NaNoWriMo, Day 20: 1,550 / 42,830

Minor crises today, after all. But we prevail!


How do you solve an insoluble problem? By figuring out what the rules are, and breaking them. Nice, and hard.

The solution in this case was obvious, once we got around to finding it. We had a living will from Chook, authorizing XHum to loot the body for medical emergencies. The only thing contradicting that was a notation in her file, that locked out any electronic authorization to release the body. So Greg just ordered Maki to pull the body from cryo-storage anyway. What was the computer going to do about it? Fire up the defense grid? It didn’t actually have one: we absolutely don’t give computer systems weapons. Why would we? There’s nobody out here except us.

Defrosting a corpsicle without damaging the cells further takes a little time, so Maki had time to go over things with us. “Sign here and here,” she said to us. “I just need two more senior staff to agree that we needed the body parts for emergency purposes.”

“Body parts?” I asked. “I thought you were just pulling the skin.”

“I was,” said Maki. “But it occurred to me that we might be able to use whatever organs didn’t get hit by the cancer yet. Cartilage and hair, for certain. Maybe even bone marrow, if it checks out. The original diagnosis said that the cancer had mostly gone into the lungs and brain, so I should be able to recycle some of the joints, if nothing else.”

Well, at least she was talking about the whole thing with a certain clinical detachment. You get wary around the doctors who get enthusiastic about looting corpses. It’s not the sort of hobby you want to encourage.