Needs so much editing but better to post it now and do that later, I need sleeeeeeeep
Alex was still breathing steadily as Sarah stepped up to the table. She passed a hand over his head and was reassured when she sensed the impulses that told her his brain was functioning. Her right hand stayed above his temples while her left settled on his upper arm. She breathed deeply and then flexed the parts of her hands she felt extending beyond her own skin; the gloves started to blur their way into skin and muscle, nanoscopic agents working to fetch samples and negotiate with Alex’s own machines.
Displacement tugged at her. There was something fundamentally strange about the sensations the gloves gave her, feedback from beyond her body that nevertheless felt as much a part of her as her arms and legs. There were stings of repulsion as her patient’s defences hailed her, a whirlwind of information about his blood and muscle and nerves, and the strange feeling that she could just keep on pushing through the skin and come out the other side.
Sarah snapped forward at a ping from her right glove; something had upset it. She thought she recognised the pattern it was showing her, and after a moment of uncertainty her net confirmed it: Alex seemed to be dreaming, but the machines in his brain were in a frenzy. She pulled away breathed deeply.
“Can you fix him?”
Sarah turned to see Rachel staring at her. The pilot’s customary scowl was gone for once, replaced by naked worry. Sarah looked back down at Alex and shook her head.
“I don’t know.” She looked back at Rachel as the aquatic stood up and walked around the couch to stand next to her. “His machines aren’t letting me in; I’ve only got what I was able to grab from his blood and an indirect brain scan, which is that his body is sleeping.”
Rachel nodded but said nothing more. After several seconds, Sarah decided to venture a question.
“If you could tell me how he ended up-”
“Don’t know. Ask that one.” Rachel’s arm waved at the lounge where the prisoner sat with her head in her hands. “She was there before I arrived.”
Sarah pushed herself away from the table. As she turned away, Rachel caught her by the wrist and pulled her back. There was a trace of the old snarl in the pilot’s voice as she whispered in Sarah’s ear, but it was far outweighed by fear.
“And while you’re at it, you can ask her how she has Alex’s face.”