Characters: Dr. Mira Trassano, Peter Carlacci

Mira and Carlacci stood in the main exam area of Medlab One, the Abbai Reeakiss perched on a table between them. Carlacci, who had been pacing back and forth as the doctor did a full exam, paused and turned to Mira.

“I’ll need to let Darquin know that she’s here,” he said. “Under the circumstances, it shouldn’t be a problem, but still.”

Mira nodded abstractly, “Yes, of course. He should know that Reeakiss will be staying for a bit. The drug is still very much in her system,” she muttered, the last words mostly to herself. Mira continued to read the results of the scan as it printed out onto the screen.

“And it may take us a while to locate the ones who would want to shut her up,” Carlacci added. He was about to say more when the girl leaned back onto the bed, groaning piteously.

“Mmm…” the doctor absent-mindedly patted Reeakiss’ hand before the sound truly registered. As it did, her head snapped up. “Is she feeling unwell again?”

At Mira’s touch, Reeakiss shrank away, babbling in terror. Carlacci listened, frowning as he tried to make out the words. “Oh hell,” he murmured quietly. “I think she’s seeing things.”

Mira paused. The possibilities flashed through her mind and she settled on withdrawal symptoms. “Mr. Carter! I’ll need some help here.” To Carlacci she added, “She’s probably only just started to withdraw from the drug. She may be very ill for a while.” Mira made soothing sounds and tried to get close to the shivering girl.

Carlacci spoke quietly to Reeakiss in her own language, trying to calm her down. Slowly, she stilled enough to let Mira handle her.

Mira held Reeakiss’s wrist firmly. The girl’s eyes roamed wildly as Mira spoke. “She doesn’t have a fever,” she said, stroking the girl’s head. “Mr. Carter, please prepare one of the isochambers for an extended stay. It should be free of anything that can be used for self-damage.”

Carlacci looked up at Mira, dark eyes wide in sympathy. “Withdrawal? Self-damage?”

Mira shrugged delicately. “It’s difficult to tell what symptoms will appear when withdrawal sets in. Each person reacts differently. She’s having hallucinations; they may lead her to do things to herself. She will have to be watched and protected.”

“Poor kid. Do you want me to stay with her? Having someone who can talk to her might help.”

“Yes, she’ll need someone who speaks her language. But, surely you have other duties and cannot stay with her constantly.” Mira stared into space a moment. In the background she heard Helle ask one of the nurses preparing the isochamber a question. “But, I think I have someone else who may be able to help.” She smiled widely.

“Good,” Carlacci said. “I’d like to stay, but I’d probably be of more help tracking down the people pushing these drugs in the first place.”

Mira nodded. “Exactly. We must each do what we are called to do.” Her smile had gotten a bit toothy. “Mr. Carter, could you ask Helle to see me in my office in a few moments?”

“You obviously know something I don’t,” Carlacci said, though he was beginning to smile also. Something about Mira’s smile was infectious. “Shall I go talk to Darquin and leave you to it for a while?”

Turning back to Carlacci, she winked. “Help me please to get her into the isochamber before you go? I’d rather not have to drag her.”

Carlacci wondered at that for a moment, knowing how strong the Centauri actually was. He flashed on how easily she had handled the Abbai corpses in the autopsy room, then banished the image. He nodded, and picked up Reeakiss. She struggled violently for a few moments before falling into a near-stupor. Carlacci carried her across the room, laying her down gently in the isolation room. He offered Mira a smile and a pat on the shoulder as he left. “Good luck. I’ll check back as soon as I can.”

“Thank you. Good luck in your hunting.”

Copyright (c) 2000 Mona Hinds and Jamie Lawson. All rights reserved.

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