Friday, June 19, 2015

Story Seed - The Perils of Elective Medicine

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"What's the prognosis doc?" Chopper asked with a strained voice. Over the past week he'd been experiencing increasing pain throughout his body, everywhere except his cyberlimbs.

"Well, Mr. Mikaelsson, I'm afraid I have some rather bad news. Your condition is a degenerative one. I am still running some DNA sequencing but I don't believe it to be congenital. Very likely its some new kind of bio-feedback from your extensive cybernetic remodeling." The doctor paused to let that sink in before adding, "Basically your implants are killing you.

Chopper didn't know what to say. He didn't really understand most of what the doctor had said except that last bit. "H-how?" he finally managed to stammer out.

The doctor tapped a few icons on his pad and waved the information to the holoprojector. "Frankly Mr. Mikaelsson, I'm at a loss myself. Usually you see these kinds of reactions fairly soon after the first implant, but according to our records you have had cyberware for more than a decade, which tells me this is unlikely an allergic reaction, or any kind of standard implant rejection problem." He brought a skeletal view to the display and rotated around to the back before zooming in. "The fact that most of your 'ware has been sensory or soft tissue based also leads me to think that your condition may be something we've not seen before."

The doctor pointed out two areas of the zoomed in medical scans. "These are the recent cortex co-processor, and the personality bank that we installed most recently. As you can see the tissue around these areas is experiencing the most inflammation and cellular decay. These implants are undoubtedly the source of your condition if not the root cause."

"Doc, can you dumb it down for me? Are you saying that my neuro-mods are somehow killing my brain?"

"No, I think more likely they were contaminated.  We're looking into it and have already contacted CerebroCo about this issue. In the meantime I am recommending that you allow us to remove the upgrades with the hope that doing so will stop or slow the progress. I will be truthful with you however; based on your scans I think that this may be a bioweapon."

"What? Are you ... evolutionist radicals??" Chopper broke out into a cold sweat. The fundamentalist evolutionaries were against upgrades and modifications, be they cyberware or bio-engineered. The more radical among them had established a practice of sabotaging clinics and manufacturing facilities.

The doctor nodded, "It is at least possible that this was intentional contamination with an engineered disease. I assume you Mr. Mikaelsson, we are working on isolating the condition, and my staff is here to ensure you receive the best medical care your credit can afford..."