Don’t Talk to Yourself

Trent sighed. Psychotic marsupials, a mystery virus, and a dead little girl.

“Why me?” he asked the wall.

“Because you’re too stupid to say no?” Larsson walked into the office, grinning.

“Thanks. Your confidence in me is overwhelming!” Trent said.

Larsson sat down on one of the lounge chairs – still more gingerly than most people would, Trent noticed. He put his feet up on the coffee table and looked appealingly at Trent.

“Does your hospitality extend to making coffee for an invalid?” he asked.

“Usually,” Trent said drily, “I invite people in first.”

Larsson shrugged.

“The door was open. Next time you want to talk to yourself, close the door so people know it’s a private conversation.”

Trent snorted.

“Fine. White with two?”

“Three.”

Trent made the instant coffees and handed one to Larsson.

“So, you’re out?”

“Yup – I don’t like hospitals. They smell bad. And the night nurses have tempers like wounded goats.”

“Umm… bad, huh?”

Larsson laughed.

“Any ideas yet on what did this to me?”

“Not a thing. I got hold of the lab results for you and Jessie – nothing the specialist lab could identify. It’s not Hendra, or anything else we know of.”

“Great! So we have a virus turning my koalas crazy and killing people, and we have no idea what it is?”

“Yup. But I do have some slightly better news? A friend of mine in England is a microbiologist – I managed to convince him that he needs an Aussie holiday in the sun. So he’ll be over in a few days, once he gets the visa sorted out.”

“That’s good work!”

“Well, it wasn’t that hard – his daughter’s over here, right here in Sydney actually – he hasn’t seen her for a couple of years.”

“So, are the airfares going on my bill?”

Trent grimaced.

“If he can help, they will. All we need now is access to a lab for him.”

“Hey – Gary at work – he’s a PhD student, doing biology… he’d have access to a lab, wouldn’t he?”

“Would they let him bring in a stranger?”

“He might be able to pull some strings – specially if he doesn’t mention a completely different project…”

“Check it out?”

“Sure.”

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