The doctor was examining Kessler, who lay on his back, as I stepped through the hatch to the infirmary. He had cut away any clothing surrounding the laceration. When he noticed my presence next to him, he moved slightly to the right in order to allow me room to see.
Kessler was unconscious, although his breathing was deep and regular. His wound was a vertical incision about ten inches long. It started above his left hip, just atop the iliac crest of his hipbone, and ended at the beginning of his rib cage where, apparently, a sharp steak knife had been blunted by the horizontal bone of that lowermost rib. I knew the cutting instrument was a steak knife because it lay on the table beside Kessler. The incision welled with dark red blood, which gathered in the gaping puncture, then spilled over onto the table. No pumping or pulsating in the blood flowing from the wound was detectable.