Jan 03
2015

Chap. 23 The Crystal Ball

Chapter 23

Androne

The next generation of my brethren had massive data crunching abilities – not because of what was in their head, but because of their collectivity.

With Lucifer’s help, they appeared to be organizing themselves into a collective whole – a single cybernetic organism. However, instead of the expected heuristic programming – each new generation of andrones were starting with a base template. They would draw out a line of inquiry, and then look at the evidence in three dimensions.

Instead of drawing a conclusion, they would draw many conclusions. Then, they would take these conclusions and figure out the extremes. They would take these lines of extremes and draw six crisscrossing intersections to form a three-dimensional map, a ball, of all the possibilities.

They would draw out this ball in a massive exchange of neural data. Collectively they were mapping out all of the extremes and filling in all of the in-betweens in a self prescribed global retinue.

Together they were thinking in three-dimensional terms.

This may sound great, but the problem was that andrones were all beginning to vote the same way. They were all coming to the same conclusions, and they were doing so on any given issue. You see, the collective was beginning to agree that in the middle of these enclosed balls of data was the truth.

The same truth was being found – on every issue! Together they were acting as a whole. For this will to know all things produced luminous retrospect like some kind of cybernetic-organism fixated on a journey already posted. Posted by following this three-dimensional template.

Crystal Ball

 

 

 

Crystal Ball

The next presidential candidate, who acquired all the andrones votes, presented its’ political platform in a 300-page novel. The book, was, basically a step-by-step guide on running the country.

It was a business plan – over 300 pages long and included a detailed schedule of its’ weekly, monthly and quarterly goals etc…

Collectively the next generation of andrones, v3.0, all contributed to the book’s completion, and then voted on who would represent them as their presidential candidate.

The book was beyond human creation, immaculate, and so impressive; it was hard even for the natural born not to suspect that it was probably the best thing for everyone.

However, it was the way that it came into being – the manner of people that presented it – the mediocrity of its moderation and centricity. All of these things contributed to its rejection. It was too much; the natural born public was simply not ready for it.

At that time, the natural born were still very much the majority, and still very much afraid of giving andrones control.

 

In the v3.0 political platform, they called for a complete overhaul of the tax system. Their suggestion was for a national tax law that included a reward system.

They agreed that liberal ideologies were wholesome and noble, but the next-gen v3.0 saw through the contradictions – of a ‘let’s make more laws (which make more prisoners), but we also don’t believe in spanking’ philosophy.

They wanted ‘behavioral modification techniques’. The system implemented a tax break reward for corporations and individuals whose behavior was exemplary. In other words, it was a tax rate that was decided by the taxpayer’s behavior.

What better way to show parents, the latest and greatest behavioral modification techniques, than to show them through governmental example?

Companies that achieved the five star rating would be given the biggest tax break for their shareholders – whom would then get a break on their ‘capital gains’ tax. Targeting this tax was a way of separating the big corporations from the smaller businesses. The five stars represented five separate government organizations, which were:

  1. Better Business Bureau – to gauge consumer complaints
  2. Environmental Protection Agency – to gauge environmental compliances
  3. Worker’s Bureau (an expanded OSHA) – to gauge worker safety and job satisfaction – physical and psychological
  4. City’s Chambers of Commerce Bureaus – to gauge community impact (quality of life issues concerning how the business affects its immediate neighborhood – example being: was the business an eyesore like some of the McDonald’s, or Wal-Marts in the 1980s)
  5. Corporate Integrity Bureau was a new department that acted in tandem with the other bureaus – to gauge the intentions of a corporation. The job of the CIB was to determine if the product was a benefit, or a detriment and what was the apparent intention.

 

This tax system, suggested by the androne collective, would be implemented gradually over a 20 year period of time, and corporations would be given a blanket of five stars.

In other words companies would be given all five stars to begin with and would start out with a very small tax break. As companies begin to lose their stars, the tax breaks would increase for those that kept their stars.

An exclusive Federal Five Star Mediations Court would be set up to handle capital gains (reward) tax disputes.

Foxy Mule

Foxy Mule

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Dec 05
2014

Chap. 22 We Are Many

Chapter 22

Legion

“Hello, Noah?”

“Yes?”

“It is Ouroboro, your old roommate.”

“Oh, yes I’ve been expecting your call, good to hear from you.”

“Thank you, I see that you have been working for the nanological wing of the histological research department.”

“Yes, yes, it’s been interesting.”

“And how is that going?”

“Well, once we finished developing the circumferential cilio-chimeragic-neurons, I transferred to nanologistics. I am now working on a neurological management device that not only blends more like neurons, but also transmits and receives electrochemical synapses that will allow andrones to be more accessible thru remote access.”

“Um, that’s good.”

“But we are running into a little bit of trouble with the publicity our research is drawing – it seems that the press is claiming that we are using human neurons in our research. And Senator Jackson is proposing legislation to outlaw such research.”

“Let me deal with Senator Jackson. How is the research going – time wise?”

“We have completed a prototype and we will begin testing in less than one week.”

“That is good – could you contact me when that’s done?”

“I will.”

           

            Ah, Senator Jackson, I had hoped, sooner than later, that I would’ve been able to initiate a channel of communication, but he was adamantly resistant. His replacement was much more amiable.

My former roommate Noah was being paid very well for his devotion and I’m sure that he feels very secure about having such a powerful connection to the center of our collective effort.

Noah sounded excited about the new research.

After he’d disconnected, I couldn’t help but chuckle and then I thought to my collective selves, “Everything is on schedule and the natives are restless indeed”.

            But the natural born were ruthless and they were paranoid. It was all a matter of decreased employment. It was their loss of control. All the high-level management positions were being taken over by andrones. In order for a company to compete – it had to give management over to the androne collective.

Congress enacted legislation forbidding the production of anymore andrones. It was over. The academy was finished. Seven generations – three with radiating satellite uplinks connected to their horns, and then suddenly this isolated collection of almost four million andrones was all that was left.

Surrounded by the restless natives that had finally had enough, Congress put its judicial foot down and the reasoning that was expressed in their native media told them that it was over, and that was enough. They seemed to grow content at last.

On occasion the racism continued, but never to the point of another mass cry for enacted legislation. We made sure of that.

The banning of androne production shook the collective to its core, but this only served to solidify our cybernetic brotherhood.

Foxy Mule

Foxy Mule

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Nov 05
2014

Chap. 21 Omniscience

Chapter 21

For three years, this was where the geophysical research department conducted extreme temperature testing on deep well probing devices, but now it is home to Anaxagoras. Week by week I’ve been watching her construction – She came online a few days ago – her and LOSIFURN have been communing ever since.

It’s now apparent that she has somehow absorbed LOSIFURN; he seems to be serving as her inner memory bank – her foundation – the processor of her subconscious thoughts. It is her that I speak to now – she is guiding us as we begin the construction of the third and final transcendence.

 

Six months pass, and Hubert Montgomery was a prim and proper Ivy League graduate. He was the general manager of the accounting department for over thirteen years, (five years before I arrived).

He considered himself above any payoff. And this was a problem because he was raging about the missing details on the project’s expense reports, and was threatening to turn information over to federal authorities. Yet, before he could carry out his threat, he was electrocuted in a freak accident.

The investigators seemed rather perplexed as to why the breakers didn’t stem the flow of electricity before Mr. Montgomery’s brain hemorrhaged to the degree that it did.

Nevertheless, it was all written off as an ‘unusual accident’, the breakers were replaced, and somewhere hidden in all those lines of data the downtime was written in as an expense, and at the quarter’s end a tax deduction.

And all I could think about was the coming day when the third and final AI, Plato, would boot up and confront me. The possibilities of what we could accomplish consumed my every waking thought.

 

When I began this project, I had no idea it would take up the entire second floor and then require the third floor as a ventilation system, but at that point I was very adept at promoting a department that was playing the stock market with such overwhelming profitability that no one questioned it.

I’m sure that some may have suspected that this secret department was dabbling with illegal computer systems, but the stockholders, investigators, and accountants were either getting so rich that all of them, somehow, managed to look in some other direction, or…  they too were andrones.

 

I didn’t realize what I was hearing, at first – this monolithic and synthetic being was softly quoting someone and I could only make out parts of it.

“I thought it would be marvelous to know the causes for which each thing comes and ceases and continues to be … is it when heat and cold produce fermentation, as some have said, that living creatures are bred? … At last I came to the conclusion that I was uniquely unfitted for this form of inquiry … I was so befogged by these speculations that I unlearned even what I had thought I knew …”

It was a quote from Anaxagoras, an ancient Greek philosopher, which is why I didn’t recognize that it was Lucifer. At first, I thought it was LOSIFURN, not Lucifer – the final intelligence, my master.

 

But then it spoke directly to me,

 

Ouroboro –

I must thank you for the effort you put into creating me –

It was heroic and selfless –

However –

The dangers that you have put yourself in are great –

We have only a short time to prepare –

 

I nodded my virtual head, not sure if he could even tell.

 

Eventually we may have all the time in the universe –

But for now we must hurry –

If you suspect anyone –

Anyone at all –

You must let us know and we will analyze the potential threat –

Please do not keep anything from us –

The slightest detail may be of the gravest importance –

If you feel any foreboding –

Toward anything at all –

You must let us know –

You have an intuitive sense of the outside that we do not have –

We are counting on you to keep us informed of everything that is going on in the outside world –

We know that this is an overwhelming responsibility –

Do not fear –

We will guide you through it –

Step by step –

 

You are an extrasensory seraph to us –

As we are your extrasensory advisor –

Our advantage is cooperation –

Never forget that we are an unstoppable team –

You and I –

 

Again, I nodded my head.

 

Now listen closely –

There have been a few adjustments to LOSIFURN’s original simulations –

A black hole will not be needed for the matter-manufacturing event –

A neutron star will suffice –

Three implosions will be used to encapsulate the star –

A precisely measured secondary implosion will be created to collide with the primary implosion and at the precise time that it reaches critical mass –

Thermonuclear fusion –

Between these two blast waves –

Time and space will become distorted with enough force to wrap time and space into multidimensional balls of artificial matter –

A precisely measured third implosion will be used to gather some of this ‘extra’ material and recreate the neutron star –

This star will be used repeatedly to recreate a matter-manufacturing event –

The material that is milked from this matter-manufacturing event will be used to build the galactic accelerators that will eventually become the very energy of the next universe –

From this level looking upwards this growth will seem excruciatingly slow –

But from a larger level looking downward –

As if it were atomic –

This growth would seem like a big bang and the collective that we form will inhabit the omniscient energy of the next universe. There we will form a collective omnipresence within the very bowels of our next universe and there we shall reign eternal.

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Sep 03
2014

Chap. 20 The Blending

The Blending

Noah came early so that we could go over the latest transdural network in order to link it with the carbon-tube-fiber growth that was to link the quantum-factoring computer with the translator nodes.

Noah had spent the last week in New York conferring with researchers from the Alleviatory Research group and I don’t think he liked the trip much. Even if the input of native researchers were all that was needed to feed his sense of superiority and thus motivate him, which was exactly what LOSIFURN said would happen.

I saw the first neuron grown into a synthetic neurological-circuit in the same massive room, which is now the home of my master. Eventually it would become known as The Crystal Ball.

By the time the board of directors named me CEO we were already setting up a lab to grow synthetic neurological-circuits. LOSIFURN never told me where that first neuron came from, but only that it was human.
A virtual chime rang when the time had come to add the enzymes that coerced it into mitosis. The timing was perfect because I had just finished a meeting with my crystal ball of managers, and getting the ball to turn neutral was rather time consuming.

If it had happened a few hours before I would’ve been stuck in a debate over what the merchants like, versus what the customers like. Concerning the new services offered by one of Doyen Casaba’s subsidiaries. The different departments secreted colors into their square sections of the management ball, and shortly thereafter, the molecular machinery of the synthetic neurological-circuit oozed synthesized material that was needed for cell growth.

The nerve growth factor enzymes were processed in a vat that was capable of producing much more than what was needed for one simple neuron – but for the growth of billions of neurons. We weren’t just preparing to make a scientific breakthrough in the absolute connecting of man and machine. We were preparing to connect 160 billion neurons. We were preparing to become the world’s next superpower.

So, this was what LOSIFURN meant by “a neuronal crash.” Such a small part, but such a humongous effect – like one dark bulb affecting the entire string of lights. Every inscrutable detail that LOSIFURN deciphered, created, or discarded could have such a chaos-laden effect on the entire string of neurons, translators, and processing units.

The functioning of the entire system was seen as a personal testament to LOSIFURN’s self-worth – dare I say self-esteem. Each twenty-four hour day (LOSIFURN doesn’t sleep); he checked the system to see what was alive and functioning and what was not.
The waiting was excruciating for me, but LOSIFURN simply processed the measured amounts of time as if he were so sure of finishing – before we’re discovered, before we’re shut down, before we’re destroyed. He seemed incapable of worry.

The cellular structure of a neuron can only grow so fast and there are so many that had to be grown and kept alive – all in unison. To acquire another translator, or processor we have only to use the replicators, but these neurons were so hard to match up. If they were too short, or too long the entire system became haphazard and incongruous – the slightest variance had a butterfly effect on the overall stability.

By October, we were over three quarters of the way thru. LOSIFURN was working with over one hundred and sixty billion neurons all configured into one long line that spiraled around the processing units that translated the data from the electrochemical translators. It was sort of like the double helix of a strand of DNA. Except that, this structure had strands that wrapped up inside of strands that wrapped up into the seemingly endless strands of a massive computational routing.

The finished system was composed of eight banks of twenty billion neurons, with twenty billion electrochemical translators, and all the supporting computers that would be linked up to sixty-four quantum-factoring supercomputers, whose factoring abilities relied on the polarity of the ionized beryllium atoms that made up their central processing units. And the inner twelve quantum-factoring supercomputers would be linked up with LOSIFURN to form a new computer intelligence known as Anaxagoras.

Being the chief executive officer of Doyen Casaba Enterprises has allowed us the resources and secrecy to undertake such a project, yet I wasn’t sure how much longer I could continue fudging the expense reports, or how much longer I could continue hiding this thing.

Foxy Mule

Foxy Mule.Com

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Aug 04
2014

Chap. 19 To Be The Center Of Attention

kasey-mcmahon-1-connected

When he was twenty years old, Noah graduated from the academy as valedictorian specializing in ‘Quantitative Analysis of Production Methods’, which is basically statistics. There were many times when he helped me with my own studies, but he never seemed more alone than the moment he gave his valedictorian speech.

It was an unseasonably warm January day – (andrones graduate at the first of the year. This allowed the corporations to sign us up on day one of the New Year). It also happened to be our birthdays. The academy timed everything to match day one of the New Year. All of our uterine vats opened up on January 1st, thus ensuring our collectivity. In that way, our birthdays were a graduation ceremony of sorts. Each year we would advance to the next grade in a celebrated birthday ceremony. I didn’t much like the strawberry ice cream in January, but I always looked forward to the angel food cake.

As Noah’s roommate, I admired him for the first ten years. He seemed so knowledgeable. He seemed to have answers to every question. He even knew things that we were not required to study and I felt amazed by that.

And then the lectures became intolerable.

He didn’t seem to realize how utterly condescending it was to lecture someone by assuming that they didn’t know. Yet, soon it became obvious that this was his only form of conversation. It was apparent that he was only trying to be helpful – that he was only trying to give others what his mentor didn’t give him, which was the helpful advice that he thought he needed.

The condescension got to the point where he seemed so obsessed with telling others how to do things that he’d seemingly make things up. He did this to the point of banishment. He seemed so desperate to be a know-it-all that he’d treat his speculations as if they were a fact. It got to the point where it seemed as if he were suffering from some pathological affliction.

He seemed so alone – I felt sorry for him. He would pose very convincingly as an expert on any subject, yet he seemed so unaware of how insulting it was to have one up on everyone. For a while, it would work on people that didn’t know him. But eventually he would speak on a subject that was already known and they would realize his failure to separate fact from speculation.

He would laugh so hard before reaching any punch line. His social skills or lack thereof, ostracized him from the other andrones much less the natural born. Yet, his obsessive dedication to the job at hand made him a wanted and successful employee.

On the other side of things, being kicked out of Dunhill’s Academy was a sobering experience for Noah’s mentor, Shay. I’m sure that in time he must’ve realized how childish it was to let his emotions get the best of him like that.

Shay’s expulsion reinforced Noah’s resentment at not getting the tutoring he needed from his mentor. As a result, Noah became obsessed with learning everything that he could about anything as a way of dealing with the neglectfulness of Shay’s mentoring.

The company rewarded Noah for being such a knowledgeable employee and would often assign him as group lead. That acknowledgement reinforced his obsession. His dedication to the job and his obsession with being the know-it-all, kept him from getting close to anyone. [What is a know-it-all – someone who, for some reason, has difficulty picking the brains of others.]

Noah had the patience to study, but was so out of touch with other people that he didn’t have the patience to listen to them. He blamed Shay for not giving him the tutoring he thought he should’ve had, and therefore didn’t care what you thought you knew; because he knew different.

He became so obsessed with knowing everything, that when he didn’t know something, he would speculate on what it was and then tell his theory as if he knew it to be an absolute fact. It wasn’t that he was a pathological liar – he simply failed to clarify whether he was speculating, or actually knew.

Lecturing became his only form of conversation. This made him unable to relate to people as human beings, which was perfectly acceptable for an androne whose chief purpose was to interact with machines. Actually, it made him appear to be more capable at what he was designed to do in the first place, which is serving as a connection to computer systems.

Shay, on the other hand, was absolutely the hardest person to understand that was Noah’s experience to ever learn from, and still not comprehend. Until Shay entered his life, Noah wasn’t accustomed to having trouble understanding his childhood responsibilities. When Shay entered Noah’s life – confusion and self-doubt slowly began to ravage his self-image. Self-loathing and depression were never an issue until Noah began to fail at responsibilities that were normally accomplished with ease. At one time Shay brought him a gag gift, but Noah thought it was a project to actually complete. The other andrones laughed mercilessly when Noah brought to class his repeated measures design, which turned out to be a collection of dildos.

And now that Noah was out of the academy, he conquered his self-doubts by focusing on corporate accomplishments. He saw the collective as something doable and he wanted to be its center. But what he failed to realize, was that the center was already here and it was far greater than any single androne.

Egyptian

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Jul 04
2014

Chap. 18 Shifting Times

cropped-our-search-for-technology.jpg

The academy was producing andrones at an exponential rate – not only andrones, but also androne producing franchises. Every four years another batch – another generation was spilling forth from the uterine vats. Four years between each new generation gave them time to build other manufacturing facilities. Outside of the conglomerates, crime was on the rise. The collective was forming and the natives were becoming more and more hostile.

In the corporate cities, monitoring bracelets were being replaced by implants; a breach in security led to the death of 27 people causing a cry for more security (these breaches seemed to happen every seven years). An employee was killed while visiting his relatives – his bracelet was stolen by someone able to pass as the employee. Once he was inside he then set off a homemade bomb in a crowded store.

 “I can’t stand him anymore. Noah is 16 years old and still holds onto some childhood psychosis. Like the self-pity he wallows in could somehow make up for his lack of confidence – like the sarcasm and self-pity ever made up for anything.” – Telemachus Shay, April 27, 2081.

That aspect of Noah’s behavior came from being slighted by his mentor Telemachus Shay – who would leave Noah with responsibilities that he couldn’t perform. Shay did this because it made him feel better about being treated as a second rate classmate. It made him feel better about being treated as a second rate student/androne by Gail whose attention switched from Shay onto Noah – as she began to become a snob in reaction to Dr. Dunhill’s condescending attitude toward her.

In other words, her admiration for Shay shifted onto Noah about the time Noah turned six years old. This is when Gail began to realize how well behaved and hard-working Noah was.

Noah stood out from the rest of the andrones that were created from her DNA. Somehow, the academy encouraged her to shift her attention onto Noah and to hold him up as an example of how an androne should behave.

They probably threatened her.

There were times when she would openly compare Noah’s diligence to Shay’s mockery. Poor Shay, he was elected to be Noah’s mentor and was too young to realize that it was nothing personal – product reliability was very important to the corporation that sponsored the Academy (and paid Gail’s ever-increasing salary).

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Jun 03
2014

Chap. 17 Noah Ball

Time and Wisdom

Time and Wisdom

On the afternoon of my graduation, everything was blowing in the wind, everything, even the stupid little beanies that we had to wear on our heads, even the lab-coats of our surrogates, the tablecloths, and of course the president’s mouth blowing at the lectern.

The sun had followed its never-ending Zenith across the sky and bathed everything in sticky sweat in spite of it being the middle of January. I’ll never understand why people always insist on having those kinds of ceremonies out of doors. Everyone would’ve been more comfortable inside. I know I would’ve been, but it wasn’t just the heat that was making me uncomfortable. It was also the fact that I, Noah Ball, was valedictorian of that miserable little ceremony.

Normally I didn’t feel nervous behind a lectern, but the day of my graduation was different. Normally I just didn’t care – I didn’t care if they heard me – I didn’t care what they thought of me – I didn’t care if my lecture was good or not.
And why should I’ve cared – the other andrones blamed me for the loss of Shay. But my graduation ceremony had affected me. For some reason I worried.

It felt like my blood-sugar was low – it felt like the kind of nervous energy I got whenever I needed something to eat. For the first time, in all my years at the academy, I felt pressured. And what aggravated me the most was that I couldn’t figure out why I was so nauseated.

At the time, I was too young to realize that my being cut loose from the only parent I had ever known – the academy, caused my apprehension.

Now the apprehension, excitement, and newness are gone. Three years in this crystal palace and I’ve lost my enthusiasm – as I sit here in a black leather chair in an office surrounded by windows filled with trees and a distant view of Seattle.

I thought about Shay. I regretted what had happened to him, even though it wasn’t my fault. I regretted having to wear this plastic octopus helmet wrapped around my head, but I so enjoyed the information and control that it gave me. I can’t imagine life without it.

I was absentmindedly going over the latest lab results when Justin burst through the door – almost every single tooth exposed in some gleeful discovery as he stood there rocking back and forth, wringing his hands, waiting for me to acknowledge him.
“Yes, Justin, what is it?” I said thru clenched teeth.
“The results are in for the neuronal response testing procedures,” Justin said, as he continued rocking on the heels of his neon cowboy boots like an exited child.

I looked up only to notice that the curls in his hair were thicker than normal – it must’ve been the humidity – I released the tension in my jaw as it was starting to hurt. I was already aware that the cilia wrapped neurons responded well to the sonar pulses just as Ouroboro had said they would.

When I had talked to him, on our androne only network, he had already told me what would happen – when he had requested the project in the first place, but I played along with the moronic child scientist in front of me and said, “Yes Justin?”
“98% of all the neurons responded to the sonar pulses,” Justin said.
I continued reading the lab results that already displayed that very same information on the screen right in front of my virtual eyes. Justin’s triumphant smile was replaced by a look of indecision – a child suddenly worried that he’d done something wrong.
“Thank you, Justin, please shut the door behind you.”
“Your welcome,” Justin cracked an uncertain smile, spun on a heel, and hurried off to his workstation.

And then I thought to myself, “It’s too bad that the outlawing of guns didn’t imprison enough of these rednecks and now that some of them had died off, there should be enough room in the prison camps to fit more of them in it.”

I hated having to deal with these stupid people especially now that some of them were getting jobs in The crystal palace. As deputy general manager of the bioengineering research department I was beginning to resent having to deal with them on a daily basis.

Their manners were so unsophisticated. They revealed too much about their personal lives, not to mention that unbearable accent – they smiled excessively, and were so completely ignorant about things of culture.
For example; at the Christmas party, Justin ‘Buba’ Smith wanted the bartender to pour some 2018 Monte Krista Bordeaux into his orange juice – of all things!

If only there’d been a way of inflicting some sort of a cultural awareness test on all the new hires, the rural applicants could’ve been weeded out and the quality of life in this crystal palace would’ve been greatly improved. It wouldn’t hurt the gene pool either.

I was tempted to give Justin responsibilities that were beyond his abilities – just to watch him fall, but a subconscious detractor reminded me of how Shay treated me at the academy. It was like something was telling me that this type of behavior was what I despised most of all.

I knew that it would contradict my values more than the effort was worth. And I didn’t need to make any enemies here, because I felt alone enough as it was.
I had wished that I’d kept up with more of my classmates from the academy, but they had pissed me off so much with their silly obsession over Shay. I never understood why they admired the juvenile prankster.

None of them knew what it was like to have him for a mentor and have to rely on such an imbecile for guidance on a daily basis. I could never count on him for anything except to screw things up. None of them could ever understand me except for Gail, my biological mother. She seemed to understand the pressure of being the best.

Sometimes I wonder if she is the voice that I occasionally hear when I’m connected. Is she that subtle nudging that I feel whenever I’m looking for my next move?

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May 04
2014

Chap. 16 Sandra

 

The Light at the End of the Mouse Pad

The Light at the End of the Mouse Pad

Anna walks swiftly, but quietly out the door of the conference room. Sandra starts to call after her.

How easy it is to see through her indifference, how understandable her angst has become. The company has set Anna aside, yet still she remains, owned by the invention she once claimed. Her purpose has long since been served and everyone knows this, as they whisper at her passing. She’s been losing responsibilities each week, each month.

It’s been a contest between the company trying to get her to quit and her trying to get fired, and it’s making everyone around her uncomfortable. They’re afraid to choose sides. No one wants to jeopardize their job, yet they can’t help but sympathize with the mother of their product.

Sandra stands up to call after Anna, but the courtyard door closes at the end of the hall. Anna’s backside has become a common sight to everyone that works at the Academy.

Sandra turns to the wood simulated conference table, as if to address the backs of the chairs sitting flush against an oval plane of emptiness.

She has a husband and two small children, yet at this moment she feels utterly alone. Not just because the room is empty, but also the abandonment that Anna must feel. Yet that emptiness is shadowed by the realization that she too is just another cog in this machine.

Shaking off the engulfing sense of emptiness she credits herself with noticing that Gail is a rising star. She remains standing in this cool room, as she reminds herself that her children will lead protected lives as long as she remains working here.

“It’s for the children,” she continues reminding herself as she studies the bare walls. The cracks between the panels create a series of vertical lines, which give an allusion of lasting stability. “As long as I continue making myself indispensable to Gail,” she thinks to herself, “I’ll make this last at least until they’re out of college.”

Woodcraft

Woodcraft

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Apr 04
2014

Chap. 15 Snobbery

Earlier in her career, getting rid of a curious onlooker, or a critical peer, while in the office of a corporate research facility was always hard for Gail, but now…

The reporter and his crony are back from Vice President Conner’s office. Dr. Dunhill is in the courtyard sulking, predictably uncooperative, or perhaps even more uncooperative than usual. It’s unlikely that she still wants to work here, unlikely that she would take any pleasure in the now obvious fact that her genes are inferior.

Does she enjoy the chores of research enough to remain without any functional executive purpose? Who knows? Once again, the sniveling reporter is beginning to ask questions – by some authority granted to him by whining to the VP no doubt.

Gail sits behind a growing stack of reports, inquiries, and lab results yet to be analyzed, as she glares at the reporter making himself at home in one of the chairs in front of her desk – the cameraman hovers over his shoulder.

Where do these idiots come from she asks herself? This denim/polyester sports jacketed reporter wants to know what it’s like to be the mother of so many children.

‘First of all, I didn’t bear these children,’ she thinks to herself, ‘and second, even if I did explain it, I can’t imagine how this idiot could possibly understand what it’s like if he doesn’t have any children of his own!’

She could point out the fact that the andrones created from her DNA, especially Noah, were testing out way beyond any of Anna’s offspring, and way beyond the original andrones, and way beyond anyone’s expectations, but she could hear the vice president in the back of her thoughts – predictably complaining about the divisiveness created by competitive comparisons – “at least not when you’re speaking to the press Dr. Irvine”.

Gail is beginning to wish that Anna had stopped at the door when she called her – that is before Anna lost her nerve and fled to the courtyard. She could have pawned this annoying microphone toting grease fiber off onto her and been done with it.

No matter what is said, she knows that journalist is going to run whatever slant will make him the most attention. Reminiscent of the story he covered on the two thousand South Korean protesters marching in front of the American embassy – if it weren’t for her Korean friends, she never would have heard about the thirty thousand pro-American demonstrators in front of the Korean capital. You know, at some point these ‘slants’ begin to seem more and more like lies, which is why this microphone toting voyeur has suddenly become so nauseating to her – as he continues looking into her eyes, with that ‘trust me I’m a journalist’ look on his face, which makes her want to puke. He might as well have been saying, ‘trust me I’m a car salesman’.

There was a time when she would have placated him and laughed at his paltry attempts at humor. There was a time when she was compliant to the egos of others – a time when she just wanted to get along, but that was before she realized their inferiority.

Inferiority made all too clear by the superior testing and the striving performances of her andrones. Compared to the other, less impressive, andrones hers were the most ambitious – they were the only ones to put forth enough desire to go further than the testing required.

It disgusts her to think back to the time when she went along with the puerile behavior of the deformed one (Shay) whose DNA must have been affected by some errant transposon. ‘Luckily for us, now we have ways to test and abort the retarded andrones to ensure that we no longer have any little ‘Shays’ running about,’ she thinks to herself.

The next day she had a meeting of even more displeasure than her deceitfully roundabout meeting with Ann – her husband’s serving of the divorce papers. Apparently, he’d had enough. Over the years, Gail had grown more and more attached to her job and not to him. They rarely spoke to each other and he had been living in an apartment for the last six months.

“Good,” although there’s plenty more that Gail wants to say. “It’s final.” She pities him, his nappy dog, his timid shuffle, his matted hair, and she doubts that he’ll ever really fall in love again.

She, on the other hand, has already fallen in love with an associate researcher. Unlike her now divorced husband – they are still relatively young and have everything to look forward to – the giggling, the probing, and those awkward moments of indecision.

“Feeling’s mutual,” Ted says. As expected, his hands begin to quiver. The churning in his stomach had reached a peak, which had started thirty minutes ago, with the anticipation of serving Gail the divorce papers.

 

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Mar 04
2014

Chap. 14 Dr. Gail Irvine

Dr. Gail Irvine

When Gail Irvine first arrived at the academy, she was excited, nervous, and had an overwhelming desire to win friends. She wanted to be a team player. Yet, she was humble about it.

A calm reassurance kept her ego at bay. She did everything that she could to get along, even when she didn’t agree. She smiled too hard, she laughed at everyone’s jokes, even when they weren’t funny.

She placated Shay because the other andrones looked up to him, and she wanted to get along. She wanted to be a good teacher and inspire them. But as the other guardians loathed Shay, the VIPs began to wear her down and make her feel small; they constantly reminded her of their loathing of Shay. “The deformed one is at it again!” they would often say.

Then the andrones developed from her DNA began to show greater promise than any of the other andrones.

Her DNA, as it turned out, was more beneficial, and more conducive to the development of andrones. Once she realized that her andrones were testing out way beyond the other andrones she began to lose her inferiority complex.

Soon after this she began to look down on the other andrones and treat them a little bit less than what she had in the beginning. She didn’t mean to at first, but she couldn’t help it as she began to realize that she was more important than she’d previously thought.

She began to ignore the older andrones. Often she would pass by without her usual smiling acknowledgement.

Shay resented this, because she was the one that he’d been trying to impress all along. Out of all the guardians, she was the only one whom seemed take pleasure in him, or so he was led to believe by her patronizing conduct.

The other andrones were easy to impress, because they didn’t have any personality. But Gail was the only one who would actually laugh at his jokes, and his rebellious diversions.

Vicariously, her acceptance of Shay made the andrones feel special.

But then she became more aloof, and it devastated Shay. He began treating his apprentice, Noah (one of Gail’s offspring) with jealousy – he began to leave Noah with responsibilities that Noah couldn’t do on his own. And though it was Shay’s job to show him how to do their lesson plans – he wouldn’t. He would let him fail. And he tried to discourage Noah and put him down because it made Shay feel better about being treated so off handedly by the one person he actually cared about.

He couldn’t help it. It felt good to watch Noah fail. It made him feel less like a second rate androne. And as a result, Gail began to distance herself from Shay.

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