Guide to Cadavers

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What to Do with a Dead Body

First and foremost, if you find someone on the ground who you think is dead, scream for Medical unless you are medical. Once responders arrive on scene they can declare a person dead or not. If they aren't dead, stop reading this guide and get them to medical! If they are, it's time to call for security if they are not already there.

Responding officers should follow standard procedure for a crime scene, outlined here, before investigative staff arrive. The responding officers should not touch the corpse at all, unless specifically asked by investigative staff or command. Should one be available, a body bag should be used to cover the deceased's body for privacy and respect; no one wants their corpse gawked at by passersby. Once Investigative staff arrive, they should follow the procedures outlined in the Guide to Forensics before moving the body to the Autopsy Room.

Autopsy Surgery

Before anything else is done, take a body scan of the corpse using the scanner in the autopsy room and print it. You want to see what condition the body is in before you start poking and prodding it, in case anything should change as a result of your investigation. Take blood samples from the body and run them through your advanced mass spectrometer to see if there's anything in their bloodstream, keep the results. Scrub and sterilize the autopsy lab using sterilizine. Once that is done, it is time to move onto the actual autopsy.

  1. Place cadaver onto the operating table.
  2. Scan the cadaver with a health analyzer to find injured locations.
  3. Aim for the patient's affected area in the Damage zone.png Damage Zone.
  4. Cut the skin with your Scalpel.png scalpel.
    • Vaurca will require using a Drill.png surgical drill instead of scalpel to pierce the exoskeleton that wrap vaurca.
  5. Use the Autopsy scanner.gif autopsy scanner to scan the area.
  6. Repeat for all injured body parts.
  7. Using the previous full body scan, remove any foreign objects from the body. Bag and label them.
  8. Remove all organs besides eyes and brain before bagging and storing them in the break room refrigerator cooler in the morgue (this is purely for roleplay purposes, and thus optional).
  9. Make sure you have everything you want from the autopsy before washing off and handing over the body to medical so they may make the body presentable, before carrying out whatever the victim's postmortem wishes are.

Autopsy Reports

Right clicking on the autopsy scanner will let you print out an autopsy report. This will have some basic information on it, such as:

  • Time of Death
  • Suspected MoI (Method of Injury) and a percentage chance - sometimes this will come up as something stupid, like "Yes, this man was hit 16 times in the chest by a fully organic armblade from a species that is not known to exist". When this happens, just ignore it and go for the next best thing, I.E Armblade turns into "Large Bladed Weapon with trace organic elements?".
  • Times struck by method of injury.
  • Trace Chemicals

However, this is not a piece of paper you will need. In fact, you'll need a whole bundle: in the forums database accessible at the requests console (the big blue TV looking machine on the wall) there will be several pieces of paperwork you should fill out. Firstly among them is the coroner's report, where you will write down your findings and conclusions of the autopsy, including cause of death. Following this should be your blood work form, the data from which you got from the spectrometer earlier, then identity confirmation if the victim's identity is in doubt, followed by the data you just gathered, including that full body scan done at the start. This will be the entirety of your autopsy paperwork, and will go into the case files.

Manner of Death

This is what your corporate instructors would have told you is the most important part of your job, and they'd be partially right. Manner of death is a regulations/contractual determination, and therefore Manner of Death can be the deciding factor in something like your victims life insurance being paid out to remaining family members. Deciding which category your victim fits into can be difficult, but here we will go over a few common signs of each category of Manner of Death.

Natural

The most common type of death in the spur, but the type you will probably go your entire career onboard the Aurora never seeing. Because it's so uncommon on the Aurora, signs will not be touched upon here.

Accidental

Accidental deaths come in 2 sub-categories aboard the Aurora.

The first is Industrial Accidents, which are most common in departments such as engineering and science, who handle dangerous tasks and materials. Deaths that are a result of Industrial Accidents have several common signs. Firstly, they will occur in the victims place of work, that is, if an engineer dies as a result of an Industrial Accident, their corpse will most likely be found in Engineering. Second, they will have occurred doing something related to their job, so for our engineer, it could have occurred when he was setting up the Tesla engine and due to circumstances outside his control containment failed and he was fried. It is important to note, if someone dies as a result of an accident while doing something outside their job, (ex. a medical doctor trying to set up the Tesla) their death may instead be ruled as a Suicide.

The second type of accidental death is manslaughter. Very uncommon, manslaughter is when a person's death is accidentally caused by another. Circumstances such as excessive force resulting in death and medical malpractice fall under this section. The common signs of manslaughter are very different from those of Industrial Accidents. Firstly, it is usually the perpetrator who calls first responders to the scene, should it happen outside of medical itself. Secondly, the perpetrator usually comes clean without very much effort once they realize what exactly they have done, racked with guilt. Remember though, Nanotrasen does not make distinction between Manslaughter and Murder, so despite the fact there is no manslaughter specific charge, they still must be arrested. Medical Malpractice is somewhat harder to detect, as the doctor may believe themselves doing what is right for the patient, or may be stressed and mix up two medications, or two blood bags. However, due to it's possibility and depth, more information can be found here.

Homicide

Homicide is probably the easiest manner of death to determine: if it doesn't fit any of the previous categories, it was probably a homicide. Common signs also include signs of a struggle on the body, the victim will normally have multiple purposefully inflicted wounds, such as multiple gunshots, lacerations, stabs, or plain trauma. Homicides will eventually lead you more to establishing things like motive and means, but where manner of death is important for everything else, the most important thing in a homicide is cause of death, which we'll talk about here.

Causes of Death

Cause of Death, different from Manner of Death, is defined as what killed someone - hence the name -, and tends to be the "final nail in the coffin". For example, if someone were to be shot one time through the heart, and then 7 times in the right foot, the cause of death would not be the gunshots to the foot, but rather the gunshot through the heart even though the shots to the foot happened afterwards. Determining what exactly killed someone can be difficult, especially as a newer player, so here's a few types of damages and their causes.

Due to how Brainmed works, nearly all "causes of death" could be defined as deprivation of oxygen to the brain, or it's removal, but that'd be boring to write for everything, so go with what caused that oxygen deprivation for cause of death.

In order to be better organized, we will group some more specific and easy to overlook causes of death under their overarching manner of death, as well as give signs that point to that specific cause of death. By now in this guide, you should be able to pretty easily deduce if someone died via gunshots or stabbing. Remember that for all of these, the rest of your case files and investigations matter as well! You can sometimes figure out a general cause of death before even starting the autopsy and getting specific.

A couple of things to note:

  • Burn damage will remove blood from the body with no bleeding.
  • Any injuries done by Simplemobs (slimes, hivebots, carp) won't show up on the Autopsy Scanner.
  • Broken ribcages may be a result of EMTs or bystanders attempting CPR before the person is declared dead, and not a result of whatever killed your victim.
  • Dextrotoxin, a powerful paralytic, won't show up when running blood tests on your spectrometer.

These signs and causes of death aren't all encompassing, there is a lot that isn't here and up to you and your investigative skills to figure out!

A few Causes of death via Accidents

  • Industrial - Inhalation of Dangerous Gasses.
    1. Most common in Engineers and Phoron Researchers.
    2. Damage to the Lungs.
    3. Other signs of Suffocation.
    4. Trace Chemicals in the body, if phoron.
  • Industrial - Electrocution.
    1. Massive Burns.
    2. Significant loss of blood, but no bloodstains.
    3. Heart Damage.
  • Manslaughter - Poisoning.
    1. Massive Toxin damage.
    2. Victim consumed something not fit for their consumption (ex. Unathi consuming alcohol).
    3. Victim was injected with something not fit for their biology (ex. Vaurca getting injected with Dexalin).
    4. Victim consumed something hazardous (ex. dranking liquid phoron).
  • Manslaughter - Excessive/Unnecessary Force.
    1. Little physical damage.
    2. Victim went into cardiac arrest.
    3. Died while being detained, or while sparring.
    4. Witness statements saying that someone continued to apply force once it was no longer necessary.
  • Malpractice - Surgery Mishaps.
    1. Visible inflamed wounds, or open incisions
    2. Infection shows up on a health analyzer scan.
    3. Victim had undergone surgery before death.
    4. Simple procedure that had little risk of failure resulting in death.
  • Malpractice - Blood Rejection.
    1. Toxin damage with no clear source.
    2. Suffocation with no clear source.
    3. Victim had received a blood transfusion before death.
  • Malpractice - Improper Transport.
    1. Does not show up on any scans.
    2. Best indicator is large trails of blood where the cadaver had previously been.
    3. Witness testimonies will also be helpful.
  • Malpractice - Medication Overdose.
    1. Heavy toxin damage.
    2. Toxin report shows no harmful chemicals in the system.
    3. Using an advanced mass spectrometer will show amounts of chemicals in the blood stream.
  • Malpractice - Failure to Respond
    1. The victim was called out over the radio while still alive.
    2. Victim expired after the call.
    3. Responders did not respond to call.

A few causes Causes of Death via Suicide

  • Suicide via Gunshot.
    1. Only injury is on the head, and is a gunshot.
    2. Gun is very close to the corpse when found.
    3. Only the victims fingerprints are on the gun.
  • Suicide via Hanging.
    1. Victim is found dead hanging from the ceiling.
    2. Noose only has victims fingerprints on it.
    3. Victim is found alone, without signs of a struggle.

A few Causes of Death via Homicides

  • Homicide via illegal Cyborgification.
    1. Victim has no brain.
    2. You notice a new cyborg on the station.
    3. No paperwork and Command approval has been given for cyborgification that shift.
  • Homicide via blood removal
    1. No blood remaining in the body
    2. No wounds at all.
    3. Most common when there's a bloodsucker on the station. REMEMBER THAT VAMPIRES AREN'T KNOWN IN-CHARACTER, DO NOT GO SCREAMING ABOUT A VAMPIRE BEING AROUND AFTER DETECTING THIS.

Sneaky stuff

Sometimes, people will try to fake being dead, and it's up to you to figure out if they're faking! There are 2 main ways death can be faked:

  1. Zombie Powder - slows all bodily functions to near zero, and won't show up when you run the blood test with your basic spectrometer. The only way to detect is when the effects wear off and they get back up, or by begging science for an Advanced Spectrometer and running the test on that. You can tell if someone might be using zombie powder if they appear dead but have no wounds on them at all, even when doing a full body scan.
  2. Changeling Resurrections - only available to changelings, it makes the body appear dead, while it is healing. If your responders are worth their salt however, they will detect this easily as using a stethoscope on the faking changeling will show that they are still breathing. Besides that, there is no way to detect this until they start talking to you while your arm deep in them.

Special thanks to SueTheCake, as their guide inspired a lot of this guide, and can be found here

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