After a long trip through deep space, they need to find a safe planet to live on. Is this one at war?
Yar’s voice came out of my earplugs. “Jason, Greg, Nianda may need medical attention. She usually sleeps for eight hours. A moment ago, after noticing that ten hours have gone by since she went to bed, I tried to wake her by touching her shoulder, but she didn’t respond.”
I turned on autopilot, a device that would take over for a short time. “We’ll be there in a moment,” I promised.
Both of us entered the passenger compartment.
Yar, who was standing next to Nianda, turned toward us. “For the last nine days, Nianda has complained several times, saying she’s taken a lot of pills to get rid of headaches.
“Yesterday, I asked her if we could help. She said that only an RSS, a Robotics Surgical Specialist, could replace the frozen biopolymer tubes in her lungs. Then she told me she would search for one when we reached Icir.”
I scowled. “I just sent an email to a galactic air controller, asking him to help us find an RSS. The moment he responds, I’ll tell you.”
Yar nodded. “Thank you.”
As Greg and I headed for the bridge I thought about the RSS, medical professionals with difficult jobs. Every cable inside an HBE was different. Biopolymer tubes oxygenated blood along with other fluids.
Although Humans, Aito, and other races’ lungs made oxygenation seem easy, it wasn’t. For millions of years, red and white blood cells, telomeres, nerve endings, dendrites, and countless other cells had evolved to make maximum use of oxygen. As a result, Humans’ and other races’ bodies lived longer.
Humans, Aito, and other sentient races had created artificial lungs to extend their lifespans for over two centuries. Despite many successes, those lungs broke down and had to be replaced by a RSS. But if they inserted the wrong biopolymer tubes that obstructed cell regeneration, Nianda might die immediately—or she would pass away in several days, weeks or months.
There was another issue, an old one. Did Nianda have enough money to pay for her operation? I couldn’t afford it. I stuck my hand over my tablet, sending a text message to all the passengers.
Yeliv’s voice, a quick response, came out of my earplugs. “Jason, none of us has enough money to help Nianda with her medical bills. All of us are sorry.”
Greg shook his head. “Jason, I apologize, but I can’t afford to help Nianda either.”
Death by poverty—as I said, an old problem.