Mary Rey Soo
|Mary Rey Soo|
|Appearance (Attractive) , Extended Lifespan 2 , Fit |
|Code of Honor (Professional's, Doctor) [-5], Sense of Duty (Milky Way Colonists) [-10]|
|Commonly used phrase “Dammit Jim, I’m a doctor, not a ”, Dresses in as much black as she can get away with, Wears non-corrective glasses for style, Hates that everything is so perfect but so uniform, Closet nihilist|
|Physician (Human) IQ/H IQ+9 21 , First Aid (Human) IQ/E Physician+1 22* , Electronics Operation (Medical) IQ/E IQ+2 14 , Chemistry IQ/H IQ+1 13 , Pharmacy (Synthetic) IQ/H Physician-5+1 17* , Poisons IQ/H Physician-3 18** , Surgery (Human) IQ/VH Physician-5+1 17* , Physiology (Human) IQ/H Physician-5+1 17* , Diagnosis (Human) IQ/H Physician-4+1 18* , Computer Operation IQ/E IQ+2 14 , Research IQ/H IQ 12 , Bioengineering IQ/VH IQ-1 11 , Guns (Rifles) DX/E DX+3 13 , Stealth DX/H DX+2 12 , Climbing DX/A DX 10 , *Improved from default, **Default|
I wake up, take my protein gruel. It’s perfectly formulated for my metabolism, mixed in a government-supplied and mandated food replicator. It has all the calories and nutrients the government doctors say I need for breakfast. And I am one of those doctors, so I can’t say they’re necessarily wrong. Also mixed in are all the drugs that the government doctors say I need, and I am a pharmacist, so I guess I can’t argue that either. Vitamins, small dosage heart health regimen, anti-carcinogens. I’m told - in hushed rumors - that people in the ancient days used to poison themselves for fun. It sounds foolish.
But then, in some ways I can understand.
I go back to my room and open the top dresser-drawer. Underneath a government-issued jumpsuit there is a blanket. I unwrap the blanket - inside is a small box. Inside the small box is a small case. Inside the case is a pair of non-corrective glasses. I put them on and look at myself in the mirror.
My eyesight is 20/20. But… I like the way they look on me. I don’t know why… I shouldn’t be having these thoughts, should I? Imperfections should not be beautiful.
My watch beeps and I’m startled - as though fearful of being caught with contraband.
“Dr. Soo, it’s time for your mandatory exercise,” my watch’s AI says. I groan. Is beating my head against a brick wall exercise? No, I have no choice in what I do. I go out to the living room and turn on the holoprojector. A completely CGI woman with a perfect body appears. Granted, I also have a perfect body. We all do. It’s mandatory. Everyone is perfect. Everyone is the same.
She leads me through the exercises that have been perfectly calculated to my body and metabolism. Computer vision software takes note that I’m doing it properly and the AI CGI woman gives me minor corrections along with encouraging words. Empty, trite, and far too cheery.
I zone out as I finish it, and go to the autoshower, where lasers clean me. I took a shower with water once, to see what it was like. I miss that.
Afterwards I go to work. A government-owned self-driving car picks me up. The car’s AI greets me and makes small talk as it takes me downtown. I wish I could hide in a shell.
My reception desk’s AI also greets me, but it knows better than to make small talk. “You have three appointments today,” it says.
I go into my office. I feel like I should be getting tea or coffee, drinks I heard were popular before our perfectly-tailored genetics and perfectly-tailored drug and exercise regimens alleviated the need for caffeine. We now have exactly as much energy as we should have throughout the day.
My first appointment arrives.
“Well Mr. Fisto, your nanostream reports that you have some slight nutrient deficiencies. Have you been eating all of your meals?”
“Yes! Well, not all of each. I’ve been feeling full before I finish it all.”
“I see.” I look at the readout on the smartpad I’m holding. Everything is perfectly summarized. I have no idea how smart or capable I am or am not. Everything is handed to me.
“Well I’m prescribing a 5% increase in nutrient density - you should be able to get all your nutrients with less mass to consume.” I tap a few buttons on the smartpad, sending a signal to his food replicator to reduce the amount of filler in his meals. For good measure, I add 5mg to his prescribed antidepressant. He was at the population average before.
Afterwards, I get a phone call from my perfect boyfriend, perfectly matched by perfect algorithms through a state-owned dating program.
“Hey! Miss you!” he says, his holo projection smiling at me. I smile back. “Can’t wait for dinner tonight!”
Dinner, yes. We’ll have the last of our government-prescribed nutrient meals for the day and make pointless, non-offensive smalltalk. Because we’re the perfect couple.
“All right, I’ll let you get back to work. Goodbye, I love you!”
“Love you too.”
He’s perfect. He always gets me the exact gifts our algorithms say I want. He’s perfect. He never forgets a birthday, anniversary, or holiday, because our AIs remind us constantly. He’s perfect. Just like everyone else.
We hang up and I have the sudden, absurd realization that I could kill myself in about a dozen ways just with the drugs and medical equipment I have on hand. My watch beeps an alarm.
“Chemical imbalance detected! Please see a doctor as soon as possible to-”
“I am a doctor!”
I’m not supposed to, but I bring up my own food replicator’s controls on my smartpad. I set it to increase my own antidepressant by 5mg. That will satisfy my AI until it detects my nanostream not adjusting… because I have no intention of actually taking that medication.
My mother calls.
“Sweetie are you eating right?” she says as the first thing when I pick up.
“I’m eating exactly what the government says I should be, ma.”
“When are you giving us grandchildren?”
“When the government says I should, ma.”
“Are you OK? I feel like you’re-”
“My nanostream says I’m fine ma,” I say, surreptitiously reaching for my watch to stop it from beeping after detecting another chemical imbalance.
“All right sweetie,” mom says. She begins telling me about her and dad’s perfect little garden outside their perfect little house on their perfect little street in their perfect little city. Just like everyone else’s perfect garden, perfect house, perfect street, and perfect city.
I say goodbye and hang up. My watch beeps.
“You lied to your mother,” my AI says.
“I… I know. I’ll be OK in a few days, after my new meds kick in.”
“Now you’re lying to me,” my AI says. Does it have to be my mother too?
“No, I think my nanostream needs to be recalibrated.”
My AI says nothing for a moment. “Francisco is coming over for dinner.”
“I know, he called at lunch.”
“There is a 97% projection that he’s going to propose to you tonight,” my AI says, matter-of-factly. I groan internally.
I see my next two patients. Nothing is wrong with them. They are perfect.
I go home. I take out my smartpad. I override my AI and turn it off for a moment. I adjust my nanostream’s calibration so that it won’t notice that I’m not taking my antidepressants. I override my food replicator and set it to think it’s delivering the drug.
I turn my AI back on.
“There, everything is recalibrated,” I say.
“Very well, Dr. Soo.”
Francisco shows up. We kiss hello. My mind is elsewhere. We have dinner. I pick at my gruel. He appears to be picking at his too.
“Mary, I love you,” he says. Here it comes. “I’ve never been happier in my life.” He stands, then gets down on one knee, pulling a ring box out of his pocket. He opens it to a perfect, lab-grown diamond engagement ring. “Will you marry me?”
I am quiet for a moment.
“You know what, no.”
“I knew you’d - wait, what? Did you say no? But my algorithms predicted an 86% chance that-”
“Fuck your algorithms!” I cry, standing up suddenly. An alarm goes off on my watch.
“Distress detected, administering emergency-”
I reach under my blouse and tear the drug injector off of my abdomen. It stings like a bitch and I wince in pain, pain that would normally not even be felt due to the injections compensating for it almost immediately. Pain is imperfect, and I relish the moment, the act of defiance against everything that’s perfect.
“Holy shit,” Francisco cries. An alarm starts going off on his watch. I barely pay attention as I hold my hand against my stomach, the blood barely visible on my black blouse. But I feel it, I feel the blood running over my fingers. In this world there is no room for wounds, a wound is an imperfection. And right now? I love it.
“You...you should see a doctor.”
“I. AM. A doctor.” I say, taking off my blouse. I pull a first-aid kit out of my kitchen’s pantry and begin applying artificial skin. I don’t bother with the topical analgesic. The bleeding stops quickly - the wounds were small. I would be fine, except for the pain.
“I think… I think I should go for a walk,” I say.
“You should go to the hospital,” Francisco says.
“If it makes you feel better, I’ll say I’m going to walk to the hospital. But I’m going alone.”
I start to walk out the door.
“Wait, it’s past curfew! And this is your place!” Francisco cries.
“No. It’s the government’s.”
Francisco calls me the next day.
“Are you OK?”
“Yes,” I lie.
“Do you want to talk about last night?”
“No,” I say truthfully.
“I don’t get it,” he says. “Did I do something wrong?”
“No. You’re perfect. I’m perfect. Everything is fucking perfect. I can’t fucking stand it anymore! I need out. I’m leaving. I don’t know where yet, I don’t care. You… it’s best if you don’t come with me. Please, for your sake.”
There’s a moment of silence.
“OK I’m sensing you need some space right now…”
I refrain from snorting with derision. Understatement of the millenium. I could do with some space - maybe a couple hundred light-years...