Tag Archives: doctor

Caught in the Net

Maia looked very peaceful, lying so still in the hospital bed. Nurses floated around her, patients were carried past, the sun moved steadily across the room. Maia lay still. The machines that kept her alive whistled softly to themselves. When she did not recover, a doctor attached a neurocap to Maia’s scalp, plugged himself in, and uploaded into Maia’s head.

He found Maia sitting on a beach, throwing pebbles into the water. Seagulls dived down from above, collected the stones and returned them to a pile near to where she sat. She looked up as the doctor approached, and gestured for him to sit next to her.

“You’re in a coma,” he said. “Nothing here is real.”

“Figured,” replied Maia. “What’s my damage?”

“No damage,” said the doctor. “You had a type of aneurism induced by surfing the ‘net. Now you’re caught in a behavioural loop, trapped by a constant urge to search for more things.”

“I’m in a coma because I browse too much?”

“You’re continuously searching for new information. You’re addicted to it. Your brain is devoting almost all your resources to finding more.”

“How can I stop?”

“You can’t,” sighed the doctor. “It’s too late to engage with deeper ideas. You’ve lost that capacity forever.”

“Are you telling me I’m stuck here?”

“It’s what you wanted, isn’t it?” He gestured to the pebble pile. “A constant stream of new things? I’ll keep your life support going as long as I can. But you’re already dead, really. Sorry.”


Cynic’s Apostasy

The conference hall vibrated with the excitement of a thousand attendees. Bursts of applause and appreciative cries shot around the room. The speaker on stage paced up and down, punctuating rounds of rhetoric with slashes of her hands. This would be better, that would be different, something was great, but something else was greater.

Backstage, Miranda Rowley sat unaffected by the proceedings. She had heard many such speakers over the course of her career. Underneath the show, this one was all rhetoric, no heart.

She didn’t recognise the name of the next speaker on her list – Dr. Catherine Koretsku? Couldn’t see her backstage, and supposed to be on in seven minutes. Working on a hunch, Miranda went out into the corridor and looked for an open door.

Sitting, almost curled up, on a chair in an empty room, Koretsku appeared on the verge of tears. She looked up when Miranda walked in.

“I think I might be sick,” Catherine said. “Too many people.”

“Deep breaths,” said Miranda. “Open up. You’re too hunched, as if protecting yourself. Here, stretch your legs out, reach your arms up and behind your head. Pretend you’re at the beach. Stay like that. Now tell me, why are you here? Not ‘what for’, but ‘why’?”

A subtle change in Koretsku’s breathing, something sparked in her eyes, like a wolf getting ready to pounce. “I made a man with no legs grow them back and walk again.”

Miranda smiled. “Time to change the world, doctor.”


“ADVENTUREMAN!” cried ADVENTUREMAN. Several people stopped walking along the street to stare at him in surprise. He leapt up from the Sofa of Teleportation, which had landed on the pavement outside the supermarket, and grabbed the NEAREST BYSTANDER by the lapels.

“You!” he spat. “Where can I find ADVENTURE?” His victim squirmed away from the unwelcome request.

“Well you could try down at the crazy golf,” said the NEAREST BYSTANDER nervously. “That’s where my aunt goes.”

“Thank you,” said ADVENTUREMAN quietly, and set him back down. Then, jumping back onto the Sofa of Teleportation, ADVENTUREMAN screamed, “To the crazy golf!”


Twenty minutes later the Sofa had successfully teleported itself to the crazy golf via the back of BRIAN’s truck. As BRIAN departed, shaking his head, the GOLF ATTENDANT approached and handed ADVENTUREMAN a Magic Beer.

ADVENTUREMAN ripped the cap off and poured the Magic Beer down his throat. The magic in the Magic Beer engulfed him and shrank him to the size of a golf ball. He was transformed into {miniadventureman}.

{miniadventureman} ran along the golf course, ducking through tunnels, dodging through small windmills, jumping over an occasional ramp. Then a PLASTIC RHINO appeared.

The PLASTIC RHINO breathed Enlargement Ice at {miniadventureman}, who suddenly grew to full size. ADVENTUREMAN felt dizzy and fell into a nearby stream.

Two doctors stared at the screen in surprise.

“Is this real?” asked one. “Or a dream?”

“Wait,” said the other. “It’s restarting.”

“ADVENTURE…” gasped ADVENTUREMAN, getting to his feet. “…MAN!”