Saturday, September 6, 2014

It's All About the Game! - Chapter 13

The hospital staff on Uli Minor had never seen a Walhmite, so Damion was pulled into surgery to repair Targus’ arm. Not that you could have kept him from his captain’s side. Even though he was exhausted from taking care of his two patients all the way to the facility, he should have rested. He didn’t.

Some technician ran the ultrasonic rock breaker (not its real name – which I can’t pronounce) over Daniel under the guiding eyes of another doctor with headgear on that made him look like a giant fly with multifaceted eyes. After a couple of days of rest and having fluids pumped into him Daniel was still weak, but at least not on the critical unit any longer.

The staff was a bit awed by the three Valarians, Warsy and his two escorts, who followed us in. We were the best entertainment they had ever seen, being an all human colony.  

Damion had Targus and Daniel put in the same room so he could keep an eye on them. He was checking Targus’ vitals while he slept soundly after surgery. The doctor had kept him sedated so he wouldn’t move and undo all the detailed vein, muscle, tendon, and tissue repair he had so painstakingly done. He intended to wake Targus up tomorrow. His hope was Coal and Daniel would have it all sorted out by then – the NBs, the angry Valarian counsel, and the Galactic Forces officials that wanted their report in triplicate of what happened on Valaria to upset the counsel so badly they wanted permission to extradite all of us back to Valaria for trial.

Coal was sitting at the side of Daniel’s bed with a ‘hot spot’ booster flat he and Ma-rye-a worked up to give Daniel access to her NET connection to INC. He was trying to determine what went wrong with the NBs.

Warsy and his troop were outside in the hall. Damion having ostracized them hours ago when they got in his way while tending first Targus and then Daniel. He was a doctor, this was a hospital, his word was law! No amount of tentacle waving was getting the Valarians any attention from the hospital staff other than gawking.

I admired the doctor more and more. He was a man to be reckoned with. I almost thought had he been along with us on our trip down to Valaria we could have walked out of there with Daniel without an incident.

Daniel gave out a low moan as he shifted in his propped up position on the bed.

“You okay?” I asked and leaned over to adjust the pillow behind his back. “Can I get you something?”

 “I’m fine,” he mumbled without taking his eyes of the screen of his flat. His fingers were gliding across it searching for the illusive virus and hopefully the ‘off switch.’

The minute I logged on the virus began to cascade through the NBs,” he told Coal.

“You triggered it somehow,” the MT computer officer stated the obvious.

We had already heard Daniel’s story of what happened on Valaria and how he ended up where he did.

“Do you think the trigger was in your flat?” Coal asked.

Daniel stopped abruptly and looked up at the officer. “I hadn’t considered that. My firewall is impenetrable.” At the same time, he looked back down at the flat and starting poking a few more keys. “Damn it!”

“What?” I asked, as Daniel continued sliding informational pop-ups around the screen.

“Shit!” he cursed.

Damion came up behind me and placed his hand on my shoulder. We both could feel the anxiety rolling off Daniel in waves.

“Crap!” Daniel said and hurled the flat across the room where it exploded against the wall with a loud crash.

I jumped back in surprise and landed on Damion’s toe. Damion let out a yell, Coal came to his feet, and Targus slept on in blissful oblivion.

Coal went over to retrieve the device from the floor. “I take it you found out it was your fault?”

“Someone downloaded the trigger into my system. The minute I logged in I tipped it to spread through the whole damn chain of NBs,” Daniel confessed.

“Well, that’s a good thing,” Coal said. He came back to sit at Daniel’s side and started to piece the flat back together. Luckily they are sturdy little machines and can take a lot of abuse. Coal was just popping it back together.

“Right…” Daniel said. Lights were going off. I have seen him like this in the past when some idea dawns on him. He reached over the grabbed the flat from Coal. “I think I know who did it, it’s just a matter of proving it.”

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