Thompson sees the primary surgeon suddenly stiffen in surprise, jerk backwards and then collapse. The helmet that connects the surgeon to the camera inside the patient’s body hits the floor with a crack. Surgical instruments clatter down as a tray is upturned, a technician screams, and the room drops into chaos.
“Keep the patient stabilised!” Thompson yells. Then he steps quickly around the operating table, and pushes aside the nurses crowding over the collapsed surgeon. Her body is shaking and convulsing, hands clawing, gasping screams escape from her mouth. Thompson grabs the helmet from her head, steps out the way to let the nurses through, and jams it onto his own scalp.
The helmet links him to the surgical camera inside the patient. His eyes see through its tiny lens, but where he expects to find the microscopic machine amongst a crowd of red blood cells, instead he sees a large dark eye staring back at him. The iris twists and flares angrily, jerked around by a white sclera. Then clouds of red swirl across the pupil, its vibrant intensity searing across the camera connection to burn Thompson’s retinas.
He knocks the headset off his head. The surgeon is now screaming. The nurses are trying to carry her from the room.
Thompson looks down at his blood-covered gloves. There is a tear over the left thumb. His hands had been on the patient when…
The camera isn’t in the patient, Thompson realises.
It’s inside his own body.
To be continued…