The Jigsaw Puzzle in the Lab.
The Jigsaw Puzzle in the Lab.
"God this is horrible. It's like a three-D Jigsaw Puzzle." Arastoo glanced at the table. Contrary to his first impression, it was not full bones. The remains, the bones, were almost all fractured; transverse fractures, oblique fractures, comminuted fractures. Mostly, though, it was soon obvious, crush damage. He wasn't sure a bone larger than a phalanges. The exception, of course, were the two skulls, which had been done first, as a priority for identification. None of the four interns had worked on these two particular skulls, one of the reasons Cam had chosen them, and not included Colin Fisher. He had assisted with one of them, and Angela had done the other by herself.
"That's what happens when bones are crushed by buildings and stone," Clark answered him.
"And she wants results tomorrow morning?"
"Where's the bone glue?"
"Did you know that Sunnydale had a slight population loss in between the 1991 and 2001 Census? Which was still a growth from the 1981 to 1991 Census, when Sunnydale had the largest fall off in the country." Vincent babbled out, while comparing bone fragments.
"I didn't know that. Is it relevant?"
"Not really, just something I learned about Sunnydale."
"I'll be back in a few moments. I have to do my afternoon prayers." Arastoo wondered how Clark would take this.
"You have no problem with my going to pray?"
"Does it affect your job? If not, then, no, not really."
"They have it."
"I'll get some more from supply."
"Good idea. Maybe a few bottles."
"That's - that's odd." Wendell was holding two of the bone fragments together.
"What is it?"
"Is it just me, or is this more than crush damage?" Wendell held to two fragments, parts of a rib-bone, up for Vincent to see.
Vincent peered closely, then grabbed the lighted magnifying glass, and peering through it. "You're right - that's a cut. Something sharp, but starting to dull. And maybe rust, if that's transfer."
"And, from the striations, it was going from top down, not outside in."
"It also gives us more points of reference for sorting the bones, since it isn't on all the ribs," Vincent said, pointing to three finished ribs with no such markings.
The two were energized for the search, and dug in deeper.
Clark examined the pieces of vertebrae, and carefully placed them together. After he finished that one, he looked back at a previous one he had done. He then took the complete skull, which Angela had done the work on, and carefully examined it, using the lit magnifier.
"Mr. Vaziri? Could you check this?"
"What is it, Clark?" Arastoo came over, holding a couple bone fragments in his hands.
"What does that look like to you?" Clark knew better than to suggest what he thought it was - the scientist in him required he get another view, and see if it corroborated what he thought he was seeing.
"That looks like - a cut. Very clean, but a cut."
"Agreed. Which suggests that all the vertebrae, and pelvis and sternum-"
"Were also cut. I'll start seperating those pieces out." Arastoo carefully replaced the pieces he had been holding, and began sorting the bone fragments, looking for the oddly clean cut.
***the next morning
"So, do you have some results for me?" Cam looked fresh, and put together ready to meet donators, as she usually did, when not actually working on a body. The interns, on the other hand, looked exhausted, all four having worked through the night.
"We do," Wendell said.
"So do we," Arastoo chimed in.