The Labour Planet A Working Title Part Five
The Labour Planet - A Working Title Part Five 1341 words
It was about thirty minutes later when they heard the door hiss open and Black was thrown back in. He lay on the floor where he fell looking very weak, his clothes splattered with blood and his face deathly pale.
Whittaker reached him first closely followed by the other two.
“What have they done to you?" Georgia cried.
“Yes, this is barbaric. What reason did they give for meting out this punishment?”
Black tried to speak but his mouth was so swollen it took him a little while to get his lips moving.
“It won’t be long.”
“What won’t be long?” said Whittaker.
“What on earth do you mean?”
Black was still lying in an almost foetal position so it was difficult to make out what he was saying but Whittaker persevered.
“What did you mean, ' it won’t be long?'”
“It won’t be long before…before…medical treatment”
“What they do this to you and then patch you up afterwards?” said Jamie.
“It’s what they do.”
Black tried to sit up but didn’t have the strength so Georgia and Jamie got behind him and sat him up and continued to support him because it looked as if he would fall back if they moved away. But once he was sat up his voice got stronger.
“Everyone who needs medical attention will get it and then we will be fed and the mothers will get to see their children for a short time. Then we will all be subdued.”
But before Black had a chance to answer the doors hissed open and an army of Medics marched in and started to administer first aid. Even those with more serious injuries were treated as if all they needed was a clean up and a plaster and that was in fact all that was necessary because much to everyone’s amazement their wounds did heal even broken bones needed nothing more.
Once everyone had been treated the Chief Medic blew a whistle and they all marched back out.
“I don’t believe it,” said Whittaker, “I’ve never seen anything like it. A lot of those injuries would have meant a hospital admission but they have just cleaned the wounds and put, what look like, funny coloured plasters on and now after just a few minutes it’s as if they were never injured.”“It’s unbelievable!”
“Yes,” said Jamie, scratching his head. “I don’t get it.”
“No, and I especially don’t get what they did to you, Black, and then to patch you up like the rest of us,” said Whittaker.
“They do it almost every time.”
“You don’t even look peaky,” said Georgia
“No, I feel fine. I always do once they have treated me but they don’t always let the Medics treat me.”
“Why is that?”
“Yes, why do they seem to single you out?” said Jamie.
“They have got it in their heads that I am a leader, which is so far from the truth…”
“Well, now we need to focus our attention on how we can avoid being subdued.”
“It can’t be done, I tell you.”
The doors hissed open and another group entered each with very heavy looking trays stacked high with bowls and huge urns of something steaming and they could see large chunks of bread on the trays too. Seeing the food the three suddenly felt very hungry as they couldn’t remember when they had last eaten. They had gone so long without and had so much to think about that they had scarcely noticed how empty they were.
“These are the Feeders!” said Black, “As you can see they look very different from the Medics.”
“They look Chinese,” said Jamie.
“Well, oriental at least,” Georgia said.
But as soon as they were given their bowls of what looked like soup and a large chunk of bread to go with it they tucked in hungrily and there was no more talking until the last crumbs were gone and the bowls licked clean.
“That was the best bowl of soup I’ve ever tasted,” said Jamie licking his lips.
“You’ve got soup running down your chin,” Georgia pointed out.
Jamie wiped his chin with his hand and then licked it.
Having had their wounds treated and their stomachs filled the atmosphere in the containment area became almost euphoric as people started chatting and some even laughing and for the first time they began to mingle.
Whittaker walked purposefully away from the crowd nearest to them, nodding to the others to follow him. He soon found a spot that was well away from any one else and he pulled the three in towards him so that they were in a huddle.
“Black, you’ve got to help us here. How can we avoid being subdued?”
Black started to look fearful again as he said “Look I’ve told you there is no way and even if there was I wouldn’t help you. I’ve been disciplined too many times to risk it happening again.”
It was some time after the Feeders had left that the doors hissed open again and the Medics were once more about to enter when suddenly there was the sound of an explosion and the ship lurched to one side throwing everyone to the far wall. The Medics immediately withdrew and the doors hissed closed. A second explosion was heard only this time the ship lurched the other way and they were thrown back to where they were before.
All the people in the containment area were suddenly shocked into silence by both the explosions and the ship lurching from one side to the other but also because an alarm was piercing their fearful silence.
Next they heard a voice above them saying,
Guardsman Templars to your posts immediately. I repeat Guardsman Templars to your posts. A Federation Instruction has been issued. Failure to comply will result in execution. The ship is under attack from without. Guardsman Cadets seal off all exits and then go to your stations and await your instructions.
With that there was another loud explosion and the lights failed. They came on again almost immediately but then the ship lurched once more and everything went black again. Those in the containment area could sense the confusion as they could hear the guards running in all directions.
It reminded Jamie of the panic he had been part of when trying to get on this ship and for some reason the face of the big black man came into his head and he wondered how such a huge man had ended up getting trampled to death. It was the first time he had allowed himself to think about the man who had saved his life.
Hearing the confusion going on outside, Whittaker was the first to react.
“Come on, this is our chance. Try the doors first if they won’t open then we must seize the day and get everyone together to see if they are prepared to join forces with us.”
“That is too dangerous; you don’t know who you might be speaking to.”
“This might be our only opportunity. We must take it.”