Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Distress 1 - Greg Egan

"ll right. He's dead. Go ahead and talk to him.”

The bioethicist was a laconic young asex with blond dreadlocks and a T-shirt which flashed up the slogan SAY NO TO TOE! in between the paid advertising. Ve countersigned the permission form on the forensic pathologist's notepad, then withdrew to a corner of the room. The trauma specialist and the paramedic wheeled their resuscitation equipment out of the way, and the forensic pathologist hurried forward, hypodermic syringe in hand, to administer the first dose of neuropreservative. Useless prior to legal death — massively toxic to several organs, on a time scale of hours — the cocktail of glutamate antagonists, calcium channel blockers, and antioxidants would halt the most damaging biochemical changes in the victim's brain, almost immediately.

The pathologist's assistant followed close behind her, with a trolley bearing all the paraphernalia of post-mortem revival: a tray of disposable surgical instruments; several racks of electronic equipment; an arterial pump fed from three glass tanks the size of water-coolers; and something resembling a hairnet made out of grey superconducting wire.

Lukowski, the homicide detective, was standing beside me. He mused, “If everyone was fitted out like you, Worth, we'd never have to do this. We could just replay the crime from start to finish. Like reading an aircraft's black box.”"

4.5 out of 5