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The Hospital Ship - Page By Page

Chapter 1 - The Battle - Page_17

He stood upon some cold, airless, hostile planet. Planted there, he watched the fire fight between the Service military personnel and the rebels. Quickly, they had outgunned the rebels. Then he watched while as the military moved amongst those rebels who remain alive, men, women and children, and tore their breathing apparatus from their bodies and ensured that they had rendered the life support devices, dysfunctional. He watched as the rebels gasped for air and clung to the legs of the Service personnel, pleading for their lives, without effect. The Service personnel laughed. You could see this in the shaping of their bodies. The comic arching of their standing bodies reflected the desperate riving of the rebels on the ground. There was nothing Functionary could do, he had to watch, he was helpless.

A thousand events, a multitude of experiences, many emotions, which Functionary’s dying mind saw as in some way linked to his current predicament, were chaotically replayed in his decaying memory as the synapses of his brain fired for one final time.

The bedroom scene had jumped onwards as though by some careless audio-visual editing. He was on top of her. He was jerking vigorously and then climax... He was observing a young man begging for his life as he was unceremoniously pushed towards an he place of execution... Then he was hearing a condemned man kicking against a ship’s airlock as the air was withdrawn. To the mind of Functionary, every incident was separate and real. Each occurred as though he were there and experiencing it for the first time, if, in each case, he was aware of an unpleasant sense of deja vu. In each case, he knew for certain, how the story developed. Odd troubling, how could this be?

But, the workings of the brain of Functionary was completely closing down now. To an outside observing him, he would probably have been understood as dead. Internally, his mind was growing dark. He brain was now ceasing to generate the endless flow of real-life stories. This was the end.

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