This is the preliminary writing from the early timed writing sessions at Louisa’s Bakery before they closed shop. I wrote each section under the clock, the usual time was 45 minutes, read each section to the table, then dictated into text. This was the usual practice for writers at the table. This method gives the writer a chance to hear the words in real time. In the early stages of the process, I was still working out the characters, the story line, object links, laying down the plot tracks, and writing the world-building sections, some of which were cut as the novel transitioned from draft to draft. I have saved all twenty-three drafts of this novel. Each draft was hand-written.
Scene by Scene from Opening to Ending
Use both Recreating Deirdre and Biology of Desire Cut To Sequences for material.
Citadel changes Trisha and Trisha changes Citadel.
Citadel changes Trisha: As she reads, her life changes.
Trisha changes Citadel: As she edits the book, she changes it.
One of the charges of the Expedition is to run a census of the Exos. This will give some data about the longevity of the Exos.
The numbers in Citadel—Each Citadel has a number—no name.
There are only 210 citadels in the world.
Each citadel has between 4000 and 5000 Daughters.
The Maximum number of Daughters will be between 840000 and 1050000. Worldwide.
The names in Citadel
The names in Citadel are no pretty names. Ranging from monosyllabic to disyllabic: Jet, Ret, Kar, Broog, Kirsis. Each daughter her has progenitrix’s name tattooed on her forehead along with the number of the Citadel where she was born. Jet C195; Kar C43; These are not large tattoos but could be census markers.
Around each citadel, there are villages or hamlets of Exos.
Each hamlet or village has a small population. As of 250 AF, there is no clear count of the number of Exos living in the hamlets.
Three types of XYs—
Glands—very rare. Maybe 5 in 100000 births. Glands are uninfected. That is they do not have the killer gene. Inhibitase intact.
Mutants—very rare. Maybe 2 in 500000 births. Mutants are XY infected with Gene 13—no inhibitase . The killing gene intact. The Mutants are the XY at the time of the erosion of Gene 13.
The Census has to know before making The Decision.
The Planners know how many Glands and Mutants there are. They have the numbers and they do control the numbers.
Biology of Desire time: 2020, four years after the Publication of Citadel.
Citadel time: 365 After Foundation. A.F. the new chronology.
Exo time is still running on AD because of the religious war mentality.
Deirdre: “You have to shed all the skins women have ever worn.”
Deirdre: “To say No is to Die.”
Deirdre’s Arc of Change: She begins wounded in little girl costume—those skirts, the blouses, the shoulder-length hair—and becomes powerful, enabled, in black. Don’t know yet about the hair.
Biology of Desire opens in a scene called Over the Transom. It is late at night. A woman gets out of a car in front of Nash Publishing. She drops a manuscript through the mail slot. She gets back in her car and drives away.
The next scene is called My Sister’s Needs. Trisha is at her sister’s for the weekend. She listens to her sister and brother in law argue, have sex. She leaves, returns to her apartment.
In her bed, in her sister’s house, Trisha listened to the sounds, the grunts, the buried whimpers and whispers. She could not understand how the orgasm drove automatic behavior. She understood the drive to have a baby, the need to build a family, not to live alone. But it didn’t have to be inevitable. If she said no, if she refused, would she ever again lie in the dark in a room the sweat and perfume of sex guiding hands to her lips, fingers to her vagina, the taste of sex, the seductive hammer that smashes all reason, eliminating everything but desire?
In her bed, she imagined sex with a woman. This Deirdre who had sent the novel, Citadel. Was she a woman whose body was as voluptuous as orchids, as wet as melting ice, as slick as oil—Desire alone—a way to deny half the past, desire for self, desire for orgasm and feeling and the swarming, buzzing, giddy sensation of going mad with lust and seeing the end—Did every woman need the thing Carlyne needed?
Tears in her eyes, Trisha turned on her side to stare out the window into the dawn. She would have to find out who this woman, Deirdre, was.
Trisha understood her brother-in-law. He was captive in the cage of desire, driven delirious by an urge he could not deny. He was trapped in the web of desire and he yielded. Carlyne yielded, unconscious, automatic, not asking why, just doing it because it had to be done without thinking about later. Automatic.
Carlyne gasped, her words not language but groans and grunts —and guttural moanings died and turned to silence then “She’ll hear us.”
“She knows what it’s all about.”
“She’s still my sister.”
Trisha remembered her first time, the strangeness of sex, the odor of sex, the odor that in some way was stronger than the urge itself. She was eighteen. Anxious. The man penetrated her and he had been in her body, three million years flooding into her and at the moment she thought how natural it was and then again and again…But she had not screamed. She could not scream. She had never screamed. She wanted to scream, but nothing made her scream. [THIS IS WHAT DRIVES HER HUNTING—SHE’S LOOKING FOR RELEASE AND IT NEVER COMES. SHE IS NON-ORGASMIC]
And then, on the bed in her sister’s house she understood that to be alone was to die. Alone, she was one of the sisterhood of the murdered, one of the vases broken before the time of flowers—she was one of the women who died because they were women carrying the disease of desire that did not find its cure in coupling in blind repetition and release and orgasm and ejaculation. She was one who needed something else.
Getting dressed, she left Carlyne’s and drove back to Santa Monica, to her office, to her silence, to the manuscript.
The next scene is called Throw it Away. Trisha is Acquisitions Editor at Nash Publishing In her office is going through submissions. She comes across a mss:—Citadel. No return address, no phone, no sase. Trisha has to decide what to do with it. She drops it in a desk drawer. Later, she pulls it out and is about to toss it in the trash—company policy at Nash Publishing—no sase, no read, no return address, no return. But she flips it over and sees an email address—email@example.com. Intrigued, Trisha reads the first page. That opening of the Citadel again. She glances at it, debates about throwing it away. Drops it in a drawer.
Nash Publishing was a small house in a small building on Santa Monica Boulevard three blocks from the Pier. Clara Nash owned the company and ran it with a hard hand and an eye to block buster novels. Even at 4:00 AM, the office smelled of coffee and perfume. Trisha sat at her desk and opened the drawer with Citadel in it and she looked down at the manuscript. On the first page, in lower case, the title—nothing else.
It had come in the night through the mail slot in an envelope addressed to Trisha de Tours, Acquisitions Editor , Nash Books, the way manuscripts used to come over the transom only to be buried in the slush pile. It came with no SASE, no return address, no phone number. It was company policy—no SASE, no read. No return address, no read. No email address—into the trash. But the manuscript intrigued her and Trisha had kept it.
She flipped to the opening and read again the image that had seized her the first day—
From a distance, you see that this is an ancient place. Its walls are scarred with moss and scabbed with vines. The only color is green.
Early dawn mist forms a fuzzy dome sealing the citadel off and the walls separate it from the world stretched out around it.
As you approach, the size of the walls overwhelms you. They reach so high up that they dwarf you and the dizzying feeling spins you and you step back and again breathe.
The immense circular walls they provide those within them a defined space and they prevent those without from having intercourse with those within. It is obvious that only those who are wanted can enter, for there is no breach through which a random adventurer can squirm.
Still, you look for an opening. A portal. A way in.
As you circle the walls—it is a long walk—two links in circumference—you feel the balance and the balance is beauty. Self-sufficient and impenetrable. It requires nothing from outside itself. You look again at the scars and scabs on the walls and you see the residue of chaos, perhaps the chaos of war. At last on the opposite side of the Citadel, you find the entrance behind a veil of green.
The citadel is built in two parts–the walls and the center spindle. Catwalks span the distance from the ovoid shell of the solerian spindle to the walls. An interconnected lattice-work of colored metals and concrete.
As you enter, you are swept into a labyrinthine complexity of windows-a glass sheath, a glossy membrane facing the walls. You see it at last—the people who inhabit this citadel look inward. They have no obvious connection to the outside. The unbroken solidity of the outer walls is a blank whose message is unmistakable: the inhabitants are separate from the outside world, they choose not to look at it.
Trisha closed the manuscript, then turned to the last page where, in faint pencil she found an email address—firstname.lastname@example.org.
She would start there.
1: Trisha tries to find the author
[Add Caleb to this scene, use him to talk about the post-lesbian novel. This is a big theme in this book—post-lesbian means just what?]
The manuscript was 533 pages of single space typescript. It weighed five and one quarter pounds. The paper was bone-like and cracked. Trisha ran a Xerox and then scanned the pages for an electronic copy that she stored in the cloud. When she finished, she pulled out the last page with the faint email address on it. The Xerox was even more faded. Using a soft lead pencil, Trisha traced letter by letter until the address revealed itself. Deirdre @scumbag.com.
At her computer, Trisha entered the address and a note—
We received your mss. Contact us asap.
She sent it.
Then, she went to Clara’s office. Caleb was there.
“Need to talk.”
“No more money,” Clara said, “until I see a blockbuster from you.”
Clara’s office was stacked with books. Books on shelves, books on the floor—romances, memoirs, mysteries—each one a shining example of the creaking nature of the publishing business. Of the two hundred books Nash Books had brought out, nine—exactly nine—made it to the second printing and four—only four, had been optioned to the movies and of the four, one had been adapted but never filmed while the second—a horror date-movie about a giant eel—had been shot and released. Clara was both hungry and unhappy.
“That’s what I need to talk about,” Trisha said.
Clara looked up from the papers on her desk. She pulled off her reading specs and flipped them on the desk.
“Okay,” she said, “I’m listening.”
“I’ve found one that might be something.”
Clara rubbed her eyes, then leaned over the desk on her elbows.
“It’s called Citadel,” Trisha said.
“A war novel? We don’t do war novels.”
Clara looked haggard. She was fifty-two, in shape, beautiful, manicured but worn down by the business. She had money, lots of it, and she wasn’t afraid to spend it—but she wanted a block buster, a string of best sellers, a book she could sell to a producer who kept begging her for material.
“It’s a literary novel,” Trisha said.
“Damn it, Trish, you know how I feel about literary novels.”
“This one is different.”
“That’s what you said about Zanzibar and it died.”
“I know,” Trisha said. She sat in the hot seat, the facing chair that felt like it was at the center of a death ray when Clara looked at her. “But this one isn’t like anything we’ve ever bought.”
Clara leaned back, stretched. She spun then and faced the window that looked out on the Pacific. She said,
“I trust you, Trisha, I really do, but it’s been a while since you came through.”
“Let me tell you about it.”
“Write me some coverage.”
“It doesn’t work that way.”
“It’s a novel, it works that way,” Clara said.
“It’s not very well written.”
“It’s loaded with ideas, but it might be written by a scientist.”
“Just what we need—an unreadable literary novel written by an egghead.”
“I want to turn the chakra book over to Ziv and work on this one,” Trisha said. “I’ve never wanted to work on anything more. This is out there. Really out there.”
“Who’s the author?”
“I don’t know.”
Clara whirled around, her death ray eyes piercing and fierce. She leaned on her desk glaring. She said,
“A literary novel by an unknown author who might be a scientist but can’t write. That’s Nash Books material all right.”
“No, I mean I don’t know who wrote it.”
“Not exactly. It came over the transom, no name on it, no address, no phone number, nothing—except a hint. On the last page, an email address that might or might not be for the author.”
“You’re a smart editor, Trish,” Clara said. “You take junk and find the gold in it but…”
“It’s a post-apocalyptic with only women in it.”
Clara smiled. “A lesbian novel? We have a dozen of them on the list.”
“And they’re doing okay.”
“It’s LA, of course they do okay. But I want more.”
“It’s not a lesbian novel. I guess you have to call it post-lesbian. Really. It’s not like anything I’ve ever read.”
“You can’t sign the author to a contract if you don’t have an author.”
“I’m working on that,” Trisha said.
“Work harder. But I’ll have to see the manuscript before you sign and I’ll have to give it to my focus group.”
“Any woman who reads this will change and you’ll have your best seller.”
“A Post-lesbian novel? I’ll have to see it to find out what you mean by that.”
“I’ll send you the ebook.”
“You’ve already copied it? You’re make assumptions.”
“You’ll need it for your focus group.”
Trisha returned to her desk and checked the email. Nothing from Deirdre@scumbag.com. She opened the manuscript to a section called War of Savagery and she got chills reading the first paragraph:
Skeletons, bones,unburied, the scent of decay in her nose of bodies unburied. Filina, beside her. Looking deep into the shadow of the atrium, Deeta saw bodies everywhere. Everywhere there were bodies. Stacked together as if caught in a mob, spread out in twos and threes as if felled as they ran. Clothing tattered. Rags adrift in the breeze as if they had died in mid-stride.
The bones were all female, all ages, even little girls. Every skull had been crushed, every bone shattered, and you could still feel the chaos in those bones even though the flesh had long ago decayed.
Head swimming, Trisha set the book down and she took a deep breath and held it until the dizziness left her clear again and then she closed the book and set it back in the bottom drawer of her desk. She picked up the phone, called Rose, and then went to the beach.
The next scene is called Hunting. It takes place on the beach. Trisha is hunting for beach meat. She finds a specimen, takes him home, fucks him, then tosses him out.
The plot track runs from Many to One:
Notes from 9-18-2014: Put a ritual of competition in this scene to show how the Blood Lust link that Deirdre writes about in “The Games” intersects with Trisha’s life; She chooses the winner. Blood letting so that she gets to choose the winner; volley ball as a contact blood sport leaves two standing, Trisha chooses that one.
She gives him orders—she takes control. This if after the backstory scene where she was raped when she said No. She feels nothing—maybe on purpose. She is non-orgasmic, that’s in the backstory. Make the dialogue after sex more specific and longer. He wants wine, she says no, shoves him out, he comes back at her, but she wants the anonymity and control. Something about her that makes men want to abuse her. She is PREY. She goes through the same ritual lots of times because she’s trying to exorcise what happened in the backstory. She was CUT.
Note 9-29-2014 Spine of this section is Female Mating Choice. Trisha has lost the Reproductive drive. This is important. Explore this idea. The disconnect between the evolved Mating Choice Process and the Recreational, Personal Sex Choice.
Are you man enough for me?
Baby, I’ve got everything you need and then some.
I’ve got enough for six of you.
You’re useless. You can’t even make me come.
The sand still held the heat as the sun dove into the Pacific. Trisha watched the six men playing volleyball—the game was in the third hour and they were bloody. Shielding her eyes, Trisha saw a service—a high leap, a smash, the ball zeroed in on the receiver taking him in the face. He went down. Bleeding.
He crawled to the edge of the court and sat, head bowed while the now three on two match continued.
The ball slamming from hand to meat sounded like the grunting of pigs and the server on the two side lept high, took the pass from his partner and over the top smashed his enemy with a closed fist—blood again. The victim dropped to his knees and his teammates surged under the net into the enemy court and there was the grunting and crunch of fist to head, knee to groin, and the first victim rose and tackled an intruder, gouging at his eyes. Trish cringed, got to her knees, watching the beach meat tangle then untangle until the teams had separate, sweaty and covered with sand.
Backing away, the first team dashed to the surf, one of them limping, dragging his left leg where the enemy had landed as he fell from an elbow to the head.
Trisha looked at the remaining team, all kneeling, bleeding on the sand, and she noticed that one of them had focused on her on her beach town on the sand in the light of the dipping sun. He smiled.
He rose just as the team of three ran from the surf and in a killing lust threw him to the sand and then turned to the other two who hurled sand at the intruders and there was again the shouting and again the crunching of body to body, of fist to head, of foot to gut and the howling sent chills up Trisha’s back.
She waited and watched as the surf intruders feel back hobbling and bleeding, turning to face their attackers with shaking of fists and cursing.
Trisha relaxed back onto the beach towel and the sand and she picked up her device and checked her email and as she read, she heard the remaining beach meat settle into a one on one game. The tall brown one slammed a drive over the net and into the chest of his opponent, his erstwhile teammate, and the down man said, Hey easy guy, and the tall brown one called him a pussy and with that the hurt one charged the tall brown one who met the attack with a foot to the face, spinning in a shower of blood and sand and the wounded one flew back, head snapping back, onto his back and his face was blood and his jaw cocked at a strange angle. His teammate said, you killed him and the tall brown one—glancing at Trisha—said, he ain’t dead just beat and you’re next. Go fuck yourself, the challenger said and he helped his fallen teammate to his feet and together the duo limped off the battle field to the tarmac pathway to the parking lot.
Trisha watched them get into a gunmetal gray Tesla and drive away. She turned to the victor scrubbing his chest, legs, and belly with sand then, dusting his hands, he came to her out of the sun disk until he stood before her and she saw the smear of blood on his neck and the shadow of a birthing bruise on his cheek.
Heaving, breath coming hard, he looked at her, flexed and sweaty and covered with death grit. Trisha saw that he was shaved—his head, his chest, his legs slick and tanned and she eyed the patch of lyrca that housed his bulging sex that as he stood before her grew.
Trisha pulled her sunglasses down with one finger. She said,
“Are you shaved everywhere?”
“Uh huh,” he said.
Trisha shoved her sunglasses back up and she looked away but he did not leave. He said,
“I seen you here before.”
“I seen you read before.”
“A book,” Trisha said.
She held up her device and the screen flashed in the dying light. He said,
“I seen you leave with guys.”
He knelt at the edge of her towel just on the sand, not yet in her space. She smelled his musk, his sweat, smelled the blood still on him.
Notes: 9-29-2014: A list of what she sees as fit. This is before the changes when she has read the novel and sees what’s going on. Tall; fit; respects her boundary; Checklist: last check, he has to read but he says “Books fuck up my head.” So this turns her off and accounts for the rejection. Rose: Fault is with you. T: What? R: something missing.
“I don’t think so today.”
“I’m good,” he said.
“Not good enough.”
“You seen me take them pussies.”
“I seen you,” Trisha said, “and I felt sorry for them.”
“They lost, I won.”
“And what did you win?”
“I beat’em all.”
“And what did you win by beating them all?”
Notes 9-29-2014: She’s seen this elimination war many times. She comes to the beach expecting it, but not knowing why she wants it. The female making mating choices. She tries to be distant, uninterested, but she’s curious about who will win. THE WISH FOR A WINNER.
He looked at her. His brown eyes raking her. He laid his hands on his thighs, fingers long but knotty. He said,
“What’s got into you? I beat’em. I won. I made’em bleed.”
Trisha stood. He stood. She pulled her sheer beach wrap around her and tied it at the waist. She rolled her beach towel and dropped her device into her sack and she headed to the tarmac.
He did not follow.
She stopped at her car, the top down. She set the towel and her sack on the seat and she glanced back at him. He still stood on the sand where she had left him and he was hunched over, a silhouette against the red Pacific sky.
Notes 9-29-2014: Too much blood for her. She doesn’t know why it bothers her now. Seat was empty; this time, before she has a flash back to another time when she took the winner home. This is a constant failure on her part. She’s hunting the orgasm, no idea why she can’t. Rose doesn’t know either. She’s looking for the right combination of traits. What are you looking for, Trisha? I want a man who…she doesn’t know what she wants. Books mean something to her. Refer to her lack of orgasm and she rejects him. She rejects him because he can’t make her come and that will make her feel bad about it. Need to explore this.
She drove up the canyon to Lassen Drive to the eucalyptus grove to her house where she parked and sat at the wheel thinking about the war in the sand. She knew that the next time she went to the beach, the battle would go on again and the victor would drive away his victims and he would smell of sweat and blood and he would have the scars and scabs of a fighter.
Inside, the house smelled of sandalwood and tea. It smelled clean. It was hers.
As she showered, her bikini hanging from the glass door, she thought again of the beach meat and his expectation—to the victor go the spoils. She laughed. For three hours they had fought. For three hours she had watched. For three hours the one remaining expected to claim her because he had won.
In the kitchen, Trisha poured a glass of chardonnay and carried it, with her device, onto the deck in the shade of the eucalyptus trees and the scent of redwood and she called up the novel—Citadel—and scrolled to the section titled Games—
Notes from 9-29-2014:
Deirdre the writer needs an attitude. More facets to her. Despair? Anger? Reference to martyr. Beach volleyball becomes metaphor for all games and the blood lust that comes in the Y chromosome.
Deirdre in the games scene writes: a mutation in the Y chromosome accelerated the blood lust.
Daughter language and daughter as characters in Citadel.
Blood; Christianity; Jerusalem; Cross; Crescent; scimitar; mosque; sword; football; blood; pain; head injuries; praying to god on his knees.
Question: who has the voice here in this Games Scene? Need too Place it in Citadel. Is it one of the Archaeohistorians?
The blood lust evolved in the males. It had been there from the beginning, but religion set it on a new path. With Christianity, it took the form of games. With Islam, it took the form of belief. Before the Games, death was death, but in the Games, to let blood became the purpose. The lust died back for a thousand years but was resurrected with the Inquisition and the coincident discovery of the Americas. Killing was still in the name of religion, riches, and land, but in the last century, the blood lust emerged coupled with Christianity and sports. The men took the games to the farthest point, to excess, and it came down to blood.
Every game was played to the death. In Rome there could be a victor and a vanquished, but by the mid-twenty-first century, before First Martyrs, the games were played until the last player died. In 95 A.F. the blood lust peaked in the Wars of Savagery. The killer gene was working itself out and would soon be out of control. Women were the targets and the Citadels were the only salvation. Had it not been for Foundation and the Martyrdom, women would have either been slaughtered or captured and turned into breeders.
As she read, Trisha got chills—not from the weather, not from the evening, not from what she had witnessed for three hours in the sand but because Deirdre had laid it out—the origin of blood lust, the history of killing, the games a preparation for war and the hiatus from murder that gave way to the twenty-first century. The games as war. Winning was no longer the goal—early on, they realized that there was no winner in war, but still the lust for blood and broken bone and shattered skulls became the end. Women had no place in that and that, Deirdre wrote, is the path of divergent evolution.
This section introduces the way the citadels communicate using a radio network that piggy backed on the Old Society wireless system. The Exos know nothing about this because the Planners have engineered them “until 300 AF” Kirsis tells them. More secrecy in the subtext of her presentation.
Notes 9-29-2014: Needs to be more specific. Reason for the killing. She finds it in Citadel: Genes on the Y chromosome mutated and this brought on the killing frenzy. Trisha changes as she reads the book that she is changing as the editor of the book.
Notes 10-13-2014: capitalize Gene 13. Numbers get in the way—simplify to necessary. Personalize—use Broog from the expedition in AF250? Maybe use Broog as a hologram. She’s been dead for a hundred years? What does Kirsis want from the presentation?. She wants them to choose one or the other, but she can’t slant it or direct them. What do they want? They need information because they have to vote on the future of the human race.
Structure of Kirsis’ presentation: maybe use only five projections with the Ossuary at Three for climax.
What are the Key Words in the Daughter Culture?
What is the reaction of the Delegates to the Male Action in the hologram?
Use Inhibitase for Gene 13 as an echo word.
Use Page 15 line=what does it mean to be human? As a question from one of the delegates—name where each questioner is from.
Make the audience have an agenda. Does conflict emerge? Does each citadel already have an agenda?
“Nineteen,” Kirsis said. “Of the six hundred genes of the proto Y chromosome, only nineteen remained at the time of the War of Savagery.” She projected a schematic on the screen, a holographic image of the twenty-two chromosomes—male and female—and the two sex chromosomes—the X and the Y. Using a pointer, she tagged the Y chromosome. It glowed in the projection. She said, “Nineteen and still decaying.”
The delegates muttered. Kirsis waited for silence. There was no noise, just the hiss of air streaming into the auditorium, Kirsis speaking then,”In 200 millions years. The Y lost all but 19 genes. The rate of loss accelerated in the two hundred years after Foundation. In the Old Count, which is 2026 years before Foundation, archaeohistorians have found that the last mutation which was the loss of gene 13, coincided with the co-evolution of blood lust and religion.”
This was news to the delegates and it caused whispers and one on one chatter. Kirsis, expecting the reactions, waited until the busyness died down, then she continued.
“That gene, which controlled inhibition decayted leaving the eighteen genes without a tether and we know now from bone DNA analysis, that the effects were catastrophic and the result of this release was an overpowering propensity to and religion and that brought out the desire for games which peaked in Old Count 2016, or One Foundation. The decay worked this way…” Kirsis projected a holographic schematics of the X and the Y chromosomes. “The inhibitory gene, once decayed, led to the expression of the primal blood lust but without the socialization of factuals. We know from the histories that death had always been a drive, sometimes turning inward, but the dual prong of religion and blood lust led to the games of annihilation.”
Kirsis flashed a hologram of an historical combat—horses, riders in armor, lances, and an Exo holding a staff with a cross at the top of it. Kirsis said,
“The winner became not the last warrior standing, but the one who let the most blood. All games reached their peak of intensity twelve years before Foundation, and it is in that year that the trait first showed up—in the Wars of Savagery the broke out after the Genesis of Plague.”
Kirsis changed the projection and on the screen piles of bones and beside the bones, a Daughter demonstrating. She held up a skull with gaps in it. Broken femurs. Ulnas. Ribs, entire skeletons crushed. Kirsis said,
“This was the first discovery by the Expedition of 250 AF in the region of Cuernavaca. By count, there are 9021 daughters—adults and children—all victims of a massacre at that Citadel, which by the records, began as a Virgin Citadel allowing no XY.”
The hush in the auditorium was complete. Kirsis heard quiet sobs. And then silence, that deep silence when shock gives way to anger. Kiris then said,
“Every game was played to the death. At one time in Old Count 246, the first record the archaeohistorians can pinpoint, there were Victors and Victims, but after that date, the killer gene accelerated in its effects and without gene 19, now called inhibitase when found in the Mutants, went out of control.”
Another projection. A series of images, each on labled with its Old Culture name–a cross, a crescent, a scimitar, a mosque, a cathedral, an oblong ball, blood, and an Exo in dark cloth and hooded, on his knees, hands raised. Kirsis said,
“In every game, the players of both sides called down a god to help them and this, the fusion of religion and blood lust worked its way from the collective games—“ Kirsis projected the oblong ball, a round ball, a circular muffin-shaped object—black and shiny—“to the one on one combats.”
She projected a kinetic hologram of an Exo, half-naked, holding padded gloves, followed by two enormous Exos facing off, growling and one of them picked up the other and cracked his back and blood gushed from his mouth and the giant then cut off his victim’s head and marched around holding up the severed head. Kirsis said,
“From there to collective action against the foundation citadels was just a short step.”
Again she projected the ossuary and the shattered bones of the daughters and again the delegates murmured. Kirsis said,
“Age, size, nothing made any difference. Once the inhibitase was active, the daughters were vulnerable and unprotected and the rage focused on them and when the victims were all dead, the record shows us that the Exos turned on one another—only our work in genetics after Foundation 100 put a halt to it. Only the emergence of the Glands saved the race and that is our choice now save the race or to end it. To save what is left of the Y and its genes or to end it. We have no idea what will happen if another gene decays. No idea. And that is charge of the Congress.”
Kirsis projected another screen of the twenty-two chromosomes, then of the XX without the Y. She said,
“This is replication without the Y gamete. It is, as you see, absent any vestige of the Y. We have by our genetics saved them, the Exos, but we have seen the Mutants in the Exo-cultures. Were it not for the work we have done on the gametes from the Glands, and the repositioning of other genes, the Mutants might have regressed but it is now impossible for Exos to act in concert. What you may or may not know, and there is no secret at all, is that the Glands were generated by archaeohistorians from pre 18 bones. We have, in the Glands, produced a regressive XY and the Glands are the sole donors allowable in procreation. You have to decide, in this congress, whether that is to continue. We’ll continue with the Expedition’s instruction tomorrow.”
Kirsis shut down the projector. She took a deep breath. She was nervous as she studied the delegates. She stood on the dais watching the daughters exit. She heard their chatter and she felt sweat working down her sides. She knew it was an impossible decision. The end result could only be the extinction or a shift to complete parthenogenesis. She balked at that. She herself was a combinatory daughter. What did it mean to be human if complete eradication of the XOs was the decision?
She was leaving when a daughter came to her, a grave look on her face. She held a reader. She said,
“I copied your projections>”
“Good,” Kirsis said. “It will help you make your decision when the vote comes.”
Kirsis glanced at the name tattooed on her forehead along with her Citadel code. She said,
“Kea, that’s an interesting name. How did it come to be?”
“It’s an acrostic of my progenitrices,” Kea said. “K for Kit, E for Eda, A for Ang. But I have to know…”
“Was the mutation that eroded gene 13 environmentally induced or was it some other mechanism? That time was the period of environmental degradation and I know that estrogen and estrogen precursors were having an effect on menarche in the Old Society.”
“You are well informed, Kea,” Kirsis said. “The read now is that it was on its way—other genes have clean functions in the control of proteins, but 13 fell the way, the other fifteen hundred decayed. It just happened.”
“So,” Kea said, “we have been taught, in my Citadel, that everything is chance and that we are the way we are because of recombination which can’t be controlled.”
“Up to 300 After Foundation,” Kirsis said, “that was the case. But now we have control of the entire genome.”
“Are you a parthenogyne?” Kea said.
“Why do you ask?”
“Your features are so perfect.”
“I’m an accident, Kea. We are all accidents.”
Intercut Rose-Trisha Session.
Rose One comes early in The Biology of Desire. Trisha has read the novel but hasn’t met Deirdre yet. She has this giddy, uneasy feeling that she’s into something powerful but she can’t place it or tell what it is. She visits Rose after a session with a hunk of beach meat that goes haywire. Trisha tells Rose that she hates herself, hates her past, hates what she’s becoming. Rose says, Um huh.
(have engineered the Exos now not to collect or to do anything in a group)
~*~*~ [above is the Rewrite of the beach scene]
Trisha lay on the beach on a towel in her red bikini. Around her, a half dozen hunks of beach meat—all Prime—flexed and sweaty. They were all beautiful, a rainbow of meat—brown meat, black meat, white meat. All of them hung like Gargantua and showing it, all of them performing for the body in the bikini on the sand.
Trisha—the Princess and the Pea—watched their fertility display, lacking only the antlers and the battle scream.
At sunset, Trisha stood. None of the meat had left her in three hours. She rolled up her towel, picked up Citadel, and lowering her sun glasses, looked right at the tall brown hunk of meat with a shaven head and iron abs. She said,
“Are you shaved everywhere?”
Trisha handed him her rolled up towel and led him off the beach to the parking lot. On the beach the five remaining hunks rushed like a football team for the toilet instead of going into the water to pee. Trisha watched them bump shoulders as they crowded through the door.
Her brown meat got in on the passenger side. He said,
“Carrera, nice wheels. Lotta car.”
The drive up Santa Monica Canyon was slow. Trisha took her time. She watched her brown meat out of the corner of her eye as she geared down for the curves, then back up and he tapped his thighs with his palms and Trisha laughed—he hadn’t gone into the surf, he hadn’t made a run to the head. His eye teeth were floating —the meat with the iron bladder won.
When she parked in the drive of her house, he got out, doing a little pee dance. Trisha took her time to unlock the house, pulling the key out of the lock, going inside. He followed. She touched his chest. He jitterbugged and he said,
“Can I use the head?”
“Down the hall on the left,” Trisha said. She walked behind him to the bathroom and stood in the doorway while he peed—a long stream, and she heard him sigh. She came up to him, put her hands on his muscled back and turned him around. His bikini down, she looked at his cock. She said,
“You are shaved everywhere.”
Leading him by his erect penis, she pulled him to the bedroom and shed her bikini and sat on the bed looking at him. He dropped to his knees and spread her legs and lapped at her, running his tongue over her shaved pudenda. She untied her bikini top and pulled him to her breasts and he sucked at her, slurping as he caught his breath. She guided his cock into her and slapped his ass. She muttered,
“Is that all you’ve got?”
He doubled his effort, working up a sweat, until he came hard then collapsed. Trisha shoved him off her. She went to the bathroom and washed him away and she looked in the mirror at her hair. Not even mussed. No sweat. She returned to the bedroom where he sat cross-legged on the bed. Trisha picked up his bikini and tossed it at him. She said,
“How do I get back?”
“Walk,” Trisha said.
He wiggled into his bikini and she led him to the front door and shoved him outside. He stood on the porch, pouting—Adonis rejected. Trisha felt nothing. She shut the door and leaned into it, the wood cold against her skin.
Intercut with first Rose Katz Scene
Rose Katz had an office off Santa Monica Boulevard, away from the ocean in a small professional park with doctors, psychiatrists, lawyers, and several alternative lifestyle gurus whose offices were always full.
Trisha settled into the sofa in Rose Katz’s waiting room and she shuddered. Even half an hour after reading the pages in Citadel, her hands shook and the images of stacks of bones of little girls raged through her mind and she was on her feet the instant Rose opened the door and she rushed into safety and stood facing her analyst who, as always, took her time getting ready. Calm above everything. She looked at Trisha. She said,
“You don’t look well, Trisha.”
Trisha broke down then. She wept into her palms and Rose leaned close and handed her a tissue and she said,
“Yes, but something else,” Trisha said as she wiped at the tears.
“On the beach?”
“I hate myself, Rose. I can’t stop.”
“Tell me about it,” Rose said.
Trisha relaxed, the images of the little dead girls fading as she dredged up her shame. She said,
“Last Thursday I went hunting again and I took him home and we had sex and nothing. All that expectation again and it was just cold sex and stupid. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
“We know there’s nothing physically wrong with you, Trisha.”
“I know, I know, but why can’t I feel anything when I’m with them?”
“There are lots of reason. Love, for instance. Are you looking for? Love?”
“I don’t know. I’m thirty-two and I’m still a mess.”
“But you keep going back. A new one?”
“I can’t go with the same one twice, Rose.”
“Um huh,” Rose said.
“What does that mean?”
“Well, with any other woman it would mean fear of commitment, but we’ve been into that and you’re not any other woman and until you tell me why you can go right up to penetration before you go cold that’s where we leave it.” [Cut in the section about her first time?]
“This other thing,” Trisha said. “It’s about work.”
“Trouble with a co-worker?”
“No, nothing like that. It’s a book?”
“Tell me about it.”
“It’s a strange book,” Trisha said. “I can open it at random, any page and find something that disturbs me. Just before I called you, I read a section called War of Savagery and it was like I was right there…”
Trisha sobbed. She didn’t mean to sob but it just broke through again and it was a deep and very cosmic sob and through it she said, “It’s like every page, every sentence is the end of the world and I don’t know what to do with it.”
Rose sat immobile, pencil in hand. Quiet. Waiting. When Trisha stopped sobbing, she said,
“You’re an enthusiast, Trisha. That’s what makes you good at your work.”
“This is different. There’s something in it….”she stopped. She looke at Rose…she hesitated…then she said, “It’s like the writer is in my head writing about me. I feel everything in me. She has a section called The Hunt and it could be me in the writing…and it’s not very good writing, but I feel it.”
“Are you taking it too personally?” Rose said.
“Yes and no, that’s why I want to work on this book. The writer has a section where women—only the writer calls them Citadelians—are hunting for what the writer calls a Gland and the way it’s written, it could be about the men I pick up on the beach.”
“You say the writer?” Rose said.
“I don’t know if it’s a man or a woman. I don’t have an address, I don’t know anything yet.”
“We need to talk about your issues with men, Trisha.”
“Next time, Rose,” Trisha said
Notes from 9 18 2014: Go right to Citadel without the triggers. Just start the book. We know Trisha is reading it. In the birth scene, get the room into it: where are they? Who are they? Doctor is a Citadelian named Oh. As all Citadelians have their birth mother’s name tattooed on their forehead as well as the code for their Citadel. What is the Code? Have Deirdre work that out somewhere in the text. Trisha asks her how to decipher the code in a scene. Need to know about the Choice Filina made—choose between XY insemination from a Gland or Parthenogenesis. She chooses, she has a choice. Before the Separation of the Exos and the Citadels, there was a population bottleneck—since the separation, there have been only six million births. Attach a sacredness to the birth, the rarity. “In the old culture, a woman always had one more child than she could handle. In the citadels, a Citadelian has a choice—each one controls her own fertility, but only consultation. In the Birth Scene put in a few closeups, more than there are now.
In the Focus Group Scene: A group of women who all see the same thing because they know the same thing. Collective POV in the Group Scene
2: Trisha hunts for Deirdre—but what if the author isn’t a woman?
Trisha worked the on-line phone directories in LA. Dozens of Deirdres. Deirdre Smith. Deirdre Johnson. Deirdre Anderson. Deirdre McCoy, but what if she was married? What if she lived with a roommate and didn’t have a listing? She checked for ages—50, too old. 40, possible. 30, maybe. She called the numbers and as she called images of Citadel kept popping into her head—and she had the thought—what if the author wasn’t a woman? What if Deirdre was a pen name?
After exhausting the phone directories for every city in the Basin, Trisha combed through college graduation lists sorting for Deirdres—nothing newer than four years. The science in the novel was new, had to be a younger woman .
She called the colleges and universities, but the registrars all cited privacy issues and wouldn’t give any information.
Deirdre had to be a pen name. That possibility—no chance of ever finding her—made Trisha throw up her hands. She wanted Citadel but without an author it was impossible.
Until now, you have been in the darkness of childhood; you were like women and you knew nothing.
Filina’s agony in labor is incongruous with the soft carpets of the room, the muted colors of its walls and sparse furnishings. Labor emphasizes her solitude, for only her body can determine when it will end; neither she nor anyone can stop it or speed it up or change it. That is the rule.
She breathes in rhythm as her uterus contracts pushing the entity against the dilating opening of her cervix; breathing forces her mind to concentrate only upon itself and to ignore the sharpness of the contraction, for even her mind’s consciousness cannot govern the expulsion, even her mind must wait for her body to do what it is compelled to do. During this time, lying on the couch, waiting, Filina exists for only one reason. The entity within her has matured, and as her body works to expel it, she loses her freedom, for now, at this moment, there is the inevitability of the truth she did not want to know.
The contractions come faster now. Her stomach hardens. The pressure of her constricting uterus forces everything to wait and for that time her body and the one within it are a single entity, nothing else matters.
Even the foetus is a distant possibility as all her energy is focused upon her contraction and her body is the only reality, her body alone, pulsates with a rhythm of its own and her concentration is so intense that she relaxes every muscle in her body except her uterus and by so doing allows it alone to work.
Her body, it is her body, is doing this. Her young, physical body performs the exorcism. The next contraction comes with a sudden intensity and the foetus is forced closer to the world, while her muscles pull the translucent skin of her stomach even tighter, and it cools as her blood is forced from the surface.
With each contraction, Filina works harder while her body, covered with perspiration, autonomically converts itself into energy to expel the body within her which consumed her as it grew. Her body’s transformation into an environment as warm and receptive as the room in which she is working has been an automatic adjustment to the demands the parasitic growth places upon her, and even now as it works its way out of her, it demands of her for its existence, and her body provides, just as the bodies of others before her provided a buffer against the world’s frank hostility to all living things.
From the moment the seed was planted in her, it began to grow, and her own body had been controlled by its presence. But in her mind, Filina knew that up to a time she could stop it, she could regain control and restore her body, release it from the growth.. Now, again, the contraction. Filina’s mind centers upon relaxing her body and the opulence of what she is doing isn’t apparent to her. The grandiosity of what is happening is not clear. She is aware of the ceremony in which she is participating, because she is only a physical being at that moment; she has no distance, no perspective; she is blinded by her closeness to the event; her consciousness is not in time, but in the timelessness of her body’s chemistry.
Her mind is not on the mysterious, perhaps even mystical functioning of the universe as it ebbs and flows in life and death, in action and quiescence; it is not upon the critical question of why she chose to do what she is doing, but upon the consequence of the choice itself.
It is impossible to ask, “Filina, why have you chosen to do this?” She doesn’t know; for she chose only to impregnate herself, and once past that, she is chosen by the chemistry of evolution; it is only with her mind that she can decide, not with her body, for her body either is or is not; it is action, never thinking.
Many decisions have been made to prepare Filina for what she is doing. There is no panic in her face, she is in labor and approaches delivery with calmness and strength which obscure the fact that she is 18. In the contractions her face becomes red and she puffs the air from her lungs with practiced efficiency, but she doesn’t try to push the child from her body. The act itself and the compulsive intensity of the contractions are part of her, independently of her consciousness; but her reaction to them, the preparations for her labor, indicate that years have been spent learning how best to handle the event so that over the naturalness, over the waiting and the sheer physical reality, there is a consciousness which governs and directs, not Filina’s, for Irsis limited to the body being pushed from her, but a consciousness which passes its experience on to her and has taught her to control her responses to the innate violence her body is capable of.
Again the contraction, again the control, the union of consciousness and natural child-birth, and it is evident that her mind will remain clear, that her body will remain sentient throughout the labor and the delivery so that she can witness the birth of the child that has lived in her. She knows what is happening at every moment of her labor, and though her body works whether she wills it or not, her knowledge of its compulsion frees her to contemplate it without fear; she is aware; she will remain aware during the process, nothing will happen to her that she will experience as mysterious and arcane.
She is not alone in the room. She has never been alone there, but the intensity of her labor has created an illusion of solitude which serves to make the helplessness of the others attending her apparent.
Doctor An examines her cervical dilation. Under the pressure of the emerging child, the cervix enlarges to accommodate the head of the foetus. But the doctor can only observe that process and must wait, with the others, upon Filina’s body to expel the small human being who is the reason for the elaborateness, who in spite of its size, can command such devotion, such absolute presence from others.
Somewhere in the mind of each of those present watching Filina’s body strain to bring the child, there arises an echoic feeling of their own birth, and of those that preceded them. Filina’s pain,weighs upon them as they awaken through her to the memory that someone loved enough to be subjected to the pain, loved enough to work so hard to give, and in them is born the feeling which unites them, for each and every body, was issued from a another in this way, and were the coming less laborious, presence would go unnoticed in a world where seeds are more bountiful than the stars.
The silence of the others is difficult to assess; it is impossible to tell why they are silent. Their silence reflects their helplessness and their futility during the labor, but futility only in that there is nothing they can do, for nothing can be done.
Again the contraction and Filina works; Doctor An examines her again. “The cervix has completely dilated,” she says. “The top of the head of the foetus is visible. Doctor An washes her hands and dries them. Filina is moved into a half-sitting, semi-erect position on the couch, her head up, her pelvis lowered so that gravity can assist in bringing. A mirror is wheeled into position so that she can see herself and the foetus and the doctor and her hands.
Each contraction of her uterus lasts longer and each minute the foetus is further pushed out. Doctor An says, “Don’t push, Filina, not yet, you’ll need all your strength.” Filina waits. She tries to think of nothing but breath, breath, lungs, diaphragm, oxygen, blood, nothing but the physical exchange. “The vagina is meshed with the cervix,” Doctor An says. Filina sees tissue stretch even more as the foetus’s head is squeezed to allow it to pass through her cervix. Doctor An watches, ready in case of a tear, but Filina is young, her skin is flexible, strong, pliant. “Don’t need an episiotomy for this one,” Doctor An says. In the mirror, Filina sees that the head is crowned, fills the opening. Doctor An says, “Push, push Filina.”
Her contraction is so strong she quakes and now for the first time as she pushes she joins her mind and her body. Pushing the child out and under pressure, under the strain of the child’s head, Filina sees her anal sphincter distend, her entire genital region is active in the birth. Her rectal tissue protrudes. “Push, Filina, push, the head is almost clear,” Doctor An says. Filina strains with her mind, her body. The energy she uses is enormous, she is now perfect. All the energy in her body focuses on the crowning—coming from somewhere, from desire, from curiosity, and she finds energy, for now nothing can be held back, it is all, there is once again no choice, it must happen, and then with a final effort, Filina feels a release. “Push again, Filina,” Doctor An says. In the mirror, Filina sees the head of the infant emerging from her and she sees that her vagina is has expanded until it is filled with the small being and Doctor An reaches into her body to turn the infant’s shoulder and the small body is contorted, slick, a live birth, still pink from Filina’s coursing blood and the contraction again, the push and the infant is delivered, it is in the world.
Filina still strains under the contraction. She watches Doctor An tie the umbilical cord and snip it. She hands the infant to an assistant. The infant gasps, its lungs fill, air is coursing into them and it breathes. Filina pushes again, emptying herself as the doctor instructs and she relaxes, her tension diminishes. She waits. “One more push, Filina,” Doctor An says. Filina sees the placenta emerge from her. The blood from her body cascades. The doctor slides the placenta into a large basin. An assistant swabs Filina’s vagina, washes her with gentleness. “She’s not going to hemorrhage,” Doctor An says.
Filina glances around, looking for the infant that has come from her, but the body is gone. She knows that never again will she see it, touch it.
Filina is young, strong, healthy, a good eugenic risk, and she does not hemorrhage. “You had an easy delivery, Filina,” Doctor An tells her. The assistants clean up, wash up, take away the bloody sheets and the basin with its placenta.
“Is he a Mutant or a Gland?” Filina asks.
The assistants talk among themselves. In their voices there is distance, in their eyes she sees pity, in the slope of their mouths she sees disappointment. She knows what their disappointment means. She knows she will never see the infant again. She knows that means expulsion.
In the contractions her face becomes red and she puffs air from her lungs with practiced efficiency, but she doesn’t try to push the child from her body. Again the contraction, again the control, the union of consciousness and natural child-birth, and it is evident that her mind will remain clear, that her body will remain sentient throughout the labor and the delivery so that she can witness the birth of the child. She knows exactly what is happening at every moment of her labor. She is aware, she will remain aware, there is nothing mysterious and arcane.
Oh examines her cervical dilation. Under the pressure of the emerging child, the cervix is enlarging to accommodate the head of the child. But Oh can only observe that process and must wait, with the others, upon Filina’s body to expel the small human being who is the reason for the elaborateness, who in spite of its size, can command such devotion, such absolute presence from others.
Somewhere in the mind of each of those present watching Filina strain to bring the child, there arises an echoic feeling of their own birth, and of those that preceded them. Filina’s pain, which is not agony but a gift of humanity to the child, weighs more upon them than on her as they awaken through her to the memory that someone loved enough to be subjected to the pain, loved enough to work so hard to give, and in them is born the feeling that united them, for each and every person, since the dawn of existence, was issued from a body in this way, and were the coming less laborious, human presence would go unnoticed in a world where seeds are more bountiful than the stars.
The silence of the others is difficult to assess. Are they silent because they are sharing these hours of truth with Filina, or because they are merely too tired to talk? Their silence reflects their helplessness and their futility for there is nothing they can do, nothing can be done.
Again the contraction. Oh examines her again. The cervix has opened, the crown of the head of the child is visible and Oh says it will not be long. Oh’s hands are washed and dried. Filina is moved into a semi-erect position on the couch, her head raised, her pelvis lowered so that gravity can assist in bringing the child.
The delivery proceeds rapidly now; each contraction of her uterus lasts longer and each minute the child is further pushed out. Filina is told not to push, not to push, not to waste her strength, it isn’t time yet to push, wait Filina, wait, and her mind tries to think of nothing but breath, breath, lungs moving, diaphragm moving, oxygen, blood, nothing is there but the physical exchange.
Her vagina has meshed with her dilated cervix and her tissue stretches even more as the infant’s head squeezes to allow it to pass through the canal, through her vagina into the world. Filina is young, her skin is flexible, strong, pliant, there will be no need for an episiotomy.
The head crowns, fills the opening and Oh tells Filina to push, push now Filina and her contraction is so strong and for the first time she has to push, she has to join her mind and her body to push, push the child out and under her pressure, under the dual strain of the child’s head and her straining, her anal sphincter becomes distended, her entire genital region is active in the birth, and her rectal tissue protrudes. Push, Filina, push. She strains with her mind, her body and the energy she uses is enormous, she is functioning as a perfect being, utilizing every conceivable gram of energy in her body.
Coming from somewhere, perhaps from desire itself, her body finds energy, for now nothing can be held back, it is all, there is once again no choice, it must happen, and then with a final effort, Filina feels the release and Oh says to push again and the head of the infant is delivered, the vagina is completely expanded, filled with the small being and Oh reaches into her body to turn the infant’s shoulder and the small body is contorted, slick, a live birth, still pink from Filina’s blood coursing through its body.
The contraction again, the push and the infant is delivered, it is in the world. Filina still strains and Oh ties the infant’s umbilical cord and snips it and gives the infant to an assistant; the infant is gasping for breath, its lungs are filled, air is coursing into them and it breathes. Filina pushes, emptying herself as Oh instructs her and she relaxes, her tension diminishes, and she is waiting, the contraction comes again and from her body is drawn the placenta. Oh places it in a large basin and attends to the vagina to wash her, and the assistant wipes her brow as they wait to see if she will hemorrhage.
The infant is taken to an incubator from which it will be re-introduced to the world, born again, for the transition from the uterus to the world is too great to make all at once.
Filina is young, strong, healthy, a good eugenic risk, and she does not hemorrhage. The assistants tell her she had a good delivery. She was very good, she learned well what she had to learn, and they are pleased.
In their voices there is love, but they cannot mask the disappointment they feel or the pity they have for her. She has birthed an Exo.
The Focus Group
Notes from 9 18 2010: In this scene Trisha is quiet. Sex for her is toying around. Sex is anti-birth; sex is recreational as she tries to exorcise the backstory event. Rape. So when Avi says Rape, Trisha says I have been there. Collective cleansing of the event. The, Trisha later has the dream about sex when she orgasms. Here the women wear name tags so Trisha doesn’t have to learn their names. She starts right in: Did you like the book? Then when Clara comes in: “Where are we?” When Avi says raped, Trisha’s head explodes. For the women: Run against type—so Avi looks hard, but is a softie while Connie who looks soft is the hard sell. The scene is about women merging into a collective for a consensus. What do you think? Every woman gets her say.
There were eight of them all fierce as cannibals. Terrifying eyes. Fangs. Claws out as they handled the print-out of Citadel. Dog-eared copies in needle claws, hands, and vicious snarls that made Trisha wish she had swallowed half a dozen barbies but instead she had downed a bottle of cabernet and her stomach churned.
Clara was late—a business call, she said. Without her, nothing happened. Trisha sat on the hassock—leather and brass—an artifact from Clara’s trip to Morocco. The wine was working.
The claws and hands of the focus group turned to fingernails—red and blue, pink and gold, jeweled and not—and the faces lost their fangs and the eyes turned soft. Trisha relaxed. She was not fond of focus groups, but Clara insisted on this one. We don’t publish, she said, unless the girls give it thumbs up.
The door opened and Clara came in in a swirl—she always swirled when she made an entrance—and sat in the circle and without a pause said,
“Let’s get started. Do you all know Trisha?”
Hello, Trisha—eight honeyed voices sent Trisha’s panic button into overdrive and she was on the verge of fleeing when the red-head with the tiger tattoo on her thigh said,
“So you’re responsible for this book.”
“I am,” Trisha said.
“Well, let me tell you,” Tiger Lady said, “I’ve never read anything like this and I probably never will.”
“What did you like about it, Estelle?” Clara said. She glanced at Trisha. Trisha saw dollar signs in her eyes.
“All of it,” Estelle said. “From the birth scene to those horrid savage death scenes—all of it—and I will never forget the image of the Citadelian melting. At first it turned my stomach—I hate violence like that—but then, on the second night, I realized that the writer was telling my life story, and…”
“Me too,” the Pink Lady with the jeweled fingernails said. She crossed her legs and leaned over the coffee table. “Estelle said it so well—I mean how did the author come up with my life?”
“Well,” the Titian Haired woman in black leather said, “This isn’t the kind of book I usually read….”
“Get your head out of the romances, Avi,” Estelle said.
“No, no,” Avi said, “I mean if Clara hadn’t made us read it, I wouldn’t have and I’d have missed out—it changed my life in two days—I mean it’s changing my life right now.”
Avi sat back on the sofa. Trisha watched the eyes and the mouth and the white teeth and she said,
“Let me ask you what changed your mind.”
“Well,” Avi said, “I don’t read science fiction but then on about page sixty-eight, I realized that this wasn’t science fiction at all.”
“The Hunt,” Estelle said. “That’s on page sixty-eight.”
“I know,” Avi said, “and I realized then that the writer—what’s her name?”
“I don’t know,” Trisha said. “We don’t know.”
“But we’re tracking her down and we think the writer is a woman, a scientist….” Clara said.
“Yes, yes, she has to be,” Avi said. “That’s what I realized—in The Hunt…”
“And the Gland,” Bets said. “I mean that hunk was like every Adonis Avi ever dreamed about in her romances….”
“And more,” Avi said. “That girl has spent some serious time on the prowl, I tell you.” She sat back and poured a glass of wine and she fanned herself with a napkin and she said, “Is it hot in here or is it just me?”
Clara said, “So let me get a feel for why you read it. What did you make you feel?”
The women did the check around the circle, eyebrows raising, waiting for consensus. And then, one of the quiet ones, raised her hand. She said,
“Any woman who reads this book will never be the same and I don’t know why but it’s like the writer is somehow talking just to me and I don’t want anyone else to read it because it’s for me and me alone.”
“Trisha,” Clara said, “This is Dana.”
“Hi Dana,” Trisha said. “What makes you think it’s just for you?”
“Isn’t that what all good writing does? Make you think it’s personal like you really know the writer has written it just for you?”
“What exactly?” Trisha said.
“Well, that birth scene,” Dana said. “You know, the one with the Citadelian—I love the way she doesn’t use “woman”—what’s her name?”
“Filina,” Trisha said. “Her name is Filina.”
“Yes, well,” Dana said, “any woman who’s ever had a baby and doesn’t feel that scene—I don’t know…”
“The Expulsion scene really got me,” Dana said. “I had to read it twice and I cried both times. It just explains everything about…well, about who we are and how we got here.”
“I don’t think it’s very well written,” a puff blond wearing a short skirt and no underwear said. She poured another glass of wine. Clara said,
“Trisha, this is Connie. She’s a free-lance copy editor.”
“Why do you feel that it’s not well written,” Trisha said.
“Four words where two will do. Detail so thick I can’t see the picture—but after about page sixty, it didn’t matter how it was written because she was in my head and I was there despite the wordiness.”
“So Connie, you think the writer is a woman too?” Clara said.
“Has to be,” Connie said. “In that disrupter scene, any woman could feel the ugliness—it’s written for women, I know it is—and the section called War of Savagery—good god—I felt like I was bleeding the way I get a serious flow in my period—has to be a woman.” Connie looked around, focused on Trisha. She said, “Don’t you?”
Trisha glanced at Clara who avoided her—busy hands fiddling with her specs then her wine glass. Trisha said,
“I think so too. I think her name is Deirdre, but I don’t know…and I think she’s a scientist.”
“Has to be,” Estelle said. “When I got to the genetics of the Exos, I was stunned by…”
“The detail?” Connie said. “If the writer is a scientist, it explains why the writing needs to be fixed. In these things you can’t have both story and style.”
“That’s Trisha’s job,” Clara said. “She can turn lead into gold with a red pencil in her hand.”
“The language needs fixing,” Connie said. “And if you fix it then I agree that any woman who reads it will be changed forever. This isn’t a novel, you know.”
“It’s a blueprint for the eradication of the XY chromosome,” Estelle said.
The silence fell then and again the glance around the circle.
“And that makes it a dangerous book,” Connie said.
“We’re aware of that,” Clara said.
“But you’re going to publish it anyway?” Avi said. “They’ll have your head but I think you should. I think that every woman who’s ever been raped will know exactly what this book is about and she’ll love you for it even if it’s just for the scene called the Genesis of Plague.”
“That really ruined me,” Dana said, “because every word, I’m sorry Connie, I didn’t even notice that there were too many of them, every word in that section is one I’ve thought every time I…every time…I…”
“Have sex?” Connie said. “Me too. It was like wish fulfillment every step of the way.”
Clara reached for Dana’s hand. She said,
“I’m sorry, love. Maybe the book should come with a trigger warning.”
Dana, tears in her eyes, took a deep breath. She said,
“They just use us and throw us away, Clara. How many times do we let them before we do something like the women did in that chapter? It was like I was there cheering for them even when there was so much dying…”
“They stoned us for thinking,” Estelle quoted. “They stoned us for loving. They hanged us, they raped us, they tied us up to keep us from running, they bound our hands and feet to keep us from having abortions, and they butchered our vaginas to control when we had sex.”
The circle fell silent and there was a long time of quiet. The silence was thick and heavy. The glasses were filled, emptied, refilled and for a long time Trisha studied the hands, studied the eyes and the feet and the tattoos and the jeweled fingernails. Then she said,
“Section 21. The War of the Hat Pins.”
“Just before Parthenogenesis,” Avi said and the women all laughed. “What if we could do it by ourselves? The writer—what’s her name, Deirdre? She tells us it’s possible and why not? Do we really need—what does she call them—ambulatory sperm donors with an expandable DNA injection tube?”
Trisha laughed and she crawled to the coffee table and poured wine and she looked at the women and she said,
“She does have a sense of humor.”
“It would be a better world if we did it ourselves,” Avi said.
“What does Clara mean when she called this ‘a post-lesbian novel?’” Estelle said. “Just what does that mean?”
“It means,” Trisha said, “that in the novel, the characters define themselves.”
“So,” Clara said, “to publish or not to publish that is the question. Do I hear a consensus?”
Again the eyes made contact in that silent search for agreement, and again the glances full of silent meaning carried around the circle and then, one by one, hands were raised until ten hands said yes and Clara said,
“Thank you my dears.”
And they spoke no more about Citadel and the wine finished, the pages closed, the manuscripts stacked, Trisha and Clara alone sat in the quiet of the wine. Clara said,
“I think that’s the word with the bite in it, Trish. It’s up to you now. Bring her to me.”
Filina had not wanted to know the sex of the child, but now it is obvious to her that the infant is an XY. She did not ask the doctor or the geneticist about the growing body. She had not wanted an XY. She had not expected to have an XY; she had never thought she could bear an XY. All her thoughts had been on giving another Daughter to the Citadel, but it is evident that she has not, and she is disappointed. Following delivery, she was shielded from her offspring until the Council had time to speak with her. In her excitement, she experienced only the physical meaning of the birth, and the distancing techniques worked so well. She hardly noticed the child’s absence. The breast pump is the final step; its use assures that she will not imprint to the child.
It compels her, in the presence of the Council, to reattach; her actions are no longer purely biological. She is a Daughter who has borne an XY; she will never see it; there is no need for her to see it; it will not be nurtured by the milk of her breasts; it will be expelled into the Exo-culture and she will never hear of it again, never encounter it, never know where it is or what has become of it.
In recovery, she sits with her Council. They know she wants to see the child; they will give her the strength to overcome her desires.
Gipzae, the gyneologist, knows that Filina shares that biological weakness with every Daughter who chooses to bear a child; it is the gyneologists have to teach separation so that emotion will become nostalgia and in time extinguish. Gipzae knows she will be touched by Filina’s pleadings to keep the child, but she will be truthful; she must be, for the presence of an XY in the Citadel is a contradiction and generates a state of imbalance that can be mediated only by his expulsion.
Filina will be handled until balance is restored to her body and she sees again the reasoning.
She wants to maintain control but she cannot stop her feelings from leaking.
“Will he be all right?” she asks Keae. She queries the anthropologist first. “What will happen to him outside?”
Her voice breaks. She is close to despair. She is trapped into caring. Her child is an XY; at every level of her consciousness he represents everything she is not, and yet she still feels concern.
Keae replies, “the Exo-culture around this Citadel lives a simple easy life. You don’t have to be concerned.”
“I know,” Filina says, “Until now, I didn’t understand really what I was doing.” Again her voice cracks, and all the expulsions that went before are packed into this one—this is her sprig who will be expelled. Hers. “I just don’t understand,” she continues, “why all this has to be, I don’t see any reason for it, he’s just one small child, I could keep with me, and no one would…”
“That is not possible, Filina,” Gipzae says, “The Citadels must maintain the total separation of females and males.”
“You make it sound so cold and like a rule”
“It is a rule. All XYs have to be sent out. What you are feeling is what woman in the Old Society felt for the young; and that was what kept her enslaved. Qirsan explained genetic fertilization, and you must stop believing that because he is of your body, he is your responsibility. You had a choice—to know or not to know. Despite counselling, you chose natural fertilization. You bore him because to give birth to a Daughter is to share the vision we have which keeps us together and keeps us safe in community.
Chance gave you an XY, and that is as it should be in this citadel because it is necessary to maintain a percentage of males. Qirsan explained to you at the beginning that if you chose natural insemination, your chances were slightly in favor of bearing a daughter and you took the chance Filina. There were other outcomes possible, but you chose the natural way. ”
“Filina,” Qirsan interjects. “A year ago you’d have been very upset thinking of any male living inside these walls. Do you remember why? Imagine yourself for a moment 12 months ago when your instruction began. Imagine yourself without the freedom to decide whether or not you wanted to become a mother. At every step of the way, you could choose to go on or to stop. You knew this might happen and during instruction we spent a lot of time talking about this possibility and what we would do; we told you what you’d feel, exactly what you’re feeling now, and we told you what we’d have to say to you. But still you chose to go ahead and you were free to make that choice, and in spite of the option to know the sex of the child you were carrying, you refused to know, and that was your right; but had you known, would it have altered the way you’re thinking now? Unfortunately, that doesn’t matter, and you have to live with your decision, there’s no other way.”
“But I didn’t know I’d feel this…this feeling of wanting it. didn’t…you said…I thought…I wanted it…it to be a Citadelian.”
“But it isn’t Filina that’s the reality. None of us can change that fact. But suppose that this child were to stay in the Citadel. His presence would compromise the freedom of every Citadelian, because in his presence there is the possibility of an accident; whether or not it would ever happen, the chance is there that at some time a Citadelian could become pregnant without instruction, or some Citadelian might be victimized if he is a Mutant. You don’t know which sperm was implanted in your uterus, Filina, and you don’t know if the mutant male is in that child, and for that reason expulsion exists; it is one way to assure us that never again, never again in the history of humankind will a Citadelian be impregnated against her will, never as a result of a male’s blind passion will a Citadelian be forced to conceive and bear a human being who will be labeled a mistake or an accident or an afterthought. Never again will a Citadelian have a hand lifted against her by a male. Before that will happen, Filina, we will all die. He cannot remain.”
“But he’s just one small child,” Filina says and tears form in her eyes. “What harm can there be in one small child?”
“And he’ll grow into an Exo, Filina,” Gipzae says, “an adult male…”
“We don’t know,” Qirsan repeats, “if the gamete was treated or not, and so I don’t know if the child is an Exo, or a Mutant, or a Gland. And I don’t want to know.”
“You could do a tissue analysis, you could find out…”
“We don’t want to know Filina. Regardless of his genetic completeness, his male sex dictates that he must be expelled; it doesn’t matter to us anymore. We’ve interfered all we will.”
“Then why don’t we just kill him now and save him the suffering of living out there?” Filina says.
“We won’t do that either, Filina,” Gipzae responds. “he has the right to live, but he doesn’t have the right to live here. In the Exo-culture he will be one of them, and within those limits he won’t be unhappy. He won’t suffer.”
“These stupid rules take away my freedom to keep my child
“They’re your rules too Filina,” Gipzae replies “and you have to come to see that a choice to keep the child might impinge on the freedom of some other Citadelian, not because the child will remain and become a threat, but because of what you’ll think of the Citadel if you’re thwarted in this. If you come to resent us, then your own existence will be a misery and you’ll undoubtedly share that misery with others. That was not our sisters’ legacy to us, it should not be ours to the others.”
Even in Filina’s agitated state, Gipzae’s words penetrate her mind to prod the years of training for the freedom of the others, to evoke the years of consideration for the totality. She becomes silent.
“We have to remember why we’re here, Filina. We have to remember what made the Citadels. The gyneologists have taught us about the suffering woman endured in the Old Society. You’ve got to remember that and not just attend to what you’re feeling now, because it is love, but love at the first level it can be felt; love that biology brings us, love which negates our freedom; you have to choose to love on another level of awareness; you must choose to love those who will come after us; love them enough to allow them the freedom to make their own decisions; love them enough to leave choices for them to make. I’m asking you, at this moment, to revivify in your mind all that you know about those feminists in the Old Society who loved enough to set us free from the bondage they endured. Everything I’m saying to you conflicts profoundly with what you’re feeling. It’s probably a torture for you, but your body is still complicated by*the chemistry of birth. You’re confronting the evolutionary reality within you all the while I’m continuing to remind you of the cultural present which this Council represents. Your heart, your mind, your being all desire the child; it’s the irrational desire of an animal living in an evolved continuum, acting without thought, responding to the mechanical reality of its body. We’re here to help you overcome that. But it must be, finally, a conscious act on your part.”
As Gipzae speaks, Filina listens. Deep within her, in her muscles as she reacts to thoughts, in the neurons of her brain as she thinks, the training she has had, the history she has read, the past she carries in her, all function together to minimize the effects of the innate releasing mechanisms ruling her, and the obsession, the maternal possessiveness, is counterbalanced by the words, and they begin to emerge into a conscious reality.
“This isn’t the final act of your life, Filina,” Gipzae continues, “you’re young, eighteen and you haven’t begun to sample the life that your life rich and full and meaningful, if you don’t let this single biological act interfere with your total existence. You ought not let it determine what you will think of yourself in the world or what you’ll do in it. Of your eighteen years, only one has been taken up with this insemination and birth. You can’t let that one year be a definition of your entire being. To do that is to be in a stage that our sisters passed through in the Old Society, a stage they remained in for thousands of years. It’s unfortunate that we’re condemned to live through the past in order to reach a new awareness, but that’s the consequence of biology. It will happen if you don’t consider what you can become to yourself for yourself alone.
“Let the child go out of your mind, Filina, as it has gone out of your body. He’ll live out there and we in here. You’ve done the simplest thing that can be asked of you; you need to turn inward now, to look at us, to look to yourself, to discover what you are and what else you can do.”
As Filina has been listening, she has raced through her entire range of feelings from hatred to love to despair; but the Council has remained constant and now, one by one, the members reach out to her and the contact of their hands and their bodies is a reassurance of their concern.
At first Filina hesitates to accept their love, but she realizes that they will not let her remain distant. They have done this for her, because as a Citadelian, she is important to them. They have worked with her to assure her she will continue to grow and to flourish. Then, with genuine openness, reminiscent of her childhood affections, she accepts their embraces. Her exhaustion is apparent to them, and sensing that they have at least reached her enough to leave her alone, they go.
Filina settles into the softness of the couch and tries to recall where she was a year before; slowly a feeling of happiness flows through her, and her friends, her studies, her life, all become alive again. She has forgotten so many things; she sees how completely she has allowed herself to become involved in her biology; as completely as woman in the Old Society became in hers. For a fleeting moment she wonders what she would have felt had she given birth to a Citadelian, but she remembers Gipzae’s words and she lets the task go to someone else. She has done what she could.
She falls asleep, and does not awaken as the assistant enters to pump her swelling breasts.
Intercut Rose-Trisha scene
Rose Three comes after the Focus Group Scene. Trisha tells Rose about the reaction of the Focus Group. She explains that the Focus Group mirrors what Deirdre has written in Citadel. It’s about Choice and Separation. She explains that in Citadel, the Daughters (Citadelese for female or woman, which Deirdre refuses to use) have the choice either to let the Exos go extinct or to keep them alive. The question is what makes a human if you have the technology to influence evolution. Trisha tells Rose about the section of Citadel called The Planners. It’s buried deep in the novel in a short section but it raises Trisha’s hackles because she gets the notion of who appoints the Planners and how much Choice is there if the Planners can make decisions for everyone. Maybe buried in this is the whole free will problem—which, Trisha tells Rose, psychologists have shown doesn’t exist.
She continued reading Citadel and that night, she had a dream—
It was an awakening even though she had not been asleep. The images, the streams of images, the blood, the broken bones, the covered women in black and she was sitting on a towel on a beach at Santa Monica in the sun, her bikini almost not there and the sun was hot, 2:00 PM, the sound of the surf, and behind her, the hum of PCH, the sounds of the city and she set her novel on the towel and she looked at her toes, the enamel fresh from the morning, her calves and thighs tanned and hairless, shaven slick, and she glanced at the novel—Citadel—and she shuddered as the images boiled up again, boiled over her, blanking out her thoughts, leaving her shattered and shaking in ruins in the sun.
They did not go away when she closed her eyes or opened them, as if she walked in the novel, holding the hand of the dying woman, her scarf covering her head, and she felt the pain of the knife and saw the man with the knife standing over Soriah, the woman bleeding.
She stood, walked around the dead woman on the litter, her throat cut, blood, the image of the dead woman’s leggings—gray silk—and she knelt beside the litter and she opened the book—the brother stood holding the knife, blood on the metal blade and he was satisfied—his sister was dead and he had saved the honor of the family—
She knelt in the sand, her knees cut with grit and she folded the towel and the book up into the towel and she wrapped the sarong around her waist, covering the delta of shame and, barefoot, she walked back off the beach, back to her car parked on the hot tarmac and as she walked she wept. She could not stop. At the car, she leaned, hands on the hot metal, searing her palms but she left them there, taking the punishment and she sobbed. How? Why?
Still shaking, still sobbing, still swept up in the blood and the images of honor saved, she drove up PCH to Lincoln and down Lincoln and she kept driving until the car ran out of gas. She looked at her legs still coated with pure white sand of the beach and, horrified, she brushed away the sand but the blood, thick and crimson, and the knife and the leggings of the dead woman did not go away.
On the beach reading Citadel. She enters the novel in a scene where a woman is being stoned to death. She walks around the figures, watches the men stone her. Then a man slits her throat. The woman is on a litter.
Weeping, she comes back out of the novel.
She lay on the beach in the sand, the sound of the surf a soothing rush. The sun burned hot and the sand held the heat. Trisha listened to the voices of people—don’t open your eyes—running past, talking, shouting and then there was silence as if someone had turned down the speakers. She sat up.
On the sand, she saw a pile of stones and she got to her feet and brushed the sand from her legs and she looked around—no one—nothing but the sand, the sea, the stones and she shouted, but her voice was silent and then in the distance a crowd of men rushing over the sand and they were clad in white, long dresses like the ones she had seen in movies and as they drew close, she heard the chatter, the sound of Arabic and it was angry and then very close to her. She saw them—a dozen men and they were shoving a woman ahead of them and she fell and got up and fell again and the men shouted at her and she got to her feet again but stumbled to her knees by the pile of stones.
Trisha shouted but her voice was silent and the woman looked at her and there was fear in her eyes and her lips were bloody and her nose dripped blood and there was blood dripping from under her head scarf and she pleaded—it had to be pleading—in Arabic and she held out a hand—help me, help me—and then the first stone smacked her in the jaw and her head twisted to the side and blood spewed from her mouth and Trisha ran to her—through her and the second stone hammered the woman’s back and she sprawled on the sand and Trisha glanced back at her beach towel and her sun hat and the device with the manuscript—Citadel –on it and Trisha saw then that she was in the novel, living the novel, watching the scene Deirdre had written and she heard the thud of stones landing on flesh and the woman groaned and Trisha filtered through the crowd of men all of whom had stones in hand, hurling them at the woman and they did not see Trisha, she was sure of that, and the woman was begging for help and Trisha knelt with her, stones flying and she smelled the blood and when the pile of stones was spent, the men picked up the bloody rocks and threw them again and the woman held up a hand, her jaw broken, her eyes bloody, and a rock the size of her head smashed down hard and bone cracked.
She ran back through the mob of stoning men and she was still invisible and she knelt on her towel in the sand on the beach and she opened the device and she read…
The brother standing over her, grabbed her hair and with the knife in his right hand, he slit her throat. The men, as one, shouted and the brother turned, bloody knife in a bloody hand and he shouted, our honor is saved.
Trisha scrolled and her breath came in gasps and she looked at the dead woman in the sand on the beach, her burka peeled away from her bloody head, her head reduced to a mass of cuts and bone.
Closing the device, Trisha stood and she wrapped her sarong around her near naked body and she dragged the beach towel behind her to the car and she sat behind the wheel looking at the setting sun and her belly ached and her hands trembled so hard she could not turn the ignition key.
When her hands stopped shaking, she called Rose. She said,
“I need to see you.”
“You don’t sound good.”
“I need to see you.”
“Where are you?”
“At the beach.”
“Have you been hunting?”
“I’ll be here.”
Trisha drove up Lincoln to PCH.
Rose kept a window open to the sea. Trisha sat in the chair, the saron still tight around her waist. Rose waited, legs crossed, looking divine with her red hair, blue eyes, and freckled skin. She said,
“It’s the niche,” Trisha said.
“Tell me more.”
“We live in a tiny window of freedom, Rose. It’s barely two hundred years wide and we think it will go on forever but it won’t.”
“You’ll have to tell me more.” Rose said.
“You’re educated, you have a career, you have clients—men and women—you own your business and you’re free. Two hundred years ago, you couldn’t have any of that. That’s the niche.”
“You’re very agitated, Trisha.”
“I’m all right. It’s this novel. It’s called Citadel and it’s driving me crazy. A woman named Deirdre wrote it and it’s awful.”
“But you’re still reading it.”
“Not awful that way,” Trisha said. “Today I read a scene where a Kurdish woman is stoned to death and her throat cut because she fell in love with a married man and her family killed her to restore the family honor.”
“It’s a novel,” Rose said.
“No. It’s not a novel, it’s a prophecy. Every time I look at TV, I see women killed or stoned and in chains and I can’t watch movies anymore because…I think something has happened to us.”
“Things happen to us all the time,” Rose said.
“I mean deep. Deep in us, Deirdre writes that men and women are evolving in different ways.”
Rose clasped her hands in her lap and lifted her head. Mouth tight.
“She calls it divergent evolution. It’s like women are going in one direction and men are headed in another—not just here but everywhere—I don’t know.”
Rose said, “You’re under a lot of stress, Trisha. You’re working too hard.”
“No, it’s the novel. Deirdre writes that Western women are in the niche, Rose. And we’re paying for it. They want to kill us….”
“Who wants to kill us?” Rose said. “If I didn’t know you, I’d say you were delusional so tell me who wants to kill you.”
“Men,” Trisha said. “The muscle. The anger. We’ve gotten ourselves free and we’ve landed in a special place because the more we get—you know I could be stoned to death for wearing this bikini and this sarong and for having my hair exposed. We can do that here, but everywhere else the men hate us…they want to kill us….”
“Take a deep breath, Trisha. Hold it. Out. Again. Let your tongue relax. That’s good. Now what set this off?”
“A year ago I was on the beach and I picked up a man.”
“I’m not looking for Mister Right, Rose. I just want a man to give me an orgasm. I’m thirty-two, I have a job that I like, I have a house, a car, no family but I’m still on the prowl acting like a slut but all I really want is to have an orgasm and I can’t and no man can take me there.”
“You had sex with him?” Rose said.
“Yes. I had sex with him. And when I was through with him, I tried to send him packing, but he didn’t want to go and he raped me.”
“You didn’t tell me that, Trisha. I need to know these things.”
“It was my fault.”
“If you said no, it’s never your fault.”
“I’m being automatic and I can’t control it,” Trisha said. “My need to be loved takes over and shouts down my mind and my body says yes, it always says yes and then when it’s over and I don’t get what I need, I feel guilty and ugly and I hate myself.”
“Did you report it?” Rose said.
“I picked up this hunk of beach meat, Rose. I took him home. I fucked him and then when I said no, he raped me anally. What am I supposed to report?”
Rose took more notes and then she looked up from her note pad and she held Trisha’s eyes for a long time. She said,
“Can you bring yourself to orgasm?”
“But that’s not enough.”
“No. I want them to bring me, that’s why I pick them up. I don’t know what’s going on in me. I don’t know why I need them at all.”
She called Rose and scheduled an appointment and then she went back on the hunt—not to the beach, not for beach meat but to search for Deirdre. She had to find Deirdre.
Preparation for the Excursion
One of the charges of the Expedition was to run a census of the Exo-cultures. The Planners wanted the expedition in the field for two years.
In response to Broog’s communiqués Citadels with Exo villages around them sent data to Citadel Cuernavaca. From the data, Broog extracted a version of Exo-culture—a version that left her dissatisfied.
She refused merely to collate or synthesize the data. She petitioned the Planners for permission to lead a survey team into the Northern Exo-cultures. “We cannot,” she wrote in her petition, “make decisions about the future of human society without verification of the observations and information which has come before me.”
Preparations for the foray involved several levels of complexity: in order to be as thorough as possible, but realizing that the team had to remain small, Broog selected Citadelians whose talents over-lapped and who could simultaneously see the Exo-culture from different points of view.
The team was made up of these daughters:
Casty was a medical doctor and a psychologist.
Riga was trained in linguistics and genetics.
Qarath was an archaeohistorian as well as a practicing artist.
Fel, the only team member to have given birth was a zoologist with special training in anthropology.
All their flexibility was required to adjust to the demands of the radical physical changes they would undergo before the Expedition exited the Citadel.
For months, Broog kept the team incommunicado as the Specialists instructed them in the risks and hazards of transgendering.
Broog, though motivated by intense desire, struggled to with her revulsion as her the chemistry altered her body. She monitored the team for signs of rejection as technicians outlined the prefatory steps and she kept complete records as each team member received the first hormone treatments that changed their chemistry and grew hair on their torsos and flattened their breasts.
As treatment progressed Broog told the team that if they were to succeed they had to imitate the Exos in every detail, but the result violated intrinsic concepts. One by one, after watching holograms, they began to walk like Exos, and the surgery made them look like Exos. It took great inner strength, and Broog was gratified and amazed that to a one, they found in themselves the power to do change. Gradually, one aspect at a time, they achieved transformation and in the latter months with their hair closely cropped, and their breasts chemically resorbed into their bodies, they learned to accept their strange new appearance.
Qarath, as archaeohistorian, knew that it was all necessary and she accepted the changes, but as she changed, she reported that she was having visions of the Wars of Savagery when the Exos had taken great delight in infecting the breasts of their prisoners with cancer and then, when their victims were nothing but agony, amputating the breasts without benefit of anesthesia.
The most severe, and humiliating trauma came when one by one, they emerged from surgery with the ersatz penis. Its fleshy, real texture an added weight between their thighs that represented a total commitment to the mission.
“Is this really necessary?” Casty asked Broog before she underwent the final surgery. “To become the image of everything that drove us into the Citadels in the beginning?”
Broog did not reply. She no longer had to impress upon them the danger of failure but she also knew that each of them would be traumatized by the growing alienation from the Citadel until the shock of transformation lessened and the psychological training pushed them into synch with their physical changes.
At the final interview after transgendering, Broog believed that the team were capable of any task. The Expedition would success because, paradoxically, the team willingly became what their progenitrices had shunned.
A week before they left the Citadel, they passed through the eco-simulator in order to ease the transition from the walled safety of the Citadel to the danger of the external world.
3: Trisha finds that the author is a scientist named Deirdre.
Four days into the search, and half way through Citadel, Trisha had an idea. The writing had a scientific technicality in it. The writing must come from someone with a scientific education. That’s why it’s so poorly written. How many genetics labs were there in LA? How many baby labs? How many insemination labs?
Trisha narrowed it down. She lined all the labs up in a list and called them in order—Do you have a Deirdre working with you? Towards the end of the list she got a yes, but it was a dead end. Yes, Deirdre Mueller had worked there but she left a year ago. A year. An eternity in LA.
Eight days into the search, Trisha checked her email and there was a reply from Deirdre at scumbag.com. Her entire message was in caps with strings of exclamation points. At the end of the message there was a phone number.
Ten days into the search, Deirdre called. Her first words were,
“What do you want?”
“I’d like to meet with you.”
“I’ve been reading your manuscript.”
“We need to talk about it.”
Deirdre hung up then and Trisha looked at the phone. At least she was a real person.
Later in the afternoon, Trisha left the office and went to the beach.
She watched the Beach-Meat, the Glands, as Deirdre called them, and she was disgusted at her own arousal.
She went home. She drank too much wine, and half-loaded, she read the next sections of Citadel—Exchange, War of the Hat Pins and Epidemic—and as she read, images of the bone stacks came back to her. They wanted to kill all women—butcher them. Citadel wasn’t a novel, it was a living history and that made Trisha very sad. She drank her second bottle of Chateau St. Michele Cabernet Sauvignon and fell asleep.
Change all the names for the Exchange Team
They left the Citadel after midnight. In the dark the exit was almost a mystical experience. First they were sealed within the walls where everything was pleasant and warm, and then, the gate opened and they stepped out into the vastness. That release, the feeling of spaciousness, was devastating.
They had grown to accept the closeness of the Citadel and inside its walls there was no feeling of closeness; but outside, suddenly, there was a different, frightening experience of size and shape. The months ahead seemed to be dark chasms teeming with unknowns. They knew of the huntresses who left the Citadel in search of Glands adapted quickly. But even after the simulator, after the physical modification it would take time to accept the openness. Their personal space would soon enlarge to accommodate the size of the world they had to learn to intuit.
The expedition had been timed to coincide with the ejection of an XY. In the darkness the group overcame their feelings of disorientation and moved through the forest to the exchange point to wait for the Citadelians to bring the child. The ordeal would begin when the Exos came for it.
Qarath and Fel had worked together to familiarize the group with known Exo customs in the region of Citadel Cuernavaca and the hours they had spent rehearsing would be put to the test. If they weren’t discovered in the exchange ceremony, they might succeed, but they all knew that if they did not, if they were discovered immediately, they would be put to death one at a time unless they were stronger than their attackers. The possibility of death merely reinforced their commitment to their goal.
They waited on the edge of the clearing, an open space in the forest was the single point where the two cultures met without ever sharing the space at the same time. The ebb and flow of presence depended upon the specific act taking place; the Citadelians appeared only when the Exos weren’t visible; the Exos waited until the Citadelians were gone. The exchange was a ritual between the Citadel and the Exo-culture; a ritual in a tenuous balance because the Citadelians released only one male child at a time. The event to the Exos, it was an act integral to their continued existence. Because the Citadel opened its gates irregularly it was not unusual for several groups of Exos to compete in some manner for its detritus. Brit’s group appeared to be another scavenger waiting for a scrap to be thrown.
The sun lighted the clearing that was empty except for the stone table in the center. It had been prepared long ago, and joined to the soil, its base appeared to jut out of the earth. Its carved frieze, that once depicted some pastoral scene, was obliterated by time and weather. The mist of the dawn veiled the stone from the trees, forming a circle of moisture around it.
All was silent, then, out of the forest, along one of the pathways entering the clearing, there appeared a lone Citadelian. Masked, so that her face could not be seen, wearing a billowing white garment to obscure her body, she surveyed the clearing. Then silently, a dozen Citadelians, all dressed in the same anonymous costume of the Expellers, were beside the stone guardedly watching the forest, and abruptly they were gone; on the stone lay a a bundle of cloth.
The clearing remained empty except for the stone and the child. Then Brit stood as directly opposite her there appeared a group of Exos. She had to remember that they were now all Exos. Simultaneously they approached the center of the clearing. In the early light, through the mist, the blue letters, the most prominent feature of each of the figures, was radiant and glowing. Brit momentarily raised her fingers to her forehead as if to feel the name tattooed there, but she could not feel it, and she looked at her companions whose closely cropped hair exaggerated the size of the letters. For a nervous moment they glanced across the stone at the Exos who in turn were looking at them.
Brit knew that in the Citadel, some Citadelian was watching this first meeting, for somewhere in the trees there was a video camera relaying the scene to her. She remembered learning the exchange ritual in the same way, and she thought for a moment that when they would have left the clearing, that nebulous final contact with the Citadel would cease.
Neither group moved nor spoke, and the clearing was silent, for a moment suspended, the two clusters of humanity stationary objects within it. Brit was at the head of her group, and a counterpart of the Exos stood facing her; between them, the infant. The coincidental arrangement could easily have been choreographed. After a moment, Brit made a sign to the other, a gesture of peach, and with it she surrendered her claim to the Exos’ most desired possession: a son. But the other, whose forehead tattoo identified him as the progeny of Erian C64, made a similar gesture in a reluctantly given response. The impasse became anxious and the other Citadelians were uncertain how it would be resolved; but Brit had learned her lesson well, she did not want the child, and she answered in the etiquette of exchange by refusing it. Her gesture brought a smile to Erian’s face, and he accepted the child without further hesitation. The others observed the interchange. Although no words had been used, an entire social exchange had taken place, and Erian had achieved the status of father in spite of the competition. Had his group alone discovered the child, he would have taken it without ado to his village, but because possession of the infant had been negotiated, he was obliged to invite Brit’s group to accompany him in exchange for the infant. Brit accepted, unsure of what she was accepting, but aware that great quantities of information were being uncovered with each minute they interacted.
Erian held up the child for the others to see. The oversized letters of the mother’s name stood out against the flesh. Laboriously sounding out the name, he pronounced the first words of the encounter, “Marig…Erian…Marig Erian,” and the child was named.
Using a sash and the cloth the child was wrapped in, Erian made a sling and hoisted the infant onto his back. Again falling silent, the groups prepared to leave.
From a pouch tied to his waist, a member of Erian’s group took a flask, drank and passed it to the others. Without wiping the top each of them took a large mouthful, and swallowed it making bitter faces as the liquor attacked them. When the flask came to Riga, Brit watched as she placed it to her mouth. The strong drink burned her throat and mouth, but she did not flinch. There was no time to think, without a moment’s hesitation she reacted. The Exos drank large quantities of the liquor and on any occasion smoked strong tobacco wrapped in leaves.
They showed strength by consuming vast amounts of both without showing ill effects. The Citadelians nonchalantly followed their custom and as they each drank from the flask, Brit was filled with emotion, for the alcohol did not diminish the momentary repugnance they felt as their lips touched the saliva of the Exos. But they passed the first test.
They had confronted the unexpected and almost unconsciously had done the right thing.
The infant began to cry. Erian paid no attention to him, but adjusted the sling and started out of the clearing motioning Brit to follow him.
The Citadelians marched as a single group through the forest. Fel catalogued the behavior of the troupe, and was intrigued to see that the head of the group alone was attentive to the direction they traveled. He didn’t check to see if the others were keeping up with him, and they followed blindly without looking ahead, constantly sipping at their flasks. In their dissociation, they didn’t notice that the Citadelians were not doing likewise. The child’s crying passed over them; they were oblivious to it; no one even feigned interest, and then the child ceased crying, the bouncing motion of Erian’s stride jostling him to sleep.
For several hours they went through the forest. Winding deeper and deeper, without resting they plodded on; the Exos dulled by the alcohol didn’t feel the distance in their bodies and the Citadelians, in superb physical condition, relentlessly walked on watching intently, processing everything they saw, their attentiveness leaving no time to be bothered by the openness. The trail gradually broadened to a path which became a rain-mired road and then there appeared fields of corn and other grain, and finally shortly before sunset beyond the corn, houses.
Approaching the village, the Citadelians felt their senses grow acutely heightened for this was why they had come. The village was completely open, although the corn fields surrounding it formed a suggestion of enclosure. The road led through the town and on both sides the houses rose up one level to form a solid corridor. The center of the road was slightly depressed and from each house an open trough drained to the gutter which was alive with fungus in the waste flowing there. The road continued through the town, down a hill and into a river where it stopped. Rains had recently flushed the gutter but the additional wetness caused an evil stench to permeate the air all around it. Erian pressed the group on, and as they walked, the empty street echoed their footsteps off the brown walls of the houses. Behind them doors opened and Exos came into the street to look. The reaction was automatic: first hiding from, then peeking out at the newcomers, the Exos stared silently at them.
Erian led them past the square and over a small footbridge spanning a narrow gorge which, after the rains, was half-filled with muddy water. He stopped in front of a brown adobe house and took the sleeping child out of the sling. The sudden change in motion awakened the child and it began to cry loudly. Erian turned and held the squawling infant up; the Citadelians turned and saw the street behind them full of Exos of all ages, who, having seen the procession with the child, had come to see the new member.
FEL scanned the group, and remembering the size of the town, estimated that there were between four and five hundred present.
In silence unbroken but for the child’s crying, Erian stood tall displaying the infant to the villagers. The child’s face, with the increased flow of blood, turned the letters of the mother’s name a deep, iridescent purple, and it was the echo of the names upon the foreheads of all the inhabitants in the town. The Citadelians, never having witnessed a congregation of Exos, were awestruck and saw, for a moment, only a sea of blue undulating away from them and dramatically they were overwhelmed with the fecundity of their sisters. The mark of their provenance was printed there, a legend, unintelligible to the Exos, whose significance was decipherable to all the Citadelians, stating boldly that every child upon the earth came from the Citadel. Without it, there was no life. Retreating from their amazement, the Citadelians became quietly observant. The villagers watched and Erian, after a very long time, wrapped the then whimpering child back in the cloth and entered the house. The others entered after him. The villagers dispersed and the street was empty again.
Agrees to meet Trisha on the Santa Monica pier.
4: Clara and Caleb okay buying the mss but want to know who the author is. Have to meet her.
Trisha has found her. She replies, asks to see her. Sets an appointment in two days.
No quick reply.
At home, Trisha flash reads—the fate of the Citadels—divergent evolution, X and Y split—disaster—war against the communes. Trisha gets to the Age of Martyrs—it’s like reading a cultural history of the war against women. Deirdre is prescient. But who is she?
At work—an email. Deirdre will meet at Sandy’s on the Santa Monica pier. Excitement. Trisha runs a Xerox of Citadel—locks it in her desk drawer. Goes to the meet.
On the Pier. Busy. Glands flexing, baiting, thighs, crotches, packages in all colors, tanned skin, Trisha’s head swims. She looks for Deirdre.
No Deirdre in Sandy’s. Is it the woman with the big boobs and the face lift trying to look 25 again? The woman in the white bikini. The tall thin woman with long black hair and make-up like a movie starlet, or is it the soap opera queen with her coterie of lust-puppies?
A hand on her shoulder. Deirdre. Nothing like she should be. Trisha so excited she almost vomits.
D says. Did you lose it?
The next scene is called The Meeting on the Pier. The scene takes place on the Santa Monica Pier. It is Trisha’s first encounter with Deirdre.
From the writing, Trisha expected a tattooed black leather lesbian with rings in her nose riding a Harley, but Deirdre was size 2—a 5’ 1” miniature icon of the girl next door coming through the sunshine in a fluffy, crinoline lined pink skirt. She didn’t wear makeup. Her skin was soft, unblemished. The skin that showed was hands, arms, neck, face and maybe nine inches of leg. Modesty
With the afternoon sun behind her, her hair looked electric. She wore a scoop neck blouse with tight elastic. She was tiny, but full bodied but she didn’t flaunt it the way a lot of Southern California women do.
White flats, no nylons.
Trisha felt underdressed and over exposed.
Deirdre’s chestnut hair was shoulder length and curly. Just like everything else about her, it looked natural. She was the kind of woman everyone looked at once and then moved on. All that was missing were two kids and an SUV.
Her eyes had a viciousness in them that shocked Trisha. As if she were seeing it wrong but a double take confirmed the ferocity in the eyes. Her nose was what one biographer later called pert. A pert cute little nose.
Her mouth and lips were the color of pink opal—soft and smooth. Most lips have cracks in them, little fissures of time, the creep of age but Deirdre’s lips stayed new and smooth as if they had never been infected with a kiss, never had the poison of sex enter her. Again Trisha felt exposed, as if her entire sex life showed in her eyes. Her skirt was too short, her blouse too tight, her legs too bare.
Her chin wasn’t Deirdre’s best feature because all of her features—except for those eyes—were her best features and Trisha catalogued them all. Contacts? Did she wear contacts that turned those eyes azure? Later, when Trisha asked her about contacts, Deirdre said that her eyes destroyed men instead of just cutting them off before they made a pass.
Trisha watched her approach. Why had this woman, who looked so normal, left no phone number, no email address, no address, no SASE for the manuscript? She had dropped it over the transom—how quaint—an actual paper manuscript. She said,
“How did you know it was me?”
“I’ve read it.”
“Let me see it.”
Trisha handed Deirdre the stack of paper bound with a rubber band. She leaned over the rail of the Santa Monica pier and hurled the manuscript into the sea. The pages fluttered like gulls. When she could breathe again, Trisha said,
“Why did you do that?”
“I don’t want you to publish it.”
And she walked off the pier toward Pacific Coast Highway and Trisha shouted after her,
“I made a copy.”
Deirdre returned. She stood in front of Trisha in her white flats and the skirt and that scoop neck blouse and she smiled and Trisha wanted to die. Trisha said,
“You knew that, didn’t you?”
“If you hadn’t made a copy, it would have been lost.”
“So this was a test?”
“I don’t have another copy.”
“You didn’t keep a copy?”
“No, I didn’t keep a copy.”
“You took a big chance.”
“And you just told me what kind of a person you are.”
“You can print another copy.”
“I wrote it on a Selectric. There is no other copy.”
“You made a carbon?”
“No carbon but you made a copy and that tells me a lot.”
“So you’ll let us publish your novel?”
“We’ll have to talk about that.”
“Can I buy you a cup of coffee?” Trisha said.
At Saltie’s on the Beach they sat in the sun at a table on the sand and she watched Trisha, making her uncomfortable as they talked about what it takes to publish the novel and then she said,
“You do that a lot, don’t you?”
“Scope out the beach meat.”
“The studs, the bodies. I watched you.”
“You watched me?”
She took a polite sip of her iced tea—she didn’t drink coffee—and she said,
“After you contacted me, I followed you for two weeks. I know a lot about you and your beach meat.”
Intercut Rose-Trisha scene
Rose Two comes after Trisha meets with Deirdre on the Pier at Santa Monica. She tells Rose that Deirdre isn’t what she expected. Here we get Trisha’s version of Deirdre—she’s a tiny, doll-like woman with vicious eyes and a hidden fierceness. Not the person Trisha expected from the writing of Citadel. Here we see the disconnect between Deirdre the Woman, and Deirdre the Writer. Trisha is intrigued. Rose wants to know if she is still hunting. Hunting is Trisha’s euphemism for picking up beach meat, getting laid. She’s looking for control. She wants to solve her deeper problem—why can’t she orgasm. Rose cautions her. Trisha talks about Citadel and how it’s affecting her.
The next scene is called First Image. The scene takes place in Trisha’s apartment. She reading Citadel. Intrigued. She reads and re-reads the opening. In it she sees the structural metaphor of a Citadel and the language sets it up. Trisha realizes that Deidre’s Citadel isn’t quite as naïve as she first thought—the initial image is a metaphor for the ovum.
The Opening Image
From a distance, you see that this is an ancient place. Its walls are scarred with moss and scabbed with vines. The only color is green.
Early dawn mist forms a fuzzy dome sealing the citadel off and the walls separate it from the world stretched out around it.
As you approach, the size of the walls overwhelms you. They reach so high up that they dwarf you and the dizzying feeling spins you and you step back and again breathe.
The immense circular walls they provide those within them a defined space and they prevent those without from having intercourse with those within. It is obvious that only those who are wanted can enter, for there is no breach through which a random adventurer can squirm.
Still, you look for an opening. A portal. A way in.
As you circle the walls—it is a long walk—two links in circumference—you feel the balance and the balance is beauty. Self-sufficient and impenetrable. It requires nothing from outside itself. You look again at the scars and scabs on the walls and you see the residue of chaos, perhaps the chaos of war. At last on the opposite side of the Citadel, you find the entrance behind a veil of green.
The citadel is built two parts–the walls and the center spindle. Catwalks span the distance from the ovoid shell of the solerian spindle to the walls. An interconnected lattice-work of colored metals and concrete.
As you enter, you are swept into a labyrinthine complexity of windows-a glass sheath, a glossy membrane facing the walls. You see it at last—the people who inhabit this citadel look inward. They have no obvious connection to the outside. The unbroken solidity of the outer walls is a blank whose message is unmistakable: the inhabitants are separate from the outside world, they choose not to look at it.
The next scene is called A Ream of Paper. Trisha has the copy of the manuscript she dropped in a drawer after meeting with Deirdre for the first time. She skims the copy. The original got tossed into the Pacific Ocean. She makes a digital copy of the book. This is what she will work on using her computer. She makes a list of the scenes using Deirdre’s titles [See end for this list] and she lays out the plan of the novel. It is frightening but Trisha doesn’t know why. The book has 500 pages of thick prose that makes her cringe but the story is epic and deals with the war on women cut into a futuristic and fantastic metaphor. It parallels her life so much it becomes painful to read it, because she sees how much she has suppressed about the repression of women. She sees that is why she works for and with Clara. Women together.
The next scene is called Show Me. The scene takes place in Trisha’s office. She’s just read a scene called Men Who live Like Women Once Lived. She knows she has a hot potato but doesn’t know what to do with it. Each time she reads a chapter or scene in Citadel, she sees how closely the novel parallels her life and her own thinking. In the time of the Citadels, she would be a Citadelian. She begins to think about what she’s doing on the beach with the meat.
The next scene is called Sun Tan. This scene has Trisha on the beach reading Citadel. She reads and watches the beach meat parade. She leaves the beach, returns to her office, sets up a meeting with Clara.
The next scene is called Searching for the Author. The scene takes place in Clara’s office. She’s reading Trisha’s coverage of Citadel. [Explain what coverage is]. C: It sounds interesting but is it a block buster? T: I have my doubts. C: Why? T: It’s not well written. She doesn’t write fiction, she writes like a scientist. C: Can you fix it? T: Yes, but it will take time. C: When will you have it ready?
The next scene is called The Genesis of Plague. The scene is in Citadel. It’s is connected to the scene called Wars of Savagery. In the scene a microbiologist in a clandestine lab in Istanbul works on a bacterium that’s related to the mitochondrion [see end of paper for note on evolutionary origin of mitochondria, references Lynn Margulis.] She has found a way to bring the mitochondrion back into a free living form separated from the rest of the eukaryotic cell. She has worked up a technique for inserting modified bacteria into a living cell. She watches it mutate. The host mitochondrion then acts like a virus and it mutates with each iteration until the daughter cells are not related to the mother cells and it is a plague. Infecting herself, the microbiologist goes to the brothel district in Istanbul and becomes a prostitute, sharing with her sisters what is going on in her. The plague spreads so fast, there is no cure and it travels. With each mutation, the virus switches from air-borne to water-borne to blood or serum borne. The only barrier that contains it is a body of water. Trisha sets down the book. Her hand is quaking. Deirdre shows how to set it in motion.
Kirsis said, “The Expedition of 250 A.F. uncovered the atrocities of the Wars of Savagery. The Plague set off the wars. Our understanding of the life of our scientist is limited, but she wrote, before she infected herself, that she had been beaten, raped, abused, and forced into sexual slavery.
It began in a small lab in a small university town and no one predicted it. You see, the issue is the mitochondrion. We know that at one time in our bacterial past, the mitochondrion was a free living organism. At some time, and this we can’t date, the symbiosis of the eukaryote came into being and the michondrion became the first sexual being if you sexual you mean the exchange of genes. It was a simple idea—how to reverse the symbiosis to pull the mitochondrion tou and restore it to its first space.
In a way, the Citadels grew out of that separation, but that is not the story.
In that small lab in that small university town, a technician had an idea—what if, she wrote later, she could extract the mitochondrion from a single cell—what would it be? What would happen to it? Could she reverse evolution? Could she, in the lab, regress the cell to a free living cell?
The technique had never been tried before, but she set out to do it.
The process was slow and the results were mixed. She separated the mitochondrion from the eukaryotic host but both died because the role of the mitochrondion had become so intertwined with the life of the host.
The question she had to answer was how to feed the mitochondrion once it was segregated from the cytoplasm of the eukaryote whose viability was not of concern to her, because the goal was the free living mitochondrion.
At the time, by the middle of the century, all lab technicians were women, little was known about the mitochondrial genome. She discovered that there was a quiet gene that had at one time provided the organism with nutrients—before symbiosis—and she discovered that the solution was to reactivate the archaic gene. To do that, she sequenced and replicated the genome of the extraction and in that she found the transcriptase was dormant and on the helix it rode as dark DNA with no apparent twin. Through a set of experiments, she found that the transcriptase became reactive and once again could replicate. But the transcription was imperfect. She had to induce a new pairing that produced not only a free standing bacterium (which she named gynerium) but the organism replicated and mutated with each replication. At that point, she knew that she had in fact recreated a proto-bacterium—which she named gynerium—that was both eternal and unstoppable. It acted like a virus that did not allow an infected organism to code for anti-bodies. She also discovered that gynerium destroyed the XY gamete but thrived in the XX gamete. Her problem was that when sexually transmitted it became virulent.
What she did not know, was the virulence of gynerium. It escaped from her lab in one of its forms. Not knowing she was infected, she became the source of the outbreak that began, inexplicably, with a prostitute working a brothel in Istanbul. Spreading first by air, then in a later mutation by water—any fluid—and in the latter stages even by touch—the exchange of DNA became transdermal. Within six months, the entire male population of Asia Minor was crippled or destroyed leaving only women. The problem came to its own solution. Without the XY gamete, gynerium mutated back to a non-lethal stage.
The back lash to the run of the plague was swift and brutal.
We know it as the War of Savagery.
Trisha stopped reading. She was sweating and her throat was dry. Her skin itched, and her eyes watered. Her hand shook. The lump in her throat choked her and the anxiety cramped her stomach and she retched, but kept it down. She bent over, struggling to swallow, to breathe. She touched the phone icon on her device. She called Clara.
“I have to see you,” Trisha said.
“It’s 3 A.M.”
“I was working.”
“This novel, Citadel” Trisha said. “It’s got me worried.”
“I’m interested in only one thing, Trish, is it our blockbuster? Is it an epic? Where are you? The code says you’re in Needles.”
“I’m at the Desert Rose Motel,” Trisha said. “I had to get out of the city to edit this thing.”
“Are you alone?”
“No you’re not, Trisha. I know that voice.”
“Okay. I’m not alone.”
“What? Then? What do you want?”
“This book, Clara. It’s not what I thought it was. It’s terrible.”
“You signed her, Trish, make it unterrible.”
“I can do that. I can fix it. I can fix everything but the ideas. Her ideas are dangerous and I’m worried.”
“The focus group gave it a thumbs up,” Clara said.
“The focus group aren’t scientists.”
“No, but they can see a story.”
“It’s more like heresy, Clara. If we publish this book, we’ll cause such a stir they’ll burn us at the stake.”
“Go to sleep, Trish. It’ll look better in the morning. What’s your target date?”
“I’ll finish this weekend—if you want me to.”
“Of course I want you to but something’s bothering you. What?”
“Go to sleep then. Call me when you finish. How long is it?”
“I’ve cut it down by seventy-five pages and she’ll be furious.”
“It’s our book now,” Clara said. “Let her be furious. Words?”
“One hundred and twenty thousand.”
“Hmm,” Clara said. “Call me when you’re back. Now get some sleep or whatever you do with whomever is with you.”
Clara hung up. Trisha clicked her device back to the bookmark. The War of Savagery. Her hand shook again, and she choked. Seeing the words again made her uneasy. She scrolled to the next section. Kirsis the gyneologist was still talking to the delegates at the Congress. Trisha knew that Kirsis was one of Deirdre’s alter egos—a voice carrying those ideas—and Deirdre the writer was a dangerous scientist because she thought of things like freeing the mitochondrion from the prison of the eukaryote’s cytoplasmic prison. How could she reverse evolution? Were men and women on divergent evolutionary paths? What would happen when those paths no longer intersected or tracked one another?
At the root of Deirdre’s book she raised a question—what was a human being? Trisha searched the text for that passage—the exact word was Parthenogenesis—
But there is a moral issue—are we still human if we choose to eradicate the XY gamete? What do we become if we practice complete parthenogenesis? If we let the XY go extinct, what does that make us?
Sexual dimorphism—a term she was learning the more she read—was a characteristic trait, evolved with the brain and the practice of carrying infants, and the division of labor, but Deirdre was imagining a world—or was it imaged? Was it possible?—where only women, mother and daughters lived and thrived—would they still be human?
Complete parthenogenesis, the scientist said. Trisha shivered and she glanced at the bed where the cowboy lay on his side, sleeping. Oh my god. It was possible. Deirdre told her it was possible.
Trisha scrolled to the section again—
There was a moral decision—at the moment of conception, a decision had to be made—to implant the modified gamete, to allow the polar bodies to resorb and produce another Citadelian, or to introduce the Eternal Gene. The polar bodies resorb into the ovum and the ovum produces daughter cells.
Trisha knew that in her, at that instant, there was the possibility that she was no longer human—but she read through the tears—and when that happens, Deirdre the writer said, we will have diverged completely and there will be no need for the XY. No need for the Exos. No need for men.
She stood beside the bed and picked up a pillow and slammed it into the sleeping cowboy who opened one eye and rolled onto his back. Trisha said,
“Why can’t you make me come? You’re useless.”
Sitting up, he grabbed her hand and yanked her onto the bed and forced her to kneel and he said, as though asking for a glass of water or a shot of whiskey,
“Let’s see how you talk with a mouthful of cock, little lady.”
Intercut Rose-Trisha session
Rose Four comes when Trisha edits Citadel. Are you still hunting? Rose asks her. Trisha is so deep into Citadel that she doesn’t have time for me, but she talks about her week at the Desert Rose Motel with the cowboy when she was working the manuscript and picked him up at the bar. Rose tells her that’s progress. Why? Because your pattern is to check out near-naked men on the beach and then pick the one who wins the blood battle. You like to torture them, don’t you?
The next scene is called How Did They Get There? The scene takes place in Clara’s office with Trisha and Deirdre. They are discussing the novel and its inner workings. Clara asks: How did they get here to this point? D: They didn’t have a choice. C: But this is a theory, this divergent evolutionary paths. Trisha opens the novel to a scene called The Games. [Have to write this one or use the game scene from The Exile] In this scene, Deirdre has taken the male obsession with sports to the farthest point possible. Every game is played till the death of the participants. It started in Rome, she explains, then it modified, but in the late 20th century, the blood lust came back. It’s the killer gene, she says. It’s out of control and that’s why the Citadels are the answer to the madness. C: This is a novel, right? Just a novel? Trisha and Deirdre say nothing.
(sets into Biology of Desire at scene called “How did They Get There?”)
The next scene is called How Did They Get There? The scene takes place in Clara’s office with Trisha and Deirdre. They are discussing the novel and its inner workings. Clara asks: How did they get to this point? D: They didn’t have a choice. C: But this is a theory, this divergent evolutionary paths. Trisha opens the novel to a scene called The Games. [Have to write this one or use the game scene from The Exile] In this scene, Deirdre has taken the male obsession with sports to the farthest point possible. Every game is played till the death of the participants. It started in Rome, she explains, then it modified, but in the late 20th century, the blood lust came back. It’s the killer gene, she says. It’s out of control and that’s why the Citadels are the answer to the madness. C: This is a novel, right? Just a novel? Trisha and Deirdre enlighten her.
Clara: I don’t get it—this divergent evolution thing.
Trish opened Citadel to the scene called Games and started to read.
Clara: That’s about games. I need to know about divergent evolution and blood.
Deirdre, sitting at Trisha’s desk, so small she her feet didn’t touch the floor, said,
“It started in Rome.
“What started in Rome?”
“The blood lust had always been there, but with Christianity, it went viral. Before that, death was death, but in the Games, blood became the purpose. To let blood was the…”
“So this is a history book?” Clara said.
“You have to read it, Clara,” Trisha said.
“The lust died back for a thousand years but again came back with the Inquisition and the discovery of the Americans and that set off the Wars on Women.”
“What I want to know is this—do we have a novel or what? I don’t see it, I just don’t see it.”
Deirdre clasped her hands together and rocked back and forth. Trisha saw her as a little doll caught up in a tide that would drown her. She could see it—Clara’s confusion multiplied fifty million times and Deirdre in the middle of it. Deirdre said,
“It’s about purity.”
“”Purity?” Clara rolled her eyes. “What are we doing with this, Trisha?”
“In 262,” Deirdre said, “it emerged again in the wars of savagery.”
“262 AD? BC?” Clara said.
“AF. After Foundation,” Deirdre said.
“This is in the novel then?”
“Yes, but…do I have to explain this, Trisha?”
“Explain it here or explain it later. Clara is the perfect reader.”
“How am I the perfect reader?”
“You know nothing and to can be taught everything.”
“I’m the boss, little girl,” Clara said, “don’t you forget it.”
“It’s sports,” Deirdre said. “In the last century, the blood lust emerged again coupled again with Christianity and sports. The men took the games to the farthest point, to excess, and it came down to blood.”
“I’m still confused,” Clara said. “What came down?”
“The games,” Deirdre said. “Every game was played to the death. You see? In Rome there could be a victor and a vanquished, but in the twentieth century, the games were played until the last player died.”
Deirdre stood. She went to the window. She said,
“If you look past the sand to the sea, and past the sea to the horizon, you don’t see everything that is there. Under the surface, the killing goes on. The killer gene is working itself out and pretty soon it will be out of control and already women are the targets and it’s possible that some of us are infected with it.”
“That’s what you mean by divergent evolution?” Clara said.
“How many matches do you want on television?” Deirdre said.
“Of course you don’t. The violence is too much. The blood is too thick. They are beating themselves to death and you can’t stop them. It’s out of control. It’s the end result of divergent evolution.”
“That again,” Clara said. “In plain speak, please.”
“It’s in the book,” Deirdre said.
“But that’s a book, it’s fiction, it’s a novel.”
“You may be right. But, you see, civilization splits the genome and it led to this. The men are not equipped to live in a world where there is no death so they create a world of death and the Citadels are the answer for us…”
“We’re still talking about a novel,” Clara said.
“No we’re not, Clara,” Trisha said. “No we’re not. What Deirdre is telling you is that the novel she has written is an index to this divergent evolution—men are going in one direction, women are going in another—and there will be a time when they are so far apart that it will take special genetic modification to breed and that’s why Deirdre has given us the science of parthenogenesis.”
Clara sat on the edge of the desk. Deirdre still stood at the window. Trisha wanted a glass of wine so bad she could taste it. Clara glanced at Deirdre then at Trisha and she took her time lighting a cigarette. Then she said,
“It’s a science fiction novel. That’s what it is and that’s all it is.”
“No, Clara. It’s a blueprint for two things—the extinction of the XY gamete and the salvation of the XX gamete.”
Clara ground out her cigarette and paced to the window where she stood beside Deirdre. She said,
“So this is a prophecy?”
Deirdre nodded. Trisha went to her and hugged her and she let her go. She said,
“The science is not questionable, Clara. Deirdre has numbers that show the decline of XY gamete across the board…”
“What does that mean?” Clara said.
“What it means is that my research shows that the average number of XY gametes in the average human male ejaculation has fallen from three hundred million to one hundred thousand and of the hundred thousand, a picayune four percent are viable for fertilization. Of the four percent, ninety-nine percent carry the killer gene.”
“Science fiction,” Clara said.
“Science,” Deirdre said.
“Irrefutable science,” Trisha said, “And the planners are worried.”
“We’re on the verge of extinction, Clara. The genome is shattering and it’s getting worse all the time.”
“What’s the answer?”
“In Citadel,” Trisha said, “Deirdre writes about four outcomes—first is extinction, second is separation, third is continued integration, fourth is parthenogenesis.”
“Extinction?” Clara turned from the window. “Separation? Integration?”
“Either women separate completely,” Trisha said, “and form citadels that foster parthenonogenesis…”
“We have the technology for it,” Deirdre said.
“Or you will see the fertility rate drop to below maintenance levels the way it is dropping in some countries and you will have chaos. No more cities if the blood lust wins…”
“That’s a pretty grim scenario,” Clara said. “But you’ve got me confusing the novel and reality.”
“They are converging, Clara,” Deirdre said. “This novel tells us what will happen two hundred sixty four years after foundation. There will be only two kinds of humans…”
“There are now only two kinds,” Clara said.
“Who controls the technology controls the future,” Deirdre said. “Right now all the labs in the world are run by women. I can see a future when women control not just their own fertility, but the whole population and in the novel I have set up the citadels and the Exos—the Exos exist only because thinking women say that it’s better not to let them go extinct…”
Clara took a long breath. She picked up the manuscript. She weighed it in her hands and sighed. She said,
“I didn’t know what we were getting into, Trish. Maybe you’re right. Maybe we don’t publish it at all.”
“You were thinking about not bringing it out?” Deirdre said.
“When I was in the desert working, Deirdre, I had my doubts. I told Clara about them but we decided to go ahead.”
“Maybe we hold off,” Clara said. “If this is going to be one of those books that causes a civil war….”
“Not just a civil war,” Deirdre said, “but a war of savagery. It’s already happening but you don’t see it. You have a career, a business, a house, a car, you manage your own life and you manage your own fertility, but you live in a niche in time, Clara. A tiny window of time in which you can control those things, but the forces against you are gaining every day and the laws are being written that will take all of your freedoms.”
“Stop,” Clara said. “Stop.”
“It’s true, Clara,” Trishsa said. “We live in this moment…”
“No. You’re wrong. Everything I have I worked for.”
“Western women live in the niche, Clara. We’re free to live the way Deirdre said, but the reaction is in the making.”
“Oh for god’s said,” Clara said. “Come back to reality.”
“You have to shed all the skins women have ever worn,” Deirdre said. You have to take control and you have to realize that the Exos will take it all away and…”
“She means men. The reactionaries. The Exos.”
“I know what she means,” Clara said, “I just don’t accept it.”
“So?” Deirdre said.
“Let me think,” Clara said. “If we go ahead, we start a revolution. If we stand pat, they….”
“They stone you just for being a woman,” Trisha said. “They stone you for wearing a short skirt, they stone you for driving your car. They stone you for breathing and for even thinking. It’s a very small niche, Clara. A very small niche in time and it will shrink until you are trapped and back wearing clothing that hides your body and masks your face.”
Clara faced Deirdre, she glanced at Trisha. She said,
“Stone me? Like hell they will. Let’s publish.”
Intercut Rose-Trisha scene
Rose Five comes after Trisha has a big to-do with Clara about the novel. She’s running behind on the editing and Clara’s impatient. Trisha wants to dump all her other work and focus only on Citadel. It’s revolutionary, she tells Clara. Clara is concerned only with whether the book is a blockbuster. I’m tired of half-baked regurgitation called literary fiction. Is it or isn’t it a best seller? Trisha, hunt, consults Rose. Rose tells her that the more she hears about Citadel, the more intrigued she becomes. She wants to read an advance copy, maybe write a review.
In Rose Five, Trisha gets to this when she tells Rose that yes, she went hunting, yes, she took the beach meat home, yes, she fucked him and then she threw him out. Does that make you happy? Rose asks her? It balances the books, Trisha says.
The next scene is called The Origin of Language. The scene is in Citadel. Trisha has been editing the scene. She’s talking to Deirdre about her language. T: I have to compress every one of your sentences. D: I don’t like that at all. T: I told you I had to do it. The novel is over 300 thousand words. I can cut it in half. D: Don’t do that. Every word I wrote is important. [Note: the inner novel Citadel, is in a near academic language punctuated with semi-colons and ripe with adverbs. Insert from Recreating Deirdre the section about her own language being private] T: I counted words in this scene Deirdre and on one page you have sixteen adverbs. D: Yes? So? What’s an adverb? T: It’s not a treatise. D: It is a treatise on extinction. T: And it’s supposed to be a novel. I just want to give Clara a clean manuscript. D: Let’s go see her. If you mess with the language, you change the novel.
The neologisms and special vocabulary:
Disrupter—based on the T-oscillator
Archaeohistorian—a geneticist who uses history
Details: The objects in the scene are the copy of Citadel, the reading device, the contract that Deirdre will sign. The ritual; is a ritual of incorporation with ramifications—once she signs, the process begins and the world changes. Deirdre wears her knee length fluffy skirt—very retro with crinolines, a loose white blouse, her hair is pinned back with two swan barrettes. She wears no lipstick or make up. Trisha is in tight black pants, a black top, flats.
“She sure has some weird ideas about my book.”
“Once the contract is out of the way, you’ll have only me to death with. I think we should get to that first.”
Deirdre sat in the chair beside Trisha’s desk facing her. Trisha pulled the signature pad around and handed the stylus to. Deirdre who hesitated. She said,
“I can print a copy if you want that, but this is the quickest way to file the contract with the Guild. You can get a copy anytime you need it.”
“I don’t know,” Deirdre said. “I never sign anything without reading it three times.”
“You have to trust me,” Trisha said. “We made only a couple of changes. The publication date and the royalty clause.”
“Royalties,” Deirdre said. “This is all new to me.”
“The changes are highlighted so if you accept them, just sign and you’re a Nash Books author.”
Trisha turned the reading device around and set it in front of Deirdre. She scrolled through the contract stopping at the pink highlights and then she signed with the stylus. Trisha said,
“Welcome to Nash Books.”
“I start to work. Clara wants the edited copy in three weeks.”
“Three weeks? It sometimes takes me three weeks to decided on a sentence.”
How much are you going to change it?”
“We need to talk about that,”Trisha said.
She pulled the copy of Citadel from her desk and laid it out.
“I thought you did everything electronically,” Deirdre said.
“It’s easier to share this way since you don’t have a reader and I don’t think you’re going to get one.”
“Maybe when I write Extinction,” Deirdre said. “But that’s a long way off.”
Trisha flipped open a page of Citadel that had flags on it and check marks in the margin. She said,
“First thing is a style issue.”
“Style?” Deirdre said.
“This scene is loaded with adverbs.”
“What’s an adverb?”
“A novel isn’t a treatise.”
“It is a treatise on the citadels.”
“And it’s supposed to be a novel. I just want to give Clara a clean manuscript.”
“If you mess with the language, you change the novel.”
“Look at this passage.” Trisha opened the book to the section called “Expedition” to a passage thick with flags.
Several of Erian’s group, exhausted by the day’s march and the liquor had only feebly risen to the occasion, and the prostitute had reacted coolly, looking askance at them when their floppy tubes of flesh could not penetrate him, and chiding them for letting the liquor rob him of giving them pleasure. The Citadelians had unwittingly been saved from exposure since it was obviously acceptable for alcohol to render them incapable. Only Erian was required to perform and when one of the others failed, the prostitute merely turned to others and extracted from them again and again until finally they all lapsed into unconsciousness, including Erian who lay dissipated on the floor, curled into a ball, the child still strapped to his back, miraculously asleep.
“Here you have fifty words and seven of them are –ly adverbs.”
Deirdre hunched her shoulders. “You really know how to hurt me, Trisha.”
“That’s a major issue. I’ll take most of them out but I want you to know what I’m doing.”
“I think adverbs are necessary. They soften the language and they let you know what the daughters feel when they’re under stress.”
“But it’s not the language of fiction, Deirdre.”
“If you mess with the language, don’t you change the story?”
“It’s not appropriate here. The words don’t mean whatever you want them to mean and you have a lot of neologisms.”
“That’s what the story is about, Trisha, redefining.”
“Let’s look at a few of them,” Trisha said. “Gyneologist, for example. I kept reading gynecologist…”
“That’s daughter language,” Deirdre said.
“I know that, but readers might be confused.”
“It’s for a scientist who studies the citadels and the daughters. It’s the opposite of anthropologist which is an Old Society blanket term.”
“I see that,” Trisha said. “So the question is, do we build a lexicon? We’re already in hot water with all the scientific language, but when you compound it with terms such as gynestorian and archaeohistorian, it gets even more confusing. Let’s look at the scene you call the Genesis of Plague.”
“A key scene,” Deirdre said.
Trisha thumbed through the copy to the page marked in pink pen and the word gynerium. She said,
“That’s another one. Here Kirsis…”
“An archaeohistorian,” Deirdre said.
“I see that,” Trisha said. “But the list goes on—Gyneology,Gyneologist, Exos, XYs, Disrupter.…”
“Based on the T-oscillaor,” Deirdre said.
“And there’s Mutant,,Gland, Daughter—used in a special way, Solerian structure, that Archaeohistorian, and the gynestorian and thingism.”
“I explain all that.”
“Yes, in gyneologese,” Trishsa said.
“Thingism,” Deirdre said, “that’s the language of the Exos stripped of nouns—things have no names because….”
“But the Mutants name things,” Trisha said.
“Well, some words carried over.”
“The logic can’t allow both,” Trisha said.
“It’s a genetic process,” Deirdre said. “If we modify that section of the brain, it is possible to block the naming process and leave the rest of the language intact—and that’s why the Exos don’t have nouns and the Mutants do. The Mutants are the unmodified XY just as it was in the Old Society when the sexes started to go on divergent paths.”
“That’s not in the novel, Deirdre. That is you thinking.”
“It’s in the future,” Deirdre said. “Once the Citadels are established, modification will become standard and it’s the only way to control the Exo population.”
Trisha sat back in her chair. She waited. She wanted a glass of wine. She thought about the bottle of Chardonnay in her fridge. She needed to go to the beach. She was hungry. She said,
“You have to explain the origin of language, Deirdre. I don’t want a novel with footnotes or an appendix or anything like that. Do you see my problem? I’m thinking about the readers. I need to clear up your language and that means you might have to rewrite some sections…like that piece where Kirsis explains the genesis of the plague….”
“But it’s future language. The book is about the future.”
“A future that you treat like one everyone is already living. You have to give me some leeway. So here’s what I want to do….”
Deirdre stood. She floated to the window, back to Trisha, hands on her hips. Trisha closed her eyes, tried to refind the center, a glass of Chardonnay would make it easier. She looked then at the small woman at the window and she remembered the first meeting on the Pier—how small Deirdre was, how fresh and dainty se was, and how the book, which was such a thunderbolt, stood in that paradoxical place—a sweet, lovely writer who had written the most devastating tract on the future of the human race. There was that. It was new, bold, terrible. Just thinking about it gave Trisha the shudders. That wine. Where was her wine? She said,
“Look, Deirdre. This is the most difficult book I’ve ever edited, but I want it to work. Maybe we can reach a middle ground. I have an idea…”
Deirdre turned. Her eyes were red and weepy. Her mouth turned down. She bit her lip. Trisha remembered the viciousness in those eyes that day on the Pier, eyes whose fire and ferocity had been banked by the rush of tears. Trisha stood. She went to Deirdre and hugged her, felt the quivering shoulders, the small frame almost that of a child. Trisha said,
“Let me tell you what I want to do….”
Deirdre broke free and wiped at her eyes with the backs of her hands like an infant just waking up. She smiled. She said,
“I’m sorry. I’m behaving like a brat.”
“Yes you are,” Trisha said. “But…”
“This is how it was with all my science papers. They rejected them all. Every one of them. Everyone rejected me.”
“I’m not rejecting you, hon,” Trisha said. She guided Deirdre back to the desk, to the print copy of Citadel and she flipped through to a long passage of thick prose. “Here’s what we’ll do. I’ll keep two copies—one I’ll edit into my language, the other we’ll leave alone. Then we can sit down and we’ll choose. You see? You’ll see what I want to do….”
“To me,” Deirdre said. “You want to do to me.” She sniffled.
“No, not to you. To the writing. Then we can make a decision about which version to go final with.”
“I’ll have a choice?”
“Isn’t that what Citadel is about? Choice and separation into two?”
“Into two,” Deirdre said.
Trisha opened the drawer and set out a box of tissue and handed on to Deirdre.
“I won’t destroy your work, Deirdre, but the book has to be readable. Have I told you how I select manuscripts? I know I haven’t. I should have explained it before all this, before you signed the contract. I turn to page one. If the first word is “I” followed by “was born….” Out it goes. I open the next book to a random page and I check out the pronouns. If the writer has written, “she went with my friend and I…” out it goes. If the writer has written dialogue with attribution such as “she ruefully decided….” Out it goes. Your book opens with an image. A huge image. An archetypal image of an archetypal citadel and it runs from there. It’s magnificent, Deirdre and I don’t want anything to get in the way. Will you trust me?”
Intercut Rose-Trisha Scene
Rose Six comes after Trisha talks to Deirdre about why she wrote the novel. She’s a scientist, Trisha tells Rose, but all her best work has been rejected. She tells Rose that she’s becoming friends with Deirdre and that Deirdre has cut her hair and has given up her flouncy skirts with their retro crinolines and she’s wearing black leather and high heels. Rose asks Trisha what that all means. It means she sees the truth, that she doesn’t have to hide anymore and her life style is coming into synch with her mind. Are you hunting at all? Rose asks. Trisha tells her that after her last session she went to the beach where the games are played and she tells how the book reflects reality without being the starting point but it’s almost like a prediction. Of what? Rose asks. Of the future we’re coming into. A future when the XY will be extinct. XY? Rose asks her. Are you sure?
The next scene called The Planners. This is a scene in Citadel. Trisha is reading and comes to a scene that scares the shit out of her—The Planners. In this scene, she sees for the first time the depth of the novel. The Planners have called a Conference. The only item on the agenda—A Choice between eradicating the XY gamete or to take the Integrationist route which would mean allowing Exos to live in the Citadels. The Planners know that they have the technical skill to eliminate the entire race in time. They have solved the process of aging and they can reset the biological chronology to either speed up aging or slow it down so that every Citadelian could live forever. But that bargain with immortality will have its costs. The lead Planner, Eris, brings in an Exo who looks like a 95 year old specimen. She explains that this specimen was birthed 12 years before. She exhibits a Citadelian who looks like a teenager. Eris explains that she is 75. The choice is clear. The question is: why didn’t we know this before. “You did,” Eris says. [Insert a piece of The Planners—Trisha has to reason out the subtext]
Trisha was ready for another rush of history, but instead, from the first words, she knew Deirdre had gone into a dark place. A Planner, Eris, was speaking—
““We have been at the point of eradication for one hundred and fifty years, but only now we have to decide on the future of half the race—do we allow XYs to grow or do we stop XY births altogether? That will be the decision before the Congress.
“Three hundred sixty years after Foundation, the Planners convened this Congress to evaluate the effects of fifteen generations of separation from the Exo-culture.
“No binding law required the Congress. It was by choice—to convene and consider the fate of the race or to continue the status quo with its divisions. Each citadel would select two delegates to the Congress.
“Within the Citadels, biology and choice have led to divergent points of view regarding the Exo-cultures. The still-radical, futuristic Citadelians, never having known any other way, nor, by their admission, wanting to, are opposed to integration, while some historical sentimentalists, unchanged by the argument of Citadelian genetics, are in favor of immediate re-integration.
“The gyneologists and macro-historians, aware of the dangers predict that re-integration would be catastrophic. They cannot dictate a course of action, but they suggested that, before any decision, the Congress needed more data.
“The anthropologists agree that added information is needed because much of what is known about the Exo-culture is obsolete. In the beginning, any excursion from the foundation citadels into the Exo-culture took place in full battle dress and loathing. In the early days, the Wars of Savagery were still fresh in memory.
“Contact for the past ten generations has been limited to the Hunt or infant exchange excursions. Most Citadelians have never seen an Exo while the images they do have are archival. Each generation’s knowledge of the past has grown more static. The Planners made it clear that any decision about eradication or re-integration has to be based on current data. To collect that data, the Planners put out a call for volunteers.
“Accordingly, in 364 AF, an expedition went out to research the Exo-cultures. You all have that report in front of you.”
Puzzled, Trisha stopped reading. The Planners? She thumbed through the text, but found nothing. She called up the digital copy and searched for Planners. Who were they? What did they do? Who gave them the power to plan? And what did they plan? Trisha saw that Deirdre had dropped into another voice—prophetic, oracular, resonating.
The planners had been invisible for three hundred years. There was only one item on the agenda for the Congress—the future and who would inhabit it.
There was a planner named Eris who sent out the details. She would run the convention.
Trisha closed the file and poured a glass of wine. It was cold, tasteless in her mouth. She went back to the section and continued to read.
There is a choice. Every Citadelian can live forever because the scientists have solved the problem of aging and the geneticists could from time to time let a Citadelian die just to show that mortality was possible, but there is a deeper problem. Total choice.
There was a moral decision—at the moment of conception, a decision had to be made—to implant the modified gamete, to allow the polar bodies to resorb and produce another Citadelian, or to introduce the Eternal Gene.
Trisha stopped reading. The Eternal Gene? She re-read the opening, and then scrolled ahead through the file…
“We have been at the point of eradication for one hundred and fifty years, but only now we have to decide on the future of half the race—do we allow XYs to grow or do we stop XY births altogether? That will be the decision before the Congress.”
Eris walked to a screen and led an Exo out onto the stage. He was tall, thin, bent, gray. His skin was wrinkled, his eyes dim, his hands bony. Eris turned him in the spotlight. From the rear, his muscles were withered, the elevens—the tendons of the neck pronounce, his flanks shrunken as the meat of an ancient. Facing the convention, the Exo quivered and shook as though he were about to fall. Eris stood back. The Exo wobbled. Only when she caught his arm, did he steady again and the delegates as one gasped because Eris had touched his flesh and she did not wear gloves. She said,
“Does any one of you care to guess the age of this specimen?”
Hands flew up, a voice rang out—eighty-five.
“Take a good look. Look at the tattoo, look at the code for the birth Citadel.”
Ninety, a voice called out.
Eris opened a device, projected data on the screen. Born Citadel Cuernavaca. 347, AF. Source—Citadelian Sun. Height, one unit thirty. Weight, 50 gynes.
“This specimen,” Eris said, “is twenty-two.”
The silence of the delegates was total.
“Twenty-two,” Eris said again. “We have reset the biological chronometer. This is the result of one hundred and fifty years of genetic science.”
Eris led the Exo off the platform. An attendant wearing gloves helped the Exo into a vehicle. Eris said,
“Five hundred years ago, a poet wrote about Tithonus. Yes, a poet in the Old Society—and in the poem, Tithonus asked for eternal life but he neglected to ask for eternal youth. We have solved that problem.”
Eris signaled to an attendant and a Citadelian emerged from the shadows.
Delicate, elegant, tall. Hair thick and black. The gait fast and sure. The skin was soft and pliant.
Eris turned her in a slow spiral. Her muscles were toned, her posture statuesque. She stood still in the spotlight. Eris said,
“Any guesses about age?”
Fifteen, came a voice from the listeners.
Twenty-two, another called out.
The Citadelian held out her hands and leaped, legs flexing. She landed with a light step. Eris flicked the projection device and data sprang onto the screen—
Born 237 AF. Citadel Oaxaca. Source—Gars. Height—one unit thirty. Weight, 40 gynes. Eris said,
“This Citadelian is one hundred thirty.”
The silence was profound. No gasping, no murmuring. Eris said,
“We can stop aging, we can speed it up. We have complete control of the genome. We can select for any trait, we can, if we wish, eradicate the XY gamete as easily as we eradicated smallpox, syphilis, breast cancer. There is nothing about it we cannot control. But there is a moral issue—are we still human if we choose to eradicate the XY gamete? What do we become if we practice complete parthenogenesis? It is possible. That is what you have to take back to your Citadels, that is what you have to decide—the future of the race.”
“Why didn’t we know about this before,” a delegate said. She stood.
“We were not absolutely certain that the science is right,” Eris said. “Planners have worked on this from Foundation until today.”
“How many are there?” A delegate said. She stood. In the light, her name tattoo pulsated and her birth Citadel code stood out—C231.
“In this Citadel,” Eris said, “we have a select group who are all over one hundred fifty. There are subjects in the science Citadels.”
“In all the Citadels?” The delegate said.
“No, just the science Citadels,” Eris said. “It’s a decision for the future.”
“So you have worked it out that everyone born will live forever? Even the Exos?”
“No. That is your choice.”
“How will I choose if I haven’t been born yet?”
“That’s the problem,” Eris said. “How do we decide on eternal life? And who makes the decision?”
Hands trembling, Trisha sipped her wine—now warm, room temperature, the mist on the glass long evaporated—the ring of water from the mist on the table gone. She closed the file and walked into the kitchen, her legs quaking like the legs of the Exo she had just read about. She opened another bottle of wine and poured a glass, sloshing wine onto the table. What an idea. Eradication. Eternal life. Tithonus?
Sitting back down at the computer, wine beside her—she needed the fortification, the numbing of her brain as the ideas rocked around. She searched for Tithonus. And she found it—
The woods decay, the woods decay and fall,
The vapours weep their burthen to the ground,
Man comes and tills the field and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-hair’d shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.
The next scene is called Even the Little Girls. In this scene, Trisha is reading about the Excursion from the Citadel that will coincide with the release of an Exo infant.
[THIS IS IN BIOLOGY OF DESIRE IN A SCENE CALLED “EVEN THE LITTLE GIRLS”]
Leaving the semi-tropical climate of the highlands, they went north ward to the immense flatness of the desert. In its vast openness they discovered a feeling of floundering, as each day they went farther from their center of gravity into alien ground. The reality of being surrounded by the Exo-culture, without the walls of the Citadel for protection, awoke in them occasional feelings of paranoia. They had to be counseled on the spot and in Council they realized that by their longing for the Citadel,they experienced at one and the same time the union with the non-union; as Exos with Citadelian minds, as Citadelians with Exo bodies, they experienced true alienation; they were no longer the same as those inside the Citadel, they could never be the same as those outside it. The external reality, the internal presence, combined in them to create anguish,and for a time they were dispossessed until they realized that they would return.
Late one afternoon in the sixth week of the excursion as they passed the ruins of the ancient city of Guanajuato, they discovered the grave. In the early moments of the find, Qarath thought it was merely a necropolis, for the art of mummifying the dead had been practiced in that city during the Old Society. But closer examination of the grave revealed it to be far more than it appeared. Castille, after a careful anatomical examination of some of the remains, suggested that the entire burial site, thousands and thousands of skeletons, stacked one on top of the other in a helter-skelter fashion, was a mass grave and that the skeletons were all of females and female children. Reluctantly they accepted the reality of what they had found, and they exhumed numerous skeletons which, in the high, dry air, had not completely deteriorated and some still held large, flat pieces of skin and hair so that little imagination was required to envisage the living person. The extreme cruelty of their deaths became apparent when Castille showed that the small girls had all had their skulls crushed by several blows although they had been buried still alive, for the lesions were not serious enough to cause death. The horror that must have preceded the grave spread through them.
Broog, more calloused than most, found it difficult to contain her growing rage. Filina, the only mother in the group, surveyed the wasteland and the thought of the children dying revived a distant nostalgia for her long gone child. Qarath reconstructed for them the series of events which might have led to the abomination. As in all the cities and towns of the former state of Mexico, she explained, women here had lived in the most abject state of enslavement. When consciousness came and woman began to assert her claim to human rights, it was more intense and more challenging to the order than in other places in the world, and the reaction of the male had been swift. Formerly master of all, he had found himself challenged at the very seat of his authority, his control over woman, and he had descended upon her with an unprecedented savagery, destroying her, her child and then in utter contempt, had thrown the bodies into a large hole, scarcely bothering to cover them with earth.
Though versed in the history of the Old Society, Qarath had never experienced the Wars of Savagery in such a direct way. The abstractions which appeared in the documents were so incomplete in comparison to what she was observing that they might easily have been descriptions of any instance of horror; but as she stood there, looking at the vestiges surrounding her, she could imagine the cries, the blood of the holocaust, the ruthlessness and the coldness of the actuality and she became acutely aware that the slaughter of her sisters had been calculated and carried out meticulously; but she could not understand the hatred and hostility, that capacity for hatred, which could have produced such a monstrous thing.
In those moments, the Wars of Savagery, the Age of Martyrs and the Citadels all assumed a deeper meaning. If there had ever been in the minds of any of the Citadelians the notion that the two cultures should be re-integrated, it was then severely taxed. They had to remind themselves constantly that they were not judges, they were simply to find out what existed in the present; they could not be influenced by the past, for the male, though the evidence of his savagery was clear, should be judged for himself as he was in the present, not as his ancestors had been. The Citadelians grew determined to extract every bit of information they could find, but any doubts they might have had about the ethicality of genetic engineering were put to rest.
Realizing that there was nothing they could do, no way to resurrect their sisters who had lain dead for centuries, no way to erase the suffering they had endured, no way to punish their persecutors, the group of Citadelians withdrew with decorum from the grave, their minds resolved that never again would a Citadelian be responsible to a male, never again would a male have the power of life and death over them. In spite of their efforts to control it, the past had become as influential as anything they saw in the present, and Qarath made a vow to herself that upon returning to the Citadel she would search the records for any reference to that massacre and if there were none, make one so that those who had died would at least be remembered.
In the north, there were few villages. The density of population in each succeeding one declined as its distance from the Citadel increased. The Exo settlements formed a dispersed but nevertheless real, encirclement, which, when plotted out, revealed the Citadel’s sphere of influence. The Citadelians had only to go to that range to find that there was a critical distance beyond which it was impossible to compete for the young; as a consequence the populations of the villages on the periphery of the Citadel’s influence were all composed of very old Exos who, as they died, were not replaced, and soon their villages would disappear.
The next scene is called Rejected. The scene takes place in Deirdre’s apartment. She and Trisha are drinking wine.
T: Why did you write this novel in the first place?
D: Because the dry old white men who run the science publications rejected all my work.
T: But you’re a well known embryologist.
Deirdre lays out the structure of the Citadel and shows how each scene is built on her lab results and her theories.
T: Good god.
D: We’re going extinct. We’re on divergent evolutionary paths. We won’t need men in fifty years.
T: How does that happen ? Divergent paths?
D: When reproductive strategies diverge you get separation. You see it all the time. Men go one way—no reason to change, they own the world and your cunt, women go another trying not to get killed for saying no. The big finding in my work that got me so many rejections was a redefinition of environment and natural selection.
T: What does that mean? Darwin?
D: It means that if by environment you mean only the visible world—and that’s Darwin—you get one thing. But if you see the cell and especially the mitochondrion as an environment you get another. When Lynn Margulis showed us that the mitochondrion was once a free living bacterium, you have a breakthrough. And the breakthrough in my work is the discovery that thought can change the brain and in changing the brain, you change behavior. Look at you. All you do is hunt, but you never get pregnant. Why?
T: Because I don’t want to.
D: And you don’t have to because you have a choice. In decision making, you have options and one of your options is sex without physical consequence.
T: Meaning what?
D: That you distrust the Biology of Desire which is built in.
T: So I’m a mutant?
D: Yes. Your brain has changed and you have separated your past from your future. What you will become now isn’t what your predecessors had to become. Sexual selection has created you. Because your mother used her brain, your body has changed and you are adapted to it. It’s called the Fragile Wisdom and it’s a new world for Lamarckian biology. You might already be on the way to a new species. Do you want me to run a chromosomal check on you?
T: So you do think I’m a mutant?
The next scene is called One More Try. Trisha is back on the beach. She picks up a specimen, takes him home, uses him, tries to throw him out. She is now living Citadel. She is a Hunter, the Beach Meat is the Gland. The only difference is that she has no intention of bearing a child. An Exie, she thinks. But in a reversal, her specimen demands more of her. She says no. He beats her up, cuts her, rapes her and leaves her bleeding. She takes herself to the ER and then calls Deirdre.
The next scene is called Deirdre in Her Lab. She is running her tests on the XYs and comes to a grave conclusion (the transform of his scene is called Separation and comes later in the story). Deirdre has discovered through her extensive testing of sperm samples across the spectrum that the average number of gametes per ejaculation has dropped from 300 million to 100 thousand and of that number only four percent are viable and that borders on extinction. Her discovery shocks her, does she write it up?
The next scene is called Infection. The scene is in Citadel. The moment in the novel is a Congress of a number of Citadels. It is a scene about the history of genetics and the Infection that started the rebellion. A geneticist gives a talk showing micrographs of the bacterium strain that kicked it off in Istanbul. It is an engineered bacterium but no one know who made it or how it started. It spread so fast and took so many victims that the science died with it and the geneticist tells the Congress when science dies, it takes the scientists with it and you have a Dark Age. The Age was saved, Deirdre writes, because select women kept their discoveries secret and that data became the backbone of the technological library of the Citadels. Without that data and those women, we would all be living like the Exos.
The next scene is called The Genetics of Oppression. In this scene from Citadel, the embryologists are modifying chromosomes before implanting a specimen from a Gland. They have discovered that they don’t have to modify the entire genome to get what they want, but by selecting for one trait, they uncover an entire range of accompanying traits. They know that if they modify the gene for aggression and produce an XYY male, they also change the body chemistry and that what gives the Men Who Live Like Women their odor. The decision in the scene shows the politics of the Citadels. The Eradicationists and the Integrationists have different ideas about the race and its survival or not. They have discovered and modified the genes for aggression, but the Integrationists come down on the side of Reversal—if you change the entire genome, you produce a new species and they can do it but they choose not to.
The next scene is called They Knew How it Was Done, but They Didn’t Know Why. In this scene in Citadel, Trisha reads about the Men Who Live Like Women. They live separated from the other Exos. Wear different clothes, cannot travel. These are the Exo Harems, vestigial structures of the Old Culture. The source of the segregation is built into the Exos who are prepped in the Citadels and emerge as intersex. The men who live like women smell odd. Their body chemistry sets them apart. The scene before this sets up the play of Odors that figure in the scene: I don’t know how this will fit, but it can be another of Orione’s stories from the Archives:
On another side street behind the market place, Erian stopped before a small house obviously different from the others so. Qarath, steeped in history and familiar with styles of architecture, could scarcely contain her amazement, for there, complete to the smallest detail, stood an Old Society bungalow. The other houses, solid walls broken only by the door in the center, were plain, but the bungalow had two small windows on either side of the door which opened from the left instead of the right.
Around the windows, painted, perforated shutters decorated the walls and provided the only decorative color the Citadelians had seen in the entire village.
Erian stood at the door, the troupe spread out around him, and began to pound on the door while the others made crude noises with their mouths and stomped their feet. The intensity of the noise increased, but subsided when the door opened partially and there, to Qarath’s amazement stood a smallish person with extremely fine facial features.
Erian stepped back from the door, took the child, still sleeping from his sling, and showed it to the person before him. She stepped aside and Erian entered the house, replacing the sling as he went.
Qarath was puzzled by the person who bowed as they passed her. She had no knowledge of a missing Citadelian. She led them into the house with its sparse furnishings—cushions, low tables, couches and rugs. She invited them to sit and she left, returning with a large flask of alcohol which she poured into cups and served.
Qarath took the drink offered her, but she was shaking as she remembered this as a tableau from the history books, images of Istanbul popped into her head. Not since the Infection had a Citadelian knelt before an Exo and in total head-bowed, eye-diverted sub-servience, offered him a cup with both hands.
Broog touched her as if to tell her that their sister needed their help, not their recriminations. The touch restored Qarath to a mild state of reason, and she drank, but her anger made the alcohol buzz in her head; still she realized that she wasn’t angry at the Citadelian, but rather at the coming to life in the present.
She began to think analytically again of how it was possible for a Citadelian to remain alive in captivity. There were a great many puzzles all of a sudden, and she knew that Castille would be cataloguing every move the Citadelian made for the gyneologists to study about when they learned about her. Not since the Wars of Savagery had a Citadelian survived in the Exo-culture, for the gyneologists worked with each Citadelian from the earliest times so that there was an indoctrinated, learned and inextinguishable drive to die rather than to live and allow the Exos the pleasure of murdering her.
To Broog seeing the real problem, it was clear to her that Erian intended they should all have intercourse with the Citadelian. And that was impossible. Yet it should have been impossible for the Citadelian to be there and to consent. Her mind working, Broog drank the liquor.
Unexpectedly the captive began a dance composed of a series of suggestive body contortions and she moved from Exo to Exo,intent upon arousing them. But when she came to Filina it was obvious that she, like the rest, didn’t know how to respond to the flirtation. She was being expected to behave like an Exo to an act which she had never before engaged in.
The ambiguity of the entire ceremony had begun to tear them all apart, and neither Castille nor Riga, neither Filina nor Qarath, could cope with the of emotion seeing the captive enslaved. The alcohol, the anxiety, the strain of the masquerade, all were taking their toll and individually and together, they were on the verge of bursting out of their roles, of breaking the laborious hours of training and running away from the brothel.
With a lingering assuredness suggesting much practice, the captive wove around the room, generating in the Exos a state of excitement. She came around to Erian again. On her knees, she opened his trousers began to fondle his penis into an erection then with quick, darting, expert motions of her head, she enveloped the flesh with her mouth, and Erian thrust against her.
The others watched, fixed upon the couple. Qarath seethed, her eyes full of loathing and disgust for this female who was on her knees, sucking that turgid cock and demanding nothing in return. The past replayed itself in those few minutes more vividly than ever before—the centuries, the millenia which females had spent bowing and scraping before the false power of the cock. Qarath looked at the others. She saw their disgust and she felt their strength and then remembering the task they were one, she became an observer again, taking in the ceremony.
At that moment Erian stood and taking the child out of the sling on his back, strapped it onto the belly of the Citadelian; the child began to wail, filling the room with its shrillness.
The woman, still on her knees, adjusted the sling, turned around on all fours, the infant hanging from her animal-like, and pulling up her clothes, presented herself to the erect cock which had just left her mouth.
Qarath, then with a numbing realization that this wasn’t a Citadelian, a woman at all, but a man who lived liked a woman.
Erian penetrated the anus of the victim. His flesh disappeared into her, and as he moved with rapid jerks, the man who lived like a woman mumbled, “fuck, fuck, fuck”, in a rhythmic chant.
Erian’s ejaculation left him clinging to the buttocks of the kneeling man who lived like a woman, and then he withdrew, and as he sat back upon the cushions, his penis still glistening with the moisture of his semen, the man on the floor rose began a series of puzzling contortions. He writhed, as though in agony and muttered, and picking up the child which had been strapped to her, stripped off her clothes and stood naked before them.
Qarath was dismayed as she studied the face of the Exo, this man who lived like a woman wearing the ancient dress of the time of the Wars of Religion. His face was made up in a parody of an ancient cinema queen. But, the breasts were real, pendulous, brown-nippled.
The penis was a shrunken, almost vestigial appendage. Qarath realized then this this was an Intersex being, a product of manipulation in the Citadels labs. And at last she understood.
The Intersex One handed the infant back to Erian and one after the other took the Exos into him. Qarath realized that she had just seen a re-enactment of fertilization and birth, a ritual which in its bizarre pattern left her without thoughts other than the thought of the act itself, a ritual distorting and re-arranging the actual sequence, yet presenting the complete sequence.
In the Citadel, where birth and everything surrounding it had been de-mystified, where sexuality no longer was directly correlated to life and birth, such a ritual was non-existent. But in the Exo village, the ritual told a story, in its simplistic way, and to the Exos who could not have seen themselves issue from the body, the ritual showed that somewhere deep in their minds, a nostalgia, a memor of another time, was forcing itself to surface.
But how did they know? How did the Intersex One, with his double being, come to be accepted as the giver of life? Perhaps, over the years, the Exos, having seen animals reproduce, had discovered their own sexual reality, and without having seen a live human birth, were imitating the cycle of other life around them. It was their own creation myth.
The next scene is called The Captive. This is a scene in Citadel. Deirdre shows in detail how the Exos live. She shows how in the all male culture the Exo gratifies his sexual needs. There is a subculture of Exos who service the others. They are, Deirdre writes, the vestige of the Old Culture (before the wars of religion) in which men live like women but there is the uncoupling of history and practice. The Exos have desire—the Biology of Desire is fixed—but the genetics of procreation are lost and so the Exos have no idea what they are doing. This plants the notion of the complete manipulation of the genome in the citadels by letting a certain number of combinations exist: XX, XXY, XXX, XYY.
[insert scene part here]
The next scene is called The Birth Algorithm. In this scene Deirdre explains to Trisha the genetics of chromosomes and the gametes—haploid and diploid. She tells Trisha how she came up with the idea for an XYY gamete that gives sometimes a Mutant and sometimes an Intersex male. The Mutants, in Citadel, are called Glands and the Glands are expelled and will either be eaten by animals or taken by Exos. In the scene Deirdre write about the genetics and the effects of estrogen and estrogen precursors that caused the first mitochondrial mutations that led to the XYY configuration. In the scene, the XYY mutant holds an almost revered place because it’s only the XYY who is used as a sperm donor.
The next scene is called The Disrupter. It is a horrifying scene in Citadel where the lone survivor of a team of hunters is annihilated using the Disrupter. In the scene, Orione tells a story to a group of younger citadelians as a cautionary tale on their way to becoming hunters of Glands.
Orione: Part Three is entitled Zeb. It’s not very long. The time is 2188. Zeb is 24, a hunter. This is in the time before all hunters had mandatory ovarectomies. It has now been three generations since a Citadelian has given birth outside a Citadel.
Zeb is taken captive only after she broke her leg while she was separated from her team. She is discovered by the Exos and taken to a village. Zeb knows what is going to happen; the author enters into her mind as she goes with the Exos to the village, trying to find the strength to face what will inevitably happen. The prolonged narrative gives the reader an opportunity to come very close to the savagery of the Exos as it flashes through her mind, and that is the intention. Finally, Zeb is prepared.
The village was silent A clutch of Exos followed the retinue through the streets.
Zeb limped, dragging her splinted leg. The pain was intense. Each step came with a shiver and she had to close her eyes. She had known that it might happen to her, and she had always been careful, but it had happened, and the splint, the fractured bone made her a prisoner without chains.
The complete silence of the Exos was odd. She expected at least to be insulted, cursed, even spat upon; she could see hostility in their eyes, but not a word and when she slowed her pace, they slowed too, waiting for her, so that she was the master of the speed with which she marched to her death.
She knew she was doomed. She knew they would kill her just as their ancestors had killed other Citadelians, and it would happen in a matter of fact way, because no thought could be given to keeping her alive. The Exos couldn’t refrain from killing her because it had become instinctive with them.
The machine was a small black box with six knobs resting on a low metal stand. Four tentacle—like tubes projected from it.
Zeb recognized the machine. She had read about it. It was a Disrupter, a remnant of the Wars of Savagery. It was the pinnacle of war technology from the Old Society. It had been designed just for the purpose of destroying women. It was an oscillator tuned to the vibrations of mitochondrial DNA.
The mass cruelty of war which had always been a distant cruelty, became focused upon women following the War of the Hat Pins and the Infection. During the Wars of Savagery, the purpose had not been, as it was in other wars, to conquer or to secure resources but to destroy bodies. To annihilate them. The machine was efficient. Zeb knew how it worked. Everyone in every citadel knew how it worked.
After so many years, the machine was still intact. That was a credit, if it could be said in those words, to the technical expertise of the Old Society. A war machine that was indestructible.
Zeb watched an Exo put gloves. He approached her. She realized that the gloves were not to protect him while he used the machine but were to prevent his flesh from coming into contact with hers. She had not been touched during the entire time of her captivity except with sticks or prods.
She understood their silence.
They were awed by her. She was the poisonous female, the curse of the race, the epitome of everything they hated and despised, and no Exo could touch her, so repugnant had the female become in their mythology.
The Exo reached out to her and after several attempts took her wrist. The gloves were soft, and his grip was only enough to guide her arm. He took one of the tubes and wound it carefully around her head. Another wrapped around her body, binding her arms to her sides. The splint was taken from her leg, and another tube was wrapped around her legs.
The pain was excruciating as she watched the Exo maneuver the fourth tube around her ankles. The tubing gripped her and as she flexed it grew tighter. Exos passed by the doorway to the building but fled after watching for a short time.
The last tube was placed, the door was closed, and the four Exos who had brought her to the village remained with her.
The Exo with the gloves activated the machine.
A sharp sensation shot through her body, but there was no pain. She felt exhilarated. Her skin tingled.
The Exos watched with no expressions on their faces.
Then the machine was deactivated and the tubes released. Zeb stood there, hobbling on one leg as the Exo secured the tubes.
Then he lifted a small switch on the machine.
Her body spasmed, the flesh vibrated off the bone and that made the Exos laugh. Their joy intensified as the bones quivered into a mush of cytoplasm on the floor of the cave. Strands of her hair spotted the mass of jelly but that too dissolved in the humming and shimmered in the pale light. In the center of the pool that had once been a Citadelian, a small metal name plaque on a silver chain glistened. Her body was gone. The Exo turned off the disrupter and the laughter stopped as the Exos, one by one, scooped up the liquid and massaged their injection tubes until they ejaculated.
They left the cave, then, and they were silent.
The next scene is called Exos. This scene is in Citadel. Deirdre goes into the language of the Citadels and how the XY gamete designated a male which turned into Exo which is used to write about the Exo-Culture.
The next scene is called Mutants. It is in Citadel. Trisha, reading on the beach is deep in the scene called Mutants when a shadow crosses her. Shielding her eyes she looks at a hunk of beach meat and bang. She realizes that Deirdre has written about that.
Filina held up a hand as her group approached the square. A voice; a strident, demanding, voice. She had never heard an Exo speak and He was speaking. An Exo speaking words, complete sentences. It was impossible.
Around him Exos stood in a cluster listening and watching. He stood on a rock. He towered above them. They had to look up to see more than his feet. He was taller than most. His black hair hung in locks. The hair on his face was thick, black. The thick hair on his arms gave his skin a mottled look.
“A Mutant,” Riga whispered.
There was an electricity of violence in the air which they attuned to as though for millenia they had been sensitized to feel it without thinking. Riga felt his animal tenseness holding the Exos in a stunned state.
Broog and Riga, following Filina, were drawn to him. With a hand, she held them back. Few Citadelian gyneologists had ever observed a Mutant in the wild.
It was a unique experience, a reminder of the past. They filtered into the crowd to look at him. Riga stopped, her whole body grew rigid. She had to bite her tongue to keep from crying out because in the strength of his voice charged with venom, his eyes gleaming stood a human being with Filina’s name tatooed on his forehead along with the symbol of her citadel
Filina gagged. It was unthinkable in all that space, through time, and any possible circumstances, that she would come face to face with the infant she had borne three decades before. Her mind raced, and a chaos of memory surged in her. She was overwhelmed with a flood of wild sensations. She was no longer a Citadelian. She was transfixed. She was under his control. She raised a finger to her own forehead, to her name tattooed in blue.
The Mutant was so imposing, his power so vigorous no one moved. Broog and Riga,seeing Filina’s distress, formed a protective ring around her.
“The tattoo,” Filina said.
Never had a Citadelian ever knew what became of her flesh until that moment.Filina looked without seeing, heard without listening the harangue of the Mutant who, violence emanating from him, exhorted the Exos, flinging insults into their faces.
“Fucking animals,” he shouted. He was speaking. A Mutant speaking. How was that possible?
He punctuated his speech with fierce gestures. He rose on his toes, stretching up, his eyes flashing. He said, “No fight, no fuck, no nothing.” He knelt, as if to pull his words from the ground , “We go out and take over. We take one, another one, and pretty soon the whole bunch.” He paused. “Hear me?” He plunged into the crowd, pushing them aside, provoking them, cursing them. He grabbed an Exo by the hair, forced him to kneel, “I piss in your face piece of shit.”
He pushed the Exo into the crowd, “Food,” he commanded, “and drink.” He sat down on the rock.
The Exos clustered around him. He had not released them. He stretched out, folding his hands behind his head.
An Exo ran off then returned with a bowl and a flask. The Mutant took the bowl, tasted what was in it and threw it into the face of a youngster who stood before him. He said,
“This is shit. I want food, real food. This garbage you gutless shit asses eat isn’t food.” He took the flask the Exo held and drank. No one left. His tyranny was complete, his strength so great they did nothing or perhaps they were unable to do anything.
Filina knelt, a rush of shame and guilt and fear boiling up in her as this being who had once been in her manipulated the Exos. them.
Was this the being whose ancestors had been the jailors of woman? The being who had crushed woman’s bodies? The being who had pillaged her womb? The being whose presence was fear and whose specter still stalked the Citadel? Was this what woman had submitted to? Was this what she had been afraid of? Was this the sum of all she tried not to be? Why?
Sitting there, he was not formidable. Trying to arouse the Exos, he was pitiable. Waiting to be served his food, he was worthless. Drinking his liquor to dull his frustration, he was harmless. Without his armies he was laughable. Surrounded by creatures who did not understand
him, he was alone.
For all his violence, he was nothing. Filina had retreated deep within herself. Near her soul, she became sadness and seeking their love, reached out in a desperate touch. She had doubted, thirty years before but now she lived to see that her body had contained the elements of the beast. Her sorrow was profound and she wept that this was the result of her ignorance. In all his ugliness and horror, he had been inside her, deeply, invisibly inside her. Sitting there, his face smeared with animal grease, stuffing his mouth with meat, he was a part of her, a part she had never seen; and she knew that she was in him, that she too sat there in him, she was part of him, and her despair grew, she almost burst with shame and anger and hatred; this should not have happened to her; this should not have taken place; she should not have seen the remains of her hope; she should not have been allowed to know that from her womb the past had come embodied in all this crassness.
But she was to blame. The truth was inescapable, and she realized that each and every Citadelian had the potential to draw from her such a being,that in the past, woman had automatically birthed such beings into the world and had therefore carried within their own bodies the causes of their own destruction. Her Mutant was getting drunk. He belched and he sang and he talked to himself and he shouted at those souls who hadn’t moved during his entire performance.
The liquor seeped into him and he became even more the natural man. He stood, swaying a little and approached two young Exos who meekly weathered his presence. “Fight,” he said. But they didn’t act. He grabbed them and placed them facing one another and balled their fists up and said, “like this,” and he used the fist of one to smash the other in the face. “Be men,learn to fight. Punchimback. Punchimnaface. Tearimup. Smatter: Can’t take it? No balls. No. You ain’t gotnyballs. Noneayougotnyballs. Looktya. Worthless punks. Farmers.”
The two youngsters, bleeding at the mouth, stared at one another, their fists doubled up, fixed like small statues while he harangued them. Finally disgusted by their inaction, the Mutant let them go
[This Scene is a Marker—it’s two weeks before Citadel is Released]
The next scene is called The Best I Can Do. The scene takes place in Trisha’s apartment. She’s working on Citadel, now her only project. Deirdre comes in. She’s worried. More lab tests, she says. What do you mean? She tells Trisha about the Estrogen poisoning and this leaves Trisha worried. Before she saw the book as a blueprint for eradication of men, but now she sees the possibility of an entire population of women coming into menarche as early as 6. She wants to know more. The environmental disaster has its effects, Deirdre tells her. It’s set us off on divergent paths. Divergent paths? Deirdre tells her that men and women are on separate evolutionary paths that might lead to extinction of males while leaving women to conceive parthenogenetically.
Intercut Rose-Trisha scene
Rose Seven comes two weeks before Citadel is released. The ARCs are out and Clara is waiting for the reviews. Trisha tells Rose that the religious reactionaries have gotten hold of the book and are threatening not just Trisha and Deirdre but also Clara. It’s the devil’s book, they say, and Clara produced the devil’s work so she should be stoned. The fundamentalists are international now, Trisha tells her. She tells Rose that she is afraid of what is coming. We didn’t expect this, she says, but the Separation has started. What do you mean? Rose asked. There have been riots against the book, Trisha tells her. Women are marching in support of it and the men are reacting with such viciousness that it hurts. Deirdre has been on talk shows and after each one she gets death threats. Hos is that Separation? Rose wants to know. The women are being segregated and thrown into jail for demonstrating.
The next scene is called In Labor. The scene takes place in Citadel. In the scene a young Citadelian, paired with her mate is giving birth. She has to accept that because the baby is male, it will be taken from her and expelled at some time. Here Deirdre writes in Citadelian slang and calls the newborn an Exo. (Plural=Exos) for XY which is the gamete tag for male. Later XY becomes Exo which becomes Exo for the Exo Culture. The young mother breaks down.
“But I didn’t know I’d feel this…this feeling of wanting it….I thought…I wanted it…it to be a Citadelian.”
“But it isn’t Filina that’s the reality. None of us can change that fact. But suppose that this child were to stay in the Citadel. His presence would compromise the freedom of every Citadelian, because in his presence there is the possibility of violence; whether or not it would ever happen, the chance is there that at sometime a Citadelian could become pregnant without instruction, or some Citadelian might be victimized if he is a Mutant. You don’t know which sperm was implanted in your uterus, Filina, and you don’t know if the mutant male is in that child, and that is why he will be expelled. It is one way to assure us that never again, never again in our history will a Citadelian be impregnated against her will, never as a result of a male’s blind passion will a Citadelian be forced to conceive and bear a child who will be labeled a mistake or an accident or an afterthought. Never again will a Citadelian have a hand lifted against her by a male. Before that will happen, Filina, we will all die. He cannot remain.”
“But he’s just one small child,” Filina says and tears form in her eyes. “What harm can there be in one small child?”
“The truth is that he’ll grow into an Exo, Filina,” Gipzae says, “an adult male…”
“The sperm that fertilized the ovum was not manipulated or treated. We have to make a decision. We don’t want to know if the child is a simple Exo, a Mutant, or a Gland. You don’t want to know.”
“You could do a tissue analysis, you could find out…”
“We don’t want to know Filina. His male sex dictates that he must be expelled; it doesn’t matter to us any more. We’ve interfered all we will. This isn’t the end of your life, Filina. You’re young. Don’t let this single biological act define your existence. You ought not let it determine what you will think of yourself in the world or what you’ll do in it. Of your eighteen years, only one has been taken up with this insemination and birth. You can’t let that one year be a definition of your entire being. That was a stage our sisters passed through in the Old Society, a stage they remained in for thousands of years. It’s unfortunate that we’re condemned to live through the past in order to reach a new awareness, but that’s the consequence of biology. It will happen if you don’t consider what you can become to yourself for yourself alone.
“Let the child go, Filina. It has gone out of your body, let it go from your mind. He’ll live out there and we in here. You’ve done the simplest thing that can be asked of you; you need to turn inward now, to look at us, to look to yourself, to discover what you are and what else you can do.”
The next scene is called Are We Sure? Here I set up the rhythm of the Biology of Desire [explained by Deirdre earlier in the novel in a scene called Rejected] by introducing entire sections of Citadel alternating with real time scenes set around the discovery, preparation, and publication of the novel. In this scene, Trisha has her first doubts about publishing the novel. Clara needs a block-buster—Is this a block-buster? She asks Trisha. It is the beginning of the end of the human race as it evolved, Trisha tells her. She tells Clara about Deirdre’s science.
The next scene is called the Age of Infection. The scene takes places in the novel as Trisha reads it. In the scene, Deirdre writes about the beginning of the End in a brothel in Istanbul. Deirdre writes that control of technology (all lab techs are women at this point, so control of the technology is theirs) is control of society.
[Note: we find out that all along, the Citadels have been messing with the genome to control the numbers of Exos born and raised to maturity] with the aid of Martyrs the infection spreads so fast huge portions of the male population of Asia Minor is eradicated. [Note: this scene is the pay off an earlier scene after The Genetics of Oppression called INFECTION in which Deirdre writes about the genetically modified bacteria that causes the Age of Infection]
The next scene is called The War of Savagery. Trisha, reading, correcting Deirdre’s faulty prose, comes to the monumental scene involving the Disrupter. In this scene Deirdre has written about the creation of a device based on the Tesla Oscillator that when tuned to the mitochondrial vibration frequency can completely destroy any human tissue—muscle, bone, blood—that contains mDNA. In the novel, a captive Citadelian is annihilated down to a pool of cytoplasm containing only a hank of hair. The Exos who control the machine use it on all their captives. Distressed, Trisha has doubts about publishing Citadel because it is a blueprint for eradication of the X chromosome.
The next scene is called Editing Citadel. Trisha, worn out by Deirdre’s constant harping about her editing, takes the mss back to the Desert Rose Motel outside of Needles. As she reads deeper, she sees just what Deirdre is doing. It is a novel, so called, but it is a history of the war on women with roots in the ancient past. “Why,” Deirdre writes, “do men and women have different life strategies? Because eggs are expensive and sperm is cheap. Men are entranced with quantity, while women are indebted to quality.”
The next scene is called Her Very Own Gland. It takes place on the beach at Santa Monica and continues in Trisha’s apartment. She picks up a Gland, your basic beach meat and takes him home. She realizes that she’s doing exactly what Deirdre has written about in the Hunt Scene in the novel. She finishes with the meat and tries to send him away, but he wants more. She says no. He takes her by force and leaves her bleeding. Trisha calls Deirdre crying. I hate you, she says. I told you what you were doing, Deirdre says. Do you want to die?
Report to the Congress regarding the Separation of Cultures, Foundation, and the Inevitable Eradication of Man
Prepared from Documents and Data Tabulated by the Excursion of 250 AF.
The first signs of Foundation developed in the third decade after the war of 1936, (80 years before Foundation) and localized in the technological states.
The war had lionized woman as a labor source and, particularly in the technological states, she had taken over complete operation of industry and education, as well as maintaining her role in the enculturation process. We must see that the intense part woman had in the war effort of all concerned political groups was the first true indication that woman could manage an increasingly complex industrial state, not only manage it, but make it grow and thrive, It became necessary to reconsider the relationship of woman to industry when the war ended, and man, returning after the war resumed his work and replaced woman, relegating her once again to the kitchen or to subservient jobs whose productivity was inconsequential.
During the war, woman had commendably done work upon which man’s life literally depended, but upon his return, woman could not be trusted to managerial positions, for she could not, paradoxically, then be trusted to make the right decisions, decisions which she had been making for years in man’s absence. This inconsistency remained virtually unnoticed, and woman became) in the first decade after the war, isolated again like a savages.. she stops the recording and respaces, became in the first decade after the war constrained to marginal participation in the technological state, while her reproductive powers were utilized by the state to replenish the supply of workers the wat had depleted. Again, the paradox was not apparent to the managerial controllers that woman herself could have worked in the place of the fallen. At this time, the first decade after that war, the human race was issuing from the body of woman at the rate of one child every 15 seconds in a world-wide phenomenon of uncontrolled proliferation. The retrograde position of woman as child bearer was complete, as was the total devaluation of woman as a human being. She was no more, no less than a child machine.
Man’s successful devaluing of woman continued until the First Years when the power they had been given in the political realm began woman in her rise to ultimate control of her destiny in the Citadels had successfully passed through the stages of a slave class being elevated out of slavery and assimilated into the ruling class society; but once a state of self-awareness had been reached, woman had not been assimilated into the ruling class because, quite simply, man in his role as master had been totally dependent upon her for his definition of self, and once she had asserted her freedom and in so doing declared him no longer master, man’s concept of himself failed, and there was, literally, no ruling class. The tender ego of the male, the background work of those hundreds of generations of women, had prepared the demise of the male by making him think he was dependent upon woman and then taking away his support. It was a labyrinthine theory, almost as though throughout time woman had been working in a conspiracy to overthrow the master. The question continues to be asked: Why, if woman passed through a slave class manumission and gained ascendency, did she not impress man into the subservient role and she herself held and assume the role of master? That was, after all, the dynamic of rebellion. As man, in his infinite corruptibility also began to rely falsely in his own terms upon the sanction of woman for a legitimate power base. Woman, inspired by the efforts of a few individuals to free themselves from their biological destiny, began to emerge from the slavery they had for millennia accepted and demanded not only economic equality, but also that they be allowed to return to the positions of production and management their sisters had held so successfully two decades before.
With political legitimacy to enforce her demands, woman began to exert herself, but in the fourth decade out of the war, sixteen years before Foundation woman found that she was not freeing herself by becoming once again involved in the means of production in the industrial and service society; she had created nothing new for herself but had merely accepted in its entirety the male defined, male directed, manipulative society with its hundreds of roles and traps. She found in effect that the very structure of male society was wrong for her, profoundly wrong, and it affected her psychically, because in fact the only place there was room for her was precisely in the kitchen because man had so defined her; either the entire structure of society had to be changed or she would eternally be there in the kitchen, a slave. To be anywhere else she had to assume male characteristics, which meant that she had to relinquish any notions of becoming what she wanted to be if she wanted to succeed in the male defined culture. But she could no longer tolerate those attributes which males had decided were womanly: she found the task of raising his children to be odious; the task of cleaning his house to be odious; the task of cooking for him to be odious; the task of washing his clothing to be odious; and she found that, in that role, she was odious to herself because she did nothing to bring it to an end.
Woman’s life was a dead end, and in it she would die unless something happened. Some found that they could tolerate that level of the living dead, that they could stand that much ambiguity and self-deprecation, but others said that the male had no right to demand that everyone share his characteristics, that everyone conform to his ideas which are at once a biological-cultural complex that in language is an expression of intolerance, a statement of egocentrism of such proportions that it is impossible to fathom where it leads.
And consequently. Even before Foundation, woman began to divide herself into two factions:
1) the integrationists who declared that they had succeeded in achieving a status of high esteem in man’s world for which they were grateful.
2) the separatists who were not willing to adopt man’s roles and their detriments in order to have success in his terms.
The two factions remained deadlocked in equilibrium until the decade immediately before Foundation when it became clear that the primary reason man allowed woman to enter his previously exclusive clubs was so that he could use those who succeeded to even further divide woman into factions and could, by dividing, manipulate and control.
We see the dynamics of the oppression of a class in that by defining as the ultimate goal his own system and participation in it as the ultimate action, man precluded the possibility of ever becoming superseded, and thus seemed to assure himself of the gratitude of those he selectively elevated into his system. At this time, however, the nature of man’s technology began to work against him. It was necessary for him to give those in subservient position more control of technology in order to cope with the almost infinite array of contingencies of operation, for science had become such a machine that it required constant surveillance; he had expanded his thinking into so many areas that the slave class he had held in ignorance moved into his laboratory, moved into the sub-managerial roles created by the technical invention, and over the years gained full mastery and understanding of it, as they had done in the decade of the war of 1936. The consequence of that move was that as in all slave classed societies, when the rulers become more abstractly identified with their system, they begin to take it for granted, and they begin to turn more and more of its running over to their slaves. We now see the society stratified into two levels:
1) the professional-managerial segment of any particular system
2) the technical-clerical segment.
In both levels, woman became more influential in the control of the system, and while man in his professional-managerial capacity seemed to direct woman held true control.
The professionals generated ideas and technology, managers dictated letters and formulated policy; in both cases, they depended upon the technical-clerical expertise of the subservient female to see that the acts were implemented, that the ideas were investigated, but without ever considering their subordinates as integral parts of their system. Woman at this time became aware of the real condition and saw that reprisal was not only possible but could be attributed to “human error.”
A lab technician, involved in an extremely important experiment, could alter the outcome merely by forgetting one step; a secretary, after serving coffee to the manager, need only to send letters in the wrong envelopes; a medical secretary had only to make no appointments. The rush by man to automate industry and business, to computerize all systems was a way of combatting the subterfuge without ever realizing what they were combatting; but the sheer bulk of the technological system from production through distribution and consumption required that a human be responsible for some portion of the journey.
In the Fourth decade, woman and man reached a crisis point in their relationship to the technology. Those who had been allowed to participate marginally in the generation of technology and formation of policy and who quietly accepted the valueless science of man found themselves outnumbered by those who demanded that the value system be rearranged, that human values be brought into considerations of technological development and policy decision. But those who were in the hierarchies of the institutions no longer could accept the assumption of their institutions, and they substituted institutional vales for human ones. The institutions had evolved to such a point that their demise was contained in their very structure. But, like most societal structures, the demise was slow in coming because individuals had feelings of powerlessness which contributed to a general societal inertia which those in power interpreted as implicit faith in the institutions. Man and woman were deadlocked in opposing static and dynamic aspects, and man refused to incorporate woman further into the system. He found it impossible to co-exist with woman who demanded equality and not just tokenism. The stalemate reached its culmination in 2000 (Sixteen Before Foundation) when woman found that her only alternative to continued subservient, second-class status was an alternative society. She began her first experiments with communal life, not as a direct challenge to the male society, but as a means, the only apparent means, to allow herself the freedom to grow, to become what she knew she potentially could become. But at this point man’s hostility finally came to open warfare, and throughout the decades 1980 to 2000, he actively intervened, attacked, raided and ultimately attempted to destroy the communes which, in spite of man’s opposition, had grown and flourished.
The decades 1980 to 2000 had involved four separate stages. The psychodynamics of the suppression of the communes is vitally important in the evolution of the Citadels. Why did woman want to live in communes? Why did she first get the idea that there was a way to live which man could not understand? This was not as a direct challenge to the male society, but a means, the only apparent means, to allow herself the freedom to grow and to become what she knew she potentially could become. There was no logical reason why the quest for separation had it so easily come to warfare.
Warfare is effective as a means to homogenize conflicting attitudes by imposing a stronger will upon a weaker one.
The interdependency of the two sexes should have produced a balanced state in which each took what was supplied by the other in order to assure their mutual survival. What went wrong? The maladaptiveness of the male to the condition which ought to have produced homeostasis had been the cause of the split. To consider the peculiar behavior of the male in relation to the communes we have to leave the realm of macro-sociology as a metaphor and seek our solution in the conceptual language of evolution. We have considered that the male fixation with war in all its manifestations from overt hostility to subtle business machinations is the result of the male’s inability to understand his sexual nature; he interpreted certain of his features as feminine and therefore alien aspects of his character. War was an attempt to exorcise the alien from his being and to dominate that side of his character he considered weak; he could not rationally understand how two seemingly contradictory essences could reside in the same being, and we thought in our psycho-historical literature that was a measure of frustration resulting from his inability to reconcile his cultural image and his psychological consciousness. At this point, we see clearly, for the first time, the path of divergent evolution.
When woman became independent, and technology discovered the actual importance of male and female in procreation, man had to reconcile his cultural image with his actual position of mere provider of sex chromosomes, and in his own terms his character became odious. We thought his war machines were simply efforts to extend his penis, and we saw war therefore as a covert desire to ultimately destroy woman. In short, we had equated war with sexuality. In this we were wrong, or at least wrong to the extent that we were not complete in our analysis. We had wrongly placed ourselves at the center of man’s problems; we must probably now undertake a re-evaluation of ourselves in regard to man with this new realization. We were wrong. In fact, the evidence suggests that man’s intolerance of woman must be seen in the framework of a larger network of his basic intolerance, not of woman, but of woman as different from man; his intolerance of difference itself.
In evolutionary terms, the intolerance of difference is a conservative and vital force because it assures the continued viability of a species. The presence of the female in a male culture is structurally similar to that of a mutant in a colony of bacteria; when that mutant exerts too much pressure or becomes too conscious, it becomes a threat to the surrounding colony; in a blind and entirely genetically motivated action, the parent colony moves against the mutant strain which is competing for the shared resources and ultimately destroys it. Man, as an evolved being, cannot be extricated from his continuum. What appears as blind act of eradication at the molecular level with respect to bacteria occurs at a macro-level in populations. As long as woman remained invisibly subservient within the male culture symbiosis was possible, but as soon as she began to develop on her own, no matter how marginally, as in the communes, competition with the male culture became overt, and man’s impulse was to destroy those things which were different from himself. At this point we see competition as man’s maladaptive trait developed to a counterproductive degree: his intolerance of difference which had produced him and had given him dominion over the earth had in its poetic way shown up in the intolerance of ideologies, of races, and finally of woman. Curiously, the basic reason for man’s evolutionary success resulted ultimately in his present precarious position, and the very thing that man’s genetic, sexual nature could produce with infinite variety—differences—was the very thing he could not tolerate. The ultimate question, which concerns us as Citadelians, is now obvious: how did woman differ from man so that she did not merely enslave man and reverse conditions which existed in the Old Society? Woman was powerful; because she was life, she was also culture; as such she had always had the potential for separate culture, a fact only recognized within the last 250 years. Biologically woman always had the power to replicate herself, but she lacked consciousness, and without understanding or her own technology, she could not exercise her power. The subservient relationship of woman to man was a persistence trait which eventually mutated out; in fact, we can state that it had sufficiently mutated by the year 2000 to warrant at that time considering woman and man different subspecies; a co-functor with the mutation was woman’s ability to control technology and therefore her own genetic structure; symbiosis had been at a technological level, and once woman became technologically expert, she had no need of man, who was necessary only long enough to produce sufficiently large inventory of genotypes so that cloning could be done without achieving too much uniformity. That we have rejected cloning for humane reasons is of little consequence in considering the emerging status of woman. It is imperative for us to see that the drive to reproduce oneself has evolved into a drive to exert oneself through culture and has surpassed reproduction for its own sake. As we know, that accounts for the intimate relationship between culture and biology and explains culturally conditioned traits and attitudes. Because woman found a way to express culture in her own terms and since she was not only capable of forming culture but also of forming herself, we are forced to recognize that she is a more highly evolved sub-species than man. Man exhibited his intolerance of differences through fear, violence and technology; by taking away as many of woman’s powers as possible, he left only birth or biological power to her. She was reduced to a domesticated animal, under man’s control and not competitive with him. The communes were the first competitive acts of woman with man, and when man destroyed them, it was because he was fighting for existence.
I feel that this document offers the beginnings of an adequate understanding of the separation of the two cultures; it is an explanation whose dynamics man must have perceived, although I have found no direct references to it in Old Society archives and none in our own documents. Therefore we must assume that the causes of the separation were operant at a species level and were not conditioned by consciousness, but by evolutionary directionality.
The end result of total separation of male and female is, of course, complete eradication of man. We must consider the consequences of the Decision with regard to future human life on this planet.
Intercut Rose-Trisha scene.
Rose Eight comes after the reaction, the reviews, and the release. Clara has a big party. Thousands of women flock to the ballroom. There are riots and attacks by the fundamentalists. Women see the book as a manual for emancipation and equality while the men see the book as a threat to their superiority and adolescent vision of women as cunt. Deirdre, Trisha tells Rose, was stoned after she appeared on a late night show. Men in the audience and outside brought rocks and stoned her. It’s like a reversion to a time four thousand years ago.
Today I’m writing a scene called “The Stoning.” The Stoning is in two parts—The Ecstasy and The Blood. The stone is set in Rose’s office off Santa Monica Boulevard. It is early evening. On stage are Trisha and Rose. Indexed characters are Clara, Caleb, the Post-Lesbian Amazons, the Reactionaries, Deirdre and the late Night Talk Show Host. Trish has just returned to LA from NY where Clara held the launch party for Citadel. Deirdre appeared on the Talk Show.
Change this Scene to Trisha’s Dream of the Hunt
As she reports it to Rose followed by the
PREMONITION OF THE STONING
Cut to Citadel—The dream of Glands. In the dream Trisha’a with a band of hunters—they are all armed with nets and ropes. They are chasing a Gland through the grass.
After two months, we have found a Gland. We’ve avoided any encounter with the Exos. We discovered that our prey lives in a cave formed by the hollow of a nurse log overgrown with smaller trees and brush. He is too clever to live in the open. The Gland has fused his life to nature and in that way avoids capture. But we are more clever, and the hunt is coming to a close. For weeks we tracked him with the glasses, memorizing his movements, tuning our thinking to his and in the chase we will follow him so closely that he can’t escape. The rain, still warm, still falls; the green forest glistens and the only sound is the rain pelting the leaves then dropping to the forest floor in rivulets of silver. I look at Kala sitting beside me; she appears to be sleeping, but she is taking in every sound, even the dropping water, as she waits to signal us that he is approaching. They trap the Gland. Truss him up, carry him on a pole, like a slain deer.
With the window open, the sound of the Pacific rush was a soothing white noise. Trisha stood at the window the way she always did while Rose, seated in her shrink’s chair, held her pen and pad and occasionally clucked as Trisha recounted the New York event.
“It was amazing,” she said. “Clara rented this enormous hall on Lexington Avenue and there were people everywhere. It was the most exciting event I’ve ever seen.”
Trisha turned around to face Rose. She leaned against the window sill letting the Pacific breeze wrap her in its salty warmth. She said,
“You should have seen Deirdre—she is phenomenal in a crowd. She read this stunning passage from Citadel that rocked you back on your heels and then your brain burst.”
Rose jotted a note on her pad. She glanced up at Trisha. She nodded. She said,
Trisha slumped. Her shoulders hurt, her belly tightened and churned. She said,
“There were a couple of problems though. I’m sure you read about it.”
“No, actually, I didn’t,” Rose said.
Trisha walked to The Chair—The Chair where she opened her brain and poured out all her fears and feeling, all the emotion in her down to the cruelest memory for this woman with the gray hair and the gray dresses that layered her in a gray cocoon of mystery. Rose knew everything about here, Trisha had no idea at all about what drove Rose. Trisha plopped down. She said,
“There’s always some clown who ruins everything.”
“How much are you drinking, Trisha?”
“For half an hour you’ve avoided telling me anything about you. Have you been hunting? How are you coming with your big issue?”
“In New York,” Trisha said, “you don’t have to hunt, and if you don’t drink you get overwhelmed. I was busy being ‘the editor’. It was amazing though. The chatter was energizing except for the fundamentalists.”
Rose glanced up. She held the tip of her pen between her lips. Trisha liked that, liked seeing her pensive, and every time she put the pen to her mouth, Trisha wondered if she had ever given a man a blow job. She wondered about Rose and how she knew so much about hunting. She wondered just how Rose could read her mind so well. She said,
“Have you read Citadel?”
“I’ll get you a copy if you want it. A lot of the daughters see it as a manual for emancipation and equality and….”
“Daughters?” Rose said.
“Did I say that? Did I say daughters.”
“This book is infecting me, Rose. I’m even using the language Deirdre uses now when I talk. The daughters are what she calls the citadelians….”
“Women who live without men—in the novel.”
“And how do the men see it? The reactionaries?”
“Fundamentalists,” Trisha said. She stood again in the breeze coming through the window cooling the sudden rush of sweat sweeping over her. “They hate her. When she was reading, they heckled her until a bunch of daughters…amazons I mean, shut them up by tossing them out.”
“More Citadel?” Rose said.
“It’s a post-lesbian novel, Rose. It already has a following and if you read it you’ll see why.”
“Tell me why,” Rose replied.
“I’d rather talk about the fundamentalists.”
“Deirdre means a lot to you, doesn’t she? She’s more than an author you’ve worked with, isn’t she?”
“They showed up with crosses and bibles. They screamed scripture when Deirdre was reading but she was so good. She didn’t let them get into her head. She kept on reading even when they charged the podium calling her the whore of Babylon, a brainless bitch, a stupid cunt… I doubt that any one of them had read the novel, but their message was clear—women belong in the kitchen or in the bedroom on their backs. They said she was bringing down all men and that she was a satanist, a subversive man-hater, and god’s wrath would send her to hell. It took a small army of the daughters to round up the hecklers and force them out. And all the time, Deirdre kept reading. When she finished, she got a standing ovation and they wanted more. But then things got worse.”
Trisha returned to the chair, checked her watch and glanced at Rose who sat with that pen against her lips and again Trisha flashed on the beach meat on the sand in full display and she had said ‘are you man enough for me? And he said Baby, I’ve got enough for six of you and later she had tossed him out saying You’re useless. You can’t even make me cum.’ She said to Rose,
“Why do you do that? With the pen?”
“There’s something else, isn’t there, Trisha? Something deeper in that story about New York.”
Trisha looked at her hands, twisted her fingers until they hurt. She wiped her palms on her thighs and her heart was fluttering and she choked and she was gasping for air and tears beaded up and rolled down her cheeks. She sobbed. Rose handed her a tissue.
“Take a minute,” Rose said, “and catch your breath.”
“They stoned her, Rose.”
“Not at the launch. That was good, but later she was on a late night talk show—that’s where it happened. I was so afraid. I thought they were going to kill her.”
“Who was going to kill her?”
“The screamers, the fundamentalists, a crowd of them. You know how they do it—there’s the host at a desk…”
“I’ve watched a few.”
“And Deirdre in the guest seat—oh Rose, she looks so angelic. She wears those starched white blouses and pastel full skirts with crinolines from a century ago and she wears those white Mary Janes and sometimes white knee socks and…and…they stoned her.”
Trisha hung her head and then looked at Rose leaning toward her, pen in hand. Rose said,
“You mean that? They stoned her?”
“Yes. They brought rocks into the auditorium. Huge stones. It was like we had regressed two thousand years and they shouted vile things at her and they stoned her and the police or somebody came but it was too late. Deirdre was bleeding. They had cut her with sharp stones and they rushed the set and if it hadn’t been for the daughters…”
“Yes. They’d have killed her. She was bleeding, Rose. Deirdre was bleeding. Remember the dream I told you where I’m on the beach and men stone the woman to death? And the brother slit her throat? It was like that. They wanted to kill her. If it hadn’t been for the daughters, they would have.”
Trisha jumped up, went to the window, inhaled the sea air. She trembled. Her hands quaked. In a low voice, she said,
“That’s the future, Rose. If a woman writes a story that challenges the male scriptural fantasy of the subservient wife, they want to kill her. If a woman bleeds, they want to confine her. It’s the future, Rose, and it’s starting now. It started with the publication of Citadel.”
Trisha faced Rose. She wiped at her eyes.
“And it’s my fault. I practically forced Clara to publish the book and I forced Deirdre to go on the talk shows because I wanted the book to be a success for Clara and Caleb because they’ve worked so hard, but I didn’t predict the reaction, Rose. No one could predict it.”
“How was this your fault?” Rose said. “You didn’t write the book, your friend, Deirdre wrote it.”
“This book is changing the world. It has changed me. Deirdre writes about this in the section called The Wars of Religion and women are the enemy and it’s like she’s looking backwards and forwards at the same time and Clara didn’t believe me when I told her that this book is a blueprint for the eradication of the XYs.”
“XYs? The XY gamete?”
“She sees it so clearly, Rose. And the fundamentalists and see that she sees it and so they hate her for her vision of the future.”
Rose capped her pen and folded her note pad and Trisha glanced at her watch. She smiled. She said,
“You let me run over, Rose. That’s the first time you’ve ever let me run over.”
“As you said, the world is changing and maybe this is a thing of the past, what we’re doing…if your daughters have anything to say about it.”
“Oh, Rose. I’ll always need you. You know that. You know everything about me, every little thing about me.”
“Is your friend, Deirdre, bringing this on herself?”
“She’s more than my friend, Rose. She’s a prophet. She predicts not just a changing world, but she tells you how it will change, and how it will end. In her book, she predicts that there will be only a million and a half of the daughters and fewer Exos.”
“XOs?” Rose said.
“E X O S, Rose. You have to read this book, Rose. You just have to.”
“And next time you have to explain to me what a post-lesbian novel is.”
Notes: October 23, 2014—more build up, longer dialogue with the host. He becomes more of an asshole. Questions about her life and creative process. She’s a scientist writing a novel. Is she a lesbian? This is a post-lesbian novel, Kirk.
- 107 make the long passage into three or four parts.
Call them “stones” all the way through for the biblical connection. Close up on a stone. Old Society= link between Old and New. Deirdre is the Missing Link.
Post-Lesbian question just before the first stone flies.
Use Amazon-They POV in the stoning section.
Reaction of the females to the stoning—borrow something from the inner novel. Use “They”..,..
Cut to a hospital instead of the café.
Cut to the hotel for scene with Clara
Wounds—cut to head so she bleeds. Bruises from the stones over her body.
- 108—Back to Trisha’s not taking the blame for the event. She was prepared. There was security. Not T’s fault. Did everything I could.
- 108—the Daughters line: target to focus all their hatred on.
I wrote a book, now I’m a target. They hate ideas, the fundamentalists.
I’m a target between the writer and the editor.
Has anything like this ever happened?
Can’t just say “they want to kill you” because it’s the best PR they’ve ever had. This comes out in the hotel room with Clara.
Have a love scene before the stoning. It’s a Post-Lesbian love scene. we don’t care what you do with your genitals. Writer/editor/lovers so bonds are thicker.
Act two, plot point two: maybe this: Trisha and the beach me; Deirdre is the intruder; T and D get rid of the beach meat.
The Stoning Rewritten in Deirdre’s Point of View
It was cold. She did not expect it to be cold, but it was cold and noisy and she did not like the noise, the book had already made her world noisier and noise made her uneasy and uneasy she could not think and she needed to think because in thinking she was grounded and she wondered if he would ask her personal questions and how would she answer and then she heard the call.
“Two minutes, Miss Shaw.”
Miss Shaw. No one had ever called her Miss Shaw and that made her uneasy and the cold made her uneasy—what if she froze at the first question?
“One minute, Miss Shaw.”
She stood and looked at herself in the mirror of the dressing room, the green room which was not green but light blue with pink trim and a huge mirror at a huge dressing table. She did not like seeing herself in the mirror—seeing herself made her uneasy because she was not special even though Trisha tried to make her special.
The door opened.
The assistant said, “This way, Miss Shaw.”
She followed him—a nice young man with a pleasant voice and at the edge of the set, she heard her name
“And now, ladies and gentlemen, Miss Deirdre Shaw, author of the best selling, mind bending gender twisting novel Citadel.”
The noise, the cold the uneasiness shoved her out into the light and the noise grew and she squinted at the lights that made her uneasy and she saw him standing like a cheerleader clapping and she aimed at him—careful, careful, don’t trip, don’t make a spectacle—and she stepped up on the dais and he shook her hand and his hand was cold and the chill made her even more uneasy and he whispered , “so glad you made it, just relax,” and he sat her in a chair beside his desk, no doubt who the star was, and he said,
“How did you get the idea for this book, Deirdre?”
Deirdre. He did not call her Miss Shaw, he did not call her Doctor Shaw and she said,
“Well,” –why do we all start our answer with well? And in the words she found the calmness that always settled over her when she spoke and she told him about the science and the pain and the future of the XY Gamete and the audience hooted and clapped and cheered when she said, “Citadel is a post-lesbian novel, Jim.”
“Just what is a post-lesbian novel, Deirdre?”
And she said she was glad he asked that question because the idea came from her editor at Nash Books, Trisha de Tours.
And then the first stone slammed into her chest and another hit her in the mouth and a man standing at the edge of the set shouted “Whore of Babylon.” And another stone and another landed on her, stinging, and Jim, the host ducked behind his desk leaving her to stand and two more men in clean white shirts and clean shaven faces hurled more rocks at her and she tasted blood and the pages of her book flashed in her mind and then the book itself flew at her—torn apart, the pages jagged—came at her and more stones and she ducked and dipped but she went to her knees and the vision of women in the Old Society popped into her mind as she crawled toward the curtain and then she heard the sound of bone cracking and she glanced back to see an army of women tearing at the dozen men in white shirts still holding stones and the women beat them with batons and she saw Trisha fighting her way to the dais and Trisha too took the stones and then they were together and Trisha led her away and the struggle between the army of women and the men in their now bloody white shirts grew even more intense and then the doors burst open and policemen entered, clubs flailing, and they beat their way through the war in the aisles and then Trisha guided her away and in the hallway, the noise was still grinding and deadly and then, at the exit door, Trisha pulled her into the night and they ran.
In a café, an all night café like many she had seen in New York, she sat with Trisha in the quiet and warm smelling café, and Trisha said,
She wadded napkins into a compress and cooled it with water from a glass and she wiped away the blood. And then Deirdre broke.
She did not cry.
No tears, but she felt the sudden opening in her, a hollowness that wanted to swallow her and yet she found words—words always did that—and she said,
“What have we done, Trisha?”
“They wanted to kill you, D.”
“Who are they?”
“The fundamentalists, the same breeders who were at the launch.”
“They stoned me, Trisha. Today, in this century, they stoned me.”
“I told you about my dream when I was on the beach and the stoned woman with her throat cut? I saw them, those same men…”
“The men in white shirts.”
“Yes. One of them had a machete and he was heading for you and if the daughters hadn’t risen then, he’d have gotten to you.”
“The Daughters,” Deirdre said. “You’re using the language of Citadel. It’s coming true, isn’t it, Trisha? Citadel has let them loose and they will kill us all, won’t they?”
“You’re still bleeding,” Trisha said.
She dabbed at the leaking blood and it felt good, the touch. Deirdre said,
“I had a bad feeling after the launch party.”
“They’re fundamentalists,” Trisha said. “When a woman writes about destroying the scriptural fantasy of the subservient wife, they go crazy and they want to kill her. But we’re not afraid anymore. They’re so used to getting their way.”
“I saw crosses, Trisha.”
“What you didn’t see was the metal spikes on them. They’ve have killed you right there on the set if those wonderful amazons hadn’t been with you. Let me look at that cut on your cheek. Oh. We need to bandage that right now. It’s bled all over your blouse.”
“Did you see Clara?”
“She was in the back when it started. I think she got out.”
“She’ll hate me now.”
“Why? You gave her exactly what she wanted.”
“What she wanted will get her killed too. My head hurts.”
“I’ll take you back to the hotel.”
“What if they are there? The men with the crosses?”
“They won’t be. Come on.”
“No woman ever has to be afraid now, Deirdre. The daughters are with you, they see Citadel for what it is, and they are with you. They love you. They want to live what you wrote. I think they were all waiting to hear your answer about the novel being a post-lesbian piece. Anyone who hasn’t read it will have no ideas what you mean. Oh. Are you all right?”
“Are you sure?”
“She’ll know if we can go back.”
Trisha called, talked to Clara. Deirdre glanced around at the café—everything look normal, but in half an hour the world had changed. She had changed. In that half hour she learned what she had done. She had set women free from fear. Men are afraid of the law, women are afraid men will kill them—she didn’t remember who had said that, but it was now a different world. She had not intended…
“It’s my fault,” Trisha said. “No. No…wait, Clara.”
She had not intended to write a book that would start a revolution.
“She’s here with me. She’s all right. Yes. They stoned her but…”
She had written about the Old Society. She remembered Gileth’s report to the Congress—the details and the history of separation and the final conclusion—was it going to come true?
“Well, you got out,” Trisha said. “Is Caleb with you? Oh. He didn’t?”
She had written about the decision—the final decision—and here, tonight, she had seen the reaction to the cutting of chains. At the launch, the hecklers and the verbal attacks—slut, man-hater, whore, lesbo—the words had come like bullets and the angry ones—who were they? The fundamentalists? What did they want? She remembered the section of Citadel she called The Wars of Religion. She had written that in the wars of religion they did not kill for land, they did not kill for resources, they killed for ideas. To kill for ideas….
“Yes, we’ll be there. No you don’t have to send a car, Clara. We’ll get there. Yes. I know she’ll all bloody. What do you expect? All right then. We’ll wait.”
And Deirdre laid her head on the table and she closed her eyes and that as the last thing she remembered.
“Deirdre? Hon? Are you all right?”
She opened her eyes. She was in a bed in a room with drawn curtains and low light and it was very quiet. Clara stood beside her, a smile on her lips, her eyes shining. Trisha beside her holding a newspaper. Clara said,
“Front page of the New York Times, Deirdre. You’ve hit the big time.”
Trisha handed her the newspaper. Deirdre saw a photo of the talk show set, the chair, and her face was bloody and the blood had splattered on her blouse and the headline read—
POST-LESBIAN AUTHOR ATTACKED
Deirdre gave the paper back to Trisha. Her head hurt. Her mouth was dry. Her eyes on fire. Clara said,
“That, Deirdre is good for at least two hundred thousand copies. Here in NYC alone. My god, I never believed it could happen, but you’ve pushed Nash Books into the limelight.”
Deirdre glanced at Trisha and then she looked at Clara. Trisha said,
“Last night was just the beginning, Clara. We’re at war.”
The next scene is called The Virgin Citadels. It takes place in Citadel as Trisha reads it. She comes to the History where she sees the details of the varieties of Citadels—not all are the same—as they broke into factions. She imagines a world where that has already happened and it looks a lot like the fragmented society around her—but it’s waiting for the event that make it gel. She reads about the Eradicationists, the Separatists, the Integrationists and the Virgin Citadels. She wants to know the science behind the Virgin Citadels. They have no use for live male births, but the entire population is female. What is parthenogenesis? She calls Deirdre to set up a meeting.
The next scene is called Parthenogenesis. Deirdre explains in detail the biology of Citadel and the parthenogenesis in the novel and how it will come to pass. By controlling estrogen and estrogen precursors, the Exo-Culture (she uses the language of Citadel here) has precipitated an environmental disaster that’s resulting in the extreme feminization of males of all species mammalian and reptilian. The blow back from this is that women are now called the enemy, exactly as she wrote about it in Citadel.
The next scene is called Final Tests. It takes place in Deirdre’s lab in Tustin—the heart of reactionary thinking. She now has a staff of embryologists, geneticists, microbiologists all recruited to the cause after the publication of Citadel. Deirdre has been running a series of tests on a range of sperm samples extracted from volunteers—who don’t know what the study is for, but are willing participants who receive money for each donation. Deirdre compiles the numbers and they are devastating. The genome is shattering. Only 4 % of the gametes across the board are viable. She goes deeper into the biology of parthenogenesis as she realizes that the future of the race depends on it.
Today I write a scene called Final Tests. The scene is in Biology of Desire. Deirdre and Trisha are at Trisha’s house on Lassen Drive in Santa Monica Canyon. They are going over the ARCs for Citadel. Citadel will be released as soon as the reviews come in and the final corrections done. Deirdre is nervous. Trisha, the old hand, tells her not to worry, the book will do well. It is the blockbuster Clara and Caleb were hoping it would be.
Notes October 16, 2014: Too much “hon”. Pun—come for me doesn’t work. 1% viability, all births stop—make more dramatic.
- 84 More of what Trisha is thinking instead of just the flat portrait of Deirdre. More reactions from Trisha about the revelations from Deirdre.
- 85 Implies that Deirdre lives in two worlds—1) the book that does into its world; 2) World of lab where she works. Show hesitation from Deirdre? Polarity: inner/outer. Deirdre hesitates to let Trisha into her lab world. You wouldn’t understand. When D starts on the numbers and Trisha wants clarification: D: “I knew you wouldn’t understand.”
Viability is a big word in the scene. “What do you mean by Viability?” More detail on procreation and fertilization. This gets to Trisha’s sexual issue—she picks up men, they get off, but they can’t meet her needs. They can’t fulfill her “Biology of Desire”. Emotion comes from that—a world of old people, all dying and Trisha has never had her orgasm and won’t ever have one. Emotional connection she needs to make her feel more confident.
Are love and bonding natural to human being? Eunuchs in a harem. Her dreams going away if the predictions in Citadel come true.
P 85 ova are doing battle with sperm. More dialogue between the two. That’s what’s happening in your novel.
P 87 never having sex again; love is independent of sex. In the parthenogenetic citadels, do daughters love? What is sex in the citadels?
Hon issue: stop treating me like an object. But the issue is one of polarities: Trisha calls D Hon, but when D pushes back, T is confused.
“It’s a disaster,” Deirdre said. “And I’m worried.”
“It’s not a disaster, hon,” Trisha said. “We’ve given Clara and Caleb the blockbuster they want. It’s the best book we can make. You know, when I first started in this business, I met the executive vice president of Viking Press. He told me that before he signed a writer, he told them—‘I think we can make this into a good book.’ If the author balked or said, ‘we can make this into a good book? What do you mean we?’ He wouldn’t sign. You see? Ego. We, you and I, have solved that problem. Now drink your wine and relax.”
“I’ll drink my wine,” Deirdre said, “but I can’t relax because it’s still a disaster.”
Trisha stopped, glass half way to her lips and she recalled a play she had read by Alfred de Musset—Entre la coupe et les lèvres. She said,
“You don’t mean Citadel, do you, hon?”
Deirdre reclined on the sofa, legs stretched out, one arm propped on the edge of the sofa. She had the vague presence of an odalisque, or Canova’s Pauline Borghese reclining. But even then, she was prim and doll-like, still wearing her starched white blouses, still wearing her white Mary Janes, still wearing her flouncy crinolines like a throw-back to another century. She said,
“I ran the final tests in the lab.”
“You’re a writer now, hon, you can forget that lab.”
“I’m nothing without the work, Trish. It’s what I do. Writing is just a way to get even…”
“You mean with the dried up old white men who rejected your work?”
Trisha polished off her chardonnay and refilled the glass. Deirdre said,
“That is part of it.”
A serious look came over her. She pursed her lips and ran a hand through her hair. She looked even more like Pauline Borghese the way she bent at the waist, her palm turned up in that classical gesture of seduction. Trisha licked the rim of her glass. Deirdre said,
“The world is in worse shape than I thought. You know how I wrote about Gene 13 in the book? Well, I’ve analyzed another thousand samples, and the results are horrifying.”
“How do you get the samples?” Trisha said.
“Ads in the papers, on line. I post on all the university bulletin boards. You’d be surprised how many men volunteer to give me sperm. I don’t pay for them but they come for me.”
Trisha sat back in the armchair, looked at the tiny scientist with the curly blond hair, the perfect complexion and Trisha wondered if D was still a virgin. They never talked about that. They discussed Trisha’s beach meat complex, they talked about the genetics in Citadal but they never talked about Deirdre’s sex life. Trisha said,
“One look at you, D and men have a tendency to do that.”
“I don’t use my photo,” Deirdre said. “I’m a scientist, not a booty call babe. It’s a blind call. I contact them, send them a profile sheet, a lab container, and a prepaid enveloped and I get the samples in twenty-four hours.”
Trisha said, “Sperm will live that long?
“They are okay up to forty-eight hours. After that…no. But this round I got samples from sixteen ethnic groups and I am worried. It’s a big sample, so I know the numbers are right.”
“Does race figure?”
“I don’t ask about race. I can read the genome as easily as you read your novels, and I am worried.”
“That’s the third time you’ve said that, so what are you worried about if you’re not worried about Citadel?”
Deirdre sat up, held out her glass. Trisha refilled it then set the bottle on the floor—empty.
“The numbers are catastrophic,” Deirdre said. “When I started this study, I got a ten percent viability rate, but in two years, I’ve watched it drop to four percent. Across the board, across the entire range—the XY gamete is rotting.”
Deirdre tasted her wine. She sighed then went back to her Pauline Borghese pose—distant, cool, in another world. Trisha let her eyes travel from Deirdre’s face to her arms, and to her legs under the flouncy crinoline. She said,
“Is that bad?”
“At ten percent only one XY gamete in a hundred million reaches the ovum, Trish. At four percent under the best conditions the chances drop because ovular viscosity puts up an impenetrable wall and that, my dear, is just one step from extinction.”
Deirdre sipped her wine. Trisha waited for the data to sink in—from ten percent two years ago to four percent to extinction. She said,
“That’s worse than the figures you use in Citadel.”
“Every fertility clinic in the world is having trouble. I have contacts in Japan, Russia, Italy—they all report the same dip in viability rates. Under the microscope, the gametes don’t travel and centrifuging doesn’t change the percentage. It’s as if the ova are doing battle with the sperm and tearing the flagella off. Without the flagella, the DNA packet is useless and out of the four percent, you lose close to seventy percent and in that environment, not even sperm competition occurs due to….”
“Wait. Wait,” Trisha said. “I’m not clear on the numbers. Four percent, ten percent, seventy percent….What do you mean?”
“I mean, hon, you don’t mind me calling you hon, do you? Of course not. I mean that in normal fertilization, those boys don’t have a chance and in either IVF or implantation, the XY gametes are dead before they reach home and that means the birth rate can’t remain at replacement levels and that means the male sex cell, the XY gamete, is on the way out and with the end of the human race.”
“This isn’t fiction, is it?” Trisha said. The chill running up her back turned to sweat and her hands trembled the way they had when she first read Citadel. She raised her glass. The glass was empty. The bottle dead. She went to the fridge, came back with a chilled bottle. She refilled the glasses and then, sitting on the sofa, she gazed at Deirdre’s bare legs, her tiny feet. She said,
“I don’t know whether to be sad or to rejoice. Your book…it’s coming true, isn’t it?”
“No, my book isn’t coming true. The science behind the book is blind science, it has no agenda, and because it’s good science the truth is there, hon, whether you believe it or not.”
“What do we do? What does anyone do?” Trisha said.
Deirdre sampled the new wine. She said, “This is a sauvignon, hon. I didn’t know you drank sauvignon.”
“How do you know it’s a sauvignon?”
“I read the label,” Deirdre said.
“The supplier had a few samples. I got a couple. Do you like it?”
“You’ve spoiled me with that chardonnay,” Deirdre said. “But it’s drinkable.”
“Have you tried to publish this new material?”
“No. In a way, it’s good because if fertility rates drop, the change will relieve the stress we put on the environment.”
“But there’s something else, isn’t there? Something deeper in all of this?”
“Yes. When the decay drops to one percent viability, all births will stop—IVF, implantation, normal fertilization.”
“And then what?”
“Can’t predict. We’ve seen the sex ratios fluctuate—too many females like at the end of 1920 Old Count…”
Trisha laughed, sipped her sauvignon. She said, “Old Count…that’s funny, D. You’re talking the way the daughters do in your novel.”
“No one has ever predicted a complete eradication and the consequences of the entire population of the world aging with no replacements—well, you’ll have chaos. Production will stop, farming will be hit and miss. Who’s going to farm under those conditions?”
Trisha touched Deirdre’s leg, the skin silky as if she had never shaved her legs, never used a depilatory. She said,
“Are you sure?”
“Oh yes. I’m sure. I’ve put out a call for another set of samples, but I don’t think it will change.”
“No. I mean the chaos?”
“It’s what you’d expect,” Deirdre said. “A complete breakdown in the social order and, if that happens… there is one new development but it’s not good for women.”
“What has ever been good for women?” Trisha said.
“Nothing has ever been good for women,” Deirdre said. “Parthenogenesis.”
“Citadel,” Trisha said. “Just like in Citadel.”
“I know of a lab in Toronto where they are anticipating zero fertility in the Old Style.”
“Citadel, Old Style,” Trisha said. “Just like in your book.”
“Not yet there, but close. They have induced mitosis in parthenogenic ova and a couple of times they’ve advanced to meiosis but there are problems after that.”
“As big as not ever having sex again?” Trisha said.
“That big, and bigger. But you’ve given up beach meat, haven’t you? I mean after your time at the Desert Rose, I thought you had given up on boys.”
“I still can’t orgasm,” Trisha said.
“I know a wicca in Palos Verdes Estates who can help you with that. Do you want her number?”
The next scene is called Separation. In Deirdre’s lab, she has been running experiments on ova and how the polar body is resorbed back into the ovum which induces the ovum to act as though it has been fertilized. The ova undergo cell division from meiosis and mitosis (See end paper for the biological process) and results in parthenogenesis. (When Deirdre talks about this on the talk shows, she is harassed and called Anti-Male. “No,” she said. “The Biology is irrefutable. Males and females are on divergent evolutionary tracks.”
The next scene is called Numbers. The scene takes place in Clara’s office. Citadel is now in its sixteenth printing. Deirdre has been on the talk shows. Clara is compiling a list of all the threats Deirdre has received. More after each talk show. Clara has set up an alternative ID for Deirdre so that she can travel incognito. Clara shows Trisha the written threats in which the Reactionaries say they are going to stone Deirdre, Trisha, and Clara. NOTE: somewhere in here Deirdre changes her looks from doll to moll. Black leather, cuts her hair, wears three inch heels.
Rewriting the Stoning from Trisha’s report of the event to Rose to the event on the talk show. Have to work in the Launch Party.
The next scene is called Last Beach Meat. Trisha on the beach is reading Citadel on her device on a towel on the sand. She stops at the scene called The Hunt. (Insert the Hunt here again). She sees how closely Deirdre’s novel parallels her own life—no spouse, no family, a career, no religion, a hunter. She prowls the beach for beach meat, takes the hunk home where she calls him a Gland. He’s very stupid. She uses him, then tosses him away. She feels very empowered knowing that the novel has sold five million copies but the Gland in her bed has no idea what’s happening. Trisha gets a call from Deirdre to meet her..
The next scene is called The Escape. Deirdre and Trisha escape from the City and go to Needles where they meet Clara at the Desert Rose Motel. The bartender from the Editing Scene, has read the novel and acts as a protector with her troupe of Lesbian Separationists. She shields Deirdre. We see the first Shrine to the Martyr at the Desert Rose Motel.
The Escape from the City
I moved this section to Biology of Desire—the Scene by Scene from Opening to End. Need to Change this to Third Person for Trisha.
I didn’t want to leave the beach that day. The thought of leaving the beach terrified me. It terrified me because if I left the beach, I would have to read about Citadel and everything I was reading made me cry.
I was at that point—success can be deadly. Clara wanted a blockbuster and we had a blockbuster but the kick back was horrendous. Not that it wasn’t a good book. It was the book we wanted, but even the pages that did not make me cry made me want to cry because there was the pain in the words—even the words meant to be soft—love, kiss, hold—led to pain and the negative reviewers found them all.
On the beach I could ignore the blowback I had known in the beginning would come. If I stayed on the beach, I would not have to read what they said about the birth scene—the woman, her lover, the baby and remembering made me cry.
“It’s an Exie,” the lover said. “He will have to go.”
And that made me cry—the thought of a birth and what it meant and how he would be turned out, left in the tall grass outside the citadel either to be eaten by animals or found and condemned to a life without love, without a mother. Deirdre had gone deep in that scene, touched on all the panic buttons and they hated her for it.
On the beach, that day, even though I didn’t want to go home, didn’t want to snare a sun-tanned entertainment package, I left.
I remember the sunset that day.
It was a cruel Los Angeles day. The sun, orange, burnt to its demise leaving that crust of blue at the edge of the dying red—and it was hot. Unusually hot that summer.
I heard the waves seething on the sand and the gulls crying at the death of the day and I wanted barefoot—not knowing it would be the last time ever—to my car. It too was hot. The last piercing shot of sun.
She was waiting for me.
She was sitting on the wall by the sidewalk surrounded by flowers—she herself looking like a white flower. My heart beat with dread as it had for the last month.
I parked. Went to her. As I closed on her, I saw that she had been crying.
“What?” I said.
“I’m infected,” she said. And that sweet voice, pure as ice, cracked. I held her, let her heave and sob until at last she caught her breath and the sobbing ended.
I led her into the apartment, holding her close like a mother and child—a feeling I didn’t know was in me. I gave her water, sat her down, held her hand. I said,
“Now tell me what you’re talking about.”
“It’s so deep,” she said, “I can’t get over it.”
“What is it?” I said.
“Sadness,” she whispered as if by whispering she could change the world more than she had already done. “Do you have wine?”
“Deirdre, what happened?”
“I was re-reading Citadel,” she said, “and it hit me. The sadness. There’s no hope for us, is there? We are doomed. When I wrote that book, I didn’t know we were doomed. I was just so angry at everything—and now what I wrote is coming true and that makes me sad.”
“Wine,” I said. “Wine will fix you right up.”
I poured two glasses of Riesling. Deirdre sipped at hers and her face was not peaceful. There was a twist to her lips that had not been there before. Her hand shook sending little waves through the wine.
We sat in silence, touching now and then and she sighed and lay back on the sofa and fell asleep.
The phone chirped. I had set it to chirp because I hate the interruption of a call and a chirp at least gives the illusion of a bird.
It was Clara. She said that the first run of run of Citadel had hit New York and already they were calling for Deirdre’s death.
I waited while Clara took another call and I looked at Deirdre on the sofa and I know she had not real idea of the storm her book was bringing.
“Yes?” Clara again.
“It’s getting frantic, Trish. That’s the third call today. They want to know where she is and when she’ll be available.”
“That’s good, isn’t it?”
“No,” Clara said. “The backlash is horrifying.”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“They’re treating her like a terrorist, a reactionary. They say she’s started some kind of war on men .”
I glanced at Deirdre asleep. ‘It’s coming true,’ she said. I recalled the section of Citadel called The Wars of Savagery.
“What do you mean?” I said to Clara.
“It’s like she wrote a subversive tract and now the money men are coming unglued, Trish. They are hounding me to take it out of print. They want her crucified.”
“Crucified?” I said. “What are you saying?”
But as I spoke, I remembered the book and how it had hit me the first time I read it—how the rebellion started in the brothel ins Istanbul and in a few years the infection had burned through half the population of Europe.
Deirdre had foreseen that. Her science had predicted that.
“They’re saying she has written the blueprint for the end of civilization, Trisha. That she’s preaching an end to men. That she’s a radical separationist.”
“That’s her word,” I said. “They’re even using her words to condemn her. Can’t they separate the writer from the book?”
“One and the same, lady,” Clara said.
“What if she goes on the shows?” I said. “She can show them who she is.”
“They’ll stone her before she ever gets there.”
I shot a glance at Deirdre. She was muttering in her sleep, her lips moving, her hands twisted into tight little fists. She looked so innocent, too innocent for bad dreams. I remembered the section—one of her favorites—about the genetics of parthenogenesis uni-parentis and the setting up of the Virgin Citadels.
“They’ve already set up a separatist commune in up-state New York,” Clara said.
Deirdre was right. What she had written in fiction was coming true in the world.
“I hadn’t heard that.”
“It’s happening right now, Trish. It’s on the news. Hold on a sec.”
I heard voices shouting, glass breaking.
“Clara?” I waited.
She came back on.
“A rock through my window,” she said.
“At the office?”
“No. Here. At home. Christ, Trish, they’ve found out who I am. I’m afraid.”
“All women are afraid,” I said.
“I’m afraid they’ll kill me.”
“Call the police.”
“The police? They’re part of the mob.”
Deirdre rolled onto her side. She knocked over the wineglass. It rolled onto the floor but didn’t break.
In Citadel Deirdre wrote that the suppression began when the first citadel put up its barricades and banished all Exies. And it was coming to pass. Once the Exies were shut out, the violence descended.
“Clara,” I said. “Can you get away? Can you come here?”
“I can get away, but I can’t come there because they’ll find you and they’ll kill me.”
“You didn’t write the book, Clara.”
“No, but I published it and they’ll make me pay for that.”
“Look, Clara. When I was editing Citadel you remember that I holed up in that motel outside of Needles?”
“Can you get there? Can you?”
“Oh Trisha—what have we unleashed?”
“Can you get there?”
“Okay,” I said. “Meet us there.”
“Us? Who is us?”
Deirdre is right here with me.”
“Don’t let anyone know, Trish. They’ll stone you too. They say we’re all to blame.”
“Meet us at the Desert Rose Motel, Clara. It’s just a couple of hours away.”
I hung up and knelt beside Deirdre. She had opened her eyes. I said,
“We have to go.”
“I just talked to Clara. The book is causing riots, Deirdre.”
“Oh,” she said. She sat up.
“Come on. We’re going back to the desert.”
“We’re always alone,” I said. “Clara will meet us.”
I loaded Deirdre into the Mustang and packed a few ensembles and water and cheese and crackers and wine. Always take the wine.
We drove out of the city to the desert and Deirdre was quiet. She leaned against the door as if she were all alone and I was not there and I could not imagine what was running through her mind. Poor thing. How could she know it would happen?
I stopped for gas in San Bernardino. In the station, the clerk was watching CNN. It wasn’t pretty—burnings, fires, men with weapons dragging women by the hair, men in tanks with machine guns.
“Where is this?” I asked her.
“Some where in New York,” she said. “Anything else?”
I looked at her. She was fifty or so. Thick all around. She looked like the citadelian Deirdre had called Broog. She raised her eyes at me as I held the fifty dollar bill down with a fingertip. I said,
“Do you know what set it off?”
“A bunch of women got out of hand up there,” she said. “It’s spreading.”
In the car, I said to Deirdre,
“It’s happening, D. Just like you said it would.”
“We’re all going to die, aren’t we, Trisha?”
She smiled. That pretty little smile with the dimples and I wanted to kiss her, to make her feel better about what she had brought. She said,
“It’s in the genes, Trisha. We have crossed the river and there’s no turning back. It took this to show it and to show them for what they are.”
“What do you mean?”
I started the Mustang.
“I ran some tests in the lab last week. You’re not who you think you are and they aren’t who they used to be. The genome is shattering.”
“The Y gamete is failing, Trisha. We’re just a step away. It’s the end.”
The next scene is called First Martyrs. Trisha and Deirdre are the First Martyrs. This is on the Woman to God plot track that starts early in the novel when Deirdre gives Citadel to Trisha. In First Martyrs, Trisha and Deirdre are stoned by reactionaries following an appearance in a TV special about the Writing of Citadel.
Intercut Rose-Trisha Scene: this is the last scene on the Plot Track.
Rose Nine comes after the first battle at the Desert Rose Motel. Trisha is back in Santa Monica. She sees Rose and tells her that the novel is going nova, that it is coming true. In the desert where she edited the book, a band of women have barricaded themselves in a make-shift Citadel and turning it into a shrine. They were attacked and, Trisha tells Rose, it’s like the War of Savagery Deirdre wrote about. The women survived because the warriors were armed. What do you mean warrior women? Rose asks. They call themselves Daughters of the Citadel, Trisha says. They say they want to build a separate system because the men are killers and they have gone crazy. She tells Rose that Deirdre predicted this, she calls it Divergent Evolution.
The Biology of Desire ends in a scene called Conflagration. The time is 3:00 AM on the night of August 22, 2020. The scene takes place at the Desert Rose Motel outside of Needles. Deirdre is dead; Trisha is dead; the bartender—one of the Amazons of Resistance—and her troupe build a makeshift fortress at the motel, barricaded with junked cars, barbed wire, furniture, sandbags, a large steel gate, anything they can find.
Trisha now sees her own life as being in the Niche—Deirdre has defined it—in a chapter called The Niche. It’s about that one time in America and Western Civilization when women had freedom. Real freedom to live out of the shadow of men. The lines in the chapter that seal it for Trisha:
Just when we get free, they destroy the world.
Trisha has a crisis of conscience as she reads more of Citadel. She sees that Deirdre is right.
“they used to stone us for thinking.” A citadelian—they don’t call themselves women—women, Deirdre writes, is a man’s word and I don’t want to be pinned down—says and she is the one who wrote: “A Treatise on Rape and Natural Law.” And the Citadelian says, “They used to hang us when they raped us and they used to tie us up to keep us from running, and they bound our hands and feet to keep us from having abortions.”
At this point, Trisha has cracked.
Where she looks, she sees the future—and she runs.
She leaves Santa Monica. Her boss, John Nash, tries to find her. She’s holed up in a deserted motel in the desert reading the novel. Deirdre finds her. Tries to bring her back but Trisha has gone nuts.
The book, she says, it’s happening now—It’s a novel, Deirdre says.
Now she’s the rational one. We can build a wall around this motel, Trisha says. Honey, Deirdre says, We ain’t building no walls and you’re going back to LA and you’re going to publish this novel.
Trisha comes back. She sees that Deirdre is right. Back in Santa Monica, she publishes Citadel. The book is influential. It’s banned by every religious nut in the world. It’s translated into fifty languages. Every copy is seized by the Exos and burned and any woman caught with a copy is flayed and then stoned to death.
As the horror grows, women first leave the cities and make fortified camps but the Exos attack, burn slaughter. The women arm themselves and form walled settlements. They become warriors to survive just as Deirdre wrote. Any woman taken prisoner is raped, impregnated, then forced to carry to term the fetus because the wars have thinned populations to the maintenance level and because women will not willingly meet with the Exos. The exos are dying, ageing, desperate.
In the walled compounds, women who call themselves Citadelians make decisions right out of Deirdre’s novel—when a hunter returns with a Gland (a wild Exo who has no language but is a good breeding specimen) the group has to decide whether to allow male births or to abort all Xys. This decision making process causes rifts in the compounds now called Citadels after Deirdre the Prophet’s style and citadels form that allow now Xy births, others that allow them but abandon the new borns to the wild where either they are tended by Exos (on one expedition, related in Citadel, the hunters find the skeletons of males expelled but never taken in by the Exos).
There are citadels that, just as in Deirdre’s novel, opt for extinction . That is—no fertilized ova ever. At a certain point, Deirdre has died.
She gained status as the Founder and Prophet. Trisha taken captive in the First Encounter Reaction, was forced to carry six fetuses to term but them hanged herself without ever contacting another woman.
As the novel ends.
So how’s that for a really depressing cut on Male-Female relationships.
In very real terms, this is not prophecy but a description of times and events in the 21st Century.
The novel, the Niche or the Biology of Desire, explores this small hour of freedom that American and Western women have.
In the Niche, they control their own bodies, determine their own future, decides to make their own businesses and to dress the way they want.
This is not acceptable to the conservative, religious males who see their control of women as their right and privilege.
What we see are the Exos waiting, just waiting to get the women alone. All that’s missing is the Disrupter but that will come.
It is coming and it will come out of Islam.
End Notes for placement in the text in some form:
After Trisha leaves Rose, she joins the Citadel in the Desert where Deirdre and the Warriors are entrenched. She dies along with Deirdre, Clara, and the first Wave of Martyrs. The novel has now ceased to be entertainment and has become a sacred text, a guide to survival against the warring gene that has turned men into killing machines at the sight of a woman. All of the country, Citadels spring up. Barricaded, armed.
One of the first is in Mexico, in Cuernavaca which has a central role in the novel. A cathedral has been taken over and fortified. A stone perimeter has been built. This perimeter echoes the first image of the opening of Citadel—the structure looks like a large and living cell. It becomes the model for all the future citadels—exactly as Deirdre described it.
At this point, the War of Savagery has begun and there are reports of massacres—and then from Istanbul comes word that a plague has broken out. It is the Genesis of Plague, exactly as Deirdre predicted it would be.
At the end of the Biology of Desire, the projected world has come to be and the first Exos are born. The moral and ethical problem presents itself—do woman continue to give birth do the XY or do they let it go extinct?
How does the Rose Plot Track feed into Trisha’s psychological development? At the end, has she solved her orgasm problem? Maybe the issue isn’t resolution but peace. She comes to accept that her orgasm is an evolutionary trick to ensure procreation. Orgasm, she knows, is practice birth. The physiology of orgasm is the birth process in micro. She comes to accept the future as Deirdre predicted and that her problem isn’t her problem but the upshot of a man’s problem—fuck everything with eyebrows no matter who it wrecks or destroys.
Trisha’s arc of development isn’t one of a happy resolution but one of resignation and insight. Women are traumatized and ruined not because of some inherent flaw but by men who use and abuse them and then toss them away.
Biology and Philosophy of Citadel
Mitosis and Meiosis
What is Mitosis?
Mitosis produces two daughter cells that are identical to the parent cell. If the parent cell is haploid (N), then the daughter cells will be haploid. If the parent cell is diploid, the daughter cells will also be diploid.
N → N
2N → 2N
This type of cell division allows multicellular organisms to grow and repair damaged tissue.
Click here to go to the chapter on Mitosis.
Summary of the Phases of Mitosis
The drawings below show chromosome movement and alignment in a cell from a species of animal that has a diploid number of 8. As you view the drawings, keep in mind that humans have a diploid number of 46.
|Interphase (G1 and G2)
Chromosomes are not easily visible because they are uncoiled.
The chromosomes begin to coil.
The spindle apparatus begins to form as centrosomes move apart.
The nuclear membrane disintegrates.
Kinetochores form on the chromosomes.
Kinetochore microtubules attach to the chromosomes.
The chromosomes become aligned on a plane.
The chromatids separate (The number of chromosomes doubles).
The nuclear membrane reappears.
The chromosomes uncoil.
The spindle apparatus breaks down.
The cell divides into two.
The chromosomes have one chromatid.
The chromosomes are replicated. Each one has two sister chromatids.
What is Meiosis?
Meiosis produces daughter cells that have one half the number of chromosomes as the parent cell.
2N → N
Meiosis enables organisms to reproduce sexually. Gametes (sperm and eggs) are haploid.
Meiosis involves two divisions producing a total of four daughter cells.
Click here to go to the chapter on meiosis.
Summary of the Phases of Meiosis
A cell undergoing meiosis will divide two times; the first division is meiosis 1 and the second is meiosis 2. The phases have the same names as those of mitosis. A number indicates the division number (1st or 2nd):
meiosis 1: prophase 1, metaphase 1, anaphase 1, and telophase 1
meiosis 2: prophase 2, metaphase 2, anaphase 2, and telophase 2
In the first meiotic division, the number of cells is doubled but the number of chromosomes is not. This results in 1/2 as many chromosomes per cell.
The second meiotic division is like mitosis; the number of chromosomes does not get reduced.
|Prophase IHomologous chromosomes become paired.
Crossing-over occurs between homologous chromosomes.
|Metaphase I Homologous pairs become aligned in the center of the cell.
|The random alignment pattern is called independent assortment. For example, a cell with 2N = 6 chromosomes could have any of the alignment patterns shown at the left..|
|Anaphase IHomologous chromosomes separate.
|Telophase IThis stage is absent in some species
|InterkinesisInterkinesis is similar to interphase except DNA synthesis does not occur.
Evolutionary Origin of Mitochondria
Unlike any other organelle, except for chloroplasts, mitochondria appear to originate only from other mitochondria. They contain their own DNA, which is circular as is true with bacteria, along with their own transcriptional and translational machinery. Mitochondrial ribosomes and transfer RNA molecules are similar to those of bacteria, as are components of their membrane.These and related observations led Dr. Lynn Margulis, in the 1970s, to propose an extracellular origin for mitochondria.
Some species of present day protists contain living organisms within their cytoplasm. For example, Paramecium bursaria are hosts for zoochlorellae, photosynthetic protists, that reside within the cytoplasm. The relationship appears to be symbiotic. The endosymbiont gains protection and possibly some essential nutrients from the host cytoplasm. The host has a readily available food source when its usual food source is depleted. If you have the opportunity to observe P. bursaria, note that the endosymbionts are not incorporated into food vacuoles. They are residents within the cytoplasm itself, and either are descended from organisms that survived endocytosis or have some mechanism for escaping food vacuoles once they are ingested.
Protists are eukaryotes, of course, meaning that their genetic material is organized into a compartment, the nucleus, that is surrounded by membrane, and that they have membrane-delineated organelles. In the warm seas of the ancient earth, the first living things would have been prokaryotes. The endosymbiotic hypothesis for the origin of mitochondria (and chloroplasts) suggests that mitochondria are descended from specialized bacteria (probably purple nonsulfur bacteria) that somehow survived endocytosis by another species of prokaryote or some other cell type, and became incorporated into the cytoplasm. The ability of symbiont bacteria to conduct cellular respiration in host cells that relied on glycosis and fermentation would have provided a considerable evolutionary advantage. Similarly, host cells with symbiont bacteria capable of photosynthesis would also have an advantage. In both cases, the number of environments in which the cells could survive would have been greatly expanded.
Mitochondria do not contain anywhere near the amount of DNA needed to code for all mitochondria-specific proteins, however, a billion or so years of evolution could account for a progressive loss of independence. The endosymbiotic hypothesis might be called a theory, but experimental evidence can’t be provided to test it. Only circumstantial evidence is available in support of the proposal, which is the most likely explanation for the origin of mitochondria. The evidence needed to change the model from hypothesis to theory is likely forever lost in antiquity.
Chapter Sequence for Citadel
Prologue—External description of a typical Citadel in which the central metaphor is that of a large living cell.
Chapter One—Birth of a baby in the Citadel. Filina, the mother, learns that the baby is male and has to be expelled to the Exo-Culture.
Chapter Two—Twenty years later. Out of date data on the Exo-cultures force an expedition outside. Broog assembles a team.
Chapter Three—Two delegates, Jareth and Ura meet in Cit. L.A. to prep for their journey to Cit. Cuernavaca. Their experiences in different citadels set forth.
Chapter Four—Gileth, geneticist-historian works DNA and genealogy to see if anything has changed and why the Separation had to happen.
Chapter Five—The Hunt. Hunters capture a Gland. The Gland is the Mutant—the evolved Male the Exos killed in the time before the Separation.
Chapter Six—Elith a younger Citadelian chosen to breed finishes her testing before insemination. But late in the process, it’s clear that she has a deep hatred of the Exos and cannot got through with the pregnancy. “What if I have a mutant?” “We can make a selection if you want.” “By selection, you mean sexual selection.”
Chapter Seven—Broog and others find evidence of the Virgin Citadels and a vestigial Old Society Culture neither Exo nor Citadelian that has been intervening in the daily life of the Exos. Genetic engineering which the Citadelians have used on the Exos and Glands, makes it impossible for them to mass into large units. The Old Society sends false delegates to the Congress.
Chapter Eight—The Congress in session. Confrontation between factions. The Separatists, the Non-Male Birth Citadels, the Virgin Citadels. One recounts an experience that is like a mystical change in a dream in which she says the Citadels have been operating under the influence of The Planners. Who are The Planners? everyone wants to know.
Chapter Nine—The Planners appear. Details on what they are and what they know and what the Citadels are going to do about it.
Chapter Ten—A vote is taken regarding the future of the Exos. On one side, the Eradicationists call for the status quo; the Separationists want the Exos to die out. There is enough genetic material to get to the next level of consciousness at which time, the Citadelians will have complete control of the genome and can create an all female society without undergoing the kinds of horrid epidemics that decimated the Virgin Citadels.
Chronology—The History and Development of the Citadels from The War of the Hat Pins down to the Current Status.
Servitude and Compliance. The Woman as tool and object.
Human rights. Laws of Equality. An affront to women’s intelligence. Men wrote the laws. The Time of Insanity. Men refuse to honor their own laws and continue to discriminate against women. The Prison of Desire becomes a best-seller that details the imprisonment and punishment of women who try to break out.
The Exertion of Equality. Women refuse to accept the laws and demand they be given equal treatment. Conservative entrenchment. Open hostility.
The Time of the Communes. Women settle in open communes. Persecuted and raided by vigilantes. Economic slavery.
War of the Hat Pins—Subversion from within. Men want to suppress the communes. The women advance through disease and The Hat Pin Attacks.
The Age of Martyrs—Women try to straighten out the male culture, but at this point, women see that men have not evolved at the same speed as women,and have not achieved the new enlightenment Men are stuck. Women have evolved. Almost two languages. All Rights Suspended. War against the communes is savage. Elevation of the Martyrs. At this time, women realize that there is more at stake than the simple survival of their personal being.
Reformation—Dissolution of the nuclear family. The Move to Separation gains momentum. Women favor daughters, male child becomes wild child, fathers are too involved to be involved. The first Citadel is formed as a small fortress—where? Cuernavaca? In an old commune? Women fortify the communes.
Holocaust—mass murder, rape, imprisonment. Women are the enemy. Useful only for breeding. The Hidden Citadels struggle, but survive. This is called The Time of the Wars of Cruelty. The human race is on the wane.
Stalemate—Effective use of biological warfare. The introduction of mass quantities of estrogen into the environment pacifies the men. Women separate more and more the coalition of Citadels begins…small at first, but more communication.
Evolution of the Citadels—Out of the stagnation comes the realization that women can be free if they have control of technology and production. Complete control of populations becomes a reality. Women realize that they have to sacrifice the Integrationists and so isolate them in the Exo culture. First use of the term Exo-Culture.
Dominance of the Citadels—Population control is complete. Areas of the country return to a pristine state. Bellicose mutants have been replaced by altered Exos. Citadels allow male birth, but the males have to be abandoned to the Exos. Only Glands are used as sperm source.
The Current Status–