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The Hospital Ship - Page By Page

Chapter 2 - Rescued - Page_21

But, whether as a result of his activity or not, the perceptual and sense making facilities of the brain of Functionary did begin to show some improvement. After several bouts of awakening and then falling a sleep, he awoke and, after a few minutes he managed to make out his surroundings. And he could hear! As massive sense of relief and reassurance flooded through his being as his faculties returned. He stared upwards from the plinth upon which he rested and gradually made out two beings looking down at him. He was not sure, but he sensed that they were smiling at him. It was difficult to tell, as while these beings at mouths and eyes and, sort of, noses, their facial features were very different from those of most beings he had seen before. They were blue, very blue. Craning his neck upwards, he observed that there were two more of these species at the foot of the plinth. These two beings were also, he surmised, smiling benignly. He let his head bang backwards upon the surface on which his body rested. Painfully, he noted that this species did seem to cushion its medical resting places. His mind now awakening quickly and renewing it critical faculties, began to ask questions, rapid fire. He looked back and forward between the two beings he could see without raising his head and who were, in turn, looking at him inquisitively. He judged the one on his right to be a male and, for some reason he could not explain to himself, a doctor. The one of the left appeared to be a female and again, for some inexplicable reason, Functionary felt sure that he was looking at a nurse. They were most definitely a striking blue in skin tone and, rather comically, they wore uniforms of a similar colour. But, it was crossing the increasingly vibrant mind of Functionary that the two were not from entirely the same species. The doctor had an strangle elongated head while the nurse had a head which was almost spherical, so that her features resembled those of a fish which could inflate itself into a ball as a means of defence. But, mused Functionary, she did have a pretty face. However, what began to cause Functionary increasing concern as the seconds of silence ticked by was that he did not recognise the species before him. In all his travels and in all his viewing of documentaries and news items on the Service Videocasting system he had never seen the like of these beings. Who were they? Where was he? Then his mind moved to darker questioning. Was he anywhere? Again, not for the first time, since gradually returning to consciousness, he return to questioning whether what he saw was not just the strange production of a decaying brain. Panic gripped him mentally and bodily. This process of thought must have betrayed itself, for the ball-headed woman gripped his upper arm tenderly and showed a look which Functionary interpreted a look of concern. The doctor, leaned further into the field of vision of Functionary and appeared to give a deliberate and emphatic smile. Then, the doctor broke the silence and spoke slowly and deliberately: “Don’t be afraid, you’re in good hands. You have been in a coma a long time. We found you drifting in space close to death. But we have very good medical facilities and we managed to stabilise your condition. You are now showing rapid improvement and I think you will soon be back to fall health. So don’t be afraid.”

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