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Wookiee construction chief who had been involved in a

nasty decompression accident that had required a heart-


lung transplant three days past. Despite the best sterile
procedures, sometimes patients developed secondary
infections, and something like that had apparently
happened here. The usual antivirals, antiprions, and
antibiotics had been ineffective thus far, and no
pathogenic agents had been collected.

Nevertheless, the old Wook had a fever, he was


coughing, and his blood work showed a strange shift that
wasn't bacterial, prional, or viral. The patient had an
elevated eosinophil count, hyper to the level of Second-
Stage HES. Naturally, Uli had called in more expert help,
but the medical specialist had ruled out the usual trans-
species suspects-it wasn't kozema, leukemia, asthma,
autoimmune disease, or drugs. The only remaining
possibilities were some kind of parasitic or protozoal
infestation. But the QRI scans were clean, there were no
telltale nanocam images, and nothing cultured out. Save
for the elevated white cells, there weren't any other real
indicators. If this wasn't some previously unknown form
of nosocomial infection, the only other possibility seemed
to be black magic.

The Wookiee, named Hahrynyar, wasn't critical, but he


didn't seem to be getting any better. He was sick enough
that he needed to stay in bed. Uli glanced at the array of
telemetry gear on the wall and stands, and shook his
head in weary bafflement. No change.

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