There was an endless amount of work to do, and it went precariously slow.
Jim allowed his replicants to organize his network of spies and educators, weaving the webs of surveillance he required, and he empowered one special replicant to deliver his report to the Collective each one hundred year cycle. He shared virtually nothing with this version of himself requiring that it keep only the secrets that they had always kept, the secrets they were practiced at keeping from the Continuum.
The work being conducted on Earth was slow, interminably slow, but in comparison to the millions of years Jim had spent in the great sleep, and in sequestration, the time ahead of him was almost nothing.
On Earth he was acting under a deadline, he had to achieve his ends before the next great catastrophe struck the planet, this made the passage of time seem like torture, as he pulled millions of threads together in his breeding programs, searching for the perfect vessel to carry out his work.
He was like a hunter-gatherer looking for something that did not yet exist, the thing that would sustain him.
He did not even know that it was possible.
He and his replicants acted in concert, they were as one in their resolve. They were free agents, each of them.
There were only rare and isolated moments of betrayal. These were dealt with swiftly, and none of his co-agents ever questioned the necessity of it.
Their work together was a miracle of cooperative effort.
The deployment allowed him to devote his attention to observing and overseeing the mutation of the human stock. Tracking both the wild progress occurring in the unregulated breeding pools, as well as the planned for changes taking shape in his controlled studies.
It was the safest way to proceed.
There were moments in history when Jim thought he had found the individual he was looking for, but the timing was not right, he could not engineer the crises he required in time to take advantage of their gifts, if those gifts could be fully developed; they were born at a time too distant from the moment of catastrophe.
There was a prince in the Himalayas, a fisherman in Palestine, a camel driver in Arabia, each separated from each other by hundreds of years.
The timing was never right.
His work was like sifting the sand of the ocean floor, or the full harvest of finely milled flour through an equally fine meshed screen. He needed to touch every particle, to look at each one as it passed through the sieve.
Jim built systems into the social fabric, systems of reporting that allowed him to identify those who carried the genetic structures he was looking for, so that he could build on them.
He did not have to rely on his network of spies and informants for this. The reporting simply bubbled-up. Over time he learned to take greater efforts in concealing the lives of these extraordinary peoples.
At a glance he could see, a hue in the Iris, the contour of an earlobe, the shape of a thumb, the texture of hair, physical traits that marked a new born child as distinct, they were the talk of the village, and news carried fast.
Investigators would be dispersed.
Cognitive testing followed, and depending on the results, Jim would place an emissary of some type close to the individual; to protect them, to watch over them, sometimes they would be as intimate as a teacher or a private tutor, at other time they might simply be situated as a remote benefactor.
These were always extraordinary people, it was difficult to contain their fame, they had deep connections to their world and their people through the cynergenic field, they were frequently blessed with great physical beauty, strength and power.
Jim would attempt to hide them, to secure their genetic material for his breeding program, and to hide their offspring if he could.
They belonged to him, they were his creation.
His life was one of deep analytical scrutiny, of asserting, testing and rejecting various hypothesis concerning the exact structure within the human brain that would establish the strongest link to Earth’s cynergenic field.
He tested the population of his subjects in hospitals and asylums, in monasteries and convents, in university laboratories and in prisons, sequencing their genes to either enhance or restrict their capacity to carry nano-particles of magnatite and other conductive elements within the brain that facilitated cynergy.
He covertly exported some of his finding back to the Empire where his own covert operatives, replicants of himself received them and inserted some of his work into the gene-pools of selected worlds.
It was a way for him to preserve his work should he be discovered and a disaster befall Earth.
He tested candidates in the military, breeding them both for their strength of limb and their mental acuity. He experimented on them as mercilessly as the Continuum ever did, testing the limits of human courage and despair.
He was as amoral in his pursuit of his vision as anyone or anything that had ever been created, and he knew it.
The genetic line he was searching for slowly came into focus, he mirrored the properties belonging to his studies and built them into the genetic simulacrum of his own body, but only when he was certain of the risks. He personally felt the power of his design and with that he programmed the rest of his aides in the same way.
It gave him greater control and personal security over the autonomous versions of himself, his co-factors in the mission.
In spite of his incredible progress, pulling the desired properties through the human gene pool on Earth was a different matter. It was excruciatingly slow, though it advanced significantly once he knew the properties he was actually looking for.
Jim pushed his program of genetic modification across all fronts.
Year after year he validated his work, he verified the general strengthening and enhancement of the specific features he was building into the genetic endowment of the human race; psychicism, extra sensory perception, access to and facility with genetic memory.
He was always on the lookout for persons born with significant advancement in their connection to the cynergenic field, when he found them he exported those genetic traits to the population at large.
As time went on the changes came more rapidly, it was more than he could manage as a single person, without his team of replicants he would have been powerless to control the program he had set in place
He was moving toward his goal; steadily, inexorably moving, and the exercise was changing him. He had become single minded and fixed on one outcome.
Nothing else mattered for him and he was despotic in his pursuit of it.
The humans of Earth, these Children of the Ancient People, they represented the answer to the Continuum, and he began to imagine a future for himself within the new Collective he was forming.
He fantasized about saving Earth and himself along with it, after liberating the Empire and destroying the HomeWorld, his esteem for himself was completely reliant on these fantasies.
The sacrifice of the human race would lead to freedom across the Imperium, the sacrifice would be great but a remnant would survive, and he along with them.
After liberating the Empire, the Empire would rescue the survivors on Earth. That became his plan.
Jim brought all the threads he had been weaving for his great-genetic tapestry together in North America, in the United States, a nation lovingly referred to as “the melting pot,” in that place his work came to fruition.
Jim guided its development.
It became the indispensable country, wealthy and powerful and a beacon to the world. Its democratic foundation was the antithesis of everything the Continuum stood for, and it infused the people with a mythology, a set or archetypes that conditioned its members to be willing to make incredible sacrifices for the greater good.
It was a place where refugees from all over the world came for the hope of peace and justice, for prosperity and advancement, this allowed Jim to watch over both the random interactions that were taking place in the gene pool at an ever increasing rate, as well as giving him access to the best institution where he could conduct his experiments.
More importantly, his positioning here gave him proximity to the epicenter of the coming disaster, the great caldera volcano lurking at the center of the continent.
When Jim discovered the families which he surmised would produce the offspring he had been looking for he inserted himself into their lives as a counselor, to closely observe them for the validation of his hypothesis, and its actualization.
He manipulated them though his agents, preparing them like an artist might prepare a canvas, establishing the material conditions that would bring about the end he had been seeking.
He waited, he watched…and what he was looking for did not come from the expected quarter.
She came randomly from a discarded thread.
He was delighted about this.
Nature had produced what he had not.
He found that fitting.
Jim thought it was poetic.
They named her Katherine, after the Saint and martyr from bygone Alexandria, the patroness of philosophers.
Jim was a cautions scientist.
He had long since validated his hypothesis concerning Earth’s cynergenic field, though his original hypothesis was not inclusive of all of its properties.
Throughout his thousands of years of research his focus was only on the nature of an individual person’s engagement with the nous-sphere.
Through his programs he validated his theory on how that field could be accessed, the balance of physical properties that had to be present in the human brain for it to function in the collective field, without at the same time driving the person to madness.
It was a grand design in bio-chemistry and bio-physics, in genetic engineering and electromagnetism.
The living organism had to be carefully controlled. Their powers and liabilities depended on nature and nurture, both
He was interested in actively controlling it, not merely the passive experience of it.
He needed the power to actively manipulate the cynergenic field, both for his own use, and to create the perfect weapon for his plan to destroy the Collective and its Continuum.
Through the millennia he sacrificed hundreds of thousands of subjects, condemning them to insanity.
He documented the full scope of their suffering, telling himself that it was a small price for these individuals to pay for the salvation of the whole.
He counseled himself, justifying his crimes on the theory that he was merely seeking to balance the scales of justice.
It was early in the twentieth century when he found her.
Before he did, Jim had begun to despair.
He was only a few decades away from the cataclysmic event that he intended to use as the force behind his attack on the Collective and the Continuum.
He believed he was running out of time.
He had identified a few possible candidates, but based on their cognitive testing and the stability of their psyche, he knew that they were not strong enough to manage the psychic connection, between Earth and HomeWorld, the cynergenic energy he required his vessel to channel was unknown, therefore its strength had to have no discernable upward limit.
Jim had attempted to engineer a prototype of his replicant body to stand in the place of this vessel, but he failed time and time again. He and his replicants could access the cynergenic field telepathically, but there were limits to what they could do there. There were dimensions of complexity to the nous-sphere, complexities he had not been able to fathom, and would not be able to until he found the object of his intention.
Just as he was beginning to give up hope and plan for one of his alternatives, she emerged from an obscure corner of his field of research.
Jim found Kathy, at long last.
She was the thing that he had been searching for, she was his Holy Grail, she was the sacred vessel that would carry his ambitions and deliver justice to the Continuum.
He took control of her.
In the end, her parents were grateful for the opportunity to give her up. Jim was primed to begin her preparation as the holy victim.
Part Five (a), Jim
Appendix Chapter Six, Approach
A Novel – In One Chapter Per Week
#Emergence #ShortFiction #365SciFi #OneChapterPerWeek
Like it, Follow it, Share it!