Tin Man/Medical Investigation: Alchemy

Part Four
Prompt: Solid

DG took a deep breath as she stared at her cellphone charged and put on an unlimited everything plan with magic. Jeb was safely occupied, picking clothes out of a catalogue. The signal was fine, so she was out of excuses. She pulled up the name on her contact list and dialed.

“This is Margo, how can I do you?”

Despite her nervousness, DG laughed. “You can't do me until you grow a penis.”

“DG? DG! They said you were DEAD!” DG returned the cellphone to her ear and Margo was still talking. “If this is one of those phone calls from the Great Beyond, hold on while I record it.”

“I'm not dead. I… I moved.”

“Dropped off the planet more like it. Nobody has heard from you in forever.” A machine beeped for Margo's attention. She juggled something before coming back. “You weren't abducted by smelly, fishy aliens, were you?”

DG's brow wrinkled. “No, and I thought they were grey with big heads.”

“Not in Chicago.” Margo laughed. “So spill, what happened?”

She fiddled with the pen resting on the table. “Turns out I was adopted—"

“I knew it!”

“And we were political refugees. My birth parents are part of the government of our home country and they wanted to meet me once the civil war was over, so I moved there to be closer to them and to help.”

“You better bring lots of pictures to the next class reunion.”

Relief washed over DG. Margo was still a tangent heading in the opposite direction, but she had forgiven DG. “I wish I could visit and tell you everything, but I'm back in the States on a mission.”

“Lay it on me, Elwood.”

“The civil war destroyed the medical community and I think a plague has broken out.”

Margo clicked computer keys on her end. “That sounds ominously Biblical. What are the symptoms?”

“A hundred people in one town came down with a fever that led to them drowning on their blood and within days fifty were dead.”

“Geez, you just got above my pay grade.” Margo's inhale rattled over the speaker. “Over my hospital's pay grade too.”

DG closed her eyes. Margo Whitney was the only person she knew in the medical field. “Don't suppose you dated somebody who works for the CDC?”

“You don't want the CDC. They're all lock you up in our hospital. Which is fine when it's one person with tuberculosis; bad for the numbers you're talking about.” DG heard snapping fingers. “You want Dr. Yummy.”

“I'm taking notes. Is that his name?”

“No, Dr. Stephen Connor from N.I.H., National Institutes of Health. I got dragged to a lecture he gave and came away wishing I'd come down with something he'd need to examine.”

“So how does this good-looking doctor help me, Margo?”

She yelled something at a coworker. “He heads up a team of medics who investigate serious outbreaks and they make house calls. At the lecture, somebody brought up a recent earthquake in Mexico; they were on the ground for that, so probably not uptight ‘bout leaving the country. Where did I put that conference bulletin?” Something sounding like a large book fell onto the floor. “He's stationed at the main campus in Bethesda, Maryland.”

DG felt like she could breathe again. “Margo, I could kiss you.”

“Not if you've been close to that bug. Ack, boss man cometh. Give me an update when you can Toots, and I'll tell you all about Chi'town.”

“Deal. And thank you.”

“We're solid, girlfriend. Bye.”

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