Author : Jasen Taylor
The large, solid steel table in the center of the sterile conference chamber was three inches thick but still did not weigh as much as the spirits of the twelve individuals seated around it. They had put this meeting off for as long as they could, but it now appeared there was only one course of action left open to them.
A course of action that the tallest of them, seated at the head of the table, still took umbrage with.
“I’m still not convinced that we have exhausted every treatment option available to us.”
“Well, what would it take to convince you?”, asked a voice three seats down. “Our last and best treatment for this patient has failed. We simply don’t have any way of curing the damage that has been done.”
“But cell migration…”
“Has failed. Repeatedly, I might add.” This brought a chorus of agreement from the others around the table. “Many times we have tried to isolate the damaged cells so the healthy population can grow and flourish,but the corruption has spread to the point where the patient’s system is damaged both from within and without.”
A loud voice at the other end of the table added, “There are many pockets of cells which are continually fighting for dominance over the other cells. At first, this was a slow process. The cells could only affect those closest to them and we thought we could reverse the process by introducing several reagents to halt the flow of corruption, but now these cells have gained in strength and are spreading their infection at an exponentially increasing rate and now have the capability of attacking the body as a whole. They can strike anywhere, anytime.
The tallest of them, realizing he was fighting a losing battle, said, “But there is still a potential for change. The patient’s cellular landscape is in a constant state of flux. Is this not the reason we have waited so long to determine the patient’s outcome?”
“But your argument is now the dominant reason shaping our decision. This state of flux is a cellular juggernaut, spiraling out of control. There is no way now to reverse the process. Several times it seemed a breakthrough had been made. A rogue cell or group of cells would break off and begin to promote harmony among the cellular ranks, but would always be eradicated or indoctrinated back into the cellular decay from which it sprang. Now the decay has reached the bloodstream, poisoning the system from deep within and promoting the feverish warmth which now plagues the entire body. There can be no going back now. All hope is lost. The plug must be pulled.”
And so the chant was taken up around the table, every one seated agreeing in turn, until finally it was time for the tall one to weigh in.
“It just seems a shame to erase all that potential for excellence. I had such high hopes for this one.”
“Your regrets are echoed in all our hearts. However, it must be done in order to protect the surrounding patients from the cellular degeneration of their neighbor.”
The tall one sighed.
“I recommend we discontinue the use of colonization as a viable treatment option in the future.”
As the others got up to leave, the tall one opened up the folder in front of him, labeled INTER-GALACTIC PLANETARY DE-CONTAMINATION SQUAD. He signed off on the action that would silence six billion cells.
Time of Death – 2008
Patient’s Name – Earth
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