Clear Springs Press

The Non-Conformity Chronicles

Chapter 1 - What You Need to Know

"Absolute Conformity to any arbitrary system of beliefs and behavior creates a system of defined limitations from which the conforming individual can never escape. Non-conformity is necessary for creativity, innovation, scientific advancement, social advancement and the basic evolution of life. To be a conformist is to be a slave, someone who never has aspirations, and therefore, never achieves aspirations. To be a conformist is to be prohibited and prevented from having an original thought or a functional free will. Conformity is Death. Non-conformity is Life." - From The Non-Conformist Training Manual

         Iona's bar and grill had an unusual guest. Elaina's deep green skin, blond hair and blue eyes drew considerable attention. Attractive women were generic, but not green skin. She sat at one of the tables having lunch with Dr. Sam Baker.

         Dr. Baker's friend Max came rushing in. Max is a Shyster, a member of one of the most elite professions. Shysters are the only profession sanctioned and licensed to think and act in slightly unconventional ways. Lawyers handle routine issues while Shysters are consulted only as a last resort for dealing with the most serious of problems. Max was visibly distressed, but when he saw Elaina, he completely lost his composure, and stood there pale faced, breathless and speechless. Elaina, recognizing a common reaction, smiled politely and said, "Won't you join us?"

         "Is . . . that . . . uh . . . ??" Max stammered.

         "Elaina Noir is my client. She is a chloro-form, one of the stable mutant sub-species that emerged from the genetic pandemics of the twenty first century. They carry certain plant genes that form chlorophyll in their skin. They photosynthesize like plants," Dr. Baker explained. "Did you know that they can generate most of their own nourishment by sunbathing naked for 8 hours daily. When they get enough sunshine, they only need water and a mineral supplement."

         "You mean she is a plant!" Max croaked.

         "No. She is fully human with the additional genes for chlorophyll formation and photosynthesis," Dr. Baker replied.

         "So she is a plant human hybrid?" Max asked again.

         "Well yes after a fashion," Dr. Baker replied.

         "Sunbathing in the nude is very pleasurable for us," Elaina explained as she looked in Max's eyes with a deep dreamy look. "I'm looking for a mate, and Shysters have always intrigued me. I find your talent for creative and unconventional thinking to be ... Desirable! Dr. Baker assures me that all of my unique genetics can be transferred to an inter-species offspring with a little help."

         "Maybe the Central Accountant was right", Max replied, "That is more than I need to know."

         The Central Accountant is a computer, a very large supercomputer with distributed processors and memory archives networked across the entire planet. It operates under artificial intelligence algorithms which monitor, regulate, direct and control every detail of every individual's life along with every aspect of the technological society in which those individuals live.

         Elaina smiled, got up and turned to leave. "If you change your mind, I would be delighted to interview you." She handed him her secure profile card and left.

         Looking back at Dr. Baker, "What is a genetic-pandemic?" Max asked.

         "You mean you don't know! The late twentieth and early twenty first centuries saw the earliest efforts at genetic modification. Scientists used viruses, agrobacteria and transbacteria as agents for transferring genes from one organism to another. To their horror, they discovered that some of their organisms could cross species, inserting plant genes in people and animals, for example. Some of the organisms serving as transfer agents escaped into the environment and became pathogens, transforming human cells into plant fibers, or programming human cells to produce pesticides or herbicides that are toxic to humans. Others caused cancer and genetic damage.

         Morgellons disease was one of the first. Over a quarter of the world's population was dead before they got the gene modifying pathogens under control. Even then, they were more lucky than smart and it took many generations to clean up the damage."

         "Why didn't I know any of this?" Max protested. "How am I supposed to do my job when even I don't know what's going on? I am feeling very frustrated by the excessive compartmentalization of knowledge! I know its heresy to say things like this, but that's what I am programmed for, being innovative and unconventional."

         "But, there is no time to whine about that now!" Max continued as he sat down at the table across from Dr. Baker. He took a deep breath and looked at him through wide eyes and a flushed face. "You'll never believe what I just went through!" he said.

         "For my first case of the year I was assigned a non-conformist! There hasn't been anyone charged with non-conformity for over three generations!"

         "What did he do?" the doctor inquired.

         "Nothing! He was identified as a latent non-conformist by a genetic scan. The Central Accountant picked him up on a routine audit," he replied.

         "So how does a Shyster defend non-conformity?" Dr. Baker asked coolly.

         Max nearly jumped across the table. "Defend it! You don't defend non-conformity! You report it to the Central Accountant!"

         "But you said that he was found by the Central Accountant?" Dr. Baker asked.

         "It doesn't matter! There is no excuse and no defense for non-conformity!"

         "But aren't you supposed to maintain client confidentiality?" Dr. Baker asked, still cool as an ice cube.

         "Regarding disputes between individuals . . . Yes! But for non-conformity?!" He shook his head in bewilderment. "For non-conformity! A determination of non-conformity by the Central Accountant is the same as an accusation AND a conviction! It is so open and shut that it could have been handled by a mere lawyer. That's why they assigned a Shyster to the case. This person needs some out of the box help, and I am his only hope."

         "Look, I haven't opened the file yet, so I don't know who my client is. Once I open the file everything is confidential, so I am having a hypothetical conversation with you now. I need your help! You are a genetic surgeon, tell me what can be done for non-conformity."

         "Well!" Dr. Baker said scratching his chin. "Whole person reprogramming is a possibility, but it has risks. Whole person re-programming involves genetic re-sequencing, epigenomic bio terrain modification, electromagnetic neural restructuring and behavior modification conditioning."

         "We generally use magnetic resonance gene re-sequencing, but for some difficult cases we resort to the older method of using a micro-organism to transfer genetic material."

         "In that situation, we use a genetically engineered micro-organism, usually a virus, to carry, insert and remove specific genes. If we are doing it to alter a single cell embryo, we use a virus that is designed to do its job then turn itself off and die. If we try to do it on a mature person, the virus has to penetrate each of his millions of cells. This requires a large population of viruses, each carrying the same instructions. To achieve the necessary proliferation of the virus requires a virus that reproduces itself rapidly within the host."

         "In essence, we create an infection within the individual. We have engineered viruses to multiply for a specific number of cycles and then to cease their replication. One problem is that some individuals have immune systems that can't tolerate the virus, the infection gets out of hand and the patient dies from the infection."

         "Another problem is that the viruses tend to mutate and may not terminate themselves after the proscribed number of reproductive cycles. Some of them have even escaped and infected other individuals. This inflicts an unintentional genetic reprogramming on them. This process is so potentially dangerous that it has to be performed in an isolation ward!"

         The more Dr. Baker explained, the larger Max's eyes got. "Why didn't I know about this? I was told in school that genetic reprogramming was one of the great breakthroughs of modern science. I was told that it eliminated hereditary diseases, repaired the damaged gene that once prevented us from synthesizing our own vitamin C, raised the IQ of the whole population and gave us all a long healthy lifespan!"

         "It does," Dr. Baker replied. "But we didn't achieve these goals without a price. You weren't told about the difficulties because you are a Shyster, not a genetic surgeon. The Central Accountant determined that you didn't have a need to know!"

         "There is another problem," Dr. Baker added. "Some genes are activated not as a single function but as a coordinated function involving other genes. The trait of non-conformity is not a single gene! It is a variable combination of genes which also give many desirable traits to the individual. If you remove his non-conformity, you may also remove his creativity, or his sense of humor, or his ability to take initiative, or his basic intelligence for example. Permanently curing diabetes and cancer was easy, but the truth is, we don't have a clear understanding of what will be lost if we entirely remove non-conformity!

         And if that wasn't enough, there is the influence of the epigenome," Dr. Baker continued. "The inheritable protein messengers that determine which genes are activated are influenced by our environment and our experiences. The epigenome often has more of an influence on how we turn out than our genes! From there it gets complicated. There is a phenomenon called trans generational eipgenetic inheritance. That means that the thoughts, attitudes and emotional and environmental stresses that our ancestors experienced determine which genes are expressed in us!"

         "No!" Max gasped.

         "Yes!" Dr. Baker replied. "The dominant genetic expression of our current population is the result of generations of mind control, social engineering and behavior modification. So, in addition to genetic re-sequencing, we would have to modify the epigenomic bio terrain as well.

         The epigenomic bio terrain is the complex array of messenger proteins that determine which of our many genes are being expressed and in what way. We can supply these proteins intravenously and the effect will be very fast in manifesting itself. In combination with the effects of genetic re-sequencing, the addition of the epigenomic bio terrain modification is analogous to adding an accelerant to a fire. The messenger proteins that we introduce can be used to turn on the genes that we introduce or to activate dormant genes that the patient already possesses. The catch is that the epigenomic proteins that we supply have a limited life span. So, we either have to keep re-supplying them or condition the patient to produce their own."

         "You see . . . ," Dr. Baker dropped his voice to a whisper and leaned close to Max, "because the messenger proteins are shaped by environment and experience, we have a carefully engineered society to produce conforming individuals. Conformity and ridgidly planned environmental stimuli and experiences shape the epigenome and the epigenome selects the genes that produce more conformity. The shaping of the environment and information matrix is done by social engineers. Social engineers and genetic surgeons have collaborated for generations to establish our current definitions of society and acceptable behavior and thought."

         "I did not fully comprehend that before now," Max said.

         Dr. Baker continued, "To enable the patient to produce their own messenger proteins, a combination of electromagnetic neural re-structuring and behavioral modification can be used. Magnetic transcranial stimulation is often adequate, but sometimes direct stimulation with surgically implanted electrodes is required. Effective behavioral modification requires a protracted period of complete control of both the external and internal environment of the individual. Environmental and emotional stimuli are carefully selected to produce specific effects on the patients perception of reality as well as their biochemistry and neurological functioning.

         And after all of that, a non-conformist becomes an obedient, unquestioning conformist," Dr. Baker said as he looked at max with raised eyebrows. "In our society, these changes have been implemented in increments over multiple generations. To accomplish all of these changes at once?" Dr. Baker shook his head with a grim expression.

         Max looked at him solemnly and said, "There is something that you don't know as well. Three generations ago, when the last case of non-conformity was processed, the penalty was execution! Shysters are the only individuals who know this because the Central Accountant determined that no one else in society has a need to know! The Central Accountant determined that the population should believe that addressing non-conformity was humane so there would be no fear or reluctance to report non-conformity to the authorities."

         "If the Central Accountant follows the precedent, my client will be killed! If I can persuade the Central Accountant that genetic reprogramming will work, I may be able to save his life!"

         "I don't recommend the whole person re-programming procedure," Dr. Baker said emphatically. "But that is a choice that you and your client will have to make."

         Max looked at him grimly and said, "No! It is a choice I will have to make. The Central Accountant has determined that my client does not have a need to know!"

         The waitress came to take Max's order. Max looked at her and said, "Bring me a very light lunch; you decide."

         "Very good sir," she quipped and sped away.

         They ate silently, but Dr. Baker's mind was not silent. He had neglected to mention it, but he too possessed a latent non-conformity pattern in his genetic sequences. In fact over 80% of the population has a latent non-conformity pattern of some sort in their genes. It is a complicated assessment and can only be done with a 13.2% level of confidence.

         This conversation had left Dr. Baker feeling very uncomfortable, though he maintained his stoic outward appearance very well. "I feel that to reprogram so many people with such a high level of uncertainty in both the assessment and the outcome is a serious mistake, but what can I do?", he thought. "I am only a genetic surgeon, the professional, the technician who carries out the procedures. All of the authority for what is done and why it is done is held by the Central Accountant. "

         "Look", Max said, "If you will agree to be a consultant on this case and accept the confidentiality requirements, I will give you a copy of the file to review." Dr. Baker nodded in agreement.

         They finished their lunch and Dr. Baker looked at Max, pulled out his card and said, "It's on my account today!"

         Max nodded and left.

         Dr. Baker had never seen Max so grim. Shysters aren't accustomed to facing life and death issues. In fact, practically no one in contemporary society was accustomed to facing even physical discomfort or administrative inconvenience.

         Every member of society had been taught that the world that existed before the Central Accountant was created to enforce absolute conformity was an unthinkable horror. That world, they were told, was one defined by conflict, war, terror, hunger, homelessness, starvation, victimization, disease, insecurity and unending suffering. In exchange for safety, security and comfort, individuality and human rights were sacrificed. Absolute conformity to the behavior, beliefs and choices mandated by the Central Accountant was harshly enforced by the Central Accountant.

         Dr. Baker opened the file and looked at the heading. The client is . . . Dr. Sam Baker . . . genetic surgeon.

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