Nick is working hard on writing this whole thing up for one of the major zombie journals. Dr. N wanted to send it to Cryptothanatology, which is the main clinical cryptothan publication, but Nick thinks that this is big enough and interesting enough for a real science journal. He was thinking Nature, or at least Nature Cryptothanatology. It’s pretty exciting, but kind of a pain for me. He made me submit a detailed timeline of my life up to now, along with a pedigree for some reason (my family history is, as they say, noncontributory). He and someone from one of the central labs are spending their spare time analyzing every fluid I can produce for some kind of clue. Nick actually wanted to scrape one of my teeth (“Just a bit of enamel! You’ll remineralize! It’s for science!”) but I refused. They settled for some bite-wing x-rays and a pharyngeal swabbing, which took longer than I wanted it to and sort of sucked. I think it was probably the first one Nick had done since medical school.
Dr. S is spending a lot of time doing different public relations things. He’s actually at a conference in the south of France right now, presenting his preliminary findings. I understand he’s also spent some time lately at the Trump palace in Florida. I wish him luck. If they can find a set of donors or funding from the NIH, then we’ll be able to revivify more uninsured zombies.
As it stands right now, that isn’t going to happen. The Institute has really cracked down on seeing patients on anything other than private insurance. My friends in internal medicine clinic have told me that lately all they are seeing are wealthy hypochondriacs.
For my part, I am basically only revivifying elderly white guys. I honestly don’t know whether these people or their families have turned around and made the big donations that the Institute has been hoping for. It actually would sort of surprise me if they did. I mean, suppose one of these guys has been a zombie, warehoused in the CPTLD for, say, five years. And let’s say that he was, in fact, wealthy. Well, his family would have inherited all that money when he phenoconverted. Once they are declared a zombie by an MD, coroner or revenant-containment officer, they are dead under the law. But once I bite them, the family has to deal with their deceased patriarch (as I said earlier, these are nearly all men that I’m converting) returning to them, alive but typically in desperate health and with at least some murky legal claim to whatever they’ve done with his money since he became undead…No, I do not expect that the Institute will be able to count on massive donations from most of these families. Of course, it only takes a few, and I’m sure they’ll keep trying.
In the midst of all this, they’ve actually reduced the number of zombies that I am biting, because of ICU capacity issues. I think that there has been a certain degree of burnout among ICU staff, as well. This frees up my afternoons to actually do clinical work, which is great. My rotation schedule is a complete mess, so no one knows what I should be doing. I had wanted to do half-days on pulmonology, but I’m not very popular in the ICU right now. So I’m on cardiology, which is fine.