Shadowed: Chapter 20, Part 2: This Is It
So it’s come to this: me, sitting here, enjoying my usual post-Easter 75% off chocolate cross.
I suppose, if I wanted to attempt some sort of depth, I could muse about the similarities: I don’t understand why anyone who holds a cross sacred would eat it when rendered in chocolate, and I don’t understand why the chacaters in these books are heroes of the faith.
Especially this particluar character: the Operating Room Man.
I mentioned that this was the one bit that stuck out to me. In a series of books full of horrific, sociopathic assholes that might, once in awhile, make even Rayford Steele blush, this guy.
My mouth dropped open when I first heard what this guy was doing. It was the audio version, and I was in my car, and I had parked and was listening for a good stopping place before I got out. Surely, I thought, surely this character was meant to be wrong. Surely Straight would be appalled, would set him straight (har) that this was not the way of a Real True Christian.
But it is. It is.
And they just jump right into it! (Well, they jump into after their stupid game of skullphone tag, and after they’re sitting down in the hospital cafeteria.)
“We need to trust each other,” [Dr. Gregory Graybill, The Operating Room Man] said.
“Do we?” Straight said. “Why is that?”
“Because I know you are a believer.”
“You know nothing of the sort,” Straight said. “You risk your freedom and your life by even talking like this, so I urge you to tread carefully.”
Is it just me, or is this a real departure from Straight’s usual speaking patterns? Hell, he suddenly sounds like he’s got a bit part on Game of Thrones.
“The time is long past for that,” Dr. Graybill said. “If it makes you feel more secure, I’ll declare myself first. I am a believer. I work with like-minded physicians to determine who’s with us and who isn’t. When the enemy is under our care, we slow them a bit.”
At this point, one might think, he’s not saying what I think he’s saying, is he?
“You slow them?”
“We do not violate the Hippocratic oath, but let’s say it takes these people longer to get back to work than some others.”
This doctor, this DOCTOR makes sure his patients are atheists, and then doesn’t treat them properly so that they are slow to get back to their lives. And he’s a friggin’ SURGEON. Can you even imagine how much people must think he sucks, with the vast, vast majority of his patients being “slowed.”
This just freaks me out to no end. We all have our horrors that are truly, personally horrifying, and for me, it’s malicious doctors. I’m sure a psychologist could have a field day with that, but I’m betting it might have something to do with the fact that I’ve had one or two significant encounters with life-threatening injuries in my life, and had nothing but excellent doctors. But the idea of my orthopedic surgeon “slowing” me for the crime of being an atheist, making my mobility maybe 10% or 20% less than it is…
I was also under the care of an “operating room man” as a week-old infant…and the only daughter of an atheist.
I’m sure, under the tender ministrations of Dr. Gregory Graybill, such a baby would be fine, though. Just fine.
And at that moment, when I was listening to this for the first time, I was sure I knew what was coming: Straight was realizing that this Graybill asshole was No True Christian, because a True Christian would never withhold medical care for the crime of being an atheist in a world where religion has been outlawed.
Is this what The Incident had accomplished? It made the underground reckless?
That is what concerns Straight. Not that a whole group of doctors has been denying proper medical care to 99% of their patients, but that now one of these doctors was actually fessing up to being a believer.
And to top it all off, not only does Dr. Murderous Graybill want to continue his campaign of “slowing” the helpless men, women, and children on his operating table, he wants to let Straight in on the fun!
“You know before we do whom we’re dealing with.”
As a former hospital volunteer myself, I highly doubt that, but whatever.
“I’m guessing you have a better handle on who’s who, whom we should target for, shall we say, more deliberate care.”
Target for more deliberate care. He is a monster.
I mean, I really hate to Godwin up a post, but Dr. Gregory Graybill’s “deliberate care” would fit in just fine here.
And lest we think Straight is some kind of paragon of humanity…he jumps right in. With the caveat that he is still quite interested in saving his own skin, and doesn’t quite yet entirely trust The Operating Room Man:
“If you get news about an incoming patient or two, you can breathe easier and act accordingly. If, instead, you are arrested, you’ll know how grievously you have misread me.”
Won’t it be wonderful when the Christians win this war? Then they can show the atheists what true love and compassion are.