You see some pretty gruesome stuff in a profession like mine.
Stuff that really leaves an impression on you.
But, as a medical professional, you have to put those feelings aside in order to make informed, and sometimes bold, decisions.
There was one patient I vividly remember testing my ability to do just that.
He called himself the Lumberjack.
Legends were told of this man cutting down the biggest trees of the lower levels. They said you could feel the shaking of the tree trunks from the topmost levels when they fell. So naturally Zeus directly appointed him to maintain and cut down the trees in the upper levels here in Arcadia.
Well on this day, his chainsaw slipped out of his grip whilst cutting down one of the redwoods.
They say you could hear his screams far and wide throughout Arcadia.
He was on the verge of losing his partially severed leg.
A tale is also told about a man they call the Night Haunter.
Also hailing from the depths of Arcadia, this man was revered for tracking down the biggest criminals and flaying, even dismembering them in the name of justice.
They say he was haunted by voices so deafening that he ensured his victims’ shrieks were heard in the farthest regions of Arcadia in an attempt to drown them out of his head.
For all this man truly wanted was peace and quiet, yet his condition simply would not allow that.
He was losing his mind.
Luckily for him, he finds himself on my operating table now, and I have the knowledge and experience to treat him accordingly.
See, doctors are taught to prevent mortality above all else. That is: stabilize the patient first, then treat whatever the ailment is second.
So when I had to choose between trying to save the Lumberjack’s leg or focusing on preventing the Lumberjack’s mortality, it really came down to one distinction:
The Lumberjack’s condition was unstable.
When he woke from his medically-induced coma, he found a stump where his leg used to be.
I tried to explain to him that he most likely wouldn’t have survived if I attempted to reattach his leg, but saying he was furious was an understatement.
Without his leg, he couldn’t perform his job any longer.
And without his job, he was no longer of use to Zeus.
It’s something I should have considered before making the decision to amputate his leg, and it still haunts me to this day.
And now I have a bold decision to make regarding you, Mannfred Curze.
And based on my assessment of you and your psychosis, you are not stable.
The voices you hear will only get louder and more unbearable over time, driving you to madness.
So in justice for what I did to the Lumberjack all those years ago, I’ll operate on you.
Your screams will be heard in the farthest regions of Arcadia before I grant you the peace and quiet you’ve wanted for so long by severing your head.
And like the Lumberjack, all that will remain is a stump, rendering you useless for good.