"It's the perfect time of year
Somewhere far away from here
I feel fine enough I guess
Considering everything's a mess.
"-- Pinch Me , ©Steven Page & Ed Robertson (Barenaked Ladies)


In the care of the lovely Sergeant Gerard, Trevor has been questioned about every unsolved crime in the area. Trevor: "If you need help with your unsolved crimes, I'd be more than happy to solve them for you." Oh that goes over well. Then the captain comes in, and Gerard adopts a subservient attitude all of a sudden. He's apparently been harassing Trevor too long. Captain: "Either charge this man, or set him free." Gerard: "But sir -" Captain: "You heard me." He leaves. Gerard: <to Trevor> "One of these days you're going to screw up, and I'll be all over you like white on rice." Being the small-minded, pedantic, paper-shuffling, politically correct, toady that Gerard is, Trevor is just not going to be able to avoid rubbing Gerard the wrong way. Finally, Trevor is cut loose, amid whispered comments among the other cops.

Mitchell and Suzette are awake, thanks to the car alarms and all, and have gotten to the post-boinking pillow-talk stage (lucky for Mitchell - Suzette comes from an old and decadent planet, and seems to have a lot of stamina). Suzette: "...I know a lot of people. Some of them are probably connected with organized crime, but, as the Swiss say - 'money has no smell'." She's not involved with anything serious, just stuff like the illegal (read: "not taxed") gambling going on in the Last Chance. None of those funny little stamps on the liquor bottles in here either. In the Rim you have the criminals and the government, and the government criminals, etc. The higher the law level, the more the graft and corruption. Suzette is really more into the "naughty" side of crime; nothing that would hurt anyone.

Suzette has been on Vantage for only a few months, but she makes friends quickly. For example, Brizzk, the owner of the casino. Just on the off chance, Mitchell asks if she knows Rebecca McNaughton, and Suzette describes the girl, to a tee. She hasn't seen her recently, but she used to hang around with Brizzk. Suzette isn't one of the ultra-superior Solomanis, but a Vargr? It's the status thing, or lack thereof. Suzette: "Yeah, I haven't seen Rebecca for the last couple of weeks, but she used to hang around here a lot. She'd drink too much and get kind of embarassing sometimes, but she was a nice kid. And it was obvious she was just doing it to piss off her dad." Mitchell: "They didn't get along?" Suzette: "Actually, it seemed more like the usual teenage rebellion thing. You remember what it was like to be a teenager, don't you?" Mitchell: "Oh yes." Suzette: "Exactly. Although I don't think you went in for the Vargr girlfriend and alien drugs thing." Mitchell has no comment.

Trevor is able to hang out with a couple of the local cops for a bit, drink some herbal tea, and have a homemade bran muffin, made by one of the cops. The two cops have been partners for a long time, and argue like a married couple. And they can understand Trevor's private detectiveness, having been on the NIT themselves. They sort of fell into their line of work, before it was even an official police department. They may be a bit touchie-feelie, and all granola-like, but their style of interrogation works remarkably well. And they are definitely not fans of Sergeant Gerard.

Malcolm, at about this time, is being medicked by the EMTs on site (i.e., the street) before transport. They find the thug across the street, and put him on life support, so his organs can be harvested. He's quite dead. The EMTs aren't concerned about getting Malcolm's ID number for his medical coverage, because every good Solomani citizen is covered. They just don't yet know that he's not Solomani. The bill is going to be unpleasant, but it's not too bad an injury - through and through, not a big deal.

Suzette: "Hey look, there's something going on outside." They go to the window, which Suzette transparents all the way, to watch the police cars, ambulance, fire engines, etc. (there was a gun involved, so everyone had to be called). They see some one being strapped onto a gurney. Mitchell recognizes Malcolm, bloodied, on the gurney, flailing around. (Trying to make them not intubate him or cut his clothing off.) Mitchell: "Oh, it's Malcolm." Malcolm happens to look up, and sees a naked man and woman (from the waist up, at least) looking down on him from the third floor. Malcolm's blood pressure shoots up once he recognizes who it is. (Adding insult to injury.) Mitchell: "Well, I guess I better go check it out." Suzette: "Better put some clothes on first." Mitchell: "Oh, right."

Malcolm is asked for his name, and for his ID. He knows who he is, and his ID is on his tags. The EMTs call in his name, which Trevor hears over the radio at the station, along with the report on the shooting. His new friends will be heading out to the scene, so Trevor takes a rental car to the casino. He is transported in environmentally correct comfort, until his car stops automatically at an intersection, as there is some one crossing the street. Trevor recognizes Gabrielle, and calls out to her. She stops and turns around. Trevor: "What are you doing wandering around out here?" Gabrielle: <approaching the car> "I wasn't wandering, I was trying to get away from the casino." Trevor: "Why?" Gabrielle: "Because the twin brother of the Vargr who was killed in the bar thought I'd know what you were up to, but I don't." Trevor: "Okay...Can I take you anywhere?" Gabrielle: "Do you have a key to the hotel room?" Trevor: "I must...Yes." Gabrielle: "I would like to get cleaned up." Trevor will take Gabrielle to the hotel first, and then go check things out.

As Malcolm is being transported, Mitchell goes back upstairs to the room, where Suzette tells him "some woman called for you. She said she'd call back." Suzette is somewhat miffed that a strange woman is calling Mitchell in their room. Mitchell calls to leave a message at the hotel he's checked into with Malcolm and Trevor, that he'll be back shortly. Then Tabitha calls back. Tabitha: "I need your help. Right now." She gives him an address. Mitchell calls the hotel and leaves another message, stating that he won't be right back, giving the address, and requesting that some one come looking for him if he hasn't checked back in by noon. He takes his leave of Suzette.

Mitchell goes to the address he was given, in one of the little U-Rent cars. He stops in the parking lot and another car flashes its lights. He looks behind him, just in case it was for some one else, but apparently not. It's Tabitha, and she leads Mitchell around to the back door of a shop, tells him to wait for a minute, then asks for his help as she drags out a really big, heavy bag. Oh dear.

Tabitha: "Your little 'sample' has caused some trouble. I took it to a local chemist, outsourced it shall we say, and he identified it right away. I didn't want any awkward questions being asked about where I got an ultra pure sample of Plutonium 244." Hence the bag. Tabitha: "We need to get rid of this guy, somewhere he won't be found." Mitchell: "Over the edge?" Tabitha: "That was my thought." Mitchell: "What do you think we should do about this?" Tabitha: "I don't know, but I should have reported it right away, so I'm screwed either way. What the hell was she doing with plutonium any way?? We've got to find it before some idiot accidently blows the place up. It's back in your room, right?" Mitchell: "Yes." Tabitha: "We'll take care of this mess first, then go get it." The take the body over to the edge, but there's a jumpers' net that goes out about 15 to 20 feet from the edge, some 10 feet below them. There's a large metal antenna of some sort that ends out past the edge of the net, so Tabitha figures Mitchell can go out onto it and she'll help feed the body out. Mitchell is not sure why he got the climbing out onto the antenna job, and is not really pleased about it. Tabitha: "Come on Mr. Swashbuckler. Are you going to get out there, or stand around and twiddle your thumbs until the cops show up and ask you to explain the dead body? I know I don't want to explain it to my boss." Mitchell reluctantly climbs out onto the antenna, seriously messing up someone's reception ("It's the biggest damn squirrel yet, Marge - get the shotgun!"). Mitchell works his way out, Tabitha lets go of the feet and Mitchell uses the swinging motion to arc the body out and drop it over the net. He tries to keep the "committing his body to space" text out of his head.

Tabitha: "Right. Now we have to take care of the plutonium. Let's get going to the hotel." They arrive at the hotel a few minutes later. Tabitha: "There could be some one in your room." Mitchell: "Right, let's go to the other room." They go to the other room, Mitchell opens the drawer to get the plutonium and the gun, but there's no plutonium and no gun, only nicely folded clean towels. Oh-oh. Several men spring in through the door yelling "SolSec - freeze!!" Tabitha has a panicked look in her eyes, Mitchell may need his brown trousers, and Gabrielle can hear through the adjoining door that something bad is going on, as she comes out of the bathroom in the fluffy robe.

The men see Mitchell as they come in and charge him, but Tabitha fires on them from the enfilade position, taking down two of the three. Mitchell heads for cover and is trying to draw the gun he got from Tabitha earlier. He's hit with anaesthetic splinters by the man who is a bit slow to turn towards her, but Tabitha is faster and shoots him repeatedly. He goes down, dead or dying. The first man was only wounded and is yelling for a doctor. Gabrielle turns up the sound dampers, since it's not her business. Tabitha: "Oh, we are in deep shit now....I've got to think. Take care of him." She goes to the bathroom. Mitchell, who is not going to kill the SolSec guy, tries stuffing cloth into his mouth. Tabitha comes out of the bathroom, holding the gun wrapped in a towel, looks at Mitchell, then at the wounded man. Tabitha: "What the hell's wrong with you? Do I have to do everything myself? Kill him." Mitchell makes no move to follow those instructions, so Tabitha picks up the large glass ashtray and proceeds to bash the SolSec man's skull in. Mitchell does not lose his lunch (breakfast, whatever), having seen death before, but the sight of Tabitha killing the man like that is extremely disconcerting.

In the other room, Gabrielle has borrowed one of Trevor's large grav-ball T-shirts, and is sitting on the small sofa, hoping the quiet next door is a good thing, when the adjoining door opens. Tabitha pulls Mitchell into the room with her. Tabitha: "Come on, before their backup gets here. Stupid fuckers, the backup should have come with them. Serves them right." Mitchell: "What now?" Tabitha: "Now we clean up and get the hell out of here." Tabitha is very upset, and evidently gets tunnel-vision something fierce when she's in a crisis, because she doesn't even notice Gabrielle sitting at the other side of the room. Gabrielle is trying to be as still as possible, so the insane, lightly blood-spattered woman doesn't see her. Who is this woman, and what does she have to do with Mitchell?? Mitchell, feeling the effects of the tranq, sits down on the floor; he has chemical reasons for not noticing Gabrielle.

Tabitha cleans up in the fresher, and brings a washcloth out to do the same for Mitchell. Then she goes back into the other room, pops a panel open on the tri-dee and does something to the innards. She returns to the room, helps Mitchell up, they leave, and get a cab. Gabrielle resumes breathing once they leave the room. Oh God. She goes to make sure the adjoining door is locked, but it's slightly ajar and something is preventing it from closing, so Gabrielle has to look. The room next door looks like some one has been slaughtering beef, and there is blood everywhere. What's blocking the door is the hand of one of the dead SolSec agents. Gabrielle gets up the nerve to move the man's hand, but as there is already a hand-shaped bloodstain partially on her side of the door, that won't work. She lets his hand return to the original position, with the door ajar, turns the tri-dee on loud (within a directional cone, so as to not disturb the other occupants), and sits down in front of a grav-ball game, waiting for the ensuing disaster to show up.

Tabitha takes Mitchell to a seedy hotel, where the question is "Do you want it by the hour, or for the night?" Tabitha: "For the night, definitely. <she paws Mitchell suggestively> Oh, and should anyone ask, we've been here since 4:00." She drops several Solars onto the counter. Clerk: "Absolutely. Since 4:00." They go upstairs to the room, and Mitchell goes into the bathroom to put some distance between him and Tabitha. What has he gotten himself into??

After a few minutes of listening to odd sounds from the other room (either she's crying, or she's turned on and started without him), Mitchell comes out of the bathroom to find Tabitha, her eyes red and puffy, on the terminal, with "SolSec Primary Database. Welcome Administrator" on the screen. It shows the administrator's ID and picture, and it's a large male. Wow, Tabitha is a master of disguise! Mitchell can see her manipulating the data on the screen, and she fixes the data for the tri-dee in the room the SolSec agents were killed in, and changes the record so it reads that the monitor stopped functioning, without sending the repair request, 30 minutes before she stopped it.

Tabitha: "What happened to the plutonium? It wasn't there." Mitchell: "I don't know. Some one must have found it and called it in." Tabitha: "Was there anything else there that could have been construed as illegal?" Mitchell: "A handgun. From the shooting in the garage." Tabitha: "That could be it. They may not know what they have." She checks the SolSec records again, finding the report filed by the maid, who was a SolSec monitor. The "pipe" was found too, but it's just mentioned as a side note -it was the gun that caused the problem. Tabitha: "Good. The gun was the problem, and they called in SolSec because of possible terrorist connections. The pipe is in the local property room, and they don't have a clue as to what it really is. That shouldn't be a problem - I have some friends who owe me favors; I'll get it." Mitchell: "But there is another problem." Tabitha: "What now?" Mitchell: "That second room is in my name." Tabitha: "I can fix that." She uses the computer to locate the footage of Mitchell signing for the room, manipulates a few things, and it's suddenly Malcolm. A few more minutes and no sign Mitchell had anything to do with the room.

They decide to leave the seedy hotel. Clerk: "Bye bye lovebirds. That was quick. <to Mitchell> You've got to learn to take your time." They go to a nice hotel, where Tabitha has a room. Tabitha: "Our best bet is to lay low. SolSec has undoubtedly found the bodies, and will lock down the arcology. We just need to stay here and not run from SolSec, but not seek them out either. They'll think that the Imperial went nuts. Or just behaved in an Imperial manner." She gives Mitchell a pillow and a blanket, turns out the lights, goes to the bathroom, and then runs and jumps into bed. Mitchell lays down, she tucks him in, and he's out due to the lack of sleep and tranq.

Gabrielle is sitting in the hotel room, spending all her concentration on watching the grav-ball game and keeping track of the game (who's playing, what the score is, etc. - in case some one asks). All of a sudden the door to the room explodes inward. Literally. [JetAxe™. Don't enter a home without it.] Four men charge in, and in the few seconds between Gabrielle's levitation and forming the thought to say something, she's tranqed. Right out. Tag 'em and bag 'em.

Malcolm sleeps for several hours after being medicked, then has some orange juice, and goes out into the private garden for a few minutes. When he comes back in to his room, there's a knock on the door. A badge is shoved in his face and an unhappy gentleman has some questions to ask him about his whereabouts. Fortunately for him, Malcolm can tell him exactly where he has been for the last hours, and he has lots of witnesses! Oh. The policeman thanks Malcolm for his cooperation, and leaves.

A while later, some new men arrive, this time less polite, and more SolSec-like. They take Malcolm with them, to "answer some questions", informing the medical staff that they're discharging Malcolm. One look at the ID card, and no more protests from the medicos. Next thing he knows, it's into a box for Malcolm - crated up for the trip to...?

When Malcolm is let out, he's in a new venue. Now this is more like it! The cold, concrete room with a glass observation deck and the bright lights in the eyes. Just like in the Dick Salamander movies. There are several SolSec officers on the observation deck, along with some men in civilian clothing, including a small, wizened, older man in an obscenely well-tailored suit.

When Mitchell wakes up, he's alone. He checks out the room, but it's a nice hotel room and that's about it. For all Mitchell knows, Tabitha might be down at the corner buying groceries. Or at the nearest SolSec office selling Mitchell out. It's been eight hours since he fell asleep, and when he turns on the local news, he sees the grainy photos of Malcolm, with the police warning about how dangerous he is.

Malcolm is eventually asked by a voice over the speaker "why he killed the two SolSec agents? Malcolm: "I'm a mercenary. I'm not under contract, I'm not getting paid, and I'm not an assassin, so I haven't killed anyone." Voice: "That's your story?" Malcolm: "Yes." Voice: "Have you brought in any contraband?" Malcolm: "No, I'm not a smuggler. I'm not bright enough to make the big bucks. I did bring in some great CDs though." 2nd Voice: "He's wandering. Take him to stage two." Malcolm gives his condensed version of the events of the early morning, telling pretty much what actually happened. Malcolm: "...and then you showed up." Malcolm is then shown the news report on the terrible gangland style shooting. Malcolm: "I didn't kill anyone." Voice: "Then why is your DNA on the gun?" Malcolm: "Oh, and where did this occur?" Voice: "In the room you rented." Malcolm: "Right, the room where I have my clothes? With my DNA on them?" They show Malcolm the monitor shots of him renting the room, in spite of his protestations of not having done it, not having the money for another room, etc. But damn, it looks like Malcolm even to Malcolm! There's some whispering near the microphone, the door leading into the observation room opens and several men in brown uniforms enter. One of the men looks like he's around 40, or 90, and is wearing a pince-nez, and he comes into the room with Malcolm, and sets a chair right in front of Malcolm, almost knee to knee. Pince-nez: "Now let's get down to the bottom of this. We're only here to help you. There's no need to be afraid, only the criminal needs to fear." Malcolm: "Everyone fears when the legislature is in session." Pince-nez: "We are not the governmental branch. Would you object to taking a drug that would help you remember what happened?" Malcolm: "If it convinces you that I'm telling the truth and gets me out of here? Hell yes." Pince-nez: "Excellent." One of the other men approaches. "Dr. Neil? You have an incoming encrypted call." Dr. Neil: <to Malcolm> "Would you excuse me? <to another man> Please make sure that our very cooperative guest is made comfortable, and prep him for solution 7." Malcolm is a bit uneasy as he watches the man prepare an old-fashioned needle hypodermic needle and fill it with a solution from a vial with a hand-printed label. It's administered to Malcolm, who is in mid-protest "Don't you have something a bit more high-" when it takes effect. Then the people in the room are laughing (Malcolm picked up his sentence at exactly the same place), and Malcolm is being told that he has nothing to worry about, and how they appreciate his cooperation, and will take care of everything with the authorities. He's taken back to the hotel, and the news reports change to stories on how he has been cleared of any wrong-doing. Well, at least they were true to their words.

Gabrielle comes to in the same sort of room Malcolm was in. There's a man with funny glasses sitting in front of her. Dr. Neil: "Now then, Miss Vanek. We'd like you to tell us what happened." Gabrielle: "The door exploded." Neil: "You were in the room, we're sure you have information that could be useful to us. You're a good Solomani citizen, are you not? Don't you want to cooperate? Men were killed." Gabrielle: "I don't know what happened." Neil: "We'd like to give you something to help you feel more at ease, would that be all right?" Gabrielle: "I don't really need anything to help me relax." Neil: "To help you remember then. Even the most insignificant piece of information could be helpful. Something you might not realize you know." Gabrielle: "But -" Neil leans in closely, a rather cold expression in his eyes. Neil: "There are more primitive methods available to me. Much less pleasant, but effective nonetheless. Allow me to say that within my job, I have a certain amount of, shall we say, latitude. I'm permitted a certain number of casualties, and I'm well below my quota." He leans back a bit. Neil: "Now, now, there's nothing to worry about. I understand that you're only resisting out of fear of the unknown. But we're here to help you." Gabrielle: "Yes sir." One of those nasty, low-tech looking syringes is used to inject something (Solution 7?) into her neck. (Yeah, that sounds pleasant.) The next thing Gabrielle knows, she's being lifted up, and thanked for her cooperation. Neil: "Can my driver drop you somewhere?"

Tabitha emerges from the covers; Mitchell evidently missed her earlier. Tabitha: "So, what's the news?" Mitchell: "Well, first they mentioned Malcolm, then they retracted it and said he'd been cleared." Tabitha: "Damn it! That means they're still looking. Or they know something. Or maybe he made a deal and sold us out." Mitchell: "He doesn't even know you exist." Tabitha: "Okay, sold you out then." Mitchell: "Look, there's only one thing we can do right now." Tabitha: "I'm listening." Mitchell: "We need to find out who brought that thing in, and deal with them. We find out where this stuff came from, we find out who brought it in, and who's behind it, and maybe we can pull it off." Tabitha: "Where do we start?" Mitchell: "With the Vargr." Tabitha: "So we have a dead Vargr. So what?" Mitchell: "We have a dead Vargr, a dead blonde assassin, and two well-dressed men who came after her. You have all these cool little tools, let's see what they can come up with. I have some connections as well. The plutonium was brought over to Rainbow Commune in a grav-car, that had been set up with the plutonium, the murder weapon, and several photos." Tabitha: "But for what purpose?" Mitchell: "I have another clue." He shows her the locker key. Tabitha: "Great. A locker key." He also shows her the photos from the car. Mitchell: "I don't know if this means I'm a target too, or not. Maybe it's because of my association with McNaughton. What do you know about her death?" Tabitha: "Wasn't it a suicide?" Mitchell: "That's not what her father thinks." Tabitha: "The father could be in denial. It wouldn't be the first time." Mitchell: "I'd be more inclined to buy into that if it weren't for the blonde assassin, and the dead Vargr in the bar." Tabitha: "Could be a coincidence. I've heard about this Last Chance casino. Not exactly a place that wouldn't rub people the wrong way." Mitchell: "I don't believe in coincidences. I think the only way to get out of this is to solve it." Tabitha: "Okay Mr. Detective, what's our next move?" Mitchell: "You use those tools of yours to find out who the assassin was. And if possible, who the men were who came after her. I'll go to the Last Chance, and talk to some one who may be able to help me out." Tabitha: "Right." Mitchell: "Why don't we meet here again tomorrow." Tabitha: "Fine." Mitchell: "One last thing. I think that if our involvement in this becomes known, we ought to go with the story of trying to solve the crime." That's their story and they're sticking to it.

The doorbell in the hotel room rings, Mitchell answers. It's a courier, with a package for Major Hauks. She goes to the door, signs for it, the courier leaves, the door closes, and Tabitha turns around slowly, looking really pasty. She's resting the package on the handle. The handle of the knife sticking out of her abdomen. Tabitha: "Mitchell..." Mitchell helps her as she sits on the floor, then calls 911. He gets a calming voice, who tells him "There's a slight delay in routing, due to all the emergency crews being on other calls. Please remain calm. Your emergency will be responded to in the order it was called in." Argh!

Mitchell checks out Tabitha, in the quickly widening pool of blood. The knife, which Mitchell doesn't remove for fear of doing more damage. The knife has a triangular shaped blade with tubes on it, and blood is flowing rather copiously through the tubes. Tabitha: "Don't worry, it's not your fault. I shouldn't have gotten you involved in this. I didn't think they'd go this...In my house, on Freemantle, there are papers that will explain why this happened...Mitchell, I'm scared. Hold me. I'm so cold." He gets a blanket off the bed, wraps it around her, and holds her. He doesn't know what else to do. He knows Malcolm has medical training, but he doesn't want to call the hotel.

Gabrielle has been dropped off at the hotel. A few minutes later, Malcolm shows up. Malcolm: "Gabrielle, are you okay?" Gabrielle: "Yes." Malcolm: "You would not believe...Are you sure you're okay?" Gabrielle: "Yes." Malcolm: "Did you find anything out at the casino?" Gabrielle: "The owner was concerned that Trevor had been asking about him." The phone rings. Gabrielle jumps, Malcolm answers the phone. Mitchell: "Good evening." Malcolm: "Good evening, Mr. Phelps. Your mission is to talk clearly and use small words." Mitchell: "Care for a game of twenty questions? Back where we were the other night." Malcolm: "Okay." Mitchell: "Is anyone else there?" Malcolm: "Gabrielle is here. Trevor should be here shortly." Mitchell: "Bring her along if she wants. I don't think any of us is going to be safe on our own any more." (Oh yeah, and together they've been so safe!) Malcolm: "That was Mitchell. He wants us to meet him where they took you." Gabrielle: "I'm fairly sure there would be some... angry people if I were to go back there."

Mitchell asks Tabitha where her home is on Freemantle, since he can't pick up the evidence she mentioned if he doesn't know where that is. Tabitha manages to slur out the address, mostly. So Mitchell is left trying to decide whether or not he can leave Tabitha, but not being able to do anything to help her. Malcolm goes to the Last Chance Casino, loaded for bear, with all his equipment.

Mitchell notes the address he's at, tells Tabitha he's going for help, calls a cab, and heads for the Last Chance Casino Mitchell immediately goes looking for Malcolm, who he finds playing the slots. Mitchell: "I hope to God you bought your medkit." Malcolm: "Oh great. Hit the emergency switch and let's go." He manages to by-pass the auto-cab's system completely, and they go screaming down the road. They open the door, and there's a coppery smell in the air, and a lot of blood. Malcolm goes over to Tabitha, who is cool, but not cold. He uses plasma expander and tap water, and everything else he's got. She has a pulse, just barely. Malcolm: "Call 911 again." Mitchell does, but is told that all the units are busy, but they can send for an emergency unit from Freemantle if it's a serious emergency, although that will take a half hour. Mitchell calls the casino, gets Robert, and asks to speak with Suzette. Malcolm is able to get more of a pulse, and some blood pressure, in between yelling for a doctor or help, out the window. Robert: "She is with a gentleman, sir. Would you like to leave a message?" Mitchell: "Robert, do you know where I could find a doctor?" Robert: "In the hospital, sir." Mitchell: "I'm having trouble with the hospital. I need another option." Robert: "I do know some people sir, but they are very discreet, very private people." Mitchell: "Robert, right now I could really use some discreet medical help." Robert: "I'll see what I can do, sir. Is there a number you can be reached at?" Mitchell gives him the number.

Malcolm is continuing to work on Tabitha, and has removed the nasty knife. Malcolm: "Boy, your lady friend has some nasty enemies." After a few minutes, Tabitha's eyes flutter open, and she smiles faintly. Malcolm: "Stay with us, sugar." Tabitha: <faintly> "Not...sugar..." She weakly reaches for Malcolm's crotch. He's not sure if it's in a friendly or hostile way. Probably the latter.

The phone rings, Mitchell answers. A well-educated voice says he understands "you are in need of my services. My fee is1$0,000 Solars. Is that a problem?" Mitchell: "No." Doctor: "When and where?" Mitchell gives him the address. "Now." The doctor shows up shortly thereafter. Doctor: "My God, what sort of butchery is going on here?" Malcolm gives an EMT-esque report to the doctor, who takes over treatment, agreeing with the decision to not give Regen™. It will take several hours before Tabitha is stable enough to move, so Mitchell will go to Freemantle to see about getting the doctor's fee. Or to pick up the stuff at Tabitha's place that's supposed to explain what's going on, and he really wants to know. Or so he thinks.

The doctor is probably worth the obscene amount of his fee, as it looks like Tabitha is going to pull through. Of course, considering the situation she's in right now, her life expectancy is still looking pretty damn short. And not just hers.