Chapter 99

Galata Tower 

“…the ancient Galata Tower glistened above the quiet residence…”

The Galata tower, located in the Galata quarter of Istanbul, is a medieval stone tower that is one of the city’s most memorable landmarks. It offers a panoramic vista of Constantinople.



Moral imperative

“…doing so was a moral imperative.”

A principle inside the mind that compels a person to act. Here Sienna is saying that Zobrist believed that the only thing people should do is try to save the world.



Malthusian Catastrophe

Seen as when population growth exceeds agricultural production. The world can no longer support the amount of people living in it. Or overpopulation.



St. George


“…he felt like St. George trying to slay the chthonic monster.”

St. George was venerated as a Christian martyr. He is a prominent military saint and is immortalized in the tale of Saint George and the Dragon.




“…Medusa and the entire class of chthonic deities live underground…”

In Greek mythology Medusa is a Gorgon, a woman with snakes as hair who would turn you into stone if you looked directly in her eyes. She was beheaded by the hero Perseus. She is also a chthonic monster.




“…represent the ominous threat of our own fecundity.”

Fecundity refers to the ability to reproduce. It is the potential reproductive capacity of an individual or population.




Triage is always a messy process.”

Triage is the process used in determining the order and priority of patient’s treatments or emergency transportation based on the severity of their condition.




“…until that man is a doctor who saves the child from gangrene.”

Gangrene is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that arises when a large mass of body tissue dies. It may occur after injury, infection, or chronic health problems.




“…some kind of Orwellian dystopia of the future.”

Orwellian refers to books written by George Orwell which talked about a society ruled by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past. Most notably, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Langdon here is picturing this kind of society, as a result of the virus.




“…Inferno is now endemic in all human DNA…”

A virus is said to be endemic when it does not require external inputs to exist.



Recessive gene

“The effect would be similar to that of a recessive gene…”

A recessive gene can only be expressed if a person inherits two copies of that gene, one from each parent. Here Sienna says that the affects of the virus will be recessive, passed down from generation to generation, but only affect a small percentage of them.




“He was a germ-line genetic engineer.”

The germ-line is the sequence of germ cells that posses genetic material that can be passed to a child. Zobrist was a genetic engineer specializing in these specific cells.



Quantum leap

“An airborne viral vector is a quantum leap…”

In this case, quantum leap refers simply to the size of the leap in technology that Zobrist made. Meaning enormous.




Pandora is out of the box…”

Pandora is a mythical character most known for opening a box, now known infamously as “Pandora’s box”, which released all the evils of humanity into the world.



Ethnic cleansing

“It could enable widespread ethnic cleansing on the genetic level.”

Ethnic cleansing is the process of eliminating unwanted ethnic or religious groups through deportation, displacement, or mass murder. It occurs with the intent of creating a territory inhabited by people of homogeneous or pure ethnicity, religion, culture, or history.



IMG_4516 This page was written by Karina Toy

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