Character interview

By June 16, 2018Fiction

‘My guest today needs no introduction. As the winner of not just one, but two Nobel prizes, Professor Sir John Savage’s place in history has been assured. But as the incredible cure-all benefits of his red pill wing their way around the world, might there be more to this man than meets the eye? So, come on, professor – what else have you got brewing in that laboratory of yours?’


‘I’m sorry?’

‘Three Nobel prizes. My PA informed me of another missive this morning, so one can only assume either Physics or Peace has just joined my previous awards of Medicine and Chemistry.’

‘Er, then congratulations on being the first person to be awarded three Nobel prizes! Physics rather than peace though, surely?’


‘Well, incredible medical cures aside, your methods are not without controversy. The testing of drugs on animals alone has made you a target to some, and what about the patients who died during the trials?’

‘An unfortunate necessity. Nothing truly worthwhile was ever achieved without sacrifice.’

‘Sacrifice? Professor, does it ever occur to you it’s statements like that which make you appear colder than the iceberg that sank the Titanic?’

‘I’m not here to win friends. The healing of the sick and curing of the lame will be my legacy. I’m no different to Jesus, really.’

‘And likening yourself to a messiah won’t do you any favours either. You do realise many would consider Doctor Frankenstein to be a better comparison? Sounds like you need to take a dose of your own medicine – does the red pill cure narcissism as well as schizophrenia?’

‘Physician heal thyself, perhaps? What makes you think I haven’t?’

‘Ah! So the rumours were right – the red pill does do more than correct everything from angina to Zika.’

‘The red pill is capable of a great many things and, once the results of my latest trial have cleared the necessary ethical hurdles, the world will soon be clamouring to take advantage of it.’

‘Well, go on, professor. Don’t leave us in suspense.’

‘Imagine waking up one morning with the ability to do anything. Climb Mount Everest or go to the Moon? You can. Be the President of the United States or score the winning touchdown in the last second of the Super Bowl? You can. Or how about being a super athlete, soldier or hero? Very soon we’ll all be able to do absolutely anything.’

‘I hate to be the first to break the news to you, professor, but while you’ve been busy with test tubes the rest of us have been doing that with virtual reality.’

‘Virtual reality? Those clumsy, sick-making devices? I’m talking about real reality.’

‘Real reality? I’ll tell you what’s real, Professor – my wife. She won’t even let me watch the Super Bowl let alone play in it.’

‘Then might I suggest she takes the red pill?’

‘I beg your pardon?’

‘The ability to do anything goes well beyond curing the sick, flying into space or climbing the highest mountain. Society’s most difficult challenges are about to be tackled too, and ensuring your domestic bliss is as good a start as any.’

‘Are you suggesting my wife could be made to enjoy the Super Bowl? That’s brainwashing!’

‘I’m suggesting your wife might enjoy being able to view the world differently, that’s all. An epiphany if you like. Think of it as a meat eater turning vegetarian, an atheist finding God or vice-versa. Don’t worry, she’ll be just how you remember her. Only better.’

‘They were wrong. You’re not Frankenstein – you’re the monster he created.’

‘I can understand how my methods might seem unsettling to some, but once domestic bliss has spread throughout the world, I think minds will change – with or without the red pill.’

‘Ha! So you’re saying brainwashing is going to bring world peace? You’ll be lucky not be killed in the rush to get to you.’

‘Well, let’s just say I’m expecting my PA to announce another missive in the not too distant future. You will remember to congratulate me on being awarded a fourth Nobel Prize, won’t you?’


Read The Condition Trilogy to find out why the professor’s unsettling ideas might be closer to reality than you think…

Alec Birri

Author Alec Birri

Alec Birri served thirty years with the UK Armed Forces. He commanded an operational unit that specialised in new military capabilities classified at the highest level – Top Secret Strap 3.

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