I've spent the day being shown round Alpha by my two new colleagues. Alpha generally has three researchers; the guy who'd been here the longest, Sergei, left two weeks before I arrived. Apparently, he'd been here for nearly two years, and left without any signs of mal. Of course, that doesn't mean anything: once you've been exposed, you can succumb at any point. But I suppose it's a good sign.
The current senior guy, Robert McCain, has been here fourteen months. He's due to be relieved as soon as they find a suitable candidate. He's tall and gaunt, with a blonde beard. He got his PhD at the University of British Columbia in mal cell biology; he was quite pleased when I said I'd read one of his papers.
The other researcher is Xi Jin. She arrived six months ago. She doesn't seem to be taking it too well. She won't leave the station, and she's requested a transfer. Xi's an anthropologist studying human occupancy of The Sick Land in prehistory. Xi is small. She looks ill.
I'll go through the tour tomorrow. I haven't recovered from the flight.