Part III Youre a very patient and generous audience! Sorry that it has taken so long to complete Part 3 but Im a perfectionist at heart and have been too busy with my normal day job to be honest. Anyway, hopefully youll enjoy this next episode enough to make up for the wait ;¬) Danny. Explosive Decompression- Sams awakening. Dawn and Gillian waited patiently in the seating area outside Sams private hospital room. Neither spoke much and sat quietly with their own thoughts as they waited to see Sam. The surgical team had grudgingly decided to allow Sam to be discharged from their care and have regular follow-up at a NASA clinic near his home instead. He would be looked after by Gillians team there now that she had received all his medical files. Dawn and Gillian had discussed the events of the fateful test flight in some detail, going over the accident and their responses again and again. Both felt like they could perhaps have done more but both finally agreed that they had done the best they could. Scotts funeral had been a very painful event and they had been sorry Sam couldnt have attended. They had been a tight knit team and the news of Scotts death had been hard for Sam to take, made worse by his practical imprisonment in the hospital in Washington. Today, however, they were finally going to be there to share the good news that he could come home. One thing neither of them had discussed was the sight of Sam injured in the Intrepid when they had finally reached safety. As a medical professional Gillians reaction had been shock but an almost morbid curiosity about the physical mechanisms, mode of tissue injury and the organ responses of his genitals. There was no doubting that maybe a few more minutes later and his penis would have exploded from the pressure build up and he would have died of rapid blood loss, the rest of his organs and body fluids squeezed out of the rupture of his body like toothpaste out of a tube. The mental image was distasteful to her as a friend but fascinating from a medical point of view. Instead his penis had swelled, the erectile tissue stretching to the very limits of its capacity but not fully tearing although his skin peeled apart like the splitting of a cooked sausage as it swells in the pan. There had been some bleeding but the major parts of his anatomy his glans, shaft and testicles had all remained intact. The sight of his grotesquely swollen appendage had been surprising to her but also enticing. She had excused herself a moment of imagination to consider the extent of his functional capacity. Now that the erectile tissue had been distorted so much, there was a chance that the elasticity limits had been exceeded and his penis would remain as swollen for ever. The glistening and purple fleshy tube in her minds eye, that reached Sams knees and looked wider than a tin can, would be a freakish endowment for any man, or woman, to cope with. Dawns reaction had been far more human, and concerned, and she had collapsed onto Sam hoping that his injuries had not been fatal. As she searched for a pulse and signs of life she had ignored his genitals, although the sight had shocked her too. She was far more worried that he was going to survive. Now that Sam had made a recovery the image of his distorted body haunted her. She had loved their sex life together. She had enjoyed his body and had found his larger size exciting, playing a saucy role during their love making. Dawn had always been a very sexual person and had many lovers in her life before Sam. He had not been the biggest she had experienced, or ever seen, but that had not stopped him being the best lover she had ever had. Recently her feelings had become more than just friendship and sexual attraction. She wondered how he would be when he left hospital. The same old Sam? Would everything still be how it was, would everything work ok? She had considered she might like to have children with Sam one day perhaps. She dearly hoped this was still possible. Gillian had not mentioned his injuries in great detail, merely stating that he was healing up well, no signs of serious damage. She hoped he would still be able to enjoy their relationship fully, as they had before. The door to Sams room opened and the surgical team walked out, saying their goodbyes to Sam as they left. Gillian and Dawn stood up and stepped over to meet them. Gillians hand was outstretched to greet Mr Collins, the urological specialist, a colleague from her medical training a few years ago. Gillian! How good to see you. You look well, he said, shaking her hand. Im good thanks Tom. Im so glad they had you here to manage Sams injuries. Youre the best urological surgeon I know. Well. Thats very flattering but you know that Sam represents a very unique case. Its a shame to lose him to be honest. As a case presentation or research project hed be fascinating..., he paused, noticing Gillians withering glare of disapproval. of course with the tight security surrounding the whole Intrepid programme I think its best he returned to NASA with you! he finished, smiling hurriedly. Thank you Tom. Im very pleased with the detailed medical notes weve received from your team. It makes fascinating reading and well be sure to keep up your high standard of care over the next few weeks. Its a pleasure Gillian. Look after the guy though, hes been through an awful lot and I dont think its going to be much easier even now that hes recovered enough to leave hospital. I understand., she replied and holding her hand out again to shake his hand, Well certainly do our best. We have a good physical and psychological rehabilitation team back at NASA. Yes. By the way, let me introduce Mr Krakowski, our chief plastic surgeon., Tom indicated the short, thin bespectacled man beside him, This guy worked a few miracles of his own to patch things up. My thanks to you as well, Sir. Gillian said, shaking his hand. Well, goodbye Gillian. Visit us up here in Washington again soon wont you?, said Tom. Of course. Goodbye Tom. The two surgeons turned and left, talking between themselves as they did. Gillian turned, expecting to find Dawn beside her but she had already walked into Sams room. Dawn was sat on the edge of Sams bed as Gillian stepped into the room, having just exchanged a warm embrace, their first for several weeks. Sam was now up to walking again and was resting comfortably in the chair beside his bed, still dressed in the hospital gown but no longer attached to any medicine drips or monitoring machines. He was practically ready to go. Dawn had brought him a fresh change of clothes from home, teasing him gently about the weight he had lost and how he might not fit his trousers any more. Gillian raised an eyebrow at this comment but otherwise said nothing. How are you Sam?, she asked. Hi Gillian, Im good thanks, Sam replied.