Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

The micropathology suit allowed her to shrink her electron walls by a factor of twenty, effectively accordioning her body down to a millimeter high.

This heart had caverns. Each ventricle was the size of a cathedral. The ceiling of the aorta curved above Dr. Johans like the dome of a blood-coated football stadium. Her twin spotlights shone out of the darkness, picking out platelet details here and there.

She was ankle deep in the spongy mass of the arterial wall. It had taken ten minutes to get here from the wound. She crawled over drifts of non-moving blood cells the size of hula hoops. They were becoming crusted from their exposure to the outside world.

She’d rappelled down from the starfish entry wound, spelunking into a damp and musky canyon. She had seen the ragged edges of rib-bones like broken overpasses after an earthquake poking through. They had pointed towards her as she slid down her rope, surrounding her as she entered through where the sternum used to be.

Their whiteness had made her think for a second that she was being eaten. The ribs looked like huge, ragged teeth rammed into the maw of some unimaginably huge leviathan.

She had checked her safety harness, wiped condensation off of her faceplate, and kept on descending.

It was just scale playing with her.

She had slight agoraphobia. She had expected to be suited to this specialty of pathology. It was odd that becoming as small as this to examine the bodies just made her fearful sometimes on the same level as when she was regular height. It was enough to handle, though, and she kept at it.

All around her, the platelets were crunching like thick snow under her feet. They had the consistency of frost-covered leaf piles. They were hardening now, scabbing over. The sponge she was wading through was slowly turning to mud. Soon it was be too hard to walk through and she’d have to expand a little bit just to get out.

Best not let it get to that point. She thumbed her mic.

“Hey Al. Nothing to report down here. No nano, no bios, no germfacs or rogue xenocells. All clear. Scanners and V.I.S. report normal. Death confirmed as basic trauma.” She said.

“Okay, Dr. Johans,” came the reply. “Get back to the polywire. We’ll pull you up.”

With a last look around the cool heart of the murder victim, Dr. Johan started the trek towards the dangling safety rope that would take her back to the surface. Once back in the lab, she could enlarge to full size and write her report.

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