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

The Letters Unfold…

Compiled & Edited by Steven Solomon © 1992 

 Wherein We Meet the Good Professor

The following letters are the earliest known correspondence from the Professor. They are addressed to Evgeny Nedo, Saurian's confidant and lab assistant during his years behind the Iron Curtain. Evgeny is believed to have died or been executed in the Soviet gulag during the Kruschev years; this apparently for his close association with Saurian, the traitor-genius. These documents have been made available thanks to the great strides made during the recent period of openness and restructuring within the former communist block. (Ed.)

 "Those Bastards!"

September 12th, 1951

Dearest Evgeny Sergeivich,

I am free! My jailers, those bastards, have at last released me from the dark night of incarceration, hunger and relentless beatings. I am free, free at last!!!

As the cell door opened, and sunlight graced my continence for the first time in one-hundred and fourteen days, I actually believed once again in the true and just nature of Soviet justice, the law of my adopted land. At that moment, in the dour face of Club-foot Ivan, my sadistic caretaker, I thought that I detected the glimmer of a smile. He wiped the drool from the corner of his crusty mouth and said "Mm-uph-shme". I don't know what it means, and it probably means nothing. He has no tongue.

In any case, as it turned out, my release had nothing to do with the proper resolution of those utterly groundless allegations regarding murder and sadistic bodily mutilation... bah! Of course, I had nothing to do with that old woman's demise nor her missing body-parts. They were briny and stringy and of no use to me.

The charges were all trumped up, you know; a mere and unfortunate happenstance that Helga Kirov should turn up dead and sans endocrine ducts, brain stem, pituitary gland and most of her liver. My misfortune, alas, to be experimenting with advanced neurological medicine just as the elderly victim became the latest in a series of grisly and difficult to solve murders in this socialist paradise where crime does not occur. The good folk of the village set upon me like hungry dogs.

As ever, it was all too easy for the petty, jealous and uneducated to blame a True Man of Scientific Inquiry for their incomprehensible misfortunes. The fuck with them all, I say; those bastards!

Well, that is all behind us, now. Praise the ghost of Lenin, word of my important research finally made its way to the Kremlin! Stalin's own doctors secured the order for my release. They need my help. There is nowhere else to turn... not a single scientist in the entire communist block has carried out extensive and practical investigations comparable to my own. If anyone can solve the problem of our National Savior's rotting brain, it is I, and I alone!

It seems that our Leader has recently, since, oh, the past decade, become rather distracted. He is given to nervous fits; something to do with alcoholic lesions on the brain. He exhibits increasingly paranoid behavior, even by his own standards. How paranoid, you ask: better to query his last neurologist, the venerable Dr. Mishlove, now presumed rolling at the news of my being on the case, in an unmarked, mass grave.

Whatever! The Politburo has grown concerned enough to bring me in as a specialist in the field of Chemical Brain Amplification and Reconstruction. They promise me the best and latest in laboratory facilities, all the help I need and an unlimited supply of anatomical and chemical samples with which to experiment.

As soon as I arrive in Moscow, we will be that much closer toward a cure for Stalin's case of disappearing intelligence. I'm sure that this is a job that I can handle. There is, no doubt, a medal of The Order of Lenin awaiting me in some few months. Why, I'll have our Beloved Socialist First Comrade back in fine fettle in no time at all.

Evgeny, I need you to return to Uralsk and secure whatever equipment remains in the ruins of our old lab. Also, find my notes. Little Riasa, the Commissar's daughter, has kept them safe for me. Be careful, however! Her father, Misha Alexaevich does not know that I was shtuping her. If he finds out that she and I were in any way involved, he might make trouble. I would have to kill them both. I would have to kill the entire family. I am, of course, now a man with a serious reputation and interests to defend. I would probably have to kill you, as well. Yes sir, that's how old Joe would handle it!

For both our sakes, let's just try to avoid it coming to that, eh.

Well, we have quite the excellent opportunity before us, don't we. I am so looking forward to the chance to be working closely with you, once again. Please stay well and have the best of success in your errands on my behalf. I will be seeing and your family in Moscow, very shortly!

Yours in Scientific Zeal & Real Enthusiasm,

Anton Saurian

The Secret Letters…


As the following has almost no possibility of being published on paper, I figured that I might as well spill the words into the Cloud. Here's the beginning of something that I began writing some twenty years ago. I'll serialize.

The Secret Letters of Professor Anton Saurian,
Compiled & Edited by Steven Solomon © 1992

Table of Context, The Full Story

I: Those Bastards
II: God, Life, Death, Whatever
III: Politics & The Natural Order of Primate Organizations
IV: Future Evolution & What Passes for Intelligence
V: The Tragedy of Romance
VI: Years of Madness & Betrayal

Preface & Introduction

The year was 1955. The place, the Philippines. I had been dispatched by Real True Crime Magazine to report on the imminent execution of one Professor Anton Saurian at the hand of local authorities. He had been recently apprehended on multiple charges of drug trafficking, murder, necrophilia and espionage. 

Under the sweltering rays of a new rising tropical sun, in the town square of sleepy Laoag, I first laid eyes on him. I watched him walk, with armed escort but without assistance, to the top of the gallows. Handsome, tall and lean, he strode forward with a confident gait that gave not one hint that he considered these to be his last steps on Earth. They pulled the black hood over Saurian's head and the noose tight about his neck.

He refused Last Rites. He did not pray. He had no last words to offer and stood ramrod straight as the hangman's switch was pulled. The floor beneath Saurian's feet yawned open. His body dropped to the taunt end of the rope.

There he twisted, apparently dead, for some several minutes as the good folk of the Northern Province proceeded to pelt the corpse with spittle, stones and empty beer bottles. It was all the authorities could do to prevent them from setting the body afire. Women wailed and grown men cried. The priests called for calm as the police beat senseless those who would not desist and return quietly to their hovels.

There is no explanation, official or otherwise, to account for the subsequent disappearance of Saurian's corpse from the coroner's freezer. Nor can it be explained how someone using his identification booked passage on a banana boat leaving that region only hours later. I can tell you this, however: amazingly, I met Saurian once again. I was in Dallas, November 22, 1963, in a saloon not far from Dealey Plaza. More on that later.

Where Saurian is today, we do not know. He is believed to have last taken the identity of the fugitive Anton Baer, former Chief Financial Officer of the presently bankrupt BundestbÄnk, German Federal Republic. At other times over the past half-century, he is thought to have variously assumed the guise of the Catholic Pope, John Paul I, pioneering French director and star, Antonin Artaud, and rock poet, Bob Dylan.

We know neither where nor when Saurian was born, but can deduce that it was in the first third of this century, somewhere in southeast Asia. His father is thought to have been French; his mother Vietnamese or Cambodian. He first came to the attention of the western intelligence community during the final days of the Second World War; his name appearing in American OSS files as a leading but highly controversial Soviet neurochemist.

Five years following the war, he briefly came over to the newly formed American CIA, only to defect yet again, this time into self-employment and freelance neurochemistry. While his great mind roamed the spectrum of human concerns, producing often startling insights into fields as far flung as literature and exo-biology, he was always most preoccupied with neurological inquiries.

It was this abiding concern, and the attendant ongoing need for anatomical specimens, that no doubt gave rise to persistent allegations of grave robbing, vampirism, and murder. Thus was destroyed an otherwise sterling reputation. In every generation, small minds ridicule and debase those they envy but do not understand.

What you are about to read are the most personal letters of Professor Anton Saurian, recovered from the dusty attics of lives lived in the shadow of true greatness. The words that follow are those written in utmost confidence, even conspiracy, to his most trusted and oft-times beloved confederates. It is to these individuals that I dedicate this effort. It is, however, to the man himself that I and you, dear reader, owe the greatest measure of gratitude. Read on and savor well this unfolding story of a life of the mind lived on the run.