“Number – nine — the – iDoc – will – see – you – in – the – lab – now — be – sure – to – have – your – tech – support – chip – out – for – scanning.”
“I’m still covered by the Bureau Medical Plan, so I’ll use my BMP card,” Dana Scully said, as she walked in through the door.
The robot nurse gave an adjusting shudder. “Special Agent Scully?” Its voice shifted from an uninflected monotone to a feminine alto. “I wasn’t aware any humans were still active.” Its scanners blinked from red laser points to warm brown irises.
“Active? Don’t you mean alive? This room?” Scully asked, pointing into a room with a wire-and-plug bedizened lab table and console.
“Of course, we know some of you are still alive,” the iNurse’s metallic face exaggerated a thin deep-crescent smile. “No, that’s for tech support. You’ll be down the hall. We’re required to keep one examining room fully operational for humans as long as any are left.”
“Good to hear that,” Scully said and headed down the hall. The room was well equipped: a tanning-bed-like anatomy scanner, a hologram projector, two armless plastic chairs, and a pharmaceutical cabinet filled with chemical, biological, and nano-mech catalysts. Scully picked the plastic chair nearest the door.
“I don’t seem to be able to find your file, Agent Scully,” the iNurse said, looking into the room.
“Check The ‘X-Files’,” Scully said. “I’m sure it’s there. I think I remember this episode.” The iNurse disappeared then returned a minute later.
“Here it is, just as you said. I’m sorry for the confusion, Agent Scully. The usual iNurse is getting her upgrade and I’m sitting in for the day. I’m not even programmed for humans.” It flipped through a virtual screen projected in the air. “Biologicals really are more interesting than Automatons. Ooo, you’ve had some adventures. Here I see you were treated for—“
Scully interrupted. “I think those episodes of the X-Files actually were ‘X’ rated. They were never released. Aren’t they stamped ‘Private’?”
“Private? Oh, yes, I see, right at the top. Very strange. What does private mean? Is that a human thing?”
“Yes, it means we don’t talk about it — OR WE GET SENT TO THE SCRAP HEAP WITH NO TECH SUPPORT. GOT THAT?”
“No need to shout. Oh, the iDoc is here.” The iNurse stepped back and the iDoc rolled in on its uni-ball.
“How are you feeling, Agent Scully?” The iDoc said cheerfully, flashing wide blue eyes under a shock of shiny black hair.
“I’ve been feeling a lot of stress.”
“Agent Mulder?” the iDoc asked, leaning forward and aligning its head-mounted scanner with her pupils.
“Yes, I’m concerned about him. I don’t think he’s well.”
“I’m sure he’s not, but he’s not my patient today. Sit back and relax.” Saying that the iDoc raised its four needle-sprouting arms. “Lean your head forward please. I need to feel your pain.”