Who are these men tracking Albot, a young teenager who recently became an orphan ? They seem to be looking for the objet his father gave him before he died. Albot has no other choice than run away, and place his life in some strangers hands.
His journey will lead him to places so strange and hostiles that humans would never think about them. He will have to face choices that will change his life. Will he emerge unscathed from these harships ?
The first transhumanism stone is settled, and a new evolution for the human species is on its way.
Olscar Borcan was born on December 17th, 1964, in Lisbon (Portugal).
He arrived in France during the late 1970's to escape Salazar's dictatorship.
He is the eldest of four siblings. He considers himself to be self-taught, since he stopped his studies after obtaining a technical high school diploma.
His career path follows the movement of new technologies.
A journey strewn with difficulties due to his lack of qualifications and his Portuguese nationality.
He made progress thanks to various opportunities, and reached the position of IT manager, which he kept for almost 10 years, within an Anglo-Saxon investment bank.
Since the 2008 stock market crash impacted his job, he decided to redeploy as a project manager.
He came across an old 20-pages manuscript he had started when he was 15. An idea which had been blossoming for a while in his mind, and encouraged him to start a new novel.
This first novel, « Descendance », is unpretentious. Its purpose is to immerge the reader into the post- Darwinism world, including notions of Transhumanism.
CHAPTER III : The awakening
After spending about four weeks in a coma, waking up in hospital was quite painful, both physically and morally. Operated and plastered, Albot was unable to feed himself and was assisted in all the most basic acts of his daily life.
Answers about his family made him fall appart. Only his parents bodies had been found. His little sister's body remained untraceable, despite several days of research in the river, by divers from the national police force.
According to the police officers, he had been incredibly lucky to have been ejected from the car when it fell off the cliff.
The most likely theory was that his seatbelt was improperly fastened, that his door opened during the impact with the ground, and that he was ejected from the vehicle in one of the many rollovers. All he could remember, and was sure of, was that his parents would never have driven a car with unfastened children. They were very careful to everything regarding the safety of their children and safety in the car was at the top of the list.
Moreover, this car was new and equipped with all the options and gadgets his father had been eager to get his hands on: front, rear and side airbags, detection of an unfastened seatbelt and an unclosed door, GPS, power steering, sunroof, puncture-proof wheel. It was the first car connected to the Internet via an on-board computer linked to the server at home.
His father had explained to his mother that it all came as a package and that there was no extra cost: that with all of these options, the children would be safe.
So it was inconceivable that his father was not alerted by the electronics on board of this four-wheeled space shuttle. Some sort of female voice would not have failed to point out unbuckled rear seat belts, just like his mother, who would have, in a firmer voice, told them to buckle their seatbelt.
Come to think of it, the car would have simply refused to start with an open door...
The boy was coping with a double fracture of the right tibia, a dislocation of the left shoulder, three cracked ribs, not to mention bruises all over his body, as well as the surgery he had for his left eye: following the impact of his skull against a tree stump, the optic nerve had been damaged.
They had managed to save his eye, but he had lost part of his vision. He felt ridiculous with his shell, which looked like an eye patch like the ones we can see in old pirate movies.
The doctors' prognosis was rather reticent and pessimistic. No one could say whether he would completely regain his sight in the medium or long term.
When he woke up, a police detective came to question him.
He had tried to explain that he had buckled his seatbelt properly and that the car would have indicated, both with an audible and a visual alarm, that a door was improperly closed. The inspector smiled nicely at him and then tried to comfort him as politely as he could. But there was nothing to be done, the words of a fourteen-year-old teenager didn't measure up to the road safety specialists and investigators seasoned by their experience on the field.
His hospital stay had stopped him from attending his parents' funeral. It was explained to him that since his sister's body had not been found, clothing and some personal items had simply been placed in the coffin.
The inspector asked many questions, but one of them was asked more insistently and formulated in different ways. The inspector wanted to know if the video recordings from the three mini-cameras - the ones in each rearview mirror filming the interior of the vehicle and the one outside filming the front and rear of the vehicle - were only stored in the vehicle's memory server.
Another one of the many gadgets in this car. To put it simply, it looked like some kind of black box, like the ones found in airplanes.
He said he didn't know for sure, but that he thought it was. His parents never, ever, mentioned a backup server at home. The young boy took the opportunity to ask if they had been able to view the videos of the accident, but they hadn't. All the data was corrupted and unrecoverable. Albot was about to say something, but his mouth remained shut. What's the point of arguing? Some things were unclear and he had no desire to give additional information to a complete stranger, even if this complete stranger was a police inspector.
Before leaving, he handed over his business card and told him to contact him in case his memory came back. He grumbled a small inaudible « yes » before the police officer walked out the door.
Despite all the drugs he was on, he was still hurting like hell. The only thing that partly allowed him to forget his pain was to think about his sister and his parents: grief was taking over the pain .
He was transferred from the Timone hospital in Marseille to the Berck-sur-Mer hospital in the north of France - which specializes in the disabled - for two months of rehabilitation. Two long months of reeducation, but also psychological reconstruction. His morale was low. He had two reeducation sessions a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with a psychotherapy session in between.
The hospital, located in front of the sea, allowed him to take long invigorating walks in a wheelchair. What could be better than the salty air to give him strength, and the sound of the ocean to relax him?
The therapist tried to give him a taste of life, but it was not an easy task. To admit what had happened, was to admit the lost of his only family.
He couldn't help but imagine his parents and his little sister walking through the door of his hospital room, bringing him his favorite milk chocolates with praline filling. The smell of chocolate made him drool just thinking about it.
Since he was underaged, this time spent in Berck allowed the doctors to find a solution for his custody. His parents were orphans, so he had no relatives to take care of him. He was unable to move, but his parents' lawyer took care of everything, and spent a whole day in the hospital reading him the testamentary letter.
Their wish was that their children would be placed in the Descendance Orphanage in case they disappeared, and nowhere else. This place had great significance : they had grown up there and met each other there. Proof that life is an eternal beginning...
The lawyer also gave him a kind of tube with the inscription « to the attention of my children, Albot and Catiana Coldi ».
- What is it, he asked the lawyer.
- I have no idea. When I asked your father the same question, he told me that I didn't need to know, that I should only give it to you in case he passed away.
He placed the tube in the hanging drawer on the left side of his bed, thinking that he would look at it peacefully later. But this object had aroused his curiosity.
His parents owned shares in a number of companies around the world. He particularly remembered a company in the microtechnology field, in which they were the sole shareholders.
Their life insurance and all their assets were enough savings for him to be able to do great studies and start his life serenely.
What intrigued him was that his parents had also stipulated in bold letters in their will that under no circumstances, and under no conditions, should the family home be sold without the consent of the last descendant. He could make this decision not when he arrived at the age of majority, but on the date of his twenty-one year old birthday. In the event of the premature death of the parents, the children must absolutely keep the house in their possession at any cost.
It seemed rather odd, as this house was not a family property that would have been handed down from generation to generation. It was a rather modern house, with an avant-garde and innovative architecture, also referred as intelligent, communicating and autonomous. His father had it built, after designing it himself ten years earlier.
Another clause stipulated that part of the inheritance would remain blocked for the inside and the outside maintenance of the house, but also to pay current bills.
Albot could only take possession of his property when he came of age, but until then he had to live at the Descendance Orphanage.
He cherished the sweet hope that a caring family would be willing to take him, but since he was fourteen, it was unlikely that would ever happen.
As soon as his lawyer walked away, he immediately went to the computer that was on self-service at the entrance of the hospital. He wanted to get all the information he needed for his detention. Because in his mind, this could not be compared with anything other than a prison.
But no matter how many hours he spent surfing, no search engine was able to find any information that could help him, except that it was an orphanage.
He was not fully recovered, and was still unable to use a wheelchair. But he made small progress every day, that gave him courage and hope. One evening, a doctor came to his room to tell him that he could be out before the end of the week. He said that a nurse would come in the evening to explain the exercises he would have to keep doing at home for his rehabilitation.
He would have liked, indeed, to practice these exercises at home. But he didn't know what his new home would look like.
The day before he was discharged from hospital, a lady in her forties came to visit, and introduce herself. It was Mrs. Helena Foxter, who was a member of the board of directors of the Descendance Orphanage. She informed him that she knew his...