See? Nothing unusual. The doctor pats me on the shoulder and goes back to the only occupied e-bed. I go through the scans of Decker’s insides, from head to toe for the hundredths time. Brooding over it won’t help. Chalk it up to delirium. Trust me. He turns and flashes a big bright smile. I’m a doctor.
All the screens and displays pulse red. The scan transforms into a beacon of bloody red alert. It’s more of a snort than a sigh, that escapes the doctor.
Decker stirs under his hands. It’s his knee that knocks a plastic tray with surgical equipment to the ground. I hope he stays in a coma, if not… I’m the first to punch him back.
It’s a side console and the last e-bed that poke me into the small of my back. Must have backed away. Answer me! Doc talks. Rains?! I look at him. Are you okay? I nod. Decker isn’t moving. Thank god. Even sedated, that guy freaks me out.
The ceiling and floor lights flicker.
Everybody out of your beds. All stations on standby. The captain’s voice pours into every nook the ship has.
Doc nods towards the door. My feet are glued to where I stand. He raises a brow at me, but I can’t move, just stare. Don’t keep him waiting. Decker sleeps. The doctor blocks my line of sight. Rains, you’re needed. I nod.
Be careful. He smiles sympathetically. Please. Like I’m some wild animal, that is encouraged to go into the next cage. Further down the maze, towards some kind of doom.
The doors slide open and Proto nearly knocks me over. Distress signal just came over all channels. Captain’s cheery. He goes into the med bay and I turn down the corridor towards the bridge.
Color code: Captain Edward Wong; Lieutenant Marius Rains; Lt. Anatol Decker; MD Oscar (Oz) Wellington; Dr. Samara Frazer; Crewman* Proto Septimus;
pic by Alexander Gerst/ ESA