Thursday, October 25, 2012


The Altruism Vector
By George S. Karagiannis

Master says I am to keep the closet barred for as much as possible, despite the fact that creatures trapped inside are constantly trying to flee. I am pleased that Master trusts me with this significant task, because he is particularly busy trying to figure out what went wrong with the previous experiment and someone has to take care of these annoying beings. Up to the moment he will be done with the painful troubleshooting, I have strict orders to never leave my post -guarding the closet- at any cost.

Every time the creatures are trying to come out of their prison, I have to put my entire strength on the door to keep it intact; after a while, the creatures usually get exhausted and I can patiently wait up to their next waves of escape-efforts. But, I honestly hope Master finishes with this troubleshooting soon, because each wave becomes more and more intricate to prevent. You see, the creatures keep growing in numbers because they possess a highly-accelerating rate of reproduction so they spread around very easily.

I wouldn’t wish Master to get into depression once again, because of a second collapse of this damn experiment.

You see, … during the first time, everything looked good at the beginning; the creatures formed organized societies, so as to avoid the dangers of living in isolation, in the woods or in caves and everything was running smooth in the evolutionary process, as Master had hypothesized. Over the years, they obtained robust technologic progression which allowed them to solve many problems in their lives, such as communication between remote parts of their planet. Master was very glad for this outcome!

However, after a while they started making wars with each other to retain domination over the planet’s natural sources; wars were following one another, many losses and deaths occurred and war crimes were atrocious, for blood flooded their planet.

These wars lasted many creature generations but at some point they mysteriously stopped. This observation initially gave Master a true hope that the creatures gained an intelligence level that let them globally realize they should be united and act as a cohesive unit. But this wasn’t the case at all because in fact, “war” had only worn a different mask; the creatures started applying what Master called “financial slavery”; some creatures, living in more prosperous regions on the planet, enslaved others economically and repressed their vital freedoms, such as food, water, even speech. At some point, specific groups of creatures became equally strong and desperately tried to spread their shadow and influence all over the planet; they could not agree to a common logic, they didn’t want to divide their shares, they couldn’t agree to peaceful negotiations.

As a matter of fact, these creatures became knowledgeable of very dangerous technologies that Master named “nuclear weapons” and started using them in a deterministically wrongful way. Eventually, the immoral and evil leaders of the strong groups came to the decision to arm these weapons to scare other leaders away. Unfortunately, this foolish power struggle led the creature societies to overall extinction. The experiment proved to be an irreversible disaster.

Then, Master, deeply disappointed by himself, had to pay a visit to their planet and collect leftovers of the creatures’ genetic material; he decided to take it from the start. So, he reconstructed some creatures and they were reborn from their ashes.

Now, Master wants to intervene and manipulate their process of thinking. He is performing some biological tests, trying to incorporate a DNA vector in their brain cells that would minimize greediness, selfishness and other types of traits he believes are responsible for the failure of his first experiment. At the same time he will attempt something innovative; he said he would introduce a totally new vector, the so-called altruism vector, to a DNA frame that undergoes permanent transcription, so this process could be inherited to unlimited numbers of generations and never cease to replicate itself.

The idea to construct the altruism vector came from the fact that while Master was making his observations in the failed experiment, he witnessed some remarkable examples of creatures, acting in an extremely altruistic way in the already corrupted societies. These ‘paradoxical’ creatures were sacrificing their own lives most of the times because they persistently believed in an idea that served a common good and not an individual cause. Master was taking notes on the action of these creatures very scrupulously -once I secretly captured a chapter from his notebook termed “the Mother Teresa Case”, but didn’t understand anything! Master, then, used an a posteriori biometric stator to reconstruct the lives of these creatures frame by frame, through history, as a movie film and carefully analyzed their behavior over the years.

After decades of studying and working in numerous “Mother Teresa-like” cases, he is now completing the first synthesis of this sophisticated vector, which will hopefully lead the creatures to a totally different -and perhaps healthier- branch in the evolutionary tree.

Hope he finishes it up soon, though, because the creatures are growing more and more and I am not sure for how long I will be capable of keeping them in this closet. Because once they spread, these cancerous things are worse than a disease itself!

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George S. Karagiannis was born in Thessaloniki, Greece and is currently a PhD student at the University of Toronto in Canada. He enjoys writing science-fiction in the subgenres of hard science fiction, bizzarro and apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic settings. He is also an abstractionist/surreal artist and his blog can be found here: His personal website can be found here:


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