When it All Comes at Once

Mariana

A mere couple of hours had convinced me of the storm that was coming for our Lab. These folks had samples stacked up deeper than I could imagine. Everyone had something they wanted checked and the Thompson incident had only increased the concern.

At least I was happy to see that most everyone wore some kind of gloves to touch things they knew nothing about and the vast majority wore composite soled boots or shoes. Mama Nature was not going to get too many of them for free! Simple things people, simple things!

I got a kick out of watching Andy help so many little things. He was having fun, brute force could fix a lot of things! How many people thought I was a small person just because they had only seen me beside the walking human tank.

Sally and I had our GP kits out checking with everyone we could; there were a large number of small nicks, scrapes, sprains and a couple of minor allergic reactions. Finding nothing major we were pleasantly surprised as major construction was popping up everywhere.

I finally ran across Kara who was nursing of all things a blister. “Manual labor not your thing?” I asked as I finished draining and dressing it.

She sighed, “I try but I have always been more of an Office type than an outdoor type. I can do lot better with a data base than a bush knife, thats for sure. It’s just that there is so much to do everyone has to at least try.”

“Unlike a few of our number I’ve noted. Anyway, how would you like a job running a desk and a computer?”

Kara just looked kinda confused, “There aren’t any jobs like that here!”

“There will be in a couple of hours! As soon as Kurt finishes calibration, the Lab is going to need a controls clerk and quick!”

“But Mariana, I do not know anything about medical labs. What good would I be?”

“Kara the controls clerk is a traffic cop. Get the samples, get a control number on them and into the data base. Get a short description of where it came from and what specifics if any they want tested. Get it in the data base and flagged in the incoming queue. Watch the outgoing queue and get the results to the samples owner! Sound familiar?”

“Yeah, real familiar. Now all we need is a computer to do that with!”

“Trust me Kara, We will have all the computer we need! Or some big genius is gonna find somewhere else to sleep!”

Out of the corner of my eye I saw said big lug fly out our tent in full ‘Hunt em Down” mode and go immediately to speed. I strained out with my talent, I could feel the nexus that was Andy on a mission! After several minutes it seemed to disappear, someone had called a false alarm!

We talked for a few more minutes and two more people came by with blisters. One guy made a joke about being dumb for not using his best gloves but he had no idea what this new tree sap would do to them.

As I was finishing this group my wrist comp chimed up, “Lab Group, K. Kellerman; if everyone would show up I think we declare this place operational!”

I got together with Sally and Linda joined us from Hanna’s place; Dave waved from the windmill sites that he would meet us there. Sally asked me, “Do you have any idea what came over my idiot husband? He actually sounds like a human being again and he and Ash are thick as thieves!”

“No idea but I’ll tell you something about Ash. You never have to wait long to find out if he has a problem with you. But, he forgives as fast as he angers. If you have something he needs or make any effort at all to change, you are fine.”

When we got to the Lab Dave and Kurt were already finishing the sweep of power and data. I double checked primary and Sally double checked diagnostic. Linda confirmed the interface transfer and allergenic prediction.

“OK folks we are officially up!” I said with a grin. “Drinks at Hanna’s?” No one had any objections!

When we got there we found everyone in cleanup mode. “What happened,” I asked to the room in general?

A quiet voice behind me stated, “The resident jackals tried to hassle Jai Benjamin and Emily Parker. I do not think they will try Jai again but they were gonna take it out on Emily. Then the hammers of hell came in the side flap and promised them what would happen! None of those scum were going to try Ghost and the Reaper; they only want the weak ones!”

I turned and stared into the dim light,”Were you on the cruiser with Jack?’

“Yes Ma’am, go by Wirehead these days!”

“OK, think fast. If you want me to believe you, what’s your real name, what’s your story and how did you know those call signs, cause I know you did not hear them on the cruiser?”

Wirehead started to turn away but then turned back and sat heavily on a chair. “OK, got to trust someone sometime. The name is Walt Davis and I am a deserter from the UNWG Orbital Special Operations because I would not be a jackal. They do not train for honor or excellence any more, just obedience and ruthlessness. They kept beating into our brain that there were people out there we were going to have to face! People who put Honor and Loyalty in front of Mission . The big Bogeymen were Magic, Ghost, Angel, Wildcat, Mad Dog, Backstop and above all the Reaper. I know that I saw two of them not 10 minuets ago and if they were Ghost and the Reaper, you must be Magic! Lady I want out but no one will trust me!”

I looked at the stunned faces around me and then stared into Walt’s eyes. After a full two minuets he had not flinched and the eyes were the same agonized pools. “OK people, no one says anything about this; be at the Lab first thing in the morning. Walt, come on I want to introduce you to Dr. Andrew Stuart!”

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Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
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