Jim's Life. An excerpt from his awakening;--
All we are is the result of our thoughts. What we think, we become. - Buddha
Jim began to wake. His eyes blinked reflexively as he took in the unfamiliar sights. White flashes made it difficult to focus. White sheets. White walls. Bright light through a window. This place was completely new. Having no idea where he was, his initial conscious thought was whether it was real or a dream.
Along with the blinking of his eyes, he became aware of his head, a bulky object just above where he sensed he existed. His head moved in minute amounts. Attached to the neck collar, it brushed against the pillow. It felt completely alien though he was aware the movement was his own. Each adjustment of his head and eyes altered his view ever so slightly. This side. That side.
He sensed his assisted breathing. The device connected to his lungs was still on automatic operation. It filled him with an oxygen mix then allowed the air to escape. As the air moved into his lungs, he realized something was filling him and then leaving. In. Out. He could hear the sounds it made. Raspy coming in, slightly different going out.
Slowly his appendages began to move in tiny amounts. Fingers and toes. Hands and feet. Legs and arms. Jim's eyes began to focus more clearly as his new body's arm moved closer to his face. The fingers twitched near his nose and mesmerized him. The first inklings of panic brewed as Jim stared at his own fingers wiggling back and forth. He watched in stunned amazement, staring at his hand and the violet-white glow around it. Everything in the room suggested peace and calm, but everything felt utterly frightening.
His lips quivered. Eyes and brows creased back. Nostrils flared with air going in and out irregularly, his lungs now setting their own pace despite the respiratory device. His pulse accelerated. His mouth opened slowly in horror. A sound occurred during an exhale, a soft, schwa sound. "Aaah."
On the following exhalation, Jim realized he was making the sound. He made it again. "Aaah." With each exhale the sound grew louder. The room's computer recorded his vital signs and sent an alert to the nurse's station.
A nurse's holographic image popped up over the bed.
"Please relax, James. Assistance is on the way," it said in a soothing tone.
Jim's sounds turned into an anguished cry. He struggled against the devices holding him in place as the hologram reminded him assistance was on the way. He began screaming louder and flailed against the neck collar like a person going mad. Eventually the sound of running footsteps reached the door, which dematerialized. Vicki burst through the opening. She held down his arms in an attempt to calm him.
"Relax, James. You're alright. Relax." She pressed him into the bed. "Relax, James, please."
Vicki was firm against his struggling. He looked at her with the same expression of doubt and fear that he had for everything. He closed his eyes and screamed louder. The boy's muscles were so weak from the coma that she easily held him in place. What concerned her was the frightened look on his face, his eyes closed tightly as if keeping the outside world away.
"It's okay, James. You're going to be fine. Relax, James. Relax."
Two nurses and a doctor finally arrived. The nurses helped Vicki to keep the boy still while Dr. Fredericks pulled a vapor injector from his lab coat. He brought the device to the catheter and injected the solution into the plastic tube.
He said, "Three, two, one…"
Jim looked up at the crowd somewhat dazed. His efforts became exhausted before he passed out. Vicki and the nurses returned his arms to his side.
"What the hell's going on here?" Fredericks asked.
Vicki couldn't believe the question. "He's regained consciousness."
"I can see that, Nurse Morgan. Get him out of this room. Take him upstairs to ICU."
"Yes," Vicki said. She quickly realized how wonderful it was despite Fredericks' being a prick.
"Best with the straps," one of the nurses said.
Vicki had already reached down the side of the bed and grabbed one end of a thick black strap. She attached it to Jim's arm then cinched it to the bedside.
"Legs and head too," Fredericks added. The other nurses rolled their eyes as he had pointed out the obvious.
One of the nurses asked, "What's that then? A month?"
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