Functionary lay still as the room lights were dimmed and the end of the plinth upon which his back rested returned to the horizontal. But this time he did not sleep on command. Generally, the mind of Functionary had been put at rest by what the Doctor had said. These beings appeared kind and friendly and he was immensely grateful that they had saved him from certain death. Clearly, they were the very converse of the Voracious with whom he had previously been engaged in fighting. In their successful treatment of what Functionary reckoned must have been his near death condition, their medical prowess appeared to be second to none. Functionary felt that he could not have fallen in to better hands. Nevertheless, he could not help having some worrying questions. Did the Service know of his survival? Had the Service been informed of his whereabouts? Had any arrangements been made for his transfer? What did the doctor mean when he spoke of returning beings to productivity? The doctor had made Functionary sound as though he were a piece of machinery which had somewhat annoyingly fallen into disrepair. What was that strange word “prodiety” that the doctor had used. Functionary felt fairly sure that “prodiety” was some strange synonym of “society”. But this lead on to the most important question: when he spoke of the recovered becoming full and active members of prodiety, presumably they could leave if they chose? “Yes, Of course they could,” thought Functionary to himself. After all, the doctor has also spoken in terms of freedom and equality. These terms would mean little without the freedom to leave this ship and its “prodiety”, thought Functionary. But at the back of the mind of Functionary was a nagging doubt that this might not be the case. But the doubt currently spoke with a whisper and was largely overwhelmed by feelings of relief that he remained alive and immense gratitude for those who had rescued him from certain death and now cared for him. Cosseted by these warm feelings, Functionary slept once more.
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