Posted by: Hummingbird James | October 10, 2010

Victor, the Zebra Doctor

Victor trotted down the busy street, carrying his briefcase in his teeth. He absolutely needed to get to work on time. That’s the problem in Zebra Society. There isn’t an efficient way of getting across town, despite their advanced technology. Everything that they put forward was simply too big. Until now. Inside the briefcase was a set of blueprints for a new vehicle. One that should revolutionise the world as we know it.

It was simple. Harnessing the weight of the zebra race, the vehicle would be able to propel itself at speeds upwards of twenty miles an hour. It could even be folded up! But, alas, Victor hadn’t gotten the funding for this idea. The stallions at the patent office thought this idea was incredibly silly. But Victor will show them!

The lack of funding was why Victor was still practising as a neurologist at the Wheaton Hospital. You’d think that a neurologist wouldn’t try and change the world in such a way, but Victor was pressured into it by his family. “You’ll help people! They’ll be grateful! And, as a bonus, you’ll get lots of money!” they said. That last part was what convinced Victor. Too bad it was a total lie.

He neared the hospital. It was a shining example of medical advancement. Expansive monitoring systems at every bed, able to track every single action taking place in your body. Computers with the genetic profiles of every bacterium in the world, and the symptoms of the more dangerous ones. Automatic prescription writing printers. Too bad none of the money was spent on the doctors. Victor’s one-bedroom flat was far too small for someone with his importance.

That’s why he needed the funding for his vehicle. But what would he call it? It was segmented, to allow the user to fold it up, and it could make its way down a street with ease. Wayment? He’d have to think of something later. He sauntered into the lobby, and over to the locker room. Victor didn’t like the locker room too much; it seemed like it was designed for people with two legs, not four. He walked over to his locker, and looked into the scanner next to its door. The scanner looked back with an infra-red beam. It beeped.

The door swung open, and Victor poked his head in. There was a photo of his family and a spare change of clothes. Sometimes, when you were diagnosing someone, they’d forget to mention the chronic vomiting and proceed to spew over you. It’s hard to get vomit out of a suit. He nudged the door closed, and headed out the locker room and to his office.

Victor’s office was small. There was a desk, a bookcase, a couple of chairs and a sofa. His degree hung on his wall, depressingly alone on the blank, featureless wall. The window across from his desk was facing out onto the river. And, in the afternoon, into the Sun. Victor was sure that Management was messing around with him when they decided where to put him. Still, the river was damn pretty.

He sat down behind his desk and picked up the piece of paperwork on top of his “in” tray. His jaw dropped.

Human Motors had reviewed his design. He was gonna be rich and famous.

Victor had a long day ahead of him.

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