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Hiatus Fic Two: It’s Always Darkest


October 18, 2013 by Lyn

To Lilfluff’s Prompt
Late June, 2004
“Did you ever think this is where you’d be?”
Jo shoved her boss’s sleeves up to her elbows and held the gloves ready, the Working to sterilize everything prepared on her lips.
“Addergoole?  I said no four times before I said yes.  Ready.”
Jo gloved and sterilized her.  “Where were you, before you were here, then?”
“Nursing in a high school.  It was certainly less hands-on than this.  The patient?”
“Is just about ready for you, or to murder someone.  She’s better off than the last two we had.”
“But that doesn’t mean well-off, I understand.  That’s one thing that I like better here.”  Caitrin sighed.  “At least hear, I can see them through the whole thing.  I don’t have to rely on some judgmental prick of an OB-GYN to get them through the birth.”
There was a story there.  Jo held the door and didn’t ask.  Not now, at least.
Over beers that evening, though, with Mendosa, the story came out on its own.  “It’s not like high schools didn’t have teen pregnancy, you know.  Not to the level that we have it here, of course, but the advantage here is – if we’re going to say there’s a short-term advantage – is that I can help them.”  She drank down a long swig of beer.  “I couldn’t always, then.  Even though I had all the proper credentials, their parents would sometimes… there was this once.”
More beer.  She finished the bottle and moved on to another one; Jo opened it for her without a word.
“Her parents brought in this horrible OB-GYN, and he would. Not. Listen.”  Her shoulders shook.  “I managed to save their lives.  Afterwards, quietly, on the sly.  But then… then I accepted Regine’s offer.”
Jo took a long swallow of her own beer; across the table, Maria did the same.  They spent a moment in silence, thinking about choices.


  1. Kuro_Neko says:

    ” At least hear, I can see them through the whole thing. ”

    That should be ‘At least here’.

    I’m not sure what to say about this one. I don’t know if Caitrin is deliberately ignoring the multitude of bad things in favor of this one good thing, or just looking for a silver lining. It’s been made clear in the past that Jo doesn’t approve of most of what is going on here (which makes me wonder why she agreed to work there in the first place) but Caitrin’s views have never really been explored.

  2. guesty says:

    What’s an OB-GYN? The gyn part, I get, but what does ob mean here?

    And yeah, I think of Caitrin as someone who strongly identifies as a doctor and tries to do a good job, but doesn’t get involved in ‘politics’. So she repairs the harm that’s done, but doesn’t challenge the system that leads to it. Thus, quitting a job where she can’t do her work the way she thinks is necessary, but not trying to change the way things work there.

    • Rix Scaedu says:


    • Kuro_Neko says:

      If she really identified that strongly as a doctor, she’d never stand for what’s happening here. Any Human doctor if told what was happening in Addergoole would react with outrage and disgust. Any medical board in the world, if presented with an accounting of what she’s been party to would not only revoke her medical license but almost assuredly have her arrested. What’s more, she’s not just passive, she takes an active hand in the harm done to these children by lying to them and worse feeding them fertility drugs without their knowledge or consent. Of all the staff, I hold Caitrin and Mendosa especially accountable, considering their training and oaths (specifically to do no harm).

      • guesty says:

        Well, yeah. But I like to think of her as a neutral person, anyway, to put it in D&D terms. Conscience is a strange thing. She has one, she wants to be a good person, she’s not happy about the things going on there. I feel she has decided to reluctantly go along with it and thinks about all the these things as “compromises” she’s making. You know, “yes, I deny them birth control, but we’re a dying race, so we need babies” or “yes, some kids are bad with the keeping, but we try to talk to them about it.” or “yes, this place can be scary and violent, but at least I’m here to help.” “well, they had to ask me several times before I agreed to work here, so I’m clearly not a huge fan of this setup.”
        That’s what I meant about her not being a political person. Physicians and much more so, psychologists, are often more concerned with fixing the damage that’s done than with fixing the system that causes it.
        That’s kind of their role. To make you function again as part of the system. Now, they do it, of course, because they want to help you, and as long as the system’s there, it’ll be better for you if you are able to function.
        I think this kind of ethic is not all bad, but it does stabilize the system and it forces you to think in terms of “compromises”. (I like that the English language has the phrase “to be compromised”, which fits very well here.)

        • Wysteria says:

          Guesty, I liked that analysis a lot.

          It reminds me of an article I read recently: an English entertainer who broadcasted on the radio as a humorist for Nazi Germany. He never did anything bad himself, but if he’d gone back to England after the war, he might have been prosecuted for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

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