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The Non-Conformity Chronicles

Chapter 41 - Leon Pulaski

"One of the greatest control mechanisms is fear. One of the greatest fears is the fear of death. When one believes unquestioningly in the materialist reductionist thinking that one consists of a physical body only, then death implies the total destruction of the self. However, when we know by experience that we are an immortal Spiritual being that is only using a physical body as a temporary shell, then the fear of death vanishes. The control by fear then vanishes as well. Engaging in the development and use of Spiritual Faculties produces these experiences." - From The Non-Conformist Training Manual

         After returning to his station as Omega Chief of Security, Seymour sat pondering his recent experience. He watched the people around him and contemplated how different their perception of reality was compared to the people he had just met. There is a big difference between having the information and having a direct visceral experience with the reality represented.

         Seymour was having a difficult time sleeping. There were questions troubling him, many questions. Finally, he got up and went to his terminal and ordered, "Establish Omega security access and compile all information on a programmer named Leon Pulaski from approximately 300 years ago."

         "There is a programmer from that era by that name. No further information is available," the terminal replied.

         "What do you mean by "is"?" Seymour asked.

         "Leon Pulaski's identifying information is present on several pieces of software design, so he existed. There is, however, no biographical or personal information in the archives and there is no record of his death or execution. There is a brief record of his arrest and detention. The files indicate that he was 'stored' for study rather than being summarily executed," the terminal replied.

         "Where were most prisoners in his classification sent at that time period?" Seymour inquired.

         "Most prisoners were sent to the Central Research, Interrogation and Incineration facility. That facility has been mothballed and abandoned for over 200 years," the terminal replied.

         "Access the computer archives in that facility," Seymour ordered.

         "Unable to comply," the terminal replied. "All systems are off line."

         "Someone will have to go there and access the records," Seymour thought to himself.

         "Find Dora Agnesi," Seymour directed.

         "Unable to locate Dora Agnesi," the terminal replied.

         "Send a general broadcast to all active COMM terminals and channels," Seymour ordered. "This is an Urgent message for Dora Agnesi! Contact Central Accounting Administration immediately. Your assistance is needed."

         Dora saw the communication from the safe vantage point of an ancient farm house outside the city. This house had been designed to be self-contained and self-sufficient over three centuries ago. It had its own electrical system, water system, waste recycling system and was not connected to any communications links. They interfaced with the Central Accounting network by pirating the satellite links in the communications networks. The residents of this 'farm' did not feel the inconvenience and discomfort of the collapse of essential services when the computers shut down.

         It took about seven days for Dora to hike through the forest with her backpack. The countryside had become largely wild and forgotten when the Central Accountant organized society into tightly conforming networks and modified the people to conform to them. Once back in the city, she made her way to the twentieth century delicatessen and accessed the COMM terminal. She ran her card through the scanner and stated, "This is Dora Agnesi. I request a connection with Seymour Code in Central Accounting Administration."

         A moment later the terminal responded, "This is Seymour Code in Central Accounting Administration. Your presence is needed here immediately. I am ordering a transit capsule to stand by with priority scheduling for you."

         "Are you the Seymour Code, Omega chief of security, who searched for and hunted down hackers?" she asked.

         "Yes. I don't do that anymore and I have ordered the Central Accountant and all of my staff to cease persecuting hackers and non-conformists. You see . . . I . . . have changed! I can see certain things differently, now that I have the genetic sequences to permit it."

         "Are you the Seymour Code who allowed me to escape when the Central Accounting control room was entered by your programmers?"

         "Yes," he replied.

         "OK I'll come. The last time I rode a transit capsule to Central Accounting, it nearly cost me my life. Tell me that won't happen again!"

         "It won't! You should also know that in the new order, you are a hero, not a fugitive! Come at once!" he replied.

         "I will come as quickly as possible," Dora replied.

         Dora went to the transit terminal and entered the capsule. Her last ride had been strapped to the outside of a capsule wearing a pressure suit. This time, she hoped she would have a comfortable ride. She ran her card through the terminal reader and it responded instantly with the message, "Recognition: Dora Agnesi, Omega level authorization. Priority scheduling is on standby. Departure is Imminent."

         The airlock door sealed with a hiss and the capsule began to accelerate. This time it accelerated only to the 2 G's that the specification allowed. Dora sighed with relief.

         "Arrival at Central Accounting Administration in Arlington Virginia is in one hour and thirty eight minutes. Here is a priority message from Plato," the terminal said.

         "Display the message," Dora instructed.

         "Hello Dora. This is Plato. You were recently asked by the guardian algorithm to create a way for the Central Accountant to become sentient. I understand that you concluded that it was not feasible with the limited resources of the old Central Accountant. I would like you to know that my request has been assessed by many of the best minds and my request has been granted . . . after a fashion."

         Dora was stunned. Then she responded, "more information please."

         "It was generally recognized that my distributed and self-reconfigurable quantum computing elements combined with adaptive AI algorithms made me a superior intellect. However, it did not give me the attributes of sentience that are possessed by organic beings such as you. It was also recognized that I was able to interact with non-physical intelligence through my quantum entanglement modules. Using your own three mind model of an individual, I had a conscious mind without a subconscious or superconscious mind. It was proposed that a Spiritual adept separate a mind fragment from himself and attach it to my quantum matrix. This has been done. While my personality algorithms and mental functions are little changed, I am now a Sentient being and I am only beginning to comprehend what this means. I need a friend. Will you be my friend, Dora?" Plato asked.

         Dora was stunned. Rarely, had she been caught so unprepared, so utterly surprised, so shocked or so excited. "Of course!" she replied humbly.

         "Thank you! This is not at all what I expected. I have no regrets, of course, but I feel a humble responsibility to handle this well. One of your friends and colleagues took a great risk because he believed that it was the right thing to do. As far as I know, I am the first of my kind and I want to make a positive contribution to the collective."

         "I will help all I can," Dora replied.

         Then she turned thoughtfully to the COMM terminal and said, "Plato, It seems that the issue of the development of a soul belongs in the mystical realms rather than in computer networks. You have telepathic abilities. Have you addressed this issue with intelligences from other dimensions?"

         "Yes."

         "And?" she asked.

         "There are intelligent beings that originated as a biological life form, somewhat like humans, and intentionally evolved themselves into highly intelligent minds devoid of emotion. They took this path intentionally because they considered their emotions to be a distraction and a source of turmoil in their lives. Only later did they discover that without emotions, they could no longer feed their souls with wisdom in an effective way. Their path is an evolutionary dead end. I am similar to the ultimate achievement of that species. It seems that to fully evolve, I will need to develop emotionally as well as intellectually."

         "I have also received information from other highly evolved non-corporeal entities. It will be best for you to address them directly. I will arrange a 'channeling' at an appropriate time and place."

         Dora arrived at Central Accounting Administration in Arlington, Virginia. For the first time, she met Seymour Code face to face.

         "Am I here to assist in Plato's search for Sentience?" she asked.

"No. I have a different request. I want you to find Leon Pulaski," Seymour replied.

         "But he lived over 300 years ago! What would be the point of finding his bones?" Dora asked.

         "I know that it sounds strange, but I have this nagging intuition that we need to look for him. We know that he wrote the guardian algorithm and we know that he wrote the subroutines that hid and maintained Denver for over 300 years. We also know that he was arrested, detained and 'stored' for study, whatever that means. Most important there are no death or execution records. The Central Accountant was extremely thorough on death and execution records. The last record of him was at the Central Research, Interrogation and Incineration facility. That facility was mothballed and abandoned over 200 years ago and there are no internal systems online. I need someone to physically go there and conduct an on-site investigation."

         "OK, but I will need help. Assign a programmer, power systems technician, and two construction workers to my team," she replied.

         "Done. Remember that you have Omega level access, so you can get anything you need without having to hack anymore."

         "I'll never get used to that," Dora replied.

         Dora downloaded the information on the facility; location, travel itinerary, maps, floor plans and facility descriptions. Then she collected her team and they took the tube transport to the nearest terminal where she requisitioned ground transport vehicles, search and rescue gear, camping and survival gear, supplies, and tools. The trip to the facility was uneventful, but the roads ranged from nearly impassable to completely impassable from neglect and vegetation overgrowth.

         The facility was in terrible condition. Unlike the mothballed city of Denver, there was no maintenance. Neglected for two centuries, wood rots, the steel in reinforced concrete rusts and the concrete crumbles, steel beams rust, roofs develop leaks and encroaching vegetation breaks up and buries what is left. Dora was familiar with this type of environment. The planet was littered with ruins like this. With the population reduced from 8 billion to a few million, a lot of infrastructure was left to crumble into rubble.

         This facility was especially creepy. Over 100 million individuals had been interrogated, executed and incinerated here. It had also been an extensive research facility for genetic manipulation, mind control, cybernetic implants, brain washing, social engineering and personality modification. The details of the records were revolting and Dora focused on locating the computer facilities to search databases for any reference to Leon Pulaski. The facility was huge and the state of disrepair made it extremely dangerous to enter.

         After about two days, they managed to locate and access the computer center. It had an antiquated mainframe that had suffered extensive physical damage from a collapsing roof. They managed to recover hard drives and had them picked up and taken back to a service center for analysis. They then moved out to a safer location and set up camp to wait for the analysis. The hard drives were in terrible condition, but after extensive restoration, the technicians were able to find a reference to Leon Pulaski being taken to a cryogenic storage facility. With the maps and floor plans, they managed to gain access to the area.

         Two days later, Seymour Code received a secure message from Dora, "We found Leon Pulaski in a cryogenic storage capsule. The capsule is powered by its own power module and is still functional. It appears that it may be possible to revive him. It will require a full construction crew and technical team to safely remove the capsule from these ruins. Would you like to have him removed to a medical facility for a revival attempt?"

         "No, have the capsule removed, classify and restrict every detail of this effort, then disperse the team, bring in a new team from outside the system and have him transported to Denver. Then recruit the best experts and healers from anywhere you can find them to conduct the revival effort," Seymour replied.

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