Background: May 29th, 2400
To whom it may concern at Galactic Press,
There is no such thing as being able to right a wrong, but
sometimes you can at least try to do justice after the fact.
It is with this in mind, justice, that I write this letter.
I would accuse Biogentech of crimes against humanity and all other races.
My name is Gilby and I’ve done some terrible things in
the name of science. It is with
absolute shame that I admit this and won’t even attempt to hide behind the
excuse that I hid this from myself and all those around me with the
justification of “it is the price of science.”
Technology breakthroughs can be gained with hard work and oftentimes
through the troubled mechanics of cruel research.
It can also be gained with determined, step by step research at the cost
of time. Unfortunately, in the
corporate world, time is everything…
I am drafting this tale and arranging for its distribution
in the event that my past catches up with me and successfully eradicates my
existence in an effort to protect the guilty.
If this reaches your paper, then clearly I have been eliminated or
somehow detained against my will.
I am a Va Rulen, though I never quite fit in.
I have always had a disregard for Va Rulen politics and family squabbles.
They just have no meaning and lead to nothing but distress.
Another thing that set me apart from Va Rulens is my belief in equality
amongst all races. For a Va Rulen, the mere concept of thinking that one race
might be equal is sacrilege of the most profound manner. Unwilling to play the Va Rulen family and superiority game,
my family felt that I was more of a threat to them than anyone useful, as they
feared another family could easily use me to discredit them.
So much so, that they didn’t even want me to partake in the Va Rulen
Border war for fear I’d embarrass the family name.
As such, with great formality, I was excommunicated from my family.
As this meant little to me, I didn’t even bother to show up at the
ceremony. I have not spoken with
anyone from my family since, nor do I really care to.
The only thing my family helped with is my initial education, and that
was substandard at best.
After the excommunication, rather than fight in the war as
was assumed I’d do, I secured a job at a prestigious college in 2370, first as
a post graduate student then later as a professor. During this time I was able to pursue my studies in all
things that interested me. Biology
of various species, computers, materials science, biotechnology, physics,
chemistry, philosophy, artificial intelligence, psychology, etc throughout the
next 20 years at the school. I was
well published in various circles in my each of my specialties.
Eventually, the means to experiment and break ground in my research
became limited by budget. The universities just couldn’t support the research.
As things happen, just at the time this realization hit me, I was
approached by a private firm Biogentech who wanted to do some research in some
groundbreaking new biotechnology. They
guaranteed me the resources to do what I wished to do.
The year was 2390 when I bade my university goodbye.
Biogentech had some pretty ambitious goals.
The company specialized in prosthetics and re-growth technology.
Bio-research was thought to have reached its apex and most companies had
ceased to spend on it as most people were satisfied with mechanical replacements
as opposed to bio-replacements. The
company felt that if they could find a way to not only replace, but improve the
limbs or existing organs, then it would clearly be something that was superior
to mechanical limbs.
After developing and patenting many bio-patches (aka
the “slap patch”) and other paramedical discoveries, I began working on more
ground breaking concepts. Research
focused on the “improving” aspect – stronger tendons and muscles,
enhancing capacity for optics, hearing, tasting, etc.
While success was there with the sensory improvements, there quickly
became an obvious problem, the sensors can be improved, but the brain was
incapable of processing the additional input. This led to the really ground
breaking and eventually career breaking part of my tale.
Working with the brain is much different than with other organs.
Muscle can be damaged in such a way that someone will never notice it, or
learn to live with it. A bit of
scar tissue here and there in a bicep may cause discomfort, but won’t change
someone’s life dramatically. Scar
tissue in the brain is another matter entirely.
Working with animals was out of the question after
the initial studies, as we quickly found we couldn’t really tell for sure if a
mouse was able to smell better. Their
behavior is too erratic to tell for sure if they could first smell the cheese at
1 meter, or 1.2 meters.
Experimentation led to working with critical hospital
patients who wished to earn some money for their dependants when they died.
By signing over themselves to Biogentech, they would leave an additional
20k credits to their beneficiaries. Or
so I was told. In the beginning this may have been the case, but after a
while, if I was honest with myself, I would have realized that the subjects were
getting younger and haler. The
adult mind is well formed by the time adolescence hits, regardless of race.
I had theorized that a younger, developing mind would probably be more
susceptible to the type of research we were doing.
Shortly after this theory, our entire lab was moved off of the planet we
were on to a secluded secret station. For
reasons of security presumably, and due to the Bionoid war, this type of
research was very frowned upon. This
occurred in 2396. Subjects were
brought to the station and worked on. I
was surprised we had so many young subjects that were available.
I was assured that the Universe was a large place and there were an
infinite number of young specimens. We
were at this time focusing on Humans, as they seemed to be everywhere and
researching was showing them to be quite adaptable.
There is little to do on a space station when not
working. As such, making a wrong
turn one day, I ended up where the subjects were before I typically saw them
(unconscious at the operating table.) What
I found was not an infirmary, as I expected, but play rooms with clearly healthy
human children playing amongst themselves.
I decided I needed to find out for sure what was going on.
I convinced a guard to allow me in to a room that had some
children approximately age 8-10 in it. In
there I met several of the children. Most
were playing and I couldn’t keep their attention long.
I noticed that one child kept to himself rather than play with the
others. He was clearly troubled and
scared. At first he wouldn’t say
anything to me, but eventually he opened up.
His name was Remy Toleson. He
was clearly of exceptional intelligence, was clever, and there was definitely
nothing wrong with him. I asked how
he got there, and he didn’t really know.
This is a summary of what he told me, I had to stop him many times along
the way for explanations as he used “street talk” that I couldn’t
understand, so I can’t really quote him.
Remy was a kid who lived on a
mining colony; his family wasn’t rich at all.
Remy avoided school, as they didn’t teach him anything he didn’t
already know. As such, he spent a
lot of time “out and about” with other kids who avoided school for less
noble reasons. Remy seems to have
learned the ways of the street at a really young age.
He had some clear aptitudes in mathematics and computers. Money was hard to come by, which makes it difficult to
advance in computers. Remy had a
deck that I gather was clearly stolen, as he wouldn’t tell me how he got it.
With that deck, he started his career as a hacker.
He enjoyed the challenge of breaking into other’s computer systems.
Using this talent, he had excellent grades in school, and a perfect
attendance record. I believe this
is what got the attention of Biogentech.
Remy told me of a day
where he and his friends were hover boarding and a big expensive hover car
showed up (you wouldn’t believe the terms they use for big expensive hover
cars in the street!) In the process
of dispersing, for clearly the people in the car were no one that anyone of
Remy’s age would want to deal with, the agent from the car yelled out that he
had a way for them to earn some easy money.
Several of the kids left, but others, lured by the concept of cash,
stayed back and listened to his offer at a distance.
The man offered 20 credits for their participation in a little research,
just taking a test. If they passed
the test, they would have the opportunity to earn up to 2k credits!
For a kid on the streets, this is an unheard of quantity to have all at
once. They were told the address
and time to show up for the test.
Remy and several of his
friends took the test; he was the only one of his friends to pass the screening.
His intelligence, excellent memory and quick mathematical mind made him
an excellent candidate apparently. The
deal was that he’d be lifted off-world for a set amount of time and then
returned in approximately one year. In
return he’d get more money than his dad made in 2 years of work!
Convincing his parents that he got a scholarship to a computer academy,
he left. This would get him “the
swag” he needed to get a “floozy deck’”!!
Remy wasn’t sure how
long ago this took place, but it was probably several weeks ago.
He packed his things and went off planet, and after his first space
voyage, ended up in this room with the other kids.
One by one the kids get called out and never return.
The more I heard of this story, the sicker I got.
This was clearly a turning point in my life.
I realized what the cost was of the technology I was creating.
We’d made huge success, but the average life span post the surgery for
an adult was measured in hours. With
the children, days. At this rate,
how many more innocents would I be responsible for slaughtering? This wasn’t acceptable.
I schooled myself and left the children as if I had not a care in the
world as I didn’t want to arouse any suspicion from security.
Unfortunately, there was more death to be dealt in my
future. With my death I now have
the courage to confess what I’ve done. Fear
of incarceration and halting my studies has kept me silent till now.
I needed to not only leave the company, but ensure
that these sorts of research not continue.
I did know that we were very secluded and it was only once a month that a
supply ship came out. I believe
that this was the only location for the data from our research. So the base contained all the data, and all the people that
really knew what we were doing. There
was only one way to end this, and I couldn’t do it on my own.
It saddens me that I included an innocent in this,
but I was doing it for his own good. I
got Remy a deck and asked him to check to see if the station had good security.
He broke into the system in an astonishingly short amount of time.
This kid was 8 mind you! He
handed me the passwords I needed to do what I needed to do.
I wiped out all of the data stores for our research (after copying some
for myself), and was sure to clear the backups.
I did not know where there may have been hard backups, but my plans would
lead to their destruction as well.
To be extra safe, I modified the DNA records for
myself and the children, so it would be harder to locate them. I retrieved locations where all the children were from so
that I could return them to their homes. I
also drained all my money into cred sticks rather than the corporate account.
As is always in life, even the best laid plans can go
awry. I’d succeeded in creating a
“virus” for the base which would cause all the energy in the base to
overhead and explode. To go with
this, I disabled all the alarms and sensors.
I rationalized this as the price we had to pay to prevent all the
innocents of the future from being killed.
I moved equipment and research into a shuttle and began the escape.
I set everything into motion and went to Remy as the
first of the children to begin the reckless escape I had planned.
When I got there, he told something which chilled me to the bones.
All passwords had been changed (he had the new ones though) and they were
doing some diagnostics on the systems. He
had seen what I had done (how, I have no idea, though thankfully he did, and
also thankfully he didn’t really understand what I set out to do), and had
made my changes invisible to their probes, and set up some viruses to occupy the
He told me that the emptying of my accounts had set
off an alarm. They put a block on
my security badge, which Remy had subsequently undone and made better.
Clearly we had to leave right then and there, as clearly security would
be looking for me. Luckily for us Remy’s cabin was closest to the space dock,
as we left Remy cabin, I heard my name called from the other direction.
We both began running. Being
chased by security is frightening. Luckily
we didn’t have the creme-de-la-creme of security forces, being a scientific
space research base. We got to the
port and were able to lock the port door (Stooz typed in a code that I was
unaware of which was the new master override.
He had disabled the old one.) We
took the only shuttle that wasn’t disabled by me and left.
We were close enough to still see the explosion on our monitors of the
base on our way out. I still awake
at night with horrifying memories of that moment.
I’ll also never forget the look on Remy’s face when he realized what
we had done together. I think he
understood why I did it, but we have never spoken of it again, neither of us
having the desire to.
I had managed, in my rush for planning, to have left
behind the address information of the children.
I had just Remy with me, but he did not want to return to the planet he
was from so we settled on a planet Jefferson for a time.
Remy got some proper education, I had enrolled him in a school more
suited to someone of his intelligence, and continued research on my own.
Somehow, I feared to ask how, Stooz was able to come up with money all
the time. He asked that I not ask
where it came from, so I haven’t.
When I was reasonably sure I knew how to go about
with my experiment, I discussed it with Stooz.
He was 10 at this time, and willingly, actually eagerly, offered himself
up as a subject. I was more afraid
then ever as to how this would work; however, curiosity and desire (and the
boy’s excessive pleas to be allowed this) were enough to move forward.
A computer-biological mass, which was designed to “grow” till it
reached a certain density within the human’s skull was injected into Remy’s
brain. We watched together the
growth of this organism on the scanners. For
many days Stooz felt nothing. Eventually,
we noted some changes in Stooz. His
memory, already excellent, became brilliant.
When he concentrated, he could recall exactly everything that happened. He said he could visualize it as well. We tested his math skills, already excellent; he was even
faster than before. He had an
absolute sense of time; he could tell you exactly what time it was between two
points of time.
A combination of this organism and Remy’s
personality and intelligence was incredible.
Over the next year Remy had taught himself how to program his own brain!
It started with recording his brain waves while he mentally
“recalled” something that he concentrated on remembering.
We discovered a change in his brain waves while he was doing this.
From there, Remy quickly tried “writing” a program in his deck to
send back into himself to see if he could feed himself information.
It worked! Remy developed an
interface with the organism in his head!
The experiment was an enormous success, and yet, I
feared sharing it with anyone. After
the Bionoid wars, Remy was more likely to get destroyed than anything else if
this information came out. Luckily,
as intended, the organism in his head was invisible to any type of scan or bio-
reading that we could find. So Remy
shall remain safe from prying eyes.
On May 26th, 2400, Remy alerted me that he
thought someone was looking for us. He
was constantly on the lookout, fearing that there would be some sort of
repercussion from the space station. He
told me of there being some new people that came into port asking about a Va
Rulen with a young human. Remy had
already set up a lot of false trails, which gave me enough time to pack
everything back into my shuttle (of which Remy had successfully re-classified,
changed the ownership of, and made it “virtually” unlike the one we took, at
least on the computers.)
When it was time to leave, Remy refused to join me.
He said, quite rightly, that they would always be able to find us if we
were together, that we needed to go our own ways for a while.
We’d split up and try to find each other in a couple of year’s time.
Hopefully by then Biogentech would have given up the search.
It was best neither of us knew where the other was, Remy handed me a
bunch of sets of ID’s and credit sticks (I have no idea where he got so many)
and wished me luck. I have not seen
I have left letters and records in escrow at may
locations to many publishers, Terran Confederacy authorities, and other
organizations with the power to seek retribution against Biogentech.
Please do so, because not to do so would be reprehensible.