Chapter One 1st D


When I was taught about Randall Dalton in school, I was taught that he was martyred. Not killed, martyred. And I was struck, then, as I learned the history of his life, struck by the perfectness of the verb they had chosen to describe the indeterminable result of such an act. What Dalton did for us, what his untimely death did for the country, the emotional connection he made with each of us, the sense of wonder and majesty he brought to his work, the documentation of every accomplishment via broadband. The renewal of life he gave to Lady Liberty, to our virtue, to the American Dream. I find myself truly awed by his patience, his dedication, even in death, the dedication of his penumbral spirit, the transcendent enigma that blossomed, as he became something larger than himself. And I am awed by the nature of the hand fate dealt to him, the retribution of time against its own creation, by the physical incarnation of his inward nemesis.

Now I know that to suggest that he had not already been the living, breathing heart – the soul of theoretical physics, and the voice of the subject’s emerging applications within our society… To suggest that he had not already shaped American policy by age thirty-five… But the growth that followed suit, the galvanization of integrity that occurred, no doubt a result of the country’s unification in anger, and the surprisingly continuous lack of hesitation on behalf of congress, even the incessant support of absurd and respectable celebrities alike –Combined efficiency of contributing factors aside, the details of his death are not subtle. And the event, while tragic, in both past and present tense, exists now within its own uniquely doleful realm of scientific merit. His death has stayed with me, as it has stayed with all of us, and I must confess to recreate the act as it occurred, from tape and memory. It is an addiction I dare not fight, for the fear that I might lose the satisfaction of my understanding of the moment, the enveloping fulfillment I gain as this image of destiny replays itself through the manifested projections of my psyche. I tell myself that these redundant episodes are proof that life does not suffer in vain. The climax comes in one instant, after a hollow chime, an indication towards the opening of an elevator door. In corresponding fashion a man opens fire, sending in through the gape of this growing portal a spray of meteoric rain. I listen to the noise and vibrational quality of the high-powered compact, as the machine is transformed into a vehicle of impeding reality. Held tight it spasms, an orchestral seizure surging endlessly from the clutches our indignant perpetrator. I watch as exactly ninety uranium projectiles are ejected, each bullet with its own specific momentum, each contained explosion, each blast and blinding glare, each momentary transfer of impetus, each metal slug as it buries itself into this body built from a flesh more pure than any other. I watch the victim’s attempt to save himself from imaginary angles. His attempt to jump behind the lip of the elevator console, as forty punctuations are abruptly submitted for registration. His appendages come to rest on the elevator floor. Now through the gap our assailant’s eyes see a pair of legs, connected, propped up by the girth of an old man’s belly. The assailant does not move, nor release the trigger. When the mechanism finally locks, everything bellow the man’s stomach has been methodically disintegrated into a red swamp of oxygenated hemoglobin. Its purpose served, the smoking gun flies forward into the future. Steaming and sizzling, it merges with the abstracted remains of the good doctor’s digestive system.

Now our assailant flees. A pool of fluid spreads indiscriminately across the elevator floor. Though stained completely, his corpse remains intact above the border of his sternum. His arms are bunched into a mess above his head, as his face hides in the low corner silently. He issues no complaint. The doctor’s abdomen and legs are no longer in attendance; they have been replaced by the parochial vomit of an individual society.

I’m sure the medical team being able to reach him within thirty seconds is important. The setting is the lobby of a hotel – which is of course important, and then the fact that the timeframe is the interim before an award gala, occurring at the same location. One should always consider the benefits of being murdered at those parties frequented by prestigious scientists. A contemporary of Dalton’s was able to replace his heart on the spot, replace, i.e. She jammed the prototype of a portable transfusion system all the way up inside the three aqueducts of his dead and now severely contorted neck. After that the paramedics were somehow able to transport the remains of his body to New York Presbyterian Hospital, where it was determined, the following day, that by miracle of science, no substantial brain damage had occurred.