The Corpse of Josie McCallum


sonny_icon.gif zachery_icon.gif

Scene Title The Corpse of Josie McCallum
Synopsis Sonny is called in to do a little cosmetic work on a newly deceased young girl. As Zach is the keeper of dead bodies, he bears witness to Sonny's ability.
Date January 2, 2009

Harlem Morgue

Poor Josie McCallum. Only twelve years old and hit by an SUV on New Years Eve when crossing the street after her baby brother fell asleep and the family decided to leave the neighbor's place before midnight. Folks are reckless these days. With death and destruction all around them, drunk driving seems like a lesser crime. That is, until it takes the life of a child. The poor little girl's face had been mangled by the truck and the once pretty little thing is a wreck of her former self.

Zachery would have gotten a call soon after the girl's body arrived to be told that a doctor would be coming to look at her before she was to be shipped off to the funeral home. No details beyond that, but when Sonny's lead in by a stern-faced looking morgue employee, he's likely to put it all together.
The morgue's most avid employee is looking over the girl's file, leaning against one of the many metal cabinets in the autopsy room. He's dressed for the job, face mask hanging loose around his neck. The late Josie McCallum has been unpacked and placed carefully upon one of the autopsy tables, pale and unmoving.
When Sonny enters the room, he doesn't even bother looking up just yet, eyes scanning over the text and photos in his folder. "Ah, there you are. Splendid, now we can start so I can move on to more im—" At that point he looks up, and narrows his eyes at the new arrival. "First I barely even recognize you, and we meet twice within a week." No grin this time, nor even a polite smile.

"It's…a coincidence, I'll grant you that," says Sonny. "But my mother was quite insistent when she heard about Josie." It helps that the McCallums are stalwart supporters of Mayor Bianco. This isn't the daughter of some family from the trailer farm. He keeps a step back though. "I'm afraid I'm not that familiar with proper morgue procedure."

"Neither is most of the staff, apparently." Zachery answers, throwing a disapproving look toward the door Sonny came through. He steps away from the cabinet, sliding the file onto another, empty table. "But I suppose it would depend on what you've come here to do. I have to admit, you were definitely the last person I was expecting."

"Oh? Were you expecting a private doctor that would be breathing down your neck?" Sonny quirks a grin, but it fades upon spotting the young girl lying on the cold table. "I'm supposed to fix her face so that there can be an open casket at her funeral."

It wouldn't be the first time. Private doctors, don't get him started. So… caring. Ich. Zachery appears no more disgruntled by the girl's ex-face as he would by a badly prepared lunch, and reaches a gloved hand to what's left of her head to examine it. "Ah." He looks up then, intrigued. "See? I told you there was a place for you there. That's a special kind of lazy on the funeral home's part, though." He looks down again, and his hand hovers over Josie's head for a moment, as though he's trying to figure out what went where when she was still alive. "Then again, I suppose you can only do so much with putty and latex."

"More like, a favor given. Family friends, though I never met them myself." In Sonny's world, 'family friends' translates in to 'political ally.' He looks around for gloves and a mask to put on. "The first time I did this…that was when I found out I could work my ability on the dead. That is, until they start to degrade too much."

Zachery wanders toward a nearby cabinet, and pulls it open to retrieve a pair of gloves, a scrub top and a mask. Not an ideal situation, but what with everything that's been going on lately, he can't be bothered to worry too much. Something he might come to regret later. "Everyone melts away in the end. Like diseased candles." He notes, handing the garb over, "… How well do you figure you'll be able to restore her?"

"I won't know until I have a look. I can't heal anything. My power's purely cosmetic. She might still need some work at the funeral home." Sonny murmurs a thanks, then takes the items from Zachery. He tugs them on, then steps towards the corpse of the young girl.

"Still, every bit will help in this case, I'm sure." He chuckles, though common sense tells him to clear his throat straight afterward, as if in apology. Right. Serious business. He takes place on the other side of the corpse. "From what we could tell she was hit from the side, her skull colliding with the grill here, and here." He picks up the file again, and leafs through it until he finds a picture, placing it next to the mangled face. "I was told to remove what bits of asphalt and gravel I could find in there, but when they're this size they tend to make a pretty impressive landing after the initial hit."

Sonny didn't realize how he'd lost his detachment from this sort of thing over the years of making people more beautiful. This really hits home, especially with how detached Zachery is being. He reaches out very gently and touches the girl's face. He examines her closely, tracing the lines, the location of where the bone should be. He frowns. "There's…not much I can do. I can restore sections of her face, but the crushed bone makes it difficult. This isn't a deformity or scar tissue that I can relocate, it's damage. Although…ah. I know what I can do." He lays one hand on the dead girl's neck ad another on her shoulder. He takes a few deep breaths. His face relaxes, his shoulders droop. Then a strange rippling effect happens around the wound on the girl's face. It looks completely inhuman, and for a moment she seems to be more deformed. Then, after a soft grunt from Sonny, the wound -moves-. It contracts, ripples, then the dead girl's body seems to twitch. Her face is restored, but now her hip and upper leg is mangled, as if the truck struck there.

Somehow, the process of Sonny's ability in action makes Zachery take a step back, eyes fixed on what's going on with the corpse. His mouth opens to say something, but, for the moment, he fails to find the words. It's just not something you expect to see in real life, this. When all is over and done, his gaze flits between the picture and the restored face and… he nods. "Impressive. A… a little unsettling, but very impressive."

"Not…the most useful thing for this kind of injury if she was alive. But the lower body is far easier to conceal than the face." Now it's Sonny's turn to be detached. He drops back from the girl and snaps off the gloves. "Not only that, underneath, portions her brain is still damaged. But in this case, it doesn't really matter, does it." He smiles a touch sadly.

Zachery shakes his head, stepping forward again to investigate more closely. "Not in the least. All that will be filled with cotton, same as her eyes— ah, I'm rambling again, aren't I?" He frowns, and dismissively waves a hand. "I forget not everyone works the same job as me, sometimes. Funny, that." Or something like that, anyway.

"Hopefully my mother will be satisfied. She's not the type of woman you disappoint," the joke from Sonny is meant to try and break the mood, but it's fairly awkward. "Well. I…should let you get back to your work. I'm sure the funeral home can take it from here."

"Of course. I'm sure you have plenty of things to do, too." Zachery replies, nodding a farewell to the surgeon. "Thanks for your time." There's something in his voice, something that can't seem to decide whether it's jealousy or admiration of what he's just witnessed. Anatomical intuition or not, that was still just plain fascinating.

Wait until he gets the chance to see Sonny change someone into a whole other person. Now -that- should satisfy his sense of the macabre. "Listen, give me a call if you want to go for a drink after work or something. I could use a little shop-talk," the offer seems genuine, though his discomfort at being in the morgue is showing. He discards the used scrubs and mask and reaches for his jacket.

Zachery, already preparing to get someone and lug the girl back on a gurney so she can be transported to the cold chamber until she's off to the funeral home, stops in his tracks. "Uh." He breathes, then reasserts himself to something a little less dumbfounded, "I'm usually very busy, but I'll keep it in mind." … He has been told he needs more friends.

"Hey, so am I. Just putting that out there," Sonny shrugs, grins a little half-grin, then flicks out the hood of his jacket. "Have a good day, doc." And then he's out the door before either of them can be made to feel more awkward.

January 2nd: Be Honest
January 2nd: Some Days You Feel Like The Bug
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License