Blood drive

When I didn’t answer right away, the Indian woman gestured towards her minions “If they don’t answer in three seconds, kill them.”

Is it racist that I’m always surprised when an Indian person speaks with a British accent?  Martialla drew her pistol and I held my hands up, appealing for calm.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, everybody chill.  There’s no need for any killing here, we’re all friends here.  We were cryogenically frozen in two thousand and two if that’s what you’re asking.”

There was enough room that the headpiece/helmet thing on her suit didn’t move much but I saw her head swinging back and forth inside “Impossible.  You’re lying.”

“No, honest inj . . . uh, I mean, for real we’re from two thousand and two.  Uh, George Bush is president.  Uh . . . Friends is still on but it sucks now.  Uh, some stupid movie about a girl on a swim team is number one at the box office right now.  Oh, wait, wait, check this out, I never thought I’d show this to anyone again.”  I dug out my driver’s license and held it up at her.  “See, issue date nineteen ninety-eight?  Uh, what else?  Y2K was bullshit, nothing happened.  Uh, who won the Superbowl?  Some skinny dude, I don’t really follow sports.  Help me out here, Mar.”

“Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Golden Jubilee.”

I scowled at her “What are you talking about the Queen for?  Indian people don’t want to hear about the Queen!”

“India is part of the Commonwealth, I figured she’d know about it at least regardless of how she feels about the Queen.”

“Commonwealth?  What the hell are you talking about?” I turned back to the doctor “Ignore her, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.  I assure you . . .”

She gestured with the sound of her crinkling plastic arm covering “Would you be willing to give me blood samples?”

“Sure. . . yeah, why not?  Actually were here to trade anyway so . . .”

“Where is your facility?  How many more of your people are awake there?  Do you have satellite access?”

“We can talk about all that, what we need is some water filters, downriver . . .”

I started as Martialla suddenly had her pistol in both hands in a shooting stance, shouting as she pointing it at one of the flukeman “Stay the fuck back!”  She barged back into me, kind of shouldering me back while gesturing with the gun at them “Stay in fucking front of me where I can see you.”

I held my hands up again, I almost stepped into Martialla’s line of fire but realized at the last moment that was a terrible idea and stopped “Hold on, hold on, hold on, everyone’s cool right?  We’re all getting along here.”

Martialla turned her weapon in the direction of the Indian woman and her five guards all instantly clumped together in front of her, protecting her with their bodies like the Secret Service “Lady, tell your fucking mutant fucks to stay away from us.”

Her voice was significantly cooler than before “There’s no need for alarm, they’re just curious about you.”

I looked back at Martialla “Would you lower that please?” She kept both hands on her pistol but dropped it to her waist and I turned back to the doctor “No offense meant, you know how it is out there, dangerous world and so forth.  Sounds like we’re all on board with making a trade here, right?  And maybe this will be the first step to a more cordial relationship between you and the folks downriver.  They certainly could use the help of a doctor down there and it looks like you have . . .”

Her voice had turned absolutely frosty “I have no interest in those violent degenerates.”

I forced a laugh “I hear you there, they’re gross, between you me and the lamppost I don’t really want to deal with them either, but when in Rome you know?  I was just thinking that if we all worked together then maybe . . .”

“They have nothing of value to me.  I’ll give you all the water filters you want for blood samples from you two.  I don’t want to hear from anyone else or see anyone else on my land.”

“Fair enough, fair enough, maybe over time we can help . . .”

She gestured curtly “Come to my lab.”

Before I could answer, Martialla barked out “No.  We’re not going anywhere.  You want to draw some blood you can fucking do it out here.” She gestured at Stabby and Horseman “You want to bring Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum here back with you that’s fine but leave the rest of these freak show assholes in whatever slime infested kiddie pool you keep them in.”

I held my hands up yet again “Now hold on here, there’s no reason to be hasty, I think . . .”

Martialla’s face was like stone “I am not going anywhere near whatever Island of Dr. Moreau Mengele bullshit she has going on in there.”