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9. Freeing Sam

"Doctor McCoy is a bit touchy today, isn't she?" one of the medics commented to the receptionist when the door to the examination room had closed behind him and the other medic.

The receptionist grinned. "Yeah, I think she was out late with some of her friends from med school, celebrating that one of them had gotten a promotion. I think she has a bad headache."

"Ah, that explains things," the medic grinned.

"Ah, crap! Not again!" the receptionist complained.

"What?" the other of the medics asked.

"The damn surveillance system! There's some bug in the system, causing it to black out! Happened two-three times already in the last couple days! I've called it in, but they haven't been able to find the error yet. Damn incompetent fools!" he swore.

The door opened just then, and two men entered, Martouf and Jacob. They both took in the room, with the receptionist, the two medics, and one guard posted outside one of the doors.

Jacob approached the receptionist's desk. "I have your delivery of toilet paper for you, I assume I'm unloading them inside the cargo reception, like usual?" he asked.

"What toilet paper?" the receptionist asked, looking confused, and not a little annoyed.

"This order here," Jacob said, showing him the very real looking delivery note. "We received it yesterday, and I'll have to admit it was hard getting that much in such a short time, but we got it."

"I have not been notified of this..."

"Listen, I don't care if you've been notified or not. I want to get this delivery done so I can go to lunch. We're already late as it is," Jacob insisted, raising his voice. He turned towards Martouf. "There's always problems with this place! You remember last time? When they insisted they had ordered red blankets instead of blue, even if it clearly said blue on the order?"

"I don't have anything about an order of toilet paper here. You'll have to come back."

"Come back? This place is ways off from our route anyway, and now you want us to come back? I think not!" Jacob fished a cell phone out of his pocket. "I'm calling the office. Then they can take it up with your boss."

"No, wait!" the receptionist cried out.

The door to the examination room opened, and Doctor McCoy stuck her head out, looking irritated. "What's all this noise?" She spotted the medics. "Why are you still here? You were supposed to go and bag the patient's lunch! What if they've thrown it out? How am I to analyze something that's mixed up with trash?"

"Sorry, doctor, we're leaving now."

The two medics hurried out. The doctor glared at the receptionist. "Well?"

"There's just a problem with a delivery. I can't find the order in the system."

The doctor snorted. "That's no surprise! You can never find anything! Accept the damn delivery and stop making such infernal noise!"

"Of course, doctor," the receptionist said, meekly.

Somewhat mollified, the doctor disappeared back into the examination room and closed the door behind her.

"I just need your signature here, and then we'll unload it in the cargo reception."

"Sure, let me take a look," the receptionist said, sighing. He took a pen and skimmed the delivery note, before signing for reception. "Okay, I just need to call the guys out there and tell them to expect you." He lifted the receiver and dialled an internal number. "Hello? Yeah, this is James. We've got a delivery of toilet paper. They'll be with you in a moment... okay, bye!" He hung up. "Just go 'round. They're expecting you."

"Great, thanks!" Jacob said, looking towards Martouf who had pretended to walk aimlessly around the office, and just now happened to be close by the guard. He nodded at him, then suddenly raised his left hand and activated the hara'kesh he had there.

The receptionist did not have time to react before Jacob had used the weapon to confuse him. Martouf acted at the same time, using his hara'kesh on the guard. When both stood, staring harmlessly before them, Martouf knocked on the door to the examination room.

"What now?" a voice shouted from in there.

"There is a problem, could you come out?" Martouf answered.

The door opened and the doctor looked out. "What! Who are you?"

Martouf smiled at her and activated his hara'kesh. "We have come for your patient. Please step aside and let us take her."

The doctor got a distant look on her face and did as he told her.

"Get Sam, then we'd better be going," Jacob said. "We only have like ten-fifteen minutes before these guys wake up. They won't remember what's happened, but it's probably better if we're not here."

Martouf nodded and went into the examination room. Sam was lying on the examination table, dressed in an orange overall, with the top opened. He worriedly held his hand over her forehead, evaluating her energy signature in the way the Tok'ra checked on each other, before scooping her up into his arms. "Coming. She is still unconscious."

"Okay." Jacob stepped up to them and quickly checked on her. "Come on! We need to make that delivery before anyone gets suspicious."

They hurried to the truck, where they put Sam on a mattress in the back, then activated a hologram which made it look like there was absolutely nothing there.

Then they drove the short distance to the cargo delivery. The large door opened just as they stopped, and a man came out towards them. "You're the ones with the TP delivery?"

Jacob looked out of the open window of the truck. "Yeah. Just a moment."

He and Martouf exited and went to the back of the truck and got out the pallet of toilet paper they had in there.

"Where do you wish us to put it?" Martouf asked, carefully getting the pallet jack under it, while listening to Lantash's comments about primitive Tau'ri technology.

"Just put it inside and to the left. We'll move it later."

Martouf did that - slowly, and with several attempts, but finally succeeding.

"He's new," Jacob explained, shrugging. "And he'd better get a lot more skilled quickly if he wants to keep the job!"

Martouf rolled his eyes at Jacob and returned the pallet jack to the back of the truck. He looked towards where he knew Sam was, behind the hologram, and hoped she did not wake up just now.

Thankfully, she did not, and a few moments later they were back in the truck, driving out from the prison area.

They had made it!

The receptionist shook his head. He felt strangely confused. Looking around, he spotted the guard standing by the door to the examination room and remembered they had a prisoner in there, being examined.

He took a deep breath, trying to clear his mind, then looked down at the paper before him. A delivery note. He had no memory of anyone delivering anything, but someone must have. He had signed for it. He sighed. He really had to start going to bed earlier, he felt tired, and it was as if there was a fog in his mind.

He glanced at the guard again. He looked rather bored, and the receptionist took that as a good sign. If anything bad had happened, the guard would not just be standing there. The memory lapse was worrying, but he pushed it aside and put the delivery note into a folder before returning to the crossword he had been doing earlier that day.

He had only worked on it for a few minutes, when the door to the examination room was slammed open and Doctor McCoy appeared.

"The patient is gone!"

"What? How can she be gone?" the guard exclaimed, rushing into the room.

"I don't know!"

They quickly searched the rooms of the infirmary, then sounded the general alarm.

"The prisoner is gone, but none of you remember seeing her escape?" the police detective asked.

"That... that is correct," the receptionist said, feeling stupid.

Doctor McCoy shook her head. "I can't explain it, but yeah, that's what happened."

"Was anyone else here?" the detective asked.

"No. Well, there were some delivery guys, but I don't think they could have been involved," the guard said.

"Deliver guys? When? Where did they come from?" the police detective asked.

"Uh, I have the delivery note here somewhere..." the receptionist dug out the piece of paper and handed it to the detective.

"Okay, we'll contact the company and interview them later. Can you describe them?"

The receptionist and the guard looked at each other, and then at the doctor, then all shook their heads.

"None of you can describe them?" the police detective sounded incredulous.

"I suspect we were drugged by those who helped the prisoner escape. Our amnesia could be explained by that," the doctor said. "I should see if I can trace it in my blood. I do feel a bit sick."

"The guys out in the delivery reception can probably describe them," the receptionist said.

"And they shouldn't be affected by any drug in the air," Doctor McCoy added.

The police detective sighed. He just knew this was going to be a difficult case.

"So, two men. Both white. One of them older, balding, maybe mid to late fifties. The other one young, late twenties, with brown hair and pale eyes," the detective repeated, checking his notes.

"Yup, and the young one wasn't very good at using a pallet jack. Clearly he was a new hire," the warehouse worker said.

The detective nodded, writing it down. "Could they have been hiding a prisoner in the back of their truck?"

"Nope, absolutely not. The toilet paper they delivered was the only thing left back there, except for the pallet jack. I'd have seen it if there was anyone hiding back there."

"Okay, thanks. We'll contact you again if there is more we need to know."

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