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Jeanne goes undercover to investigate a fetish club.
" Shakti walked over to a nearby desk and called up a few black-and white images. They showed a grainy and bumpy surface dotted here and there with small white spheres. It looked almost like grapes scattered on a roofing shingle.
The expert pointed at one of the white spheres. "It has some features in common with Staphylococcus, but that might just be a structural similarity. Whatever it is, it's present in much lower numbers than anything else. Until I know more, I'm keeping the samples isolated while I do the cultures."
Grace leaned forward and shook her head. "That's definitely not staph. I've seen plenty of that in my time. These are way too small. I guess we'll have to wait for the cultures to get proper DNA sequencing." She had an uneasy thought. "What if these are from the other portal? Could bacteria make it that far just drifting on the wind?"
"Maybe. Or if the terror-birds were some doing scouting earlier, they might have spread it around."
The doctor leaned back and looked at the picture of the mystery bug again. "What the hell is that?"
There is no force in the cosmos more prone to mischief than a group of soldiers with time on their hands. Cal Forrester knew that down to his bones, and so he allowed his troops to sleep in for exactly one morning and then went right into a routine.
At first light, he would get up from the improvised bed in Marigold and Arabella's house. Their place would be considered cozy even with just the two lagomorphs present, and with him added it was downright small. But they insisted on him staying after that first night, and they were both very persuasive.
Having to leave behind his two warm and furry bed-mates was by far the hardest part of his day. Their dwelling was barely big enough for him to move around in, and he got real tired of banging his head on doors. Cal now saw why the lagomorphs had suggested the warehouse for his troops.
After dressing, he'd make the run from their house to the warehouse/barracks. It was five miles, enough to give him a nice warm-up before he got to the warehouse and started kicking ass...usually metaphorically.
He ran them through PT in the morning along with equipment cleaning and maintenance. He also set up a schedule for them to take turns out at Hadley's Farm, both standing guard and helping build up the defenses. Forrester knew he had to do whatever it took to keep his people moving and occupied. He couldn't allow them to just sit and get freaked out about their admittedly freaky situation.
Yuri, in his usual cheeky manner, declared his tent the Russian embassy and even drew a makeshift flag to fly outside it. The first morning after the battle, Cal had discreetly asked the Russian if their hosts had tried to 'welcome' him as well.
"Da," replied Yuri with a big laugh. "I wake up this morning and find two of the darling lisichkas cuddling me. I explain my situation and they were very understanding. Said I made good hot water bottle for sleeping." He got a wistful look on his face. "If single, would have accepted their proposition."
Cal clapped the Russian on one meaty shoulder. "Natalia's a lucky woman, Yuri."
Yuri smiled. "Of course!" His smile faded. "We have to put heads together. Might be here for quite a while, need to figure out political situation."
The sergeant held up his hands. "Ohhhhh, no, forget that shit. I'm a knuckle-dragger, not a politician."
"You are most senior leader of your people," replied Yuri with a sober expression. "Ned is good man, but just engineer. I am diplomat with no specific instructions from my people. I am not suggesting making treaties, but we do need more information. We need to find out the politics of this world, see if there are factions or countries that could make problems for us. If portal does not reopen, then it is all a moot point anyway. But we should be ready."
Cal knew that the Russian was right.