Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Heart of Gold

I hoped all this was a dream. I was in a lucid sleep, so it was possible. I hoped I was dreaming, right up until I felt the sensation of a latex gloved hand slapping against my cheek. "Cat! Wake up Cat!" a forceful, yet somewhat reassuring voice, said to me. I decided not to open my eyes, and pretend to remain asleep, for I did not yet know where I was and for why. "We know you can hear us, Miss o'Ninetails." The voice spoke again. I slowly allowed my eyes to open, seeing only an unfamiliar room above me. I couldn't turn my head to look around. I realised now, that my entire body was bound to a stretcher.

"Now, now Cat." a voice came from nowhere, "No point in struggling." This was a different voice to the one that awoke me a few moments earlier. "Wh...where am I?" I demanded, my voice sounding much more powerful when I ran this line through my head, but my words were lucky to escape my mouth as anything more than a laboured breath. "As we said Cat, you're safe. You very nearly weren't... but you are now, and that's all that matters," the first voice waxed. I had managed to focus my vision, and turn my head enough to gather enough information to work out where I was. A medical bay, the most advanced I'd ever seen.

"Sorry about the restraints," a man said as he walked around me, looking somewhat nervous. He continued "but you nearly scratched out the eyeballs of two of our medical support staff while you were having a fit. We can't have that now, can we?" I didn't know what was going on, but I felt lightheaded. Had they given me drugs? "You're probably feeling a little funny because of the drugs, Cat. Don't mind if I call you Cat do you?

Strapped to a stretcher, pumped full of drugs, and still unsure of my whereabouts. The apparently kind strangers just adding to my uncertainty of the situation. I heard the door slide open, and a voice ask " I'm Jalo Graydor, Chief Scientist for Rancer Defence League. This is Cat's bed, right?" to which someone applied in the affirmative. I was getting quite restless at this point, and felt I had recovered enough energy to scream "Somebody tell me right now where the hell I am, and what the Jove is going on?!!"

"Well, Miss o'Ninetails," the speaker audibly took a deep breath, "I am just a medical technician, but my employer requested you have the best possible treatment. He found you collapsed outside your hangar and called us right away. If he had been a moment sooner, things might have been gravely different." I was glad for the well-wisher stumbling upon me, but it left an important question unanswered "OK, great," I started, "but that doesn't explain why I collapsed in the first place."

Graydor sheepishly spoke up. "Cat... I mean Miss o'Ninetails, I think I can explain everything." Speaking through gritted teeth, I told him to continue. "Well... On hearing about your illness, I took it upon myself to review the CCTV footage of your quarters before you went to board your new ship. How can I put this...." he trailed off. "Put it bluntly" I spat.

"Well. Erm... That wasn't a milkshake you drunk. It was my latest science project. I feel so guilty, I'm just glad you're OK! Please forgive me" he pleaded with me. I found it funnier than it made me angry, so I told him in no uncertain terms that he would be working very long hours for the next two months. "Medic, one more question for you... Who is your employer, my saviour?"

"Not allowed to answer that, I'm afraid." the medic was smug in saying this, and he continued with "I'm only allowed to give you this message..." he pulled a scrap of paper from his pocket, and held it in front of my eyes.


Get well soon.

- a pirate