Tien Si

From the Story Arc: Battle Stations: Aftermath

Next Story in the Arc: Counselor by Belladonna Aura (Tuesday, April 11, 2006)

(posted Tuesday, April 11, 2006)

Thanh Ha did not sleep. Despite her weariness, there was no cause for her to sleep; she was tien si and being a doctor meant more than just healing wounds and tending illness. There was a much more somber job to be done.

Categorization. Analysis. Data gathering and preparation.

Autopsy was unnecessary.

Sequestering herself inside a medical lab, she'd closed the doors after bringing the remains of her nguoi ban and locked them. With tears silently streaming down her face, she began to separate flesh from steel and concrete. Her fallen comraded were heroes. Their souls would be at peace, having perished in their home. Once the bodies were separated, organized and identified, she carefully bathed and dried them. Almost with reverence, she trimmed their nails and hair before kissing each on the forehead.

"Goodbye, Anthony ban," she said softly, looking down at the face of Heavy Brother. He looked so peaceful. If he was only intact...

Tears welled up in her eyes again, and, with great force, she shoved them back down. Her mourning could begin soon, but not yet.

Stepping over to a small cabinet, she knelt, pulling the doors open and looking down. She had sent for these, and had hoped to never need them, but the time had come. Retrieving a large stack of gauzelike white cloth, she returned to the macabre scene and set the stack down. Grabbing one sheet, she unfurled the large white square and settled it down atop the body of Iron Curtain. Slowly, she wrapped the corpse like a gift, complete with a nametag. Yudin, Dmitry.

Garvey, Anthony.

Mojiotok.

McSweeny, Doreen.

Te.

With her work finished, she walked back to the doors, unlocking them and pushing them open. Wandering through the rubble that dotted the floor of the medical bay, she came upon the blasted remains of her desk. Forcing open a drawer, she pulled a small plastic rectangle from a file shoved in the back, a keepsake from the only day she spent outside of the CCCP while in America. Wandering back to the door, she hung the rectangle from the doorknob, which now declared that the tenants did not wish to be disturbed.

The fatigue of battle and the horrors of war now took it's toll on the Vietnamese medical officer. With the weight of a thousand suns pulling on her soul, she slowly meandered down the hallways of the CCCP, in search of a working shower.