I never did figure out if the silence caused the tension or if the tension caused the silence. Only if I thought about it would I be able to hear the discordant static of monitors down the hall muffled by my office window.
My office sat at the "T" of two halls. Through my office window, I could see down the long hall where ten doors could be seen an as dark patches against the unlit wall. At the end of the hall stood a desk that, had this been a normal birthing facility, would have been the guest check in. Rather the desk served as a security station, currently deserted.
The brisk foot steps of a woman sounded somewhere from that darkness. As I exited my office, the ceiling omnilight overhead flickered feebly until it maintained a soft glow. Looking towards the footsteps I could see the nurse walking towards me, the ceiling's glow following with difficulty. After concentrating on underlit paperwork for the last quarter cycle, her bright green skirt, white shirt, and matching j