I’ve given it some thought, and while Part 2 had some interesting addition to the backstory, most of what happened after Part 1 has really been filler material. Most, if not all, of it will probably wind up on the cutting room floor. Even this part will probably be erased if and when editing actually happens. I’m going to continue forward with Part 5, as if nothing is going to be cut. I don’t know what might be usable from each part that could wind up in the edited version later, in one form or another. – Trasee
Two guards woke me up the next morning to take me from my cell. There was no breakfast waiting for me, nor was I given a chance to relieve myself. Get up, get moving, no time for anything else. I hadn’t eaten anything yesterday, and was sick after arriving last night. I was very hungry now, and my bladder was quite full. I didn’t bother to protest, though, because I knew it wouldn’t do any good. That, and I don’t like hearing the sound of my voice.
The guards led me down the hall to a what appeared to be a full bathroom. There was a shower, a toilet, a sink, and even a large trash bin in the room. There was a seat in the shower, and a bar attached to the wall next to it. I hadn’t had a shower for several days. In fact, I haven’t even had a change of clothes. If I was going to be allowed to shower, that would be wonderful.
“Take off all your clothes and put them into the bin.” I looked at the guard wondering if he was serious. Why would I throw away my clothes? And if I did have to get undressed, were they both just going to stand there and watch? “You heard me. Strip!” I could tell he meant business, and I certainly didn’t want him to get any angrier, so I did as I was told.
“Now, use the toilet then sit on the shower seat.” I looked at the guard again. It was clear I would have no privacy at all. I sat down on the toilet and let my full bladder empty. The guard gave me a weird look as he saw me sitting, but said nothing. After I had wiped, I went over to the shower and sat down. The guard came over and cuffed my hands together, then attached the cuffs to the metal bar. I wondered how I was supposed to take a shower if I was cuffed to the wall, but again, I stayed silent.
The guard who had been giving the orders stood to the side, while the other exited the bathroom. A moment later, an older woman entered in his place. She was wearing a some scrubs with drawings of children playing scattered across it. “Hello, I’m Mindy. I’m going to be your nurse. Can you tell me your name?”
I could feel the blood rushing to my face. I was already feeling exposed with the guards, and now that I have a woman in here, observing my naked deformed body, it was quite embarrassing. “Val.” My answer was short and to the point, not wanting to say more than I absolutely had to.
“What’s your last name, Val?” She made no comment about the ugly sound of my voice, as if it was just another perfectly natural voice, even though I knew it wasn’t.
She swiped her finger on the tablet she was carrying. “And your birth date?”
“April 17, 2092.”
“Oh, it was yesterday. Happy birthday.” She gave me a good natured smile. Why would she say that? She was here to process me to go to the moon. She knew I was a prisoner. How could she really think my birthday would be anything even close to happy? I wanted to be hurt, upset, but the smile and sweetness of her voice was disarming, and I simply nodded with a half-smile in response.
“Ok, I found your information. I see here that you are special needs. Accident on April 17, 2105. Oh, your birthday. So sorry to read that. It’s quite amazing you’re still with us. I’ll make sure we note the brain damage and avoid any medicines that would adversely affect your brain functions.”
She was so nice. I don’t remember anyone ever treating me this nice, not since my parents, that is. Here I was, a reject, a prisoner, being sent to the moon. Someone not even worthy enough to be kept on earth. Even though I hated talking, I had to ask her a question. “Why you being nice to me?”
She looked me in the eyes with a smile and a twinkle in her eyes. “Because everyone deserves to be treated nice, no matter who they are. You apparently had a long series of unfortunate events that led you here, but on the moon, you’ll be given a new lease on life, a second chance for the happiness that has eluded you for so long. I know, I was one of the first people to be sent there.”
I looked at her in shock. She had been a prisoner, and now she was a nurse preparing me to go to the moon? It had to be some sort of a cruel joke. Yet the look in her eyes and the sincerity of her voice told me that she was most likely telling the truth. I couldn’t comprehend it.
“Now, let’s finish getting you processed. I’m going to start by shaving you. I’m going to remove all your hair before I give you your shower. The water is specially treated to completely disinfect your body. When I’m done, I’ll dry you off and we’ll take you to the medical bay. Any questions?”
“Your clothes are going to be incinerated. You’ll get new clothes once you get to the moon. I’ll give you a hospital gown in the medical bay.”
I didn’t ask anything else, so she began to do what she told me she was going to do. Using a sonic razor blade, she started at my scalp, slowly working her way down my body, letting the specially calibrated sound vibrations and laser swipes cut through all my hairs, leaving my body completely smooth and hairless. The shaving was a slow process, and quite uncomfortable, especially around my genital region where it was even a bit painful. She apologized for the pain, as she finished doing her job.
Then came the shower. The head of the shower detached, and she was able to hold it in her hand. She told me to close my eyes as she sprayed the water over me. The water had a strong odor with it, which must have been the disinfectants and anti-bacteria mix in the water itself. When all was said and done, I was dried off and, as promised, escorted to the medical bay. I hated being so exposed as we walked down the hall, but I knew there wasn’t anything more I could do.
There were lines of hospital beds in the medical bay, several of them had other prisoners in them, all just as hairless, all wearing blue hospital gowns. Every one of them had an IV going into their arms, and they all appeared to be sleeping. “What’s going on?”
“Don’t worry, everything will be fine. Just lie back and I’ll take care of the rest for you. Let me help you get this gown on.”
“But why are they asleep?”
“It will be a few days before you leave for the moon, and a couple days in space. It’s better for everyone if you just sleep until you arrive on the moon. Don’t worry, you’ll be well taken care of.”
Her smile and voice was calming and inspired trust. What she said made sense, I guess. I followed her direction and lay down on the bed. I gasped as I felt the sting of the needle pushing into my vein at the inside of my elbow. “Now count backward from 100.”
“100… 99… 98…97…” That was as far as I made it.