In the hydroponic garden, Chief of Surgery and Medicine Dr. Lopez stepped through the door with Assistant Chief Dr. Green. The surprising assault of scents and sights made her pause. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do first. A bush full of deep red roses beckoned, quite literally. She looked around to see where wind could be coming from inside a ship. It wasn’t obvious so she made a note to ask someone. Meanwhile, she gave in to the summons and made for the shrub. The perfume that wafted into her nostrils was heavenly. She was tempted to linger but the thought of what other wonders awaited made her move on.
“Wow,” she said as she walked, “it’s more beautiful than its pictures—and it’s all useful. I see why this was a favourite to splash on magazine covers.”
Time had been taken to make a masterful design that painted an edible and medicinal landscape, making it double as a peaceful retreat. Lopez and her slightly grey-haired companion meandered through a slalom course of brightly coloured stems of chard set against dark, marbled boulders. They came upon a hidden circle where blue kale edged purple peppers, and within, a soft foot path availed users of an inner ring of red lettuce punctuated by a dot of golden, peppery nasturtiums. Beyond, a yellow carpet of tansy buttons footed an arched trellis entwined with Scarlet Runner beans. Brushing through the crunchy edibles, they found a courtyard of cucumbers climbing corn stalks presenting silky promise. She started as a drone came buzzing over her head.
“Sorry, ma’am,” a familiar man said as he followed it. “Didn’t mean to startle you.”
She squinted at him. “Aren’t you Joe from the ECC? The sani-tech who got Pandora?”
“Aye,” he said as she studied him more closely. “I’m hunky-dory though. I was allowed to take head sani-tech job on the ship.” He laughed. “Head of two of us. I guess they wanted a spare in case I croak.”
She didn’t smile at the joke. “You’re not hunky-dory. I’m glad you can work, though.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll get regular poking and prodding in my deluxe guinea pig cage right in the hospital wing. They gave us lots of toys, everything but a running wheel, but I plan to spend as much time as I can up and about with my bot buddies.” He brought the drone in and fiddled with controls.
“You know guinea pigs aren’t used for experiments anymore, right?” Green piped up.
“Oh, Aye, but they were when I was a wee one.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish