Picture it and Write: Immortal

by joetwo

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s picture it and write from Ermilia’s blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine, it is by Robert Carter, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway Enjoy!


When you’re young, you tend to think that you’d live forever. Age usually means you leave that idea behind but not in the case of William McDivitt, who was fast approaching his eightieth year, fifth with cancer.

William was a professor in cognitive sciences, specializing in the interface between technology and biology. He was a pioneer of the neural interface, the means so many of us now use to educate and inform ourselves of the vast stores of knowledge the world had to offer.

What he was really working towards wasn’t putting information into brains however. What he was working for was taking information, the knowledge, memories, the essence of life, out for safe keeping. He had a postdoc, by the name of Linus, who worked on linked computer systems, and he was able to cobble together a network of parallel processors, over 100 cores working together to give approximately the same amount of power on a table top as a single human brain.

William had the latest, most advanced, interface installed and had Linus switch the program from inject to extract.

The process was, to say the least, traumatic. In order to read his mind the interface had to destroy it. Ethically, he could only try it on himself. He was sacrificing his life in order to live forever.

Linus watched the screen on the computer as the loading screen went from 60% to 80% to, finally, 100%. Then he waited.

Minutes passed. He typed in a query. There were petabytes of memory in the hard drive, he could see the filled files, but nothing was working. There was no answer.

Minutes changed to hours. Linus ran diagnostics, glanced at the raw data, looking at how it all fell together. But something was wrong.

The computer was humming, filled with information as Linus looked on. Deep inside the casing, within the hard drive, was all the information that was within William’s brain.

But the force with which it had been removed, the trauma had distorted it, broken it up, beyond use.  Though his body had died, William’s mind remained. But only as a shadow, scattered to the electric winds, without the soul to use it.