Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Thanks for the trust
Well, the tests are in, and it's definitive that I'm the third person to have this body, and I've got Martin Hartle's mind. But of course, I said when Jones informed me, you must have known that months ago. He said that they'd known I wasn't the original Michelle, but spotting that the nanos used had to be slightly different each time was new.
Maggie was kicking herself for not finding these things in my blood when she was trying to track down the pheremone stimulators, but apparently it breaks down quickly when it hits atmosphere, apparently by design. They're not exactly stable molecules. Also, she took much smaller samples than the FBI did, and they only found trace amounts. Mags did get a chance to interrogate the FBI's science guys yesterday, though, and when she was talking with me today, she altered behind major science-geek enthusiasm and feeling embarrassed because this stuff is in my brain and bloodstream and isn't just the cool pure science it represents.
Basically, as close as the FBI's science guys can tell, the "antenna" parts of the molecules start to break down after about a week or so. This means that neither I can't be switched into another body without another dose of nanites, though Sam and Alexei still can be; Sam is currently very glad that she's miles away from Alexei, much further than tiny molecule-sized antennae can transmit. It also means that you can't rotate minds through a body more often than every couple of weeks, or else the two sets of nanos inside the brain will start to screw with each other. One of the neurologists Maggie talked to seemed to think that's why Sam took so long to wake up; her brain was hit with two swaps in less than three weeks. A CAT scan didn't show any physical trauma, but the EEGs showed some intense activity while she slept, more so than in Alexei's brain. The neurologist was apparently astounded by the brain's ability to repair itself.
As to why I've still got this stuff in my bloodstream, the current theory (borne out by examining what's left of Carter's original brain) is that these things bond solidly to our gray matter, but have a sort of half-life in how long it takes them to come loose. So they can tell how long ago each switch was, within an order of magnitude, by how much of each type of molecule is in the bloodstream. So they've been able to use this data, both the types and amounts of molecules in our blood samples to basically verify we are who we say we are.
I imagine someone in Homeland Security is already planning annual blood tests for everyone in the country to verify that you are who you say you are. I'm not sure what I think of that. My basic libertarian leanings say we shouldn't have the government doing this, but then again, Carter became someone else without my consciously knowing. It's all well and good to say those who'd trade freedom for security deserve neither, but Ben Franklin never had the mind of his wife (or, more likely mistress) switched out without her telling him, either.
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