieutenant who mans the gurney.

D'Artanion nods, her smile quick, if a hair on the weary side despite her claims to the contrary. Oh, she is fine, just worn a bit around the edges, "Good thing, really." Then, the gurney is pushed back in and D'Artanion turns to watch it's progress. She licks her lips, her gaze flashing to the still living bodies under their bandages. She looks to the rooms off to the side, then to Zaharis. "Sir…?" It is not her territory and that fact has been made clear more often than she would like to think about over the last day or so. So, she lowers her voice, concern evident, "Seems to me it'd be a good thing to find a room…? Maybe off to the side?" She nibbles her lower lip, well aware of the space shortage. "What's the possibility of infection?"

The Lieutenant gives Craven a funny look, irritable. "Did I stutter, PO? They're backed up six ways from Sunday down there."

He's about to go on but through the doors comes another gurney, this one obviously carrying a patient who's still clinging to life. A team is rushing along with him, pushing the gurney towards the OR, and Zaharis makes a gesture that nearly shoves the Lieutenant away. "Go see to that, Lieutenant," he orders, in a 'break up the fight, kids' sort of tone, and the man salutes quickly before rushing off. The CMO draws in a breath through his teeth and shakes his head slightly, looking at the gurney they've been left with. Whoever's on this thing is dead as a doornail. "I don't think one has to worry much about infection at this stage, Sarge. Alright you two, help me…move this gurney over there." A slight nod to a room with more privacy. "See if we can get an ID at least."

No reply is given to the Lieutenant, just a slight nod of Craven's head. Attention returning to D as she speaks and then finally, Zaharis, he merely nods yet again. Moving to one side of the gurney, he grabs the support rails and shifts his attention back to D, "Wanna grab the other side, Sarge? We'll get whoever this is a little more privacy and see about putting a name where it belongs." A body without a name. Without proper identification is never a pleasant thing. Something that the PO obviously would like to avoid.

D'Artanion hides a bit of a wince at the Lieutenant's words and shifts her attention elsewhere. "I did not actually mean for the Marine, sir. I meant that a lot can happen to a dead body in two hours and we've folk with open wounds in here." She watches the team hustle the wounded to surgery, then nods to Zaharis and moves to the end of the gurney away from Craven. She nods, "Yeah. I'd like to be able to tell the Captain who this Marine was. Maybe he can eventually get word to the guy's family." Taking hold, she waits until Craven is ready, then will move out.

Zaharis grabs a corner of the front of the gurney himself, helping them manuever it down the hall and into the room. "This is about as good as we're going to get right now, Sarge." He pulls his mask up over his nose and mouth, just his tired eyes visible now. Pulling up an edge of the sheet to glance under, he nods slightly. "Burn casualty. Masks up and brace yourselves." He tells them this not patronisingly, but as an honest, quiet warning.

Following Zah towards the room and helping to wheel the gurney, Craven stops only when the Captain does and his mask is drawn up over his own face. There's no attempt to look beneath the sheet yet, as he knows it'll be eventually pulled down. Ensuring that the mask is place, as well as a gloves and the scrubs, he offers a nod of his head towards the CMO, "Ready when you are, Cap." A shift of his attention towards D, and he offers her a nod.

D'Artanion walks with the others to the little room off to the side. She pauses when the others do and nods. Lifting her mask, she afixes it and then adjusts her scrubs. Her gloves were new out there and she has not yet done anything to soil them, yet. And the Marine is already dead, so… She, too, nods, "Ready, sir."

Zaharis nods and grabs the underside of the sheet, unwrapping the body in a slow, smooth movement.

The body is indeed burnt. Terribly, horribly burnt. Had they not known this was a human, it might now even be hard to tell. The shape of a man is barely discernible, the flesh charred, bubbled, and shrunken in a gruesome imitation of human skin, pulled paper thin and blackened along the bones of hands and face. A Marine's uniform he does wear, though the fabric is likewise smouldered and burned so badly that in many places it's fused to what was once his skin. The smell of it rises from the body, muted from its time in transport but still unmistakeable - high and sweet, a whiff of copper from old blood. Cloying and nauseating. His face is in a twisted last scream, his white teeth protruding from burnt gums and lipless mouth, eye sockets empty and nose half-gone.

Wrapped around his neck is a metal string, dogtag chains that disappear into the burnt patch of shirt that he still wears.

And so, Craven waits as the Zaharis unwraps the body in a slow, smooth movement. The only thing that has prepared him for the sight, the smell and the mere shock of what lies before him, is the fact that this is what he's been trained for, in more ways then one. Holding back and hiding any signs of visible discourse, the medic's eyes begin to drift along the length of the body, taking in the burns, the charred pieces of clothing that have fused to the skin. Silver dogtags catch his eye, though he makes no movement towards them. A turn of his head, a comforting glance and he's looking towards D, letting her be the one, should she choose.

And so it is. D'Artanion also watches Zaharis peal the sheet from the body. Her eyes float from the head downward a bit, then pause. She does not breath deeply, for that way lies disaster. It does not matter how often one sees death, when it is displayed in such grisley immediacy, it is unpleasent. She gives the shell of the man that was the brief curtesy of scrutiny that she might pay silent homage to his passing. Then she nods to Craven and moves forward. One finger and a thumb slip forward in an attempt to retrieve the dogtags. "I doubt that these belong to this Marine, sir." That is aimed, along with a flash of her gaze, to Zaharis.

The metal chain sticks to the flesh as D'artanion touches them, trapped under the burnt shirt. Zaharis glances behind them, reaching over to a tray set out and grabbing a small pair of scissors. "Why would you say that, Sarge…" He asks as his attention stays down on the body, slipping an end of the scissors very carefully under an edge where the shirt hasn't melted into the charred skin.

For the moment, Craven is quiet. He needn't speak or add to this and, as such, he merely listens. When Zaharis moves to cut away the fabric of the shirt, the PO lowers his hands to ever so slightly peel the charred material back, one the CMO has made enough of a cut. The intent isn't to remove that strip of fabric, but just lift it enough so dogtags can be removed from beneath. His eyes do lift to shift towarrds D, waiting to hear her response.
<Newbie> Fotilas has connected.

Okay, maybe they are. She winces a bit as the metal sticks, "Eh. Might be wrong about that. The metal looked too shiney. I'm not seeing oxidation or melting. But…" She nods thanks for the assist with the scissors and charred fabrid, then carefully pulls the chain free, "…I probably spoke too soon."

The corners of Zaharis' eyes tense slightly as he cuts. It's not a smile. "Thanks," he mumbles to Craven, careful with the scissors so they don't flake off any of the crust of charring. The patch is finally lifted enough to be able to peel the tags off, and it's quite evident they've been with the man through the fire that killed him. Twisted and bent, they're half-melted, the embossing mostly destroyed.


Where they lay against his skin is one of the few patches of flesh that still barely looks like flesh. And the heat has seared the letters in black marks, like a macabre brand. Spelling out a name, backwards.

Zaharis' dark eyes squint slightly at the mark. "PO, can you see that?"

Oh, woe is the PO who must /lean/ forward to be able to read those letters. And so, Craven does just that. He leans forward, careful not to disturb the body, as well as not inhale deeply. Soft murmers can be heard from his lips, as if saying the letters backwards and then piecing them together, forwards. Finally, he lifts back up and raises the back of his wrist to rub at his forehead, "Looks like is spells Stiger, sir."

Okay, so, she did speak too soon. She lifts the tags away from the body, then moves aside to let Craven have the 'honors'. She looks up at the man as he speaks, then flickers her gaze to Zaharis. It is not a name that rings a bell, clearly.

Zaharis is still for a moment. "Stiger? -Major- Stiger?" He straightens up, exhaling tensely through his teeth. "Ah…shit." His dark eyes flicker to D'artanion and he shakes his head. "That's Sharps, Sarge. The Old Man. Son of a bitch." A look to Craven, and he motions for the sheet to be pulled back over. "We'll get DNA to be sure before anyone gets on the horn to the Marines."

The name means nothing to Craven. Heck, he's just arrived and still doesn't know have the medical staff. Offering a slight nod towards Zaharis, the sheet is reclaimed and slowly lifted up and drapped over the body once more. With that done, hands come to wipe on his scrubs before a brow arches ever so slightly, "Take it he was someone highly placed in the Marines, sir?" A cant of his head, a shift of his attention towards D.

And that is when the name means something. Sharps. Her skin pales around the eyes and a shimmer grows there, "Ah… shit…" She shakes her head slightly, one hand lifting to not quite touch the dead man's arm. She steps back then, nods to Zaharis, "May I, sir? I mean… It would mean something to the Marines."

"Marine CO," Zaharis replies to Craven, his voice kept low. "One of ours." He watches the sheet being lowered, then looks at D'artanion. "Has to go to Regas and Gaelan first, Staff Sergeant. But I'll let Gaelan know of your request to inform the others."

The PO is no doubt frowning beneath that mask and if one were to look closely, they'd see just a hint of the downwards curve beneath it, tugging at the corners of his eyes. There's a slow nod towards Zah and this eyes drift back down towards the sheet, looking at it for a moment before turning his attention over towards D, "For what it's worth, Sarge, sorry." Directing his attention back towards Zah, Craven offers a slight sigh, "Gonna be hard to get a positive DNA match, sir. Most of the viable spots would no longer be any good. Might be easier to match dental records .. and quicker."

D'Artanion shakes her head, "Didn't mean that, Doc. Meant getting the DNA, sir. I am not in line for notifying the troups." She flickers a glance to Craven, her manner fading slightly, "I kinda came to serve under the Major, Stitch. He's kinda a legend with the Marines. Good guy." She turns her gaze back to the body, then looks up at Zaharis. The look is one of quiet pain, deep but not personal. Sort of pain in the expectation of sorrow to come. Distant, but still poinent.

[Intercom] Pass the word, All Dept Heads, report to the Ward Room.

Zaharis ahs. He glances at Craven, taking a small step back from the body and tugging his mask down to his chin. "Be shocked what we can get DNA from with our workup up here, PO. Won't be a problem." He looks at D'art and gives her a nod. "Grab a nurse." No doubt he'll send in one of his own to hang around the procedure as well, rulebooks and all, but he doesn't bring it up right now. The comm goes off and he glances up, stripping off his gloves.

Hearing the comm, Craven looks upwards towards invisible speakers and then shifts his gaze back towards Zaharis, "Want me to grab one of the Lieutenants, Cap? So they can oversee and sign off on the charts, indicating that a sample was taken?" It's then that he looks back over towards D, only to offer another slight nod of his head, "Another one that will have a drink for, Blondie." The words are a murmer, intendend softly for only those within and then he's looking back towards the sheet and finally, towards Zaharis and the door.

So much for a little diplomacy. Zaharis gives Craven a slight nod as he turns to head out, walking briskly. "I'll send one in, PO."

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