It’s not a disease it’s evolution..
Remember the 1998 survival horror action role-playing game called Parasite Eve? A fantastic game before the time of voice acting. It involved A LOT of reading. There was also a very memorable opening scene of an entire opera audience bursting into flames.
The concept of the game came from Hideaki Sena’s novel. It was the winner of the Japan Horror Novel Award and rightfully so. By far one of the best horror novels I have ever read. What makes it terrifying is the very real possibility it could happen. Hideaki Sena describes a tale in which mitochondria is self-aware and has been waiting for its turn to thrive…
Quickie Biology Lesson
From nature.com: “Mitochondria are unusual organelles. They act as the power plants of the cell, are surrounded by two membranes, and have their own genome.” Considered unusual because they contain their own unique DNA. A widely accepted theory is The Endosymbiosis Theory, which explains how back when we were still single celled organisms, mitochondria invaded us, created symbiosis, and thrived.
The take away:
1) Mitochondria have their own DNA
2) Produce massive amounts of energy
3) Have been traced back to the origins of eukaryotic cell organelles
Oh the Horror
Raven’s article about alien hand syndrome is chilling. Can you imagine having that feeling over your entire body? Your body is not your own. Something else with its own agenda living inside of you. This is the experience of some of the characters in Parasite Eve. They feel emotions, remember memories, and have ideas that are not their own.
The mitochondria is named “Eve”. Eve has been waiting for the right conditions to develop so that mitochondria can take over eukaryotic life forms. That time is now and she plans to reach her full potential at any cost. In the novel she says, “At long last, the day has come for mitochondria to break free.” So what does this mean for us? Our bodies are merely vessels for Eve. She has the power to control every thought, every move, anything that helps her complete her agenda.
I would liken some of Eve’s characteristics to that of the Mind Flayer monster in season 2 of Stranger Things.
Like the Mind Flayer, Eve views humans as lesser beings and will gleefully conquer all of them. She also has a sort of hive mentality. She can control all mitochondria in any person. This becomes an interesting point in the story. Hideaki Sena uses Eve to explain spontaneous human combustion.
Spontaneous combustion occurs when someone dies from fire with no apparent external cause of ignition. To this day, we still have no explanation for how this phenomenon occurs. Sena’s explanation? Mitochondria using so much energy that it generates enough heat to cause combustion. Eve turns anyone who gets in her way into a raging inferno.
Parasite eve review wrap up
If you love horror, Parasite Eve is a must read. I downloaded it for $7.99 off Google Play Books and it was worth every penny. Scientific terms and practices fill much of the novel. Sena balances this with the development of characters and their day-to-day lives. While Eve is the “monster” in the novel we get to perceive her thoughts and feelings as well –which can evoke a sort of empathy from the reader. Unlike other horror novels, the monster is not an external entity. It is already inside of us. A part of us. Watching. Waiting.