Here’s the link to the Weekend Writing Warriors central page, so you can visit all the participants sharing excerpts today…a fun way to sample new books and find new authors! (Also welcome to the Sunday Snippet visitors!)
May be edited a bit from published version.
The excerpt: Saffia continues her examination of the sick child:
Leaning closer, she donned her special visors, upped the magnification and added the light, to inspect the red bumps. Clearly the rash had peaked probably a day ago and was fading, the blotches contracting rather than spreading. “Does it itch?” she asked the child. Getting a head shake in return, Saffia smiled and straightened, “I doubt the animal is involved then. You’ve managed to catch a kind of cold, the one thing the human race has never resolved in all these centuries of progress.” Focusing on the mother now, she added, “Fairly often a child will develop a rash with a fever as the immune system overreacts to the stimulus.”
“So what’s the diagnosis? She’s not merely suffering a common cold. Give us some credit for good sense here.” The father was contemptuous and seemingly impervious to the fact he was giving a diagnosis to an actual doctor.
VS Note: More of the scene…
“Prescribe an inject for the symptoms and let us get out of here. We have to be on Yamurk Five by next week for the annual charity auction. My wife and I donated several items and have more we’re bidding on.”
“Oh yes.” Mrs. Fremington-Ulms sat up straighter and positively bubbled with enthusiasm. “The Babbajrr Diamond Chalice and the new painting by the artist whose name I forget and—”
“I’d like to keep her here overnight for observation,” Saffia said, making rapid notes for the AI on her handheld and asking Warby to get a vid of the child’s rash. “She’s not presenting with any specific illness but she’s a bit dehydrated, which is affecting her heart rate. I’d also like to see the fever come down before releasing her. There might be complications developing. We’ll have results from the various tests shortly, so I should be able to eliminate any more serious possibilities.”
Tapping his toe on the clinic’s floor, the father frowned. “I should have known better than to waste my time coming to this obscure planet. Are you sure you’re Sectors-trained? Check your AI, give my daughter a medinject of whatever and we’ll be out of here so fast—”
“No.” Saffia assessed the wan, thin child and had no trouble making the call. “Surely you can spare one night to ensure your child receives proper care. I’m assuming you don’t have a medical module on your ship’s AI or a medtech on the crew or you wouldn’t have come to me.”
VS: Next week Saffia will put her foot down…
The blurb: Newly graduated from a prestigious interstellar medical school, Dr. Saffia Mandell has been assigned to the Haven Two colony on the galaxy’s outer rim as the only doctor for some 2000 human residents. She’s counting the days until her five years there is up, trying to adjust to rural living after life in the crowded Inner Sectors and fighting her attraction to Chief Ranger Micah Navonn. She’s dreading the upcoming tourist season when the rich and pampered will descend on the planet for the scenic wonders and novel sports opportunities and no doubt inundate her little clinic but the colony depends on the seasonal income to survive.
As the senior official for his people, the Calinurra, the indigenous inhabitants of Haven Two, Micah enforces the treaty, regulates the tourist permits, patrols the forests and resists his fascination with Dr. Mandell. He never expected to be involved with a human woman and doesn’t want to believe in the concept of a fated mate. He wants to keep his life simple and isn’t ready for any long term commitment. Besides Saffia keeps proclaiming she’ll be leaving when her appointment is up in four and a half years so why should he risk his heart?
Then a ship arrives unexpectedly carrying a very ill little girl and soon the deadly virus is spreading through Haven Two. The colony authorities are desperate to cover up the problem to preserve the all-important tourist season and Saffia and Micah have to work together to battle the outbreak, the local administration and their undeniable feelings for each other.
Can the colony survive? And will Micah and Saffia be able to move past their fears about entanglements to act on the mutual attraction?
An 87K word novel of the far future…