A cold, harsh light blasts across the pier, its brilliance momentarily staggering. The gentle sound of the waves lapping at the dock is broken by a chorus of clicks as safety catches and thrown off, and by a patter of footsteps as the guards take their places along the upper deck, weapons trained on the gangplank below. One of them raises a radio, and a stern, military voice booms out across the assembled scientists.
"Perimeter secured, Dr. Karzakoff. Patient X-1 is cleared for movement."
The reply comes across as nothing but static to the onlookers, but from within the depths of the ship comes a pneumatic hiss and the ponderous sound of shifting steel as some massive and unseen door creaks open. A constant rattle fills the air as some heavy object is wheeled across the metal floor, and, after several seconds, a trio of figures emerges from the belly of the ship. One man--tall, whip thin, with graying hair and a hawkish nose--and two women--they could be twins, each almost six feet in height, full figured, and clearly no-nonsense--step onto the gangplank, wheeling an enormous steel device between them.
One could only describe the thing as a coffin. Almost seven feet long, bolted shut, and welded along the seam 'twixt base and lid, it is an imposing device. A series of tubes run from an IV bag in a box at the side through the wall of the coffin itself, and a constant stream of a pale blue liquid courses through them, into what is undoubtedly Patient X-1. It slides slowly down the gangplank, straining to be free of its handler's grip, and finally comes to an abrupt stop upon the wooden boards of the dock, which creak onerously under the immense weight.
The tall man turns and walks back up the gangplank, disappearing into the depths of the ship once more, only to return shortly with a black glass face mask and a small handcart laden down with welding equipment. He sets to work, and sparks fly as the lid is slowly separated from the body of the coffin. It takes almost five minutes, and for the whole time neither woman makes a sound, their stance and expression making it clear that nothing will be said until they decide to say it. Finally the three lift the heavy lid, straining slightly under its weight, and there is a hiss of escaping air as the equalized environment is compromised. The three slide the lid across the coffin and step back, allowing it to crash unceremoniously to the dock, sending spiderweb cracks through a few of the less stable boards.
The elder looking of the two women turns to the assembled crowd.
"We've been cleansing the sedative for several hours now. She should be up and about any second, albeit rather awkwardly."
She waves a hand in the direction of the deep coffin, its occupant still obscured by the high walls of the crate.
"Patient X-1, ladies and gentlemen. She's in your hands now. Any questions?"