The team is talking about leaving but there is a lot of work to be done.
The cholera has taken the lives of many and nights are pretty cold here with a maximum of 7 degrees Celsius. (That’s 44 Fahrenheit for you Americans reading this.)
This might be Summer compared to Antarctica but it is fucking freezing, and it hasn’t reached late winter yet. I expect to see a penguin asking me for a cigarette some time soon.
We get word by satellite that there is a village of reptile-like people being assaulted by some local slavers. It is nothing new. Humans appear to be the main aggressors in this world.
I don’t know how to feel about that.
The late chief’s first concubine, Ksenia tries to be accommodating. I should laugh at this because I strictly remember her being the first of these arseholes to throw a rock at our heads.
She was definitely yelling at us and swinging her hubby’s sword when we burned down her food stores. She quieted a bit when we replaced them but I could tell she was sceptical about us.
I feel for her. Many of her people, including her… I wouldn’t say husband. Leader, maybe. Died along with her son. All she has is her daughter and that little girl is not done puking her little guts up.
The labour-droids start work on a house. There is not much else for them to do.
Instead of clearing down the nearby forest they use synthetic wood that was grown in a lab. The surviving villages who are well enough to go out side watch as twenty mannequins with purple skin act like a well oiled machine.
That’s if these people know what a mannequin or a machine is.
All day and night the droids pour concrete, set up foundations, build and build. No rest, no coffee break. The machines in the disguise of test dummies work through the cold.
I saw a few of the locals try to bring them gifts of food and trinkets. The droids are programmed to stay on task. They have only a rudimentary A.I.
They are as logical as Spock with a hundred libraries of information in their head, with all the personality of an ant worker.
When they finish we set them to work making the people here clothes, building roads, fixing fences. We only have a limited time here and every second has to count.
As much as we work the machine the team and I work just as hard.
One of the Lignos has gone into a deep depression. His wife, or what counts for a wife around here, is dead and his son needs caring.
I have counselling training and help the boy as much as I can.
His name is Huglie.
He lost his mother and his father does nothing but lie in bed feeling sorry for himself. Like the village Huglie sees me as an intruder.
I would to. Strangers coming here at the worst time, burning buildings and doing strange things to my neighbours while the bodies pile up. I would hate the fuckers to. Only I am the fucker.
I don’t try to feed the father. Instead I leave him a tray of food. He needs to get his act together, he has a boy to take care of.
When I am done tending to the father and son, I go to the makeshift hospital my team had set up when we first got here.
It is as dreary as one could expect. Most of my day consists of taking temperatures, forcing these idiots to drink down energy drinks, and cleaning buckets. It is not glamorous, but it is a job that needs to be done.
I was cleaning out one horrendous mess when Ksenia comes to me and she asks “Why are you doing this?”
I naturally answer “It needs to be cleaned out.”
She shook her head. “I mean why are you…”I heard the hesitation in her voice as she chooses to say “Helping us? We have nothing to pay you with. We have no gold.”
I remember her turning her head away in shame, and I can only imagine what other services she might think I would want.
It is sad that these people don’t understand. There is no Red Cross here, no good Samaritans. One of my colleagues had joked that these people would have been less scared of us if we were a bunch of bandits.
I smile, “Because it is the right thing to do.” I had said honestly as I hose out a bucket of shit.