Monday, January 3, 2011

Moving Forward…

 Nasty Recriminations & Flight West
Complied & Edited by Steven Solomon © 1992

We rejoin Professor Saurian only thirteen months after his return to Moscow. Over the course of those months, Saurian and his assistant Evgeny Sergeivich had engaged in a series of apparently doomed efforts to halt Stalin's mental decline. The exact nature of these experiments remains a closely held secret, even in this post-Soviet era. It is safe to say, however, that Saurian had become increasingly desperate and fearful of the inevitable consequence of failure. Both Stalin's allies and his enemies within the Kremlin made ready for the chaos that would follow the Secretary General's impending demise. Ed.

October 31st, 1952

Dearest Evgeny Sergeivich,

By the time you read this, I shall have gone over. I have no other choice. Stalin is completely mad. There is no longer any doubt about it, and even I, Professor Anton Saurian, can do nothing to rescue the man's fevered, festering, and lesioned pia and dura maters.

As you know, over the past month, our Great Leader's been doing nothing but bumbling around the Kremlin attic in his pajamas, masturbating incessently and muttering darkly to the imagined ghost of Leon Trotsky. When not babbling, he dissolves into alternate paroxysms of manic laughter and sobbing tears. The facial ticks have become poetically grotesque, as though the shadow of a great, black bird of prey flutters across his brow. The entire left side of his body goes rigid with hysterical paralysis and he messes his pants.

Stalin is insane and he is doomed.

As his physician, Chief Neurologist to the Party Chairman, I will take some measure of the blame for this pitiable state of affairs. This I know. I must therefore also take all necessary and appropriate precautions against the likely actions of my colleagues in the NKVD1; those bastards.

Oh, sure, there will be plenty of blame to spread around, and many a head will roll when Crazy Joe finally kicks the bucket. Mine might well have been among them. On the Night of Long Knives, however, I shall be long gone from these parts. I have made plans for such a contingency, and they are now in effect.

Still, I must wonder, what has gone wrong? My cerebral injections of human gland extract cannot be at fault. I've been using them myself, and surely I am not insane!

Indeed, I find the treatments to be most efficacious; wonderfully salubrious. My mental and physical reaction times have improved two-hundred percent from base-line. IQ is up a full thirty points and rising! The injections should have had the same effect on The Chairman as on myself and the experimental monkeys. Perhaps, Crazy Joe's habit of consuming bad vodka by the liter interferes with the uptake of essential neurochemicals.
Hmmmm- now, there is a subject for further research.

Ah, but more's the pity that I must so soon make haste away from the capitol and thence to the West. I would dearly love to have a look under the hood when they autopsy the Idiot Czar's brain-pan... what a pile of mush they will find in there. I would, of course, culture it and feed it to the monkeys... just to see whatever might develop or decay.

Yes, I do love the adventure of Science!

Right now, however, my concerns are more pressing. I fear the footfalls proceeding down the corridor. The jack-booted knocking on the door is surely to come. My contacts in the West have assured me of safe haven and the opportunity to continue my work under ideal conditions. In any case, you know as well as I, that I am born for greater things than to tend to a geriatric, whacko despot in his besotted declining days. I am a Scientist, not a sop nurse to the mentally incontinent!

Evgeny Sergeivich, I send you this transmission only in the greatest confidence that it will remain our secret. Were it within my power, I would take you with me. Alas, there is but room for one on the mini-sub.

Someday, hopefully, we shall meet again and on that day, spill neurotransmitters in great celebration. If, on the other hand, you reveal my secret, rest assured that my new friends will find you and do you and your family terrible, terrible harm. They are not nice people. They will kill you slowly and take weird pleasure in doing so. Yes, they are true professionals, in their own right.

I truly wish you and yours the best in the coming hard days. Take care of yourself and your lovely Alexis. Give the children a kiss for me. Please, if you will, be sure to look after the monkeys. Whatever comes, forever, I will always be your Comrade and Fellow Explorer in the Quest of True Science. At present, however, I flee!
I Remain Yours in Fraternal Compassion and Self Salvation,

Anton Saurian

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