Dec 15, 2018 6:23 PM
Aly among space debris
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"...hiiiii," says Aly uncertainly, which they probably won't understand any more than the first one but maybe the sentiment will come across. And the fact that she doesn't speak the vernacular, if that hasn't already been covered.

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She gets some nervous smiles from them, but not much in the way of conversation.

One of them does gesture her into an adjoining room though, and seems to indicate that she could sit down there if she likes?

(There are three chairs to choose from, one of them behind a desk).

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She sits, not behind the desk.

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More people show up. The newcomers are wearing slightly less exotic clothing: the materials are still a little off, but the garments themselves--pants, skirts, jackets, blouses, overalls, coveralls, etc.--at least fall into familiar types.

There seems to be some sort of chain-of-command here. Certain people that get deferred to by everyone else.

Moreover, the congregation seems to be steadily going up this chain of command as time goes on.

Nobody seems to know what to make of the situation.

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Aly waits nervously.

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Several of the higher-ranking individuals make their own attempts to speak to her, but have no more success than the first woman she met here.

Then they go out and deliver a report (to the wall, same place on it as everyone else has been talking to).

And then they wait nervously as well.

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Aly spins one wheel of her scooter, held off the ground, in a nervous fidget.

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Finally, an order comes down from somebody with the necessary authority to address the unprecedented situation.

 

A woman in white--a doctor?--arrives with a metal cylinder clutched in one hand and an apologetic expression.

(The three soldiery-types who first encountered Aly enter the room as well, presumably as backup, but keep a polite distance).

The doctory-type says a few calming words in the language-that-Aly-can't-understand, and then attempts to to press the metal cylinder to her shoulder?

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Aly falls out of her chair flinching in startlement!

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It's certainly a startling sensation!

A sting, and then a slight burning in the flesh where the needle entered it.

It doesn't hurt too much, though.

And then, as time goes by, everything starts hurting less.

The soldiery-types retrieve her gently from where she's fallen and, within a few minutes, she's unconscious.

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This would be alarming if she were awake.

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She wakes up on a... thing? Perhaps either a particularly bed-like table or a particularly table-like bed. I has railings on its sides and beyond them she can see Weirder Things--boxes that blink and panes of glass that light up with moving images.

Feels like she's been asleep a long time. Body's all sore, throat's dry, eyes feel heavy, pins and needles dance in her furthest extremities.
If she moves, or looks down at herself, she'll become immediately aware of several small tubes and wires plugged into uncomfortable parts of her body. She's no longer wearing the clothes she arrived in, but a lightweight sterile gown provides her with a modicum of modesty.

She also feels heavy. The right amount of heavy, now, unlike conditions when this [dream? nightmare? journey?] started. The room's dark, it has no windows and the weird lanterns on the walls glow only dimly. She appears, for the moment, to be alone in it.

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WHAT THE FUCK

She does not want to contain tubes and wires but is not sure how embedded they are, they might not all be like that casually removable cable the woman was attached to. What do they lead to?

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Most of the wires lead to the weird blinking boxes.

Most of the tubes lead to transparent bags hanging from hooks.

There's a sliver of light at the bottom of the far wall: the crack below a door. The space beyond must be either outdoors or at least substantially better illuminated than her present confines.

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She probes cautiously at wires and tubes to see how in they are and how out they could be without damaging her.

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With the wires its hard to say. The tubes, though, she can feel the outline of pretty well and she'd guess from their depth that they'd be Painful But Not Life-Threatening to remove.

 

While she's probing at the these invasive elements, the handle on the door turns and it starts to creak open.

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aaaaaaaaah

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The door opens. A hand touches a panel by the wall, and the weird torches glow brighter: lighting up the whole room in an instant.

"Hello?" The woman who just entered says. "Please, nod your head if you can understand me."

And it's really weird. Because this woman's clearly speaking a foreign language. And yet somehow Alymbel just knows on a gut level what the words mean?

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...Aly nods.

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"Good. I'm going to turn on the optical interface. Let me know--by nodding or shaking your head--if it's okay or if you need me to turn it back off."

Aly's newfound linguistic intuition does not explain what an 'optical interface' is, but everything else about that last sentence more or less made sense.

The woman moves up one of the weird panes of glass off to the side of the bed and touches it.

Words suddenly appear, floating in mid air. No, wait. Not floating in the air. They move along with her whenever she moves her head, it's more like they're floating in her eyes.

When she looks at the boxes with the blinking lights, she gets alien words like machine and computer and biomonitor. When she looks at the portal leading out the the room she gets door and when she looks at the weird torches she gets light and electric lamp.

Though the letters are in a language she doesn't recognize, she somehow knows what sound each of them makes. She could probably say them aloud if she tried to.

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Yes, but can she say "what the hell did you do to me"?

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She can't!

Well, she can try to, but it'll come out in one of the languages she was fluent in back home and whatever translation solution her hosts have hammered out does not appear to work both ways.

The woman notices Aly's state of alarm, though: "You're safe here. I promise. This is the best hospital on one of the best fortified inner colony habitats. Do you need me to turn off the optical interface? It'll help you in the long run to have it active, but we can take things slowly if you're scared."

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Aly's problem with this situation cannot be addressed by turning off the optical interface.

She looks at the tubes and wires to see what they are called and says those words in an aggrieved tone.

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"Oh. I can take some of those out. Not all of them, yet, but some. Would that help?"

The woman approaches her bedside and begins closely examining the sites where the tubes/wires enter Aly's body.

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Aly nods.

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