Transplant‘s Dr. Adam Rauch and the Mad Doctors may not be quite that mad. The rise in numbers of amputees around the world has resulted in tremendous breakthroughs in bionic limb research. Here’s an article about research sponsored by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Products Agency) in The Register discussing the progress of Staff Sgt. Glenn Lehman: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/01/darpa_bionic_arm/
TIME Magazine also reports the first mind-controlled bionic leg: http://healthland.time.com/2013/09/26/the-first-mind-controlled-bionic-leg-steps-into-reality
We also have the BBC’s account of Cpl. Andrew Garthwaite having his nervous system rewired to control his bionic hand: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/25331063
Although these procedures are highly expensive and still in the developmental stage, the day is coming soon when Mad Doctors won’t be relying on a Dr. Cyclops to help give patients a new lease on life.
For tourists, visitors and sightseers alike, Manna’s Restaurant at 486 Lenox Avenue near 134th Street is as close to the tastes, sights and sounds in Transplant as you can get. Known as a top-notch soul food restaurant, here’s Yahoo’s Restaurant Details:
“Manna’s Soul Food Restaurant is a family-operated business that serves as NYC’s finest soul food salad bar. In 1984, founder Betty Park opened her first restaurant in the Harlem neighborhood, a corner BBQ joint. Then in 1991, she opened Manna’s Soul Food Restaurant. Today Manna’s has four locations in Harlem, and all of them offer an extensive menu of hot and cold items designed to satisfy every hankering and craving. Manna’s Harlem soul food restaurants accommodate lunch and dinner guests from every borough as well as out of state tour groups (up to 50 diners at a time) in addition to offering catering services to feed your soul!” —Yahoo.com
As you can see by the photo, Manna’s is located in the middle of the ‘hood, and you’ll be able to experience the sights and sounds of East Harlem as you take in the scenery. The restaurant is located two blocks of 137th Street, the fictional location of the Mad Doctors’ lab. CAUTION: The 137th Street Gang is a real-life organization, and one would proceed with extreme discretion onto what may or may not still be their turf.
It goes without saying that dining at Manna’s is a safe and unforgettable culinary experience. Fried chicken here is highly praised as ‘legit’, while oxtail, collard greens and cooked cabbage will make you think you closed your eyes and woke up in the Deep South. If you’ve been on a lifelong search for that perfect Southern meal, Manna’s Restaurant is a dream come true.
Transplant‘s Django Tamsulosin will startle readers as a larger-than-life character, as demonic a figure as Dr. Cyclops himself. Only Django may be seen as a caricature of the real deal, Sixties drug racketeer Frank Lucas. By all accounts, Denzel Washington’s portrayal of Lucas in the Hollywood blockbuster American Gangster was a candy-coated account of the true-to-life Godfather of Harlem.
Lucas’ claim to fame was his achievement in circumventing the Mafia drug trafficking network. He made a deal with heroin manufacturers in the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia to purchase the product directly. He then smuggled it into America by hiding it in the pallets used in transporting the coffins of soldiers killed in action. Lucas bragged that he stashed the drugs inside the coffins, but the truth was not quite as ghoulish.
Most of the Tinseltown details of Lucas’ life was dismissed as ‘ninety percent Hollywood’ by his detractors, particularty claims that he was heir apparent of Harlem gangster legend Bumpy Johnson, and that he had risen above the Mafia in the American drug trade. Despite having the polish removed from his screen image, most insiders would agree that Lucas was a hardcore killer who ruled his turf by means of terror and murder. He was a ruthless adversary who rivals like the notorious Nicky Barnes held in high esteem.
Sound like Django Tamsulosin? Well, as they say, truth is stranger than fiction.
An NCAA record-holder, first-round draft pick and NBA superstar, Jerome Browne is unable to sever his childhood roots in East Harlem. He returns to the ‘hood and becomes a major philanthropist, contributing to programs geared towards purchasing and refurbishing worn-down brownstones. It places him at odds with drug lords such as Django Tamsulosin who are using the ratholes for crack dens. Jerome arranges a meeting with Django, who decides that the ‘do-gooder’ has to go. He is drugged and sent unconscious to the underground lab of the Mad Doctors.
Jerome survives the unthinkable ordeal and comes away with an incredibly advanced bionic limb at the expense of his left arm. Thirsting for revenge, he makes deals with the other victims to withhold information from Orrin and Tommy. By stonewalling the DA’s investigation, he begins formulating a plan to wreak vengeance against his alleged tormentors in the MCC. Jerome’s tale is perhaps the most significant in the entire revenge tragedy.
Django Tamsulosin has risen to power as the exclusive crack dealer in East Harlem under the sponsorship of the notorious 137th Street Gang. Django is absolutely ruthless and uses terror and murder to enforce his authority. One of the most horrific options available to him is through Dr. Adam Rauch, who is in desperate need of volunteers for his underground experiments. In their ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ agreement, Django has those marked for death delivered unconscious to the lab with the understanding that they are to permanently disappear from the streets of Harlem.
His major errors in the game of death come with his run-ins against NBA superstar Jerome Browne and supermodel Geri Lindsay. His self-perception of invincibility make him think he can dispose of Jerome and Geri as easily as the unfortunates on the street who fall into his disfavor. Even worse is his ignorance of the fact that not all of the victims in the lab are immediately disposed of. Yet the arrest of the doctors and the wrath of Jerome Browne fail to penetrate his veneer of invulnerability. The power and influence of Django Tamsulosin is one of the more fascinating elements of the novel.
Walterine Shabazz is a resident of East Harlem afflicted by numerous skin ailments as well as chronic drug abuse. Her street name Patch comes from her psoriasis as well as her badly-mended clothing. Nevertheless, she is a street-wise veteran of life in Harlem and eagerly awaits the opportunity of manipulating Dr. Adam Rauch as best she can. Rauch hires her to act as caretaker at the underground lab, and in turn she connects him to drug lord Django Tamsulosin. Patch volunteers for Rauch’s first transgenic skin transplants, and the Caucasian white skin on her torso becomes a thing of beauty to behold. Only it is a grotesque reminder of the blemishes covering the rest of her body, and she becomes inceasingly aggressive in demanding that Rauch continue the transplants. She also becomes more responsible for assignments around the lab in making herself indisposable. It makes her an accomplice and a key witness once the NYPD discover the lab and indict one and all for the horrific acts of mayhem.
Tommy Jackson is a seasoned NYPD Homicide Detective who balances his hardcore career with his role as husband and father of two little girls. He refuses to believe Dr. Rauch’s story about the mysterious Dr. Cyclops, devoting his energies to disproving such a character exists. Yet the more he learns about the Doctors and their life stories, the harder it becomes to prove that they were capable of the atrocities committed in the underground laboratory in East Harlem. Tommy is also developing his relationship with his new partner, Orrin Rampersad. The psychological tension proves relentless as he deals with his personal and professional life along with the horrors of the case as it unfolds.