“So, tell me the whole story.”
“I told it many times before.”
“Yeah, and the cops did not understand a word of what you said. So they called me, an analyst, to see if I could. They suspect that you're using many words to hide a simple case of lack of control of an animal. And, honestly, it seems that there aren’t many ways to see it, besides that you have created a killer, and then failed to keep her locked up. So, Dr. Rossi, what are we chasing?”
“You have the pictures, haven't you?”
“Yeah. The description we get from them is: a female anthro puma of middle height, athletic figure, with grey fur, blue eyes without visible sclera, dark grey hair, turf, eyeliner, and a thick and long tail.
Rather basic, isn’t she? She seems to have been made with an home kit. There are zillions like her out there. One would expect your company to do better than this.”
“God is in the details. There can be zillions of grey anthro felines out there, but very few are made with our level of precision in every detail. Home kits are full of defects. Results are almost ever dysfunctional in some way. Sick, too stupid, deform, fragile… Met, as we call her, is physically perfect and mentally stable. She has a basic appearance, as she was not meant to be sold. She is a prototype. We only wanted a small series of basic, robust and controllable samples, to implement a new feature, that we intended to introduce in our future production models.”
“A small series?”
“Yes. She was the second of three sisters, or, more exactly, clones, nearly identical each other. We call them the TH series, the nickname of the others were "Emeth" for the first and "Lilith" for the third, only to not call them TH-1, TH-2 and TH-3”
“So there are three potential assassins out there?”
“No more. Met is the last of them, and there will be no others like her.”
“Go ahead dr. Rossi. From the beginning. You told about a new feature. Is that the problem?”
“Yes, and no. To explain the relation is a long story. In the TH series we made a little change in the meiosis process. An error you can say. You know, the meiosis is the process with which we, create haploid gametes from diploid mother cells. The base of sexual reproduction. But in our ‘revised’ meiosis, we managed to made that the chromosomes of oocytes do not crossover during pachytene, in fetal stage, and after, when oocytes are activated, at puberty, they undergo a normal anaphase, and so a normal mitosis process. That way, a TH’s mature ovum will have a complete set chromosomes, an then, being complete, it begin to duplicate and develop, but, being genetically indistinguishable from the mother, it develops merging with her, into her. Over time, it replaces all her cells with brand new cells, with intact telomeres, and a brand new set of oocytes.
Do you understand what that means?
Death for age is a product of sexual reproduction. An amoeba does not die of old age. It’s alive since life exists on earth. Telomeres are the trick that evolution has found to make sure that the older generations leave the place to the new ones, accelerating evolution itself. Telomeres are the unit of measure of our age. At each mitosis of our cells, telomeres shorten, and, when they are too short, cells stop reproducing. But a TH, having regularly a brand new set of cells of each type, cannot get old, or die for age. Who need an old pet? THs are so durable they could be passed trough generations. Moreover, if they have an accident, it’s sufficient they manage to survive. Having enough time, they can regenerate every body part they could have lost in the accident. Extensive brain damages also, will heal on their own.”
“It seems interesting, but no so good for business.”
“I’m an engineer, not a salesman. But is the firm who is capable of producing the most durable car that has the upper hand in the market. The most important part is to develop and patent the technology. Marketing problems can be solved after”.
“One of the problems is that only females can have the new feature?”
“Yes, you have to have ovaries and uterus for the feature to function naturally. But is possible to speculate about a periodical rejuvenating process for males, in the future”
“And, the prototypes were a success?”.
“As long as we can tell after four years of observations, they were. Even beyond what’s planned. They were, as I said, perfect. Only a bit stronger than we planned”
“Only a bit? It seems that your pet severed the head of a man from the neck with a single blow.”
“More than a bit, really, but not beyond reasonable parameters.
You know, the independence of characters theorised by Mendel is a tale. All that genes do, is chemistry, and the chemistry they do, affect every part of the body. Fur colour can affect the ability to speak, hair length can affect the ability to walk. Auto programs helps, but they can’t predict all. Is for that reason that we choose, for the prototypes, a form that we know so well. To isolate the effects of the new feature at most. But, speaking now, even given that, the physical perfection of the TH series from the first attempt was so complete to be suspect, as was their physical strength.”
“It’s hard to tell. We made them. From the first to the last base. There is nothing in their genome that’s different from what we designed. And we are good. But not so good to have such a result at first attempt . At that time, I thought we got lucky. But I know now, that luck does not exist. Not for THs, at least.”
“Sticking to the facts Dr. Rossi. Physically they could be perfect, although a little too strong. But mentally? You call them ‘stable’. Given what that pet did, it seems a bit odd”.
“Is that ‘stable’ does not means ‘good’ we're not talking about a dog that goes crazy and bites his master's children.
But yes, mentally they were a bit of a delusion. Big cats anthro are meant to be affectionate to the owner. But the TH-series proved to be rather indifferent, aloof, selfish, scarcely affective, incapable of empathy with other life forms and, as the we had to learn later, absolutely and ferociously hostile each other.”
“Absolutely not. The reports we made described them as ‘docile’ but, to me, speaking now, that’s not correct. Is more that they accepted us as a minor nuisance. However, at that time, since they accepted even physical examinations without a fuss, we were not so worried . Really, there were other particularities we had to think of, and, since we were so busy, we underestimated the problems.
The firs real oddity came out when they became big enough to play. They were strange cubs. Since they were so indifferent to us, it was not easy to convince them to play some game, but when we succeed, we realise that, in the tag, or ball games, they were capable to dodge almost everything, and catch almost everything. It was not only a matter of reflexes. Not even a matter of sixth sense. It was like the path they choose was ever what allow them to dodge the blows, or to catch things, without effort.”
“You are telling me that she is able to predict the future?”
“She is not. It’s not so simple. She is incapable to predict the future. Really, as we learned, the same concept of future has little meaning for her. Is that the mind of a TH simply works differently from ours”.
“It was not easy for us to realize it, but, after all our observations, we begun to think that the TH’s normal way of thinking is similar to what the ancient Greeks call anamnesis, or the Zen’s satori.
Have you ever had a glimpse of consciousness? A moment in which you realize to have understood literally all?
“… the direct and nearly ecstatic comprehension of the operating mechanism of the reality, that lie behind the visible surface. I know. I’m a criminologist, Dr. Rossi, an analyst of behaviour. What you are describing is a pathological condition in some cases. a trick of the mind in others. Like déjà vu.”
“Or, in the present case, something more complex. We are capable to have glimpses of anamnesis, and to comprehend and describe the concept, more or less. So much that several religions and philosophies have made of this state of mind an objective. But humans are normally not set to think that way. The evolution have set us to think in terms of cause and effect. Humans are so set that way, that they are not naturally capable to think in terms of probability, and so they naturally believe in gods and curses (if there is an effect, then someone, or something, must have directly caused it). That's the vertical way of thinking. A straight line of causes and effects that goes from the past to the future.
To think vertically is simple and effective. So simple and effective that we ended up thinking that it was the only effective way and, when scientific observations begun to show us a world in which things works differently, we thought that there were the observations to be wrong. But, but that does not mean that the world really works that way. Amit Goswami said thet: after the experiment on the quantum correlation of Alain Aspect, in 1982, anyone that did not believe that there was something really strange in the world, should have an head as hard as a rock. And that’s true. Reality is not a straight line of causes and effects. According to Wheeler, the present observation has an undeniable role in generating what happened. Quantum physics proves that what the observer will do in the future defines what happens in the past. Past is theory, it has no existence except to be registered in the present. We are defining the past in this very moment.”
“That seems a little too metaphysical for me Dr. Rossi, and I think is leading us away from the point.”
“Cause you think quantum physics has nothing to do with everyday life. Being a geneticist, I thought so too. But that’s not correct. The device with which you're recording this conversation, works thanks to quantum effects, absurd according to classical physics. And even our brain…
…You are a behaviour’s analyst. Do you know Karl Pribram’s Holonomic brain theory?”
“Yes. It explains, for one, why slight damages to the brain can have an effect on the motor skills, but memory and cognitive functions seems to remain largely intact even after extensive damages. Neurons are not the storage of memories, but the drivers. Memories, or prior experiences, are neurological wave interference patterns, stored in holographic-like form and retrieved through cognition, and, in an hologram, the whole form of the object is comprised in every part of it, only less defined as smaller the part is. We have not pieces of memories stored in the brain, but the brain is a device to access a memory.”
“but that’s possible only if the memory is stored in a quantum form. And that’s the way the world works too. Bhom’s Holographic Principle says that the world has a form, and as in an hologram, the whole form of the universe is comprised in every part of it. Time and space are not essential. Time has no substance, and, as the quantum correlation experiment of Aspect demonstrates, nothing is separate.
That’s the way THs think. Horizontally. In terms of immanence and necessity. Anamnesis is their normal way of thinking. Causes and effects have no meaning. They view the aesthetic of the world as a whole. If a human can ‘view’ that, if a ball hit another on a billiard table in a certain way, the other will have a certain trajectory, THs can ‘view’ the final picture of a jigsaw puzzle, observing a single piece of it. We had to learn that’s possible, and at least as effective as our way to think. We do not really understand how it works. But it works, at least for them.
That seems a little too metaphysical, I know, but we had to learn that that’s the immanence THs view.”
“And the necessity?”
“Do you know the concept of ‘Dharma’? It can have several meanings, from a series of moral rules to follow, to a ‘divine sentence’ But, in it’s purest form, the Dharma is simply the way things are meant to move. Something similar to the destiny. The necessity for things to move in a way instead of another to preserve the harmonic balance of the universe. The form of the hologram in which past, present and future are included as a whole. Normally, someone has the same possibility to change the dharma, that Sun Wukong had to leave the hand of Buddha. That’s the necessity.
That way of thinking explained THs oddities. THs are incapable of empathy, cause for them, since things are bound to be the way they are, other forms of life are like mechanical marionettes, of which they can view the internal mechanisms moving. For them, others are incapable of the slightest form of freedom, or will.
A TH know that someone is about to knock to the door of her room, cause that's the way things are meant to be, that’s real, as if it already happened, and, requested to explain the way she know a so obvious thing, she can only answer: ‘you are blind’.”
“You are telling me that she ‘knew all’?”
“Obviously, as human comprehension, of the cause-effect relations is far from perfect, so the TH’s comprehension of necessity-immanence relations is. Met’s brain is a limited instrument, as our is. She is young, and she has to rely on her senses anyway. Her vision is clear only for her immediate surroundings. She can view, but she can't view ‘all’.
However, as you can imagine, when we realised what we had in our hands, there were enough things to think of for us, to not pay attention to less important questions.
The first of the less important questions we did not pay attention of, was the possible effect of putting them together.
Until few weeks ago, we raised THs separately. We want them to interact with humans, and we did not want that their mutual interaction can influence their behaviour.
But we began to think of having learned all that we could from them separately. So, we want to put them together.
It was not a good idea. They didn’t show any particular reaction to knowing there were others like them. They didn’t show any particular reaction in viewing someone like them.
Until they were in the same room, whit nothing to separate them.
Then, they showed to be ferociously and implacably hostile each other.
Actually, after a brief and fierce battle, Met emerged as the only survivor of their first encounter.”
“That didn’t worry you?”
“That was inexplicable to us.
Until then, they had been indifferent to other life forms, not hostile. However, we are talking of anthro big cats here. It could have been an hidden instinct that their particular genetic combination had unleashed. It was a shame but such a thing could have been corrected in future models.
But, discussing why they showed such a behaviour, an apparently secondary question emerged.
If the death of Emeth an Lilith was the dharma, the way the things are meant to be, why they didn't show any particular behaviour first to encounter Met, in what had to be, for them, the last walk of a condemned? That had to be something extremely clear to them. And why they fight back after meeting her, if the result was fixed? If a creature that thinks horizontally saw the "necessity" of his death, knowing that from the way a beetle move, or from the from of a spot on the wall, then that's fixed and immutable. What behaviour is appropriate for a TH that see her death coming?
But the question was rapidly reversed.
What happens if a TH don't see her death as a thing that's meant to be?
In that case ... she don't die.
Do you understand what’s the meaning of that?
THs are inherently selfish. Like children and animals, they are not set to accept the possibility of their death. They don’t ‘see’ it, as they don’t ‘see’ a ball hitting them.
Viewing the immanence and necessity of things, fear has not significance for them. They view other life forms as mere mechanisms, but they doesn't think the same for themselves. The anthropic principle works for them in the most extreme way. Their ‘vision’ affects the world, gives it a form, that is acceptable to them. A form that, doesn’t contemplate the possibility of their death.
Do you understand now why they were strong? Why they were ‘perfect’? Why their physical features are constantly at the maximum of the possible estimated levels? Is not luck. Luck doesn’t exist. Is that their vision of themselves doesn’t accept less, doesn’t accept errors. The outcome was fixed from the time we made them immortal, and we designed them immortal, cause they have to be, cause the present define the past.
When we designed them, we thought that the accumulation of errors in replications in their genome will however condemn they to death in some hundreds years.
But now, I know that there will not be errors in Met’s rejuvenating process. Ever.
Placing a TH in the box of Schroedinger's cat, then, there will be the fate of those out of the box to be uncertain.
After realizing that, understanding why THs are hostile each other is easy.
The only thing that can add uncertainty to a TH's vision, is another vision of the same level, the vision of someone who can ‘see’, but slightly different, as centred on another individual.
A TH, raised in a world of certainty, can react to the uncertainty given by the existence of another vision, in only two ways, with terror, or trying to impose her point view, eliminating the source of nuisance. She can do it, if her vision is only slightly more complete, slightly more strong. But for THs, fear has not significance, and they are incapable of empathy. So, the path is obliged, there are no possibilities of another outcome. They will fight to the end.
So, do you understand what is the relation between the feature we implemented, and the killing of Dr. Sciarra?
After the death of her sisters, Met had no more reasons to remain with us. We are a nuisance for her after all. So, she left.
You want to know why she killed him? It’s simple. The path in which she had to kill him, was the easiest way to leave the labs. No more.
We can say that he went to the appointment with his death, to allow her to come out.”
“So you are telling me that the pet we are chasing, is a sort of deity, whose 'vision' will prevent us to catch her forever, unless she want to be?”
“Life Is the way DNA endure throughout billions of years. Sexual reproduction led to death for age, death for age led to complex life forms, complex life forms led to self-consciousness, self-consciousness led to the anthropic principle, and the anthropic principle led to Met.
Now, DNA’s immortality, lie in a single life form. You can view her as a dead end of evolution, or it’s peak. However, my role in this story ends here. No other TH will ever be made, as Met will not permit her to exist. Your, is just begun, and I’m no envious of those who’ll have to hunt her.”