[Original Novel] Down in the Steam Tunnels, Part 7

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Previous parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

They never let up. It’s like an Andy Kaufman routine. I can explain every last detail of how they fake everything and they just carry on with the charade anyway. Absolutely infuriating. Moreso because the projection trick really did shake me somewhat. That’s a terribly cruel prank to play on someone in a place like this.

After a few minutes of walking, we came upon a door. Locked, but rusty, such that with concerted kicking we managed to bust the door open. It was mercifully much cooler than the corridors, and less humid. Dust hanging in the air adhered to the thin layer of sweat coating my skin, forming a sticky film.

The room was concrete like the tunnels but dressed up enough to be livable. Well furnished, although overtly out of date. The nearest shelf bore a rotary telephone, drum of slides, and a phrenological model of a human head with dotted lines demarcating the regions of the skull to be measured for qualities like ‘wistfulness’, ‘vigor’, ‘ingenuity’, and ‘criminality’.

Then, I noticed the machine on the far wall. With the gauges, dials and knobs. And a faint blue glow radiating from the open service panel. Could it be? The room before me didn’t match what I’d seen in the photos. They couldn’t have been taken here. Which means this must simply be where the machine was stashed once the study concluded.

Flipping the light switch accomplished nothing. Evidently the bulb was burnt out. But my eyes were already adjusted, and aided by the faint blinking lights on the face of the machine, so I was able to make out the room well enough to navigate it.

“Ah, here it is” the professor cooed. “Can’t let these fall into the wrong hands.” He unscrewed the glass tubes full of glowing blue gas from within the machine, then pocketed them. There sat a gurney adjacent to the machine, a tangle of thin wires strewn across it, terminating in small metal pins. The sheets were, in places, stained brown with long dried blood.

“What was this room used for?” I softly queried. When no answer came, I looked behind me to study the professor’s face. He appeared uncomfortable, as though deliberating how much I should know. He turned and rummaged through the contents of a shelf, then produced a stack of notebooks. “Better that you hear it straight from the horse’s mouth.”

While I began reading the first notebook, Zach fired up the old fashioned slide projector. Remarkably the little bulb was still good, but the lens needed a bit of cleaning to render the image satisfactorily clear. I glanced up now and then to study the slides. Most matched up with photos I’d already seen reproductions of.

The first notebook was simply a dry, by the numbers description of daily procedures. What I would expect from a disciplined scientist. But because of the format I couldn’t get a big picture sense of what he’d been up to. So, I continued to the second notebook, which turned out to be a journal.

“Personal record of William H. Shendon, August 17th, 1948. Had a disagreeable encounter with some blinkered fool from the sociology department today. Wasn’t even talking to him originally, but to Albert.

We were discussing the imperative of higher grades of human being to uplift degenerates by means of eugenics. It soon erupted into an ugly argument about what constitutes superior or inferior, and who could possibly have the authority to define either. Won’t anyone do? Is there really anyone alive who doesn’t recognize the supreme importance of qualities like intelligence, strength and health?

To pretend that there is any significant variation in how most define superiority is a red herring. To position me as some sort of self appointed arbiter of what constitutes superiority is just a tiresome attempt to embarrass. It is always the degenerates who try to sow such tactical confusion, to conceal their shortcomings and put their betters on the defensive.

I am still in shock at the result of the war. Not so much that the German leadership failed, given the fuhrer’s history of poor strategic decisions and well known abuse of methamphetamines, but at the realization that their failure has doomed the science of eugenics.

I encounter ever more opposition to my field with each passing day. Though I have never so much as spoken an ill word to or about any Jew, it is routinely implied that I am antisemitic, by the tenuous association of any eugenic enterprise with the atrocities of the deceased reich.

Over my protestations, sociology and all related departments are being wilfully handed over to critical theorists, with the admittedly noble aim of ensuring that the atrocities of the Germans are never repeated. But, what will this mean for America?

There will soon come a generation which does not simply repeat the sociologist’s well meaning lies to facilitate social harmony, but which truly believes them. Which either does not remember that there was a time when such ideas were known to be false, or regards us as monsters for it.

Sincerely, I hope they are right that there exist no biological differences between geographically separated human populations. That somehow, despite all appearances, we are identical in every crucial respect. Because if they are wrong, then by embarking upon this new course, we are destroying ourselves.

I mean not to sound harsh, or exclusive. But it is no secret that there exists a strong correlation between intelligence and the function, or dysfunction, of a society. Between the average intellect of its constituent citizens and the level of organization, provision, comfort, safety and efficiency of its operation.

If the new thinkers are mistaken in their belief that there exists no connection whatsoever between heredity and intelligence, and they succeed in their aim of homogenizing humanity to achieve the final death of discrimination, what sort of civilization will look back on these accomplishments in a few centuries time?

Will they have advanced meaningfully beyond us? Or will the dwindling populations of surviving anglo saxons, teutonics and asiatics create the illusion of progress by occasional feats of brilliant engineering, even while society at large decays around them? As the average intelligence of citizenry, source and perpetuator of civilizational functionality, continues to plummet?

I mean no harm to any breed of man. Contrary to what I know is whispered about me by those contemptuous vipers in the sociology department, I bear no relation to the German barbarians who so recently laid waste to Europe. Who we’ve sacrificed so much to defeat, hopefully for the last time.

However, I recognize the central importance of brainpower to sustaining and improving our quality of life. The brain is the lynchpin of it all. Committing irreversibly to any policy which degrades the average IQ over time begins a downward spiral, a sort of evolutionary regression from which no escape is possible. Because there will soon be nobody left capable of understanding why it is occurring or how to reverse it.

Why does this matter? Isn’t it only because of the tremendous success of Western civilization, due to the intelligence which established and sustains it, that we are able to not only support ourselves but also the undeveloped world with medicine and other provisions? Who will provide those things to us when our own civilization breaks down? Its rotting corpse picked clean by the ever-swelling ranks of belligerent, greedy simpletons.”

Perverse, atavistic ideas I was all too familiar with. I recalled a humanities course which, for a few days, covered the shameful error of American eugenics. Whole enclosed villages erected solely as someplace to imprison those deemed unfit to live in healthy society, much less to reproduce.

There were, for many decades, impassioned arguments put forth by what at the time passed for learned men, that we should all have to carry eugenic certificates attesting to our level of hereditary fitness. That we should marry not for love, but with a view to creating offspring that are in certain ways an improvement over us.

Stay Tuned for Part 8!

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