Episode 1 “Stone Walls Do Not a Prison Make”
The galaxy of lights would dazzle the man on the bed if he woke up. Each had its purpose, of course, an urgent purpose, some monitoring his vital signs, others reassuring all who came into the room that technology was doing its best to keep him alive. Blue, green, and red stars reflected in the surgeon’s glasses as he and the nurse discussed the latest numbers.
“I thought you’d want to see this,” the nurse said. She was nervous, twisted her fingers as she looked at the man on the bed. The doctor was notorious for reprimanding staff who interrupted his rounds for insufficient cause.
“Pulse seventy-five,” the doctor said. “Wonder what accounts for that after a week in a coma.”
The nurse was encouraged. “And his EEG is showing increased activity. What do you suppose it means?”
The doctor was studying the man’s face, which remained impassive. “Maybe he’s dreaming.”
“In a coma?”
“There’s a lot we don’t know about sleep and sensory deprivation. The mind has to get out of the box, though. We know that. Ever heard Lord Byron?”
The nurse flashed through her memory of medical texts and came up empty.
“He was a poet,” the doctor said at last, “had some medical issues of his own. He wrote that stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage. Our boy may be out for a spin.” He turned on his heel. “Keep me posted.”
The nurse’s feeling of relief gave way to curiosity. Was it a trick of those dazzling lights or had the man’s lips moved? She watched for a while, wondering what the man on the bed might have said.