For long time readers, crises do not last long in my stories; part of my terse style or maybe I just want people talking again? Kira lives and once getting herself back in mind lays out to her family and friend where things are going next. Her brother and sister are, I think, taken aback by this and there will likely be a huge argument in coming installments. Laszlo? Between being a demi and under his mother’s thumb I suspect a broad and deep streak of fatalism which could only be described as “Russian.”

I like nurse Green’s little throw-away line about “Viscount Breazeale is my lord.” Something even I struggle with in stories set so far in the future is feudalism. While both RealWorld sides of my family are older than the American Republic, arriving around 1766 and 1739, respectively, they were obviously a cantankerous lot very bloody-minded about setting up a new home away from aristocratic interference. Now, nearly 300 years later, that is discarded for the personal loyalty of a neo-feudal system to demi-humans and machines tasks my imagination sometimes.

I am hoping Les’s concluding words will be the segue to my next podcast – about religion – coming out late Friday or early Saturday. Please everyone have a good weekend!

Enjoy my content? Buy me a beer!

In a completely unfamiliar place, the other royals could only look about.  Fortunately Medved shouted, “Follow me,” as he ran back to the buildings, calling the emergency to those inside.  The five squeezed into an airlock made for three.  Once it cycled there was a young man on the inside who led them on.  They were directed to what looked like a lab room on their right three doors down.  Laszlo did see another running their way with a large red plastic box, hopefully for medical emergencies.  He released Kira’s helmet and checked for breathing and a pulse in her neck.

She had both and he repressed a great sigh of relief.

“I am EMT,” the man with the box said from next to him in an Hungarian accent.  “You have medical training?”

“Yes,” Les replied.  “She is breathing and has a steady pulse.”

“Good.  Please to move opposite me.  What happen?” the EMT asked.

“She touched a machine in one of their homes,” Les tried to explain.  “Effects range from crippling headaches to a flatlined heart.”

“Machine’s what?” the man asked.  “No matter.  Help to get suit off.”

While Les peeled it down to her waist, the tech pasted two electrodes to her chest.  Wires led back to the handheld AED in his left.  He regarded what he saw on the screen.

“BP one-eight-one over one hundred.  Pulse seventy-eight.  Arrhythmia negative.” He set down the device and lifted her eyelids to shine a light into them, pausing only a moment at their color.  “Pupils reactive.”

There was a clatter from the hallway as a flimsy stretcher was pushed across the door opening.

“We move to sick bay.” The tech finally looked around.  “Ah, Medved-úr.  Szervusz.  You help lift.  Get legs.”

The last was directed to Les.  They moved Kira onto the stretcher and moved out.  He was aware of her siblings’ concern but they were too well trained to panic and follow along quietly.  Three minutes saw them to their sick bay where the medical personnel there transferred her again to a bed.  He took that moment to brief his friends.

“…and even though I warned her, she took his hands anyway.  The entire construct seemed to fail for just a second then I was back here,” he said to Annie and Nikky.

“That impulsive little shit!” Annie was fighting back tears.  “Why did she do something so stupid!”

“Because I have a destiny now,” came a soft voice from the bed, right before an oxygen mask was placed onto her.  “And I cannot escape it, dear sister.”

The nurse or doctor held up a hand for the three to wait while more tele leads were attached and blood drawn, dictating all actions for the record as he did.  After a quick word from the EMT, he turned about but stayed at the bed side.

“She touched a Machine in their construct.  Is that the story?” he asked.

“Yes.” Les took a step forward and have a sharp nod.  “I am Crown Prince Laszlo Hartmann of the imperium and demi-human.  I have seen this happen many times to my family.  It appears the contact was brief and damage to Russian Crown Princess Kira minimal, but we await your professional input.”

There was no harm in focusing everyone’s attention with just who was who.

“I see.  Thank you.  I’ve never seen such myself but did read some reports of that in medical school.  I’m NP Green, by the way.  I recognize you, Prince; I’m from Wilmington.  Viscount Breazeale is my lord.  The patient seems stable enough for a few words.”  The nurse practitioner looked at the three of them.  “A few, please.”

Drawing next to the bed, they saw the red slits of her hooded eyes and the tiny smile under the oxygen mask.

“Business first,” she whispered.  “Our very brief engagement is off, Les.  Sorry.  Details later.  Nikky?  Don’t embarrass our family; we’ve not been back on the throne very long and we shouldn’t screw it up.  Annie, bestest big sis!  Stay away from carbs, ‘cause it looks as if you’re the next Tsarina.”

Kira’s body shook with a little laugh.

“What,” Anastasia began, “what destiny do you think you have, little sister?”

“I am to be midwife to this world.” She sighed where Les had not.  “I have so much work to do…”

Her lids fell and breathing grew deeper.  The three excused themselves to the hallway.  Laszlo turned to Medved.

“Is there a chapel in this complex?” When that man nodded, he continued.  “Take us there at once, please.”

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