The Diary of Professor Gilbert Rasher, p.1Kalifer Deil
The Diary of Professor Gilbert Rasher
by Kalifer deil
Copyright 2010 Kalifer Deil
The characters and their portrayal are products of the author’s imagination. The events are wholly fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental.
Second Edition, Revised 11/14/2012
Table of Contents
Diary of a Dying Man
The Birth of Maggie
Tristan and Isolde
Meet the Parents
Diary of an Android
Marcie and the Cardinal
My Arrest for Murder
Back in Body
The Shaver Needs a New Blade
Long Winters and God’s Militia
Message from Maggie
About the Author
This book, in diary form, is a complement to the Tillian 5 Trilogy. The diary starts as a prequel to “Tillian 5 - A New Beginning.” It continues on the same timeline as “Tillian 5 - A New Beginning” but on Earth with no knowledge of the events unfolding on Tillian 5. The diary then merges with the beginning of “Tillian 5 - Return to Earth.”
Diary of a Dying Man
Today I saw Dr. Ross. My liver cancer is spreading rapidly and is not responding to treatment. I rarely drank or smoked but still got an extremely aggressive form of liver cancer. My father died of liver cancer at 44 but he drank heavily. I thought it was due to his drinking. Maybe mine was postponed till I was 54 by drinking very little. After all the DNA research of the last century, they still can't effectively treat my type of cancer. The reason is simple. It's a rare form of cancer so there's no money to study it. I got back to the office about 3:00 PM, took a pile of pills and went to work. Three day ago Gladys White, a humanitarian with two Nobel Prizes for helping humanity, died and her head was preserved and frozen to stop the decay of her CNS [Central Nervous System]. That process went well.
I met with Professor Gordon Glenn, he was visiting CMU [Carnegie Mellon University] from UCB [University of California, Berkeley]. and we discussed the automated diamond plated 25 cm microtome. The microtome was going to be used to slice Gladys' brain into ultrathin slices. These are then feed to the florescent dye coater where each slice is exposed to a thin band of microwaves to thaw a tiny band of the tissue to let the dye do it work then it is instantly frozen again. From there it passes to the scanning IR to UV microscope where capillaries and many neural bodies are mapped. The next stop is a large multibeam electron microscope to get the finer details of all the dendrites and synaptic junctions.
We've been doing this for quite a while and have learned a lot that have made computers smarter including some emotions. It's not that we understand what we are doing, we don't. We understand the processes we are employing to build these neural maps but have only a glimmer of understanding of the systems we are copying and putting into computers destined for androids.
Today we were visited by Professor Heikki Kosonen from the Finnish National Laboratory. They are already working on their seventh human brain and have yet to reinstantiate a fully emulated brain as well. We were going to make an attempt with Gladys White tomorrow but the diamond layer on the microtome has a microscopic crack on the edge making it useless. My lab assistant wanted to show his girlfriend how sharp it was by having it slice fine slices off his leather belt. I'm sure she was impressed; he was fired. The diamond coated cutting plate cost $145,000. Because of its fragile nature, we bought two so we had a spare. Installing it is a major pain and now I'm stuck with the job because that was part of the lab assistant's duties. I'll see to it tomorrow. Even though I don't feel like it, I have to take Heikki out to dinner tonight. All he wants to talk about is ice fishing and the time he was in a sauna with the twin babes he knew. It's the same damn story every time he comes here.
The first task is to get the microtome back in working order. It seems to require almost complete disassembly to get to the blade to remove it. Having to do this for the first time with some help from Gordon while Heikki was telling us how much better his microtome was, was getting me ready for a two-martini lunch, and I rarely drink. I tried to tune him out. Not easy. He tended to raise his voice when he felt I wasn't giving him full attention.
Finally, I said, as I was unpacking the new blade, “Would you like me to test this blade on your tongue before I put it in the machine?” He was stone silent. Gordon was trying his best to suppress a laugh but it finally came rolling out anyway and we were both laughing and Heikki had a sheepish smile on his face. Gordon then whispered “I thought you were going to test it on another part of his anatomy.” I whispered back, “I decided not to create an international incident; besides, the pitch of his voice is already too high.”
The blade was finally in and we tested the mechanism on a brain we didn't care about that we got from the morgue. Everything seemed to work fine and the error file, though long, wasn’t unexpected. At 7:00 PM we were done so we cleaned everything up and decided tomorrow was going to be the day. We were going to get a visit from Naval Space Operations and I thought seeing a live demo might impress them. I did have some qualms about our research possibly being used for weapons but they didn't say what their visit was about.
The Birth of Maggie
Well, today is the day. We started diagnostics on all equipment involved making sure everything is in perfect working order. Our guests arrived, Admiral Kemp and Lieutenant Gault from Naval Space Operations. They told us to get rid of Heikki while we talked. I gave Heikki $500 out of our petty cash and told him to do some shopping in downtown Pittsburgh.
They then revealed something incredible to us. They were building a starship and wanted a computer that would not only navigate the ship but would care for the crew. I said, “The military version of the IBM NF84-10 you picked out would have more intelligence than they would ever need. It was probably a million times smarter than any human.”
Admiral Kemp responded, “You don't understand. Intelligence is fine but we want the computer to love all people on board.”
I look at him incredulously and all I could say was “What?” This didn't sound like a military man talking to me. The admiral had a very stern face that didn't look like it ever had a notion of what love is. For that matter, neither did I. I really didn't know how to respond.
Before I could think of anything to say the Lieutenant spoke up, “You know, some androids are now showing love. Can't we amplify that?”
I responded quickly to that, “You know it’s not like a volume control you can just crank up. It's a complicated system we don't understand. You'll have to excuse us, we are about to capture a brain if you want to watch.”
We started the fully automated process and I said, “Let's go to lunch.” The Admiral lost his appetite after seeing, by video cameras, Glady’s brain being sliced but the lieutenant ate like a caveman. When we returned the operation continued without event. Finally, at 8:00 PM, the emulation of Gladys was loaded. We had a large 3D screen viewing the virtual space containing her avatar. Another computer was feeding commands for her to move various body parts and on-the-fly remapping was occurring when the wrong muscle moved. In a few minutes the virtual image was standing and walking around. “This is a very good sign,” I said, “because this entails a lot of neural circuitry.”
In another half hour we
I explained that she was resurrected in a machine and I asked her for her name. She responded, “I have no idea. I don't remember ever having been anyone. The only person in my field of view is a Man in what I recognize as an admiral's uniform.”
Admiral Kemp responded, “Yes, the camera is pointed at me, I'm Admiral Kemp and this is Lieutenant Gault. Your blond image reminds me of my wife who passed away six months back. Her name was Maggie.”
The computer responded, “I'm very sorry to hear that your wife passed away. I feel for your loneliness. I don't have a name so I would like to take the name Maggie in her honor. I hope I haven't insulted you by saying that.”
Admiral Kemp, “Not by any means. I'm very impressed that you care so much. How would you like to take care of a crew of space travelers to a nearby star?”
Maggie: “I would love to. You mean that's possible? I love to take care of
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