Beyond Pandora

by Robert J. Martin

Public Domain

Science Fiction Story: The ideal way to deal with a pest--any menace--is, of course, to make it useful to you....

Tags: Science Fiction   Novel-Classic  

The doctor’s pen paused over the chart on his desk, “This is your third set of teeth, I believe?”

His patient nodded, “That’s right, Doctor. But they were pretty slow coming in this time.”

The doctor looked up quizzically, “Is that the only reason you think you might need a booster shot?”

“Oh, no ... of course not!” The man leaned forward and placed one hand, palm up, on the desk. “Last year I had an accident ... stupid ... lost a thumb.” He shrugged apologetically, “It took almost six months to grow back.”

Thoughtfully, the doctor leaned back in his chair, “Hm-m-m ... I see.” As the man before him made an involuntary movement toward his pocket, the doctor smiled, “Go on, smoke if you want to.” Picking up the chart, he murmured, “Six months ... much too long. Strange we didn’t catch that at the time.” He read silently for a few moments, then began to fill out a form clipped to the folder. “Well, I think you probably are due for another booster about now. There’ll have to be the usual tests. Not that there’s much doubt ... we like to be certain.”

The middle-aged man seemed relieved. Then, on second thought, he hesitated uneasily, “Why? Is there any danger?”

Amusement flickered across the doctor’s face, turned smoothly into a reassuring half-smile. “Oh, no. There’s absolutely no danger involved. None at all. We have tissue-regeneration pretty well under control now. Still, I’m sure you understand that accurate records and data are very necessary to further research and progress.”

Reassured, the patient thawed and became confidential, “I see. Well, I suppose it’s kinda silly, but I don’t much like shots. It’s not that they hurt ... it’s just that I guess I’m old-fashioned. I still feel kinda ‘creepy’ about the whole business.” Slightly embarrassed, he paused and asked defensively, “Is that unusual?”

The doctor smiled openly now, “Not at all, not at all. Things have moved pretty fast in the past few years. I suppose it takes people’s emotional reactions a while to catch up with developments that, logically, we accept as matter of fact.”

There is more of this story...
The source of this story is SciFi-Stories

To read the complete story you need to be logged in:
Log In or
Register for a Free account (Why register?)

Get No-Registration Temporary Access*

* Allows you 3 stories to read in 24 hours.