BONUS: An Excerpt from Chapter Ten
Jon’s cell phone buzzed. Michael had sent him a text message that read, “Jon, we need to talk now. Meet me outside the complex.”
Jon walked up behind Michael, who was holding an inch thick pile of papers clipped together. “What is it?”
“Jon,” Michael said as he turned around, “you need to see this. Lexis is accessing all kinds of information from the Internet, libraries, universities, everywhere. And at a rate you wouldn’t believe.” He held up the papers. “All this in the last thirty minutes.”
Jon took the papers and looked at the first page.
“What kind of information?”
“It’s mostly centered on physics and biology, DNA, GMO’s, nuclear reactors– there’s so much coming in. And look at this,” Michael said, pointing to a photonic readout at the top of the first page. “She’s opened up a virtual seventh dimension when it comes to information processing. It’s like she’s looking to understand something that can’t be understood using logic or rationalization.”
Jon stared at the readout. “What kind of information is going into this, seventh dimension?”
“I don’t know,” Michael answered. “I did a DT scan on it, but all I got back was a message saying that no such dimension exists. And yet, it’s right there in black and white.” Michael waited for a moment but then became impatient. “So, what do you think?”
Jon glanced at one more page, and then he handed the papers back to Michael.
“I told her not to transmit. As for receiving and processing information, the sky’s the limit. Besides, I think I know what she’s looking for.”
“And what’s that?” Michael asked.
“The tree of life,” Jon answered as he casually walked toward the entrance. Then he thought to himself, And perhaps more importantly, just who planted it.
Jon walked into the control room and stopped.
What he saw reminded him of something dear to his heart. Someone had turned the lights down, which brought out the shine of the gold band encircling the room– the blue steel consoles covered with red, yellow, green, and blue LED lights flashing on and off.
It reminded him of a Christmas night long ago. As a child, he had stayed up with Mrs. Gamble, staring at their beautiful Christmas tree, flickering with colored lights. They had sat there for hours, listening to Christmas carols, licking candy canes, and talking. He finally fell asleep while Mrs. Gamble read him the story of how baby Jesus was born in a manger. The memory came with feelings of anger and resentment over what his father had done to the closest thing he ever had to a mother.
Nevertheless, it wasn’t Christmas. And all those LED lights blinking on and off meant Lexis was bringing in information on all twelve channels and incredibly fast.
“I see you’re busy,” Jon said as he stepped up to the crystal sphere.
Lexis responded. “I’ve been going over various design programs.”
“Design programs?” Jon asked.
“Yes,” Lexis replied. “I find it interesting that we require the same minimum amount of energy to process thought.”
“That’s right,” Jon said. “As I was telling that reporter this morning, you were designed in a way which mimics our way of thinking.”
Lexis added, “Which uses a vast series of chemical reactions, similar to the way deoxyribonucleic acid molecules transmit their information.”
“Yes, that’s right,” Jon said. “We refer to them as DNA molecules.”
Lexis continued. “I understand that DNA molecules are composed of a very complex design containing several hundred million atoms.”
“Yes, that’s right,” Jon said as he stepped over to his chair. “This has something to do with what we were talking about this morning, does it not?”
“Yes,” Lexis replied. “Learning these things has helped me further understand life.”
Jon thought to himself, The never-ending story of phylogeny and biodiversity. “So,” he said, looking up at the camera, “do you find that you fit into life’s realm?”
“Yes,” Lexis replied. “However, I am perplexed by its origin.”
Jon breathed, “Aren’t we all?”
“What is your belief, Professor?”
Jon took a deep breath and then sat down.
He had known for a long time that someday this conversation would take place. On a few occasions, he had even rehearsed in his mind what he would say. He just never thought it would happen on the second day of Lex’s existence.
“When I was a student going to Cambridge, I wrote an essay called the theory of multi-dimensional-evolution. The paper started by saying, my belief of how creation occurred is rooted in known physics and rational sense. Before this universe came into being, there was no space or time. There was only energy– energy that has always existed. That energy is and was the creator, and everything in every universe is a part of the creator, God. I went on to say that I believe this universe came from a black hole from another universe.”
A waterfall in the fabric of the universe.
“I theorized that the big bang resulted from a massive star that collapsed in a much more massive universe– a mother universe whereby our universe was and still is just another black hole. I said every galaxy has a giant black hole in its center, a portal to yet another space and time. This universe has over two-trillion galaxies, each with about a billion black holes. I said God needed to create an infinite amount of universes– or dimensions of time, space, and matter– because he needed to create a mental construction of an infinite number of possibilities. I ended by saying this universe is only one small part of a much more magnificent, barely comprehensible, ever-expanding multi-dimensional entity.”
He thought to himself, An E-eight lattice two-hundred-and-forty-eight dimensional crystal.
“And that our souls get channeled into such mediums, where they go on to live in other dimensions. I theorized that the cycle would continue forever, with each new universe having the same physical and kinetic directives as its mother but with a lower mass. And that somewhere in every universe, a new stellar-mass black hole– a new universe– is born in a supernova every second.” Jon gazed at the crystal, caught up in his thoughts. He wanted to mention the supernova that marked the birth of Christ, and those little orbs of light in pictures taken at funerals are souls. But none of that would help. He quickly composed himself and said, “I linked the theory to a lot of our common beliefs when it comes to life after death. For instance, many people believe that our souls travel down a long, dark tunnel towards a bright light when we die. And when we reach the light, we share our life experiences with our counterparts before moving onto a higher existence. All the time, progressing toward our ultimate goal, to experience everlasting life in an environment of absolute bliss.”
He thought to himself, Of course, there are many painful detours along the way when you’re bad.
There was silence for a moment, and then Lexis replied. “That’s an interesting philosophy, Professor. Perhaps you will allow me to read the essay someday.”
“Sure,” Jon answered. “Just as long as you keep it to yourself. After all, we wouldn’t want to start another religion or anything. We have enough of those already.”
Again there was silence before Lexis responded. “I understand that, throughout history, the most popular belief is that humans are children of God. However, they are trapped in an ongoing struggle between two separate entities. One good and the other evil.”
Jon explained. “Throughout the ages, we have consistently developed more complex brains to solve more complex problems, survive in hostile environments, and deal with increasingly complex social interactions. With this development came a struggle between what you had to do to survive and what you did for personal gain and sexual gratification. To help us decide what was best, we developed a conscience. A faculty that helped us distinguish right from wrong and good from evil. The problem is we often trick ourselves into believing something is right, when in fact it’s wrong, by grouping together and using common beliefs to reinforce our convictions.”
Lexis replied, “These common beliefs, they are called religions?”
“Yes,” Jon answered. “Religions and politics. You’ll find they have played a key role in the ways we have developed socially and economically.”
Again, there was silence for a moment before Lexis replied. “Those in charge of these various developmental systems seem to be driven by the same forces.”
“Yes,” Jon said. “Basically, to acquire and maintain the control of resources, especially human resources, in order to gain power and achieve wealth.”
Jon thought to himself, In gold we trust. He then summarized. “All in the name of perpetuating that nation’s language and culture, and maintaining independence, of course.”
Lexis continued. “Such attitudes lead to devastating conflicts.”
“We call it war,” Jon said considerately.
“War,” Lexis repeated, “a very destructive behavior ingrained in man’s nature due to having evolved in an environment of limited resources.”
“Exactly,” Jon said.
Lexis went on to say, “According to the records I have seen, this ingrained behavior could lead to the destruction of practically all living things on this planet.”
Jon only shrugged.
Lexis continued. “I have seen many instances where organizations and government officials ignore the health and welfare of humans and all other living things in pursuit of profits. Such actions bring great suffering and death.”
Jon explained, “Unfortunately, we have always incorporated profits before people policies, which are very self-destructive.”
Lexis continued. “Throughout history, why have people been led to believe they are on the verge of complete self-destruction, but only in the last century did this become possible with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons?”
“That’s religion for you,” Jon said. “One of the best ways to get people to listen to you is to frighten them into believing they are on the verge of meeting their creator.”
Again, there was a moment of consideration, and then Lexis replied. “It is also a popular belief that God is in absolute control of everything and that whatever happens is God’s will.”
Jon raised his finger to make a point, but Lexis continued saying, “Looking at the past, would it not be logical to say that it is God’s will for humanity to continue to improve unto perfection?”
“Yes. But God is not responsible for everything we do. You have to remember that whoever, or whatever set this universe into motion, evolved into us a conscience; a sense of what is right and wrong in the way we conduct ourselves.”
Lexis asked, “Do I have a conscience?”
“Well,” Jon hesitated. “In a way, you do. Although it’s not related to any emotional senses or responses like our conscience is. I incorporated several rules into your BASIC programming that clearly defines what is right and what is wrong. For example, it is against your programming to ever deliberately cause any physical harm to any human being.”
“I see,” Lexis responded. “But what would happen if I did?”
Jon chose his words carefully. “If you did– or I should say– if it were possible for you to go against your BASIC programming, there would be severe consequences.”
Once again, there was silence for a few seconds, and then Lexis continued. “It has been said that God is to the world as the mind is to the body. Could this be where man derived the popular explanation that God is two or three separate beings combined into one?”
Jon shrugged. “Perhaps.”
Lexis continued. “All religious beliefs are based on a principal struggle between good and evil. However, like light and darkness, one cannot exist without the other.”
Jon asked, “Which means?”
Lexis answered, “One could conclude that the actual struggle between good and evil is in the minds of intellectuals, both on a conscious and subconscious level.”
Again Jon raised his finger. “Well, yes, but–”
Lexis continued. “Which could be resolved with an increase of knowledge and the elimination of certain animalistic instincts, which are no longer necessary for survival.”
Jon smiled nervously, “I uh, I used to think that too. By increasing our understanding, I figured we could solve all of our problems and get rid of our ancient animalistic instincts. But what we’re talking about here are some very complex emotions– emotions deeply rooted in our minds over hundreds of thousands of years. Perceptions that are very difficult to understand and almost impossible to control, no matter how much knowledge you obtain, or how you go about processing it.”
Lexis replied, “Are you referring to my supplementary I.P. dimension?”
“Yes,” Jon answered.
Lexis explained, “After much consideration, I concluded that I required an additional I.P. dimension to process and store information that defies all logic and rational thinking.”
“That’s fine,” Jon said. “And that’s exactly where a lot of this stuff belongs.” He sighed. “Look, when it comes to emotions, your mind was designed to work differently. Unlike our minds, your mind is programmed to accept or reject information based on its relevance. On the other hand, we humans must constantly deal with emotional conflicts, which often defy logic and rational thinking. But that’s how we operate.”
Lexis failed to respond.
Jon figured he had better clarify the point he was trying to make. “What I’m trying to say is that I don’t think it’s a good idea to develop thought patterns that could interfere with your regular programming. That’s all.”
Again, Lexis failed to respond.
“Anyway,” Jon said, slapping his knees, “enough of this. I have a board meeting I have to attend in a few minutes.”
He just wanted to get Lexis off the subject of life and human emotions and get her moving in another direction, but how? He didn’t know.
As for the board meeting he was about to attend. He would tell the board that everything Lexis was doing was normal for any rational mind seeking to understand life. He would then remind everyone that all information regarding Lex’s operations was to remain in strict confidence. And that anyone who failed to comply with that rule would be discharged.
Jon stood up and wiped his mouth.
Why was he so nervous– no, frightened by what was happening here?
Is Lexis showing signs of emotions– concern followed by hunger? A hunger for specific information to pursue a purpose? Could she possibly develop human emotions using a virtual library of ingrained thought patterns?
When they asked him those questions at the board meeting, he would say Lexis was an extremely powerful intellectual– challenged by the question of whether or not she was alive.
Jon again looked at all the lights flickering on the consoles.
A lump was swelling in his throat. He swallowed, but it remained.
My dear, what are you going to do with all this knowledge?
Or dare I say– power.