jueves, 21 de febrero de 2019
THE GATES OF HEAVEN
THE GATES OF HEAVEN
This apparatus is our previous Commandant’s invention. I also worked with him on the very first tests and took part in all the work right up to its completion.
Franz Kafka, In the penal colony
I was a poor man. And the wonders of biomolecular medicine were never available to poor people. Over the decades, an abyss had opened among those who still get ill and those who are healthy by genetic manipulation. We, the humans and they, the so-called “novohumans.” At that point in time, I was recovering from a disease. I don’t mention this as an excuse nor do I want to exonerate my betrayal, but it would seem the worst day of one’s existence is when you learn you have terminal cancer. On the other hand, you cannot fathom how difficult it is to bear the news that you have, in fact, healed and live with the possibility of a relapse gnawing your will until you go mad. Chemotherapy is not for everyone; it poisons both the bad cells and the brain. I was seriously considering suicide when I received an offer from a Dr. Prendick whose Heaven’s Door Program promised something forbidden to humankind. Totally unaware the process of DNA recombination is atrocious, I had no scruples about abandoning my mortality. At first, the body resisted the cannulas and enriched serums. But, in the end, I emerged purified and accustomed to a new appearance, aseptic and hairless. Next, I joined the new religion and became the most severe of the commissars in the Eugenics Project. It was in the large medical centers of each quadrant where all those patients selected by massive lotteries, received the latest biotechnological applications. And where we also heard the advent of the galactic community was imminent. Alas! a solar storm affected the communication satellite. By mistake, I read a message that revealed the whole lie: there was no improvement plan in progress. On the contrary, the medical centers were reservoirs of extermination, devious apparatus of systematic annihilation. Diseases, no, no; all who were ill would be eradicated from the face of the planet before the return of those who in ancient times, came down from heaven. It was at that point that I rejected the inheritance acquired over the martyrdom of so many. It was difficult, yes but months of ignominious treatment restored my humanity. All tyranny begets the seed of its poverty. Now I'm poor again. Now, I am the leader of the rebellion against the novohumans. And all the while we wait, fiercely, for those who will come from outer space.
© Pablo Martínez Burkett, 2018
(*) This short story has been published in #165 of Revista miNatura, an issue devoted to biopunk.