Part 13: Episode 3-1: A Special Assignment
Welcome to the new map! The chapters in New Blood are largely grouped by location, with each chapter having a different focus. Chapter 3 is mainly about Caduceus HQ. That said, we'll be seeing more of Maryland, and Caduceus, than anywhere else.
Episode 3-1: A Special Assignment
In a location close to the nation's capital lies the US branch of Caduceus, the international organization that treats and researches new diseases. Caduceus USA falls under the jurisdiction of Health and Human Services, yet they have their own authority to execute private missions. They are dedicated to the treatment of intractable diseases and the prevention of infectious illnesses.
Irene: Valerie Blaylock, age 28. Surgeon. Place of birth: North Carolina. Elena Salazar, age 20. Nurse. Place of birth: California.
Irene: Now, sign here… and on the written oath and waiver form. Why the sour face, Dr. Vaughn?
Markus: You're forming a new team? Is this an anti-Stigma measure?
Irene: Well, we've had this planned for a long time, although the discovery of Stigma did hasten its establishment. At least things will be easier on you, since it's such a small team.
Markus: Thanks for your concern. But if we'll be dealing with mainly new diseases, we'll be performing fewer operations. I hope that won't effect my salary.
Valerie: …Leave it to Markus to think of that first.
Irene: No need to worry. We'll be referring plenty of patients to you, special cases which may require the Healing Touch.
Markus: That's good to hear.
Irene: Your job description won't change much either, Elena. Your priority will be to assist Dr. Vaughn and Dr. Blaylock with the operations assigned to them.
Elena has a new outfit, although it's more or less the same as the Concordia one, but a different colour.
Elena: I'll do my best, just like I did at Concordia.
Irene: Then, the first thing I'd like you to do is become familiar with Caduceus, and provide us with whatever information you have on Stigma.
Valerie: Regarding that, we've really only encountered Stigma in one operation. There's not much for us to disclose, especially since Professor Wilkins kept a tight lid on the data.
Irene: That's alright, just tell us whatever you know. You may be surprised at how much you recall. Extraordinary events leave deep imprints on our memory.
Markus: I hope we'll be able to live up to your high expectations. I was wondering, are we going to be questioned about the disappearance of the Professor?
Irene: That won't be necessary. This is a hospital, not a police department.
Elena: Well, we don't know where he was taken. They haven't even demanded a ransom.
Valerie: I still feel uneasy about all this, but we'll do what we can.
Irene: Okay, let me show you around. I hope we can cover everything before my guest arrives.
Valerie: Look at this equipment. I knew Caduceus would be amazing, but this is too much.
Irene: Your responsibilities won't be much different than they were in the past. Even though you're members of Caduceus, you're still doctors. We dedicate ourselves to research here, but we also see regular patients. A major part of your duties will be to keep your skills sharp.
Markus: Well, it can't be any worse than Concordia.
Irene: Now, let's take a look at where you'll be performing your operations.
Irene: Oh, Dr. Everett.
Everett is rockin' those eyebrows. They're amazing.
Irene: This is Dr. Everett, our chief surgeon.
Valerie: Is something wrong?
Everett: I've got cholelithiasis. I was going to ask Dr. Tsuji to remove the gallstones, but I can't find her anywhere. I can't take this anymore! Director, can you fragment them for me, please?
Irene: I wish I could, but I'm expecting a visitor shortly.
Everett: But I can't stand the pain any longer. Are these the new doctors you were talking about? I don't care who does it, I just need help! I can walk you through the procedure if necessary, I'll even suture myself when you're done!
Irene: I know this is sudden, but would you mind?
Markus: Not at all. I'm-
Everett: Skip the formalities, just prep for surgery! Ow ow…
Well, this is more than a little unexpected. Gallstones are formed when the bile is supersaturated with certain substances, which precipitate and form crystals. If you didn't take High School chemistry: There's a load a gunk that clumps together. Cholesterol, for example. They can occur anywhere in the billiard system, but this operation deals with a Gallbladder, a nonessential organ that aids in digestion and stores bile produced in the liver.
There is medication for this condition, but we're going for the quicker, more effective option of just removing the Gallbladder. Because prescriptions do not make for good video games.
Elena: Let me explain the chart.
Elena: Dr. Everett has cholelithiasis, and has been experiencing pain for three years.
Valerie: Three years?
Irene: Yes, I've told him repeatedly to admit himself to the ward and have it treated. However, it seems he's far more interested in taking care of patients then himself.
Markus: Typical doctor, neglecting his own needs.
Elena: I guess that just goes to show how pationate Dr. Everett is about his job.
Irene: Well, when you put it that way… Oh, excuse me. Please continue.
Elena: We'll use a laser to fragment the gallstone in this operation. Please extract the gallbladder as well during this procedure.
Valerie: So, we'll be taking care of the cause of his pain as well.
Irene: Well, I must be going. I'll leave the rest to you three.
For this operation, we'll be exploiting the Healing Touch for the best possible performance. The doctor this time is…
Markus "Stevie Ray" Vaughn!
This is a fairly easy operation to open up the chapter and unwind after the stressful last few operations. That said, if you're careless you may suffer an embarrassing loss.
You can see the first tiny gallstone in this shot, although it's small. You need to reveal these with the ultrasound, which makes them vulnerable to the laser. If you don't, they'll drift down and cause damage upon flowing offscreen. New ones are constantly being generated, and you can't let any by if you want all the special bonuses. It's reminiscent of the thrombi operation from Second Opinion, but you can't complete this one simply by removing the stones.
After you sedate the gallbladder, you'll need to make several incisions all along the outside. There's one on top, one around the left side, and one that goes all the way around. Completing each one will cause a drop in vitals and some bleeding, and you'll need to keep draining to work. All the while, new gallstones are forming. It's not that hard, so long as you're patient and mindful, but I'm neither, so let's use the Healing Touch.
This shot shows a number of things. Firstly, I've just finished cutting out the gallbladder, so the stones will stop forming. Secondly, cutting it out all at once like that is a massive drop in vitals. You start with 70, which isn't enough to use this strategy, so you'll have to raise them before opening him up.
In the cleanup, I had to deal with larger stones, one of which might be displayed in this shot. It's hard to see. Either way, they're just bigger and split into smaller ones when lasered. Everyone here has probably played Asteroids, so this isn't an issue.
The last step after extracting the gallbladder is to use gel to heal the area where it sat, and suture the tube shut.
Valerie can do this operation without any issues. You can still use HT to soften the blow of removing the gallbladder.
It wasn't without errors, but this was a good run. How good?
Valerie: But I guess it was a good chance to get our feet wet.
Markus: You always see the positive, Val.
Irene: Oh, you're leaving? I was glad to hear the operation went well. Of course, I'd expect nothing less.
Valerie: We always do our best.
Irene: I hear that a lot, but for some reason, I believe it this time. Tomorrow, we'll meet to discuss Stigma. I'm counting on you both.
Markus: Like she said: we ALWAYS do our best.
In the next episode: More of Caduceus.