Monday, 5 February 2007

From "Cities of the Red Night"

[...] rash, a characteristic odor, sexual frenzies, obsession with sex and death. . . . Is this so totally strange and alien?"

"I don't follow you."

"I will make myself clearer. We know that a consuming passion can produce physical symptoms . . . fever . . . loss of appetite . . . even allergic reactions . . . and few condititons are more obsessional and potentially self-destructive than love. Are not the symptoms of Virus B-23 simply the symptoms of what we are pleased to call 'love'? Eve, we are told, was made from Adam's rib . . . so a hepatitis virus was once a healthy liver cell. If you will excuse me, ladies, nothing personal . . . we are all tainted with viral origins. The whole quality of human consciousness, as expressed in male and female, is basically a virus mechanism. I suggest that this virus, known as 'the other half,' turned malignant as a result of the radiation to which the Cities of the Red Night were exposed."

"You lost me there."

"Did I indeed. . . . And I would suggest further that any attempts to contain Virus B-23 will turn out to be ineffectual because we carry the virus with us," said Peterson.

"Really, Doctor, aren't you letting fantasy run away with you? After all, other viruses have been brought under control. Why should this virus be an exception?"

"Because it is the human virus. After many thousands of years of more or less benign coexistence, it is now once afain on the verge of malignant mutation . . . what Doctor Steinplatz calls a virgin soil epidemic. This could result from the radiation already released in atomic testing. . . ."

"What's your point, Doctor?" Pierson snapped.

"My point is very simple. The whole human position is no longer tenable. And one last consideration . . . as you know, a vast crater in what is now Siberia is thought to [...]

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