Y4-R1’s Personal Log:
I am en route to Yujin in the Cerberus’ shuttle. Captain Wester was benevolent enough to lend it to me. I will arrive in approximately fifty eight hours, twenty seven minutes and thirteen seconds.
Turmoil over Allison’s untimely destruction continues to be a source of great duress. I do not know if Yujin will hold any kind of closure, but it is a location that Allison and I visited together. A place where, for a brief time, I felt fear over her possible destruction. I will re-examine the site of that event.
“This is Turing Station,” Ophelia said, indicating the hologram. “An independent colony primarily dedicated to research. Mostly human, but staying neutral in the fight between Akumil and the Alliance, so far. It’s also the site of our next mission.”
“What kind of research do they do?” Kat asked.
“Primarily medical, robotics & weapons,” Lucy answered. “Our job is to go there and render medical assistance for their head doctor. Some kind of virus. Paul, you’ve met Doctor Ziegmari at some medical symposia, what’s she like?”
“Angela has a lot of the same philosophies on medicine that I do,” Paul answered. “She believes in the patient’s well being being the top priority and that Doctors should prioritise helping people over profits. She also has some very fascinating ideas about how various technologies can be adapted for medical use in the space age.”
“I bet she’s still not as angelic as you are,” Leon stated.
“So, you don’t think she’d lead us into a trap of some kind?” Lucy asked, ignoring Leon.
“I would say that she’s as likely to do so as I would be,” Paul said.
“Then we can’t completely rule it out,” Lucy said. “After all, you’d lure some strangers into a trap if someone was holding the rest of the Cerberus crew hostage, wouldn’t you?”
Paul nodded. “If I couldn’t think of any way out of the situation, I would.”
“We aren’t really worried about a trap,” Ophelia said. “doctor Ziegmari’s message didn’t seem forced or anything like that.”
“I did get the impression that there was something she wasn’t mentioning,” Lucy added. “But we’ll see when we arrive. Paul, you’ll put on hazard gear and go to their medical centre. Leon, Farah and I will put on hazard gear and look around the station. Kat and Ophelia will stay back on standby. Grace will work on whatever she wants to.”
“I would like to talk to their head engineer,” Grace said. “Turing is pretty well known for being on the cutting edge of technology. I think I could actually learn something.”
Lucy and Ophelia shared a quick look. “It’s fine by me,” Ophelia said. “But follow all decontamination procedures.”
Turing Station was massive. Easily large enough to hold a dozen Cerberus’. The Cerberus docked and Paul, Leon, Lucy, Farah & Grace moved to the airlock. It didn’t take long for it to open. They were greeted by a woman with dark hair, brown eyes, light brown skin and an armoured suit.
She bowed her head to them. “Cerberus crew, I’m Femi, the chief of security here.” She glanced around. “We only need Doctor Albrecht, but the rest of you are welcome to come aboard. Just be warned. The virus is extremely contagious.”
“I’m Luciverianna,” Lucy said. “Our engineer wanted to speak with yours. Leon, Farah and I wanted to look around.”
“I see,” Femi said, not sounding enthused. “I’ll have one of my men escort the good doctor to medical. Another escort your engineer. I’ll show you three around personally.”
“She’s keeping an eye on us,” Leon whispered.
“I noticed,” Lucy said. “She’s oddly suspicious, I wonder why.”
Angela Ziegmari had long blonde hair tied back and piercing blue eyes. She was working with a young looking man with dark skin, a thin beard and braided hair. A small girl with long brown hair was playing with toy robots in the corner.
“Lucas, check over the first sample series again,” she instructed. She turned and held out her hand, smiling warmly. “Thank you for coming, Paul. We’re going to need the help. Most of the station is down with this ting.” She handed him a hand held. “Tell me, what do you notice?”
Paul examined the images. all showing the same micro-organism. “This isn’t a natural virus,” Paul answered. “Someone manufactured it.”
“Exactly,” Angela said. “Whoever made it is quite sadistic. It has a lot of stages, each one progressively worse. The good news is that it kills very slowly. The bad news is that it’s proven very difficult to treat or to reverse engineer. It doesn’t last long outside of a human body.”
Paul looked around. “What angle is the rest of your team exploring?”
Angela sighed. “Lucas and I are it, I’m afraid. It’s part of why we need your help. The rest of our medical team are down. To save them, and everyone else, we need to act quickly.”
The young girl moved up to Paul, holding a small toy.
Paul knelt down. “Can I help you?”
She held out her toy. “Boom!” she cried.
Paul feigned falling back. She clapped her hands together.
“Hannah,” Angela said. “Please don’t bother Doctor Albrecht. He’s going to help Mommy make Gran and everyone better. Go back and play quietly.”
Hannah reluctantly moved away. Paul moved to join Angela.
“Sorry about her,” Angela said. “Her grandma usually watches her when Femi and I are both on duty, but I’m afraid she’s taken ill.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Paul said. “She just wants some attention. For now, you’d better tell me what the next step is.”
“We’re trying a series of different compounds that preliminary results show promise for,” Angela answered. “I’ve also started synthesising a solution that should mimic a living human body. Hopefully, the virus can survive in there long enough to properly break it down.”
“Then let’s get it finished,” Paul said.