Friday 16th September
Report Conclusion date 20661222
It is with a degree of personal sadness that I have to place on record the following conclusion.
Many meetings were held with psycho-analysts, computer experts, financial consultants, and representatives of both the UK and US governments. The general consensus was that while at one level the second conjoining of Janek Smith had been a failure, all knowledge is progress.
There were many who were opposed to the whole conjoining experiments, mostly on our side, though some of the Americans had their reservations too. They have been temporarily suspended. Assessments are being carried out on the three hundred or so surviving conjoinees, myself included. Personally I appear to have suffered no adverse side-effects, though it has been observed that my personality has become, shall we say, more formal, less relaxed than it may have been before. I am quite unaware of any such change myself. I feel just the same, except of course, that my problem-solving abilities are much improved. I appear to analyse things in a much more logical way than most un-conjoined persons. Is that a fault? I consider it an advantage, allowing me to actually think straight, without unnecessary emotions clouding my judgement. However I am submitting myself to more in-depth tests and we will see what, if anything, they throw up.
For the time being then, all future conjoining has been put on hold. Not cancelled I must stress but simply postponed. I am confident that after a period of reflection the programme, possibly amended, will be resumed. In my opinion the work is too important to let a few setbacks derail the whole programme.
The reading and recording of Janek’s memories is progressing slowly. Painstakingly slowly. But progress is being made. By using this new cell-based nanotech we can open and ‘read’ the individual memories. They still tend to fail after an hour or two and are then un-recoverable in any way, but we have gotten around this problem by simply viddying them. Yes, it was as simple a solution as pointing a viddycam at the screen and pressing record. The memories, or at least an impression of them could then be copied and examined at our leisure. Of course, the emotions and feelings of Janek, which we all felt when first opening them have been lost, but we are working on this too, and it seems that a shadow, a whisper almost, some nano-scopic trace is left behind in the cells of the nano-coms own memory. Accessing this will be a challenge, but we are quietly confidant of success.
Success is such a subjective concept anyway. The whole ‘select’ programme was instituted to speed up the evolution of mankind. The very fact that we, our generation, are embarking on this voyage into the future, would have been unthinkable even fifty years ago. So, in a way, even our contemplating it is contributing to our evolution. No longer content with making smarter and smarter machines we are now turning our minds to making smarter people. That is evolution for you.
Report Compiler’s Note
A few years have passed since compiling the bulk of my report.
As you will have been aware the conjoining was only one part of the programme. Which brings me to that second ‘eugenic’ strand of ‘select’. As I outlined earlier, by a process of selective manipulation of sperm and egg, and the ability we have lately acquired to speed up the whole process of pregnancy and infancy, we can produce new pubescent adults in about six years. So rather than take a century to pass on genes for five generations we can now do this in thirty years. The signs are good. The first batch of Janek’s babies have been born and will reach puberty sometime in the New Year. Tests on them show a remarkably healthy group with slightly above average intelligence. As soon as it is possible they will be harvested for sperm and eggs which will be used for the next implantation. It is estimated that further enhancements and selective tweaking of these children’s DNA will ensure the next and following generation’s evolutionary development will be truly remarkable. Just as selective breeding of farm animals over hundreds of years created the high meat volume creatures we now prize so highly, so we are in the process of creating new humans with super-intelligence and the capacity to conjoin successfully with Hypercoms.
The decision has been taken at last. The con-joining programme is to recommence. But this time instead of using fully developed adult volunteers whose brains may be too well-developed anyway, we will be conjoining the two year old grandchildren of Janek himself. We will be creating Superbabies. The future is truly exciting. Mankind will at last achieve its true potential.
It only remains to inform you of the situation regarding Janek Smith. It must never be forgotten what a wonderful contribution he has made to both the ‘select’ programme and our understanding of what it is to be human. Someone once said that you only truly learn from your mistakes. If so, we have learnt so much from Janek as to be forever in his debt. You will recall the last ‘conversation’ I had with him where he requested to be allowed to sleep permanently. That wish has been granted. He has entered into a coma. This actually happened independently of any intervention on our part. There had of course been discussions as to the best long-term solution. It would have been quite a serious step to place him into an artificial coma. Euthenasing him would have been far simpler and legally his request for permanent sleep was sufficient to satisfy the law in that case. But unless his condition were so serious that only a comatosing was medically appropriate it would have been hard to justify his request for permanent sleep. There was also the possibility that he might recover and so we decided to wait and see.
However it seems that Janek’s brain simply decided to shut down. He entered into a coma on the twenty-fourth of December 2066. ‘Chrissy eve’ co-incidentally. Given his wishes if I were sentimental I might have reflected that indeed Christmas came early for Janek Smith. He is of course being monitored constantly in the hope that he may recover, but if his condition deteriorates there will in accordance with his wishes be no attempt at resuscitation.
-[Please be reminded that this document and all appendices are ‘Top Secret’. Only accredited members of the ‘select’ programme may have access to it. After reading please return this printed copy to your superior. Do not attempt to copy or reproduce all or any part of it.]-
This report has been compiled by William Willoughby, senior consultant and UK representative of the ethics board of the joint UK/USA programme known as ‘select.’
17th December 2071
All of the above is fiction. Don’t believe a word of it. It may even be propaganda…hahaha. I would like to dedicate this Memoir to my grandchildren; Rebecca, Dominic, Mathew, Samuel, Elizabeth, Sophie, Imogen and Elleah – and to all young people everywhere. It will be for them to stop any of the above happening.
As a boy I was caned many times. Standing outside the Headmaster’s study, anticipating the swish and snap of the cane, I would read the plaque in the lobby.
“To you we pass the burning Torch, be it yours to hold up high.” I never really understood what it meant until now.
And to all of you children we too pass the torch of the future.
“DON’T DROP THE BLOODY THING”