The Mechanical Man 7 – The Surgery
At 8 AM on the dot next Friday, Andrew stood in front of the clinic counter waiting for announcing his arrival. Oddly enough, he thought, the entire reception area was empty. As a matter of fact, the whole clinic seemed to be empty. The silence was ear-splitting, and only a few lamps were lit. He wondered about the emptiness, after all – the door had opened and let him in! At least someone ought to be here.
He did not know what to do, so he went over to the couch, sat down and thought he must be early. He reached for his pocket, got his hand-unit, and tried to concentrate on his favourite game. Ten minutes later a swosch-swosh sound came nearer, and then a small, elderly man all dressed in white peaked out through the door behind the counter.
”I’m so sorry,” he said, walked towards Andrew and reached out his hand. ”I’m doctor Fredriksen. You are Mr Millbourne, I presume? I wasn’t notified until half an hour ago that… hm… your procedure… hm… was due this morning. I’m so sorry I’m late. I was asleep when the phone rang.” He kept on pumping Andrews right hand up and down while examining him closely with squinting eyes.
”I don’t understand…”
”The entire clinic personnel is at a Congress. Learning new things, you know. The entire day. Been booked for ages. Was really surprised when I was notified about you. There shouldn’t be any bookings today. Must have been a mistake.”
”A mistake…”, Andrew thought and frowned internally. He very well remembered the receptionist that day. He knew he should have booked the surgery online instead of coming here in person. What had he been thinking!!!
”I… don’t… under… stand…,” Andrew said out loud. ”Then… why are you here?”
”Oh! I’m retired and don’t have to attend such nonsense any longer. But I still do help out with surgery once in a while when needed. Halda is very efficient in keeping track of those things.”
”The computer, of course! It keeps track of everything that is done and said here. And this time Mz Libstic must have forgotten to add the booking into the calendar. Lucky we have that listening program installed as well.”
”The receptionist, of course! It’s odd when I think of it. She never makes mistakes or forgets. Hope she wasn’t coming down with a cold or something.”
Andrew mentally shrugged his shoulders, shook his now freed hand, and sighed. He understood very well what had happened. Furthermore, he wondered whether this old man standing in front of him still was able to perform surgery. His hands shivered slightly, and the way he was looking at him… and shouldn’t there be at least one nurse to assist during the whole thing?
”Well! Shall we go on then? Better get over with it, don’t you think so?”
”Oh yeah… yeah…”
Andrew followed the doctor through the door behind the counter and along a brightly lit corridor that seemed to go on forever. Then he stopped in front of a door, pushed his left thumb against a silvery plate, added a number frequency, and then finally gazed into something that looked like a pair of binoculars.
”Iris-reading”, he said, ”that and the thumb manoeuvres are very handy.”
The door opened and revealed a huge surgery room. The light appeared to come from everywhere, and Andrew jumped in surprise when suddenly a man stood in front of him. The next second he saw it was not a man, it was a robot.
”At your service, Sir.” The robot said. ”I will be assisting throughout the entire procedure and make sure everything will be as pleasant as possible and totally pain-free. Is there anything you wish for before we begin.”
”No thank you, it’s quite all right as it is.” Andrew said, though his stomach was growling for something between breakfast and puking. But no breakfast this time. Oh no.
”Then let us begin”, the robot said, helped Andrew on to the operating table, and just a few minutes later Andrew vanished into the darkness.
To the other parts in order, can also be found in the menu.
- 1.) Being another you
- 2.) Andrew Millbourne’s big secret
- 3.) The Voyage of no return
- 4.) Time in space
- 5.) The appointment
- 6.) Living in pain
- 7.) The Surgery
- 8.) Into the Darkness
- 9.) If the end isn’t good, it isn’t the end