I'll never forget the day I was brought into the RMRP's isolation room for triage (that's what the Humans call it when they admit an ingured bird to determine what's wrong with it and how to treat it). I had arrived in a dark box, only able to hear muffled sounds from the outside world. I was weak, unable to stand on my own, resting instead on a folded towel. When the box opened, allowing in the fluorescent light of the iso room, I only had time to feebly hiss once before a set of gloved hands reached in and plucked me out, swiftly wrapping me in a soft cloth and laying me on a table. "Eleven-twenty, skinny," I heard someone say, and I was lifted off the table. The cloth blinded me and muffled the sounds of the iso room, but I was still scared. Most of all, I felt disoriented and nauseous, like flying in a strong and fitful wind.
Then the drape was lifted off my face, and the world was full of light and strange sights. There were two Humans in the quiet room, one holding me, and one staring at me intently with concern on his face. The whole room seemed to shift and rock, and it was hard to focus on anything. Again I opened my beak to hiss, and quick as anything, the male Human in front of me used a small metal tool to drop a tiny white bead into my mouth. I hissed again, angry with him. I felt the white bead begin to dissolve in my mouth, and the feeling of anxiety and fear that was dominating me seemed to fade a little.
When the male Human was done with the exam, the female Human placed me in a largish box with a clear front door and plastic sides. I lay on the towels, still unable to stand, glaring out through the clear door at the Humans until they covered the box with a cloth, sending me into a comfortable darkness once again. It was easy to breath in there, and despite my efforts to stay vigilant and aware, I fell asleep quickly.
That night I dreamed of flying.