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FK 18 - Ancillary Documentation < The Amnion [2]

 
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Cord Hurn
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:11 pm    Post subject: FK 18 - Ancillary Documentation < The Amnion [2] Reply with quote

The Gap Into Vision: Forbidden Knowledge 18
Ancillary Documentation
The Amnion
First Contact (continued)

Captain Sixten Vertigus meeting the Amnion face-to-face was a pioneering moment in human history, as he was the first human to ever see any Amnioni. But that that moment comprised "first contact" has been considered debatable by galactic historians. This is because much more had been learned about the Amnion through the capture of one of their satellites years earlier by the Intertech ship Far Rover.

Far Rover was sent into an unexplored area with a standard mission of looking for resources, habitability, and life signs. When Far Rover first saw the alien satellite, she made a point to stay in the area for sufficient time to determine the satellite was not of local origin. The human ship took the satellite aboard, and crossed the gap back towards Earth. On Earth, the satellite was carefully opened.

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It proved to contain a small cryogenic vessel, which in turn contained a kilo of the mutagenic material that comprised--although no one knew it at the time--the Amnion attempt to reach out to other life-forms in the galaxy.

Study of the mutagen went on for three years at a frenetic pace before Captain Vertigus and Deep Star were commissioned.

That the substance in the vessel was a mutagen was discovered almost routinely. In the normal course of events, scientists of every description ran tests of every kind on minute samples of the substance. Naturally most of the tests failed to produce any results which the scientists could understand. Earth science being what it was, however, the tests eventually included feeding a bit of the substance to a rat.

In less than a day, the rat changed form: it became something that resembled a mobile clump of seaweed.

Subsequently any number of rates were fed the substance. Some of them were killed and dissected. Pathology revealed that they had undergone an essential transformation: their basic life processes remained intact, but everything about them--from their RNA and the nature of their proteins and enzymes outward--had been altered. Other altered rats were successfully bred, which showed that the change was both stable and self-compatible. Still others were put through the normal behavioral tests of rats; the results demonstrated conclusively, disturbingly, that the mutation produced a significant gain in intelligence.

Experiments were attempted with higher animals: cats, dogs, chimpanzees. All changed so dramatically that they became unrecognizable. All were biologically stable, able to reproduce. All were built of fundamental enzymes and RNA native to each other, but wholly distinct from anything which had ever evolved on Earth.

All showed some degree of enhanced intelligence.


This experience is considered by human galactic historians to be more legitimately "first contact" over Captain Vertigus meeting the Amnion, because from the mutagenic substance Earth learned that the Amnion were oxygen-carbon-based, they were technically sophisticated (particularly in biochemistry), and that they were very alien.

The mutagenic material also lead to uncovering information about what direction in the galaxy was the place where the Amnion originated.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:34 pm    Post subject: FK 18 - Ancillary Documentation < The Amnion [2] Reply with quote

Now, the part of Intertech that was focused on corporate profits was extremely enthused about the commercial possibilities of mutagenic material. It was thought whatever alien life form created the satellite and the mutagenic substance was trying to either communicate or propagate. None of the resulting animals seemed intelligent enough for effective communication. No source of this mutagen could be deduced from anything about the satellite; no property of that vessel gave any indication of space sector origins.

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If the satellite were intended as a mean of communication, its message had to lie in the mutagen itself.

It did.


Intertech decided to take the chance of testing the mutagen on a human. The woman who volunteered for the mutagen apparently had some reasonable expectation that her part in this ground-breaking experiment would open a pathway to a great deal of knowledge, opportunity, and wealth. She therefore likely hoped to become famous being a part of such cutting-edge research. (But this chapter says she never became famous, which seems quite unlikely to me.)

This volunteer turned into something like a mobile tree, and she demanded paper to write on. For several minutes, she writes on the paper at a frantic pace, and then dies. A lot of work was done to resuscitate her, but to no avail. Pathologists determined she became genetically related to the other mutated creatures and that she died of fright.

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Conceivably the mutation had produced an uncontrollable adrenaline reaction.

Equally conceivably the knowledge of what she had become-- the knowledge she gleaned from the mutagen--terrified her beyond bearing.

Whatever the explanation, her "immortality" could be gauged by the fact that few texts on the subject mentioned her by name.

Or it could be gauged by this, that her final scribbles eventually led humankind into a fatal relation with the Amnion.


What had she written on the paper? Lots of numbers. The meaning of these numbers were a mystery until some young astronomer guesses they referred to galactic coordinates. This chapter says the astronomer didn't became famous for this breakthrough, which doesn't sound realistic to me.. Amnion contact was achieved through these coordinates by Captain Sixten Vertigus and Deep Star. An odd way for the Amnion to communicate, as they could never be sure a human would voluntarily accept the mutagen, but it worked. This chapter reinforces that it's always hazardous underestimating the Amnion and their potent biochemical skills.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"But this chapter says she never became famous, which seems quite unlikely to me."


There's lots of fantastic and unrealistic details involved with this story, such as gap drive and mutagens, and I don't complain about those being unrealistic because I've accepted I'm reading a sci-fi tale. Yet I object that the mutagen volunteer and the astronomer not getting famous for their contributions to knowledge is "unlikely". Here, I confess that it's my bias against the unfairness of their lack of recognition that bothers me, rather than any weakness in the plot. My objections here say more about me than they do about SRD, I think.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you CH - throughout our (real) history there have been significant contributions from people. Sometimes they don't get recognition in their lifetime, but eventually humanity realises that they had achieved something significant. This is true of the mutagen volunteer and young astronomer - they both contributed to altering the course of history. I can't imagine they'd be totally forgotten. Same with the inventor of the gap drive (which I think is a future chapter, so won't dwell too much on it now).
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good overview Cordy .. a great read.

Its not uncommon for someone to be involved in such a work, not to receive credit for their part. I immediately thought of Albert Einsteins first wife, sadly.
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Cord Hurn
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

StevieG wrote:
I agree with you CH - throughout our (real) history there have been significant contributions from people. Sometimes they don't get recognition in their lifetime, but eventually humanity realizes that they had achieved something significant. This is true of the mutagen volunteer and young astronomer - they both contributed to altering the course of history. I can't imagine they'd be totally forgotten. Same with the inventor of the gap drive (which I think is a future chapter, so won't dwell too much on it now).


Thanks for seeing it my way, StevieG! That's a credit to your genius thought processes! Thumbs Up Big Grin Wink It could just be my personal and very subjective objection to the injustice of their being forgotten, as I have admitted, but I just don't think they'd be that easily forgotten. Yes, the gap drive inventor's story is interesting, but at this time I will say no more. 3 Monkeys
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:57 am    Post subject: Forbidden Knowledge 18 - A. D. / The Amnion [2] Reply with quote

Skyweir wrote:
Good overview Cordy .. a great read.

Its not uncommon for someone to be involved in such a work, not to receive credit for their part. I immediately thought of Albert Einsteins first wife, sadly.


I'm glad you told me about her, Skyweir, so that I could look her up, learn more about her, and give her some of the recognition that she deserves.

Yes, Mileva Maric appears to have been an important collaborator with her husband Albert Einstein on many of his early publications, including his work involving relativity. So, your comment is an effective reminder that people making important contributions to science have indeed been slighted by history, sad as that is. For instance, I learned nothing about the accomplishments of Nikola Tesla while in school; it only came to my attention that he made important contributions to energy utilization after I was an adult. But, the truth can still come out and long-overdue recognition be made, and I'm glad for that!

Mileva Maric's story is summarized in the following Scientific American article: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/the-forgotten-life-of-einsteins-first-wife/
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