Disclaimer: I do not own Tin Man or Medical Investigation and I make no money off this work. Also this story was made possible with lots of help from this book: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dangerous Diseases and Epidemics.
The characters DG, Wyatt Cain, Glitch, Raw, Longcoats, Jeb Cain, Azkadellia, Zero, Queen Galinda, Ahamo, Hank, and Emily as used in this story come from the Tin Man miniseries.
The characters Dr. Stephen Connor, Dr. Natalie Durant, Dr. Miles McCabe, Frank Powell, Eva Rossi, Jack Connor, Lisa Connor, and Director Kate Ewing as used in this story come from the Medical Investigation television series.
The characters Unnamed Deliverer of Bad News, Lord Vandervort, Count Begon, Count Roundtree, Baron Colfer, and Captain Marsen were created for my Tin Man fanfics. The character Margo Whitney was created for my Biker Mice From Mars: Evil Jack series of fanfics. Please don't use them in your stories. But feel free to draw them and send me a copy.
This story contains cussing, graphic depictions of violence, drinking of alcoholic beverages, and sexual situations. If you're not mature enough to handle it, go read something else.
This story takes after an annual after the Tin Man miniseries.
At first the people would say good luck had Princess DG and her companions visiting Finaqua when the town of Neverdale fell ill. Her compassionate heart would have made her travel with the Queen to see what new calamity had befallen the citizens of the O.Z. Instead the eldest daughter and the Consort accompanied the Queen, and the frenzied messenger had another member of the Royal Family as a destination.
He straightened his travel-stained uniform. All the Heroes of the Eclipse sat in the gazebo by the lakeshore. Wyatt Cain's reputation as the last sight whoever upset Princess DG saw was already legendary, but the Viewer and the former Headcase were just as bad. Oh well, at least he will die in service to his Queen. "Your Highness."
DG looked up from the sketchpad on her lap. "What's the emergency?"
He didn't mean to gape, but how did she know? The Viewer growled softly and the former Tin Man shifted, so the messenger blurted what he had been told. "The Queen's Council summons you back to Central City immediately."
"What? I cleared this vacation with them. They can't order me around, can they, Glitch?"
Before anyone could escort him from the displeased Princess, he continued with the rest of the message. "It's an emergency. The Queen has fallen ill, possibly the Consort and Princess Azkadellia. Your Highness must come back to Central City!"
The Queen's Council found out yet again they didn't control the actions of the youngest Princess. DG only stayed in Central City long enough to find out where her family was before running down the Brick Route and branching lanes after them. Glitch was glad when the bouncing truck finally reached Neverdale, even though he dreaded what they would learn.
DG barely waited for the vehicle to stop before she jumped out. The Royal Army tents were set up away from the town and blocking the road in. Captain Jeb Cain intercepted her, but DG stopped and waited for the older men behind her to catch up. "What do you know, Jeb?"
"We've got a communication line into the town, but the Consort gave orders to keep everyone out after the soldiers who went in replacing their guards got sick too."
"Do you know who isn't sick, son?" Cain split his focus between Jeb giving the information and DG receiving it.
"So far the Consort and Princess Azkadellia both say they're okay, and they're the only ones who aren't sick or dead in the entire town." DG stiffened and Cain's hand gripped her shoulder. "But they don't know what the sickness is," Jeb finished.
DG nodded. "When will the doctors get here?" She stomped her foot at the blank stares. "You know, doctors, people who study diseases and how to heal people."
"Alchemists," Glitch corrected. He burrowed into the records snatched up during their brief stop at the Palace. How many people lived in Neverdale?
"Fine, alchemists. Nobody has sent for any?"
Jeb shook his head. "There aren't any to send for."
"They didn't all work for the witch."
"Witch hunted healers who refused to join her," Raw answered.
DG stared at the shingled-roofs beyond the tents. "What about other countries? Can we borrow some alchemists?"
"And advertise to the Longcoats and any other hostiles that we have a health crisis that has affected the Royal Family?" Cain shook his head. "The Council will never go along with that."
"I out rank them."
"But I would agree with them." He pushed his fedora back to glare at her more.
She matched his glare. "A secret trip."
Glitch had to interject, even though he'd rather not have the glares focused on him. "There's no way to keep a trip across the deserts secret, DG. Not with the levels of protection you'd need." She did turn her glare on him, but he ignored it. "Do you think the tiktoks would help minister? Ahamo and Azkadellia can't care for that many ill without relief. How many are ill?"
"I never got a hard number," Jeb admitted.
"I need to talk to them." DG's voice cracked and she took a moment before continuing. "Where did you put the phone?"
The younger Cain led DG away and Glitch turned to the older. "She can't get sick too."
"You better get some tiktoks here before the Council arrives and mucks things up." Cain adjusted his hat before trailing after his son and the Princess.