Tin Man/Medical Investigation: Alchemy

Part Twenty-Two
Prompt: Tube

Connor scowled at the data. Natalie had entered the lab with Miles, so they had to focus on work. "Cytokine storms," she said. He swiveled on the stool to face them. "You asked for what you had missed. Oseltamivir is delaying the onset but the body was still overwhelmed by its own immune system."

"And who's left from Neverdale are either very young or elderly. But we still may lose them because the virus overwhelms them. Just containing this virus so it doesn't wipe out the whole country isn't acceptable."

She matched Connor's glare. "We're going to have to start looking at drug combinations then, and risk the side effects. And see if we can find any clues in the local medical literature."

"Provided we can find someone who can translate their medical jargon for us." Connor pursed his lips.

The lab door opened again and a weary-looking Frank and Eva managed to get inside. Eva did perk up when she saw Natalie. "Natalie!" She hugged her. "Jack's okay too?"

"I left him upstairs winning an Uno game."

Frank gingerly set his case on a table. "Ready for some more bad news?" They crowded around the table, except for Eva. Frank pulled out a wooden rack with four old-fashioned test tubes stopped with black rubber and filled with a clear liquid. There was an empty hole in the rack for one more tube. "We found this in the trader's luggage. And I'll feel real stupid for how slow we maybe the driver go if it turns out to be a sample of his moonshine."

Connor gloved his hands before preparing a slide, sampling the first tube. Natalie handled the second, working at the other microscope. He glared at the evidence through the microscope lens before sampling the third tube. Natalie breathed in sharply before reaching for the last tube.

He waited until her blue eyes looked up from the microscope. "Positive, both of them are positive, son of a." She pressed her lips together rather than finishing.

"All four are positive. Visually it looks like the same strain."

Miles looked stunned. "Bioterrorism?"

"I don't think it was the guys that had me and Jack," Natalie added. Connor's nostrils flared, but he would listen to Natalie's observations about those bastards. "They didn't even have enough medical knowledge to deal with the cohorts who were shot."

Frank sank down on a couch next to Eva. "I was praying for moonshine."

"You got any more samples to process?" Connor asked him.

"We swabbed all the public areas we could think of, to see if we could figure out where he dropped off the missing tube."

"Okay, get started on that. Natalie, Miles, start working on drug combos that can beat this virus back. Eva," she looked up at Connor. "Looks like you got library research." He glanced at Natalie. "DG was still with Jack when you left?" She nodded. "Come on, Eva, let's break the bad news."

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