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February 26, 1982

The Long-Range Prognosis Is...

JAMA. 1982;247(8):1118-1119. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320330016007

The crystalline towers of New Chicago, Vega VII's capital city, were flecked with the pale light of early morning, as an aircab glided toward the rooftop hanger of an office building. It nestled onto a pad, the door popped open, and a middle-aged man stepped out. He stifled a yawn and rubbed his bloodshot eyes; another workday had begun for Leonard McCoy, MD, formerly of Star Fleet, now in private practice.

McCoy paused to get a cup of coffee from an autoserve, then went to his office and sat down, slurping the coffee slowly. "Brother," he thought, "has it been only ten years since I left Star Fleet? Seems more like ten thousand. Oh, Lawdy, I hope I'm not getting sentimental! Star Fleet was OK, at first—'Join the Fleet, See the Galaxy'—and I saw it all right, every sleezy spaceport from here to Betelgeuse. Got to hate it after a