I’ve made a couple decisions concerning my short story. I still don’t have a suitable title, and I’m still flip flopping a little on his name. Here is a new synopsis.
Character: Thomas Paite. Paite is a working name that I can’t seem to shake. I know it’s not a common name and I can only hope for futuristic moniker drift to make it sound ok. The name is a play on Thomas Paine, one of out founding fathers. An intellectual partner in the forming of the broader goals of the American Revolution, he eventually alienated everyone who had admired him. He died penniless and derided by the same revolutionaries who had shouted his name in the streets 40 years earlier. Here is a biography of Thomas Paine. I would like to model my main character along an historical interpretation of Thomas Paine’s character. I think he is the perfect actor to play the part of my mad scientist.
Thomas Paite is a scientist in an undetermined, futuristic society. He has been researching computer intelligence his whole life. The state of the art computers have limited intelligence. They can communicate in natural language, but are not completely autonomous. Thomas is experimenting with a medical device called “Virobots”. Virobots have been used for some years to treat broken bones and diseases. A specially engineered virus is introduced to the patient, and follows a simple DNA program to treat the disease. Thomas is trying to use the limited space in each virus’ program to create a new intelligence. By overlapping the information in numerous adjacent virobots, a new, more complicated program is created. He smuggles a batch of blank virobots into the lab he works for. One night, he decides to complete his experiment. He creates a growth lattice, and begins to grow virobots. As he feeds them nutrients, they reproduce, adhering to the lattice. The virobots are programmed by controlling the micro-evolution as they reproduce. When the process is complete, Thomas hopes to have created an artificial brain on his bench top.
In the course of his experiment, the growth lattice he is using to house his modified virobots collapses, and clasps onto his hand. They pour through the skin in his hand, adhering him to the table. As he pulls back, the old virobots that healed his old broken arm come apart, breaking his arm again. The virobots use Thomas’ moment of pain to entrench themselves in his body. The rest of the story describes Thomas’ battle to maintain his sanity, and finally, his own mind. As the virobots control more and more of the parts that make Thomas who he is, the entries become more mechanical… and paranoid. The last entry is made by the new virobot intelligence embedded in Thomas’ body.