By: George Right

     "Yes,  you can certainly talk to them in private," said Dr. Peters.
"They are  not aggressive in  the least,  and all of  them will tell you
about the things they did - not without a certain pleasure, I might add.
They all think that they were doing their duty."
     "In that case they must be angry at society, which has treated them
so unjustly."
     "They've gotten used to  it.  After all,  our clinic is better than
jail or the electric chair."
     "That means that they actually did commit all those crimes?"
     "Absolutely correct."


     A  thin  and  stooping young man  with pale,  slightly asymmetrical
features introduced himself:  "I am John Baer. You know why I’m here, of
     "In general terms, yes."
     "And you want to know why I did it?"
     I nodded.
     "Is the name of Christopher Stone familiar to you?"
     "Naturally. Even though I’m not an expert in physics, they say that
his theory is  just about the most significant event in the field in the
past half century."
     "At the very least!  I am a specialist, so you can take my word for
it. Stone was my old comrade - we went to college together. Of course, I
can’t compare with him;  as a man devoid of ambition, I can freely admit
that there are  thousands and thousands of  people like me  in  physics.
However,  Stone is  a  genius of  the  kind that is  born once every two
hundred years.  He’s  still so  young,  but  look  at  what he’s already
achieved.  Incidentally, I was one of the first to realize that he’s not
simply talented,  but that his brain is  a  treasure of  the whole human
civilization. However, like most geniuses, he is defenseless before this
vulgar,  vile and empty world, so I decided that I will try in every way
to protect him from sinking in this swamp of mediocrity.  I may not have
done anything for  science,  but I  will have saved Stone for it.  For a
certain  period  of  time  I  managed to  solve  various small  everyday
problems that baffled him. Everything went well, until I noticed that my
friend had started paying attention to women. Alas! Some lousy hormones,
some pitiful animal needs,  were having an  increasing influence on this
wonderful brain.  His thoughts turned to this unworthy subject.  He told
me  himself  that  instead  of  working,  he  could  entertain  romantic
daydreams for hours on end.  Naturally,  soon a concrete object appeared
which  became the  center of  those  dreams.  My  friend was  absolutely
unprepared for struggle - he gave up without a fight, and fell head over
heels in  love.  It broke my heart to watch how this brilliant man could
abandon his  formulas and  calculations and prattle absolute nonsense on
the phone for hours,  with the blissful smile of an imbecile.  He had to
be saved.  Since it was useless to try and work on him, I began with his
object of  desire from the  start.  His first girl,  a  fairly primitive
creature,  didn’t give me many problems:  pretty soon I  found her a guy
with the muscles of a dinosaur and an intellect to match,  and Stone got
the brush.  He suffered for a  while,  then started working with tripled
energy.  However,  after a certain time,  everything started over again.
Object Number 2  gave me  a  lot  more trouble.  The problem was that as
opposed to the first one, she shared his feelings and didn’t want anyone
else.  I  was forced to  plant distrust between them.  I  wove a  web of
intrigues worthy of  a  Shakespearean villain,  turning misunderstanding
into  intent and  slander into  truth.  Christopher still remembered his
first defeat,  and the seeds of doubt fell on fertile soil.  Finally,  I
got what I wanted - it was all over between them. For a rather long time
afterwards Stone  thought about  nothing but  science.  However,  Object
Number 3 finally appeared.  This was an insane passion,  against which I
was powerless.  Stone practically abandoned physics. Worse than that, he
had  started to  suspect that  all  the  intrigues against his  beloveds
emanated from me.  I  had only one last option.  I  went to her and came
clean.  I  explained to her that she didn’t have the right to claim that
which belonged to science and the human civilization.  I asked, I begged
her to  find another man.  When I  realized that it  was all in vain,  I
killed her."
     "But you didn’t just kill her.  Thirty-eight stab wounds,  multiple
fractures, finally, scalping…"
     "This  was   meant  to   finally  wake  Stone  up.   When,   during
identification,  instead of his beauty he saw a hideous bloody mess,  he
got an immunity for life."
     "You weren’t afraid that Stone wouldn’t be able to bear it, that he
would go insane, become a drunk?"
     "No,  by  then I  had already studied Stone well enough.  He  threw
himself into  work,  he  worked like never before.  The  result was  his
theory, and believe me, this is just the beginning."
     "But didn’t it  ever cross your mind that you didn’t have the right
to take charge of his destiny?"
     "Stone  doesn’t belong  to  himself,  his  brain  is  too  great  a
treasure. He belongs to civilization."
     "Are you certain that there will be no more women in Stone’s life?"
     "Maybe there will -  small flirts,  unable to distract him from the
most important thing.  In  his  lover’s bed  he  will be  thinking about
     "Do you regret the fact that you ended up  here as a  result of all
     "I’d say not. In this place I have a decent room, the food is good,
there is  a  nice park,  I  can  receive books and  magazines and  watch
television.  In  theory I  could even continue my studies in theoretical
physics,  but it would be meaningless.  I cannot do any more for science
than I already did."


     Walter Teeny’s looks had a  certain similarity to Baer’s,  although
he  was  shorter.  Apparently,  he  had  already been  told  about  this
similarity,  which was reinforced by  some common elements in  his case,
and that’s why he  hurriedly tried to  distance himself from my previous
     "I haven’t killed anyone," said Teeny,  "And I am generally opposed
to  murder,  although Baer  does have a  point.  Man’s hypertrophied sex
drive is the tragedy of homo sapiens as a  biological species.  No other
species on  this planet has  sexual needs which so  far exceed the level
needed for reproduction.  The animals are in the throes of this instinct
during  brief  mating  periods,  man  -  during practically all  of  his
conscious life.  What  kind  of  follies  and  crimes  have  people  not
committed for lust?  What effort have they spared to  ennoble this lowly
need? Sadly, humanity is not inclined to struggle against it, although I
am  convinced,  that  the  time  will  come and  people will reject this
insanity,  the  same way that they first rejected walking around on  all
fours, and then cannibalism. Naturally, this requires a restructuring of
the human organism which is currently impossible for modern science. But
we can use not only physiological, but also psychological methods in our
struggle.  By  the way,  I  am  not at  all inclined to  blame women for
everything:  both sexes are the victims of nature’s injustice, both have
their cattle that are  unworthy of  a  better fate,  and both have their
valuable specimens,  which need to be freed from their ruinous passions.
I  spent some  time reading special literature,  from which I  found out
that women are more prone to be influenced by psychological factors, and
that a strong shock can destroy their sexuality. It’s considered to be a
misfortune for them,  but this is a silly prejudice,  imprinted in their
consciousness by  centuries of sexual slavery and social discrimination.
These days more and more women abandon the primitive role of the female,
and compete with men in business,  government,  and science.  This way I
came  to  the  conclusion that the  best favor that one  can  do  to  an
intelligent girl with good chances for a  career would be to rape her in
the  most rude,  filthy and  repugnant way  possible,  so  that the mere
thought of sex started to revolt her."
     "From theory you went on to practice."
     "Yes.  I  studied the first candidate for a long time,  in order to
decide whether she was worth the while, or whether it would be better to
leave her  in  the  usual animal state.  Many candidates were weeded out
this way.  I carried out my plan on five. I won’t describe to you what I
did with them -  it was revolting.  Don’t think that I received pleasure
from it -  I was disgusted myself.  I was right in my calculations:  the
first four never went to the police.  Now they are still cursing me, but
after  a  certain  time  they  will  understand  that  I  was  right.  I
overestimated the fifth one, and she reported me."
     "If it hadn’t happened, would you have continued?"
     "Of course, even though I had already acquired a healthy repugnance
toward what I was doing,  and in the end,  I think, it would have forced
me to stop."
     "Are you happy that you ended up here, and not in jail?"
     "Naturally.  I’m  not even speaking about the conditions,  and what
kind of a community awaited me in jail? As for this place, incidentally,
there are no  cretins or  schizophrenics here,  most patients are people
with  higher  education.   You   can  meet  some  extremely  interesting
individuals.  Professor Schwartzenberg, for example - compared with what
he  planned,  every genocide in  history would have looked like a  minor
incident, and yet he calls himself a humanist."


     A  renowned  microbiologist,  the  60-year-old  professor Friedrich
Schwartzenberg seemed to  be  less  inclined to  talk  than my  previous
     "But you’re not a microbiologist," he said, "you won’t even be able
to  appreciate the grandiosity of  my final work,  which they never even
allowed me to complete."
     "Who never allowed you?"
     "It was all my assistant,  the greenhorn,  the wannabe.  He guessed
what was at the core of my research."
     "What was it, then?"
     "I created a  new illness,  compared to which the black death is no
more  dangerous than  tonsillitis.  The  bacilli  which  I  grew  exceed
anything created by  natural evolution.  No more than 3  hours pass from
the beginning of  the illness till the patient’s death.  My bacilli also
lead to  a  very fast decomposition of  the corpse and have an extremely
fast reproduction rate.  Although in  certain cases the immune system of
the  person manages to  kill the  illness in  the  embryonic stage,  the
probability of this is not very high. The mortality rate is 98-99%."
     "And what did you plan to do with all this?"
     "To  break  the  vials  in  major  international  airports,   train
stations,  to  simply throw them out on city streets.  In several hours,
foci of the illness would have spread all over the world.  Further on, a
pandemis would have took place,  the extent of which would have made any
counter-measures impossible.  It would have lasted for 2-3 weeks,  after
which it  would have ended by  itself,  because of  the disappearance of
     "You’re saying, that all of humanity…"
     "Except the 1-2% that I mentioned."
     "But why?!"
     "Young  man,  you  of  course  know  about  the  global  crisis  of
civilization.  Regional wars go on everywhere, and there is no guarantee
that a world war won’t break out. The biosphere is poisoned. The changes
in  climate are  becoming irreversible.  Millions of  people suffer from
hunger.  The level of culture is falling.  The value of human life keeps
     You  are  probably familiar with the basics of  economics,  and you
know that crises are triggered by the over-saturation of the market by a
certain  product.   The  product’s  price  falls  catastrophically,  and
everyone suffers.  Well,  this  is  precisely what happened with people.
Their  uncontrolled  reproduction  has  led  to  an  increasingly severe
crisis,  after which there will be  an  inevitable degradation.  Did you
know  that  now,  most people are  already genetically flawed?  But  the
problem  lies  not  only  in  biology,   not  only  in  the  exorbitant,
ecologically destructive industry growth, and the inability of the Earth
to feed such a  mass.  The important thing is that,  as I  already said,
human life has devalued, devalued like any merchandise of which there is
an  excess.  What humanism,  what love toward your neighbor can you talk
about in  this throng,  in  the  stifling jungles of  our cities,  where
everyone is  on  their own,  where the reigning principle is homo homini
lupus est?  In  an  oversaturated world,  instead of love between people
there is first indifference, and then - enmity and hatred. Sadly, it has
gone too far, and people must be saved from themselves."
     "But  you  wanted to  leave  only  one-and-a-half  percent of  them
     "Do  not  forget  that  it  makes  around 100  million people,  the
population of  a  fairly large country.  Naturally,  all of these people
would have been from different nations all over the world.  No  national
or racial selection.  It would be the end of the filth of politics,  the
super-powers  who  dictate  their  will  to   the  world,   governments,
officials,  financiers and  trans-national  corporations.  Every  person
would be  able to  live the  way  he  wants to.  The pandemic would have
brought back the idea of  the preciousness of human life,  the purity of
feelings and relationships."
     "But did  you  think about the  suffering of  the billions that you
condemned to die?"
     "The  diseased feels nothing until he  becomes dizzy,  and  then he
loses  consciousness and  never  regains it.  His  death is  practically
instant and painless."
     "But the horror of those two weeks?"
     "It is  no worse than the horror of many years in the conditions of
a deepening crisis."
     "Don’t you  think that the rotting of  so  many corpses will poison
     "Oh,  when a  human being is not armed with a chemical factory or a
nuclear bomb,  he  cannot truly poison nature.  As I  already said,  the
decomposition takes place very fast.  Naturally, large cities with their
hypertrophied,  already unneeded in the new world industry will be unfit
for  living for  a  certain amount of  time.  People will have abandoned
their stuffy concrete labyrinths and  would have  started living on  the
earth,  in  small settlements,  in  harmony with  nature and  with  each
     "Aren’t you afraid that the remnants of  humanity would have turned
wild, and civilization would have perished forever?"
     "No, it would have simply been rid of harmful excesses."
     "Your research is now in the hands of the government?"
     "Apparently,  yes.  Although I don’t think that they will ever dare
to  use  it  for  military ends,  for in  that case they will inevitably
perish themselves."
     "But what if a vaccine were found?"
     "That is extremely unlikely."
     "But didn’t you create one for yourself?"
     Schwartzenberg gave me a contemptuous glance.
     "Young man, who do you think I am? I didn’t think about myself, but
about the salvation of humanity. I am an altruist."

     "Well, what do you think?" inquired doctor Peters. 
     "This was strange. Your patients’ reasoning has a certain amount of
logic.   Although  I  have  read  somewhere  that  madmen  can  be  very
     "Want to hear a  little secret?"  the doctor suddenly asked.  "Only
keep in  mind that I  will deny everything,  just in case.  Well,  these
people…" He made a pause, "They are absolutely normal."
     I stared at him in amazement.
     "Then why won’t you hand them over to justice?"
     "You see,"  grinned Peters,  stroking his beard,  "I am also,  in a
certain sense of the word… an altruist."

					     Translation: Arsen Azizyan

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