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The Lazarus Experiment – Part I

deathlakeIn the 1930’s a researcher from the University of California called Robert Cornish embarked on an ambitious project to see if it was possible to bring dead dogs back to life by using a mixture of adrenaline, anti-coagulants and a see-saw style machine that would rock the corpses up and down in order to help the recirculation of the blood. Incredibly the process worked and some of the dogs were brought back to life though severely brain damaged.

In 1947 Cornish resurfaced armed with a heart-lung machine made out of parts from a vacuum cleaner and other devices and declared he was ready to test out his process on a human. A death row inmate volunteered for the experiment however Cornish was refused permission. This much is public record. What the public did not know was the real reason he had been refused permission.

Three years earlier, at the start of 1944, the US Government had already brought a man back from the dead.

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In November 1943, a thousand American scientists were shown a film by their Soviet counterparts demonstrating the process by which the organs of dead animals could be coaxed back to life outside the body. The video concluded by demonstrating what the Soviets claimed to be a dog being killed and then brought back to life 15 minutes later no worse for wear. A family of dogs, who had been experimented on in the 1930s, were paraded showing that the animals went on to live normal long lives, and even reproduce.  In the throes of total war, the possibility that Allied scientists may be able to revive dead soldiers offered a strategic advantage that should not be overlooked. The imaginations of the scientists, the generals and the politicians were captured. If possible, a straight forward war of attrition would result which Germany and Japan could not hope to win.

The approval for a research program into reanimating recently killed humans was swiftly approved and supported from a secret military research fund. Dr Conrad Kissinger, a sixty one year old researcher was appointed the head of a team of twenty who set up their operation in an undisclosed military base in the ‘Battle Born State’ of Nevada. Taking the research of their Soviet counterparts as the starting point, Kissinger’s team hastened by war canvassed the prisoners on death row at Ely State Prison. A handful obliged to give consent for the experiment when the proposal was sweetened.

“The execution shall proceed as previously discussed. In the morning you’ll have the opportunity for a last meal and a priest shall come to take confession if that is something you would like.  Your execution will be monitored by a representative from the attorney general’s office and an independent doctor, who will verify that you are indeed dead. After which we will move in and begin the revival. Do you understand?”

Kissinger observed his volunteer through steel rimmed glasses. The Caucasian male was about 6’1’’ in height, well built – formerly employed by the construction trade – and with dark brown hair. Frank Swan, convicted arsonist and multiple murderer, sat up on his cell bunk.

“And after you work your magic… I’m free?”

For Swan, Kissinger’s face was inscrutable. The scientist barely exercised a muscle in his face to reply with reassuring words. “You were sentenced to death Mr Swan. Once you’re dead, you’re debt to society is paid.”

Swan turned his eyes to stare at the gray wall of his cell opposite and nodded taking a few deep breaths. He signed the documents provided by Dr Kissinger and laid back down on his bunk when the researcher left. One last sleep, then he would be born again.

He awoke to a clanging on the bars of his cell in the early hours. A shave, a wash, a good last meal of steak and potatoes… it was effectively breakfast but he didn’t mind. It was the best meal he’d had in six years. No family visited him. There was nobody left to visit him. His closest relatives, two cousins were overseas fighting in the Pacific theatre. The priest came but Frank had no time for him. He would have felt like he was cheating God if he had given his last confession and the experiment to revive him worked. No, Frank told the Priest he would make his case in person when he’s ready. The waiting after the meal was the most unsettling time. He had spent days since being moved to his final home listening to men screaming, wailing, and begging to escape the gas chamber. Yet all Frank felt was not terror, but nerves. He wasn’t sure what to expect but just clung to the freedom he had been promised.

As Frank was being led into the gas chamber he noticed a cluster of researchers scurrying around an anteroom with an odd looking apparatus, getting ready for their experiment. The DA’s representative and other witnesses observed him coldly through the glass of the chamber wall as he came into view. He sat in the centre of the room, glancing briefly over his shoulder to the door that led out to the men who were entrusted with bringing him back. His legs and arms were strapped to the chair. Swan waited as his crimes were read out.

For the arson of his family home…

For the murder of his wife and two children…

He had been condemned to death.

“Do you have any last words?”

“I’m innocent.”

The gas was released. At first Frank instinctively held his breath but remembered the advice he had been given about the death being worse if it’s fought and tentatively inhaled the colorless gas that surrounded him. From outside of the chamber it appeared he simply went to sleep, shaking a little, but otherwise without struggle. The independent Doctor monitored a Bowles stethoscope that was strapped onto Frank’s chest inside the chamber and pronounced him dead at 8:02 am.

At 9:26 he woke up to the roar of an engine and the rocking of a van speeding over uneven road surfaces. He groaned as his entire body ached. The grotesque face of his prison guard loomed into view.

“I’ll give you this you rotten bastard. You got balls. I can’t believe you agreed to that ungodly experiment!”

Franks throat was dry, “I can’t believe you agreed to let me. When can I… leave… ?”

“Leave? What are you talking about? Until we get to the military base your still my responsibility.”

Frank coughed. Tried to move, and found that he was restrained. He identified three straps; one over his legs, one across his lower waist and the other his upper chest.

“Kissinger… said I was free if… if it was successful…”

The guard grinned at Frank and shook his head.

“My word, he sold you one didn’t he? They just brought you back from the dead Swan. You’re their lab rat. They’re never going to let you go till they have prodded and poked you back to death! You belong to the US Government now.”

———————-

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Posted by on January 3, 2011 in Scifi

 

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The God Particle

“There is no greater disaster than greed”

Lao-tzu (604 BC – 531 BC) The Way of Lao-Tzu

Flash Fiction for Circle of Scribes based on the concept of having Unlimited Resources. Story copyright Christopher Michael Bell (ChrisMichaels85@gmail.com), no reproduction without prior consent.

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Transmission Begins:

“Let this be my gift and my warning to any one, or thing that receives this transmission. Heed my words, find your own meaning in them, lest your kind see a similar fate as my own. Never in recorded history has man created such a complex and hopeless trap as we have done this last century. Our time is now at an end. But let us begin at the beginning…

There was an experiment. Nothing controversial in itself after you brushed off the sensationalism of the press. It was born out of the very nature of science. People didn’t know something, and they sought to understand it. Throughout scientific history, all the complex formulae, all the theories from the mundane to the fantastic. They all seemed to fall down in one way. There was something missing from the equations. Nobody could identify it, no matter how good the science, the explanations of gravity, of the origins of the universe, never quite added up. A myth was born, a legend, a holy grail for science. Something which we could not detect, could not see, could not feel was affecting everything. It became known as the God Particle.

The answer to all our questions and more.

And one day, we got our answer. The European Organisation for Nuclear Research barely let the experimental dust settle before they scrambled to announce their discovery to the world. The part of the equation that had been missing. Suddenly, everything came into focus. For millennia man had pursued the holy grail, had sought icons of wisdom. Now we had the key that unlocked the universe.

Some grand old theories fell from their pedestals as they were proven wrong, some inspired flights of fancy became breakthroughs. Science didn’t so much leap as soar on the back of that portentous day. Environmental and Biomedical sciences prospered alongside other fringe sciences that suddenly moved to centre stage.

The discovery also answered one important question. Are we alone? The answer was yes and no. The circumstances of our universe made the Earth a freak wonderful accident. Conditions were suitable for bacteria and microorganisms on some moons, Titan, Europa, even Mars we rapidly discovered with improving satellites and manned expeditions still harboured complex viruses and bacteria. However, so far as our rapidly expanding science could infer, we were the sole intelligent life forms in our universe.

But, there was more the one universe.

We we’re alone in this universe, but shared existence with infinite life forms in infinite universes.

Those universes were best understood as shards of our own, mirror images not quite right. A place where every possibility, every choice, every evolutionary crossroad that was ever approached, was taken. Never told that girl you loved her as she boarded the plane out of your life? Take comfort from the knowledge somewhere at some time, you did. Some of those worlds, maybe humanity never even evolved. Maybe they didn’t evolve past stone age man? Perhaps they were obliterated in a nuclear war, or embraced Scientology? The idea that enchanted scientists and businessmen the most in the 22nd Century, was the possibility that these limitless earths in other universes had not exhausted their resources as we had done.

A global effort was undertook and the potential of the God Particle – which had proved elusive for so long as it existed at differing times in our universe, the other universes, and all of our universes at the same time – was harnessed. The Cleaver Device trialled in the Arizona desert sought to use the God Particle to imitate the hydrocarbons it was presented with, a structure of Brent Crude oil, and to act as a magnet drawing resources from the other worlds into our own. Within ten years the system was so efficient that mankind no longer needed to want for anything.

The global price markets for minerals, fuels, foods, of all resources crashed. It was an unintended consequence of suddenly being presented with an all you can eat buffet of everything. Countries squabbled over the technology, demanding it be shared, others jealously guarding its secret to further national agendas and spheres of influence. A cold war began between the Chinese Republic and America. South Africa unified the sub-Saharan nations, Russia invaded and seized control of mainland Europe, and Britain abandoned any thought of assisting their continental allies after Russia shared secrets of their technology.  Survivors, those Anglo-Saxons.
There were four global super powers each essentially propped up by a corporation controlling that nations God Particle harvester. An understanding developed out of the chaos that equality was truly a pipe dream. How could one enjoy plenty if they had never experienced or witnessed poverty? Strict embargoes on countries unaffiliated led to mass hunger, and civil unrest. Eventually every country had to accept the conditions and directions of one of the corporations. Countries now acted on the interests of business. More than ever. To maintain a business and social model of relative peace a two tier system of haves and have-nots developed. The workers and the new aristocrats. So long as the privileged classes maintained access to and control of resources, the lower caste – which amounted to entire nations – maintained the status quo.

Throughout all this, there was one question which was almost taboo. What happens to the random other Earths that we draw our limitless resources from? It was a moral question that automatically led to the thought of whether any OtherEarth held the same technology and was mining the multiverse themselves. Those early questions were dismissed at House Sub Committees, saying the likelihood of us drawing resources from another developed Earth, considering how many other Earths there could be was small. Hence, if another Earth did employ the same technology, that is why we have not noticed its effects. Concerns, lingered among some however, spurring the Infinite Earth, Infinite Love cult to develop and become listed as a terrorist organisation and the one entity that all the super powers, all the corporations agreed on as a threat following instances of sabotage at Particle Factories around the world.

There was another question, which should have entered the minds of the cleverest men of the world. But it didn’t. All the equations about the physics of the Universe added up. But when you change the figures used by adding more mass from other Earths to our own, what effect does this have?

The answer lay deep within some of civilizations earliest cultures. The earliest Chinese philosophers had acknowledged the universe as a careful balancing act, and most importantly self-correcting. Yin and Yang. By adding mass to the world from the multiverse, it brought dangerous instability with it. Not at first, mind. However as man’s insatiable appetite for resources grew and grew, as a solar empire was born to witness the full potential of Earths miracle technology, the Universe began to take notice. The Universe was intended for a finite amount of matter, when Earth added endless amounts to it, the Universe decided as mother nature had done so often to pre-modern civilisations on Earth… to correct the balance….”

Transmission Lost:

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4 Comments

Posted by on July 23, 2010 in Scifi

 

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