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Title: The Other Doctor's Tale
Series: Valiant Tales.  Read them in order here.
Rating: G
Characters:
The Master (Simm), other characters
Genre: drabble
Spoilers: Minor spoilers for The Sound of Drums and Last of the Time Lords.
Summary: A series of drabbles about the people who lived, worked, and suffered on the Valiant during the Year That Never Was. 100 words according to MS Word.
Disclaimer: The sandbox belongs to RTD and the BBC. I'm just playing here, in the corner, making little sand-TARDISs.
A/N: This is the other side of
The Medic's Tale.  I suggest reading that one first.


The Master calls me "Doctor Patel" with a sneer, as if only his compatriot deserves the title.  I took my degrees at Edinburgh and Harvard; nevertheless, I swallow the insult for the sake of all I can learn.

The test subject he calls "The Freak" is remarkable.  I must perform more experiments.  If I can replicate this accelerated healing in humans...

I have a coffee mug that says "Primum non nocere" -- an outdated platitude!  Medicine is never without harm.  Drugs have side-effects; surgery violates the body.  I will give the mug to my corpsman.  I no longer need it.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
garpu
Jan. 25th, 2009 04:25 am (UTC)
I think what makes this so chilling is that it's easy for ordinary people to do really horrible things, just by labeling others as non-human. Or so we keep seeing all over.
lindenharp
Jan. 25th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
it's easy for ordinary people to do really horrible things, just by labeling others as non-human.

*nods* And they're doing it for the Greater Good: for the sake of humanity, for their nation, or God, or Science.
wendymr
Jan. 25th, 2009 04:29 am (UTC)
Ooh... I did say I wondered about, and feared for, Dr Patel. So now we know his story, and it's chilling - even more so for its outward rationality. All medicine does some harm - so it's okay to experiment on the immortal human subject for the sake of what can be learned to benefit humanity. It feels so wrong, but that's what researchers do every day to non-human subjects, isn't it?

With these devastating character studies, you show us far more than many much longer stories about what life must have been like on the Valiant. Such effective use of the drabble form!
lindenharp
Jan. 25th, 2009 04:58 pm (UTC)
It feels so wrong, but that's what researchers do every day to non-human subjects, isn't it?

And Dr. Patel has half-convinced himself that the "test subject" is not human, or not fully human. He already has proof that some aliens look like humans. Note that he didn't say, "If I can replicate this in other humans...".

Such effective use of the drabble form!

Thank you. It can be a frustrating form, when I have a ficlet of 132 words that needs to be ruthlessly trimmed down to 100, but on the whole, I enjoy writing these.
rose_cat
Jan. 25th, 2009 08:56 am (UTC)
Oh, my. From "The Medic's Tale" I'd assumed Dr. Patel gave up the coffee mug because he felt guilty. I'm probably not the only one who thought that. Creepy. An interesting detail about the Master, too -- for all his abuse of, and hate for, the Doctor, he still respected him.
lindenharp
Jan. 25th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
From "The Medic's Tale" I'd assumed Dr. Patel gave up the coffee mug because he felt guilty. I'm probably not the only one who thought that.

I thought that, too, perhaps because the Medic is kind and slightly naive. So I was prepared to give Dr. Patel the benefit of the doubt when he walked into the interview room in the back of my head, but he insisted on showing his true colors.

An interesting detail about the Master, too -- for all his abuse of, and hate for, the Doctor, he still respected him.

Whatever else the Master may think of his enemy, he cannot forget that the Doctor is a Time Lord. And Patel, however useful he may be, is only a human.
allfireburns
Jan. 27th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
I think the best thing about this drabble is that I can hear the Master saying his name in my head, and I can imagine Jack's reactions to being experimented on...

And that last paragraph is a wonderful example of the kind of rationalization you'd have to do to survive in that situation - every time I see the UNIT soldiers and everyone working on the Valiant when I rewatch LotTL, I always want to shout at them because they don't do anything... but it makes sense.
lindenharp
Jan. 27th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
And that last paragraph is a wonderful example of the kind of rationalization you'd have to do to survive in that situation

Yes... although that rationalization has also been used many times by people who did not have their lives at stake.

And then there are those who would rather not survive under such circumstances. That's a choice that some people make. (See The Weapons Officer's Tale)

There's such a wide spectrum of human reactions, from complicity to outright defiance, and many subtle shades in between. That's what makes writing this series so much fun.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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