Thirty or so of them called out in utter writhing pain.
“Tell my wife she’s the elegance of moon light,” a man cried.
“You’re no Shakespeare,” Jamie said. She flicked a wrist recorder on. “Try to keep your screaming down a bit. It’d be a shame if your rambling drown out someone truly eloquent.”
Tears of uncomprehending streamed down his face.
The second attendant, Perrine, scowled.
Their screams died down as machines removed the last liquid from the bodies.
“Status?” Jamie said.
Perrine checked her monitor and looked up. “100% compliance.”
Jamie engaged the transport. The bodies whirred out of existence.
“Five minutes before incoming,” Jamie said.
“You really think it’s ok?”
“Think what’s ok?”
“Recording them like that.”
“The most painful and—thankfully—impossible to remember event in anyone’s life and you think traffic attendants are the only ones who should hear the beautiful prose it produces?”
Perrine frowned. “It’s not right.”
Jamie’s console buzzed. “Incoming.”
“That seems early.”
“Yeah, about three minutes.”
The sarcophagi filled with bodies. Jamie and Perrine checked the feeder tubes on each.
“Everything cool on your end?” Jamie asked.
“Yes, but don’t think we’re done with the conversation.”
Jamie engaged the hydrators.
Liquid filled the bodies. When they reached 99% of full, Perrine turned life support on.
Thirty bodies gasped in quick succession.
The passengers roused gradually and left the transport room in an orderly, if groggy fashion.
A young man stopped at Jamie’s controls to shake her hand. “Thank you so much for everything,” he said.
When the passengers had all exited, Jamie cracked a grin at Jamie. “See?”