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Stories from the Verse
In Verse Proportion
Chapter 13: Kondor 176
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Brown 199
Over the next few days Kondor started exploring the possibility of introducing modern medicine to the people of the caliphate. He was quite surprised. It appeared that there was no disease, that is, although people were injured, even killed, and although they died of old age, or sometimes of poisoning, there seemed to be no infectious diseases.
He suspected that “old age” would mean myocardial infarctions and ischemic or hemorrhagic events, and that cholesterol and similar blockages probably contributed to this, but that wasn’t really the kind of medicine he did. That is, he could certainly treat such problems, but he didn’t have cardiac stents and didn’t see developing the equipment to insert them in this world.
Meanwhile, they had treatments for burns and injuries which while not entirely up to his standards were good enough that they would be difficult to improve in this world. He could repair a spleen; they probably couldn’t even successfully remove one. His ability was based on superior technology that he couldn’t reproduce here, so he would remain the only person who could do this. But they could splint broken limbs and care for burn victims if the burns weren’t as serious as that one messenger who encountered the fire beast. Besides, such injuries were relatively rare, other than broken bones which were treated by local medics almost as well as he could treat them.
Of course, the viziers had heard of disease, but they said as far as they were aware it did not currently exist. Some of the younger ones (and all appeared older than Kondor) thought disease might be an ancient myth, something people once believed but which the wise had since learned to explain otherwise. Some older ones had rather superstitious notions, that disease had once existed but had been eliminated. One story was that magical healing had become so effective that such infirmities were destroyed completely; another that there had been some war between the djinn and the demons in which the demon lord who spread such infections was banished to the abyss. None of this made sense to him, but it was apparent that there had been no infectious diseases in the caliphate in living memory. He was not going to be able to cure people, because they simply weren’t getting sick.
He would have to find something else to do.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #432: Whole New Worlds. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: