Any visitor from outside of the Solar system could be forgiven if they believed that intelligent life was non-existent on any of the nine planets orbiting the Sun. They probably could have detected that life forms had once existed on the third planet, once called The Earth but now even that was completely devoid of life. But if the extra Solarian visitors had tarried awhile they may have discovered that a life form still did exist deep within the Earth’s single lunar moon. Not life as it was known before, but life nonetheless.
Let me begin to explain.
James Gillespie was born in the late 1980’s with a silver spoon in his mouth; his father Theodore, was one of the richest men on Earth. His old money, passed on through late families, had been advanced upon; originally in shipping but he had soon taken a hand in pharmaceuticals, medicine, property, building, entertainment, and a host of other businesses. There were very few pies that Theodore did not have a finger in. The fact that his son James would one day be extremely rich was not the proverbial silver spoon as usually described but that he had been born with a very high IQ; the likes of which had never before been equalled. His intellect exceeded anyone’s, past or present and was way off any IQ measuring scale. James's mother had died in childbirth; no amount of his father’s money could change that. Not that this fact had unduly troubled Theodore, for his wife had produced a son and had so, in his eyes, fulfilled her duty.
Theodore had visions that James would follow him in the world of commerce and could have all and everything that money could buy. James on the other hand was very frugal in his wants. All he sought was the acquisition of knowledge and the furtherance of his mind. Once his mind latched on to a subject he could not drop it until it reached a natural conclusion.
If James missed the needs of a mother love, he certainly did not show it, a host of female nannies attended to his every whim.
At age of eight young James was re-designing and building computer microprocessors that were many times faster than any other of the ones before. The giants of the computing industry had tried in vain to beat a path to the youngster’s door to gain advantage. All to no avail, his father Theodore was rich enough to be able to withstand and resist any offers that could be extended to himself or his son. Theodore could see that James’s potential was unique and he had the resources to help his son in any way necessary. The finest computer specialist’s in the world and in all the many adjacent fields were lured by fortune for James’s convenience. They left soon afterwards drained of the knowledge that young Jimmy had absorbed from them. Once Jim took a subject on board he was soon able to utilize it and adapt it with all the many other subjects within his grasp. He had the unique ability to utilize the many skills necessary for success.
By the time he was twelve Jimmy had designed and built his first prototype computer he christened it the very unpretentious word, Gillacom, Gill from the family name Gillespie and Com for computer. Of course it worked perfectly. His was a radical design, instead of a printed mini circuit as all the others before; his consisted of light sensitive switches and receivers. Instead of an electrical signal travelling across a series of printed copper wires, circuits and switches with the resulting slow down of speed; James’s signals travelled along minute light beams of single photons. He had long before realized that when one ray of light crosses through another, as when two torch beams pass through at right angles to one another, there is no detrimentally loss of speed or signal; hence there was no necessity for detoured circuits or switches within the Gillacom. All signals travelled at the ultimate speed of light without any resistance whatsoever. There was now no need for any the cooling of the new computer system which was efficient at any temperature. The sixth generation of computers had now been born.
Theodore Gillespie, being the businessman that had made him powerful, soon took advantage of his son’s expertise and before long every, or almost every, computer sold on the planet, was made by the Gillespie family of companies. Because the new computer was vastly different to any other, all akin hardware and software had also to be acquired directly or under license from the Gillespie business. The family riches soon increased thousands fold, nay Billions fold, until it easily outgrew many small countries annual budgets.
By the turn of the first decade of the century the Gillespie conglomerate of companies outshone every other company. Now even first world countries had to take into account the wealth of Theodore Gillespie and his vast financial power. They had to take in and cater for his every need, his financial strength could bring down governments without even a shot being fired.
The president and government of Latinia, an almost bankrupt and erstwhile Russian republic, paid reverence to Theodore. They like many before wanted his friendship and more important his invested wealth in their country. On very favourable terms, of course, Theodore moved his company lock stock and barrel to Latinia. The standard of living of the Latinian's climbed and grew in proportion to his involvement. Theodore was revered like a god to the common people He could do no wrong and became a law unto himself. Although in figure only there was a president of Latinia he was just a figurehead, Theodore had his hands on the control of the engine that ran the country.
Heads of the first world countries now paid homage to John Gillespie and he soon began to believe his own publicity of how great and powerful he was. He became and felt untouchable, above the law. Over a relative short period of time his power became paranoia with him. He began to feel that he was too important to die there must be some way of making him immortal. He commissioned his medical staff to scour the planet for whatever it takes to prolong his life with the promise of riches into the pockets of the men that brought him his desires.
On the other hand James Gillespie was not concerned with the making of money or power only what doors that power could open to him. He wanted to expand his and mans knowledge. He could afford to buy any equipment or the contents of anyone’s brain that could furthered his dedicated ambitions.
Speaking a command was nothing new to the old-fashioned computers and James’s revolutionary ones could easily outperform that task, in fact they could reply to a command as fast as an order could be inputted. The computers that James was building could now think for themselves. His progression was towards the idea that it was possible to think a command to a computer. He designed a prototype and built an interface that became a personal headset. It enabled him to direct Alpha, Beta and Theta brain waves to his main processor. His machines worked perfectly not that anyone ever expected anything less.
The next logical step was to be to be able to properly interface with his Gillacom to make it process and act upon proper direct thoughts from a human. For this he would need the worlds finest neurologist to help with the problem. Research was made and offers too good to turn down were received by the arch-deacons of the medical neurological fraternity.
Very quickly the worlds top neuro-surgeons and experts were gathered and hosted in the finest research premises that money and power could buy.
Their first stumbling block was how to connect wires from the brain to the Gillacom. Animals large and small were used for these purposes. The fact that Theodore owned the government of Latina ensured that no animal rights protagonists had any say in the matter. Successes were slowly gained. It was discovered that a single glass fibre optic inserted into the comeanal cortexexcentra of a dog had a profound influence on the microprocessor within the Gillacom. Work was set to decipher the signals for it was impossible for the dog to convey thoughts, only feelings. Basically trained Chimps and primates were tested and steady progress was made. Soon a prototype was made for a human test.
A human guinea pig volunteer was no problem; the promise of riches to his family outweighed any potential danger. The volunteer had to have an insertion directly into his brain. The tests, although not complete, were a success. At first a few guinea pig volunteers were sacrificed in the furtherance of science but that mattered not, forevermore their family's would be compensated for life. Work began to fine-tune the apparatus. It soon became unnecessary for a patient tester to be actually physically wired up to the computer. Ultra-Microwaves carried the signal to and from the computer and the patient being tested. As more testing took place then more information was gathered and in consequence the more perfect the new interface became. Before long a connected up human could programme a Gillacom computer with ease even if that person being tested was not fully computer literate.
Soon the idea came to James that, as one can couple up computers in series so it should be possible for two brains to be coupled up to the same computer What would happen in that circumstance? No one knew but the idea intrigued James, he was determined that this was to be his next step.
Again volunteers were eager and willing to accept the risks for monetary consideration. Although there were a few hitches and a few fatalities, progress was steadily made until it was possible to connect two brains in sequence. this fact became a side track to James's research, not only could two brains be connected up it became possible for one brain know what another brain was thinking One brain could tap into the other brains memory cells. Past memories of another could now be accessed. When two or more brains were coupled up in sequence there was no need for them to be physically coupled up; Ultra-Zenith-microwaves did the job of wires or fibre optic cables. It now became possible not even to have to be physically connected up in series to a computer
James realized that a person who had never scaled a mountain could now experience the exhilaration of climbing without so much as leaving his bed. A paraplegic could experience water or snow skiing or any other physical thing that would have been normally barred to him.
Theodore now had a completely new force within the Gillespie armoury. Twenty-Five years ago the computer internet had revolutionized the way information had been stored, gathered and distributed; now a completely new internet service could potentially be set up. Again an unpretentious name was given to the new service, 'Brain-net. Progress was made to extend the service but this was initially only for the very rich or the powerful heads of world commerce.
The world’s wealthy men were contacted with the offer of any experience they cared to order and have. The adrenaline rush of a parachute drop was now within their experience without taking ones feet off the ground. The old and impotent could be coupled up to a couple who was making love and feel the climax which was normally beyond their reach. A man could now travel in space and feel the lack of gravity upon his person without even going outdoors. Almost any experience that a man can have was within reach, providing the price was right. Even if the monetary price were not forthcoming then Theodore, in the right set of circumstances, would provide a requested experience not for cash but favours of a kind.
James on the other hand had other visions for the Brain-net. His experiments were now leading down a different road albeit adjacent to the new net. His research now was how to keep a brain alive even though the body was dead. It had become possible to keep a body supplied with nutrients and essentials on life support machines. Could it be possible to extract a brain from the body and still keep it functioning?
As before countless experiments were made first on mice, rats, dogs and other animals, much progression was made. Soon it became feasible to test the expertise on chimps. Numbers of primates had been bred and educated to perform simple tasks. These animals brains were removed whilst alive and were tested and experimented on. Before long success was on hand and the next logical step was to test the knowledge gained on a human being. A man suffering from terminal cancer was chosen. His next of kin, he was assured, would be adequately remunerated and it might also prolong his thinking life. Again, although the patient died, new techniques and knowledge were gained.
Before long James and his numerous differing teams were in a position to operate again and this time the exorcised brain was kept alive for many weeks before it succumbed to finality.
Slowly but surely the time came when a brain could be kept alive indefinitely. It then became possible to connect a live person’s brain with a dead person’s artificially alive brain with communication between. This dead person who's brain was still alive now experienced something that no one had ever experienced before. Whenever he wanted he now had singular thought. No outside happenings could ever influence any thoughts that he had. He could now re-experience perfectly, any personal memories stored within his brain cells. Memories good and bad could now be experienced exactly how they had before happened, again and again at will.
The next obvious progression was a connection between two deceased brains. At last man, or rather Theodore, now had the power of immortality within his grasp.
All the men and women of the world now wanted to be coupled up upon their death but only the very wealthy could afford to have a medical team on hand to enable the body, upon death, to be prepared for the extraction of the brain. These teams of ‘on hand’ physicians were of course supplied under license to the Gillespie Conglomerate.
Certain persons were offered free of charge, and most took the offer, of having their brains stored within the Brain-Net. These persons were the successful Politicians, Sportsmen, Climbers, Spacemen, Lotharios and the like; their input to the Brain-Net would enhance the memory content within the net.
The Brain-Net was originally situated thousands of meter's underground, deep within the Ural Mountains that was part of Latinia. Theodore Gillespie was now in his late sixties and of course he had a retinue of personal physicians to hand all of the time awake or asleep. He realized that to be truly immortal the Brain-Net would have to be self-supporting else any war or even a begrudging employee could easily switch off or destroy the net destroying his immortality. Being self-supported presented no dire problems all, on paper, could be solutionised. But where to have the Net situated? That was a crucial decision to be made. Although Latinia at the present was a very safe haven for the net it could not always be guaranteed so. When his body departed this life, Theodore realized that some other despot could come along to fill his shoes. James although very adept in his own field knew nothing of the cut-throat war of finance. No, Theodore decided, the Brain-Net on this planet was not the answer.
Great leaps forward had been made into space exploration, helped of course with the Gillacom computer and Gillespie money. Lunar exploration had become common place by the first Twenty-Five years of the Twenty-first century. Water had long before been discovered deep below the lunar crust and a permanent base had been established there for some time.
Theodore, in consultation with the presidents of all the prominent countries of the world, arranged that a permanent base be set up deep within the Earth’s moon. The promise of a place within the Brain-Net for the aforesaid presidents, upon their demise, had helped with the mutual decision.
Theodore invested trillions of dollars in the space program as part of the agreement with the US President.
As agreed the moon had then been declared off limits by the world’s premier countries, the decision for this being helped with offered free membership for all of the worlds leaders. Only Astronaught's who conveyed brains to the moons Brain-Net now set foot there. Even then once the brains were established the spacemen retreated back to Earth until next times additions to the Net.
In May, Twenty-forty two Theodore died of natural causes at the age of Eighty-seven. Many decisions and arrangements had already been decided by him to fill the power vacuum. Certain secret arrangements had also been previously set-up.
By the time of Theodore's death, the lunar base and Brain-Net had been up and running perfectly. The net contained almost Eighty thousand brains with continuing additions. All were kept in perfect condition by robot and computer control. Sunlight provided the electrical power for the banks of Gillacom Computers and water and the minute quantities of nutrients and chemicals were extracted from the lunar rocks. Life, if that’s what it could be called, within the Net was utter contentment for each and every residents brain. Problems or disagreements never arose within the inhabitants. Existence for the brains was never boring, with Eighty thousand life memories to chose from, emotional feelings were wide, varied and aplenty.
By Twenty-forty five the Brain-Net was well established with almost a Hundred -thousand brains coupled up in sequence. The net was reaching saturation point and decisions had to be made. To begin a new Net or find some way of extending the present one. That was the dilemma of Young James who by now was not so young at Forty-six. This decision was taken out of his hands when his doctors, who were in constant attendance, diagnosed an incurable bone cancer. Even with the best of medical care he would be dead within a year.
Since his father had died James had routinely been in contact with his dead father. James was legally in physical control but he rarely made any major decisions without first consulting his father business acumen.
When James appraised his father of the cancer problem he was given certain instructions which he must then carry out to the letter. Parts of these instructions were that he should insert into the Gillespie family mainframe computer certain codes entrusted to him before his father had died. He should then immediately arrange for his personal physicians to place himself under theatre operating conditions and instruct them to remove his brain for conveyance to the Lunar Brain-Net site as soon as possible. James was urged that time was now of the essence and could not be wasted. When James queried his fathers instructions no answer was forthcoming other than to obey his instructions to the letter. James complied exactly, for he had been emotionally conditioned into doing exactly as his dead father wished.
The computer codes were duly inputted and arrangements made for the death of his body and the rebirth of his brain.
Within the month emergency arrangements were made for the transferral of James brain to the Brain-Net on the moon. Once installed the Astronaught's, as many times before, returned to Earth.
James had often been coupled up in life to other brains whether the bodies of those brains had been alive or dead but now it was decidedly different. Now he felt peace at last, peace to forget about physical things now his mind could explore the many differing subjects that the Brain-Net held. Not for him did he want to experience the physical memories of the great lovers of the net, no he wanted to explore the intellect of the many world statesmen, scientists and thinkers. He would be able to discuss subjects at length without the hindrance of time.
He regularly tuned in to his father and for the first time now understood him completely.
"What did the codes instruct the computer to do?" Asked James‘s brain to his father’s.
"They set in motion a doomsday device that I left buried within the original Brain-Net site in the Ural Mountains. The nuclear device will detonate within the coming month. That is why the timing of your arrival here was crucial. I, many years ago, foresaw our deaths and this event happening. In my will it specified that in the event of your death and brain transfer to this site the codes were to be imputed in our mainframe by our successor, without him of course knowing of the reasoning behind the codes. It just so happens that you have come here sooner that I expected. Nonetheless the facts and the outcome will be the same. The death of the planet Earth."
"Why was I not involved with your plans?"
"Would you have agreed with my reasoning?"
"Of course not. The waste of all that life is inconceivable."
"That is why you were not privy to my designs."
"But why? Why do you have to destroy all life on the Earth?"
"Without you and your authority left on Earth, anyone could and would have taken over the running of our Brain-Net. Remember it was our Brain-Net no one else's. It could and would have been modified to reflect their needs and wants not ours. Who is to say that these decisions would be beneficial to you or I. We could have been dispatched to make way for themselves, which is what I was not prepared to let happen. In the same set of circumstances had I been a follow on to my self I certainly would have dispatched the originators of the net.
Now, with no one left on Earth to interfere with us, we have true and total immortality. Now relax your mind son and enjoyed the fruits of the net, for forever is going to be a very long time."
'Any visitor from outside of the Solar system could be forgiven if they believed that life was non-existent on any of the nine planets orbiting the Sun. They probably could have detected that life forms had once existed on the third planet, once called The Earth but now even that was completely devoid of life. But if the extra Solarian visitors had tarried awhile they may have discovered that a life form still did exist deep within the Earth’s single lunar moon. Not life as it was known then, but life nonetheless.'
THE END (Or should that be the continuing?)