Big Pharma

“Thank yah,” Dorian noticed both Jacy and the nun…Lyen, he’d heard her name to be…were busily dragging a chair into the infirmary. “Right ovah there is fine.” Vas had delivered the three requested drugs, while voicing a suggestion for Jacy to persuade him into the chair. “Soon enough,” he replied with a subtle shake of his head. “Understand that when Ah sit down, Ah’m likely not gettin’ back up til y’all haul me out at Valentine.”

Given the deep weariness rising through his bones and the dullness his mind was beginning to feel from the constant painful throb to his temple, the medic knew his effectiveness was winding down to minutes. “Ah’m gonna talk through what Ah’m doin’” he said to the group, “just so we all understand.” He handed the Mach tablet to Vas. “Mistah Vas, kindly shave a little bit of one corner intah that dish. Miss Jacy,” he said as he looked about with one eye, “in mah medical bag yah’ll find a small snap folder of hard leather, which contains four powder vials. Couldja get that fah me?”

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“Ah’m hopin’ two things,” he continued. “First, we know from Mistah Gill that she took both halves with roughly thirty minutes in between. If that’s correct, Ah’m guessin’ that part of tha second half came back up when she vomited. Now, Mistah Vas, take these tweezers and distribute what yah cut off inta four corners of tha dish.”

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“Second thing Ah hope,” Dorian said as Vas’ steady hand set to the task, “is that whatever dealer fabricated this Mach used a cutting agent tah increase profits. Good. Now,” he popped open the small folder, “let’s sprinkle a few crystals from each vial ontah each of tha four corners. One tah one, two tah two, you get it.”

The nun was doing her best to be unobtrusive. She’d found a position behind Gill, apparently to be at the ready with a comforting word or a hand to his shoulder. “Sistah,” Dorian asked, “see tha eye droppers in that rack by tha sink? Wouldja fill one with water for us?”

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“Almost there,” Adler said to Haddie’s fidgeting older brother. “Thank yah,” he nodded as the eye dropper was passed along. “Now, Mistah Vas, kindly give us one small drop onta each pile.” With his good eye, Dorian watched as the punk delivered a drop to each of the little stacks. Immediately, the crystals liquefied. “There are four agents most commonly used when dealers want tah cut a drug,” the medic said as everyone watched the dish. “Vitamin C, ground chalk, suphedrine, and bovinemide, a cattle deworming drug that was dumped inta every colonizing mission since terraformin’.”

As they watched, the tablet fragments dissolved into their respective solutions, each bleeding little rivulets of deep blue. After a moment, all four test zones had morphed into identical little wells of dark blue liquid. “Since Ah’m tha blind man here, evahbody agree we got deep blue on all four?”

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“Tha Mach is pure,” Dorian said. “Now we can dose. Mistah Vas, grab two Chlopatemine capsules.” He nudged the mortar and pestle toward the punk. “Pull tha capsules apart and empty ‘em into that. Next, tha Zofran. One tablet. Crush it intah powder. Now, kindly empty tha eye dropper inta tha bowl and mix it all up til ya got liquid ever’thing.”

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Haddie lay still upon the table, her breathing deep and even. “Miss Jacy,” Dorian pointed, “In that drawer by yah hip yah’ll find some rubber tubing. If yah would, please tie a knot on Haddie’s right bicep. Should be tight, but not uncomfortable.”

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A moment later, a syringe of Doxapram completed the loading of the IV bag. Dorian asked Lyen “Sistah, wouldja give me some water? Thanks.” As the cup was passed to his hand, he picked up the Mach tablet, popped it into his mouth, and followed with a generous swallow. “Now,” he said to the small group, “bein’ down an eye, Ah wouldn’t trust mahself fah this. Before Ah give tha job tah Mistah Vas, Ah should ask if anybody has experience in settin’ an IV drip?” The medic’s eye travelled toward Jacy.

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The next move determined, Dorian nodded his approval as the needle was laid gently into a bulging vein on Haddie’s forearm. “Good. Now tape it intah place,” he said. After a final glance toward the IV’s drip setting, Dorian took a step, wobbled, and righted himself by clutching at the treatment table. “Think Ah might need a little help gettin’ around tah tha chair,” he observed.

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