I wrote this in response to aldersprig's prompt "Destruction: Micro-destruction, or targeted destruction on a very tiny scale."
“I don’t want to do this! Let me up!” Sophie struggled against the restraints.
“Now, Sophie, we discussed this and you agreed this was what you wanted.” The counsellor was calm and soothing.
“But they’re going to cut me out of my head!”
“No, they’re going to take the tumours out. You are not the tumours.” The counsellor patted her hand soothingly. “It will stop the headaches and the seizures. You want that, don’t you?”
“Yes…,” her voice trailed off, “But afterwards, will I be me?”
“Of course you will,” the counsellor reassured her.
In the waiting room another councillor was saying, “Of course there are the normal risks of anaesthesia plus the risks of brain surgery. Given the brain mapping we’ve had time to do, we expect that a successful surgery will result in no seizures, a ninety-nine per cent reduction in headaches, complete mitigation of the physical symptoms she’s begun to exhibit and less…volatility.”
A clear skinned young man asked, “So why did you ask us all to come in? You don’t need us here to produce the new and improved Sophie.” He took in the looks from his elders and added defensively, “She’s my sister and I suppose I love her, but geez, I can only take her in very small doses.”
The counsellor made sure she had the whole room’s attention before she began, she didn’t want to have to repeat this, “Sophie’s most immediate problem is the three large tumours that will be surgically excised but her biggest problem is a number of microtumours that will be attacked by remote control microbots via the blood vessels. Any of these, if left in place, could develop into the type of macro tumour that is currently threatening her life. Anecdotally, it appears that some of these microtumours are symptomatic and have been since she was in her mid to late teens.”
“Those headaches she used to complain of,” murmured a young woman who looked a lot like the man who’d spoke earlier, “especially when anyone played loud music.”
“Exactly,” agreed the counsellor. “The number of identified microtumours will stretch her surgery out to twelve hours or more and, frankly, increase the chances of her dying on the table.”
“So what are her chances?” This from an older man.
“She’s been dosed with preventative medication, but if she seizes on the table, then there’s a fifty to seventy-five per cent chance she’ll die. If she doesn’t fit, then her chances are much better. Post-surgery; she has an eighty-five per cent chance of surviving eighteen months, seventy-five per cent of making it to the three year mark and seventy per cent of making it to five.”
“So you’re destroying part of my sister’s brain to try and save her life?” A blonder young woman spoke and snorted. “Those don’t sound like very good odds or a good deal to me. Who talked her into this?”
“I did.” The maquillaged man sitting quietly in the corner stood up. “You might remember me, I’m the unsuitable boyfriend.”
The family murmured.
“So why did you persuade Sophie to let them turn her brain to mush?” The blonder sister obviously wanted to argue.
“Because without treatment, she has three months,” he let it be silent as that settled in their minds, “and she’s scared but she wants to live.”
“What if they cut out the bit of her brain that makes her like you?” Blonder sister was really looking for a fight.
“I’d rather give her a chance to live than let her die through inaction. If she doesn’t like me anymore, well, it will hurt, but people fall out of love and break up all the time.” He shrugged his padded shoulders. “At least she’ll have a chance.”
“Lionel,” the elderly lady sitting near the older man spoke loudly to him, “can you tell me again why he’s the unsuitable boyfriend?”