Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Silent Room: Part 31

Dr. Adelheide She had passed into the third patient ward before the slight rumble of the floor beneath her feet from the marching guards began to lessen. So far they had not entered wards, but she did not know how long they would wait to further widen their search. She continued moving through the tubs in a back and forth grid, looking at each face carefully, before passing on to the next row of tubs. So many against this tiny stand of resistance.

She closed off the thoughts and focused her attention back on each new face, searching. She passed into the fourth ward. Then the fifth. The floors began to rumble again with running guards. She kept her focus. There was no time to waste on them. She passed into the sixth ward. At the far end she saw the heavy black doors of Level 5 and shuddered at the thought of it. Only those considered the “most dangerous” were moved on to the Museum, with its eerie darkness and tall imprisoning specimen sacs. Deactivated men and women held suspended in living tombs of permanent stasis. It was whispered that they were not even granted the mercy of virtual dreams. It was where they would put her when she was caught. If she was caught. She turned away, continued her search. If he was not here, she would turn around and look at each face again.
It was in the next to last tub of the sixth ward, right next to the heavy black doors of Level 5, that she found him.
The patient, head shaved now and fresh blue tattoo marks lined up the side of his neck, lay motionless and weighted against the chilled white porcelain of the basin, his skin pebbled with cold. His gray blue eyes blinked slow and unfocused. She moved around to the end of the tub so she could stand by his head, glancing down at the syringe in her hand as she did so. 

The disconnect serum still held faint tones of amber and none of the slowly forming indigo residue. Excellent. Carefully she pulled the procedure tray out from the side of the tub with her left hand and set down the syringe on its sterile surface. A monitoring board flashed into existence a few inches above its surface, ready for orders. She tapped the red square in the upper right corner to initiate the patient disengagement sequence, then turned back to the patient. Testing his awareness, she swept her fingers gently across his brow, then gradually increased pressure. He continued to blink his eyes slowly, not registering her touch any more than he had registered her presence. About two thirds of the way out of stasis then. He wouldn’t struggle unnecessarily but would still respond fairly quickly to the injection. She turned back to the board and found the button on the screen that bypassed the restraints protocol. Next she asked it to position his head for access to his port. When he was ready, the monitoring board flashed blue. She pressed the button to initiate the opening of the injection dock. This was it. 

She took a moment to stretch tense fingers. Then she picked up the syringe, slipped off the needle cap, and with a single firm motion, inserted the needle firmly into the injection dock. She pressed the plunger slowly, counting out thirty. Finished, she pulled the needle out and tossed the now empty syringe into the biohazard bin. Two minutes to wait now. Even as the patient’s body began to shake, a rending crash sounded from beyond the still doors of Level 5.