In Chiron’s hospital, no one noticed a hooded figure in full surgical gear walk into operating room eight and select a scalpel. It was the computer-scheduled time for surgery to begin, but no other surgeon was there. The designated surgeon, Dr. Atland, was finishing up another case, and the schedule had slipped by five minutes.
The figure confidently greeted the patient lying on a form fitting, sterilising Cold Plasma Operating Table. Laser surgery for eyes was considered safe and routine, so the staff involved were busy but not frantic. No other person was physically in the room at the time. Prep work was left mostly to the surgery bots, with supervision from the central Medical Technician booth. The fewer people potentially breaking sterility, the better. A watchful M.A. was speaking to the patient from the control room, assuring them the delay was due to another patient, and would be brief; everything was fine.
Suddenly the M.A. broke off her conversation. “Oh, he’s here,” the voice in the patient’s ear said. “Wait a minute…” the M.A. clicked off the intercom to say aloud to colleagues, “How can Dr. Atland be in two places at once?”
Meanwhile, with a graphic to follow, the hands under the sprayed-on gloves confidently made an initial incision. There was a pause then, as the brain connected to the surgeon’s hands didn’t receive exactly the visual input they were expecting next. The hands had nothing to guide them, so they remained frozen above the patient for a full minute.
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