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Genesis Logs
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ISBN-10: 1-77115-058-0
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/SF
eBook Length: 298 Pages
Published: January 2013

From inside the flap

Capt. Nick Johns, a wounded and quadriplegic Marine Corps veteran of the Iraq War, is approached by assertive government officials, who, unbelievably, recall him to active duty to serve humanity. He is chosen because of his self-sacrificing war record and his unique ability to survive depression resulting from his debilitating injury. To be more precise, they want his disembodied brain to command and become the spaceship, Genesis, for a two hundred year deep-space flight to re-establish the human race doomed to extinction from an asteroid. One selfless but vastly superior, augmented mind must discover a way to honor his commitment to serve humanity and save the human race, even from itself. Capt. Johns must survive centuries of essential medical research and implementation, technical and societal challenges and disasters, long years of loneliness inherent to command, alien encounters, and possibly even Divine Intervention. Can the love of two women provide the balance he so desperately needs to endure or will they cause his demise?

Genesis Logs (Excerpt)

Chapter 1

(In The Beginning)

Genesis Log: 15 May 2142: (Private Log)

Iím heartbroken; Cdr. Clark died today. She was one hundred twenty-three earth years old, but I kept her alive long enough to see New Earth. It is amazing when you think about it, but Cdr. Clark, Katy, lived out her entire life on Genesis in deep space, the only person to have been born, lived out their life and died on board. I owed her this consideration and deviated our course to let her see our destination before she passed. Reaching New Earth had been her main purpose in life; finally seeing it seemed to fulfill her and she passed happy, welcoming death. It was almost like Moses being able to see the Promised Land after such a long journey but not able to enter it. Humm. Strange... itís almost ironic that I make a religious reference, since I have made such an effort to discourage any form of organized religion during the voyage.

Let me get back to Katy. She has been such a comfort to me through this flight and long years in space, but her body was simply worn out, and her pain was almost unbearable. I will miss her deeply. I feel lost without her company, and my loneliness crushes down on me as a dark sea of despair threatens to drown me. My heart would be breaking if only I had one. Actually, that is not technically correct since I have two, but few would consider it part of my soul.

Everyone knew her as Katherine, but she was my Katy. She had been one of my few real friends. Most were afraid of my power over them, but she never was. She wiggled her way into my heart as a small child and gave me much joy and happiness through the long years. I watched her grow up, watched her live her life and I watched her grow old. I also watched her die.

Stop! I must stop this self-pity and get back to life, such as it is.

Oh well, back to the log. These log entries are the only outlet I seem to have to keep me sane. I even look forward to the entries, but, at the same time, I sometimes wonder why I keep up these stupid logs... maybe for future generations, assuming there will be a future. There is no one alive on Earth to read them. I must believe deep in my mind that as long as I continue them, I donít have to accept the fact that Earth died well over a century ago. I know itís dead because I watched Earthís destruction from space. How long ago was that? Wow! "Long ago in a galaxy far far away." That was something Katy would have said to make me laugh.

There is no need to sign the logs. Iím the only one making entries. Actually, Iím the only one that could. I am also one of the few alive that knows everything: the asteroid, destruction of Earth, The Genesis Plan, the location of New Earth, Earthís history, the plight of the long journey, the mutiny, all the challenges, etc. Genesis is the only hope for the human race, and I am Genesis. Earth put the responsibility of the continuation of our species directly on my back. Funny, since I donít have a back, or shoulders for that matter... at least not in my original Genesis form.

Maybe if someone ever reads these logs he or she would have an accurate and detailed account of the drama that has unfolded, but who will ever read them? The answer is: "No one," if I fail. All humanity would be lost and forgotten forever; all our art, accumulated knowledge, accomplishments, struggles, all history of Earth and the human race over the millennia. It would be as if we had never existed and all the lives had never been lived, lost from memory for all eternity. This responsibility weighs heavily on me and has haunted me through the years. It wasnít fair to put this kind of responsibility on any one person, but I had accepted the presidentís request and volunteered.

How did I get myself into this mess? As much as I try to resist, I keep thinking back to the beginning. Katyís death has made me melancholy and nostalgic this cycle, and I find myself wanting to go back to the beginning of the logs to relive the experience. Well, parts of it anyway, so much of it was boring when I lived it the first time. I have plenty of time, so why not? What else do I have to do?

Genesis Log: 12 June 2015: (Transferred from journal of Capt. Nick Johns)

This is the first taped entry into my journal. I started this because something really bizarre happened to me today. For the following to make sense, I need to provide some background about myself so any future reader will understand why what happened was so unexpected and, well, crazy.

I spend my days in the quadriplegic ward of Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, California. All I can do is live within my own mind and be taken care of like a helpless baby. Life as I knew it ended three years earlier on my second Marine Corps deployment to Iraq. My men and I were taking a break when a terrorist suicide bomber launched himself into a gathering of my men. Without thinking, I tackled the intruder and drove both of us crashing through a window. That is all I really remember until I woke up months later in a hospital, paralyzed from my neck down. They said I was lucky to be alive, but I have often wondered if I were blessed or cursed. Many times I feel it might have been far more merciful, to me anyway, if I had died along with the terrorist.

For my action in saving my men I was awarded the Navy Cross (for extreme gallantry at risk of life). I understand that I was also recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor. The thing is, I donít feel like a hero. It was something any military man or woman would do under the same circumstances ... you save your buddies. Heroics are something that just happens without thinking. I guess my men greatly appreciated what I did for them, but I paid a heavy price. Truth be known, I would do it again, if only I could.

Over the next few months I went through some major deep depression and self-pity. I wished for death rather than the helplessness of paralysis. My hunger for life was stronger than I thought and finally realized life in any condition was good. It took me a while before my mind accepted the facts of my condition. I was not happy about it, but I was learning to cope. The most valuable lesson learned is that it is not in my nature to give up. So, day after day I lived on.

Today my routine was shattered! It was about 2:00 p.m. on a mid-summer day when two men in black suits came into the ward accompanied by a Marine Corps two star major general and two additional aides, all in full dress uniforms. Once their eyes locked on me, they marched directly toward me. I have never seen a more official-looking group. The major general and his aides stood to attention and saluted sharply. I thought, how strange that a general would salute me, but how I wished I could have returned their salute. All I said was, "Thank you."

One of the suits then introduced himself as Mr. Jones and nodded to his colleague as Mr. Smith. Yeah, right, Smith and Jones, that was believable.

Mr. Jones completely shocked me by announcing, "Capt. Nick Johns, you have been recalled to active duty and time is of an essence, so we must leave as soon as possible."

Needless to say, I was speechless... well almost. I managed to blurt out, "Are you fucking blind? Like I can really get up out of this chair and follow you out." They just stood there, their expressions chiseled in stone, waiting. These were serious men.

The general said, "All will be explained in due time, but they are serious and you have been recalled to active duty by the president himself. These gentlemen are here to take you to your new assignment."

They were dead serious! None looked as though they had an ounce of humor in them. All I could think of was that it had something to do with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Maybe the president wanted to present it to me personally. Oh well, it didnít seem as if I had much of a choice. It wasnít like I could fight them. So, I reported to duty, and I predict that my life will never be the same.

Genesis Log: 14 June 2015: (Transferred from journal of Capt. Nick Johns)

I have neglected my taped journal for a while and donít really know where to start...I guess at the beginning. Since this is a journal, I will log my entries as I remember the details and in the order of their happening, as best as I can remember.

Early the next morning I was readied and ushered out of the ward without any goodbyes to anyone. I quickly found myself in an ambulance racing down Interstate 15 with full emergency protocol. I was headed, as it turned out, to the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. There I was loaded into a luxury private jet. I suppose it really wasnít private, because the side of the Gulfstream Jet was stenciled in big letters, FBI. Whatever was happening, it was top priority. Why me? I thought, what is this all about?

After what seemed like only a few hours, we landed. From what I could see, this was also a military base, and the terrain indicated somewhere in the desert. I certainly know what a desert looks like from my two tours in Iraq. What stuck out in my visual inspection was the presence of Air Force One parked to the side of the runway. Everyone was silent and there were no responses to any of my many questions.

I must have looked frightened, because Mr. Smith leaned down to whisper, "Sorry kid, but no one can speak to you until after the president talks to you. You will just have to wait, but it shouldnít be long, probably early tomorrow."

After a night of pampering in a private hospital ward, the ordeal began. The next morning I was wheeled into a plush private office and left alone with my thoughts. This was the first time I had actually been alone since this nightmare began, but my wait was short-lived. In strode President McIntosh, alone and looking... .well, presidential. He was wearing a tailored, dark suit that contrasted against his perfectly cropped, white hair. The presidentís straight, lean figure bent forward toward me as he said, "It is so nice to finally meet you Capt. Johns. I hope your trip was comfortable." As he spoke his hand automatically shot forward to shake my hand. Seeing his mistake, he quickly pulled it back and said, "Sorry."

I was about to finally discover what was happening. I didnít think I was brought all this way for small talk, so I simply asked, "What is this all about Mr. President?"

He looked nervous with deep creases in his forehead from obvious stress. He loosened his tie and solemnly pulled up a chair facing me and sat down. His penetrating and unblinking blue eyes looked directly into mine. He cleared his throat and launched into his explanation saying, "There is no easy way to say this, so I will just lay it out for you. We need you for a special task that we believe only you are prepared to handle. Under normal conditions, we would go about this much slower. I will be honest though and tell you we had chosen another, and the team had been working with him for months. Unfortunately, before the final phase, he suddenly died of an undetected brain aneurism. He was dead before the doctors could get to him. Now the timing threatens to destroy our plans and hope for the future. Time is very short, and we need you now. Correction, the world needs you; hell the human race needs you." The latter was said with vented frustration and desperation.

I had no idea what I could do or what talents I had that they might need, so I asked, "What do you want me to do, and why am I the only one that can do it?"

"I canít say you are the only one. There might be others, but we are out of time, and the doctors tell us you are an ideal candidate and perfect for this task. Your chance of survival is excellent. This project is extremely important, and we must have a person with the right temperament, thoughtful and slow to anger and a selfless attitude toward others demonstrated by your being awarded the Navy Cross. Trust me, they arenít easy to get. You have to have what it takes. We also require your mental survival skills. I am told that surviving the depression of becoming a quadriplegic after being so active in life is rare. Plus, your mental profile tests have been meticulously reviewed and confirm these facts. There are so many other reasons. Just believe me when I tell you that the experts agree that you are our best choice."

"Now, what we need you to do is harder to explain. You need to understand certain facts that only a very few in the world know. There is an asteroid coming... a really big one, one that WILL hit Earth, and we will not survive. It is a world killer. We found out about four years ago quite by accident, but we have managed to keep it quiet. It would cause world-wide panic and total anarchy. The scientists gave it a fancy name, but I donít worry about that. A name doesnít matter when youíre dead."

"We have also developed a plan for the survival of the human race. It is called The Genesis Project, and it involves a deep space flight to colonize an Earth-like planet. It involves a lot more, but the scientists can explain it better. Here is the rub; the planet is over two hundred light years away." The president let that settle into my mind before continuing, "Now this is what we need from you and why. The scientists want to incorporate your brain into the central core of the on-board computer. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is still beyond the designersí abilities and current computer technology, and they need the human spirit, a human mind, to be the spark of self-awareness for the on-board computer. In essence, you will eventually become the Genesis, yet you will remain Capt. Nick Johns. Your mind will remain alive beyond the death of Earth and mankind. Hopefully, you will remain alive long enough to see the human race live again, maybe even beyond."

"Why you? Because once this is done and the ship is launched, you will be in total control and the only hope for the continuation of the human race. Your powers will be absolute and god-like. Your only control or supervision will be your own selfless desire to serve mankind and the self-imposed responsibility to do so. Another reason is that you have already demonstrated the mental survival skills by maintaining your sanity after you were left a quadriplegic. This, I am told, is an absolutely necessary trait and somewhat rare. This skill will be required to keep you sane during the long trip. Do you understand everything I have said?"

I didnít really know what to say. My mind was reeling from information overload, but I squeaked out a, "Yes, Sir."

The President of the United States then looked deep into my eyes and asked, "Will you serve me, your country, the world, and will you serve mankind? Will you keep the human spirit alive? Wait, time is short, but I want you to think about all that I have said and give me your answer tomorrow." With that he stood, turned, and left me in stunned silence.