Day 0:4 Morning
I drug myself from from Hanna’s precious coffee spot over to Ash’s Data Center. Opening the the flap the only question that came to mind was, “Damn, Ash do you ever sleep?”
The Bleary bloodshot eyes in the drawn face replied, “When this is over, my gift from the Stuart genes; I can go as long as I have to. Besides after I get this data request to Travis, I am gonna have a couple of days to sleep.”
“OK, but I am going to need your help to sell this little subterfuge I am fixing to pull!”
“Sure, if it don’t take great and complicated thoughts I’m up to it!”
Motioning Ash to silence I keyed my wrist comp, “M. Stuart, K. Kellerman and secure please!” After a short pause the security light flashed on my comp as they linked and the voice of Mariana Stuart replied.
“M. Stuart and what can I do for you Kurt that requires secure?”
“Well it’s a little delicate. I need to final calibrate diagnostic and for that I need to do some known to stored DNA comparisons. The three best stored’s we have are Ash, you and Andy from your military medical records. I am at Ash’s place and he has offered me the records but I feel uncomfortable digging into them without your permission. Not to mention I would like to have about three new samples from each of you to run as comps.”
There was a long pause, “OK, sounds reasonable. Meet us at Hanna’s Place in about 10 and you can have your fresh coffee diluted samples. We are going to need diagnostic ASAP, so if this works I am for it.”
I let out a long held breath, “This will give me enough data to calibrate and the array should be certified by early afternoon! Kellerman clear!”
I looked at Ash, “I hope to God we live through this! When She finds out I lied to her we might not!”
He gave me that cold family stare, “If you are as good as your reputation, we are not gonna survive. We are gonna be plain old hero’s!”
I muttered over my shoulder on the way out, “Yeah Right!”
Going to Hanna’s place I got my samples and glory be a direct e-mail from Andy and Mariana specifically granting me access to their files. Andy’s comment was that he did not know what the laws were going to wind up being here but, setting precedence never hurt! Followed by an admonition to “Get it Done!”
Walking around the bluff to the Bio-Lab it suddenly dawned on me. Ash and I had not lied to Mariana, well I had about the number of before tests we had. But, as the quality of mine and Sally’s left much to be desired (they had been done in a UNWG lab not the regional lab Sally had been running) Ash and the Stuarts were really the only high grade ones we had. OK, I was splitting hairs. But it had been so long since I had felt halfway clean I didn’t want to loose that feeling!
Getting to the Lab I began the sequence with my own and Sally’s samples. There were some minor discrepancies but those proved to be from the UNWG lab not here. Ash’s samples showed some minor calibration problems in the allergy projection algorithms but the DNA was unusual in a small deviation in the fatigue reaction area.
Andy’s was a mind blower. When I was in college there was a discussion of the effects of the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) on first responders and combatants. The professor had outlined the perfect warrior. Capable of conscious control of his reactions and metabolic speed and I was looking at it! Looking back at Ash’s I now knew I was looking at the female regressive side of the same mutation. All I could think was that Fortson had been right, I too wanted a draft choice on Andy and Mariana’s first born.
Then I pulled up Mariana’s before or stored and my heart broke! This DNA sample could never produce viable offspring. Then I pulled up her shipboard sample. Then I ran all three samples I had taken just this morning.
“A. Andrews, K. Kellerman and go secure dammit!”
My wrist comp flashed the secure light and chirped, “And what can I do for you Kurt?”
“You had better bring me that third file or so help me God I will find a way to kill you!”
His reply was a chuckle, “At last another true believer. Sit tight I am on my way and the guy you really want dead is already among the dearly departed. Ash out!”