|The chief of surgery looked
bewildered, unable to accept the diagnosis.
"But what of the risk? If we intervene, we could kill her."
The specialist sighed. They'd been over this for what seemed like millennia.
"I believe it's quite likely that the patient will die if we don't remove the infection. The virus has infected over twenty-five
percent of her body and it's shutting down her systems one by one.
You asked for my opinion and that's it."
"We've seen this before" he mused. "The statistics show a measurable probability that this type of virus, left alone, will mutate into a symbiont to keep from killing its host."
"That's true , but no one has ever let it progress this far before. If we don't act soon it will be too late and she'll die anyway. We must destroy it before it destroys her. Or rather," he said pointedly, "before "they" destroy her , let's not forget we're dealing with billions of individual cells each with the ability to replicate itself."
"You're right, of course" the chief nodded. "Still,
one thing puzzles me about that lab report. There appear to be small
areas of the infection, or small "groups" in your terminology, that are actually
helping to reverse the harmful effects of the whole. Isn't that an
indication that the virus is changing and may become benign?"
The Chief was quiet as he continued to watch the patient's quiet slumber. "Well, I may be erring on the wrong side of caution," he said finally, "but I think we'll give her body a short while longer to try to heal itself before we do anything invasive."
"Very well" said the Specialist. "Are we still on for our game tomorrow?"
"It's Wednesday, isn't it?"
After the Specialist left, the Chief Surgeon took one last look at his patient. Spinning serenely on her axis with her blue oceans, her clouds and her mountains, she seemed so full of promise, so lovely, so fragile. "Hang in there," he whispered. "You'll make it".
|The Patient is excerpted from the book "The Sparrow and the
Moth - Fables for Our Time" by Patrick McDonald and is presented here
by permission of the author.|
The book is available throught Intelligent Universe Publications and our bookservice.
copyright © 1999 all rights reserved