The ship’s main medical facility was larger than Jamie had expected, although he saw only its casualty receiving (CASREC) unit, and so it was his guess as to whether sickbay extended further with adjacent wards, an operating suite, and perhaps even a small intensive care unit.
The CASREC appeared slightly spartan, yet equipped enough for it to be comparable to an emergency department at any contemporary hospital, civilian or military. Two resuscitation bays, and perhaps ten or so cubicles surrounding what appeared to be a central staff station. There was hardly any privacy. Trolleys of equipment stood randomly in cramped spaces, unoccupied gurneys stacked against a wall.
Jamie and SFC Matheson wheeled their patient into one of the resus bays. Waiting for them was a small team of nurses and a doctor, all in dark blue scrubs.
“I’m Lieutenant Ashley Callahan,” the doctor introduced herself. She stood near the wall, arms folded, watching everyone else as they carefully transferred Crewman Lewis from the paramedic gurney onto the resus bed. Her voice was firm and authoritative.
“Specialist Perth, and this is Sergeant First Class Matheson,” Jamie said.
“This one’s gonna be tricky,” she commented quietly about her new patient, almost in a whisper. “I heard you guys were mid-transfer from Scorpia Shipyards to one of the hospitals on the surface when the attack occurred?”
“That is correct, sir.”
“You guys are bloody frackin’ lucky to be alive… As are all the rest of us.” She moved towards the foot end of the bed as the nurses began setting up monitoring equipment. “All right, start the handover.”
Jamie looked over at Matheson, and was given a confident nod to go ahead. “Crewman Jack Lewis, twenty-one. Electrical tech on Scorpia Shipyards. He was working on a panel when he lost his footing and fell eight metres from the mezzanine deck at one of the hangar bays. Injuries from top to toe: significant traumatic head injury with a concerning ICP, facet and vertebral body fractures of C7 and C8, a right closed mid-shaft femur fracture, and a lateral compression fracture to his right pelvis…”
The doctor moved forward and began her physical assessment, but kept on listening. Her gloved hands glided over the patient, lifting thick blankets and tubes out of the way so she could directly inspect the injuries herself, and helping the nurses organise the tangle of IV lines.
“… His initial GCS was E1 V2 M2. He was intubated at Shipyard’s sickbay, pelvic binder applied, and an EVD placed prior to transfer. We had just made re-entry into Scorpia when… when we saw the nuclear blasts.”
“How long has total transport time been?” Dr Callahan asked.
“From Shipyards to here?” Jamie looked at his watch, but still had to estimate. So much has happened since their departure from Fleet Shipyards. “Umm. I’m sorry sir, I’m not exactly sure. Over three hours, I think.” He looked over at Matheson, who nodded in agreement.
She continued with her candid manner. “That’s fine. Thank you, Specialist, Sergeant. We’ll take it from here. I’ll inform the CMO of your arrival. He’s busy at the moment and won’t be able to meet with you just yet. In the meantime, his orders are for new medical personnel to report to the quartermaster to be assigned duty lockers. You’re lucky you arrived late. We had quite a few injured to sort out earlier today.”
Jamie stood, somewhat stunned and without anything else to say. The past several hours has seen his life turned completely upside down. Everything had changed, and existence as he knew it prior to the attack was no longer. He was now on a battlestar, effectively placed on full active duty. And he had no time to sit down and process any of it.
Dr Callahan pulled the stethoscope off her ears, hanging it over her neck. She sensed the young paramedic’s acute realisation of his situation, and so she helped to clarify it for him.
“You’re now part of the Solaria’s crew, Specialist. Welcome.”