Jake lay unconscious, his naked form stretched out on a bed of crystals extruding from the floor. They pulsed green and yellow, switching to a rainbow of different colors as they reached the head. The being known as Sirius read them as expertly as a doctor from Earth might have read a medical file. The creature’s impenetrable dark eyes swept over Jake as it analyzed and extrapolated. Yes, this one would be suitable. But then, Sirius had known that since the moment they’d acquired the human in the desert. Vega had agreed, but its assertion did not seem to be based on data. Very few of its assertions seemed to be, these days.
The operating room had none of the severe geometry of the world outside. An operating room there would have been a place of chrome and antiseptic white, square edges and sharpness. Even the scents would have been sharp and sterile, the smell of anesthetic and alcohol wipes.
Here, there were no straight lines, no harsh colors. Shapes and surfaces flowed into one another as if grown, and perhaps they were. A bright, pristine, and open space, light emanated softly from the walls, with a subtle tinge of orange yellow reflecting the ambiance of the nearest star. Equipment extended from the ceiling, mechanical arms and laser tools for delicate work. Glistening crystal and delicate glass, intricate metalwork and lines that seemed as much for decoration as to carry power.
It was a place of beauty, just as much as one of function. Those who created it had not seen the need for a distinction between such concepts.
Sirius stood over the recumbent body and decided it was time to begin. The alien touched one of the large crystals supporting Jake’s head, and waves of yellow light began to pulse into his brain. Sirius watched for signs of consciousness, and when the eyelids flickered open, it stepped back. For the procedure to be successful, it was necessary for the human to be conscious, but Sirius knew it would be immobile and feel no pain.