A New Dimension: Prologue

        Crimson Hen struggled to open her eyes. Everything was blurry.  She blinked a few times into the clinical brightness of a blinding hospital examination lamp.  
        A deep, commanding voice boomed out over her. “She’s coming around now, Vern.  Check her pupils.”
        “She’s a chicken, Dick, she doesn’t have pupils.”  
        “Right.  Chicken.  Check.  Uh, are you sure she doesn’t have pupils?  It kind of looks like she has pupils.”
        “Just check her vitals.”
        “Right vitals.  Uh, soo… how do we check her vital signs?”
        “I think we should have called a vet, like the agents suggested.”
        “Right, a vet.  No.  We’re doctors, we’re eminently more qualified to . . . “
        “But you don’t even know how to check her vital signs.”
        “Vital signs.  Check.  How do we  . . . ?”
        Crimson Hen lolled her head back and forth just a bit.  She was beginning to come around now, and was very thirsty.
        “Look, Vern, she’s doing something.”
        “Yes, Dick, she definitely is.”
        “My god, how fascinating.”
        “Is this your first chicken, Dick?”
        “Wha . . . what do you mean?  I’m the preeminent internist in the nation.  I have more letters after my name than the alphabet song.  Are you, Vern, suggesting that I may not be qualified to handle this situation?”
        “My question, Dick:  Is this your first chicken?  It’s okay if it is.  It’s not mine, I grew up with chickens.  I also have a slew of letters after my name, but what we’re looking at here, Dick, is a chicken.  It’s perfectly alright to admit that you’re out of your league.”
        “Well . . . I say again, your question isn’t germane . . . look, she’s sitting up.”
        “She’s a chicken, Dick.  Chickens don’t sit . . . by god, she’s sitting up!”
        Crimson Hen sat up.  She looked into the two pasty faces staring down at her.  “Ooof…”  she croaked and raised a wing to aching temples.  The two men backed away a little. A guard holding an overly large weapon shuffled nervously by the door. The doctors looked at each other briefly, then back down at Crimson Hen.  A palpable silence fell over the room.  
        Crimson Hen looked blearily from one doctor to the next and then over to the guard.  “Do . . . do you happen to know where I can get a decent cup of tea?” she said dryly.  
        Vern jumped back in the same moment the guard jumped forward. They creamed their heads together making a very loud sound like two hollow coconuts colliding, then both fell into a crumpled heap on the floor.  Dick screamed right in Crimson Hen’s face, then bolted for the door.
        As the sounds of a doctor losing his mind fell away, another silence fell over the examination room.  “Well,” she said to no one in particular now that the room was empty of other conscious beings.  “That’s some greeting.” She let out a long sigh and looked around the bare examination room, then down at the heap of doctor and guard on the floor, then at the door, which was slightly ajar.  “I guess I’ll have to go find a cup of tea for myself.”  She fluttered stiffly down from the exam table, taking care to avoid landing on the hapless humans, and walked confidently out the door.