Y.T. pops in on Hiro in the Metaverse, and shares what she learned about Snow Crash being like a steroid: it can change your cells and even your DNA. Hiro confirms with the Librarian that yep, this is pretty much how herpes works, too.
They bicker briefly about whether the Mafia needs the sample to develop an antidote out of the goodness of their hearts or whether it's another bid for power, and Y.T. departs.
Hiro gets back to business with the Librarian: Where does Asherah come from? Originally from Sumerian mythology, but she was incorporated in the myths of surrounding ethnicities and regions.
Some Asherah myths have her as an erotic or vindictive goddess; she also nursed human babies, leading Hiro to speculate that she was spreading the virus through breast milk.
There are some pretty cracked-out myths about Enki and the origins of plants and semen and divine incest. Enki was also an en, or priest-king, of Eridu.
Next topic: me. Me are rules for how society operates—kind of like computer programs—and they range from instructions on how to carry out ceremonies to how to properly farm, build, and bake.
In one myth, the goddess Inanna tricked Enki into giving up a bunch of me. Hiro speculates that Enki was the ancient equivalent of a hacker, who programmed Sumer to be the kind of civilization that it was.