(The HOSPITAL goes dark. A single spotlight illuminates a petri dish on the counter. JONAH rises from a crouch, half-crawling at first, slowly reaching out towards the light, almost afraid to touch it, as though it would burn him. When his hand enters the light, he shivers, visibly, a dark warmth suffusing his body. Green and blue lights slowly up on stage left and right as JONAH moves to the proscenium.)
For years of my life I practiced medicine
Healing the sick, protecting the weak, and never reticent
What had to be done
I was the one.
I was the only one.
Of my family -
to come to the light.
Forty years did I fight.
But what was I fighting for?
Death is not the end
But rather, the start
It's a gift, and I'm chastened.
Time after time
I have foolishly staunched
That which I should have hastened!
(Dazzling display of lights as JONAH moves back from the proscenium to the lab, throwing off his lab coat, laughing, as the music shifts to a giddy, fevered pace.)
- Excerpt from the libretto of PANDEMIC! The true story of Dr. Death
Dedicated to Jonah Starling
Father, doctor, angel
I love you. I miss you.
- memorial plaque formerly installed on a bench near Splash Mountain, Disneyland
Jonah Starling is a particularly controversial figure. Some call him a hero: certainly, his involvement in the Fall of Heaven was nothing short of heroic, and he is believed to be responsible for saving the lives of dozens of angels. However, all of this good work is overshadowed by his later life involvement in the 2021 pandemic that killed thousands…
— From A Study of the Figures of the Havering Hill Assembly by William Patel