Episode 3 – Chapter 8

There was nothing better, as far as Neal Spearwood was concerned, than enjoying a home cooked meal. It was also true that there was nothing worse than having to clean up the kitchen afterward. Still, it was part of being a good cook.

“Everything looking good for tomorrow?” he asked his wife as he washed a plate.

“Yes, I’m thinking we should go through the valley between those mountains we marked last week.” Laura was at the table pouring over maps of their continent – at least the parts of it that had been charted so far. “It will be great to get out of town. I’ve been looking forward to going on another expedition for a while.”

“Same here.” He placed the plate on the table and began washing another. “You know I was thinking that I should take along one of those new high resolution bio-scanners. I know they’re only experimental, but they might come on handy.”

“Well it can’t hurt Honey, just remember we’ve got limited space. You can’t bring along every new toy.”

Neal placed the last plate on the table. The dishes still needed to be put away but the washing was all done. “Maybe I should head out to the lab and grab it now.”

“Can’t that wait until morning?” Laura standing up and folded the map.

“I dunno. I don’t want to forget it. Probably best to go now while I’m thinking of it.” He walked from the kitchenette into the main living part of their cabin and began looking around for his coat.

“Neal,” Laura said, looking directly at him with a seductive glint in her eye. “It can wait until morning.”

Neal smiled as he began to understand the intention behind his wife’s words. He sat down on one of their dining chairs, then reached forward and grabbed Laura, pulling her down onto his lap.

Laura gave a mock shriek as she fell willingly into his embrace.

There was no further thought of going to the lab.

* * *

The security officers were out of breath when Morgan Gill found them. He’d heard them running through Moreau town just after the security alarm was raised.

“Report.”

“We lost him,” one of the officers said shaking his head. The man’s name was Jacobson.

“That’s unfortunate,” Gill said giving the men a scolding look.

“We chased the offender from the science building but lost him on the outskirts. I’m sorry Constable.”

“I assume that the crime scene has been secured?”

“Well, no. You see we saw someone running from the scene and decided we should give chase. We didn’t want him to get away.”

“And yet he did anyway. Had you considered that there may have been accomplises? For all we know, there were others who have been busy stripping the labs of everything valuable while you two were off running all over town.”

“Sorry Sir,” Jacobson said again. “I guess I should have left Roberts at the lab.”

Gill shook his head. Clearly the security volunteers were in need of additional training. “Well I’m not looking forward to explaining this to Lieutenant Tareen when I speak to him. What can you tell me about the offender?”

“About two-hundred centimetres, medium build. He had dark hair.”

“And you’re sure if was a male?”

“Positive.”

“Well congratulations gentlemen. You’ve narrowed it down to about a third of the human population on this planet.”

The officers said nothing, just stared at their shoes.

“All right, let’s go check out the scene now.”

They walked the distance to the science building quickly. Gill unlocked the door and sent Roberts around the back to examine the scene of the break-in. The alarm had come specifically from Doctor Spearwood’s office so that’s where Gill and Jacobson headed. Gill unlocked the lab door and opened it. The lights were already on.

A gory scene confronted them as their eyes feel to the floor below the broken window. A young woman was lying unmoving on the floor in a pool of blood. Gill ran forward and checked for a pulse. It was faint but present.

“We need to get her to the medical centre immediately,” he said frantically. “She’s alive but she’s lost a lot of blood.” He looked up toward the window and yelled. “Roberts, go wake the doctor now!”

* * *

Doctor Heroux entered the medical centre with urgency, but not panic. She’d faced her share of emergencies in her career. She knew how to keep a cool head. The nurse on call was already there helping the security officers to lift the patient onto a bed.

“Situation?”

“She’s lost a lot of blood doctor.”

Heroux began examining the girl’s worst wounds. “Get a scanner and check her blood type.” There was glass that needed to be removed, and the girld would need stitches.

The nurse grabbed the device from a nearby tray and placed it near the patient’s skin. A moment later it had extracted an analysed a sample of her blood. “Type AB Negative.”

“That’s pretty rare isn’t it?” Constable Gill asked.

“Very. We have a supply in the back.” Heroux sent the nurse to fetch the blood while she worked to stabilise the patient. “Constable, we may need a little extra help here. Can you go wake nurse Johnson. She’s in the accommodation building, room 2F.”

“You got it.” Gill ran out of the room.

A moment later the nurse returned. “Doctor, we don’t have the AB negtive supply. It’s missing.”

“What do you mean missing. You mustn’t be looking in the right place.”

“I’m certain Doctor. It’s been removed.”

“Take over here,” she said while making a tutting sound. Heroux stormed into the back room and looked for the sample. True enough, it was missing. There was no time for wondering what had happened to it. She needed to find a compatible donor.

Heroux pressed a control on the scanner instructing it to transmit data wirelessly to the computer sitting on the bench. She then began a scan over all known medical records for a match. All the military officers on the planet were required to submit medical information including blood type. Heroux was greatly relieved to see a match come up almost immediately. The system confirmed a good match. As Heroux glanced at the readings she noticed something interesting. The computer comparison indicated a positive paternity for the two samples. The patient’s father was here on Xinju. Heroux was rather surprised to find out who it was.

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About Adam David Collings

Adam Collings is a writer of speculative fiction who works as a software engineer during the day. He lives in Tasmania, Australia with his wife and two children. Adam is currently working on a science fiction novel.
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