Kendra woke slowly to the tang of disinfectant in the air, emerging from a sleep deeper than memory. The lights were bright through her eyelids, which refused to open. Her hands refused to raise and rub them to try and break the crust, so Kendra lay, slowly taking in every sense that would work. There was hush beside the faint noise of air circulating that complimented a breeze that brushed against her left arm in regular bursts, a cold slow mechanical breath. The bed lay thin beneath her.
This place was a hospital. The thought formed only slowly, evoking a dull fear of what had brought her in. There was no pain accompanying any sensation, but her body still would not move. Even her mind barely worried at this.
There was the sound of a door clicking open, then the dimness of lights being blocked out. “I hope you can hear me, because otherwise this’ll be a rather pointless conversation. You’re fine. Relax until the paralysis wears off. It will be another three hours. We were unsure if you would regain consciousness before then, and we’re sorry you did. Anaesthetists still get these things wrong.”
There was a cool pressure against Kendra’s arm. Metal. Kendra’s arm twitched sluggishly in response. The metal was held there for a few seconds then withdrawn. “By all measures, you are well. I’ll have a nurse stay with you while you regain mobility so you don’t come to any discomfort. I wish I could send you back to sleep but we do not fully understand the effects.”
There was the sound of a door closing, followed by squeaking as a person rested themselves in a plastic seat. Kendra went fuzzy at the edges and forgot her senses for a time. When she woke, her eyes came open easily, but would not focus. There was a blur that must have been the roof, and a pinkish haze at the edge of her vision. The nurse, presumably. Only very slowly did they come in to focus, an older man with pale off-worlder skin. The man watched Kendra curiously as Kendra slowly managed to focus her eyes on him. Kendra tried to speak, ask a question, but there was only a croak. “Hush now,” the man said in a lyrical voice. “Rest till doctor comes back. You’ll do yourself a favour.”
Kendra tried to object, but could make no sound. Now there was a panic rising in her. Heart beating faster. No one had said why she was here. The lack unnerved her. Had there been an accident? Kendra focused all her effort trying to raise her hand, but the fingers barely twitched. The nurse looked out of Kendra’s sight, likely at her biometrics. “Don’t spike, just calm. You’re safe. Tomorrow there will be question time, ya?”
Kendra wanted to demand answers now, but the ache in her chest scared her as she slipped back, unconscious again. When next knew she was awake, there were ties that stopped her head jerking off the bed, her arms raising, and her legs kicking. Kendra glanced around wildly, and saw the same nurse watching her, long features now in focus. “You were thrashing in your sleep,” he said apologetically. “This was the easiest way, but you are calm now?”
Kendra nodded as much as the restraints allowed, and the man slowly undid all the straps. Kendra waited tensely while every last one was loosed before lurching up and towards the door. The nurse cried out in shock just as her feet slipped from under her. Still sluggish arms failed to catch her and the fall on to the hard plastic floor left her breathless, head jangling, chest connecting badly. Hitting the floor was barely felt over the dizziness of movement.
Kendra let the nurse help her back into bed, still gasping for breath, head woozy. “My you have spirit. But hush, the doctor comes soon. They wanted to wait till tomorrow before talking, but you won’t let that happen, I’d bet.”