Driving Blind (fragment)

Draco Carsten Muyskens said on the television, he wanted to get the people who did this to him. He didn’t say it, but everyone knew what ‘this’ was. He appeared on The Television, sitting in a wheelchair and wearing an expensive blue suit and a neat white mask that hid his face. When he spoke, you had the impression that it wasn’t really him speaking, but someone else, someone in a sound-room somewhere with a bottle of water sitting next to him while he read from a meticulously crafted script, the finished work of virtuoso speechwriters. But of course you couldn’t prove it; you couldn’t see Draco’s mouth, and the presentation made it impossible to tell if he was the one doing the speaking. By design, of course. Naturally you could tell if it was him if you knew what his voice sounded like (couldn’t you?), but who knew what his voice sounded like? So Draco sat there, in his wheelchair, saying he wanted to get the person, the people, who did this to him. He wanted to make them pay, he said. This is the voice of Draco, he implied.

Revenge boiled in his blood, etc.

He wanted their head(s), etc.

Threats were made, social conventions were thwarted, police dept.s were given additional headaches, silver bullets were bought.

I wasn’t quite sure what the significance of the silver bullets was. Maybe the nerve agent fucked up his brain, too; maybe Draco thought he had been attacked by a werewolf. It certainly was a hell of a strange way to make a statement, if indeed that was all he was trying to do.

Tabun, called GA by those “in the know,” has a slightly fruity smell, but by the time it’s concentrated enough for you to smell it, you might be dead. Which would probably mean that you couldn’t smell it anyway, so you shouldn’t go by that.

It fucks you up, big time.

It’s a miracle, really, that Draco didn’t die. (The assumption here being that the Draco on TV is not some posthumous stunt-double.) People with mild to moderate exposure to the stuff can probably expect complete recovery, given enough time—say, six months or so. But people with severe exposures, people with the kind of repeated seizures that Draco experienced; they’re lucky to be alive at all, and it’s not terribly surprising when you find out their CNS has been irreparably disturbed in an entirely unwholesome way.

Signs you’ve been exposed to a nerve agent? Here are a few: vomiting, diarrhea, cramping. Here are some more: you start sweating like hell, you feel your heart pounding like you’ve just run a marathon, you shit your pants. Suddenly your vision becomes blurry, you get a splitting headache, you feel a wrenching pain in your abdomen. You can’t think straight. You forget exactly where you are; you’re nervous, tired, you try to speak and you can’t, your speech is slurred.

When they found Draco, he was flopping wildly about in the front yard of his house—to use the words of would-be fianc?e Danika Brewer, “like an acephalous broiler.”