Alexander Harper is a coroner that is exceptionally good at his job. It doesn't hurt that he's able to jump start the brains of the poor souls that come across his table, witnessing their last moments firsthand.
I crouched down to the side of the body, taking off the glove from my left hand. I reached down and placed my middle and index fingers on her wrist and stared at my watch, imitating the motion of checking for a pulse. This was an age-old practice, a way to hide what I was doing from the casual observer. Once upon a time, they burned people like me at the stake for flaunting their abilities around. I took a deep breath, exhaled, and Pushed. The sensation of suddenly gaining an extra finger, then a hand, moving along the nerves and feeling them like they were my own. They weren't, of course, but at the time it certainly felt like it belonged to me.
My awareness danced along her synapses, a spark bounding from wire to wire, barreling along a great expanse. I was the only beacon of light in the vast, unending darkness, and I was racing as fast as I could manage on an expansive highway normally overloaded with traffic. It was a lonely feeling, like staying after closing time at a bar. I knew the way, though, and it's much smoother sailing if you don't have to worry about veering into oncoming traffic. I merged onto the main expanse, and felt a bit of myself slipping out to fill the paths behind me. Back in my own head, I felt the crisp autumn air on her legs and the cold, wet sensation of the pool of blood at her back. It's much easier to flow downstream than swim against it, after all. I readied myself for the home stretch, seeing the dim glow of a few firing synapses far off in the distance. With the finish line in sight, I redoubled my efforts, and scrambled to the only other source of light for as far as the mind's eye could see.
My spark came crashing to a sudden halt. Normally, this part is a simple matter of weaving among a few neural clusters, and it was an easy ride to the cerebellum. Instead, I found myself at the very edge of a great expanse, an impassable chasm between me and my goal. The light was glowing dimmer, still, and I couldn't reach it from here. I receded from the young woman, ebbed back into my own body, and stood, somewhat dazed. "Her brain stem's been severed. Do what you need to, but don't touch the body. Take pictures, document, whatever procedure is," I spat to the plainclothes officer, still not bothering to catch his name. "I'll move her when you're ready."