The Long, Deep Sleep

* May 29, 2071. 1:30 pm GMT on Bernal Alpha. It has been a long week for our favorite angelic foursome, consisting of basic space survival training, introductory TriOp corporation literature and classes, and the occasional nighttime revels. Well, as much as a Bright Lilim, a Seraph, and two Kyrios of Lightning in hamster Hosts can revel on a small space colony orbiting earth at Lagrange 1. But now, it is friday, and the time to depart Bernal Alpha is nigh... ergo the Seraph, the Bright, and the Kyrios have found themselves in a nice medical facility at the 'south' end of the station, waiting their turn...

* Tina actually didn't do too much debauching. Checking out the station core and microgravity was cool, though...

* Tina waits, cage of hamster goodness in her lap again.

* Val didn't do much of any debauching either, and so sits next to Tina waiting.

* Various other folks wait in the nice medical facility waiting room. *pause* Sadly, it's so much like every OTHER waiting room of moderate quality in this universe. But at least they have decent magazines.

* Tina is grateful for this, blast it.

* An orderly appears at one end of the waiting room, TriOp caudeuces emblem on her labcoat pocket. She looks at the clipboard in her hands. "Ms. Ellison? Ms. Manoa-Perez and... pets? Drs. Golz and Sandels are ready for you."

{Tina} Hamsters. Harvey and Dent. And er, gotcha. {rises}

* The orderly nods, and stands by the door, waiting for the little group.

* Val rises without comment and heads for the door.

* Tina finishes the wandering thing.

* The orderly leads the small group down a nicely antiseptic hallway with the occasional framed abstract painting. Eventually, they reach a smaller examination/changing room, with several curtain/partitioned areas. Two doctors are waiting there, one short with a bushy moustache and pop-bottle glasses, and the other tall and thin, with a goatee. "Dr. Golz? Dr. Sandels? Your patients."

* Dr. Golz, the short doctor, smiles, and nods to the two ladies. "Ms. Ellison, Ms. Manoa-Perez, a pleasure to meet both of you." He shakes both their hands. "My associate here, Dr. Sandels, will be handling the travel accomadations of your friends."

* Dr. Sandels just nods to them.

* Tina looks sheepish at her cage, then extends her hand. "Good to meet you both. {smile} And thanks for doing the accomdations for the little guys, Dr. Sandels."

{Dr. Sandels} You're welcome.

* Tina nods. "So how do we, er, begin? I've never done this before." {faint sheepishness}

* Dr. Golz smiles, and gestures to two chairs by one wall, while Dr. Sandels takes the hamster cage from Tina's hands and sets it on the examination table.

* Val heads for one of the chairs.

* Dr. Golz chuckles. "Well, Ms. Manoa-Perez, first we have to get the little legal necessities out of the way... and oh, please, have a seat." He picks up two clipboards that were also on the exam table, while Sandels takes another.

* Tina nods and gives the cage over to Sandels' hands, looking a bit concerned. Tau manages to give her a wink under the veterinarian's arm.

* Dr. Golz reads off questions from the list. "Now then. Have both of you had a full physical within the past week? Have both of you been given the allergy tests for the coldsleep process? Have both of you been informed and breifed on the process itself by your medical provider? And do either of you have any questions before we proceed further?"

* Dr. Sandels does not notice the winking hamster. In fact, from their positions, with his back to the cage, he can't see any of their antics.

{Tina} Yep, yep, yep. And none except what do we do next.

{Val} What she said. *wl*

* Tau does a quick samba where the doctors can't see him! He's a trained professional after all.

* Dr. Golz makes checkmarks along the clipboard, and smiles. "Very well, then. To your left, there are changing rooms with gowns and storage bags in them. Please enter them, remove all your clothing and jewlery save your undergarments, put on the robes with them opening in the back, and place your clothing in the bags and come back out with them when you're ready. We'll be waiting around the corner, call out when you're done." He nods to the two, and he and Dr. Sandels head around the corner, leaving them with the kyrios.

{Tau} {q squeek} But you always looked so *darling* in just your panties, Tina dear! {does a quick crash position}

* Tina facepalms.

* Val heads for one of the changing rooms, though not before eyerolling at the hamster.

* Tina follows, after heading for another, shaking her head wryly.

* Val takes care of the thing of changing and getting stuff packed. No fanservice, sorry.

* Tina does the same, depriving the world of similar fanservice. The hamsters, being already nude except for fur, don't do any changing.

* Val emerges from her changing room first, robe on and bag in hand, and waits for Tina.

* Tina comes in a second after, enrobed and looking fairly innocently cute in despite. "Shall we call 'em?"

* Val nods and calls out. "All right, we're ready!"

* Dr. Golz comes back in nodding. "Good, good, very good ladies." He smiles, and does not ogle. Nor does Dr. Sandels, but it'd debatable if he'd KNOW how to ogle. "You've got your bags, Dr. Sandels will get your friends, and this way please...."

* Dr. Sandels moves to pick up the Hamstercage.

* The cage, it is picked up.

* Tina follows. "Righty-ho."

* Val follows also.

* Dr. Golz leads them down around the corner, into a larger room, where three large, wheeled devices lay waiting. Two of them are approximately the size of a full examination table each... another is half that size, all three are padded and have integral straps. And that would be all well and good save that all three have large, hermetic lids that hinge upwards from the side, and underneath is filled with electric, pnuematic, and life-support systemry.

* Tina blinks and hesitates in midstep. Yes, angel, yes, Lighting, yadda, but come on, this is her first time *ever* and some of this stuff looks *scary* when it's monitoring your vessel's very life processes as opposed to being just illustrated in a book...

* Tina continues walking.

* Val rests a hand on Tina's shoulder and gives a reassuring (for a Seraph, anyway) look.

* Dr. Golz gestures to the two human-sized ones, while Dr. Sandels moves over to the smaller one with the hamster cage. "Now then, Ms. Ellison you'll have this Coldsleep chamber, Ms. Manoa-Perez, you'll have the middle one. Both of you lay down and make yourselves comfortable, familiarize yourself with the position of the emergency handle and controls, and we'll be with you in a moment.

* Tina smiles wryly at Val.

* Tina then nods, gets control of her squeamishness, and heads over to the designated coldsleep table, lying down for what she suspects she won't get up from for better than a month.

* Val nods, and gets into her unit as well.

{Tina} {m} I wonder if they always have to smackdown people who are newbies to this.

{Val} *q* It -can- be intimidating.

* Both coldsleep tables are padded, slightly contoured, and warmed from within, as they can likely feel. There's a very large and reachable pull-handle by their right hands, near the outside edge of the unit. Also, above and below the reinforced window on the lid, there can be seen many and sundry BOLD PRINT instruction labels in a variety of languages (sorry, no enochan.) and an exterior system status display. The tables and controls are such that once strapped in, they won't be able to be tossed about, and those straps are padded too. There are outlets for the various IV's and Oxy hoses near the head of the unit.

{Dr. Golz} *offhand* Well, that's why we have a staff of trained professionals on hand, Ms. Manoa-Perez... everything comfortable for you two so far?

{Val} Everything seems to be fine here.

* Tina feels the handle and deems it quite reachable. "Yep..."

* Dr. Sandels, meanwhile, has opened the hamster cage, and extracted the twosome, resting them on the padded, raised-wall surface, similar in design to the human Coldsleep tables, save with webbing mountpoints instead of straps.

{Dr. Golz} Very good, very good.... Now, I'll place your clothing bags in the storage containers down at the foot of the tables... there we go... and that way you'll have them when you awaken.

* Tina nods, trying to ignore the bit of sweat, really. The hamsters meanwhile act quite compliant and not too wriggly all told.

* There's the sound of locking storage containers from below their feet.

* Val slows her breathing a bit, going through relaxation exercises.

* Tina tries this as well, and if she were in a position to would envy the Seraph's composure.

* Dr. Golz then comse around to Val's coldsleep table. "Let's get you tucked in..." He turns her arms slightly so that her elbows are accessable... he swabs them down with alcohol wipes, and inserts three IV Stents and tapes them down, and then inserts three filled tubes... one IV nutrient and drug, one for Filtration intake, and one for filtration outtake. He double-checks those, and nods. He secures the straps across Val's chest and arms, and waist, and legs.. they can be seen to have internal and external release mechanisims. He then pulls down a thin plastic tube with two nose vents, and secures that to Val's nose. "Now then... is there any music you'd prefer?"

* Meanwhile, Dr. Sandels appears to be trying to find where the appropriate veins are on hamsters. Fortuantely, he's got training.

* Val is prepped without difficulty and appears calm and relaxed. "Mm... Pachelbel Canon in D, perhaps?"

{Tau} . o O ( the host, buddy...)

{Muon} . o O (Eeeee....)

* Dr. Golz nods, and smiles. He also pulls out several contact electrode sticky sensors, and attaches them to her wrists, ankles, neck, side of chest, and chest above the heart. Soft beeping sounds can be heard as the sensors pick up Val's vessel biorythms. "Very well then, Ms. Ellison. Sleep well, and the doctors at Citidas will see you in 30 days, give or take." He taps a few controls, and the lid of the Coldsleep table hinges down and seals hermetically and -very- solidly. From Tina's point of view, it could almost be mistaken for some form of high-tech coffin....

* Tina is trying not to quiver a bit too much.

* Val closes her eyes, and drifts.

* Dr. Sandels gets the IV stents and tubes hooked up, and little Oxy hoses fed to their noses and mouths, taped securly to those bits of them that aren't furred.

* Tau tries to be accomodating and not wince.

* The sounds of Pachabel's Canon in D softly play over the coldsleep chamber's internal speakers... soothing and calming, as does the drugs slowly feeding into Val's vessel...

* Dr. Golz moves over and starts repeating the process with Tina's coldsleep chamber. He notices her discomfiture, and takes her hand. *q* "Scared?"

* Dr. Sandels gets both hamsters plumbinged for full faculties, and then secures the webbing over both, so that their heads are not restritcted but that their bodies mostly are. There is also no emergency pull handle for the animal coldsleep chamber.... which means diddly for a Kyriotate of Lightning with Remote Control, but hey.

* Tina tries to bluff through it, pauses, and hehs. {q} "Y'could say that. {squeeze back} I'm...not used to the idea of my life being in the hands of machinery for a month."

{Tau} . o O (Mmmffffff.)

{Tau} . o O (Boss. There are many things I have done for you. But I have to say tubing up bits of me I don't wanna mention in public is a new one.)

* Dr. Golz hehs a bit, softly. *q* "Not many are. But the systems have been tested again and again, regularly checked; and have been in use since humanity started long-duration space travel. And think of it this way... your life isn't in the hand of the machinery... they're in the hands of the Lord Above who watches over us all as we travel through the cosmos. And He always watches over his own." He smiles slightly.

* Tina smiles a bit. "This is true." She meets his eyes for one last resonation for the long haul...

## Tina rolled 3d6 = 15 (6 3 6).

* Val has a small smile on her face as she leaves the waking world for the duration.

* Dr. Sandels attaches sensing electrodes to the two hamsters, configurse the external displays, makes some notes, and nods in satisfaction. He activates some controls, and the rectangular lid lowers and hermetically seals with a -clunk-. Soon after, the drug begins to feed into the hosts....

* Muon makes a muffled squeak of apprehension, but doesn't struggle, hearing a return squeak of comfort from Tau. He feels the drowsiness take him, and closes his eyes as consciousness starts to drift from him...

* Tau tries to make himself comfortable in the last minute or so he has, and then curls up a bit as he feels consciousness drift away, and lets thought drift away with.

* Behind Dr. Golz's eyes, Tina can see the needs to reassure tina that the procedure is perfectly safe, to get his patients safely onto the long-duration transport to Citidas, to verify -personally- via Internet Gamma mail that Dr. Stackhouse on the other end received them safely and with no physical harm, to minister fully to the best of his ability his patients under his care, to support his loving family, to bring good long lives to the people living in this brave new world.

* Tina smiles one last time, reassured by what she sees. {q} "God go with you, Dr. Golz. And um... {pauses ponders her usual musical choices, and nahs} I wouldn't mind anything by Rachmaninov, including his Vespers."

* Dr. Golz chuckles and nods. *q* "And God go with you among the stars, Ms. Manoa-Perez... and very well. Sleep well, and the doctors at Citidas will see you in 30 days, give or take." He finishes all the requisite hookups, and takes one last look at Tina.

* Tina nods, looking back, trying to compose herself, and making some success as she waits for the drug to begin its feed.

* Dr. Golz taps some controls out of Tina's view, and the hermetic lid hinges close with a thunk and seals with a hiss... Soothing light within matches the sound of Rachmoninov's Vespers coming over the coldsleep chamber's speakers... the sound of the airtube providing the breath of light matches well with Tina's pulse as the drug begins its feed...

* Tina listens, starting to feel drowsy. . o O (Amin....priidete pokolomisiya....) She closes her eyes.

* And slowly, ever so slowly, the waking world begins to fade away... as we too fade away, to wake in 30 days.

In Nomine 2070