So after many months this strange little man has returned to his blog.
What do I have to say for myself? Not much really, just been really busy, then the laptop broke, then I moved house, then well… I never quite got back into the whole blogging thing until now.
So Christmas was cool, got a new laptop, and New Year was cool too. Just chilled out back in Suffolk with my parents and siblings. And now I have the wonderful joy of going back to normal life and trying to find a job.
In other news though I’ve had loads of time to write and edit things and writing is coming along brilliantly. So here is a short extract from the very beginning of a larger piece that I’m currently working on:
The scientific investigation of the hundred years before the first case of the Degradation were dominated by one man and one idea. Our race had conquered disease, infection, viruses and were well on the way to cheating death entirely; but the Degradation was a new kind of problem, one deeply placed within our own genetic material. The Degradation was such a challenge to our scientists that new institutes dedicated solely to the problem sprang up all over the planet. The idea was such a simple one that many within the scientific community were amazed that we had not found realised the dangers sooner. We had known for millennia that as each generation bred their genetic code became at great risk of shortening or becoming defective in some way; but it was a man named Belial who had taken the final step. He had reasoned out that there would come a time when the genetic code of our species’ would degrade to the point where we might lose something of ourselves.
Belial was a career biologist, a man who hoped to push the science along and do his part in making his people great. He had had no aspirations towards greatness himself and was content to let others take credit when it was due to himself. Every account of his life and works say the same thing about him; that he was a tortured man. On the one hand he had the intellect of ten of the world’s best scientist put together, yet on the other he had the humility of an understudy. The history books often dedicate pages and pages to his family and the love which he bore them and the conflicts which raged inside him because of them. When he first voiced his concerns quietly to his colleagues he had been with his wife Geneviève for over a century and had a child. Quotes from his colleagues of the time speak of his desk at work being half littered with photos and drawing from his children and the other half being filled with obscure studies and experiments in genetics.
Eventually though, after years of experimentation and cross checking to try and disprove his thesis he and his colleagues became convinced that they were correct and they took their findings to the scientific community. It was a huge conference where the greatest minds on all the planet had come together to discuss cutting edge science at the multi-disciplinary event. Thresco was there, the man who had spent three hundred years away from Earth traveling the galaxy to find planets that held new frontiers for my people. Drahmen, the woman who had broken final boundary in physics and finally put to paper a grand unification theory which tied together all the forces in the universe, was there too. And the great explorer Grenian was there as well, the man who had carried a mobile laboratory on his back and travelled to hundreds of worlds to conduct scientific experiment testing the laws or nature and physics on every planet he could find.
When Belial read his paper to the conference the whole theatre had erupted into applause and shouting. Everyone had wanted to ask a question, so much so that the living walls had to change their composition to take much of the sound from the room, else the scientists would have had ringing in their ears for days afterwards. The paper had been the last in the conference and no-one remembered much of any of the others papers as they finally left the conference theatre for their apartments and homes.
The brilliant scientist’s journey across the planet to his home was plagued by calls and emails until he had gotten home and shut down the communication grid to his house just to spend some time with his family. But no sooner had some of the more unscrupulous of the scientific or the journalistic community found this out than they surrounded his house just to get a glimpse of the man. Things reputedly got so bad that he had had to file for a court order to stop people from coming near his house or sending any form of correspondence to him outside of office hours. In the time it had taken him to deliver his speech he had transcended his normal life as a career scientist and become the most famous scientist of that century; yet eventually he became the most hated.
After he had given his paper at the conference he was given a promotion, a pay rise and had everything that he could have wanted lavished upon himself and his family. Much of the wealth he accumulated went into savings or were given away to charities and other research funds that were not so lucky, but even then he lived like few others. He had two simple directive, to find out what the likely genetic changes would be and if they could be stopped. The man worked tirelessly at his work and his wife and child grew older and eventually his child moved out of home and got married, and shortly afterwards his wife told him that it was time for them to part ways. As a couple they had shared five-hundred years of their lives together and she had left that it was time for her to experience someone new.
Geneviève leaving was the beginning of the end for the man. Slowly the scientific community settled down to the long task of finding a solution to the problem. Belial was still the head of a huge research department but he slowly fell out of favour with other scientists as he began to find answers to the questions posed. All his research suggested that the genetic change would be random and irreversible; he found that in most cases if any single genetic marker or gene was lost from our genetic make-up the results would be fatal. Other scientists though came back with more positive results and so, in the way that things often happen, the funding and energy slowly got switched over to those who gave the most favourable results.
From the day that Geneviève had left him, Belial had watch his entire race turn their backs on what had made them great. We had become Masters of Science and created for ourselves the perfect society, with its under-classes and over-classes and its rich and poor. Yet in the face of potential extinction they had ignored the plain truth and run towards the result that they wanted, like the childish scientists of old who had made such slow scientific progress before the philosophical revolution changed the very way that we thought.
Then one day, while he was working within a far reduced staff and facility he found the answer; he made his final great discovery. He found categorical proof that he had been right all those years ago, he found the only gene that we could loose from our physiology and still survive. He had also, in his spare time at home, with no-one else to overhear or find out disproved every other experiment that said that his results were wrong. He proved that, unless we lost the gene that held together our ability to change shape and density, we would lose something so vital to our physiology that we could not survive many days outside of the birthing chambers.
Some say that Beial knew what would become of him and that he did not care; that all he cared about was advancing science and pushing the limits of his society to its full. Others say that although a brilliant mind, that he did not know enough about people to foresee what would become of him once his research was made public. Whatever the case, after writing up his research into presentable form he made his work public and three days later, when a hoard journalists jostled for position outside his house, he was found dead by his son come back to visit him.
The remains of a small machine that had been outlawed centuries earlier was all that was left of the man. The machine was a molecular-sieve; it held its victim in an atomically-porous stasis field that slowly contracted into its victim until every atom in the victim’s body had been stripped away and rendered inert. Belial had suffered a rare death, the most painful and drawn out death a Terran could suffer; Total Cellular Death. Of the few ways left for one of our kind to die it was by far the worst.