Earlier today, you had an unscheduled heart attack. And of course, it was during your only free period.
Though you had no good reason to, you had started to think that after being regimented for eight years without any issues, you weren’t ever going to get an unscheduled attack. Supposedly, such a thing is possible. More than a few of your fellow lifers aboard the <span class="mu-i">Commissioner</span> claimed to never have had one, including your neighbor, that dozen-lifer Ironbelly.
The scariest thing about it though, was how mild it started out, mild enough that you nearly convinced yourself that you weren’t having an attack. Now, obviously, there was no way you were going to be completely certain. You don’t rate a waking harness. But you would have at least thought that the onset of an attack would have been … well, less subtle than a slight unexplained ache in your left arm. After you noticed it on your way back to your cell, and you finally clued into what it might mean, you hesitated. Even though all of the peons here – except those in the Belly, of course – are entitled to medical attention, you know full well that those who go to a sickbay with nothing wrong with them quickly get a reputation as malingerers. And that is not a reputation anyone would want to cultivate. You won’t make trustee, won’t be respected in the blocks, and the medics are less likely take you seriously and deal with you promptly.
But in the end, you relented. You walked yourself over to the nearest medical station and got the attention of the man on duty, a no-nonsense looking trustee. Within twenty seconds, you were in a harness, and he was running tests. Within a minute, you had been diagnosed and you were convalescing on an incredibly uncomfortable built-in chair, with a good-sized dose of Ticker Tape dissolving under your tongue. After securing the rest of the Tape and then finishing whatever the Hell he was doing before you came in, the trustee comes back over to you, and checks the read out from the harness.
“Alright, you are back within safe parameters.”
He turns away from the handheld reporter, looking you over. Then he sets it down and takes the harness off of you, talking all the while.
“On dosing day, you need to make sure that whoever is doling out your Tape knows that you were prescribed a standard emergency dose today. I’ll leave a note in your file, but odds are they won’t bother reading it unless you tell them to.”
As he winds the leads of the harness back up, he looks at you, and you get the sense that he is thinking of saying something else on the topic … but in the end he decides against it. He returns the harness to its drawer, then turns back to you.
“In consideration that this is your first unscheduled, and taking into account that you are seventeen, in excellent health, I am going to clear you for sorting duty on second shift today. Questions?”