Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It All Gets Worse…

Compiled and EditedCompiled and Edited by Steven Solomon © 1992
Compiled and Edited by Steven Solomon © 1992
by Steven Solomon © 1992

November 29th, 1955

Dear Doktor,

I am again incarcerated. They say that I will hang at sunrise. How I come to this unhappy station is a rather long story. As I may have but few moments prior to my forceful eviction from this shabby, cold-water flat that we call Life, I will summarize.

It is now almost a month since parting ways with the people of the jungle. My departure from those facinating studies compelled as I ran into a bit of a situation with a local Chieftan, a contemptable and jealous man of small mind and large ego. Oh, there was that question as to how one of his wives gave birth to a child with green eyes, but that's another matter and one which I haven't the time to discuss.

In any case, I found myself once again at large and in pursuit of The Quest. I will tell you that there was a high degree of applicable neurobiologic technique gained in my association with the ancients of the rain-forest; methods of voluntary control of the parasympathetic nervous system, the induction of profound trance states amenable to superhuman feats of mental and physical function, and natural drugs that let a man shtup for days on end. Frankly, the timing of my exodus from the forest was not all that unhappy. I was actually becoming anxious to delve again into The Research, this time applying all that I had learned of both the ancient and the modern sciences.

Well, naturally, I was going to need specimens with which to work. For this, I arranged a false identity and an after-hours cleaning job at the morgue in the quaint priory of Laoag. The coroner's facilities were perhaps better suited to sausage-making than the best of today's forensic medicine, but what the heck. I pretty much had free run of the place from eleven at night to seven in the morning, and more fresh glands than you could shake a brain-stem at.

Laoag is your typical, bustling, third-world, back-water port. The corporeal proceeds of grisly industrial mishaps, lethal bar fights, maritime misadventures involving extreme drunkeness, and murdered prostitutes are provided aplenty. Yes, the whole situation seemed to be swell, everything going just fine. One evening, I was getting ready to boil up the heads of two Burmese sailors who had somehow got themselves locked in a refrigerated hold under several tons of Malay Yellowfin. While the corpses were blue, somewhat flattened and frozen stiff in a touching picture of amorous repose, their craniums seemed in fine shape.

There I was, I was sharpening my skull-saw, eager to get at the glandular goodies within those iced noggins, when the door flew open and the police just came barging in. Apparently the wife of one of my first specimens, the unlucky victim of a runaway rick-shaw, had noticed her hubby was not wearing the top of his head as he lay for viewing prior to inhumation (a barbaric custom!). So, one thing apparently led to another and pretty soon the cops had me fingered. I was surrounded by goons with guns, and they were asking questions like "what deed you do weeth the brain of Seenior Cruz?". Naturally, I denied everything.

They put me in front of the District Judge the very next morning, after taking great pleasure in beating me with gusto and aplomb throughout the intervening hours. For a while there, they tortured me with methods that they evidently considered quite creative. The part that I liked the best was the electrical shock to my groin. The technology is crude, but the tremendous stimulation provided is quite satisfying. To my disappointment, they withheld the water and electricity after I couldn't stop giggling.

Anyhow, the judge summarily found me guilty on a number of counts of which I am, naturally, perfectly innocent. I never actually killed anybody, you know. Nor am I a spy for the revolutionaries. As for the drugs, the government didn't even know they'd been invented until now, so how could they be illegal? Finally, I have never, never, shtoped a dead person- well, okay, so I thought about it. That's not illegal, is it?

It doesn't matter. They're gonna hang me. The sky is beginning to glow with the purple bruise of first sun. I hear my jailers down the hall. They've been drinking all night and are eager to see me twist at the end of that rope. Outside, the crowd is gathering as the church bells ring. The curtain will soon fall on this theater of dreams and I will exit the stage before the cheers and catcalls of the masses, the good citizen's of Laoag come to see the notorious cannibal take his last bow. It is my time to die… perhaps.

Teetering on the precipice,

Anton Saurian

The Nonsense Continues…

Having secured the necessary funds and papers required to venture abroad to the Philippines, Saurian set off by freighter on October 4, missing the Doktor's response by several days. The good Doktor did not, in any case, accept Saurian's generous offer. As of the time of the following letter, Doktor D. was deeply involved in a controversial effort to revive the ancient cult of the Eleusian Mystery Rites. These activities would eventually lead to the his arrest on charges of drug dealing and animal sacrifice, and the subsequent loss of his license to practice medicine. After a lengthy and highly public legal battle, and some three years of incarceration, this noble man's reputation and means of livelihood would never be fully restored to him.

What follows is among the most facinating, tantalizing and enigmatic of Saurian's letters to Doktor D. sent from the rain-forest.
November 7th, 1954

Dear Doktor,

It will be well into the new year by the time these notes make their way to you. They cannot even be posted until I return to what passes for civilization around these parts. I write from the very heart of the northern Philippino jungle. After two weeks hard journey in the company of Hukbalahap communist rebels, I have arrived at last! Tonight, we will camp together for a last time.

Tomorrow, I am promised, I will be introduced to the locals, the nomadic jungle dwellers, the T'lai Mar, as they call themselves. I have been assured that, if I play my cards right, it should be no problem to arrange an audience with their renown Shaman, Kaumana. The Hukbalahaps tell me that the old fellow really likes Pez Candy and metal cookware, so I've brought along plenty of both.

Although few Philippinos, and fewer still westerners, have ever come in direct contact with the T'lai Mar, the reputation of Kaumana spreads far from their isolated homeland through the network of traders and contraband dealers who work the wilds of the Northern Province. Indeed, among the Spanish speaking people of the nearest villages, he is known as El Maestro de la Muerte, the Master of Death. This individual, I believe, is the very person of whom you have heard the legend spoke.

It is claimed that he has the power to heal the mortally ill, and is himself impervious to Death's cold hand. One story tells of Kaumana being slain in a confrontation with slave traders attempting to abduct T'lai Mar women. He is said to have taken several bullets through the heart, a machete across the neck, and to have been subsequently dismembered. The eyeballs were gouged from his severed head, itself skewered on a spit as his corpse, now in a dozen pieces, was set afire. Gleefully, his murderers made off with their human booty, and Kaumana's bloody scalp as a trophy.

Supposedly, he somehow reconstituted and resurrected himself! Out of his own ashes he rose, none the worse for wear and fit enough to make a twenty-mile trek in search of the slave trader's canoes. In so doing, he overtook his quarry and again confronted them at the riverside; this to their complete horror and surprise. Thus the T'lai Mar's tormentors fled back into the jungle and to their certain doom. They were dinner for the big cats.

How much of this story, and others like it, are fancy and how much fact, I do not yet know. As ever, I remain a wide-eyed skeptic in pursuit of Scientific Truth. It is also true, however, that this gentleman has the kind of reputation that any self-professed necromancer would envy. At the very minimum, he must possess powerful knowledge of applied neurochemistry. I very much look forward to making his acquaintance.
Well, the sun is setting, and I must turn in. Tomorrow will be a busy and challenging day; whatever it brings, that is for sure. I will continue this letter at my earliest opportunity. Until then, you remain in my thoughts.


Anton Saurian

November 9th, 1954

Yesterday we met the T'lai Mar. As promised, I was given audience by the great Kaumana.

Quite a fellow, that Kaumana. We hit it off famously. He liked the Pez candy quite a bit and is now wearing a Number 10 aluminum stew-pot as a hat.

So, Doktor, now begins my latest and most enticing adventure. There is much more that I wish to tell you, but I haven't the time, right now. The sun is rising and Kaumana has promised to take me into the jungle, this morning. He has promised to show me something of great import to our Quest. He tells me that I will soon learn the secret of what the T'lai Mar call the Lightning Drink. I will write again, very soon. Ho-ho!

Yours, Deep in the Jungle,

Anton Saurian

At this time, late 1954, for reasons that may ultimately remain a mystery, Professor Saurian's correspondance with Dr. D. comes temporarily to a halt. Indeed, Saurian seems to have dropped off the face of the planet. Biographers and close friends of the Professor surmise that during the his months incommunicado, he may well have been deeply involved in apprenticeship to the Shaman Kaumana.

Today, virtually nothing beyond this educated conjecture would be known of this episode of "missing time", were it not for a serendipitous, albeit tragic discovery made in the year 1978. World renown socio-anthropologist Jackson Emery Taylor had long since retired to his home on the island of Majorca. At the advanced age of ninety-four, frail and demented, calamity finally overtook the great adventurer's charmed and thrilling life. Confined to a wheel-chair, this courageous student of human culture, once as comfortable with the head-hunters of New Guinea as with the pre-soviet intelligentsia of Petrograd, he finally met his doom. A fire of suspicious origin consumed his mansion estate and he, perfectly helpless, with it. Of the old man, nothing but ash remained. So great was the conflagration, that little was left of his estate, his records or his personal belongings.

An official investigation of the fire unexpectedly revealed an incomplete but tantalizing clue to Professor Saurian's whereabouts during the period November 1954 through November 1955. Amidst the rubble and charred debris of the Taylor Mansion was a nearly incinerated strong-box. Upon police inspection, the contents were revealed to be personal papers; most oxidized and water-soaked beyond reconstruction. Still, within the center of the metal container, a diary dated to the time of Taylor's fabled Pacific explorations had been carefully secreted inside an asbestos pouch. The paper contained therein was largely consumed by fungus; only partially readable. Yet, what could be decyphered clearly tells of a surprise encounter between Taylor, then exploring an unnamed location in the Philippine archipelago, and a mysterious westerner. The presumption that this man was Saurian is grounded in the fact that the date of Taylor's notes coincides precisely with the time of Saurian's disappearance into the northern jungle of the Philippines.

Here, made public for the first time, is J.E.T.'s secret diary of his encounter with the man that we now presume to be Professor Anton Saurian. We have earnestly endeavored to faithfully reconstruct the late socio-anthropoligist's own words, but please bear in mind that, even in this brief passage found amidst the scraps, interpretation of the damaged original was not possible with absolute certainty.

February 25th, 1955

This morning, I had the strangest encounter, here in the rain-forest. I met a man, and he was apparently a westerner! I found him as he was foraging for grubs under rocks, down by the gully northwest of the camp. He was alone and naked and filthy. At first, I thought he was an aborigine, but this was not so. Instead, it seems that I have stumbled upon that rare instance, so often fabled, of the lost explorer gone native.

I offered him some biscuits from my kit. He refused them, preferring instead to eat insect pupae from matted jungle floor, which he shoveled down by the handful. He paused only to gesture that I should sit down with him. At this point, I was not sure if he spoke English or, for that matter, was capable of any speech. But I knew that under the grime, matted hair, and horrid stench, he appeared to be a caucasian. He had green eyes.
After some time, each enjoying our repast, I offered the fellow a bit of rum from my kit. Seeing the bottle, he...

Unfortunately, further interpretation of the writing upon the fungus laden paper was not in any way possible with any assurance of accuracy. In any case, we hear again from Saurian near year's end, 1995. He sends the following tragic report to his then faithful and trusted confidant.

To be continued…

The Thot Plickens

Compiled and Edited by Steven Solomon © 1992

When we most recently encountered the Doktor at his home in Florida in 1991, the elderly gentlemen bore a ragged scar across his throat and a teflon tube inserted therein, niether well-concealed by his paisley ascot. To speak, he placed a finger across the open wound. With a rasping whisper, his only words to our representatives were: "Go away, or you'll be talking to my fucking lawyers." He then slammed the door and could be heard shuffling back into the silent darkness of his anonymous retirement.

In the Autumn of 1954, however, both Saurian and Doktor D. remained blissfully ignorant of the falling out that would eventually cloud their historic relationship. Whatever the Professor's enhanced mental abilities might have been, precognition was not yet in his repertoire. His correspondence with the Doktor resumes as follows.

Dear Doktor,

How profoundly amazing it is, the changes our lives and minds may undergo in so brief a span of time. I have found a new and crucial piece of the Great Puzzle. It is one that I had not even suspected to exist, but now understand to be central to my Quest to create the Ultimate Human Brain.

As I begin my newly re-energized research, two things are very clear. First, getting the General's shlong hard is hardly an important avenue of inquiry. Secondly, that very project (and it is a big project, gonna take lots of money, plenty of time, I'll need to travel lots and collect many specimens), will provide cover for my True Aims.

With this in mind, I approached Stroessner with a plan to survey the planet for useful botanical and animal specimens. Horney and dim-witted, he was amenable to my proposal.

Thus, following our mutual, psychenautical guide star, and pursuing those tantalizing reports regarding the Philippino shamans, I plan a great journey. Soon, I shall venture to the rain forest of the Philippines. There my Quest for Vegetable Intelligence will resume in earnest. As I write, I am awaiting confirmation of my itinerary. My bags are packed and I require only the properly forged papers and the bribe money required to gain my visa.

Ho-ho, today, I stand once again at the cross-road to a new direction for my life, and perhaps for all Humanity. I am very excited! Perhaps you might join me for a trip to the Pacific? I'm looking for a new assistant, you know.

Yours in Exaltation and Reverence before the Truth,

Anton Saurian

Having secured the necessary funds and papers required to venture abroad to the Philippines, Saurian set off by freighter on October 4, missing the Doktor's response by several days. The good Doktor did not, in any case, accept Saurian's generous offer. As of the time of the following letter, Doktor D. was deeply involved in a controversial effort to revive the ancient cult of the Eleusian Mystery Rites. These activities would eventually lead to the his arrest on charges of drug dealing and animal sacrifice, and the subsequent loss of his license to practice medicine. After a lengthy and highly public legal battle, and some three years of incarceration, this noble man's reputation and means of livelihood would never be fully restored to him.

What follows is among the most facinating, tantalizing and enigmatic of Saurian's letters to Doktor D. sent from the rain-forest.


Who is The Doktor?

Compiled and Edited by Steven Solomon © 1992

To the best of our knowledge, a single transcription of the Doktor's rambling reply to the preceding plea currently exists. A bequest of the Katherine Anderson Foundation, named for the widow of legendary psychenaut and co-founder of the now infamous Adelphion Club, Karl Anderson, this document may be found at the renown Fitz Hugh Ludlow Library. Although independently substantiated, Doktor D. has consistently refused to confirm the transcript's authenticity. Similarly, he will not discuss in any way his current or past opinions regarding experimental neurochemistry, theology, nor Professor Anton Saurian. Nor does he acknowledge that the two had ever made even a passing acquaintance. Still, according to those close to both men during the mid-fifties, the Doktor is said to have relayed the following message to Saurian.

August 23rd, 1954

My Dear Saurian,

As you probably know, events have conspired to hasten my removal to a more congenial, less high-profile venue. In so doing, I've found temporary emotional oasis, while paying some price in physical comfort. Well, so long as my picture stays out of the papers I won't have to worry about the New York State Medical Board for a while.

Heat and humidity? Here I am in Florida, a hot, moist and swamp-ridden place. It's teeming with organic anomalies that infect the air itself. That air, by the way, was best characterized by the great writer, Fitz Hugh Ludlow, as being "Oxygen 21%, Nitrogen 79%, Mosquitoes 65%". It's hard to believe that Paraguay could be any less conducive to our Great Work, compared to late August in southern-most Florida.

The Great Work? Alas, I've been temporarily forced to take up more directly remunerative endeavors. Astonishingly, the Florida real-estate market is currently booming. In this economic environment, my role has been "Transaction Specialist". Yes, in my proprietary blend of sub-tropical vegetation and grain alcohol, I've found a reliable tool enabling the keen negotiator to lower the client's decision-making threshold to a properly business-like level. The happy result has been my participation in a number of limited partnerships, each seeing my small equity stake rapidly accrue significant value.

With a few more months of applied pharmacology and shrewd investment, I'll be able to return to more pure and sublime ratiocinations contributing to our deeper understanding of the Human Mind.

Which brings me to those eschatological matters raised in your last missive. I'm humble and pleased that you seek my counsel! I'd first offer that our life upon this mudball is, as Hobbs said, "short and brutish". Still, upon reflection, I'd add that such is not the end of the matter. To wit, many of the Major Experiments in which we've shared the role of both experimenter and subject, have illumined realms of the human unconscious, heretofore largely unexplored.

The terrain revealed in our mutual yet solitary quest is a place of stark beauty and limitless boundary. In the antipodes of the mind, we find a coherence and majesty which seems to bear no correlation to the biological brain from which they derive- according, at least, to the mechanistic view of mind as epiphenomenon of a warm, wet glop sloshing between our ears.

I conjecture that the mortality of your corporeal being isn't the closing of accounts that you fear. I hesitate to speculate beyond the data, but you understand my metaphysical bent- now overarching as my purely empirical inquiries are curtailed for a nonce. So, I'll cautiously propose that our mutual groping toward Higher Knowledge feeds on itself and so extends the reach of our earth-bound speculations. It may also serve to build momentum (in the space-time field sense) enabling such mapping of the Ineffable well beyond the normal limits of the human interval upon this soggy, spinning ball of dirt.
Oh, I know that you're thinking the old Doktor's melon has gone soft. Just the same, perhaps you'll find some comfort in the optimism of my theory. I don't expect you to accept such speculation without experimental confirmation. At present, I can only begin in this regard.

Now, as to your inquiry re; the Philippines. You may know that I've yet to voyage to the great Pacific archipelago. It ranks, however, very, very high on my list of neuropharmacological destinations. In fact, Honey and I had hoped to vacation there, back in 49, after the war. That was before she encountered her unfortunate cerebral difficulties, of course, and even today she is precluded from traveling beyond the walls of the Ganzfeld Sanatorium.

Nonetheless, in preparing for our journey that was not to be, I had been led to understand that the remote Philippines harbored natives who, upon consuming particular roots and barks, allegedly transformed into animals, insects, birds and reptiles capable of feats quite impossible for humans. I learned that in the northern forests, there were Shaman capable of eating poisons with no ill effects, walking through fire and copulating for days on end. There are reports of one great Shaman able to sustain horrible and even terminal injuries such as hanging, burning and dismemberment, and yet still survive. I cannot presently verify these reports, nor provide you with any greater specifics.

No, I'll have to delay the delivery of concrete ethnopharmacological data until, among other things, I've constructed a satisfactorily rigorous transmission path for the pharmacopia of the Philippine animist cults. I will, however, venture that the psychoactive mushroom, Stropharia Cubensis, was first introduced to Mexico by colonial Spaniards bringing cattle from the Philippines. I hope to confirm that the New World and Pacific varieties are identical, and presently seek specimens for our scientific delectation and experimental consideration. Thus, True Science moves a step at a time along the Great Path of Knowledge.

Saurian, despite my innate optimism, I long for a day when our work might proceed without interference from small minds, large egos and a restrictive legal environment. The very nature of our investigation breeds those forces that impede our progress. Case in point; I believe that the denouement of our first collaboration was the result of unreasonable expectations on the part of our volunteer, Honey. Surely, an approximate restoration of her mental faculties would suffice to make amends. Alas, we may never have such a chance.

So it goes. I doubt that the world of opera suffers from the loss of but one Wagnerian voice, though I do regret the loss of those happy moments of connubial bliss. Oh baby, when that fat lady sang...

Enough- enough nostalgia! Forget the past- look to the future- Yes! Look confidently to a future where we may crown that edifice whose foundation we now lay. My friend, I wish you the best of luck in your queries.

Yours in the Bonds of a Shared Quest,


Moving On…

God, Life, Death, Whatever

Saurian now flees the United States for safe haven in Paraguay, utilizing entree gained from his brief tenure with the CIA. There, exchanging exclusive services to the up and coming General Stroessner, he secures the type of working environment that he had so long had coveted. Nonetheless, his goal of creating the Ultimate Human Brain remains on an ever receding horizon. Indeed, it is difficult to determine if his self-experiments of this period yielded any results, whatsoever.

Still, Saurian's restless mind continues to wander into ever wider fields of inquiry, and through his research, he comes in contact with a small cadre of confidants and co-conspirators around the globe. Notable among this group was one Herr Doktor D. He and Dear Doktor, as the Professor invariably referred to him, quickly form a deep friendship born of a common passion for rigorous intellectual challenge and high frontier neurochemical research.

As Doktor D. still survives and practices medicine in Dade County Florida, for reasons of confidentiality and legal liability, his true identity shall remain unknown.
August 13th, 1954

Dear Doktor,

The weather is beastly hot. I don't know how these fucking people ever lived down here without air conditioning. Even at full blast, maximum chill, the temperature in the lab hovers well above ninety-degrees and eighty-percent humidity. I am forced to conclude that the hellish climate is at fault for the otherwise inexplicable failure of my latest cerebro-glandular preparation to take proper effect.

Today, I received a transmission from USSR; sad news about poor Evgeny. I once knew him well but now must disavow any knowledge of our relationship, except in the most confidential quarters. My correspondents inform me that he was arrested by GRU shortly after my flight to the Americans. His family have been made "non-persons" and his own fate must be, by now, far more grim.

They will kill him, or he shall die of "natural" causes, while in their custody. I know too well how They work. At this very moment, his bones may be roasting in the kiln of the Minsk Meat Rendering Plant, District #08, his hide transformed into a bar of cheap soap, lending chapped skin and the scent of lavender to the over-ample thighs of the mistress to the Regional Commissar, Comrade Popov. Alas, They have no concept of the True Scientific Value of human tissues. They are barbarians.

You know, I'd like to send his family a card, flowers, or something. This is difficult; they have a non-address, you understand.

In any case, these sort of things tend to make one think of one's own mortality. How fleeting is our passage through this veil of tears and mortal travail. How fragile is the membrane that separates the Living from the Dead, and there is nothing but a breath between this moment and Doom.

Oh, there I go, down into the pit of despair. Things are just not working out very well. I am very, very concerned about my recent lack of success. General Stroessner is not the most compassionate nor patient employer. He wants results and he has his own ways of dealing with failure. I've learned that they're not very pretty.

Last evening, I was invited for dinner at the palace; just me, the General, the American Ambassador, his wife, and half a dozen hookers. There were evidently some problems in the kitchen. Dinner was served late. The rolls were hard. The entree cold. The frozen desert melted. The coffee tasted like dish-water. It is thus with an odd mixture of glee compounded by horror, that this morning I received a steel drum full of fresh specimens. They take their coffee quite seriously, down here in central South America.

I am, frankly, rather desperate. I cannot run. I am watched constantly. Stroessner will have me killed if I make so much as a move toward the airport. Mortality has become a very real specter haunting my every waking moment. It interferes with My Work and clouds my sleep with dreams of dissolution and decay.

Perhaps you might give me some insight, here, Dear Doktor. I am, you well know, not a religious man. Things are as they are, and there is so much to learn in the brief time given us to see the Greater Plan. It is a struggle and I must hurry in my inquiries. I, like long deceased Fr. Bacon, strive to be precise in my interrogation of Nature, brooking Her no quarter.

You, however, tend more toward the subtle consideration of the Divine. Please, send me your thoughts on these matters. They weigh heavy on my mind and heart.

Well, struggle on, I must. I know that I will solve this momentary conundrum. Of course, I've told the General that if he is to have any hope of having an erection again, I must be provided with an improved air-conditioning plant. He's told me that they will soon be bringing in a Soviet designed unit. It will be capable of chilling even this fetid miasma that passes for Paraguayan summer air. This, combined with my newly arrived and perfectly fresh specimens, offers some promise of renewed progress.

So, I continue to self-experiment. For my part, I have no problem achieving an erection and am grateful, if for nothing else, for the constant presence of my loyal lab-assistant, Rosa. She's quite an intellectual and real handy with a surgical clamp. I must go now. The General's aid is summoning me to yet another state dinner. Tonight, it will be a small group of influential businessmen (expatriate Germans), the Vatican Ambassador, and half dozen hookers. So, as they say in Paraguay: take it easy, or take hostages.

Yours in Mortal Fear & Spiritual Confusion,

Anton Saurian

PS: Please send any info on Philippine animist cults utilizing indigenous fungus or other psychotropic vegetables. Such literature is painfully scarce here, but I am told by reliable sources that it may contain essential leads toward my Major Objective. I eagerly await your next neurotransmission.


On the Run!

Our man is now embarking on the fight of his life…

Compiled and Edited by Steven Solomon © 1992

January 5th, 1953

Dearest Evgeny Sergeivich,

What a lousy New Year's! Bambi is now completely bald over her entire body... she hates me... the hell with her, I say! The Boys in the Company have been on my back, complaining about my lack of attention to "serious" research... bah! They wouldn't know serious research if it came up and bit them on the testicles, assuming that these western brats have any... the hell with them all, I say! To hell with those bastards!!!

Yours in the Foulest of Foul Moods,

Anton Saurian

Then, weeks later…

February 14th, 1953

Dearest Evgeny Sergeivich,

I have fled; I could take no more! Those bastards with the CIA lied to me at every turn. Even Bambi had turned on me. Ah, poor Bambi; she perished during a hair restoration experiment gone horribly awry. I will miss her, but her glands, safe for now in a Thermos® jug, will live on in my continuing work. I'm going freelance!

Yes, my good friend, I am on the run and seeking self-employment as an undercover neuropharmacologist. In my brief time with the Company, I picked up quite a few tricks... how to create a new identity utilizing make-up and disguise, subterfuge, espionage, and best of all, the covert transaction of large amounts of cash and contraband... radio-isotopes, dope, human body parts, what have you. I plan to put these new skills to use on my own behalf. I've already spread my wings in that regard, effecting escape from the hands of those clods, those bastards.

They promised me all the specimens and any equipment that I required, and vowed no interference in my work. But, when it came down to it, they had some very specific ideas in mind. They began to telling me what to do with my time and boundless curiosity; meager, boorish inquiries into chemically assisted interrogations, neurochemicals to keep soldiers awake for days on end and allowing them to move their two eyes independently, pharmaceuticals to repress fear and potentiate extreme violence, a medicine to help a certain elderly and rum-soaked Paraguayan general maintain a hard-on. Kids stuff; Bah!!! To hell with them, I say!

No, there are greater things in store for me. I believe that I am close to achieving the True Grail; Super-enhanced Human Intelligence through Better Neurochemistry. Just think of it! Behold the doors that will open; telepathy, kinesthesia, precognition at last within reach of the ordinary man. Why, if my theories are correct, within the next few years, we will see the creation of The Ultimate Human Brain, capable of mental and sensory feats previously unimaginable; seeing through walls, hearing the sound of a butterfly flapping her wings on the other side of the planet, factoring pi to the millionth decimal in the time it takes to play a hand of gin rummy... while playing a hand of gin rummy! Ho-ho... I am very excited!

Of course, as a True Man of Science engaged in the Adventure of Real Discovery, I shall continue to test my experimental chemicals on my own brain. As you can no doubt tell, they are already having some effect.

Well, in any case, it is good to be out from under the boot heel of my former task-master. I made my escape as they watched me go into the neighborhood liquor store, ostensibly to purchase a gallon of what passes for wine around here. I cannot presently provide too many details, but suffice it to say that the death of the store's proprietor was an unanticipated tragedy. So it goes. I was, however, grateful for the opportunity to pick up some much needed currency, ID, and a late-model Buick Road Master.

Someday, the world will remember poor Emmet Groster as a True Hero of the Neurological Revolution. Certainly, his survivors will be duly proud of his unique contribution, paid for, albeit inadvertently, with his lamentable and foreshortened life.

Today, I am on the run, and have yet another identity. I like this game. It is exhilarating. I've met some nice people on the road, and have stolen their cars and money. I am now in the company of a sweet young lady; she was hitchhiking as I happened by. Her name is Sara Jane Kowalski, she's seventeen, run away from home in Missouri, and quite drunk on that jug wine. I smell romance in the air!

I cannot tell you of my next stop, other than to say that Sara Jane and I will probably find a comfy motel and turn in for the evening. From there, I will venture toward my next connection and a situation where the extradition laws are favorable. Before then, I'll have to figure out how to lose Miss Kowalski, of course. She can't go with me, and I'm afraid to leave her behind. Oh well, I'll figure something out.

Alright, my friend. I must close now. I hope that this correspondence makes it to you. I have attempted to arrange secure transmission, but one never knows, aye.* I shall be writing again, as soon as circumstances permit.

Ever in Pursuit of Knowledge,

Anton Saurian

*Evegeny Sergeivich Nedo never received the preceding letter; it was intercepted by Soviet GRU, military intelligence. He was immediately arrested and imprisoned, and is most likely to have perished in a labor camp. The fate of his family is unknown, although a middle aged woman claiming to be his daughter has recently filed suit both against the former Soviet regime and Professor Saurian, seeking damages for wrongful imprisonment and death. As this volume goes to print, the case is in litigation and her claimed identity is still unproven. Ed.

Compiled and Edited by Steven Solomon ©1992

We next hear from the Professor as he undertakes, with great enthusiasm, his new life in the West. The pivotal transitions vis a vis loyalties East or West revealed in the following letters are striking. They may be seen to cast the dice that would inform the pattern of his life for the following two decades. Ed.

December 23rd, 1952

Dearest Evgeny Sergeivich,

I am in Las Vegas. Ho-ho, this is the Good Life! I will tell you Evgeny, these Capitalist Dog Americans know how to do a country... big sky, wide open spaces, fast cars, free liquor and cheap dope, legal gambling and drive-in whore houses every tenth of a mile up and down every highway in sight. As say the American cowboys; "Yeea-hah!"

I was debriefed over the past month by eager, young CIA operatives. All in all, it was a delightful affair featuring massive doses of crude pyscho-active substances; phenylbarbitol, sodium pentathol, nitrous oxide, and Dr. Hoffman's Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. Goodness, they really make a guest feel at home! I liked the LSD the best, but I wish they'd tried out one of those newly isolated phenethylamines on me. There's a young fellow named Shulgin on the, ahem, "Company" staff; I understand that he's doing very exciting work with these new substances. I'll have to meet him. Yes!

In any case, they asked me many questions and got me terribly stoned as I did my best, under the circumstances, to provide coherent answers. A rather strange method of interrogation, don't you think? It is hard, you know, to exactly recollect complex neurobiological information while flying on 1500 mics of acid and a serious load of downs. I'm sure, however, that if they actually to made any of those preparations, they would first test them on the monkeys.

I'm equally sure that all those monkeys would die horribly. I did not.

In any case, they've since set me up quite nicely. I've got a new identity. I'm supposed to be a veterinarian, but I never actually see any patients, only my lab monkeys. They gave me a lovely ranch-house on the edge of the desert. There's a beautiful and fully equipped laboratory in the secret sub-basement.

My new assistant, a Phd in Neuropharmacology and ersatz wife, Bambi, is a relatively inexperienced but very capable woman. A recent alum from the less than renowned Santo Domingo School of Medicine, whatever she lacks in seasoned lab skills, she more than makes up for in eagerness to learn. I've made it my personal responsibility to teach her everything I know.

Meanwhile, the boys at the Company, are happy to fulfill my every request for equipment and specimens. Glands and brain parts usually arrive at the post office box in plain brown wrappers, no return address. Recently, I did receive an entire human head in fairly good condition; strangely, it came with an odd note attached to a knitting needle jammed through ear to ear. "Next time, we kill your mother." It was signed "A friend of Anthony 'Big Ears' Tuzzio". Probably some sort of mix-up at the lab, or something.

Well, I'm not one to look a gift head in the mouth. I got the thing down to the lab, cracked the skull, peeled off the neocortex and popped out the pineal gland with a speed and dexterity that prompted Bambi to swoon in clinical admiration. It was not an hour later that we together tasted the fruit of our first great experiment. The result was moderately encouraging. Quaffing the decantation of cerebro-glandular essences, we soon noted a marked psychological, even sexual, stimulation.

What ensued was several hours of enthusiastic fantasy-play; though Bambi, for professional reasons, declined the opportunity to let me actually shtup her. She did, however, genuinely relish the chance to play Lone Ranger to my faithful Trigger. Best of all, she came equiped with her own set of sterling spurs.

Unfortunately, I must note that since our experiment, Bambi has experienced some minor side-effects. She has developed a marked case of hirsuitism, which, while rather attractive (reminding me of the gals back home, you know), has brought a black cloud over her normally bouyant personality. I think she blames me. I'm now working full-time to develop a cure in the form of an orally administered and all natural, hormone-based depilatory. That should set things right, aye.

It is now late and my duties in the lab call me away. There is important work to be done at the Frontier of Neuroscience! Of course, I cannot be sure that this missive will ever reach you. I have sent it by the most secure method available; one which I cannot describe other than to say it has been surgically implanted deep within the brain of an unknowing operative programmed to recite its contents to a Company controlled telegraphy operator, upon a previously agreed upon cue. If all goes well, you should be reading this transmission by the Month's end; if not, you will be in prison or worse. Good luck in this, Evgeny, and a very merry Christmas, happy New Year, to you and yours!

Yours in the Good Life of Science Fun,

Anton Saurian