Dr. Newmann waits patiently for General Sawyer to finish reading his autopsy report. He’s worked with the General for years as her chief medical officer and would even call her a friend. He looks for signs of astonishment on the General’s face but only notices a slight tightening of her brow. After a moment, Sawyer looks up at the Doctor, and her frown deepens. “That is a hell of a report, doctor. If it were from anyone else, I would have them detained for psychiatric analysis.” She said.
The Doctor nods. “If I hadn’t done the autopsy myself, seen with my own eyes, and only read that report, I would advise the same action. But those are the facts. We have two bodies dead well before the timeframe of Search and Rescue Team One’s intercept, showing postmortem wounds matching SR1’s report and a missing body.” He said.
The General remains silent momentarily before replying, “Dead bodies don’t get up off the examination table and walk out of the morgue.”
“And portals that open to alien worlds filled with giant intelligent spiders don’t exist, but the physical evidence corroborates SR1’s report. I hear we have a Mastiff robot vehicle missing half its structure,” he replies drily.
Sawyer’s frown deepens again at his mention of the damaged robot. “That information is classified, Doctor. Be sure to keep that rumor to yourself. It seems this convoy is fueled by rumors as much as gasoline!”
“What about the team’s suit camera footage? Surely that can verify what they reported.” He replies.
The General’s features smooth to become unreadable. “Unfortunately, the footage from both teams is corrupt. The tech team believes some sort of electromagnetic interference caused it. With time and the right equipment, they might be able to pull some useful footage or still frames, but for the time being, we need to get this convoy moving.”
With a look that the conversation was over, General Sawyer stands. “Have the members of SR1 discharged and freed to return to light duty. I want an eye kept on them at all times. Report any unusual discrepancies or behavior changes immediately. Dismissed, Doctor.”
Doctor Newmann enters the room in the medical tent where SR1 has been held since returning from their rescue mission. “Good news, gentlemen. You’ve cleared for release back to duty. Retrieve your gear and report to the Command tent for daily orders. Please remember that your previous mission was classified, and you are not to discuss it with anyone who has not read in. If you have any questions, speak now. Otherwise, dismissed.”