Amoeba’s Lorica: Just Another Routine Callout

A repost of a work of fiction (standard disclaimers apply), called to mind by a recent event and a reflection on what if that event had happened to Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba, or the 50 million or so “freeloaders” just like him …


It is near midnight on the streets of Nameless, USA, in July of the year 202x. Two Emergency Medical Technicians are responding to a 9-1-1 call – a pedestrian struck by a car. The Lead EMT is driving, and speaking on his earlobe phone with the Dispatcher:

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Lead EMT: “Car A42. Approaching the 2900 block of Buffett, intersection of Madoff.”

Dispatcher: “Confirmed, A42. Incident should be in view.”

Lead EMT: “It is, Tara. Someone on the pavement. Lexus parked nearby. Female waving us down.”

Dispatcher: “That will be the 9-1-1 caller. She said she’d be looking for you.”

Lead EMT: “How is she involved?”

Dispatcher: “Late witness. Saw the man down, car leaving the scene. Lexus is probably hers. No further details.”

Lead EMT: “Security cameras?”

Dispatcher: “Non-functional. Probably vandalized, again.”

Lead EMT: “Yeah, people don’t much like anything that’ll make ’em do what they have to do. Well, they’re payin’ for it, sooner or later they’ll learn. Or not. 10-23, Tara. We’re here.”

Dispatcher: “10-4, A42.”

Witness: “Oh thank God you’ve come! He’s still breathing, I think, but he hasn’t moved since I got here … and … and …”

Lead EMT: “We’ll do what we can for him, ma’am …”

2nd EMT: “Which won’t be much.”

Lead EMT: “That bad?”

2nd EMT: “Worse. Check the wrist chip readout.”

Lead EMT: ” ‘No’ code. We’ve come out for nothing. OK, pack up.”


Lead EMT: “Nothing we can do, ma’am. He’s uninsured.”

Witness:Are you crazy?!? He’s hurt! He may be dying!! Forget the fucking insurance and help him!”

Lead EMT: “Damitri, engage Dispatch for me willya, in case we need backup? Ma’am, I didn’t say we wouldn’t help him. I said we can’t. No insurance, no service. It’s the law. We’re under surveillance, and if we go against the law, we lose our jobs. The last citizen initiative …”

Witness: “That was to keep the scum from sucking us dry!

Lead EMT: “Well, ma’am, there’s your scum …”

2nd EMT: “Joe?”

Lead EMT: “Yeah?”

2nd EMT: “Stiff.”

Lead EMT: “OK. Roll him into the gutter, out of the way. We’ll call Disposal. The fellow’s wrist chip should tell them where to send the bill. Unless this lady here’s prepared to pay it.”

Witness: “I don’t believe …”

Lead EMT: “Lady, you sure don’t look like you’re gettin’ sucked dry to me. Not with those baubles and that Lexus. You want services, I suggest you vote for ’em. Now why don’t you get into that fine car and drive off? Enjoy it. While you still can. C’mon, Damitri.”

Dispatcher: “Ten-24, A42?”

Lead EMT: “Affirmative, Tara. Just another routine callout. Send Disposal to the corner of Buffett and Madoff to pick up a ‘No-code’, deceased.”

Dispatcher: “Ten-4, A42.”

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