Jason was barely conscious when Duncan burst into the clinic but he struggled against his sleep to catch what was being said. Duncan was mad. He was screaming at a nurse nearby, demanding to talk to someone called Gary. The name was familiar. He remembered the doctor who had been looking after him call himself that. He wondered what had happened. Was someone hurt?
Gary had been there when he had woken up. He had been pleasant and comforting. He had said that there was someone who had wanted to see him when he woke up and had disappeared to get them. That had been hours ago and he hadn’t yet returned, certainly not whilst he had been awake. He wondered where he could have gotten to.
Duncan was still shouting, the nurse apparently had no idea where Gary was either, only that he wasn’t there. She mentioned something about him perhaps having gone to rest as he had been in the clinic since the impact outside. Duncan didn’t seem to like that answer. He was demanding to know which room Gary’s was, again the nurse didn’t seem that knowledgeable with her answers. Eventually he threw one last insult at the woman and stormed out of the clinic towards the lobby. The nurse appeared upset by the whole altercation. She quickly disappeared through another exit and Jason didn’t see her again.
“How are we doing Jason?” A woman was at his side, checking his vitals.
“I hurt.” Jason said.
She smiled. “That’s what will happen when you try to take someone on as large as Mike.”
“Mike?” Jason said. “Is that his name?”
“I take it pleasantries weren’t exchanged before you started throwing punches.”
“He wasn’t exactly easy to talk to.” Jason muttered.
She chuckled at that. “I’m afraid you’ll find a few people like that in here. Some were picked for their winning personalities, some were picked for other reasons.”
“Where is he?” Jason asked, glancing over at the now empty bed beside him.
“We transferred him to our second clinic.” The woman answered. “He was ready to jump at you again whilst you were asleep, we thought it was better just to separate you two altogether.”
“Where’s Gary?” Jason asked.
“We’re very inquisitive aren’t we?” The woman mused. “As you could tell from the recent shouting, we assume he’s sleeping. But don’t worry, you’re in good hands, I’m Dr Aishani Chopra and I’m almost as clever as he is.”
She threw Jason a wink and picked up his chart.
“Well no wonder you’re in pain,” she said. “Your morphine is almost out. Why didn’t you press for more?”
Jason shrugged. “I didn’t want to cause a fuss, besides, I brought this on myself.”
Aishani rolled her eyes and administered a new dose of morphine into his drip. She leaned in close after she did this so that her mouth was close to his ear.
“I wouldn’t beat yourself up about it, from the sounds of it, Mike deserved all he got.”
She smiled again as she straightened out.
“There, you should start to feel a lot better after a while.”
“Dr Chopra?” Jason said.
“Please, call me Aishani.”
“How long have you known about this meteor?”
“I was in the room when my colleague first saw it four years ago.”
“You’ve known for that long?”
She nodded, a small smile still on her face. “I know it sounds like we’re the bad guys when you think how long we’ve known about this and not told anyone, but you have to admit this makes the most sense.”
“I don’t know about that.”
She shrugged, “I guess it’s open to opinion but at the end of the day, there was no way that we could have saved everyone, why tell the world when there was no way to save them? All you’re asking for there, is mass panic.”
“But you think that it’s justified being this selective?”
“We won’t be this small population of people forever.” She said. “In a few years the babies will start to be born and then they’ll grow up and have babies and before you know it you’ve got a massive population underground on your hands.”
“How are you planning to deal with that?” Jason asked.
“We have a few tricks up our sleeves.” Aishani tapped her nose and gave Jason another wink.
“Aren’t you sad or scared about what happened?” Jason asked.
Aishani thought about that for a moment before she answered. “It’s not that I’m not sad but I’ve had a long time to adjust to what was going to happen. In that sense, I had the advantage as I was able to say goodbye to the ones that I loved. And as for being scared, there’s no reason to be. I’ve been involved in most of the planning for this building and I can tell you that this is the safest place in the whole world.”
Jason leant back, churning over Aishani’s words. However soon, it was harder to do this as the morphine kicked in and his head began to swim.
“Aishani?” He called as she started to walk away.
“Gary went to get someone to visit me several hours ago but never came back. I don’t know who it was but he went through that door over there.” He pointed towards the door on the far side of the clinic.
“Oh! I didn’t know you were friends with Daniela Davids!”
“Wait, that’s who Gary went to get?” He thought about this, perplexed. It made no sense why she would want to visit him, he had only met her once yesterday and that was so brief he was sure she wouldn’t even remember him anymore. Suddenly her face showed in another memory, he realised then, she had been the one who had found him in the garden.
“Oh yeah,” he said. “She found me and brought me here.”
“Well, in that case, I’ll go and see if I can find her. No doubt Gary just forgot. He gets that way sometimes.”
She gave him another of what he was realising to be her signature winks and walked off in the direction of the door.
Jason leant back in his bed, he was really started to soar now, the morphine made him feel so good. He closed his eyes and laid there smiling, taking the high in the best way he could.