The woman’s red lips twisted into a sad, sentimental kind of smile. From somewhere, she produced a very large, very painful looking syringe, squirting a few drops of liquid from its tip. “This isn’t going to be easy,” She said, sympathetically.
Lamont awoke with a start, looking up at the simplistically Oriental pattern of the screen that covered the overhead light in his cabin. He was on Westward. It had been a dream. The light was red—an indication that the ship was about to make a jump into Escherspace! With a sudden panic, Lamont realized that he wasn’t wearing his normalization visor. To make a jump through Escherspace without a visor meant irreparable neural damage, madness! He tried to get up, to reach the drawer of his desk where he kept the visor, but he found to his alarm that he couldn’t move. Looking down, he saw that he was strapped to his bunk.
Just then, the shape of a person came into his field of view, partially blocking the red light. It was a woman. Curls of black hair fell over the strikingly strong jaw of her angular face as she regarded him with unusually dark eyes. “What can I do for you?” She asked. Her tone was warm, almost pitying.
He meant to ask for his normalization visor, but different words came out of Lamont’s mouth. “I want to go back to Liza. I want to see my wife.”
The woman’s red lips twisted into a sad, sentimental kind of smile, drawing attention to a prominent mole on her upper lip. From somewhere, she produced a very large, very painful looking syringe, squirting a few drops of liquid from its tip. “This isn’t going to be easy,” She said, sympathetically.
Lamont screamed and screamed.
Fighting for consciousness, Lamont followed the sound of the voice above him. He couldn’t see anything. He clawed at his eyes, and pulled away his normalization visor. He winced, overwhelmed by the brightness of the cabin lights behind their decorative screen. Crouched over him was Rosemary Wells, ginger-haired medic and fellow Englander. On her cherubic features was a mixture of concern and perplexity.
Lamont formed words with some difficulty; his mouth felt exceedingly dry. “I must have been dreaming,” He rasped.
“I’ll say you were,” Rosemary exclaimed. “You were raving!”
She put a hand behind his back and helped him to sit up. He was at the base of his bunk, and he leaned his back against the storage compartments underneath it. He felt something warm on his lip. Rosemary reached into the pocket of her moss-green coat and pulled out a handkerchief.
“Here,” she said, handing it to him. “Your nose is bleeding.”
“Did we make the jump?” Lamont asked.
“Aye,” Said the medic, her brow knitting as she peered into his eyes. “Three hours ago.”
Next: He Adores Electrodes