“Ah, Derrick,” I sighed. “You sure made a mess of yourself. Sit down and let me try to patch you up. Fogweet, go stand over there, little dude. Maybe you’ll find another one of those pretty lights.”
“Okay Uncle Jerry.” Fogweet backed away while glancing cautiously at Derrick. “Man have big owie.”
“Yes, he does, buddy.” I extracted some anti-septic and sealant from my kit. “But we’ll fix him up. Is that an ice cream cone I see down that way?”
“Where?” Fogweet squealed and bolted across the conduit as I swabbed at the tooth marks in Derrick’s arm.
“Well Derrick, I guess you weren’t very tasty. I’ll put on some sealant and then, I’m going to wrap you up in this bandage. When you get home, go check in with your family doctor. You may need some reconstructive work.”
“Thanks Doc.” Derrick leaned heavily against the wall and let out a long breath. “I think it’s going to be a while until I get home though.”
“Not too long, I hope,” I replied finishing up and repacking my bag. “There’s a possibility this guy was caring Martian Rabies. I’m thinking you should probably start the series of twenty-seven shots just in case.”
“Rabies?” Derrick choked and his eyes grew wide. “I can handle knives and guns, Doc, but shots make me faint. Twenty-seven of them will probably kill me dead.”
“Me too,” Officer Marshall agreed and swiped at his sweaty neck. “I’m glad that guy didn’t make my arm his lunch. Hey Doc, any chance you’ve got some more of that rubbing alcohol in your bag?”
“Sorry. Listen Derrick, I’ve really got to catch the next flight out. If I don’t make it to the ship by tomorrow, I’ll be AWOL and I don’t even want to think about what that will mean for my career. I’m going to head back upstairs and I suggest you do too. If you start to have hallucinations or feel dizzy get yourself to a medic quickly and start those shots. Okay?”
“Yeah, yeah, sure Doc.” Derrick kneaded his own sweaty forehead. “You sure you don’t want to hang around here a little longer and keep an eye on me yourself? I mean, you know better than me and Marshall what Martian Rabies look like.”
“Sorry,” I said again and handed Derrick a prescription for antibiotics and pain killers. “I’ll be at the gate for a little while. I think the next flight isn’t for another hour or so. Ring or text me if you get worried but chances are he wasn’t rabid. He didn’t drool or have really bad breath, did he?”
“Bad breath?” Derrick squeaked.
“Probably nothing,” I reiterated. “My cell number is on that script. Call me if you need me.”
“Is this in English? I can’t read anything here. Do they purposely teach you how to write unintelligibly in med school?” Derrick mumbled when suddenly, Fogweet came running up the conduit.
“Uncle Jerry! No ice cream cones down there but Fogweet find something else!”
“What is it, little buddy?” I asked as he jumped around, his luminescent head excitedly pulsing yellow light and reflecting off the dark walls of the shaft.
“Fogweet find candy!” He held out his hand to display a tiny gold square and was just about to pop it in his mouth when Derrick launched himself at it. “Mine!” Fogweet roared and flashed his dozens of tiny sharp teeth.
“Give it to me!” Derrick screamed. “That’s a chip, you idiot, not candy!”
“Mine,” Fogweet declared again and swallowed the chip. “Yummy.”
“Uh oh,” Officer Marshall mumbled. “I’m not going to hang around to watch it come out the other end.”
“Give it back!” Derrick wrapped his arms around Fogweet’s tiny neck causing the Martian’s big head to lob from side to side. “Either spit it out or Uncle Jerry is going to cut it out. Get your scalpel ready, Doc.”
“Nuh uh,” Fogweet growled and his head started to glow red hot. “My candy, right Uncle Jerry?”
“Hey, keep me out of this. One man’s top secret microchip is another man’s candy.” I swung my kit over my shoulder and headed toward the stairs. “Don’t be a stranger, Derrick. Email me some time.”
“Fogweet live with Uncle Jerry!” the Martian let out a plaintive cry and wrestled away from Derrick. He barreled down the conduit and leaped on my back, once again threading his sticky fingers through my hair.
“Get back here you little Big Head!” Derrick raged racing after us. “Stop!” A moment later, I found myself once again on the floor, flattened beneath Fogweet and Derrick. While they wrestled above me, Marshall nervously paced the tiny corridor, his hands trembling from lack of nicotine.
“I’m going to miss the last flight out tonight, aren’t I?” I asked no one in particular, my head jammed against the cement.
“Looks that way, Doc,” Marshall replied. “You sure you don’t have anything else in your bag I can drink? Maybe one of those tiny little hotel bottles of gin? Whiskey? Vodka? Light beer?”