Oh What a Day at the Lab!

From The Log of Mariana Stuart

I laughed as I walked into the Lab; the sight of Kurt nursing his hangover was great theater. “Well Dr. Kellerman, did we have one to many last night?”

“That’s CPT. Kellerman to you COL. and I damn sure did. I still can’t believe he popped these on me.”

“That’s what happens when you prove you can get it done to a man who believes in results. Your dumb ass did ask me to teach you how to use those things. Little did you know I learned how to teach from the three best there ever were.”

“Three, Mariana?”

“Andy Stuart, Gabriel Benjamin and Ashcroft Andrews. Do not cross anyone on that list, you are far from ready to play in that league. Shit, I would not try that crowd.”

“Mariana,” exclaimed Kurt, “I have seen your draw, you make my Grand Dads “Panther Quick” look slow.”

“But, you could see it,” I said. “Tell me did you even see Ash’s when he drew down on you back on the Mayflower?” Kurt just nodded no. “Kurt, he’s the slowest of the three!”

“Benjamin, is that any relation to the Benjamin’s we have here?”

“He is Connor’s adopted brother and Jai’s Uncle. You think she got to be the firebrand she is by accident?”

“Oh Lord, that’s why Andy’s dumping on her; she has Leader written all over her.”

I caught his eyes, “If your little experiment don’t work for sure; she is Andy’s adopted daughter. She will be his replacement, he won’t admit it, but I know it.”

Kurt stared at me for a long moment then, “Mariana I was not drunk enough that I could not run up your blood work from last night. I figure you have somewhere between sixty and ninety days to find a source of tampons or pads. Your enzyme and endorphin levels are already ramping up, that thing is deader than hell; that was the other reason I was partying last night.”

I slumped into the chair, it was real; I knew in my soul that Kurt would not lie to me, then the voice broke the silence.

“Ain’t that buggering interesting? Who’s the head Digger at this Military sawbones shop?”

I heard Kurt answering, “Ma’am this is not a Military facility.”

The statuesque Redhead answered, “Well damn Mate. I see a Full Bird COL. and a CPT. what the bloody hell am I supposed to think?”

Kurt laughed and came back with a great line; “This is a civilian facility that just happens to be staffed heavily by part time military. That’s our story and we are sticking to it.”

While she was laughing, I stepped in, “We leave rank at the door here, if you’re looking for the boss; it depends on what you want! By the way who are you and how did you come to know military ranks?”

She stared at me for a minute, “The name is JoAnn McKenzie, late 2LT of the Australian SBS; so those rank tabs are familiar. My only question is that according to my last briefing before we were dissolved, is that COL. Stuart was a male.”

“No,” I said, “While I was on active duty I went by Kearns, that was before we got married. Once again, what do you want? And what does the name mean to you?”

“Dear Lord Mate, you can’t be Magic and the Reaper. The UNWG swore you were dead,” JoAnn exclaimed.

My reply was short and sweet, ” Not Hardly Mate; now one more time, what do you want here?”

“Well, I heard the CPT. bragging at the bar last night and I was wondering if you could tell me why the UNWG hung one of those bloody things on me?”

I heard Kurt’s low “Oh Shit!” and immediately called Sally on my wrist comp; “Sally is Treatment fired up?”

“Sure Mariana, I just finished the run up self diagnostic, what do you have?”

“We have a female, early thirties; full body scan with a possible active implant. We are going to need a full workup on location of any implant.”

“OK, JoAnn get that gear off, open your mouth for that swab Kurt’s carrying and get next door.” I watched as she took off her gear and what a strange mix it was. I had to ask, “A lever action and two Ruger Super Redhawks?”

“Well, they at least use the same round they are all .44 mags!” She said as she placed them on the weapons rack Dave had built in just the day before.

I turned to see Kurt’s wry grin as he started the DNA scanner, “Never thought I would see a Bio-Lab with a weapons rack and no one think anything about it. Brave New World indeed.”

We traded mindless banter like that for the five minutes it took for Diag and Primary to start putting up results. Staring at the visual in Diag I asked, “You see any problems here? I see a couple of small glitches there but nothing to worry about.”

Kurt’s reply was kind of strange, “Nah, not a problem but I swear I have seen that pattern before.” He then started a comparison search of our database. The hit came up fast, “Yep, there it is; only the fact that this one is a male pattern is what had me confused!”

“Ok Kurt, who’s is it?” And the reply was the bingo surprise of the morning,

“Ashcroft William Andrews IV, my oh so interesting double recessive mutant. We are looking at a Female double recessive and I know why she got tagged. You see Ash lied to everybody but me, you did not get tagged as a cover for your ex; you got tagged to stop you from mating with this.” He then called up a fourth scan on the split screen.

I just stared and asked, “Whose is that?” Then the impact of what I was seeing hit me, “Dear God, that’s Andy’s.”

“Yep, the UNWG followed basic eugenics; stop the females is the fastest way to stop the line. All we need now is a basic idea of her IQ; I give you Dr. Andrews as a baseline.”

Just at that moment JoAnn walked in, like most Aussies I had ever met she was in her pants and bra carrying her upper garments. I asked her, “Just to get us a baseline what’s your education level, it’s faster than an IQ test.”

“Crikey, double BS Civil and Chemical Engineering wanted to go for a More of the Same but ran out of degree completion time.”

Just at that time the fates or my bad luck had Ash walk in the door, ” Hello Sis, I got some ohmygod I mean softbod, I mean software to put on the ohmygod I mean control unit.”

Kurt came to the rescue, “Ash the computer is back in primary as you well know. I don’t know what software you have to load; but that Lady has been tagged and I need some help.”

Ash’s face suddenly lost its slack-jawed look and assumed the Clan Stuart cold stare. “What do you mean by tagged and what help do you mean?”

“Dammit, she’s got one of those damn active implants and it’s a different model from the one they put in Mariana. I need some help with the correct harmonics.”

Ash was as cold as they came, “Five minutes for the upload, then I’ll frack that Bastard for you.” He turned towards JoAnn, “That I promise you My Lady!”

As Ash and Kurt moved into the back room I looked at JoAnn, “Would you get dressed please, I’ve never seen that dumbass like that.”

She started pulling on her shirt and smiled at me wistfully, “He’s kinda cute actually”

I just rolled my eyes towards the ceiling, “Dear God, two of them. Who did I piss of in a past life?”

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Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Probably.

All Contents (written or photo/artwork) not attributed to other sources is
Copyright (C) 2006 - 2011 by Jeff Soyer. All rights reserved.