To destroy is bestial, to love: harmony; to improvise: ingenious. To do all is human. Desires shape continuity, but existence remains ephemeral. Times change and so do prevalent realities, we somehow learn to compromise and accommodate. Determination defines means; persistence, measures to live on.
“Welcome aboard unit 14a, sector 104089, and your new abode”, greeted Dr. Kuldev. “The bad news is you’ve been downsized to a packet of frozen neurons. The good news is you’re an inhabitant of ‘Parallel Earth’ – let’s just call it a new human adventure: the ultimate frontier.” Anand turned right to accost a thin man with honing eyes exuding a wry smile. His wavy, unkempt, white hair and competing bald spots portrayed contrast better than artists’ brushes. His green blazer sported an embroidery of Einstein held incongruous to his variegated, cotton tie. That, combined with his heavily creased, fur trousers depicted the epitome of fashion’s degradation. The unperturbed composure of the man; his focused eyes and uncouth appearance made him the best among those that invariably explore their cerebral environment in the confines of their laboratories.
“I don’t get you, Mr..?” inquired Anand. He was absolutely befuddled to hear the man’s story, hoping that the old man wasn’t stuck in some “imaginary” sector of his cerebral environment. “Dr. Kuldev, Chief Scientist, Human Consciousness Transport Technology, Braxter Institute. Now, your immediate neighbor! And, you are?” asked Dr. Kuldev, lending his hand forward. “Anand John, editor of the Asian Times, Kathmandu”, disclosed Anand, accepting his handshake. “But, I don’t understand, Anand. Asian Times was a 21st Century Company. It was sold off to Planet News some 400 years ago.” Dr. Kuldev looked puzzled, breaking his, heretofore, assured composure. He didn’t know that Anand had passed away in a car accident in Kathmandu in the year 2009. He also didn’t know that Anand’s body had been inadvertently donated to science. His body had somehow found its way into Dr. Kuldev’s research facility 400 years later – the mother of all precarious happenstances in human history. Anand, of course, didn’t know this for obvious reasons.
“I must say that I haven’t heard about your profession or your research institute, Doc”, a perplexed Anand spoke, assured that the Doc was a mad scientist, obviously lost in some lobe of his brain between sectors 104089 and unit 14a, whatever that meant. Dr. Kuldev’s elaborate tales of time travel and refrigeration were developing gorges in Anand’s frowning brow. The progenitorial family nose and his confident demeanor – which had been a hallmark of his forebears – were suddenly made insignificant by his cringing shoulders. He looked wary and old as if he had been sandblasted in the Sahara Desert for 10 years. “Well, my institute was founded by the late Dr. Jim Braxter, a German, in the year 2400. Until then, research in human consciousness was a rudimentary affair. But, as you can see, we have covered some ground”, disclosed a haughty Dr. Kuldev.
“Allow me to explain”, he offered, noticing Anand’s befuddlement. The old man had recovered his unflinching composure and was gleaming to continue the conversation. He explained everything to Anand in troughs of elated and intelligent scientific verses. By the time the Doctor had finished, Anand looked even older than him – this time 60 years older, resembling a septuagenarian found wandering somewhere in Pluto.
The department of Human Consciousness Transport Technology (HCTT) was founded in the year 2420. Its objective was simple: to retain conscious life without physiology. Global Space Consortium, a space research institute, had detected a gargantuan star, twice the size of Jupiter, headed directly for the sun on January 20th 2420. It was established that the star would strike the sun on February 5th 2450. Scientists calculated that the collision would alter the gravitational field in the Milky Way, catapulting Earth out of its galactic cocoon – doomsday, in other words. Dr. Kuldev, the incumbent scientist at HCTT, had finally succeeded in isolating human consciousness in frozen packets of neurons (brain cells) on October 8th 2430. By the year 2437, the world was preparing for the “Inner Evacuation”.
“You, John, must have met a tragic accident”, asked Dr. Kuldev, assured that Anand’s body had been accidentally preserved for the last 4 centuries. “Yes, Doc, I had a car accident on my way to work.” The first thought that crossed Anand when he woke up was that he must be in a hospital. The Doc’s stories made him uncomfortable. He feared that he may have sustained serious head injuries to have been placed next to this mad scientist. “Look around you, Anand”, asked the Doc. “Imagine a setting; let’s say, a swimming pool with a Dolphin in siesta, floating on an inflated mattress with a cigar and whiskey in its hands. Did you see your environment change?” Dr. Kuldev waited for Anand to see an instant visual enactment of his premonition. Anand concurred in stammering tones, “Yes, Doc, I see it.”
“Now try jumping. You will land back on the ground.” “Yes, Doc, I did”, agreed Anand. “Now, forget there is gravity and try again”, asked Dr. Kuldev. Anand jumped, but didn’t land back on earth. “You see, Anand, your experiences of the world: knowledge, forces, gravity, memory, pain and affection have been retained. But, your imagination now merges with reality.” “But, Doc, this must be a dream”, blurted Anand. “I may be hallucinating as a result of my accident”, hi opined. “Anand, if you don’t care for euphemisms, you’re plain dead, but still conscious.”
“We are all packets of neurons now, Anand, housed in matrices of frozen cylinders for miles. Ours is in Asia, unit 14a. Incidentally, mine is placed right next to yours. The planet is now geographically divided into sectors, ours being 104089. The celestial tragedy would destroy Earth. The only option we had was to transport human consciousness to live on. We evacuated ourselves within ourselves”. “But, but, what happened to Earth?” asked Anand. “Earth exists, Anand. It may collapse after the catastrophe, but we will live on, all of us. This is the post 2440 era – a parallel existence where we interact in thoughts and imaginations, without the pressures of physical survival.
We’re all soul mates now, Anand, with global social networks. It’s better than the days of the internet. Just think of an idea and connect with the brightest minds that have pioneered the idea. There are no wars, hunger, competitions or evil now Anand. You could say that we have finally managed to create utopia, after all”, expressed an impassioned Dr. Kuldev. “But, what after the Earth collapses”, asked Anand. “Earth will be shot out of sun’s influence. We will remain frozen, Anand, and continue to live on”, answered Dr. Kuldev. “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Don’t you agree?”
The human legacy: hope, love, camaraderie, knowledge, innovation and enterprise that expanded our civilization continue to show us the way. Ends are sometimes new beginnings; tragedy, often blessings in disguise. The legacy, however, finds a way to live on! We find a way to live on!