Study Guide

Snow Crash Chapter 26

By Neal Stephenson

Chapter 26

  • Hiro wakes up on Da5id's roof and then logs into the Metaverse, where Juanita meets him in The Black Sun and tells him that she's on her way to Oregon.
  • They talk about Da5id's crash/stroke. Juanita believes it's a metavirus, something that hackers are especially vulnerable to because they've learned to read code, so showing a hacker a computer virus in binary might be able to destroy their brains.
  • Hiro asks how this is related to the real-life version of Snow Crash, which is a drug that people can physically ingest. According to Juanita, it's made from the blood of people who carry the metavirus, and it's being spread by L. Bob Rife's private church.
  • Is it a virus, a drug, or a religion? According to Juanita, it all amounts to the same thing.
  • Juanita goes on to say that religion is viral—it latches on in our brains—but there have been some attempts to free humanity from irrational religious belief. An ancient guy named Enki tried; so did some Hebrew scholars; so did Jesus. But Jesus's attempt was suppressed by the church, which wrapped it back up in dogma again.
  • Juanita stops there, saying she doesn't want to prejudice Hiro's thinking too much; he should look at the Babel stack to try to figure things out.
  • Oh, and he needs to learn about Inanna in order to understand what Juanita is about to do.
  • Hiro has been angling to start flirting again with Juanita, but the conversation has been pretty serious: she's implying that she might not come back, that they're all in over their heads.
  • Walking through The Black Sun, Hiro sees a generic Clint avatar coming his way—with a scroll. Aimed for Hiro's eyes.
  • Hiro cuts off the avatar's arms, but the Clint drops the scroll and runs away. Hiro has Y.T. track the Clint, while he sweeps the scroll into the program's framework so that nobody can see it and get crashed.