by Michael Surbrook

The room was dim, lit only by console lights and the greenish wash of light that spilled through the large observation windows that lined the far wall. If the Doctor noticed the general absence of light he gave no sign. This room was his work area and he knew its layout intimately.

Seated at a console, the Doctor plugged himself into the computer, using both mental and physical commands to bring the assorted diagnostic devices online. His attention was directly solely at the display before him, the actions of his two assistants going almost unnoticed.

"We want to run a full MRI scan today." He spoke out loud, seemingly to no one, knowing that his assistants would do their assigned duties without fail.

"After that we'll another series of EEG scans, and then begin the alpha-wave action-reaction sequence."

In the room beyond the observation windows, machines came to life, humming and purring as they moved about, engaged in a strange sort of dance that only made sense to the Doctor.

Lost in his examination of displays and readouts, staring intently at an ever shifting pattern of colors, the Doctor was greatly surprised to hear the voice at his side.

"And what tests are we running today?"

Doing his best to hide his obvious surprise, the Doctor gave his new companion a withering look. "Oh... it's you."

The Blue-faced Man didn't respond, but merely stared at the scan results, examining for any hint of something new, something that hadn't been recorded before.

Turning back to his work, the Doctor continued, "The usual. An MRI to establish physical make up, EKGs and EEGs to monitor brain activity, and an alpha-wave stimulus to measure PK activity."

"Hmmm..." the Blue-faced Man stepped away from the Doctor's desk and walked to the observation windows, standing quietly for a few moments, contemplating the movements of the Doctor's examination equipment.

"Alpha-wave stimulus?"

"Yes, I want to try and encourage a reaction of psychokinetic energy. I'm trying to isolate the portion of the brain that is responsible for its development."

"I see," the Blue-faced Man returned his attention to the occupant of the room beyond. "I presume this 'stimulus' won't wake her up?"

The Doctor smiled, "The dosage has been carefully measured and calibrated, her waking up is impossible."

"So you have planned for every contingency?"

"Every conceivable contingency. I have taken every precaution possible, and the subject will not be waking up during this series of tests."

The Blue-faced Man's expression was unreadable as he stood in the green-tinged shadows of the room. "For your sake I hope so. I distinctly remember another group of scientists who made the same claims."


"Their subject woke up."

Turning back to the window, the Blue-faced Man turned his attention to the room's sole occupant. "She is looking very thin, are you certain her health is stable?"

The Doctor shrugged, "She's on a liquid nutrient IV drip, weight loss is expected."

"Hmm... I think I preferred her appearance when she arrived."

"What, all covered in blood and vomit?"

The Blue-faced Man didn't respond, his silence communicating his opinion of the Doctor's statement more efficiently than any vocal retort. Remaining motionless in the shadows, he was content to simply observe the Doctor perform his duties. After sometime, the Doctor, obviously annoyed by his companion's unwavering gaze looked up, "Don't you have something better to do?"

"At the moment? No..."

"Well you're disturbing me and my assistants."

"Really?" the Blue-faced Man replied, "Somehow I doubt that." Turning his head to watch one of the Doctor's 'assistants' walk pass, he shook his head. He had no doubts that the nurses made for capable aides, but the Doctor's choice of uniforms left something to be desired.

"Tell me Doctor, who's idea was this."

"Was what?"

"That," the Blue-faced Man said, gesturing at one of the passing aides.

"The clothing? Mine. If they're gonna work with me 12 hours a day, I think I should have something interesting to look at, shouldn't I?"

"Hmm... and what do they think?"

The Doctor blinked in surprise, "Who cares what they think? Besides, they like the outfits just fine."

"Really? How do you know?"

"Because I asked!" the Doctor snapped.

"Heh," the Blue-faced Man chuckled, "They can talk?"

"Of course they can talk! What do you think they are, machines?"

The Blue-faced Man decided not to acknowledge that question, since he doubted the Doctor would care to hear his answer. Returning his gaze to the nearest assistant, he returned with a question of his own, "How do you tell them apart?"

Sitting back from his desk, the Doctor smiled, "Simple, that one is Ishtar and that one is Ashtoreth."

"And?" The Blue-faced Man added.

"Ishtar is the dark-skinned one."

"Oh. I see." His tone indicating that the Doctor's indicated difference was less than obvious.

Turning his back upon the room, the Blue-faced Man made his way to the exit. Stopping at the door, he looked over his shoulder at the Doctor. "By the way, the new security team arrives today."

"Really, did they take my recommendations into consideration?"

The Blue-faced Man sighed, "Yes, I'm afraid so."

Return to Kazei 5