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Book Tip "Losing Ground"
a Science-Fiction Short Story
Voices reached HIS ears. Dull, far away. HE could not understand them.
HIS eyes were closed. HIS world consisted of darkness and strange incomprehensible voices. HE tried to concentrate on the voices. After a few minutes HE could say with certainty that there were two voices; a deep one and a high one. A man and a woman. But HE still couldn’t understand what they were saying.
HE opened HIS eyes a crack, only to shut them tight immediately, blinded by light. The brightness was extreme, as if there were three suns above HIM. HIS brain sent the reflex to HIS arms, to lift themselves, to shade HIS face and eyes. HIS arms did not respond. What was going on here? Nervousness welled up in HIM.
One of the voices grew louder, as if it was calling to the other. Had they noticed the movement when HE had shut HIS eyes tightly? HE started a new attempt and opened HIS eyelids, this time very carefully. Again, there was this incredible brightness. But HE did not give up and blinked into the light, until it was bearable. The voices had fallen silent. Two people were to the left and the right of HIM, and were looking at HIM kindly. In the middle above HIM was the light. It was a big operating light.
HE tried to turn HIS head, to take in HIS environment. HE did not succeed, much as HE struggled. The man next to HIM gently put a hand on HIS chest, meaning HIM to remain calm, and moved his mouth and said something, but HE still couldn’t understand. As before, everything acoustic was strangely dimmed. The man smiled. He turned his attention to the second person and said something. The woman turned away and disappeared from HIS sight, to appear shortly afterwards with a tablet computer in her hands. She tapped around on the tablet, and then turned the screen in HIS direction. There was something written on it: whether HE knew where HE was? HE wasn’t sure if HE had an answer to this question. HIS head was strangely empty. Apparently HIS face showed a quizzical expression, because the woman tapped again on the tablet and then it read that HE was in HIS laboratory. This information calmed HIM, though HE couldn’t say why. HE couldn’t remember anything from the past, but HE instinctively felt that the two people next to HIM could be trusted, and the place where HE was was secure. On the tablet, HE read that HE should rest and try to get some sleep. The great light above HIM was shut off. HIS facial features relaxed. A pleasant residual light remained in the room. The man disappeared from HIS sight, the woman took a step closer, took HIS hand and squeezed it, smiling. Then she turned and left the room.
HE felt exhausted. These last few minutes had been very exhausting, even though HE had hardly moved, not been able to move. HE closed his eyes and fell asleep instantly.
The bright light was still out. HE could open HIS eyes normally without being blinded again. HIS perception was right again. The veil that last time had dimmed everything was gone. HE heard the buzzing and beeping of various devices that stood around HIM in the room. Also HIS memory was back. HE was in HIS laboratory. HE also knew what HE was doing there, lying on an examination table. HE was the first human experiment.