The adventures of JOHN STORM and the SOLAR NAVIGATOR
CYBER WARS © by Jameson Hunter
CHAPTER 7: SPLICE © Jameson Hunter 2008 - 2014
510,30’N, 000 – Geneva, Switzerland was once home to a famous meeting where the wartime Convention which bears that name prohibited the torture of prisoners of war and was agreed internationally. This mountainous region of Europe is now the favoured location of many international pharmaceutical and medical research groups and organisations. Since clocks were invented, watches that were Swiss made were highly prized for their quality and accurate timekeeping. Latterly, the country has become synonymous with banking and secrecy for its customers, who were until recently practically immune from account checks. The Swiss numbered account was then a valued asset and a place where many millions of $s, £s, Francs and Marks were securely deposited.
Genonimo Investments Inc. was a little known concern that had pioneered research on synthesized organisms for many years with a breakthrough in 2010, said to have been the equivalent to nano science for computers, in that for the first time a fully artificial life form was created in the laboratory. This was no less staggering a feat of science than when the first human babies were cloned or man went to the Moon. Klaus von Kolreuter had spent his whole life trying to decipher the secrets of life that are hidden deep in the double helix strands of Deoxyribonucleic Acid or DNA which make our chromosomes. Essentially, a chromosome is a long molecule with a twin parallel backbone of alternating sugar and phosphate units in a spiral formed from around 20 amino acid building blocks to form a protein chain. This chain is a biochemical and universal genetic code for just about every living thing of earth.
In 1953 James Watson and Francis Crick identified DNA after they had devoted much of their lives to medical research. Finally working as a team they isolated the protein discovered its unique qualities. Klaus had followed the unravelling of DNA with growing fascination as a boy. He’d been very lucky on graduation from university to have been head hunted for his outstanding research and subsequent thesis, earning him his first master’s degree and later his BSc bachelor of science. He’d postulated that one day man would be able to cure diseases and build immunity into the world population’s DNA store.
A man of habit Klaus, rarely took holidays. He was a dedicated family man who’d married a laboratory colleague, so at least they had their work in common, until Eva fell pregnant. Both parents then watched in fascination as their daughter grew into a young woman, exhibiting inherited qualities which they both knew had been passed on in their genes. Eva was very supportive of Klaus because she realised the value of his work to mankind. He was of course well paid and they both lived very comfortably. They both secretly yearned for the perfect human form for themselves. They were far from the ideal as identified by consumer advertising and motion pictures.
It was the development of super computers that came to the rescue in the number crunching of millions of code sequences and finally the identification of certain strands which they knew endowed specific physical qualities such as luminescence, mass, height, colour and so on. Klaus spent as much time mastering computers as he did the chemistry of his experiments, giving praise to Charles Babbage for his early perseverance. A real breakthrough came with dedicated peripherals and robot technicians that multiplied his efforts a thousand fold. Yet again, technology to the rescue not a little inspired by Henry Ford’s production methods.
Eventually, it was the computer program that took over. The software was developed which could identify the qualities of certain chunks of a DNA sequence and relate those chunks to other species interchangeably. From that point on, plug in modules allowed a technician to choose the characteristics of a human hybrid. Although some strange permutations were created which international law would deem illegal. They were however destroyed and all evidence of such experiments erased from the computers and laboratory records.
If the characteristic of a species is changed too much, a new species is created. The test is the ability of the modified creature to conceive with the natural animal. It is well known that lions and tigers can and have interbred, to give ‘tions’ and ‘ligers.’ But a lion could not mate with a pig or a bear, not that for one minute such a combination might come about via mutual attraction.
There is nothing new in selective breeding. Humans have been breeding cattle for superior meat gain or milk yield for hundreds of years. Horses have been bred that are fast runners, such as the Arabian, and others for their pulling capability, such as the Carthorse. The common wolf was tamed and bred to give us poodles, great danes and terriers.
In nature, ants breed drones, queens, workers and soldiers each with highly specialised tasks. Soldiers have vastly exaggerated mandibles to defend a nest against intruders. Though each ant is specialised they all work together, unlike humans, for a common cause and that is because they are all related. The designated function is dictated by the food the larvae are fed. If fed royal jelly, a larva develops into a queen, who is in effect a dedicated egg producing variant.
Ants have an incredible power to weight ratio, capable of lifting 200 times their own body mass. Fleas can leap incredible distances, the equivalent of a man jumping over the Empire State building. The problem with using DNA so far removed from human DNA is that side characteristics were often not discovered for years. Computer prediction overcomes the surprise element to some extent, much as computational fluid dynamics can predict drag just as well as a good wind tunnel.
Before such tools, there was a rabbit which became a killer and devoured its mate and a dog that kept trying to climb up walls like a spider, causing itself serious injuries. These animals could not be cured with medicines or intensive training, even where painful shocks were applied which would normally program an animal not to do something again. If you place a hot teabag on a dog’s nose, it will never go near a teabag again. Not unless it is painstakingly taught that teabags are not hot, using cold teabags with rewards.
Klaus had lost much of his hair as he aged and now shaved off the remainder for a tidy appearance. He wore silver thin rimmed spectacles which dangle from a chain around his neck. He is short and stocky and very much enjoys his food. One day while looking in the mirror, the thought occurred to him that he had within his grasp the power to shape his physique and with further development even his looks and thinking capacity.
As Klaus von Kolreuter shared his breakthroughs with Eva, they both mused at the possibilities his work might offer to them. They could both have the ideal form. This prospect grew tantalisingly closer, a sort of reincarnation that the ancient Egyptians dreamed of by reading from the book of life. To Klaus and Eva the book of life was the listing of identified DNA strands and the spell to command was the computer program that stitched all the components together. This would give the operator the ability to create a human clone. But that was only part of the puzzle. The human clone was the easy part. What good though, is a clone without memories.
The breakthrough came with the development on an integrated circuit which could interface with the human brain more effectively than several hundred sensors placed on a shaved head externally. To begin with this microprocessor was used to restore sight, by linking an electronic CMOS camera sensor as an eye transplant to the occipital lobes of the brain. The interface proved to be much more versatile in reverse, allowing thoughts to initiate commands to a nano-processor. Klaus worked night and day to perfect information transfers that converted thoughts into digital data for storage.
This work eventually won Klaus a Nobel Prize. Much of his work was published open source, but only so much was released for public consumption; the program interface was closely guarded. The brain is a computer operated by programs that are memory dependent. Thus a memory and the hierarchy in the synapse chain determines the operating characteristics. As we mature our programming becomes more sophisticated with more and more memories to guide us, and so we develop character and emotional responses, or in some cases unpredictability.
Klaus was fully aware of these parameters as he strived to replicate not only a physical brain, but the memories that created that person. He discovered that some synapses had more connections than others in a web of interlinks. The number of links determined the order of firing and creation and that this order could be mapped and reproduced. Klaus called his program for recording and identifying a particular brain: Brain Mapping Software, or BMS for short. One of his experiments was to use a virgin brain to upload the map from another mature brain. Klaus had a theory that an un-primed or virgin brain can be programmed to replicate the connectivity of another brain of a similar size. Matching is important here to replicate a neural network accurately. The experiment finally succeeded.
This highly controversial research proved to Klaus that he could implant memories from one brain to another. Provided that the receiving brain was physically identical to the donor brain, the thought processes were as near identical as one might expect. Such an experiment would be classed as illegal, mainly for cloning human parts. Klaus was not concerned with that. In the name of science, he was a maverick - as are many scientists, some working for governments with official approval.
Klaus found that once a brain is primed, memories (knowledge) can be implanted, recall tested and if necessary re-implanted. He noted down that it’s a bit like formatting a blank hard drive, only each format is unique. The reverse is taking memories from the brain and storing in a logical sequence or format. During these experiments Klaus noted that it was possible to doctor the digital data to implant false memories, and though the memories were not real, the subject believed that they were. It was a kind of modern brainwashing, and could be very dangerous if the technology got into the wrong hands, by changing the values if a living subject. The ultimate test was curing a hopeless alcoholic by implanting a fear of alcohol. He no longer behaved as a user, but kept looking for something missing, until he found a healthy replacement interest!
It was noted by Klaus that an aid to successful implanting was to inject a subject with a super concentration of vitamins, proteins and omega oils and that this helped a mapping sequence to take. Blood flow stimulation achieved with electronic massagers also improved the acceptance, to the point where it almost never failed.
It was then that Klaus realised that it was safe to use his brain mapping software on himself. Klaus realised that he could transfer his knowledge and memories into a new body. He could become the athlete he’d always wanted to be and attractive to the opposite sex. It occurred to him that he could have any attribute of his favourite film stars, provided that that information was in his database. He took the precaution of mapping his own brain.
One day Klaus had a mild stroke. This was the jolt that he needed to go through with what was just a theoretical possibility. His body was rapidly deteriorating and he couldn’t take the chance he might die without realizing his dream. Eva also didn’t want to miss out on their dream. Klaus copied her mind to disc. He had already prepared a super clone for himself. As a dutiful husband he'd done the same for Eva.
For the transfer to be complete, he’d have to murder
his old self and Eva’s old self. That was going to be
incredibly difficult. THE FLY situation could occur if for any reason the memory transfer became
unstable? Could he really kill the woman he’d loved for so long and would he
love the new bodied Eva?
Frankenstein old and new. A recurring Hollywood theme. Klaus von Kolreuter is a modern day Baron Victor Frankenstein. James McAvoy is cast in the role of Victor Von Frankenstein, a.k.a. the man behind the monster. This is Fox's as yet untitled Frankenstein project, which already has Harry Potter star Daniel Radliffe set to play the doctor's assistant, Igor. Due for release in late 2014.
WARS (CYBERCORE) Copyright
© Jameson Hunter 2008 and 2014.
right of Jameson Hunter to be identified as the
author of this work has been asserted in
accordance with section 77 and 78 of the
Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.
In this work of fiction, the characters, places and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or they are used entirely fictitiously.
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