The Architect: a Short Story of Naturalization
by Richard, Sparky, and Pip Krause
In the year 2025 there was an 80-year old starving architect living in a rickety but high-tech cabin in the Arkansas wilderness about 150 miles from Little Rock. The humble inhabitant also pretended to be a writer, would be philosopher and part-time engineer, and finally, he need not have pretended, for he truly was...a legal citizen of no country...since birth. Indeed, until very recently the architect had been a recluse, having been quite at odds with the way the world was going at the hands of the human race. For the human race had more repressive dominion over the world and every species on it than ever before.
Species were disappearing. The Environment was being destroyed, and human ingenuity had already been at work for some time building countless climate controlled population centers circling the globe. Actually, by 2025, though the Earth itself was on its ecological death bed, the human race was rather comfortable in its pleasure-filled surroundings of ethnocentric self-indulgement. Adequate and abundant food, shelter, sex, meaningless surrogate activities and pharmaceutically induced longevity and euphoria were at no shortage for the so-called humans.
And this is what the architect so objected to...this unnatural and destructive existence called ultra civilization. In his art and in his writings he had objected to even what was known as "normal civilization" in the several centuries preceding the third millennium. And this is why he and his sort starved, because they believed in a so-called natural life which most of the Earth's 15 billion people in 2025 considered to be barbaric.
But our architect was also a brilliant student of cutting-edge science and engineering, self-taught with the exception of several unconsummated years he spent earning his Ph.D. at Arkansas College in Little Rock way back in the late 1960s. A brilliant student he struggled to become...not because he endorsed the course intellectualism had taken humanity, but because he felt fire could only be fought with fire...that technology could only be fought with technology.
As a matter of fact, in the late 1960's while supposedly assisting with Masters and Johnson's "Human Sexual Response" project, our architect had anonymously sowed certain seeds of micro-biotic research which lead to Arkansas College's leading role 30 years later in decoding the human genome at the turn of the millennium. In the 20 years which followed the mapping of DNA many remarkable and controversial procedures became possible and were put into practice. Though certain ethical factors seemed to indicate it was a wrong course, by the second decade of the third millennium, computerization in The Tek Age had made shortsighted public sentiment the legislators, judicators, and executors of the American Way..which inevitably for better or worse became the World Way. Of course, the shortsightedness of the public sentiment was ultimately dependent on the super-monied media which taught the masses-made-into-asses what to believe and do from childhood to cradle. But the architect here in question and a few others like him didn't believe the moneyed media's bullshit...but they had to nevertheless live, if not with the bullshit, at least beside it.
Until 2025, our architect had indeed been an unknown. He had been borne of post-Bolshevik heritage at the end of WW2, but for reasons which go far beyond the scope of this narrative, the architect had been denied citizenship in any country, much less the US where he was raised. Quite literally, he was a nonentity to all but a handful of close friends and students. But that all changed when public sentiment swayed the FDA to approve what popularly came to be called "The Sears Procedure."
Before this watershed procedure became available in 2025, human's control over their own reproductive activity had already increased dramatically. Human cloning had been a common practice of the super-moneyed for almost 10 years. But then The Sears Procedure, engineered, developed, and implemented in its entirety by the architect, became public domain...and it was a whole new "ball" game...quite literally.
The architect's friends and students could not believe he had developed such a high-tech procedure which certainly would serve to only accelerate the human subjugation of, and destruction of, all other creatures and the Earth itself. The architect had always opposed such things. Had their friend, their teacher, the architect, sold out to public sentiment and self-serving desire? "Maybe he had made some bargain which some giant corporation to trade his invention for naturalized citizenship in the US," his friends and students thought as they scoffed and deserted the architect. Some of his friends and students even hoped that when people could have the exact children they picked that they would not want as many. But their friend and teacher the architect told them sadly that was not the case, that it would effect the birthrate neither one way nor the other, that the population would simply stay on the path it was already on before the Sears Effect. His confused friends and students believed his bleak forecast and they deserted him.
Now he was truly alone, save for his adoration by the masses-made-into-asses upon whom he had gifted his super-tech development. And none of his friends and students returned when the altruist architect made his invention public domain...which ruled out any giant corporate gifts to him.
How did the architect's 2025 Sears Procedure work in the clinics which popped up everywhere around the globe? Each partner of a couple would give one drop of their blood from which the architect's complex software running on simplistic hardware was easily able to render a precise reproductive DNA profile for the couple Literally countless permutations of various female eggs with various male sperm were offered in an electronic catalogue for the couple's viewing and examination. For not only the appearance of the tens of thousands of feasible offspring at maturity where offered to the couple for their choosing, but also a physical prowess and mental health profile were available. The couple would decide on what they wanted their baby to look like and be like at maturity and a special DNA manipulator strand would be prepared, injected into the mothers and fathers reproductive organs. The couple would simply go home and immediately, thru normal sexual union, conceive the offspring they had chosen.
Most citizens of the world eventually choose this convenient control of their progeny, but there were those few that were reluctant for one reason or another. But they too invariably submitted to the Sears Procedure..for even if the couple wanted the child to be chosen by natural processes, the DNA manipulator strand the architect had developed nevertheless guaranteed a healthy child which would be free of mutations and diseases caused by damaged DNA. And this everybody wanted. So in short order every human on the face of the Earth had the architect's DNA manipulator viral strands in their reproductive systems.
In the long run, not surprisingly, this option of child selection failed to make most humans happy in their modern, increasingly techno-based society. So the human race struggled on, and its destruction of anything non-human increased at the same hyperbolic pace it had followed before the advent of the Sears Procedure...just as the architect had bleakly forecast to his onetime friends and students.
As non-human species faded and what was left of the environment became tainted, humans migrated into the countless climate-controlled mega cities which had been on the drawing boards for some time, and there lived out there vacuous lives in artificial pleasure with their offspring of choice.
But the architect himself did not partake of the Sears Procedure he had pioneered. Instead he simply brain-cloned himself, including full memory which blossomed in the months surrounding is clone's puberty. He told the world his self-clonage was so he could pass on exact instructions on what to do in case anybody had trouble with the Sears Procedure. But it was really for another reason...a reason he had never confided to even his closest friends and students before they went their own well-intentioned and determined, but futile, ways.
Several generations after the procedure was introduced in 2025, couples around the world began having reproductive problems...even without the procedure. Less than a decade after problems first began to pop up, the procedure became useless and was abandoned entirely. And less than two decades after that the reproductive rate of all couples around the world fell to below 2 children...the lowest it had been since the onslaught of the industrial revolution hundreds of years before.
International regulatory bodies investigated and discovered the drop was due to some mysterious dna manipulative strands initially introduced into the bodies of all Earth's humans by the Sears Procedure, and now passed on in the genes even during normal reproduction. Immediately, the architect who was now dead became known worldwide as TEM (The Evil Manipulator)...and he replaced Adolph Hitler as the example of evil incarnate.
All Earth's humans who had basked in untold comforts and pleasures soon were forced to return to work and struggle as the population began to drop below the number needed to support and feed the technology. For indeed the reproductive rate eventually fell to one child per family...as experts discovered had been programmed into the manipulative DNA by the architect TEM.
It became immediately apparent as the population plummeted that technology was an unsustainable burden and people began to rediscover the skills of fundamental survival. Less than a hundred years after the Sears Procedure's introduction, the population of the Earth had dropped 97%, from 15 billion to 500 million. In that short span of time, the environment and other species had only regenerated a fraction of what they had been before the industrial revolution, but they had regenerated some.
Typical human life style had reverted to a style quite similar to that which existed in North America at about the time of the American Revolution. But certain remnants of high technology remained, for the human species had devolved itself to a species unable to survive in an altogether natural setting.
Actually, humans were now afraid they would become extinct due to the low birth rate...and they cursed the architect TEM who had long before joined the likes of Hitler and Stalin in hell, they hoped. But, unknown to them, the architect's desires and know-how still lived, in his brain-cloned descendants...and it was one of these very descendants that held the wisdom and know-how to implement the final stage of the architect's original plan. At the right time, the architect's descendant made an oral DNA manipulator serum available to all Earth, to restore the human birthrate to a level of approximately 2.15. This, it was publicly promised, would allow the world population to level off at .5 billion...and stay there.
So it came to be some 500 years after the 2025 Sears Procedure, in the year 2525, that human beings once again lived in symbiotic harmony with the Earth and its' creatures. Even the environment had regenerated itself in many, but not all ways by then. Human beings, under the direction of the architect's brain-cloned anonymous descendants, had kept a careful record of how comfortable but empty life had been at the height of the Techno Age. And they made sure they never took a single step which could lead them back to that chrome plated pit.
After all was said and done though, the architect was still cursed as The Evil Manipulator who had "played god" with their destiny, regardless of the eventual positive outcome.
But distant descendants of the architect's one-time friends and students knew the truth of the matter. The architect had once upon a time, just before he introduced the Sears Procedure, accidentally revealed to his closest friends and students that he had indeed once lived as Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, and Benjamin Franklin.
While the expatriate architect never achieved his dream of personal naturalization in any country, he had indeed naturalized the entire Earth. And there were several descendants of his closest friendly students who secretly thanked him for that, for they knew he had sacrificed even his memory to the cause. He had told his close friends and students that he knew he would be hated forever but nevertheless proceeded toward what he knew to be the common good. These very few who secretly admired him wondered if the architect would ever walk the Earth again...and if so, what seeds of correction would he sow. But they of course kept these thoughts amongst themselves.