I woke up and the first thing I noticed was that I could move again. Of course, I'd shielded myself with my forearm ... I just hadn't noticed at the time. The second thing that caught my attention was the colours. Everything in the room was a slightly different colour to normal.
Not dramatically, just slightly darker. At least, things like brown and green seemed darker, and things like red and orange seemed lighter. How odd.
"Doctor?" I whispered. Dr Jones came to my side, unfolding himself from the plastic chair in one corner.
"What is it, Shelley?" he asked, reaching over and clicking the light switch so that we were flooded with bright UV bulbs. We both blinked a little, the transition was so sudden, but moments later we were able to see.
"I feel different. Funny." And my eyes were itching, like I had hayfever. But how could I have hayfever on this planet without grass and pollen? For when we had glimpsed the land outside I had seen nothing but grey concrete, stone, buildings, roads, airships ... nothing green, no plants, no flowers.
"Your eyes." That was when he noticed. "Look at me for a minute, Michelle." Obediently, I looked him in the eyes. "What colour eyes did you have before?"
"Brown," I replied, confused. "Why? Are they not...?" In a panic, I put my hand up to my face and felt around. My fingers were cool on the lids and they felt normal, but if the doctor said they were different then they must be.
"Here, come to a mirror." Dr Jones pulled me upright and over to the mirror in the corner of the room. I looked a state, with my leg still wrapped up and with bandages around my midriff, but my attention was drawn to my face.
"Oh, my..." I never had a chance to finish that sentence.
"We've got to go and talk to the Voices. The order of bases in your DNA must have been compromised by the alien atmosphere. Who knows what effect this will have on you in the long run? There could be all sorts of negative side effects. There could be some positives too but we never know. If your genes have changed it could alter your entire genetic makeup. Your species."
Truth be told, I'd zoned out as soon as he said, "The order of bases in your DNA..." I'd never been to school -- I was in hospital, for goodness sake -- and what classes we had were severely restricted by the number of students. E.g. one. E.g. me. So science wasn't my strong point.
But I got the gist of what he was saying. And it all boiled down to one thing: my eyes had turned yellow.