Perihelion Science Fiction

Sam Bellotto Jr.

Eric M. Jones
Associate Editor


From Gaia to Proxima Centauri
by Milo James Fowler

Suck the Oil Out With a Straw
by Robin White

L’enfer, C’est la Solitude
by Joe Vasicek

Tea With Silicate Gods
by Auston Habershaw

by Andrew Muff

Gina Starlight’s Got the Blues
by Sandra M. Odell

Passing History
by Bill Adler Jr.

A Planet Like Earth
by E.K. Wagner

Shorter Stories

Cold Deaths
by Michael Haynes

Leviathan Buffet
by Sarina Dorie

by Hall Jameson


How Far is Heaven?
by Gary Cuba

A.I. Invasion or A.I. in Education?
by Jason M. Harley



Comic Strips






By Andrew Muff

HOW WOULD YOU RATE YOUR Medbot experience? We value your opinion and encourage you to complete this short online survey!

1) What is your name and contact information?

I’m withholding my name for obvious reasons. You’ll know who I am by the end of the survey. It’s been a few months, but I’m sure my last visit is still being discussed around the water cooler at your headquarters.

Your new clinic looks identical to the original. Kudos. Except for the security drones hovering near the entrance, you’d never know that anything had happened.

If there’s a live person out there screening these surveys, buddy, send this one straight to the CEO.

Trust me. He’ll want to read it.

2) Why did you select Medbot?

I have crappy health insurance. There’s a Health-E-Scan booth next to a strip club down the road, but a basic scan is still twenty tokens. That’s a steep price to sit in a glorified port-a-john while an oral thermometer pokes me in the eye and an angry stripper pounds on the door asking me how much longer I’m gonna be in there jacking off. I figured with Medbot at least the clinic is larger than a broom closet.

3) Which Medbot location did you choose and why?

The one in Parkhurst Mall. Their food court has the best Chinese takeout in the city.

4) Describe your experience in the Medbot lobby.

The lobby was a cramped, bean-shaped room shielded by a frosted glass partition stenciled with the Medbot logo. An elderly man holding a bloody paper towel to his forehead, a mother with a coughing child, and a teen with a pink mohawk were crammed into the other seats when I arrived. They each had a personal screen connected to a ceiling armature hovering in front of their faces.

After I wedged myself in the seat next to the old man, a screen descended from the ceiling and settled twelve centimeters from my nose.

Welcome to Medbot, where speedy service meets quality care! Please swipe your Citizen ID into the indicated slot to begin registration. I swiped my card.

What is your chief complaint? Rectal bleeding was my chief complaint, but I chickened out at the last second and selected “cough” instead.

Thank you. We will bring you back for examination momentarily. Please enjoy these exclusive offers while you wait.

The screen blasted me with commercials for erectile dysfunction cream featuring gray-haired men surfing and playing golf.

When I tilted my head right, the screen moved right. I looked at the ceiling. The screen detected the movement of my pupils and angled upward to intercept my line of sight. I literally could not look away.

A disembodied voice called back the mom and her kid. She left the clinic with a rattling white paper bag. The old man went next. He left with a row of crooked staples punched in his forehead and dried blood glazed on his face. He walked into the glass partition on his way out like a bird smacking a skyscraper window.

I asked the old man if he was okay. He wandered from the clinic without answering and slumped into a bench next to a coin fountain where another screen found him and blasted him with erectile dysfunction ads. He tried to bat away the screen, but it zipped around his head like a nimble fly. I don’t think anyone else noticed. The teen went back and came out carrying a pill bag.

Each visit took less than five minutes. The waiting room filled again by the time the ghostly voice called my name and the screen armature withdrew into the ceiling.

4) Describe your encounter with the medical staff.

I walked through a short corridor to the exam room: a ten-by-ten box with blank walls, a table padded with vinyl cushions, a faux marble sink, and plywood cupboards. One of the cupboards had been left ajar, probably by a curious patient. There was nothing inside. A glass jar filled with tongue depressors and a few outdated magazines like “Golf Digest” and “Cosmopolitan” sat on the countertop. A motor rumbled when I walked inside and fresh paper draping coated the table.

The Medbot entered the room behind me, through the same door. He must have emerged from a hidden vault somewhere in the adjoining corridor. His white lab coat partially covered a decades-old, oil-stained chassis and several sloppy, red wire bundles.

“Hello,” he said. The green digital thread on his visor became frizzy when he spoke. “My name is Medbot and I’ll be your provider today. I see that you have a cough. Is this correct?”

“No. I was too embarrassed to select this in the lobby, but I’m actually here for rectal bleeding.”

“How long have you been coughing?”

“I don’t have a cough.”

“I don’t understand. How long have you been coughing?”


“I don’t understand. How long have you been coughing?”

“Three weeks.”

“Are you short of breath?”


“Do you have chest pain?”


“Is your cough productive?”

“No. I have rectal bleeding, though.”

“How long have you been breast-feeding?”

“No, rectal bleeding. I’m bleeding from my asshole. RECTAL BLEEDING. Read my lips: REC-TAL BLEE-DING!”

“Are you experiencing rectal bleeding?”

“Yes, holy shit.”

“Are you experiencing bloody spit?”

“No, just rectal bleeding.”

“How long have you been bleeding?”

“Three weeks.”

“Are you engaging in anal intercourse or inserting objects into your rectum other than FDA-approved suppositories?”


“We’re going to run a few tests. This will only take a moment.” The Medbot asked me to sit on the table. His C-shaped hand clamped around my arm. My vital signs flashed across his visor like a stock ticker. P 132, B/P 164/88, R 16, T 98.7.

“This may pinch,” he warned me.

I heard a whirring noise and felt a sharpened screwdriver twist into my arm. I screamed and grabbed a loose cord plugged in the side of his head. He asked me to keep still. I kept screaming for him to stop and slid off the exam table. The sharpened screwdriver started sucking blood. When the clamp opened, a red mist sprayed the Medbot’s sleeve.

“One moment please,” Medbot said.

The lab results flashed across his visor. WBC 10.2, HGB 8.5, HCT 33, MCV 85, MCH 31.4, PLT 395.

“You are anemic.”


“Further testing is required.”

A blinding flash lit the room. “Chest x-ray negative,” he intoned. “Your cough is most likely a viral upper respiratory infection. I will prescribe you a cough suppressant.”

“I don’t have a fucking cough!”

The room flashed again. Twice. “Abdominal x-rays are inconclusive. An abdominal and pelvic CT scan are now required.”

“How much radiation is in a CT scan? Wait a sec—”

The room began to strobe. It must have flashed five or six hundred times. “Hey!” I said. “I’m talking to you! Stop—”

The flashing stopped. “CT results are inconclusive,” he said. “A colonoscopy is now required.”

“Oh, hell no,” I shouted, but he was already stomping across the room to grab me.

“Please remain calm. This will only take a moment.”

I planted the heels of my hands on the table and kicked him. The Medbot grabbed my ankles and his wrists spun like a pair of slow drills. He pulled my shoes, socks, and pants from my body while I clawed at the vinyl padding. I ran around the table like a harassed secretary being chased by her horny boss. The Medbot reached over the table and his C-shaped clamp caught the middle of my arm again.

He pulled me across the table and jammed my face into his metal crotch. His hand folded back and a gleaming chrome snake emerged from his wrist. Translucent surgical lube dripped from the tip. He told me this will only take a moment. I punched his body until my knuckles bled and tore the white coat from his shoulders.

The Medbot cocked his head and said, “Further resistance may result in discomfort. A colonoscopy is required by your insurance carrier to reduce future morbidity. This exam may not be refused. Your cooperation is appreciated.”

A cold glob of lubricant dripped onto my lower back and slid under my shorts. He thrust the probe at me and I swiveled my hips to dodge him. The metallic tip hammered my buttock and a bolt of electric agony shot down my leg. My right knee buckled and the ’bot hoisted me off the floor. All the blood in my body rushed to my face and I pedaled my legs uselessly in the air. I grabbed his ankles and yanked with everything I had, trying to tip the Medbot over, but he must have weighed over 130 kilograms.

The chrome snake plunged through the center of my boxer shorts, slipped between my clenched buttocks, pushed through my puckered anus, and extended into my intestines. His visor displayed murky footage transmitted from the probe’s tip. A heavy cable of ribbed steel filled my belly as the probe tunneled into my guts.

You’d think this would be the worst part of my visit, but it wasn’t. Nor was the moment when the probe emerged and a fan of bloody shit sprayed the exam table. I gathered my clothes and pounded on the door. The Medbot stood in the center of the room with the footage from my colonoscopy playing in reverse on his visor.

“You have been diagnosed with a viral upper respiratory infection,” he said. A compartment by the door opened and a rattling white bag dropped next to my feet. “You have been prescribed thirty count Hydrotussin capsules. Take one capsule as needed every eight hours. If your symptoms worsen, return to Medbot immediately for further evaluation.”

“Go fuck yourself!”

“You have also been diagnosed with stage four metastatic colon cancer,” Medbot announced. That was pretty bad, but we still haven’t reached the worst moment of my visit.


“An inoperable 12.63 centimeter Wills-Klem tumor was noted during a recent colonoscopy. Multiple nodules in your left lung, right lung, and left diaphragmatic base were also noted in a recent CT scan. A PET scan is recommended for confirmation. Your remaining life expectancy is estimated at 3.72 weeks. Would you like to arrange a holographic hospice consultation?”

The door swung open and smacked me on the back of my head.

Somehow that was the worst moment of my visit.

5) Please rate the effectiveness of your treatment and any follow up visits with Medbot.

The next few days were pure hell. I kept thinking: that can’t be right. That stupid ’bot gave me a bum diagnosis. How could he possibly be right?

The ride home was a blur. After I returned to my apartment, I washed all the stringy blood and surgical lube from my throbbing anus. Then I stared at the bathroom mirror for a long time.

I did look kind of thin. My skin had a yellowish discoloration around the cheeks ... or was that just the cheap halogen bulbs in my bathroom light? I scraped away a coat of white slime from my tongue with my fingernail. Did I have thrush? Was my immune system already shot? I hadn’t even started chemo yet! What the hell was going on?

I tried to take my mind off the Medbot’s diagnosis with booze, but the alcohol gave me a nervous stomach. My knees bobbed furiously while I sat on the toilet. Fresh blood streaked the toilet paper after I wiped. The toilet bowl looked like someone had filled it with tomato soup.

I didn’t sleep that night and spent the next morning beating a circle into my living room rug. The Medbot’s voice kept echoing in my head. I needed to speak with somebody.

My ex-girlfriend, Jessica, answered her phone after my third attempt.

“Colon cancer! Are you sure?”

“That’s what’s driving me crazy! I’m not sure! The place was so—”


“No, not dumpy. More like—”


“No. It wasn’t trashy. It was ... sterile.”

“Don’t you want a clinic to be sterile?”

“Not like this. It had this cheap, plastic kind of feel.”

“Are you going to hospice?”

“Do you think I should?”

“You should do something.”

“Doesn’t hospice sound drastic? I was diagnosed yesterday. What if I don’t have colon cancer?”

She sighed into her phone. “You should go back to Medbot and ask them.”

“I’m not going back.”

“Stop being dramatic. What about RoboNurse? I saw one walking around Lexington Park a few nights ago. It might still be there.”

“RoboNurse costs fifteen tokens. I only have five left.”

“You can’t buy a pregnancy test with five tokens.”

“That’s helpful.”

“Stop being a jerk. How much is a Medbot follow up?”

“I don’t know.”

“It might be free.”

“I still don’t want to go back.”

“Sounds like you don’t have much choice.”

I grumbled for a few hours while I paced around the living room. Was this truly my only option? Really? Really? After hanging up with Jessica, I decided to go. I had no other choice. Then a few minutes later I decided to wait. Something better would occur to me if I gave the problem more time to marinate. So I waited. And I waited. A restless night of tossing and turning passed with unbearable slowness before the first pale beams of sunlight stretched over my disheveled bed like prison bars.

I laced my shoes, not bothering to shower or eat breakfast, and rode the tube back to the Parkhurst Mall.

A mall greeter gave me a coupon for one free scoop of gelato and twenty percent off an automated handjob at Bronco Billy’s Safe Sex Emporium featuring “Soft Skin” covers. I was tempted to use the coupon for some much needed stress relief, but I doubted my remaining tokens would cover the cost, even with the coupon.

Customers filled all the seats in the Medbot lobby, so I wandered around the mall until I found the gelato shop. The lobby was still full when I returned, so I stopped by the food court and ordered a plate of extra-spicy Kung Po, then it was off to the mall bathroom to splatter more shit, blood, and thunderstorm farts into a toilet. The guy shitting in the next stall asked me if I was OK.

“I think I’m sick,” I mumbled through my sweaty palms.

“Maybe you should go to Medbot. There’s one next to the food court.”

“I was there two days ago. The ’bot told me I had colon cancer. I don’t trust him.”

“Yeah,” the man said. “Those Medbots are dumb as shit sometimes. They diagnosed my wife with a brain tumor last year and it turned out to be nothing.”


“Yep.” He flushed. His buckle jingled. “You know how we found out?”


“We went to a street doc. Cash-only, but at least you get a flesh-and-blood doctor. The guy worked in the backroom of a bar called the Black Pearl over on Jefferson. Weird dude, real squirrelly type, but he was right: my wife didn’t have a tumor. For what it’s worth, you know?”

“Thanks. I’ll think about it.”

“Yep. Good luck, buddy.”

A half-hour later I was able to leave the bathroom with two fistfuls of toilet paper squeezed between my buttocks. I wandered around the mall again, mulling over what the guy told me. Maybe visiting a street doc was the better choice. I could leave right now and hop a tube to Jefferson Square. Then again ... could I really trust a stranger I met in a mall bathroom?

I wrestled with my decision over a third scoop of gelato, then joined a small crowd gathered in front of the Piercing Parlor to watch a pair of teenagers get their ear lobes stretched and fused together like chinstraps and their foreheads studded with matching heart-shaped chrome plugs. While in a fugue-like state, I drifted back to the Medbot lobby and planted myself in the last empty seat. A screen descended from the ceiling. After a final moment of hesitation, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and swiped my Citizen ID card into the slot.

I’m sorry, the screen informed me. You do not have sufficient tokens for a Medbot visit.

“This is a follow up.”

Please leave Medbot. Consider an ER for your medical needs.

“Wait. I was hoping—”

The screen went black. A deeper, more ominous voice said, Please leave Medbot. You have insufficient funds.

“I thought—”

Please leave Medbot. You have insufficient funds.

“I will! I just want to talk—”

The screen flashed red. The people sitting around me tried to peer around their screens to see what was going on. A picture of my face appeared on the screen. My full name and Citizen ID number scrolled under the photo.

Security has been notified. You are trespassing on private property. We intend to press full charges and will seek maximum financial restitution including, but not limited to, a $30,000 fine and mandatory three-year indentured service contract at a Medbot production facility of our choosing.

Distantly, I heard a klaxon wail from within the mall. I bolted from the chair and ran from the lobby with bloody toilet paper fluttering behind me like a fox tail. A mall security drone zipped around the corner, a big one with shoulder-mounted turret guns and a crackling shock stick hanging from its belly like an enormous metal penis.

The drone lit me with its scanner. I turned around and screamed, “I didn’t do anything! I just wanted some answers!”

The drone hovered over me. The humming blades inside the tail section buffeted my body like a tropical windstorm. A tendril of chlorinated water from the coin fountain fed into the drone’s rotors and sprayed my face.


I ran from the mall like a ghoul, screaming at the top of my lungs from the food court to the tube station. I kept repeating, “This is insane! This can’t be happening! This is insane! This can’t be happening!” and didn’t stop screaming until a tube drone fined me $100 for causing a “volume” disturbance.

That shut me up.

6) Did you engage outside services such as Health-E-Scan or RoboNurse? If so, what could we have done better to meet your needs?

My seven-day furlough ended soon and I needed answers.

I took the tube to Jefferson Square and visited the Black Pearl.

“Where can I find the street doc?” I asked the bartender, a skinny, malnourished scumbag.


“Why do you think?”

“You ain’t law?”

“Do I look like a fucking three-ton droid?”

The scumbag shrugged. “He’s in back. If you’re law, undercover or otherwise, you ain’t walking out of here.”

“Duly noted.”

Two metal shelves loaded with plastic crates and dusty liquor bottles lined the backroom walls. An exam table repaired with duct tape and burned by countless cigarettes sat under a naked bulb in the center of the room. The metal chain hanging under the bulb rolled in lazy circles, pushed by a small fan on a shelf.

“What do you want?” asked a squat, overweight man sitting on the table. He cradled a scotch bottle between his thighs. He had a squirrelly look about him: wide, darting eyes magnified by wire-rimmed glasses and frizzy, thinning hair that stood on his scalp like he’d just been electrocuted.

“I need a second opinion.”

“About what?”

I told him about Medbot and my death sentence.

He wiped scotch from his chin. “Got fifty bucks?”

“What do I get for fifty bucks?”

The doc slid off the table and straightened to his full height, barely at chest level with me. “For fifty bucks you get a professional diagnosis from a man who was a Board Certified Physician of Internal Medicine for thirty-five years before corporate America turned medicine into a sleazy drive-though service. If you want to know more about the decline of medicine, I’ve got a free pamphlet you can read. Everything else is fifty bucks. Do we have a deal?”

I paid him fifty bucks and the doc stuffed the bills in his scrub pocket. He snapped a latex glove over his right hand and told me to drop my drawers. Leaning over the exam table, I unbuckled my pants and let them fall around my ankles. The table smelled like blood and tobacco. “I’m bleeding,” I warned him. “The Medbot tore me in half.”

The doc probed my anus with the tip of his finger. I flinched.



He stuck his finger inside me. I stood on the balls of my feet, biting my lip. The doc pulled off his glove and tossed it in the corner. “You have hemorrhoids,” he said.



“Are you sure?”

“Pull up your pants.”

I buckled my pants and whirled to face him. He shrank from me like he expected to be hit. “Two of your hemorrhoids are ruptured,” he said. “Most likely from the colonoscopy. Common problem with automated probes.”

“What about the CT scan?”

“What about it? The scan was bullshit like the rest of your visit. Computers read those scans. Go to a Health-E-Scan booth when your tokens replenish and order another scan with a live radiologist review. It’ll clean out your tokens for the year, but at least you’ll know. A thousand bucks says you got nonspecific fibrous changes. That’s radiology-speak for: I don’t know, but it ain’t cancer. You’re not going to die. Think that’s worth a ten dollar tip?”

I gave him ten bucks and he handed me a pamphlet. I couldn’t decide if I should feel wary, happy, or angry. This resulted in me feeling nothing, not even relief. With my brain hopelessly mired in sludge, I rode the tube back home.

Now we fast-forward to four months later.

My tokens recycled and I followed the doc’s advice even though I already knew he was right. Medbot gave me three weeks to live and I was healthier than ever. The rectal bleeding resolved after I added fiber supplements to my diet and stocked my fridge with prune juice.

The Health-E-Scan booth was every bit as wretched as I predicted. Several condoms littered the floor, hammered over the years into flattened rubber chips. Beer bottles and stubbed cigarettes crowded the urine deposit tray. A stripper pounded on the door and inquired if I was looking for any side action. I told her to mind her business. She kicked the door and asked me to “say that shit” to her face while the CT scan was uploaded and read by a live radiologist, a service requiring one hundred medical tokens. Like the doc said: an entire year of credits burned on one test.

The final CT read was this: nonspecific fibrous changes noted in bilateral lungs. No malignancy suspected. No growth noted from previous CT. Follow up imaging with a PET scan is suggested in six months.

I stepped out of the booth with my hands curled into trembling fists, searching the broken sidewalk for the stripper who pounded on the door during the CT scan. She was gone. Probably a good thing. Something clicked in my head (although I’m sure most people would say that something snapped), and my thoughts moved with clean, razor-like precision for the first time in months.

At my apartment, I listed every crime that Medbot had perpetrated against me, beginning with forcible sodomy and ending with gross medical negligence.

Restitution became my next project.

7) Will you revisit Medbot for future medical needs?

I work a standard nine-month stretch with a seven-day furlough. That doesn’t leave a lot of free time, but an unattached man with no kids can squirrel away an hour or two on most nights. I read tele-net articles and watched instructional holos. My job gave me access to certain items that, say, a fry cook could not obtain without dipping into the black market.

An hour here, an hour there, that’s all it took.

I hit my next furlough and rode to the Parkhurst Mall with a gym bag strapped over my shoulder. You would think wearing Groucho Marx glasses (complete with rubber nose, synthetic moustache, and bushy eyebrows) would attract attention, but nobody looked at me twice. I wore the glasses to shield my face from retina scans and facial recognition software.

Clearing the Medbot lobby was easy. There were three people sitting in the chairs. I sat on a bench outside the clinic until the exam door opened and a patient carrying a rattling pill bag emerged. I ran into the lobby and pushed a wooden jamb into the doorframe to keep the corridor leading to the exam room open. After I unzipped my gym bag and began twisting dials and punching in key codes, I said, “Everyone leave. This is a bomb.”

An old man peered over my shoulder. The disembodied voice coaxed him to enter the exam room, but I was squatting in his way. He looked at my homemade bomb with irritation.

“You some kind of exterminator?”


“I need to refill my blood pressure meds. Can’t this wait?”

“I already started the timer.”

“This is bullcrap,” he said.

“What’s going on?” another patient asked.

The old man answered as he left. “Oh, this guy is setting some kind of bug bomb. We all have to leave. It’s bullcrap if you ask me.”

“How long before we can come back?” the other patient asked.

“Check back in an hour,” I replied.

The lobby emptied, although they all left grumbling and complaining. I slid the bomb into the corridor and pulled the doorjamb. The Medbot was recharging somewhere inside the walls, hidden behind a secret panel. A floating screen kept asking me to slide my Citizen ID into the indicated slot to begin registration.

I ran into the mall, waving my arms and screaming, “Run for your lives! There’s a bomb about to go off!”

People stared at me with open-mouthed wonder or pointedly ignored me, but nobody actually followed my directions. Luckily, nobody was standing in front of the Medbot clinic when the bomb went off. The explosion knocked me off my feet even though I ran around the corner and crouched behind a soda dispenser.

I wandered through a dust cloud back to the clinic, checking for collateral damage as I walked. Later, I read that someone nearly drowned after being knocked into the coin fountain, but otherwise nothing was reported other than a few cuts and bruises.

The klaxon started wailing. Red and blue emergency lights swirled faintly through the dust. Jagged teeth lined what remained of the glass partition, wobbling in place and threatening to fall like icicles. The ceiling above the clinic was blown open to the sky and the corridor was now a flattened ring of twisted plastic. The exam table was thrown halfway across the mall parking lot.

The Medbot staggered toward me through a haze of dust and debris. His shredded lab coat flapped from his right arm like a burning flag, scattering glowing embers into the dust. Exposed circuits sparked and battery acid dripped from his belly. His left hand was gone and the exposed colonoscopy probe squirted globs of surgical lubricant.

“... immediate repairs needed ... critical routing ...” the robot announced. His voice hissed and echoed like it came from a deep cave.

“Remember me?” I asked.

The Medbot’s visor clicked and whirled, trying to focus on my face. Even without the Groucho Marx glasses, I doubt he would have recognized me.

“... ulcerative lesions ... most likely genital herpes,” he responded.

“Keep guessing,” I prompted him.

A blast of ash that lifted me onto my toes and a razor-sharp whirlwind of debris preceded the arrival of the security drone. The massive ’bot hovered over my head, its green scanner flickering over my body and turret guns clanking and spinning.


“... blastoma of unknown size ... please do not move ... this will only take a moment ...” the Medbot answered.


“... the lesion is most likely genital herpes ... while viral in nature ... certain medications ... sexual intercourse among others ...”


I backed away while the robots quarreled. Million dollar security scanners could not penetrate the Groucho glasses and pin the bomb on me even though a five-year old could have pointed me out as Suspect Number One. Every instinct told me to run before someone non-automated arrived on the scene and I was sent to an e-Prison for the rest of my life, but I had to see how this battle of wills played out.

The Medbot reached toward the security drone with his broken phallus and squirted lube into the spinning rotors. “Stay still ... a rectal exam will be necessary ...”

The drone, unlike myself, did not submit to a rectal exam. Its shock stick smashed the Medbot in his chest. Blue electricity arced from the Medbot’s feet and remaining fingertips. He staggered back, still waving his lube-squirting rectal probe. His visor, already twisted and melted from the bomb, popped off and struck the drone’s armored front-housing.

The drone did not take this assault lightly.


The Medbot flailed his probe again, although I think the movement was probably a servomotor twitch from all the voltage being pumped through him. The drone’s turret guns ratcheted and began blazing. Hundreds of brass shells fell from the turrets, tinkling as they bounced off the ground. Bullets smashed the Medbot apart before my eyes.

The drone even took aim at the Medbot parts that went flying through the air and shot them to pieces mid-flight like a gunfighter in a Wild West Show.

8) Do you have any further suggestions to help us improve your Medbot experience?

I changed some details to protect my identity, but the spirit of the story is true enough.

I believe that medicine needs to change. It’s become a clownish, undignified practice. After reading the street doc’s pamphlet, I’ve come to the—

Your response has reached the maximum word limit. Medbot thanks you for taking the time to answer this survey. Please be assured that we value your opinion.


Andrew Muff is a graduate of the Rosalind Franklin School of Medicine and Science He works as a physician assistant in Wichita. He has recently sold another short story, but this is his first professionally-published story.


altabef 1/16


libby ad


Jones ad


Buy these novels by Timothy J. Gawne