“Come on,” he said while starting to walk towards the closest building. “We are having Belgian waffles.”
“I love waffles, but can we just get back to that whole giant hairy man thing for a second?”
“That was Walt from the Recon Team. He is one of the Omah people from planet Nuk-Luk. Walt is normally the first guy on the ground whenever we visit a new planet,” he said as the door in front of him whooshed open.
The smell of breakfast is overwhelming. I can’t remember the last time I had a solid meal. Oh well, I’m here right now, and that’s the important thing. Just stay in the moment and don’t panic. On the gleaming metal table in front of us are two giant Belgian waffles with strawberry sauce and whipped cream. The only way to eat Belgian waffles. Where did they come from and how did he know when I was going to be here?
“Are you hungry?” he said gesturing towards the waffles as he sat down. “You’ve probably got a lot of questions right now. Let’s have some breakfast and then we can see about getting those answers you are looking for.”
There is that sense of unreality again. Like I’m in some sort of knothole in reality that sits next to my own reality. The waffle sings to me in sensual waves. I don’t remember feeling hungry before, but now the feeling is overpowering. Scooping a bite into my mouth produces a flood of images. Old diners and restaurants. Waffles once eaten. Pictures flying by like a high-speed kaleidoscope set to stun. I can’t see any of the faces of the people, they are just out of focus, swimming around me. I try to reach out and grab them but they are just out of reach. A rapid rush of smeared voices race around me as images fly by. The words escape me but the feelings resonate through me.
“How is it?” he asked while studying me carefully. “You sort of froze there for a minute.”
“Fantastic. This is the only way to eat Belgian waffles. I can’t remember why that is though. I could see images of my life flashing past but far too quickly to get a hold of. Everyone’s face was blurry.”
“Dr. Sophia asked me to give you a brain scan. We have a more sophisticated scanner down here in the Biolab.”
“Shouldn’t that be in the Med-Bay?” I asked while shoveling waffle into my face.
“Normally, yes, but it has been critical for our work in expanded states of consciousness and ethnobiology. We might be able to drill down and see what’s going on in that head of yours. Dr. Sophia said you had some pretty serious health problems but your body appears to be healing nicely now. It sounds like you are lucky to be alive.”
“Lucky to be alive seems to be a theme lately. Laying in a hospital bed is the last thing I remember. I can remember the awful state my life was in but I’m still trying to remember who I am.”
“To find yourself you must go where you are. I may be able to help with that,” he said washing down bites of breakfast with black coffee. “I’ve loaded Zap-Zap with fungal and plant-based extracts that may help repair your brain. Let’s see how you are doing in a few weeks.”
“It was such a weird feeling. Anesthesia is one of those little men with the big erasers. Everything kept disappearing and changing. Everyday life became an unrecognizable alien landscape. And just when I thought it couldn’t possibly get any weirder I wind up eating Belgian waffles in space.” He was studying me now. You could almost see the wheels turning.
“After we eat, I can arrange a trip over to the ship they found you in. Maybe that will help jog your memory somehow,” he said while reaching into his pocket. He handed me one of those shields I saw on Dr. Sophia’s lapel. It had some small symbols engraved on it which were difficult to make out. “It will protect you on your journey. You will be able to contact the ship and crew along with translating any inter-species conversations. Just put it in your pocket for now.”
“What about the brain scan?”
“I should have the results in a couple hours,” he said with a smirking grin on his face.
“Hold on. What kind of brain scanner serves waffles?”
“That is a great question. We don’t know where the waffles come from.”