Letter from afar VII - (c) 2005-2008 Einar Petersen My dear Brother We were not too smart - What I mean to say is that I have been acting stupidly, moreso than I could possibly explain right here and now. Once upon a time they used to say that you could improve on horses by putting in an engine and replacing it's legs with wheels - and look where it got us, nearly wiped out our species didn't it. And along came biotechnology and mechanical enhancement - we went out into the cold darkness, we survived alright but where did it leave us. Did we do anything to improve ourselves, were we able to manage our greed and lust for power? Not that I'm too unhappy with where I am today, after all I can do things that most men can only dream about, however that doesn't help much in regard to the turmoil that has ravaged my innermost world. It has been a hard road getting to where I am today, I don't feel human anymore, I have thoughts - I can use my mind to move my limbs, but there are times when I wonder if the parts are really me or not. The doctors say i wouldn't feel like that had I been augmented today, they say it is a leftover trauma from knowing. Today they would have blasted my short term memory and re-implanted a milder incident... hah - Where will it end, are they going to make us all live in a everlasting bubble of happiness. How will we then know right from wrong, will we recognize a true feeling when we have one? How long before none of us are human anymore? I was crying last night - cried for hours upon hours, can you believe it. Probably to do with my "Messiah" complex, but hell what man doesn't want to be the best he can... I do sometimes wish that I could wipe some of my long term memories, but what would prevent me from making the same mistakes over and over again? I'm not too sure about where I am today - I hate this fucking feeling of loathe and self pity... it is so pathetic. For all they did to me they could have boosted the old ego eh? Nah just kidding, wouldn't want it any other way, I need to strive for betterment and what better way to win your prize than through hard work. Do you think I'm strange brother - writing you like this after everything. I must have scared the living daylight out of you and your kind wife, I heard about what befell her and I am so sorry for you. Please accept my condolences and apologies for not being there, though I doubt I would have been very helpful back then. I was out walking today and I've been thinking about that day in the mines and how everything changed, my thoughts went back to the days at the hospital and how I had to be sedated for long periods to keep my rage under control. Think it had to do with the brain augmentations I asked them to turn on immediately, they offered me the world at the time, never was any good at math say probability calculations, though I sure figured wrong with regards to the odds in the mine. Trying to break a record for the sake of it, very stupid eh? What I did was stupid, I know that Jones and Hendricks both died for pride, Vanessa... That poor girl got through it, but in pieces, she didn't have her papers in order so they left her untreated except from the life threatening conditions. She lived out her remaining days a cripple. Poor sod! In the beginning they tried to shield me from what happened, took a long time to figure out everything and I never got around to thanking Andrew for pulling us out of the rubble back then, he had left before I got properly back on my feet so to speak. If it hadn't been for that Lama, Tenzin was his name I would never have made it his far, nor would I have been here if it wasn't for Andrew and his team, not everyone would have put their own life at stake rescuing a competing team. I regret not having had a chance to thank him in person. They saved many souls that day. Even heard Jackson became a priest, can you believe it. We had some fun, you Jackson and me eh? And now he's preaching the gospel for any soul who wants to hear. I'm wondering if I have one or am I just the ghost in the machine now? Back then more than 60% of me were made up from artificial parts, I am having trouble to relate to the equations today. It is funny going through a security check these days, been stranded a few times for hours and even days before cutting through the red tape, I mean I could be a walking terrorist bomb - Still some of those sods around though their popularity dwindled in the aftermath of the great blast. At least I've been able to keep my sense of humor, you always appreciated that part of me. Only got myself to thank for what I am today and how life turned out eh? If I hadn't said hook me up, things would have been so different. Could have chosen natural death, but no, not me! No way always a firm believer in technological advances, in the might of science, how long do you think we have to come before the majority understands we are only tenants and not the landlords... Will we ever understand? Rationality? Sensible solutions to everything well look what it brought me! I'm writing you, not to ask forgiveness, that would be too much. But somehow I hope you will understand the choice I've taken. I am uncertain if news have reached you but another mission to what is popularly known as the Well of Charybdis is being palnned, seems like we have stumbled across some sort of whirlpool in space time, they say some pictures got back from the initial probes but they would like human oversseing of the experiments this time, robottic exploration didn't go down well the last time. Personally I think it could be an exotic wormhole possibly a pathway to a better world or universe - No human expedition in the area has yet returned with usable data, they've all been compelled to turn back for one reason or another, these young bucks are not as adventurous as our kind brother, I think we would have dived right in if we thought it relatively safe. The human spirit has grown soft, I'm afraid most of our species is heading that way. Do you think there is much hope for humanity or will we be challenged by our creations, the thinking machines, I mean they've already gotten their own colonies, no humans allowed, even hybrids like me are unwanted, they see us like impurities to their perfect world order, and though they know not crime nor other atrocities among their own kind I fear what could happen if they start seeing us as a threat. Especially since our scientists are playing with forces that threaten to rip the fabric of the universe apart, we can only think our lucky stars that nothing bigger than the big blast has happened since last and I'm actually wondering if the terrorist angle wasn't something someone came up with to justify continued research. Sorry I'm rolling out my conspiration theories here, didn't mean to but I've become very skeptical about a lot of things lately. You might wonder why I am choosing this path now that I am finally better. Don't bend your mind. I am somewhat uncertain myself, possibly I am hoping to be able to mend some wrongs, to pursue a path of purity free from anything but the quest for knowledge itself, knowledge that I hope can benefit all of humanity. Yes I know Brother big words from me like always, but things are very different this time around first of all I am not the man I used to be, the Von Neumann Medical Probes have seen to that, I believe the nano probes were probably what rescued me, each time I was augmented before there was a sudden change, the MedProbes do it gradually, they're truly a revolution, even managed to repair faulty junctions in my higher functionality, that and the teachings of Tenzin have helped me to where I am today. I am receiving an upfront bonus of a considerable size for joining the mission. I have advised my lawyer to have me declared dead in a timely manner should I not return shortly from the well. My estate is not the biggest, but that and the bonus will be enough to get your grandchildren through the educational system in the fast lane either by bio-augmentation or by tuition. And about augmentation there are no worries today, the Von Neumann approach using gradual bio-augmentation will allow them to remain 100% human. The probes will use raw materials from their own body and they are made up from 100% biological parts, there will be no discernible difference from other humans except from intelligence and strength and they will need that in today's competitive environment. I have also arranged for a chance to meet Tenzin so that they may have a chance to get to know about me from someone who understands me in depth and who hasn't been marred by my deeds first hand. It is not that I don't trust you to tell them about me, but I'd like them to see things in a different perspective as well. You may choose to refuse accepting the funds, but they will be informed according to the law when they reach the age of 14 so you can't hold it from them, at that point they will be allowed to choose how to put the funds to use, I pray you will choose to do what's best and I don't want to pressure you, but I have arranged a trip for you to see Tenzing as well, please go to him Brother, you will not regret it, I promise! As for the remainder of my estate I have bequested a small sum to Andrew McCarty, you know the man who saved me. It is not much, merely a token of gratitude. The money will go to him or his heirs if they are still alive, if not the funds will go to charitable work, there are many today who still not possess the basics to ensure them a dignified life free of want and hardship. I hope all is well with you and your family - I pray for you every night even though I know you are an agnostic. Please give my regards to our friends back home, that is if I still have any left, I know I didn't do too well in keeping any. Tell them all I hope to make you proud and wish them well. If you this is the last you hear from me, then thank you sweet brother for being there for me, I wish I could have done the same for you! All my love to you Brother dearest... John Black - in debt forever!