“ All passengers will be required to submit to the monthly scan. If you fail to make an appearance, the consequences will be severe. Have a good day!” the announcer said.
It’s what they said every month on the 13th. I imagine everyone getting ready for the scans. Fathers trying to squeeze last minute work in, because the scans take a couple of hours. Mothers dressing the children, getting ready to leave for the scans. The scans were alphabetical by last name, so one by one we would leave our compartments to get scans. I hate how high up I am on the list, because that means that I have to go first.
“Donedrid.” The home security’s voice rings out.
Time to go, I think.
I walk towards the door. I place my hand on the scanner and watch as the neon blue light washes over my fingers. A picture of my face soon appears with my full name and information, the computer says it aloud.
“Lori Lea Donedrid. Age: 32. Spouse: Kaleb Donedrid. Security number: 32032101.”
I step through the electronic door and head down with a small group of people to the scanners. We are then directed to a group of tables. Men/ boys on the left and Women/girls on the right. Kaleb would always joke that the reason that the women’s table was on the right was because we were always right. From that point on, we are distributed some articles of clothing. A cotton white t-shirt and navy blue sweat pants. These clothes are to help the scans read us easier. But before we can change into these clothes, we must shower.
I follow the other women and girls into the showers. They have a perfect number of shower stalls for the ratio of women to girls. The girls went into the little stalls they had less to wait, because there were less of them. The women however waited for what seems like forever, even with the small amount of them. Finally it is my turn. I shower as quickly and thoroughly as I can, so that the others can get a turn. Then I go and get changed. I have just finished toweling off most of my hair, when the alarm blared for us to line up in alphabetical order to be scanned. At least in this group I am closer to the end, I think.
I watch as the line slowly diminishes. And then, it’s my turn. I walk up to the officers in charge, they guide me to a platform, with a scanner that reminded me of a table.I lie down and feel the vibration of the scanner as it rotates into a bigger machine. I stare at the inside of the machine, it is nothing but a clear bubble. Covering me up, separating me from the many other people, waiting and hoping that they'll pass the scan. If they did, everything was fine, life would continue as normal, if they didn't, or if they even suspected something based of the scans, that was the end of you. I close my eyes and attempted to relax, as the nurses inject into my arm. Behind my closed lids, I could still see the dim green light. I started focusing on my breathing, trying to think of anything but the scans, but the harder I tried the more I couldn't stop thinking and my mind began to wander. It thought of the consequences, if I failed the scan. What they'd do to me. What they did to Mandi. My best friend, the one person I could trust with anything. They'd thrown her out of the S.S. Welfare, all because she was suspected of carrying the disease. My mind flashes to the instant I saw it happen. My screams, my pleas. The tears she said and her last words to me, when she said,"Don't worry about me, I'll be fine. Remember to stop by and see Teresa some day, she'll give you all the answers you seek." Her words had haunted me ever since. Who was the Teresa, Mandi was talking about? What answers did she have that I would seek? My mind felt like a muddled mesh of thoughts.The scan took about an hour, the remaining time was given to one of the supervising doctors and nurses to discuss anything they found during the scans.
I got of the scanner and follow my assigned nurse. Her name is Cynthia DeBoine. When we reach the blank white room, I sit on the chair reserved for patients. Dr.DeBoine stares at me awhile before she begins to talk.
“Let’s see, Doctor Lori Lea Donedrid. Age: 32. Female. Security Number: 32032101. Compartment number: CE-14.” she reads off her chart.
"Good I just need to confirm that."
“Was there anything on my chart?” I ask.
She glares at me and I shut up. I look at her as she begins to give me a routine checkup.
“Have you recently experienced any feelings of nausea, dizziness, and/or vomiting?” she asks.