The Bridge Builder Part 4

Chapter 1 (cont.)

“Johnathan Crux, age thirty-seven, build medium, hair black, eyes black, skin tone…”

The Medical Overseer droned on and on. As John sat staring at the beetle-like man in the small, cramped room, his mind started to drift to the thoughts that always came to him during these inspections. Why did the Medical Overseer need his information, anyway? The Medical Overseer claimed to be working for the Union, the government of that age. Why did the Union need to know these minute details about himself? The NICE did not endorse any vanity. The Union operated by the guidelines of the NICE. Why, then, should they-

“hair length average three-point-seven centimeters, arm diameter…”

John had always wondered how the Medical Overseer managed to know exactly the measurements of some of these characteristics. How in the world was one to measure hair length? John had never measured anything, for the Union’s sake. It was all up to the NICE. He only concerned himself with his position- Rivet Fabricator. For the Main Bridge.

“Your time is up, sir. Have a nice day,” the Medical Overseer droned. John almost didn’t hear this; the droning on of the Medical Overseer’s voice and monotonous manner of the inspection almost made him drift off to sleep again. John got up from his oak stool and looked around the closet of a room. One dim, bare bulb was hanging from the ceiling. The walls were a hospital-like white. Nothing was in the room at all except for an oak desk, behind which sat the Medical Overseer in his oak chair.

“Sir, I suggest you hurry,” droned the Medical Overseer, “because the next patient has just come down the elevator.”

John shook himself out of his reverie and walked out of the room, not even saying any formality to the Medical Overseer. Any formality, according to the NICE, was a waste of time. Besides, the Medical Overseer had a new patient.

As John walked down the corridor, however, he saw no one. Only when he got onto the transportation carriage did he look down the hallway and see the door of the Medical Overseer’s office closing silently after admitting a patient. “Where did that patient come from?” wondered John as he pressed the button on the carriage panel with a star logo. Before he had any time to think further, however, the carriage jerkily started up the transportation chute, causing John to focus his mental energies on kicking the carriage walls and emitting several choice words.

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