Part V Here's the thing about losing a limb : (Part IV here)

The team enters the room with Ralph, fully geared up in tyvek suits with space helmets.

"Hello Mr. Jaunds. I am Dr. Stibble. This is Dr. Murk, Dr. Span and your nurse, Mr. Saliv."

Huh, thinks Ralph. Stibble is a black and the nurse is very big and muscular. The small one must be the student and the other one, well, some other kind of doc. "Uh, hi," says Ralph.

Dr. Span is the small one. "Mr. Jaunds, we are going to ask you some questions as a group. Dr. T. brought his notes and we may ask some of the same questions. When we are done, the laboratory tech will come draw blood and Mr. Saliv will get your blood pressure and get you comfortable."

Fat chance of comfortable, thinks Ralph. Not what he'd call a pretty nurse.

Dr. Span starts asking questions. A lot of the same ones. After a bit Dr. Murk takes over. "How long were you in South Africa?"

"A week," says Ralph.

"You've been there before?"

"Yeah, the IMLE moves around, but it has been hosted by South Africa every 5 years for a while. Good conference hall and they love guns. Almost as much as the Aussies. Are you taping me?"

"Yes, it's tricky to write in the gear and then we can't take the paper out of the room. What is the IMLE?"

"Oh." Ralph should watch his tongue. "International Muzzle Loader Expo."

"And you are a muzzle loader expert?" says Dr. Murk. Murk is tall and thin and white. Dr. Span is maybe asian? Ralph is not sure.

"Lead level," murmurs Dr. Span.

Ralph's eyebrows rise. "You know muzzle loaders?" That's a rare woman.

"Sort of," says Dr. Span. "I know how to load one. And bullet making."

"You shoot?"

"No," says Span. The rest of the team is interested.

"Father or brother?"

"No. Books."

"Books?" says Ralph. Why the hell would she be reading about muzzle loaders? She doesn't have an accent. He can't tell if she is shapely in the tyvek. He appreciates shapely women.

"Little house books. Describes black powder and the greased cloth and then the lead bullet, and gently tamping it down. Also how they would make lead bullets. Not safe at all."

"I have a hood and anyone who know what they are doing is real careful. Lead can get you." He is disappointed that she doesn't shoot, but still, cool that she knows a little.

"Lead level, agreed. So you hunted springhares?" says the taller woman.

"Yeah," says Ralph, "Great sport. They are nocturnal."

"Had you eaten them before?"

"Well, no. You aren't supposed to."

"Why not?" says Dr. Stibble. He has a very deep voice. Also no accent. Well, maybe slightly southern.

Ralph shrugs, "Legend. The blacks, uh, the South African guys say they are cursed."

"But they only glow under black light, is what I read," says Dr. Murk. "You are glowing in the dark. But Dr. T did say it's pinky orange."

"We are looking for your arm," says Dr. Stibble. "Police are out. We would like to send a team in to search your house with your permission, geared up like us."

"My HOUSE?" says Ralph. "Is that legal?"

"We are looking for any clues we can. Do you have any more of the springhares?"

"Well, yeah. I have two in the freezer. Bones from the last one are in the trash."

"It would be very helpful to get both." says Dr. Stibble.

"Ok, ok, yeah." says Ralph. He hates it but, well, he is missing an arm.

Another person is in the hall waving.

"The laboratory tech is here," says Dr. Stibble. "We will step out. We'll be back to do more of an exam after the blood samples are run."

"Is it an infection?" says Ralph.

"We don't know yet. No fever in the clinic." They have asked about all sorts of things, chills, fevers, pain, all about his family, weird stuff. Ralph said no to almost all of it.

"Ok, thanks," says Ralph.

The team is discussing blood tests as they go into the airlock and start taking off their gear. They are pretty serious about handwashing. Mr. Saliv stays in the room with Ralph. The tech gears up and comes in with a plastic bin with blood drawing equipment. "We gotta wait a few minutes, they are adding stuff." she says. "It's going to be quite a few tubes," she says to Ralph.

"Have at me," says Ralph.

Lead bullets and poisoning:

Iron 2023: 8

Team"work` (?), n.

Work done by a team, as distinguished from that done by personal labor.


© Webster 1913

Team"work` (?), n.

Work done by a number of associates, usually each doing a clearly defined portion, but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole; as, the teamwork of a football eleven or a gun crew.

Is the teamwork system employed, or does one workman make the whole cigar?
U. S. Consular Repts.


© Webster 1913

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