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February, 2000, Volume 7 Nr. 6, Issue 78,

by Vasilis Afxentiou

And in the middle of them, with filthy body, matted hair, and unwiped nose, Ralph wept for end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.  -- William Goldring, 'Lord of the Flies'

...These neoteric 'Tartar-Mongols' did not descend from North-Central Asia and Central East Asia this time, but swarmed from across the Ocean from the Far West after killing and raping seventy million of their own indigenous Red Men. Blood and War sustains these Turanians. And these newly-sprung Huns, these most recent Ottoman hordes needed to humiliate Europe, once more. Break Europe's spirit and confidence, and drag her into another/their image-making war.

Europe, their Continental gopher.

Europe, now, their overseas pack-runner; another Germany, another Italy, another Japan, another Korea...another water boy.

Unite with Europe to conquer the Balkans first, then Europe all over, with only a starting skirmish-of-a-war, Hauge thought while studying Marcus.

Progressively start more bombings--but go low on the tone. Bomb all!--low tones, now. Bomb and rule--but always, low on tone.

Vietnam yesterday. Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia today. Skopjia, Rumania, Bulgaria, Caucasus...Russia and China tomorrow. The world the day after.

'Geeve eet to them, Weelee!'

The Bold Nova Axis.

The Neo-Janissaries.

The Valorous New Roman Legions...or is it Black Shirts...or yuppies nowadays?..

Time seemed to stand still. For eternity Marcus stood motionless and silent, not daring to chance another breath lest he discover all this to be a dream. His breath finally came, labored in anticipation.

"Make computer components out of people?"

Hauge sipped the last drops of his tea. "Not out of them, dear man. For them. Like a heart valve, a skin graft from artificially cultured cells, plastic arteries, and the like. Things that enhance and save lives such as pacemakers or artificial kidneys." All is ready, Hauge thought. Like a locomotive freeing surplus pressure. The swan's song is at its most sublime at the swan's very last peak of agony.

"Go on." Staring hard now, Reginald Marcus, President of International Medical Supply and Software Development, bit his lip. He felt light-headed. Forty-three different directors of the board waited for the word to go ahead on this. Never had he been offered anything to compare with what this young man was offering. In his mind flashed a menagerie of cyberpunk images and endless queues of eager, nail-biting clientele. Meanwhile, dim circumspection tainted him with doubt. Visions of shrapnel-hacked, flak-gouged, patched-up heads and war-defiled torsos paraded in front of him.

He frowned.

But in the end Marcus nudged aside the stink of fear and reveled at the euphoria his released capital fantasies induced. Looking out his penthouse window he gazed upon the azaleas flooding the terrace, the pointed and cubed tops of looming skyscrapers with their mirrored black windows, the steel and glass blocks of his empire where the thousands of men and women worked for him like anxious ants. And this man, this obscure Scottish scientist, would he be his newest and perhaps most lucrative triumph?


"To put it simply," Hauge continued, "a sample of the subject's DNA is blown up holographically. The double helix is much easier to deal with that way..."

...Something akin to hunger in that stare? Hauge thought as he lectured the billionaire. You've never felt the bite of frost through torn shoes in deep Pristina winter, Marcus. Never had to eat stale bread and a half-portion of leftover mutton days on end in squalid, pest-infested, bombed ghettos to save up for coming worse days...

"...then the work begins. All genes not supportive to the preset parameters are extracted and replaced by modified ones: genes that heal the crippled, the blind, can make the deaf hear again; genes for mathematical acumen, for musical talent, for body stamina, business sagacity--you name it. The helix is then shrunk back down to its nominal size, superimposed on the original, and with the help of a broad-band laser beam is imprinted..."

...Blood, Marcus? Is that what you and your kind are after?

Hauge remembered his own skeletal, pinched face crimping in concentration over voluminous texts. The explosive awakenings in the midst of night, sometimes by the relentless air-raids, sometimes by the unmerciful dreams in which the dead children pursued him, threatening to flay him into so many lean strips for not being able to save them from the pain, the final anguish.

And that one child.

That little girl with the empty hole where her eye once had been. Expiring in his arms.



The blood pool had been empty. Her parents had the money to pay Marcus's worldwide franchise of blood for the rare vital fluid, but there were the sanctions. Restrictions on everything, plasma and blood were no different--what new deal were you striking up at the time, Marcus?

"...Pardon my limited knowledge of genetics," at last Marcus stretched in the luxurious easy-chair, his hulking ex-boxer's body coercing a tormented squeal from its frame, "but won't that just change the original chromosome's physical shape and not its quality?"

"Ah, but it will. 'Chromosome' is the name of the strange fellow: body of color. Very sensitive to color frequency modulations. The modified facsimile will be color stained--coded with transparent dye where effective changes are desired, and by a mirror dye where not."

"Still, that leaves you with just one little, altered chromosome." Reginald Marcus stood up and grinned. His silvering hair streamed wildly in the blowing air from the vent above. His pearly teeth teased with their perfect dental work. He patted his lips with an index finger.

"That can, and will, reproduce its exact duplicate," Hauge came back. "The regenerative mechanism will not have been touched."

Marcus grinned. "Didn't know such fidelity, especially in the case of artificial encroachment, existed. But the building of a complete helix from half of one--a split helix--is done, if I'm not mistaken, with the aid of an enzyme," Marcus said.

"I didn't either--a decade back. But at the university we managed, piecemeal, to weed out that protein strain. The amino acids, too. And anything else that could interfere." Hauge next reached into his pocket. He produced a slick, black cube. It was the size of a die. A thin pigtail of tiny electrodes ran down from it.

Marcus craned forward for a better look. "Well, won't something else still rectify the mutated helix?"

"No. Now, the enzyme only reconstructs the mirror image of that which is in front of it. It does not compare chromosomes in doing so."

Marcus shook his head. "Hauge, it'll still give you a chromosome different from the subject's intrinsic physiology. Won't the body's defenses fight it off?"

"Does the immune system fight off radioactively mutated chromosomes? Tissue for that matter? If it did, we'd have the cure for AIDS. For most cancers. The same principle holds true here. Furthermore, this is controlled and meticulously guided mutation. Not to mention that it comes from the same contingency as its host's inherent genes..."

...Two million years of conditioning, Hauge thought.

The sun.

The moon.



The piquancy of light and the seductiveness of color. And what they incite. All packed into an irresistible live blend of rays. Symbols of a revered, supremacy/servility evolutionary path the West had at some point of its history misinterpreted. Had taken for Liberty and Democracy. Had resolvedly conformed to. No questions asked. No checks. No balances.

Ritualistic molds of castes.

Adherents to--and leftovers of--a wily and wild West.

A philosophy of gangsterism and bullyism. Adherents to narco-armed youths. To mobster and pistol worshipping as surrogates to healthy libidos and sexual maturity... surrogates to wholesome interaction. Adherents to a syndicated mob that had the power of attorney to kill Presidents. Catechumens and disciples of combat-based values and racketeer coterie. Advocates of implements of war being passed around to little tykes, like pretzels at Howdy Doody Time:

"H-e-e-e-re come LittleTom--the TommyGun himself--and his Ratt-tat-tatt TinyTots".

Another new singing group, Hauge brought to mind. An icy ripple ran down his spine.

Another fatal fad. A slick slogan in this good ol' bonhomie West.

Land of the 'circumspect', the 'free' and the 'brave', but don't rock the boat. The 'non-fear refuge' and the 'civil-liberties haven', but don't buck the big boys. The West: the exemplary land of equality, the nation of immigrants and of equal opportunity, but take nothing at face value. The brag-and-boast of all that is best in the world for the whole world to follow, but don't make waves. The land of good ol' 'human-rights' and 'peace-loving', 'upright' and 'upstanding' citizenry, but question nothing. Hallelujah! brother, but praise be! to the Carbine and the Bombin'!

How incredible!

How extraordinary can sanctimoniousness be!

How awesome can hypocrisy and double standards get!

How exceptionally arrogant, blind and deaf to global contempt and scorn, dishonor and indignation can a system of administration be:

"Snuff out dem Yugo-dudes--on de double, troops. Quick-like, I say! And beat feet back heah! Got trouble back home, troops. Gotta whole rabble of gun-blazing rebel-rousers and whimperin'-snipers right at our own public-schools, troops! Dem Yugos ain't killed a single one God-fearin' 'merican man. But back home, our own piddly toddlers are mowin ' us down Mai-Lai-fashion! Our own kind--would you believe?-- gunnin' us down right in our own fuckin' back-yaads!"

But hypocrisy and double standards had a limit, Hauge now thought.

And it had been reached.

He was nervous, but confident.

Pay-back time, Hauge now thought, augmenting momentarily his dramatizing faculty, his fantasy of mimicking Stallone and Swartzenegger.

It would not be easy to burn through Marcus's defenses.

But, all at once was exposed both pretense of virtue and pretense of piety.

All was unguarded, before the raptures of subliminal intensities and hues, bolting through the optic nerve. The words light had to say. The light words had to show. Audible, visible phenomena that silently cuffed and castrated willpower, as the undiscriminating and haphazard Cruises and Tomahawks had mangled and mutilated the id, the superego--the brain's very identity, the very community, of his helpless country; violated all international statutes--but most of all, had dishonored the very resting grounds of valiant and innocent kin and ancestors. What brand of civil, freethinking and brave people, Hauge now considered, would attack the innocent and helpless, the inhumed dead? Would show such indiscretion, be blinded by the thrill of war? Would let fly depleted uranium munitions, radioactive bombs and missiles, recklessly to eliminate and displace, mangle and slaughter the blameless along with the guilty? So coldly, so impersonally?

YES! Hauge shouted inside, feeling sour within himself, punish the guilty!

But why kill ten thousand to get at that one guilty man? Does the End justify this much Blood! Does any end call for so much wasted life! What dialect in the rostrum of propriety, the spectrum of decency, where in any man's Holy Book or dictionary, encyclopedia or war regulations manual is there found the unique locution, that singularly rare and odd wording, that particular idiom of sanity, or insanity--not to say as much as of human common sense--that says and justifies that the buried dead must be exhumed, must die a second time!!

"NATO, NATO ueber alles!! NATO, NATO, Novus Ordo Seclorum, Il Novus Duce, Grandiosi Mafiosi..."

"...As a matter of fact its encapsulation is entirely too exaggerated. The active device inside is much, much smaller. It will be designed to interface directly with synapses. But the filament connections make it presently impossible to reduce any further. Working on it."

"And its quota?"

"Varied solely by the subject's needs and by the subject alone." Hauge pinched two of the exposed fine wires on the end of the die's pigtail. Marcus saw the inside of the cube begin to whirl and soon turn to murky gray, dull cream, and, finally, to diamond brilliance.

Marcus, moseyed up and came close to look at the sparkling jewel the other held between his fingers. Coruscating sprays of rainbows caught, filled and dominated his eye. Its pristine radiance bathed his retinas making him blink. His eyes watered in the multi-chromatic glow.

"It's sin, itself!" he drooled. He knelt before the Scot to have a better look. "Where is the agent?"

"A tiny shimmer--the star, if you look hard, in its geometric center. Cloned from yours truly," Hauge pinched more wires. The liquid swirled, sparkling, spewing needles of rainbow light throughout Marcus's posh office and into the amazed president's eyes.

Show time's over.

Now Marcus, and his empire, belonged to him.

He needn't think about it much.

For Marcus's was an insulated empire.

A great new and unprecedented world order, without a world. The supremacy of greed and bullying that fed on its own hide. Of violence-venting. Of barbarous subjugation. Harboring inborn Visigoth- and Viking-like, Hannibal- and Attila-vintage ambitions and instincts.

But isolated, nevertheless.

Only, his country and nation did not succumb to division. Dissension was a stillborn word to his, to Hague’s people. For they held up. Almost limitless in patience. Their cause growing stronger with each bomb dropped, with each enemy troop trespassing their borders. And it was this the West could not understand. Missed entirely, due to ignorance of Balkan psychology. But, most important, it was this that strayed by the Western attitude of thought: his people no further avoided to lure the enemy onto their own native land and soil. Their own turf. Modern Yanks were butterballs when it came to guerrilla warfare and close quarters combat on foreign soil. In addition, their very own bombs would kill a lot of them. Like Vietnam.

Yugoslavs were no Tom Clancy fairy tale. Slavs were no four-foot-Oriental pushovers. Or five-foot-South American short work. Slavs had Empires for breakfast. The Ottoman, Napoleon, the Aryan...bones and all. "This morning's menu..? Ah, yes, the Yank & Co Empire."

No, he was not being smart or witty, here.

He knew it was chic to be smooth and casual nowadays.

He knew it was bright and keen to think the world was not coming to an end. He was aware that to be fashionable was to be positive and to vindicate everyone, including the naughty nineteen, including this businessman's way of life and government. A run-away--dilettante--government whose public couldn't care less about, a sub-existence in a violence-ridden manner of a life with an infrastructure that was already crumbling day-by-day. In a nutshell: a way of day-to-day fear-saturated survival, in fear-saturated schools and neighborhoods, fear-saturated communities, public buildings, malls, kindergartens, offices and institutions.

He was cognizant, too, that to be in vogue was to be quick and sharp, and hush-hush the use of DU-238, the residue of dioxin and other polytoxin and radiotoxin environmental carcinogenic poisons the bombings left behind so as to permanently contaminate his, Hauge’s, ancient homeland. Hauge’s once undefiled, native breathing air, soil and water. His land's enemies, this New Yank Reich, wanted to lame and destabilize this most recent and new threat to the West: a country and people that had dared--like the Vietnamese--had the gonads, to put their foot down and say "NO", and spit at the eye of any bird of pray that violated the sanctity of their native earth.

No, it was not this great experiment of theirs, of the Marcuses of the world, and their revival of lebensraum-blend institutions. Of 'fresh' new Hiroshimas and 'crisp' 'refreshing' Nagasakis. It was not this most recent rabid panic that assaulted NATO, and thus drove NATO to kill as mechanically and as officiously as the Dachau showers. It was not this Korea and Vietnam, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cyprus kind of national partitioning and apportioning, dividing and conquering, bulldozing sovereign countries out of existence so as to make the West's presence felt...and then step in. Step in and bomb away any part of the world they chose and so desired, like Sudan and Afghanistan and Pakistan, regardless of legality or illegality. No, it wasn't the West's newest and most subtle experiment on radiation effects upon living human flesh and blood and on the ambiance, so as to further study their own secluded catastrophe, their own eighty thousand suffering from Gulf War Syndrome.

No, the obvious is for the gullible folk, the chum, the pushover, the sucker to swallow. The pigeon or paid 'pigeon' whose response would sound something like, "We're obviously doing something right in this great experimentation of ours; or the slaughter and the bombings we most recently implemented would never have occurred, but stopped right-away".

Sure thing, partner, Hauge thought.

Obviously you were doing something right in that great experiment of yours back there in Vietnam. So as to save face back then, too. And the ubiquitous Vietnam napalm bombings and 'agent orange'--regardless upon whom they fell whether it had been friend or foe--had obviously 'never' occurred. Obviously had been 'stopped right-away.'

No, it was none of these things.

It was the naiveté.

The naiveté of false pride, false moral courage and false honor.

The naiveté of world-audience and of authority-ratings. The naiveté of compromising ecumenical, time-tested classic ethics and time-harnessed world morality, for the convenience of the net worth of influence and supremacy upon a global audience on a global scale. And this, by means of use of raw force and intensity of injury. Without a hint of horse sense. Without a speck of remorse owing to human compassion. Poor pitiful bastards, Hauge thought. Hate to be in your shoes when the realization of what you've done slams on your face. Your conscience.

And you do have one.

No, it was not the obvious.

It was the naiveté of accommodating a public show at the expense of an independent and legitimate nation that had never provoked. A show, a paradigm of a production put on with spokesmen some obscure-till-then aimcriers/puppetmasters. A showcase of WASP temerity. Reckless rodeo cowboyism. Yes. Put on for a country of bored, restless people. A modern, country-size, a huge Roman arena. Put on for, perhaps, a worldful of wearied, daunted and restless peoples. Of modern Romans who in place of lions and panthers watched missiles and smart bombs rip, not only Christians this time, but Moslems, Jews, Gypsies, Albanians, Chinese and other ethnic groups--rip people open. Of another CNN macabre-spectacle that brought in millions. Of one more runaway media morbid-hit after the Iraq fiasco that hauled in bucks by the shovelsful. A Pulitzer Prize accommodation. Perhaps even a Nobel for a modish pedigree, a smart new hybrid definition of 'peace'. A spectacle pageant, not of Miss America or Miss World, but of killing ilk in its most popular and colorful, diverse and a la mode ceremony.

Ponder on it, Marcus: "NO" is the word for us. "NO" is an honest word. "Yes" is for lackeys. "Yes" is for hostlers. It's for Coca-Cola and hamburger alliances."

At any other time--Hauge ruminated as he watched the man before him regress and shrink further-and-further into himself--in human history, these bombings might have been acceptable. Even a little sleazy work, a dab and dabble here and there, by that 'great country's' sanctified CIA, permissible.

As recently as 30 years ago it was legal and encouraged, indeed. Yes legal, to meddle in, interfere with and intrude upon its southern neighbors, Europe and Asia. Yet, 30 years later, it is still snooping and prying, unchecked and off-the-record, illegally and covertly--with overt and obvious intent to destabilize--in everything all over the world even today in spite of (to that 'great country's' great shame 30 years before) young college kids being shot up, dying disapproving it. Despite that 'great country's' very own Tiananmen Square: The Kent State Massacre. A bunch of young college kids--unarmed kids--who had the guts to publicly disapprove any and all illegal belligerence, any rude intrusion and rule, and any invasion upon another sovereign country's affairs; invasion of and forced entrance into another's freedom.

"KGB is dead! Long live CIA!"

Yet, this land of 'indelible jurisprudence' had learned nothing!

Learned nothing from its mistakes and deaths.

Learned nothing from all those deaths of its children.

And was starting anew.

Was attempting anew to commence meddling throughout the globe once again. But, meddle more thoroughly, stubbornly and brutally this time, more loudly, arrogantly and grimly. It had to have more backing today than it did during its Vietnam disaster. And it's where Europe and the naughty nineteen came in.

Such pesky-petite details, Hauge thought:

"It's only a bunch of backwoods Balkan Slavs and backward 'Wag The Dog' Albanians. Thousands and thousands of miles--at world's end. A place called the Balkans. What would any red-blooded, good and white, Anglo-Saxon-Protestant and clean-cut Yank boy know about a place called Balkans, for Christ sake? It's not the same as Philly or the Liberty Bell, or Yosemite National Park, the DOW-JONES AVERAGE or apple pie. What a fuss about a pack of goddamn Balkan hicks and hillbillies, rednecks out o' the sticks, being leveled to dust. Big frigging Jack-shit deal."

..."Get off your knees, old fellow," Hauge said finally, offering his chair. "Take this too."

Marcus pinched and gawked as the scientist laid the tiny, gleaming machine in his palm.

"The name is Hagevic--are you with me, man? It's Hagevic and I'm not from Scotland, but from what once used to be Yugoslavia, my home. What now is poisoned, no-man's-land, from your State Department's 'human-rights presents' and your DU-238-jacketed armor-piercing bombs from your Department of Offense."

Marcus watched the die in his own hand turn into a green emerald, a blue sapphire, yellow citrine, fire opal... "Eh, yes. Absorbing sort, pretty!" Marcus's parched voice was weak and reedy.

"Eh, yes. Absorbing," Hagevic repeated, "like your Yank dream: Suspended Disbelief."

Kosovo-born Hagevic rose, walked to Marcus' communicator, and punched the red button. "Ms. Chung," Hagevic remembered the little plaque on the slight, bespectacled secretary's desk, "would you come in," he said, now bending over the intercom and standing behind Marcus' elegant desk.

The secretary entered, seeming riddled over the sitting man playing with his empty hands. "So, so pretty..." Marcus raved on.

"Is anything wrong, Mr.--"

"Mr. Marcus will be leaving now. Oh, and, Ms. Chung, would you be kind enough to bring your pad when you come back. We have changes to make."

For a moment, Hagevic thought amused, she must have taken me for someone else. "Yes, sir," she said, lingering her dispersed, fishbowl stare a while.

The Yugoslavian observed the other's fascination as she watched intently the die in his hand turn cornelian pink, hyacinth red, amethyst violet, lazurite blue, peridot green...

"Have one," he said, reaching again into an empty pocket, knowing it would be the most important thing on her mind from here on. "Anything else, Ms. Chung?"

"No, oh not a thing, sir. So pretty!" she chirped and gawked at her empty hand, sighed deeply and escorted her charge out.

"Ah, one more thing. Change Mr. Marcus's flight for Marakesh instead, and accompany him personally till he boards." The climate should be more akin to Texas's, he considered, and put the real die back in his coat pocket.

He always wanted to see how it felt to be a megatherium of business, unfettered to make and supply freely as much blood as needed for poor, needy people and little girls like his late sister, Mara. But he wasn't sure if he had what it took. Clearly, though, all one needed was a dab of cheek and a spot of hypnotic power at his touch. Everything else then just couldn't help coming your way.

The board members will be the true challenge, Hagevic thought, after Ms. Chung had left.

"Into the maelstrom!" he hollered, and quailed at his own sound.

It was noon, the sun out of view, and the polarized showcase window clear. Marcus's empire was spread before Hagevic's eyes. He'd have to call upon more compelling reserves than the single die for the Board.

There was a knock at the door.

A meek Ms. Chung peeked in. She bowed, then lowered her bone-rimmed glasses with their thick, round silver lenses. The secretary's rare irises gave forth a brilliant show of light to rival that of the hypnotic cube.

Hagevic quickly looked away --

But not quick enough.

Ms. Chung was careful not to look directly into the bar's inlaid looking glass on her left as she refitted the eyeglasses. At times like these, she thought, a mirror could prove to be a woman's worse enemy.

"The saddest part of all this business, Mr. Hagevic," Ms. Chung said, leading the catatonic man slowly out from behind Marcus's massive desk, "is not recognizing your competition and not inquiring why one needs to wear thick, silvered glasses inside this glare-free building. The die, Mr. Hagevic, can often be perfect, but not miraculous or quicker than the naked eye, as Confucius might have put it."



It is infinitely easier to suffer in obedience to human command than to accept suffering as free, responsible men.  --Dietrich Banhoeffer

24 March 1999: the invasion of the Balkans by The NATO Axis. In memory to the human beings slaughtered in the seventy-eight-day holocaust. I, one Hellene among the majority of 90% of the Hellenic populace, contest and indict this illegal assault. I lodge unreservedly a formal protest and complaint opposing this unprovoked rash act of indiscretion, reprisal and thoughtlessness against humanity and against our friend and neighbor Yugoslavia. This petition is directed to The Tribunal of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, The War Crime Court at The Hague and The Swedish Commission Inquest on The Kosovo War. This uncalled for, shameful and savage attack of carnage and butchery, one with an all-encompassing and especially barbarous and grotesque turn after the first few days will be the cause, in the author's opinion, for the spawning of such asymmetrical alliances as the Western world cannot even begin to imagine. Praises and compliments for ushering in the new millennium with this first exemplary step for our children to follow, one surely deserving the Nobel Prize. Congratulations for setting up the stage of the onset of what may probably well be the most xenophobic century in human history: The Twenty First Century AD. May God and mortal forgive you, nineteen.

© 1999 Vasilis Afxentiou, Athens Greece.

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