Excerpt: Extreme Paranoia

The medical officer: Ensuring health at any price

The medical officer ensures the team remains at full health. This involves an endless battery of Preventative Health Tests (PHTs), combined with a grueling exercise regimen sufficient to make Vulture Warriors cry. Illness, injury or lack of physical fitness on the part of any team member can spell doom for the rest, so the medical officer remains ever vigilant against even the tiniest, most insignificant medical problems.

Remind the medical officer idleness breeds ill health. Overindulgence in food, drink or drugs leads to ill health. Exposure to radio waves, microwaves and most frequencies of visible light can lead to ill health. In fact, anything and everything in Alpha Complex has the potential to weaken the team’s health.

Medical officer: Citizen? Why are you sitting down?

Troubleshooter: In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s this bomb I’m trying to defuse.

Medical officer: Don’t you know that sitting lowers dopamine levels and reduces blood flow to the brain, impairing cognitive efficiency? Give me 100 pushups, citizen! Get that cardiovascular system in gear!

Troubleshooter: But there’s only two minutes left on the—

Medical officer: No excuses! I want to see some pushups right now! Hup! Hup! Hup!

The Armed Forces, CPU and HPD&MC have established strict fitness standards to ensure the health and vigor of the general population. Naturally, these standards contradict one another in hundreds of ways. It falls to the medical officer to lay out an appropriate testing regimen. In this, he may take direction from the Alpha Complex penchant for establishing baselines and averages. After all, it may be hard to tell whether a citizen’s blood pressure is above or below ‘normal’, but you can certainly determine whether it’s above or below average for the team.

Encourage the medical officer to perform spot checks of every team member’s vital signs, or set them to doing jumping jacks until they fall over. The lowest performer on any given test (as determined by margins on Violence rolls) clearly has health problems, and no matter what the diagnosis, the medical officer has a drug, exercise regimen or invasive surgical procedure to fix it.

Sometimes averages aren’t enough, though, and stricter adherence to standards can be necessary. Poor results from the entire team indicate a treasonous lack of fitness discipline! Fortunately the medical officer is well equipped to handle such a calamity. Gravitic weights, spasm-inducing exercise pills and adrenalin injections are only a few of the tools in the medical officer’s arsenal. And if all else fails, he can call in a docbot to perform emergency surgery, replacing inadequately performing muscles and organs with shiny cybernetic prostheses that are absolutely, positively guaranteed to improve performance with no defects or flaws whatever!

Published August 2005 by Mongoose Publishing Ltd.

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