Summary: Zaharis adds Reighner to the Suicide Squad.
Date: 117 ACH
Related Logs: Loyalties, Rock Bottom, and other logs of the suicides investigation.

Chief Medical Officers Office Genesis - Deck 13
117 ACH 23777 Souls

The office of the Chief Medical Officer is a small room, used mostly for consultations and review of sensitive patient materials than the paperwork of the Medical department, which goes through the Naval Administrative offices. Still somehow it has file cabinets along one wall stuffed full of papers, two chairs in front of a desk behind which a large leather chair is set. On the desk sits a computer terminal.
Sitting on the file cabinet is a Rod of Asclepius carved from two different types of wood. The rod is made from lighter wood, while the snake is darker. The eye of the snake is inlayed with tiny crystals so that it sparkles in the light. It stands on a smallish pedestal with a legend: Do no harm to thyself nor to others.

Reighner comes in from Sickbay.
Reighner has arrived.

Zaharis' shift ended a while ago but he hasn't clocked out for the night, his fatigues jacket just tossed on the back of his chair. His computer is on and his desk has become home to its own private library of textbooks, chemical and medical. The huge books are open to various sections, pages marked with coloured tabs.

Reighner steps up to Zaharis's desk. He still seems uncomfortable around the major, as he spends an unusually long amount of time assaying the books on the desk. "You called?"

"Yes." Zaharis sits back down in his chair, and motions for Reighner to take a seat. His fingers rub gently across his unscarred cheek. "Had you ever been involved in research on targetted drug delivery systems for cancer patients? Polymer mixes, fullerenes, things like that?"

Reighner seats himself with a sigh, bracing both hands on the armrests. "Yeah," he confirms as he pulls his white coat to clear any wrinkles on his back. "That was the next big thing. Environment-sensitive nanopolymer capsules." He makes a nonplussed face, furrowing his eyebrows and drawing them down. "Why?"

Zaharis replies in a tone that isn't particularly enjoying what he's saying, "We've come across what may be evidence that the cylons have used that technology against us. I haven't done much work on the topic, so I can't say for certain. I need someone that has."

Reighner tilts his head down and raises his eyebrows. "What?"

Zaharis lets out a very long breath through his nose. He slides open the large bottom desk drawer on the left. "There was an engineering officer who committed suicide in the ready room recently. Adam Lowes." He slides a file out of the drawer. "Had you heard about it?"

Reighner leans forward when the file makes its appearance. His expression is guarded, as if he's trying to prepare himself mentally for what he knows is coming. "I have," he answers, carefully, dark eyes flicking up to him.

Zaharis meets Reighner's eyes. His own still have a weirdly asymmetrical appearance, the left eyelid tightened by the facial burns. "This does not leave this room." That said, he continues and takes a second folder out. "Lowes was not an isolated incident. Commander Regas' death was also a suicide, in the exact same manner." He sets both folders on the desk, Lowes and Regas. Both are marked with a red classified stamp.

Reighner doesn't move. Doesn't even blink, really. His expression is now fiercely guarded, with the corners of his lips tugged down in a pensive frown. He tightens his jaw.

Zaharis folds his arms on the desk. "The military police established a link between the two. Shortly before both died, they attended the same event off-ship. They were given cigars at this event. Regas gave Lowes and possibly other people cigars from his own gifted batch. Regas had been seen smoking said things, and after Lowes' death it was noted he reeked of smoke." He clears his throat quietly. "The MPs have their reason to believe the cigars and something in them were targetted to Regas."

Reighner slowly leans back. His eyes sink down from Zaharis to the desk, then to the side. The gears are slowly turning his mind.

"Both Regas and Lowes exhibited abnormalities at the their autopsies. The same abnormalities." Zaharis flips open Regas' file to said page. The absent chemicals and dilated pupils. "Dr. Sloan has also seen this and has agreed it may suggest introduction of a toxin. The problem was that we found nothing — if there was a toxin it was in minute doses. And, we believe, able to be triggered somehow. Which is what brought me to this point, and now I'm over my head."

The pull of the numbers brings Reighner's eyes back to the desk and the file. "Yeah," he mumbles. He glances up at Zaharis, but his attention's mostly on the data. "Okay, well, if that's what was used, I can look around their blood. Could I?" He gestures to the file, asking to take a better look at Regas's results.

"Go ahead." Zaharis sits back, shifting in the chair so his shoulders don't slouch. "I don't know the exact signs I would need to be looking for to prove this. My biggest concern is that if Regas gave out other cigars, and these are able to be triggered after the delivery itself, there may be more people walking around with timebombs waiting to go off."

Reighner takes up the folder and sets it against the edge of the major's desk. He looks at the numbers, flips the page, glances at the back. "What the frak kind of drug makes somebody kill themselves?" he wonders.

"A hallucinogen of some kind, maybe," Zaharis frowns, glancing at the red stamp that's visible on the folder. "Considering what we've seen of the cylons' biotechnological advances, it's a safe bet to say it may be a toxin we've never seen before."

"Yeah, maybe psychotics, causing intense paranoia," Reighner mumbles. He puts the folder back on his desk. "Okay. Okay. Okay." Probably some type of calming mechanism. "Just give me a second."

"Sure." Zaharis' attention drifts to the pile of textbooks. He rubs the bridge of his nose tiredly and reaches over to turn a page, glancing a passage he'd been looking at before Reighner came down.

Reighner sits back and rests an elbow on the armrest, rubbing his eyebrow and the side of his face with that hand, looking off to the side. He gathers his wits about him after ten or so seconds. Regarding Zaharis, he asks, "Do you have whole blood on them?"

Zaharis lets the page fold down over his thumb. "Yeah. We have blood, tissue samples, everything."

"Where are they?" he asks.

"Cold storage in the morgue." Zaharis glances vaguely in the direction of that area, even though there are walls between them and it. "The drawers are locked, I'll give you access."

Reighner nods and stands. He laces his fingers behind his head, making his white coat splay out at the sides so that it appears more like a cape. The captain paces to the file cabinet, then turns around. "Do you have anybody else in the department who knows about this, besides Sloan?"

Zaharis shakes his head. "No, Sloan is the only one."

Reighner tightens the tension in his neck and looks down. "Okay."

"I expect information will stay limited unless further threat to the ship is proven," Zaharis says, still looking ahead even though Reighner's paced to the side. "Which I hope isn't the case, but I sincerely doubt hope is right, here."

Reighner lowers his hands from his head and crosses his arms. He stops pacing and looks down at the floor, so that his line of sight is perpendicular to Zaharis's. "Is there any chance we can get the names of who got one of Regas's cigars?"

"The MPs are tracking people down," Zaharis shifts in his chair, reaching up to scratch the back of his hairline. "Shem's been keeping us updated as they do. There's one name so far who Shem said already smoked his, and who's supposedly doing fine."

"By whose standards?" Reighner asks, pointedly.

"That he hasn't shot himself," Zaharis replies. "Beyond that symptom we're in the dark on what to look for."

Reighner chortles, darkly. He exhales audibly. "Okay. I'll get to work."

Zaharis nods. "Speak to Sloan if you need to." He looks at the pile of books on his desk and thins his lips, closing one with a thud. "Good luck."

"Thanks," Reighner replies, cheerlessly. He uncrosses his arms and walks out.

Reighner leaves for Sickbay [o].
Reighner has left.

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