A meeting of the Sub-Committee on Bio-Technology in Modern Medicine into the Future
There were seven people seated around the table, with several assistants behind them, ready to take notes, or fetch coffee or whatever such people do as a matter of course.
A meeting of the sub-committee on bio-technology in modern medicine and into the future
“Madam secretary, members (there being three senators, three house representatives / three are female, and three male, three democrats / three are republicans), may I present Dr. Green,” the lobbyist said, and then exited the room.
A sprightly older gentleman came bounding onto the rostrum and did a Prussian bow to his audience. He was a little taller than average at close enough to six-foot even, slim and straight-shouldered, blue-eyed, and had a full head of hair, albeit silver.
He had no notes with him, no PowerPoint presentation, but in a clear voice with a slight German intonation, he had them as putty in his hands from his first words, “on the day after I was born, in München, my hometown in Deutschland, you all know it as Munich in Germany; Adolf Hitler was arrested following the beer hall putsch. Just to remind you, that was in June of 1923...” this revelation was followed by a buzz of excitement, as the audience gazed at him, and looked at each other, as if asking if they also thought he was pulling a fast one.
He must be, he was claiming to be 96 years old, but he looked to be about sixty years old.
He didn’t raise his voice, but having given them their moment, he continued, “history is full of stories of the immortal, the gods, demi-gods, the children of gods in Egypt, and Greece, and other cultures of antiquity,” with a hint of a sneer on his face, he said, “the Jewish bible names several persons who are claimed to have lived more than one hundred and fifty years, all the way up to almost one thousand years, I believe the specific number is 969.” He had the rapt attention of his audience.
“Throughout history, we have tales, some tall, and some very believable, stories made famous and popular in books, and more recently in film, of searchers,” although not necessarily charismatic, the audience were unwilling to look away, to turn from what had the makings of an awesome and exciting adventure.
“Searchers for places, for A or maybe THE tree of life, rivers or waters of life, searchers after objects, the holy grail, the ark of the covenant, and even people, the centurion, allegedly supposed to have been present at the Christ’s death, even those of his disciples who were promised to see his triumphant return. Well, they, the disciples all died, but the stories tell that the centurion didn’t. the Orientals also believe in reincarnation, possibly to explain how the elders were able to remain amongst them.
“Even kinder boeke, children’s books have been written with these themes, of immortality. The two ways that modern man think to attain long life are potions or alchemy, and sorcery or pacts with dark powers.
“The story of Faustus or as you Anglos refer to him, Faust is almost contemporary with the inquisitions of Europe at the time. One of the most well-known of the inquisitors, and definitely among the most-feared is the name Torquemada in Spain. It is speculated that he was searching for immortality himself, looking for a real witch or wizard who would be able to give him what he wanted. Even America has her own stories of witch hunts. Both of these have attained infamy, and it has to be presumed that those who may have been in league with dark powers were never caught, and that those who did die, were indeed innocent.”
He looked at the people around the table, they were as children listening to a folk-tale teller.
“More recently, Adolf Hitler began his Thousand-Year Reich, what is less well known, is that it was his intention to be there, to be Reichsfuhrer, for much of that time, if not all of it...”
This got a buzz again from the audience.
He continued, “there are those who have bought into the lie, and believe that Dr. Mengele and his peers were only doing medical research to gain better understanding of the human body, they have no idea.” He took a sip of water, was it a punctuation preceding another revelation, “for so many Jews,” again, the slightest hint of a sneer, “Roma, or as you know them Gypsies,” again the sneer, as he continued, “the homosexuals and the communists to have died, do you not think that there was greater purpose behind it... ?”
As a hubbub of discussion died away, he carried on, “I know, I was there...”
This time there was an uproar.
He waited patiently.
The secretary brought order, and requested that he continue.
“I had been a sickly child, and had been excused military service, but my chance came to do something, to be a productive member of my society, it came in the form of a doctor at Belsen, who had need of an assistant, I was in my late teenage years. The doctor, his name is unimportant, he disappeared a long time ago into the soviet system, and I am led to believe that he did not survive long, had made some early breakthroughs, and together with several colleagues’ stem cell research was moving forward.
“I willingly, voluntarily became a guinea pig. The two major stumbling blocks that we had, were that we did not at that time have nano-technology, not as we have it today, although the use of a sterilized viral T-phage as a method of transmission was being investigated; and time ... the war was no longer going our way, we were losing the war.
“I was one of those who was fortunate enough to be brought here to America, in the Operation Paperclip, where I was able to resume the research, insofar as possible, that we had already begun years before.
“Unfortunately, in the meantime, a lot of the notes and records were either intentionally destroyed in the last few days of the war, or were damaged while in transit, either to the Soviet or the Western Powers, during the liberation phase; and of what was saved, often ended up without glossary, index or codebook.
“And thus it was, that much of my work has been done from scratch or by reverse engineering what we did have. At present there are not many like me, youthful-looking, yet older; but soon there could be more...”
The secretary had to again bring order in the room.
“Since the introduction of nano-tech in the mid-nineties, we have been able to advance by leaps and bounds. And that nano-tech has only become possible through faster and more powerful computers, which have themselves been made possible by super-conductors, and some of the newer non-Kelvin super-conductor materials.
“Dolly, the sheep was not just a technology demonstrator, but the ultimate culmination of all pre-nano technology research up to that date. Do any of you remember the hue and cry, when Dolly died, but so many people had forgotten that she had already lived to a ripe old age, as sheep go.
“Over the last few years, we have gotten to a point where we could begin human trials,” He held up his hands, in a defensive motion, “no, we are not talking of cloning human beings yet ... apart from anything else, there is little need to clone people while the population grows every year, no, our human trials are in the arena of military medicine.
“The Department of Defense has been our biggest supporter, they seek that holy grail, the super-soldier, who is more capable than his forebears, or even his contemporaries. Alternatively, it is the chance that we may be able to take a wounded man, and instead of demobilizing a handicapped, damaged veteran into society, rather having the option of having them undergo a short period of repair, followed by another short period of rehabilitation, his experience being more necessary than having the necessity of having another man training, ofttimes for several years, before attaining that pinnacle of excellence that our soldiers are known for.
“And so, where gunshot wounds are not immediately terminal ... but the longest that we had had anyone surviving long-term was due to modern surgery, and not to any of my techniques, that is, until just six months ago.
“We had a gentleman, in his fifties come into our lab, he had been in an accident, and the emergency room had said that there was no way that this gentleman could be saved, he had fairly severe cranial injuries...”
At the gormless look on some of the faces watching him, he continued, “skull injuries, where large parts of the brain were indicated to be damaged as well.
“Since this was a free sample, our lab was just the other side of the morgue, although they have records showing that he was there, there is even a legal document, an autopsy, but he didn’t stay in the mortuary for very long, and while he was still hanging on by a thread, we took him on as our most recent guinea pig. Now, I know that some science fiction writers would like you to believe that a body can be put into a contraption, and a few hours later, as if by magic, a whole man reappears. Well, if that were the case, we wouldn’t have the problems that we do have.
“Just to give you a general run-down: we first took stem cell samples, where we were able to get the DNA, and use that to program our nano-bots, together with the instruction to repair, renew, rejuvenate; and the body placed in a chamber filled with a pseudo-amniotic fluid...”
Again, looks of bewilderment, he thought to himself, ‘how was it that a politician could get into a position where they were to make decisions about even the most basic aspects of science let alone future technology, but were absolutely clueless to even elementary terminology,’ aloud he said, “amniotic fluid is what we find in the placental sac, rich in proteins and nutrients, surrounding the unborn baby. Our pseudo ... faux or perhaps a better word might be synthetic, man-made amniotic fluid was the carrier for the nano-bots within which to work.