Inside the “Miscellaneous” exam room, two isolation suits hang from wires, next to the two patients from Piedmont. The baby is crying.
Hall enters the observation room. A woman is seated at the console. Hall turns to her. She rises, about to introduce herself. Hall cuts her off.
“What’s been done for them?” asks Hall, abruptly. The woman loses her smile.
“Just plasma for the old man,” replies the woman. “Dextrose for the baby.”
“Your therapy?” asks Hall.
“No,” says the woman, gesturing to a computer terminal. “MEDCOM’s.”
“Do I call you Miss MEDCOM?” asks Hall.
“If you’d like, Doctor Hall, my name’s Karen Anson,” replies Anson.
“Good,” says Hall. “I couldn’t cope with two machines.” He walks toward the computer terminal. “How does this work?”
“We’re lucky,” says Anson. “MEDCOM’s got one of the best minds here. It’s a medical data analyzer that can diagnose as well as prescribe. It’s hooked up to the main computer on Level One. Every console and instrument is plugged into the main computer on a time-sharing basis. All our key lab studies are done on automated machines.”
“I prefer the personal touch,” says Hall.
“It’s hard to come by in those suits,” replies Anson.