Hamburg, 1829

"Frau Anderson, what is Hans's second name; is it per chance Christian?"

"Yes, it is, Fraulein. It's my late husband's family tradition. All the first born sons have been named 'Hans Christian'. They come from Odense, Funen, Kingdom of Denmark–Norway. Only, our family spell our name with an o, rather than an e. - Anderson, instead of - Andersen."

"Frau Anderson, please, call me Theresa Leopoldine. And then, your family, are you not related to the young writer of children's fairy tales? Hans Christian Andersen? I have only just read about him can't recall where."

"Yes, he is a distant cousin of Hans, and my nephew. Seems like all the boys in the family are the studious ambitious sort. Are you not a writer yourself, Theresa Leopoldine? Karl, might have mentioned...

"I'm not a published writer, Frau Anderson. I'm only just finishing my book; a lot of work ahead yet."

"Ladies, shame on you! Why didn't you wake me up? I didn't want to miss any of your conversation!"

"You didn't miss anything, Karl, only a bit of friendly chit-hat. Come and share tea and refreshments."

"Stauber, dear friend, you needed your sleep. You were about to have a nervous breakdown."

"Kinder, if I may call you that? You are now my surrogate children, now that Hans is away, and likely not coming back until the feral fiend of Ingolstadt is dead and buried."

"Thank you, Frau Anderson, we're honored to be considered your surrogate family, Theresa Leopoldine, and I, are we not?"

"Yes, dear Frau Anderson, we're honored. Now would you please share what you and Hans discussed before he left? Your confidence is inspiring."

"And please tell us what Hans meant by referring to the Professor as 'Fecal Worm'. He never mentioned the term, or his research, to me or Frederick, while still at Oxford."

"There is a lot to share, Kinder. Let me fetch a few books and documents from Hans' study."

* * *


"Kinder, let me read to you what Hans discovered while still back at Oxford, before 1820. The following research comes from Ingolstadt, shared by his close friend who had access to their laboratories":

The highly prevalent parasite Toxoplasma gondii manipulates its host's behavior. In infected rodents, the behavioral changes increase the likelihood that the parasite will be transmitted back to its definitive cat host, an essential step in completion of the parasite's life cycle. The mechanism(s) responsible for behavioral changes in the host is unknown but two lines of published evidence suggest that the parasite alters neurotransmitter signal transduction: the disruption of the parasite-induced behavioral changes with medications used to treat psychiatric disease (specifically dopamine antagonists) and identification of a tyrosine hydroxylase encoded in the parasite genome. In this study, infection of mammalian dopaminergic cells with T. gondii enhanced the levels of K+-induced release of dopamine several-fold, with a direct correlation between the number of infected cells and the quantity of dopamine released. Immunostaining brain sections of infected mice with dopamine antibody showed intense staining of encysted parasites. Based on these analyses, T. gondii orchestrates a significant increase in dopamine metabolism in neural cells. Tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme for dopamine synthesis, was also found in intracellular tissue cysts in brain tissue with antibodies specific for the parasite-encoded tyrosine hydroxylase. These observations provide a mechanism for parasite-induced behavioral changes. The observed effects on dopamine metabolism could also be relevant in interpreting reports of psychobehavioral changes in toxoplasmosis-infected humans."

"It's important to mention that this copy was secretly obtained from the Illuminists' laboratories at U. of Ingolstadt. It's a translation from the original Aramaic. It's difficult to interpret since its precise scientific basis is currently unknown in our time. Hans's interpretation of this article is a guess work. Nevertheless, the meaning here becomes apparent. Further, Hans's closest friend had introduced him to an interesting antediluvian account of King Og, the Giant. The actual Latin text had been censored and destroyed by the Vatican in the 5th century AD, only the Aramaic version remains. Hans was told that King Og refers to Moses and the Israelites as Fecal Worms. This reference could connote the sheer size difference between King Og 9' (2.74 metres) and the Israelites 5.8"+/- (1.76 metres). Or - the term can actually refer to 'them - the Israelites', as having been infected by the parasite, due to their King's straying into 'the Dark Matter', and getting infected.
A third possibility exists in that that King Og outright implies that the Israelites are prone to becoming symbiotic with the highest power, no matter how abhorrently itchy and uncomfortably anal the outcome may be as long as they, the Israelites, don't have to share their Earthly loot and power/s with anybody out there - on location, on Earth."

"Frau Anderson, that was a phenomenally brilliant account. Was it Hans's or yours?"

"Mine is only the third version of Og's reference, Karl."

"That's the part we found amazing, didn't we, Stauber?"

"Precisely, your analysis is very astute. Plus, you know the history far better than us, Frau Anderson."

* * *



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