Chapter XXII: Hierto

An excerpt from
The Journal of Doctor Charl N. Hierto
Entry 37: 174
Date 68 of 7499 SC


Professor Kranne and I pushed the crate out of the elevator, wheels squeaking under the weight. It contained far more nanoprobes and nanobots than necessary for running a full adult set of deoxyribonucleic acid overprints. And the financial cost had been nearly unimaginable. Even now, 7,500 years later, I have no doubt that it is one of the most valuable assets in the Colony. Very expensive and very illegal.

But we knew better than to augment our telomeres. Mortality was a gift, meaningless without an end. No need to extend our lives. After all, we had put them on hold for nearly seven and a half millenia.

It was a precaution, to have so many nanobots. It never hurt to be careful, and prepared for any eventuality.

Heck, we have more than enough to run all five overprints at once. Replacing each scientist's DNA with that of a specific Child from the Colony was a complicated process.

Professor Kranne and I took the shield packaging off the crate.

First, we had to consult the Diaries and health schematics in choosing which Child's DNA to use. Then, we had to go back into cryostasis for approximately eight days. Six days for the overprint and two days of regenerative stasis to repair the damage from the overprint and to help the body make all necessary adjustments. And after that, we had to monitor the person's health, sanity included, until they were stable. All the while, at least two of us had to remain outside stasis to contend with our defenses.

I plugged in the box of nanos and it hummed to life. It was difficult believing in a machine so small and tiny that a single electron held each bit. However, they were not truly bits. Instead of holding a negative or positive charge as two possibilities, each electron held three states based upon the characteristics of its spin: spinning one way, the opposite way, or being immobile.

The science of how it read electron spins though was beyond my grasp. I left such technical science and engineering to Professor Kranne.

Nadina and I hooked a metal tube between a cryostasis input socket and the box's output socket. It snapped into place with a resounding beep from each machine.

Then we gathered on the pews of the Worship Hall for a meeting. We had arranged them around an altar. The meeting, which was rather unproductive, was to determine which of us had priority over the others to go into stasis first, based on the potential abilities we might glean from functioning with the DNA results from our experiment.

It was entirely educated guesswork based upon Diaries of the Chosen. The only conclusion we came to was that the results varied immensely based on far more complex variables than we had hypothesized 7,500 years ago.

However, we did agree that leaving Professor Kranne outside for the first set of stasis was a good idea so that he may oversee any unforeseen technical difficulties that might arise, and that Nadina should be one of the first to transition due to her aggressive personality.

The third point of interest was that Professor Kranne wanted permission to select a female set of DNA. This led to some humorous conversation, some playful quips, and then I had to interrupt them and give him a psychological evaluation as if he were requesting a simple sex change process. Psychological andrology is not my forté, but it was psychology nontheless.

I was glad we were making progress, though. It was nice to be doing something more than reading Diaries and taking notes. Tomorrow, we will formalize our plans to address the prematurity of our predicament. And by tomorrow evening, Nadina and two randomly selected others from among the five of us will begin our DNA overprints.

Now that I am done writing this, I am off to bed. Last night, I dreamed about my family. After the divorce and saying goodbye to my children for the sake of science, I thought I had been emotionally prepared for this experiment. Yet I woke up in the middle of the night crying. Though they are long dead, I remember their diatribes against this as if it were last week.

And what of my memoirs?

Do I have family waiting for me to contact them?

Will they welcome me with open arms or reject me as a cold-hearted monster?

My ex-wife told me that my heart had entered cryostasis before the rest of me. Now, though, I long for affection and now that it has thawed. I cannot find it among my colleagues, though, as such a thing would put the integrity of this work in jeopardy.

And now, as I write this, I find myself watching the trial of Intuitive for a third time. And then her therapy sessions. Such a gentle, intellectual soul.

Tomorrow, I will contact her.

The End

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