The frown on Mac’s face was the sole evidence to be seen of the surgeon’s reaction to Jars’ story. Sensing there was no time to waste Jars had opted to shoot straight with the man who had implanted the device in his chest that, for all he knew, was even now replicating nanobots at ever increasing speed. Biological robots that would use his heart as their fuel until there wasn’t a molecule of its tissue left.
To his great relief, Jars had found Mac in his office. A few minutes more would have found the physician heading out to make morning rounds, an event his patients looked forward to. The man’s manner was different from what each expected. Doctor Mac, as he was fondly called, spent time listening to them. Really listening. He cared about the whole person and seldom seemed in a hurry. Mac was convinced that true health involves more than repairing damaged organs or transplanting body parts. For Gabriel MacDonald, healing was something God did. Mac’s job was to assist in whatever way God impressed upon him, which included listening for subtle clues that came from his patient’s lips in expressions as varied as there were people. Even to those to whom Mac brought unwelcome news the sight of the gray-haired surgeon with twinkling eyes and lyrical accent, a holdover from a childhood spent in his native Scotland, seldom failed to infuse them with fresh hope.
“So,” Mac said slowly, “what you’re telling me is that if the device I implanted in your chest has chosen to fire some sort of molecular bullet into your heart this morning you’re a dead man walking and there’s nothing that can be done about it. Do I understand you right?”