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Do No Harm

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Valerie Coneja shook her head and suppressed a groan at the article in World Report she was reading. “Nasiri Caliphate seizes control of Khaf Iran.”

Over the past five years, the pro-prey extremists had gone from being isolated and disparate groups to an organization that spanned several countries. When their efforts to control Anatolia were thwarted, they started taking control of large expanses in both Iran and Turkmenistan; they had been slowly bringing their two sections together.

The Iranian based group had started in the town of Mud near Birjand then spreading north and east to meet up with the Turkmenistan that had been taking control of land south and west from Tejen.

Her journalistic Spidey sense told her they were receiving financial support from somewhere; they had to considering they now had top-of-the-line, military-grade weapons and equipment and were recruiting worldwide via the dark web.

She was gathering as much background information as she could so that she could present the idea for a story to her bosses at Bullhorn Telecommunications Group.

She glanced apologetically at the woman behind the desk in the waiting room of J.L Deerborn, LCSW, MFT, PHD. She was waiting for her session and knew she shouldn’t be reading stressful articles right before meeting her therapist.

The door to Deerborn’s office closed and Valerie saw a female brown rabbit with a white muzzle drag herself over to drop onto the couch next to Valerie. She looked familiar and Valerie searched her mental databanks.

“You are Jeanine Bonnie Hopps, MD. I recognize you. You were the first medico on the scene outside Mystic Springs Oasis.” Valerie stuck out her paw. “I’m Valerie Coneja.”

The rabbit’s smile brightened. “From ZNN.”

“How are you doing?” Valerie asked with concern. She had wondered what had happened to the first doctor on the scene of the terrorist attack that killed 33 mammals and injured 71 at the naturalist club.

Jeanine’s smile was fleeting and pained. “Better,” she admitted. “What are you doing here?”

Valerie saw the doe wince. She smiled understanding what the rabbit meant. “I was in a war zone during my internship with the AP in Anatolia. That was four years ago; the Thule attacks didn’t help.” She patted the young doctor’s paw reassuringly. “It will get better. Did I hear right, you signed up to work for Médecins Sans Frontières ?”

Jeanine’s smile spread to her eyes. “I leave for Brussels in three weeks.”

“Ms Coneja, Ms Deerborn will see you now. Dr. Hopps, I have your next appointment.” Their conversation was interrupted by the office receptionist.

“Nice to meet you, Ms Coneja.”

“Same here and good luck, Dr. Hopps.”