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The Serpent and The Rainbow - The Frontier  Of death - 4

The Serpent and The Rainbow - The Frontier  Of death - 4The Serpent and The Rainbow - The Frontier  Of death - 4The anesthesiologist has his formulae and his preferred chemicals, but he combines them on the spot, depensing on the type of operation and the condition of the patient. Each case is unique and experimental.""And hazardous," Leham added. Kline held his empty brandy glass to the light."We cloak all un comfortable truths in euphemism," Kline said, moving back to the table toward me. " General anesthesia is essential, often unavoidable, always dangerous.

That makes everyone, especialy the physicians, uncomfortable.Hence we joke about getting knocked out, as if it were a straight- forward procedure. Well, I suppose it is. Bringing someone back undamaged , however, is not.Kline paused, " If we could find a new drug which made the patient utterly insensible to pain, and paralyzed, and another which harmlessly returned him to normal consciousness, it could revolutionize modern surgery.It was my turn to interrupt. "And make somebody a lot of money.""For the sake of medical science," Lehman insisted. "That's why it behooves us to investigate all reports of potential anesthetic agents. We must have a close look at this reputed zombie poison, if it exists."

Kline moved across the room like a man at odds with something more than himself. " Anesthesis is only the beginning. NASA once asked me to consider the possible application of psychoactive drugs in the space program. They would never admit it, but basically they were concerned with how they were going to keep the resless aastronauts occupied during extended interplanetary missions. This zombi poision could provide a fascinating model for experiments in artifical hibernation.Kline moved across the room like a man at odds with something more than himself.

" Anesthesis is only the beginning. NASA once asked me to consider the possible application of psychoactive drugs in the space program. They would never admit it, but basically they were concerned with how they were going to keep the resless aastronauts occupied during extended interplanetary missions. This zombi poision could provide a fascinating model for experiments in artifical hibernation.Lehman looked at Kline impatiently. "What we want from you, Mr. davis, is the formula of the poision."

The bluntness of his statement, however expected, pushed me back from the table, and I turned my back on them bothe, stepping toward a sliding glass door, until I felt myself caught like a fly in the cross mesh of their gaze.I turned back to them. " What about contracts?""We will be in touch with douyon. And perhaps you should call the BBc and speak with their correspondent.""That's it?" "That's all we know." "And my expenses?" "Wehave a small fund put aside, Just send us the bills."There was nothing more to ask.

They were like two major currents, Kline torrid and surging, Lehman passive and subdued; they had come together, determind to act. My assignment as outlined succinctly by Kline was to travel to Haiti, find the voodoo sorcerers responsible, and obtain samples of the poison and antidote, observing their preparation and if possible documenting their use.As I went out the apartment door, Kline handed me a sealed manila envelope, and it was then I realized that they had assumed all along that I would take the assignment.

I didin't look back, even as I heard their voices continuing behind me.KIline's daughter Marna caught up with me in the lobby. It was late, and I walked her back to her sixty-ninth Street studio. Outside on the streets a thin drizzle had turnec the pavement to pools of yellow light. The storm had passed and the city once again carried its own sounds.

Marna hadn't said anything during the meeting, and she didn't speak now. I asked her aboaut a photograph I had noticed in the apartment, of a frail white-haired man sitting at a desk, reaching a hand across a pair of ivory-handled revolvers."Francois Duvalier. Eugene Smith took it when he and my father were in Haiti.""Your father knew Papa Doc?" she nooded. "How?" "When they set up that institute where Douyon has the zombis. The one named after him.

"After Duvalier?" "No," she said with a laught, "my father. He's been going to Haiti for twenty-five years." "I know. Ever go with him?" "Yes, all the time, but...""Like it?" "Sure, it's wonderful. But listen, you ought to understand something. He really believes zombis exist." "You don't." "That's not the point."Outside her apartment house, an empty cab approached and I hailed it. We said goodnight. It was hours past the last air shuttle, so I directed the cabbie to Grand Central Station and waited for the night train to Boston.Once onboard, I open ed the envelope that Kline had given me.

Besides money and an airplane ticket there was one polaroid p0hotograph, a dull image of a poor black peasant, whom a note identified as Clairvius Narc isse. I found myself cradling his face in my hand, astonished how a mere photograph could make the exotic seem intimate.I still held it as the train pulled out, and then finally I glanced at the airline ticked. I had one week to try and piece together a biologica\l explanation that would fit the limited data.

Reference: The Serpent And The Rainbow: Wade Davis

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