Psychopomp Magazine Spring 2016 - Page 38

wisher or its caretaker, and he is certainly not its father. He is its confidence, the plan behind it. He is the thinking gears beneath its face. This is what today’s visitors must see.

There are two senators at the site, both champions of the project since the early days of its exploratory committee. Also present is a presidential aide, a young, olive-skinned man who says nothing and wears on his face a pair of glasses outfitted to record all he sees and hears.

The Director leads his guests on a tour of the facilities, showing them first the genetics laboratory, where the Jonas Command was created, where its intricate language was discovered and unwound by geneticists, then translated and put back together by computer programmers.

“The damnedest thing to hear them talk to each other,” the Director remarks with a rehearsed chuckle. “Like listening to a conversation that switches between Swahili and Mandarin.”

He gives a brief history of the project, beginning with the expedition sent to collect Jonas’ bones from El Camino Memorial in San Diego. He does not mention the state of the expedition upon its return—haggard, bloody, and with only half its number. The loss was considered acceptable—Jonas’ remains were buried in California soil, and all of California’s soil was now part of the Black Zone. Not a story for this day, and besides it’s all in the reports.

In the laboratory, Jonas’ femur was scraped for the sub-microscopic formula of his being, and from his DNA the programmers wrote the Jonas Command.

The Director explains, “Time, like any dataset, can be crawled and mined for specific information. And what is DNA if not specific information?”

The senators nod in unison, nods that the Director categorizes as, above all else, bored. They don’t want the science of it; they want the show of it. And God let there be something to show them.

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