Andrew Stuart and Kurt Kellerman.
I had just finished a very satisfying conversation with Joe Fortson when Walt waked up.
“Boss, we are ready equipment wise and Kurt’s ready to drop the bomb when you say go.”
I really started the massage on my temples; the headache was reaching epic potentials. “Well, Walt she can only kill me once. Signal Kurt and I will get Sally out of the way. Why does everything come at once?”
Walt grinned, “Who was it that told me no good deed goes unpunished?”
“One of these days Walt, I will pay you back.”
He laughed, “Not if this works, get me drunk as a skunk I will believe,”
“Right,” I said as I entered the Lab, “Sally, can I have a minute of your time?” I saw Kurt tapping Mariana on the shoulder.
“Dr. Stuart, could you look at something for me,” I asked Mariana.
“Well sure, we got the beast wrapped up. But can’t this wait till we give Andy the data.”
I grimaced, “Almost anything else, yes. This I think needs your expertise. Would you please look at this DNA scan? I popped up the scan from the swab from Hanna’s place on the right side of the screen.”
Her reply was a trained immediate response, “Hell Kurt, that’s a brood mare if I ever saw one. Shit we need her to have kids.”
I sucked in a big deep breath, “And this one, popping it up on the left side of the screen.”
I thought I was going to die right there, she came up faster than I could comprehend, I was staring right down the muzzle of one of those damn deadly Randall’s, “That’s my scan you SOB!”
“No madam, they both are. One is straight from the source and the other is filtered though the shit code your Ex buried in your Medical Chip.”
Her gaze was as cold as ice, “How do you know that?”
I gulped, “Because Ash pulled the same code right out of his personal files, and it matches to 10 decimal places.”
From behind her came, “Believe it Sis, and he ain’t through yet!” Both of us stared at Ash grinning for the first time on Alchibah.
“What do you two idiots mean?” she asked.
That was when I gulped. “The reason that the UNWG put me in the dog house was that I can kill that implant they put into you. Andy gave us the stuff to do it with, Walt built it, and Ash made it all work together. Give me ten minutes and I can kill that damn thing.”
I thought the tough old Colonel was going to faint, she damn near collapsed where she stood. She might have if Ash had not been there, how I never did figure out.
“It’s real Sis, He’s as good as he claims. Andy gave us the stuff for his rig and I confirmed every bit of it. You don’t think the wrath of Cuz would fall on anyone who messed this up. For God’s sake, breathe; this is your chance. Dammit, I don’t want to be the Prince of the Clan; let this happen and make me useless, please.”
She shuddered, “You don’t understand, I was convinced that it could not happen. Hell, we came on this trip knowing it could not happen. What am I supposed to do?”
I stayed as cold as I could, “Damn it, be Human. Live Lady, this is no damn guarantee it’s just a chance; that’s all we promise. This is going to be the same crapshoot every couple faces in their normal lives. All I promise is a chance to be normal.”
She stood slowly and shook off Ash’s help. “OK, what do I have to do?”
I gestured towards the door, “Walk over to Treatment, lie down on the table and be still for ten damn minutes! Even if I fail, it will do no damage!”
She looked at me with eyes like the damned, “OK, let’s give it a try. If I can’t trust family, I am shit outta luck anyway.” With that, she led the way out the door.
I watched the crowd move from the Lab over to the new Treatment area. “Sally, do you have any idea why the UNWG tried to destroy Kurt’s career?”
She was very intense, “No, that’s probably the only problem we have left. He absolutely refuses to talk about that.”
I groaned, “OK, I’ll take it slow. First, you know that the UNWG developed an active contraceptive implant that cannot be removed. And that they stuck it into women they claimed were genetically incapable of reproducing!”
She replied carefully, “Yes, I was aware of that.”
“Second, did you know that your Husband developed a way to kill those implants; in case the UNWG made a mistake?”
Her face was like a wounded duck.
“Third, did you know that the UNWG would not admit the possibility that they could possibly make a mistake?
“Fourth, did you know they threatened his ass to shut him up?”
She looked totally stunned, “I can not believe He would let a threat shut him up over something like that!”
I waited, “Sally, they did not threaten him. They threatened the one thing he could not live without; as I understand it they mentioned something about Troop Brothels in East Timor”
“Fifth, they put one of those damn things into Mariana based on a lie. He’s betting his ass he can do what he claims, because if he screws up and kills Mariana; you know what he thinks I will do!”
I watched as understanding slowly dawned on her face! The look was one that can’t really be described.
We just sat and stared into the distance. Then she jumped as Ash came out the door howling at the moon. “Oh God, something went wrong.” She said hollowly and turned to see me laughing my ass off.
“No Lady, that’s Ash’s bad imitation of a Tennessee Hound Dog barking treed. Everything went right.”