The room was airy and functional with the slightest hint of decor and a mild splash of colour. The bed was the centrepiece and it had one occupant, who had just switched off a softly beeping alarm clock and now stared vacantly at the ceiling, preparing for another rigorous day at work. Willing herself off the bed, Anita very quickly went through her unchanging morning routine of getting ready, the results of which were unchanging too – white trousers, white shirt, black shoes, a white lab coat and black rimmed glasses. Some might call her severe, though she liked to think of herself as effective.
Stepping out of the room, she walked down a long, brightly lit corridor towards the bank of elevators at the end whilst planning the day ahead. Weather data from the three geo-synchronous satellites should be in by now, even considering their painfully slow data links. The data needed sanitising, filtration and a few final scrubs before it could be used for analysis, the nature of the data scrubbing depending on the nature of the data, which she’d have to take a look at before deciding the way forward. There were reports of a possible intervention required in sector 35 of the western quadrant, where extreme weather was destroying crops and infrastructure. A mild re-working of the areas parameters would fix that.
She reached the elevators and took one to the 98th floor, which was still below the ground, where the primary repository of weather data was located – many found the bright, white surroundings on this floor quite stark, but it was just the way she liked it. Entering her office and heading for the weather console, she began reviewing the sheets of data that the system threw up on the screen, quickly scanning every page in seconds as she was trained to do. Quite unexpectedly, the emergency action system began chiming, the usual gentle pulses of indicator LEDs now flashing randomly with every sensor beeping a different tone. Something needed to done right away. Obviously, things were far more wrong in sector 35 than she’d thought.
Swinging over, she began to reset each beeping, flashing sensor panel. A throat cleared behind her and in the midst of all that was happening, she turned for an instant to see another white coated figure with a tray in her hands. “It’s time for your morning dose, Dr. Anita”, said the figure. Couldn’t she see this wasn’t the time?! “Not now!”, said Anita, “Come back another time. I have a situation here.”
The figure in white, a nurse, sighed. It would be another one of those days, she thought, and they didn’t pay her enough. She placed the tray on the chest of drawers on the right and headed towards the little old lady, dressed in a faded, floral nightie, seated on the floor in a corner of the room, stabbing a patch of air with her fingers, making sounds – “beep beep bop bop”.
What was she today, thought the nurse, the weather scientist or the horse trainer?