About the movie references. I've always been astonished-and dismayed-at how much Hollywood's fictional presentations influence many people's perceptions of the real world. There's Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and the more recent Independence Day, of course. I never could bring myself to watch the whole of Psycho, I figured out what was going on in the movie the first time I saw it in a theater and walked out for a few minutes; the "squick" factor was just too much for me. And the "guy in New York" was, of course, the serial killer whom the media dubbed the "son of Sam"-he called his cat Sam, and said after he was caught that the cat had told him to shoot all those folks. (At that, it strikes me as a more sensible reason than most of these mass murderers have had for their rampages.)
But Camilla gets past this rather squirrelly way of looking at the world rather quickly. Hell, she's my heroine; I'm not going to make her an idiot. And, as Nick recognizes, she's a lady with a lot of guts. Consider how you might react to something as off-the-beaten-track as Asmedogh. Even Nick had a hell of a time with him after he found that his surgical dream had been real.
I don't always portray humans very favorably as a species in my stories, but I try not to tar every individual with the same brush. In this one it's Asmedogh's good fortune that his initial encounter was with two people whose minds were sufficiently flexible to accept something beyond human experience.