Tuesday, August 08, 2017
I Love Dialogue from Lord Roeder's Mine by Dellani
Lord Roeder's Mine is one of my sci-fi prequels. This story focuses on Matilda's father, Ed Dulac, chronicling some of the time between the destruction of Saltulle and his appearance on Guild Mining Ship The Flotilla.
Ed's had some weird experiences in Lord Roeder's Mine when he went to explore a large, unstable pocket of Trimagnite. Captain Tarvo is talking to him and he is deeply worried about Ed's behavior.
Tarvo looked worried as Ed continued to sway to the beat of music only he could hear.
"Ed." He waited while his friend continued to commune with the ore. "Ed!" His tone was sharp with warning.
Wayne Tarvo was worried now. Some people got taken that way. They were fine for a bit, then the Trim got in their blood. Not in any normal sense. Had Ed been exposed to even a drop of the semi-liquid, highly toxic ore, he'd already be in medical going rapidly out of his mind. This was strictly emotional, but just as dangerous. He tapped his comlink summoning a medical technician and security officers.
"You're getting a full check, Dulac. Don't make me force you."
Without offering any resistance, Ed followed the tech to the medical facility flanked by three guards each roughly the size of Kansas. He submitted to the battery of physical and psychological tests quietly, smiling and singing the entire time.
"Not a damn thing wrong, Captain Tarvo," the tech reported half an hour later.
"What's he acting like that for, then?"
"From what I could tell, the only thing out of place is a super elevated serotonin level."
"So, you're telling me that the best Trimagnite miner on my staff is whacked on happy hormones?" The Captain muttered, rubbing his balding pate with one hand while the other tapped irritably on his chair console.
"I wouldn't have said it that way," the technician looked a little miffed. He liked being precise. "But that's in effect what it amounts to."
"Thanks," The Captain signed off on the compact computer screen and handed the medical scanner to the tech. "Keep him monitored for twenty-four hours."
"Already done, sir. Doctor Macy took care of it personally. I think this has her spooked a bit too, sir. She's never seen anything like it."
"Thanks, Murphy. Good work." He dismissed the technician with a distracted nod.
Tarvo popped up a link to Ed's room, watching as his friend sat on the edge of his bunk, singing and smiling to himself. It was disturbing, unnatural. Whatever was happening to Ed Dulac could be contagious. Besides the tech, he was the only one directly exposed to him. Security had worn their stasuits. Making up his mind, he went to his ready room aft of the bridge, and called the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Eve Macy.
"Evie, I'm worried."
"I'm not yet, Wayne. Trimagnite's weird stuff. We've studied it for over a hundred years. Every time we think we have it locked down and figured out, it throws us a curve ball."
"Are you telling me this is Trim's next funky facet?"
"Who knows? All I'm saying is I'm not getting worried and upset until I have something to worry about. Do you really want me to lock down this facility for an epidemic? You know what they'll do to us if we halt production on a whim."
"I know, Evie. All right. Put me and anyone he's been in contact with under surveillance."
"Already done." She paused, assessing her Captain's mood. "Have you been watching him?"
"Hell yes. Weird shit, Eve."
"If he were violent, incoherent, I'd worry about exposure. I had his suit pulled and they are going over it now."
"Do we have anyone reviewing his scan?"
She shrugged. "It's in the queue for tomorrow, probably. As many techs as we have out there, they won't get to it yet."
"Let me know about the suit soonest. I'm putting someone on his scan immediately."
"I'll update you as soon as I hear on the suit. Try not to worry so much, Wayne." She smiled kindly, her eyes showing her love for him.
His smile reflected the same expression. "I'll do my best. See you at dinner." He clicked off, gnawing his left thumb knuckle absently. It was a nervous habit he'd tried to break for years. He'd have it licked until something wacko like this transpired.
© 2017 Dellani Oakes
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