Do No Harm – Mel Destin Flash Fiction
Do No Harm
by D.M. Pruden © 2018
My dozing was interrupted when our pilot, ‘Lucky Mark’, poked his head in the doorway.
“Hey, Doc,” he said, a sheepish grin on his ugly face. “I hope I didn’t wake ya?”
I suppressed the sarcastic response half formed on my tongue. Bitch wasn’t a title I wanted to add to the numerous slanders that currently marred my reputation aboard ship.
“Naw, come on in, Mark.”
I pushed myself to a sitting position and dangled my short legs off the edge of the bed. My head threatened to implode, but experience made me adept at hiding a hangover.
“What can I do for you?”
He stood before me, wringing his hands, avoiding eye contact, reminding me of a five year old caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
“Um, I’m in a bit of a…situation.”
Despite his efforts, he couldn’t conceal his shaking hands. Perspiration glistened on his forehead and his glassy eyes darted about the room, never settling on anything.
“You know how the new cap’n has sort of banned booze and… other stuff?”
I narrowed my eyes. “What did you do?”
“I couldn’t help it Mel. I couldn’t get myself into the pilot’s chair without a little boost.”
“Oh, fuck. You didn’t.”
Tears glistened in his eyes. “I needed to settle down the shakes, so I scored some quad-fours on our layover.”
“Jesus Christ! Do you realize what that can do to you?”
“Yeah yeah, but the guy who sold them said he cut it with cocaine…”
“Oh, shit.” I massaged my temples.
Most jurisdictions classified Q4s as a felony 1 controlled substance throughout the solar system. The stimms of choice for the Lunar militia during the rebellion, they suffered from one significant drawback. While they gave the user a brief period of peak acuity, the drugs also tended to wreak havoc with the central nervous system.
Frequent usage by former freedom fighters accounted for more casualties than Terran fire. With a lot of therapy, some like Mark, returned from the war as productive citizens. Most, however, didn’t survive rehab.
“Ya gotta help me Doc. I’m shaking too much to bring the ship into Armstrong.”
“Markie, my stash is gone. Tanza monitors all the inventory logs. I can’t even take an aspirin for my own hangover.”
“Please, Mel.” The Requiem’s only qualified pilot threatened a complete mental breakdown in front of me.
I sighed in resignation as I slid my hand into my pillow case. Smuggling a few grams of Quintinar aboard was all I’d dared risk. My customers back on Luna would have to wait until our next run.
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