(In The Beginning)
Genesis Log: 15 May 2137: (Private Log)
I am sad …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 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 in order 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. It was almost like Moses’ being able
to see the Promised Land after such a long journey, but not able to enter it.
Hmmmm. Strange…it is almost ironic that I mention a religious reference since I
have made such an effort to discourage any form of organized religion.
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 the
few I enjoyed that was not afraid of me. 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 source 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 don’t have to accept the fact that
Earth died well over a century ago. I know it’s dead because I watched Earth’s
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. I am the only one making entries. Actually, I am
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, Earth’s
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 don’t 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 a pretty accurate
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 wasn’t fair to put
this kind of responsibility on any one person, but I had accepted the president’s
How did I get myself into this mess? As much as I try not to, I keep thinking back to
the beginning. Katy’s 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 2010: (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 deployment
to Iraq in the Marine Corps. My men and I were taking a break when a terrorist
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 and risk of life). I understand that I was also recommended for the
Congressional Medal of Honor. The thing is, I don’t 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 really 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. I learned 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. when two men in black
suits came into the ward accompanied by a Marine Corps two star major general
and two additional aides in full dress uniforms. Once their eyes locked on me, they
came directly to me, almost in step with each other. 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
Needless to say, I was speechless… well almost. I managed to say, “Are you
fucking blind? Like I can really get up out of this chair and follow you out.” They
just stood there without changing expressions. These were serious men.
The general said, “All will be explained in due time, but they are serious and you
have been recalled to 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 didn’t seem as if I had much of a choice. It wasn’t 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 2010: (Transferred from journal of Capt. Nick Johns)
I have neglected my taped journal for a while and don’t 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 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
wasn’t 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
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.
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 shouldn’t 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 white
hair. The president’s 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 didn’t 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 can’t say you are the only one. There might be others, but we are out of time, and
the doctors tell us you are 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 aren’t
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 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 anarchy. The scientists gave it a fancy name,
but I don’t worry about that. A name doesn’t matter when you’re 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 beyond the designers’ 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 didn’t 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.
Genesis Log: 15 June 2010: (Transferred from journal of Capt. Nick Johns)
This has been a long day. As you can imagine, I didn’t get much sleep last night. I
kept going over everything the president said to me. I was stunned at the
implications. An asteroid was coming that would destroy Earth! Everyone would
die! They wanted my brain, only my brain! Where would the rest of me be? He said
I would live on, through a two hundred year deep space flight and beyond. Was
this possible? Do we have the technology? It must be true…why would he lie?
The president asked me to serve humanity. He knew I would…how could I refuse?
All these things rang like a bell through my head all night.
I began to analyze the facts also. If I didn’t agree to his request, I would die when
Earth died, and the way he put it, without me, humanity would die also. I had no
family to worry about, but I imagined they knew that already. I was quadriplegic
anyway and had little life as it was, but of course, that was one of the main reasons
they chose me. I had learned to live without a body and maintain my sanity. Maybe
I would have a better life as a disembodied brain. That seemed almost funny.
The more I thought about it, the more questions surfaced, but I knew I would do it.
What choice did I have? Another thing I knew with certainty: I would never be
allowed to leave, no matter what my answer would be.
The next morning I was again wheeled into the office to await the president. This
time I met him with complete resolve and calm, because I knew all my questions
would now be answered.
Again the president pulled up a chair to face me and waited for my answer without
saying a word. His deep blue eyes were searching my face for a sign.
I remember looking directly into his penetrating eyes and saying, “Yes, Mr.
President, I will serve.”
He smiled and said, “Excellent! Thank you, Capt. Johns. I knew you would.” He
was on the phone in an instant announcing, “The answer is YES. We will be right
down.” Turning to me he said, “Let’s go meet your team.”
The president himself pushed me down the hall into a huge conference room. He
was saying that security was so high that only the key people made it into the main
complex and that didn’t include secret service or aides. When I asked where we
were, he told me Area 51. That stands to reason since Area 51 wasn’t suppose to
exist anyway. If a high security area was needed, none would be better than
somewhere that doesn’t exist.
Once I was inside, the team took charge and the president offered a final thank you,
tousled my hair, and was gone.
There were about twenty people around the conference table that were introduced,
but I will talk more about them as I meet them individually. I was told that this first
meeting was more of a general…get the big picture…kind of meeting. There were
computer engineers, biologists, astronomers, scientists of all kinds, and they were
the best of the best from around the world. The accents were definitely global.
Each of them fought to keep the briefing as general as possible without going into
too much detail. They said each area of expertise would be provided individually
during cram indoctrinations. The gist of the briefing was pretty much what the
president had informed me; however, I learned that the time table required launch in
only four months.
They had been working on The Genesis Project for over three years and with
virtually unlimited funding. I guess so. Money would be useless after the public
finally learned of the impending doom of the planet. This seemed to be the biggest
concern, since it couldn’t be kept secret once the asteroid became visible in the
sky, and it would soon be visible to even amateur astronomers within weeks.
My biggest shock was learning that alien technology had been used to build the
ship that was going to be used. Actually, alien technology was evidently quite
prevalent in most areas of expertise. Even this seemed reasonable since we were
at Area 51, where UFO nuts had been spouting government cover up for years. The
so-called UFO nuts had claimed this facility housed a recovered UFO from Roswell,
NM. The government, of course, had never even acknowledged the existence of
Area 51 much less the existence of a UFO. I presume the supposed nuts had been
right all along.
I would be the center of attention for the next few weeks, and everyone demanded
individual time with me. I never felt more important in my life. My schedule was
already worked out in detail, and it looked as if I would be a slave to it.
My medical checkup and conditioning process began after the briefing, and it looks
like it will be continuous from now on. I was probed, stuck, prodded, measured and
scanned by every known machine and some unknown. This lasted all afternoon
and into the night. I am so tired I barely have the energy to make this entry. I
wonder what is in store for me tomorrow.
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