The Doctor and the Dog
By Garland Davis
During the wars of the late twenty-first century, the countries that had been the United States, Russia, China, and lesser countries that allied themselves to these nations suffered horribly. Large portions within their borders were left a radioactive hell. Groups of people who had survived the devastation lived a primitive hunter-gatherer subsistence lifestyle in the mountainous and prairie areas that had avoided or had quickly cleared of the radiation.
As the world entered the twenty-fifth century, as counted by the few followers of a now nearly defunct religion that counted time as the periods before and after its major prophets life and death, an alliance of the four autonomous areas of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Argentina ruled the world. A Utopia, of sorts, had been achieved. There were no wars. There were no weapons of war. There was no poverty,
The science of Repliology had made every person equal to every other person. The advent of the Replicator had made it possible for a person to create anything whose atomic description was stored in the central replicator files. Through complicated and highly secret machinations the replicator could rearrange any group atoms into the atomic structure desired. Weapons of war such as explosives, firearms, or nuclear tech could not be produced.
Every household had a replicator. They were created by, central, government-owned, and controlled replicators. Each household replicator was connected to a central replication library that held the replication atomic recipes of all items authorized for replication. There were unscrupulous individuals who attempted to “hack” the files and produce proscribed items. They were invariably detected and had their mental facilities reprogrammed.
The single person responsible for the replicator science and development of the replicators as well as the science and technology that permitted travel throughout the Solar System and soon interstellar and possible inter-galactic galactic travel was a teen-aged American refugee who had escaped from North America by traveling south through Old Mexico into the state of Columbia, Northern Argentina. The boy, although illiterate and uneducated, was a prodigy and soaked up knowledge as a sponge absorbs water. The boy proved the ability to describe scientific methods and procedures accurately without completing the experiments leading to his hypothesis. It was as if he could visualize the future. Many scientists conjectured that his phenomenal abilities were induced by his early exposure to the radiation of North America. He became known to all as The Doctor.
Almost two hundred years had passed since he had wandered out of the nuclear wastelands to the north. He had been given the yearlong rejuvenation treatments, which he had described in detail to the Med-Scientists, during his seventieth year assuming that he was twelve years of age when he crossed into Columbia and again at one hundred forty years of age. He was now approaching two hundred years. Many attempts had been made but no one had ever survived a third rejuvenation.
The decision had been made to transfer his mental capacity into computers to retain his knowledge and foresight for the future. Experiments had shown that memory could be stored but the reasoning and cognitive ability were lost. Thus, they began experiments with clones. The cognitive abilities and memory could be downloaded from a person while being simultaneously uploaded to an identical clone without loss of reasoning ability.
Cloning of The Doctor’s body proved extremely difficult due to the amount of radiation he had been exposed to. Many clones were attempted until finally an amount of radiation exposure left them with three viable clones. But The Doctor was failing and it was feared that he would die before the clones were advanced enough for the transfer of mental functions. The Med-Scientists began the search for a host to transfer The Doctor’s cognitive functions to while waiting for a clone to reach a level of maturity where The Doctor’s mind could be uploaded to it. At first it was thought that a primate would be acceptable but uploading human mental facilities into primates caused insanity and suicidal tendencies.
After much searching and many experiments, the Med-Scientists finally determined that a canine of the Retriever group could be suitable. Since canines acted instinctually and possessed little reasoning or cognitive ability, it would be simple to upload The Doctor’s mentality to the canine without affecting the involuntary control of breathing, heartbeat, and other involuntary functions. The Doctor agreed that the measure must be taken. His body was shutting down despite all efforts to prolong his like for even a few hours.
The doctor and dog were placed side by side and connections were made from the computer to the points previously placed in both patient’s heads, The senior Med-Scientist checked the connections for the tenth time and finally gave a nod to a tech to begin the procedure. After a tense half-hour, the tech indicated that the transfer had been completed.
The Med Scientist gave the order to begin the wake-up procedure of the canine. The dog remained connected to the computer and The Doctor could communicate to them by thinking a message onto a screen. As the tech injected the drug that would awaken the canine, he unconsciously reached out and rubbed the dog’s head. The group of Med-Scientists were shocked and immediately castigated the tech for disrespecting The Doctor by patting him on the head.
The canine, regaining consciousness, looked around at the group of scientists and wagged his tail. A sentence appeared on the screen, “Well, it looks as if the transfer worked so far. Another month and the clone will be ready. I don’t anticipate a problem with a further transfer,”
“It does appear successful Doctor. Is there anything you want or need.” The senior Med-Scientist asked.
“Yes, there is a particular jerky treat that I seem to have a liking for and would someone scratch behind my right ear, I seem to have an itch.: