Chapter 12: Rollercoaster
The gently rocking of the surface on which Kai lay roused her from her sleep. She slowly began to sit up, only to find that she was bound down to her cot. Her eyes snapped open to see the lights above her moving past rather quickly, and the slender female, Allison, peering down at her.
Allison tilted her head, “Your medical examination has happened, you are being transferred out now.”
Kai blinked, “Why am I tied down?”
“All humans are anesthetized prior to medical appointments. It aids with compliance. The bindings are to prevent injury from rolling in transport.”
Kai nodded as best she could, “That makes sense. Can you untie me?”
“Once you’ve been loaded.”
To Kai, that seemed to imply that she was akin to some kind of package, and that there really was no good response. She elected to remain silent, running her tongue along her lips. Her lips were chapped and dry, and there was very little saliva to wet them with. She wondered just how long she’d been asleep for, and what exactly had been done. A quick wiggle-test confirmed that she still had all of her fingers and toes. Besides that, she wasn’t sore and had no pain indicating an incision.
She closed her eyes as she was wheeled down a gentle incline, her stomach turning. It seemed Allison was not adept in pushing a gurney, and Kai felt herself veering from side to side. For a moment, Kai pictured herself on a rollercoaster, the type with a lot of sharp, jerky movements. This fantasy was cut short as her cot was jerked to a halt. The end --and Kai’s feet-- bumped against some large object and rolled back slightly, hitting against Allison’s legs.
“Apologies, Miss Flint.”
Kai cracked open an eyelid, tilting her head back to look at Allison. It was clear that Allison was waiting for some sort of reply, some form of ‘It’s fine, don’t worry about it.’
She would get no such satisfaction.
A painful moment passed before Allison clicked her tongue behind her mask, “I am going to load you now, then you’ll be unbound.”Kai gave a small nod, which prompted Allison to nod back. The creature stood still for a second, then stepped out a view, the quiet hiss of an opening door soon followed, and the movement of Kai’s cot.
Kai grunted, hands clenched into fists as she was rolled feet-first up a rather steep ramp. The movement was the least graceful yet, enough so to warrant a quiet apology from Allison.
“There.” Kai could barely make out Allison tilting her head, “I will free you now.”
A soft click echoed, followed by the releasing of her binds. Kai sat up rolling her head.
Allison inclined her head again, and then began to head back down the open gangway and out of the ship.
“Hey, wait!” Kai sat up on the edge of the gurney-cot, meaning to stand, “Where are you going?”
Allison paused and turned, her head once again gaining a tilt, “Back to my quarters. I am not accompanying you.”
Kai pushed herself up, stumbling briefly, then finding her footing, “Why not?”
“It is not my job.” A pause, “Goodbye, Miss Flint, I do not think I will see you again.”
The door swung shut.
Kai sat back against the ship’s wall, closing her eyes. The ship had remained dark and quiet, and no other creature had been loaded up. She found herself rather apathetic in regards to the whole situation, not afraid. All she wanted was for the whole ordeal to be resolved more quickly, to be shoved at some other creature and be done with being transported around. It seemed a rather tedious and annoying process, to be shuttled around, that is. She hadn’t seen any other human, and had been the only one in her transports. Wouldn’t it be expensive to fly planes, or whatever their ships were, across long distances with only one passenger? Or did they have some form of renewable fuel that made it just as efficient? Or did they somehow have laws about human treatment? The idea seemed odd, but not too odd to be implausible. Humans did, after all, have laws about animal treatment, and to these creatures, humans were definitely not equals.
The floor began to rumble.
Kai perked up at this, laying her palms against the floor. The rumble didn’t seem to originate from the ship itself, but rather from the outside. Kai stood, going to make her way over to the opposite wall, only to be thrown back rather violently by the sudden liftoff of the ship. She stuck out her arms for balance, wobbling as it seemed to stabilize. She took another step, slowly and carefully, then another, with equal care. A hum had begun to pick up in volume, seeming to originate somewhere above. She looked up into the darkness, as if it would give an answer, and found nothing aside from a ceiling that appeared to be only around two feet above her head. For a moment she wondered if
Then, the acceleration hit.
The craft lurched forward with such force that Kai was knocked off her feet, rolling in a fashion she’d have described as “ass-over-teakettle”, the ship was nearly vertical, and moving quite quickly. She reached out for any handhold as her rolling ceased, her nails --much shorter than she remembered-- scrabbling uselessly against the shiny metal floor. Kai’s back impacted the gangway-door that made up the back end of the ship, the wind exiting her lungs with a gasp. As she heaved for air, the ship began to level out, and slowly, the lights began to flicker to life. The cargo hold was empty, aside from her cot, which appeared to have been anchored down to the floor. Heaving, Kai pushed herself up onto an elbow, then into a sitting position, back against the door.
“What in the absolute hell was that?”
Unsurprisingly, nobody had any answer.