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Stories from the Verse
Chapter 53: Kondor 109
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Chapter 52: Brown 121
The man's condition was every bit as bad as Kondor had anticipated, and the conditions of the surgical area were worse. He doused the table with alcohol and wished he could do more to clean and sterilize it. Once the patient was anesthetized, he spent quite a while just cleaning the leg. The operation itself took many hours.
It was complicated by the fact that he needed the assistance of the medical staff, but had to instruct them at each step and explain quite a bit of what he was doing to keep them working with him.
Day was dawning when he returned to his tent; but he was confident that he had saved a man's life and his leg. He had promised to return, to teach them how to make penicillin for their soldiers. The number of men who died from infections was unreasonably high, by his standards; that, at least, he could change. First, though, he needed to sleep.
As he lay in his tent, the thought came to him that in this world he was reinventing the wheel. The blacks obviously had all these things, medicine that could save the whites. They chose not to share these because they regarded the whites as subhuman. Still, even veterinary medicine used antibiotics, anesthetics, and much more. In Sherwood Forest when he introduced these medicines, they were new to the world. Here they were only new to this part of the world. That was a good thing, too; but would it be better to find a way to get the blacks to do this? There was probably a century of disparity between these two peoples. If the blacks were to share their knowledge with the whites, it would be a great leap forward for them.
The problem was, how could he induce them to do so? What could entice the blacks to regard the whites equals? What did the whites have to offer that the blacks didn't have and couldn't take?
At the moment, he was inclined to think there was nothing on this side of the balance. Certainly he could think of nothing. Perhaps, though, it was merely that whatever there was he had not yet discovered. Hopefully if he kept looking, if he worked with these people long enough, he could come upon something of value here that the blacks could have only if the whites gave it to them.
It made no sense, really; even in his current state of exhaustion he knew that it made no sense. Yet somehow it had to make sense. There had to be a reason for the blacks to accept the whites as equals. He had to find it.
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 #235: Versers Infiltrate. 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: