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Challenge Details

Challenge IssuerEricJablow
Challenge NameThe Diagnostician's Dilemma
Challenge TypePersonal Challenge
Category Literature
DescriptionA man has gone berserk and murdered the crew of his space freighter. The Ambulance ship Rhabwar hears its distress beacon, and intercepts the ship. Unfortunately, they don't understand how an individual who has terminated still manages to move and fight. Still, Doctor Danalta is of a species that is almost immune to physical harm, and they manage to secure the man; they return him to their base at Sector General.

The medical and psychological staff at Sector General try to figure out what happened to the man and how to keep him from killing again. They consider him a patient, and they do not terminate patients. Finally, Chief Psychologist O'Mara has a brainstorm, and he has Chief Diagnostician Conway absorb an ancient Educator tape, dating from the early days of that technology, around 2050 A.D. What does Conway do with the information on the tape? How does he adjust to the personality of a Slayer? What solution can he find?

The late James White spent much of his sf career writing stories about the doctors, nurses, and psychologists of Sector General, trying to solve baffling medical problems while dealing with a hospital where moving from top to bottom could require three different types of protective suits, and where doctors who have multiple personalities impressed on their brains may find themselves unable to look at their food while eating.

Remember a few things:

1. Other-species telepathy is extremely unreliable and difficult. It doesn't work on vampires anyway.

2. Dr. Prilicla's empathic sense should still work. Probably it would flee the situation. So would every Kelgian; they can't afford to have their fur damaged.

3. Earth-human DBDG females have an involuntary aversion to accepting Educator tapes. One might wonder how a Slayer could actually make one.

4. You choose the Slayer.
Challenge Date19 Sep 07
Last Updated10 Jul 08

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