Since more than one week the personal drone, for security reasons, was coming up to his terrace, silent and powerful as ever. Steven considered these security precautions excessive and even rather stupid, but he had to comply, especially now that he had to go to the Square Office of the General Director. Why had he summoned him that day, just before his presentation to the Secret Commission?
The office was at the other end of the big tower, the drone deposited him in front of the steel big door, which slided open for him. He walked through the empty corridors, icy cold, the door sliding open as he was approaching. Nobody around, and he asked himself again why visitors were obliged to walk so long through those metallic rooms before reaching the Square Office- probably to impart a kind of psychological stress to the visitor. He remembered stories of thousand years ago about the emperor of ancient China in the forbidden city, who used this way to show their power.
-Have a sit, Steven.
-You wanted to see me; Director?
-Your discovery is giving me a lot of problems, Steven. You understand that the bioethics Tribunal will make a lot of noise. Your discovery can be seen as a program for eugenetics, for changing the human race, nothing less, and this irreversibly. The idea to combine the memory of an individual with his genome, so that the progeny has not only his genes, but also all his knowledge, is undoubtedly one great strive for our evolutionary society, but not one to be easily accepted.
-I worked all my life for that, Sir.
-I know, and your devotion to science is not an argument of discussion. But at the personal level, as I do not know whether to be happy about it. But I have a lot of problems at the political level.
-The Secret Commission will have a word about that, Sir. They will be responsible of the political aspects.
-Not so simple, Steven. First of all, your discovery is not a secret anymore.
Our advanced cybernetic squad has discovered that there were micro spies in your lab…
-Of two different origin, Steven. One from the GOPOR, you know what that is, right?
-The largest pharma monopoly on the globe, the Great Organization Pharma of Organism Recombinant- always after money, aren’t they?
-Yes, they would not mind to take over the whole project, have a patent on that, sell the invention to the richest people on Earth, and so on…
-You know that they cannot steel my invention…
-Because is present only in a blog in my brain.
-You made a brain blog with it ? -Yes, a package of neurons which can be activated only at a given frequency, known only to me. In the presentation at the Secret Commission, I will let out the blog in form of an antiquate power point presentation- about three hundred slides, for about two hours…
-They could kidnap you and oblige to speak, Steven. They have their ways. At any rate, you are protected by four men of our intelligence service, the best we have, they have orders to let nobody in your home…
-And this is not all. The other micro spy was from the AntiCloning Squad.
They simply want to kill you before you present the idea…
-They are really fanatics. They have bombed the genetic lab at the university of Ulm, killing sixteen people, haven’t they?
-Yes, they went so far, and you understand also why you are in my office, and why all these security measures…
-What do you want me to do? I work for the Government and the invention belongs to the Government.
-Do you think. they will implement it?
-You should know this better than I. But until now, for the last two thousand years or so, no invention has been buried in a drawer. Think at the atomic energy several centuries ago…
-So, they plan to use it? I guess doctor Sevil is eager to start…He his another fanatic, Steven...
-Think at the advantages for the humanity! Our children will have, stored in their brain, all the knowledge of their parents, and in turn their children will have stored e also what the parents have learned anew. In a few generations, we will have a Sapiens Sapiens Doctissimus, as doctor Sevil says…
The General Director shook his head, mumbling:
-What we need for our humanity, Steven, is not more knowledge, but more wisdom. Do you understand the difference, Steven?
-Yes, I do. But wisdom is not in my professional field, Sir. I am just the chief of the Applied Epigenetic and Neurobiology Department, Sir.
-Well, I have done my professional job also, to warn you at all level. And there is another thing: your…lover…how shall I call her?
-Marylin… She… has nothing to do with all that, Director! - exclaimed Steven with force.
-Well, love is often a hindrance, at all level, Steven. Somebody can follow her when she comes to see you- my informers say, that this happens almost every night…
-This is my business, Sir.
-No, nothing is your business now, Steven. You are playing with the atomic bomb. And you can even hurt her… -May I go now, Sir?
-Yes, please go.
Alone in the drone, Steven thought of Marylyn, and a feeling of warmth surrounded him. Oh! He had lived almost all his life without the company of a woman, just books and experiments. Now, more than fifty years old, the surprise of that thing, of which he had heard and read in the books: love. He went with the memory to that fortuitous encounter in the elevator- she was going to her office, which was not very far from his own. But in the Giant Tower, where thousands of scientists were working, was not easy to really meet someone. She had taken the initiative of inviting him for a coffee, and there at the table, for the first time, he had dared to take her hand in his hands. So the all thing started. So beautiful.
She would have come that night too, they had agreed, the room of the elevator would slide open, and she would appear, probably in her white coat.
Instead, she appeared in the room, all at a sudden, from the balcony stair.
-How did you do that? –Steven said, hugging her.
-Well, I wanted to see how your security guards function. One was in front of the side entrance, but it was indeed easy to distract him away. Nobody saw me entering. Not a good thing.
They sat in the sofa by the book case.
-And look! - she said. And took out of his bag a revolver.
-Oh, what is that? - Steven exclaimed. - Oh, an extra-laser gun! It would destroy a man with only one shot! -Yes, the victim would disappear in nothingness! It comes from the government, to protect you. I was summoned by the Vice General Director, that mister Swithsonian, you know. He told me about the dangers you are in…the Anti-Cloning Squad and all that… and asked me to look upon you, and gave me the gun. I should use it if some stranger tries to intrude…
-Oh, my God, Marylyn! I am so sorry you have been pulled into all this! And I am tired of all these secrets and mysteries.
Steven sighed, took his hands in the hands, then he raised the eyes towards her:
-Actually, you know, I was thinking, when this story calms down, we could go away, you and me, alone, in some quiet place…
-Vacations you mean? –Marylyn smiled, one of her open, luminous smiles- I didn’t have vacation for the last four years…
-Yes, here we only work. Sometimes, Marylyn, I think this is not the right way...
-Do you regret what you have done, and discovered?
Steven was busy opening her white coat, one button after the other. Usually it was a ritual which they both liked and smiled at. He stopped, surprised.
-No, Marylyn, I did it my way-the only way I knew…
-I still do not understand well how you could link physically the memory to the genome…
-You have to wait for my presentation. It is not an easy matter. First of all, is only the long-term memory. -And there is one gene for that?
-One gene? There are about one hundred genes for that. But fortunately, they resonate with the same frequency, a very specific one.
-So, you connected this frequency to the genome?
Steven smiled again.
-Not so simple, Marylyn. But it is something like that.
-The world would not be the same after you, do you realize that? –said finally Marylyn.
-You mean…if my discovery will be implemented? Yes, there will be a big loop ahead for humanity...
-Are you sure, Steven, that it will be a loop ahead?
There was perhaps a little accent of acidity in the tone of Marylyn? No, he didn’t want that his work would put a shadow between the two of them.
He tried to smile and to hug her again. But she was serious now.
-Tell me another thing, Steven. The long-term memory also contains trauma, crimes, various negative perturbations… All this comes along?
A long silence.
-We are aware of the trauma problem. We are studying, on how to delete them from the long-term memory…
-But you were not successful yet…
Another long silence.
-I will give my presentation at the Secret Commission -said finally Steven- Over three hundred slides and three hours talk… all prepared, you know… all from my brain blog… Then I take a long brake. What happens with the implementation, is not my business.
-Ah, you do not feel responsible for what will happen?
-No, Marylyn: I made the discovery, and the government people will decide how to implement it.
-So, is not your problem what will happen to us, to our children?
-No, I don’t think so…
-But you would not like that your finding would sit in the drawer of some politician, and being forgotten there for the next hundred years, would you?
Some hesitation in Steven’s voice. He was now afraid to say something she would not like. Strange. She was never doubtful about the beauty of his discovery, but now for the first time he was feeling a sense of negativity in her. Women emotions, he thought.
-Listen, Marylyn, you didn’t answer to my question about vacations together…
-Steven, please, do not call me Marylyn anymore…
-This is not my real name. This is what I told you in the lift.
-And what is your name? - asked Steven with a sudden shiver of fear.
-I am Rebecca, captain of the Homicid Section of the Anti-cloning Squad- said Rebecca pointing the gun against him. – Adieu, Steven. You are such a genius, and so stupid at the same time.