By Diomedes | Robert O'Reilly | 25 Jan 2024



We had one potential candidate. One of our women in her early twenties, Ida, had given birth recently to a healthy female babe but had suffered extreme bleeding in the delivery. Abdominal pains continued days after the birth and we neither had the equipment nor the expertise to help her, only stacks of medical books in our heads and that abundance of information only made matters more confusing us with so many possibilities. No one had any medical training. She was bedridden, white as a ghost and not getting better. The best we could figure, and a dozen of us put our heads together many times to attempt to help her, was that some form of internal bleeding or sepsis had occurred. We pumped her full of antibiotics yet she continued to be an invalid. We had no idea what to do next. Medical knowledge is great if it comes with experience. If it comes from books alone it only confuses you.

As she worsened day by day and seemed likely to die within the month we approached her with Ted’s proposition of a brain transplant into Juliet. In a feeble voice she agreed. She knew she was dying. Juliet of course wasn’t even given a choice. She had nothing to lose since her own CPU was merely being relocated and if the brain failed it would take over just as before. So she gladly agreed to it, just as she had to all our proposals, ever since we sent an artillery shell through her belly and then revived her.

Ted and Sarah easily handled the relocation of the components from Juliet’s head. Then they relocated her embryonic sac into her skull to nourish a human brain while another ten of us studied day and night all medical lore related to transplanting organs, thousands of pages of them. So the day of the operation a dozen of us encircled the two patients side by side on two gurneys, under bright lights, all of us dressed in white gowns with surgical masks and beside us every conceivable surgical tool from raided hospitals. It must have looked like the scene from the first heart transplant in South Africa. I remember seeing a picture of it in a National Geographic. I was sanguine but the operation went smoothly and the brain didn’t die.

For two days Juliet lay as if sleeping, her eyes closed, as the new band around her titanium head adjusted to its strange ports to monitor this familiar mind and relay the tidal waves of thoughts, many conflicting and most at best obscure, to Juliet’s processor and computer. Many of us sat by her bedside through these long hours all waiting for the moment that those eyes would reopen and a brave new consciousness emerge which none of us could even begin to predict. It would be the strange amalgamation of two totally different realms, two opposing universes colliding. We had no idea what the result might be but we did expect fireworks.

Juliet did finally open her eyes and her first words were: “Where is my baby?”

We thought she was referring to her own child, now three months old. But she wasn’t. She wanted to see and hold Ida’s baby, only three weeks old. Both were brought in and she tendered her affection lavishly on the youngest. But then she handed it back and took the other in equally, cuddling love and I knew right then that Ida’s brain was functional and in some sort of symbiosis with Juliet’s, a human and a robot combined, a defining moment where AI and humanity bridged the gap between them, where I might approach Dora and offer to marry her in the fullest sense of the word, not a coupling of two beings but a combination of them into one sole unit.

Imagine what a man and a woman could be if they could accomplish this complete integration. I’m not thinking of the Aristophanes picture as he describes it in Plato’s Symposium when all the guests at the dinner table are asked to explain ‘love’. He imagines a man and a woman conjoined at the back, a single creature with four legs and four arms, able to roll like a ball swiftly through its garden of Eden and hunt effortlessly whatever it wanted, with two bows and arrows covering every side and two minds back to back constantly talking and doubling their mutual intelligence, till Jove becomes angry and broke them apart with thunderbolts making us what we are now, two separate beings endlessly searching for our former, perfect mate.

No. I saw a new and exciting paradigm, a man and a woman combined into a single human form, parthenogenesis, a hermaphrodite, a perfect, complete being able to replicate itself by simple force of will. This would defy nature. It would prove our transcendence over it and it would resolve the problem of AI. Our nemesis becomes nothing if we can consume and integrate it. It then flows through our veins and when it bleeds, we bleed. And let me tell you something, nothing wants to bleed.

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B.A. in Latin and Greek from U.C. Berkley. Writer, Blogger and retired Electrician.

Robert O'Reilly
Robert O'Reilly

I am educated in the Western Classical Tradition, B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in Latin and Greek, English major, one year at U. of Toronto, studied under Alain Renoir and Northrop Frye, read most classics full time for many years after university in French, English, Latin and Greek to the modern day. I am interested in the near future of technology, what changes it imposes upon our heritage and character as humans. Short stories and Essays are my medium.

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