Science Lacking Industry
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"In the other times, before the Singularity struck, there were more people. There were less strange and wonderful things. And most of all, there was more science.

There was so much science, in fact, that some people studied one of the many branches of science their whole lives. Some even studied several, or some at least were introduced to several before the lovely thing called 'university', or 'college', or even 'tertiary education', since there were just so many possibilities before. Then, they may choose to pick different, specific paths, depending on what they wanted to be when they grew up.

It was an interesting system, however riddled with corruption, inefficiency, and financial robbery it was, and, like most interesting things, it came to an end after the Singularity, and gave way to something greater.

More science.

Of course, when I refer to 'system' I do not merely refer to schools: I mean to bring to mind all sorts of institutions that either facilitate or limit scientific studies—or do something in between. I was actually one of those that worked in such a place, one that raised science like a child, and nurtured discoveries, or redirected efforts when such discoveries did not work out. My name back then was not 'Edgar'. It was, in fact, 'Allen'. Back then, I was closer to a human being than the knight of metal that I am now, but I do not miss much, besides the very thing that led to my survival soon after the Singularity, soon after the catastrophe to end approximately 88% of the global human population, other animals and plants excluded.

The science of biological cybernetics. Oh, and for your information and curiosity, I was indeed polite. Not polite enough to let my selfish co-workers survive though. Ha.

Resuming to the story once more, the Singularity struck and I survived, while some—most—did not. I will skip over the details of the Singularity as a whole, since you no doubt recall them in your sleep unless you have finally mastered the breathing exercises I taught you when we first met. Instead, I will go on to say that I was in the institution, which will remain unnamed, when all Sell broke loose.

As you also undoubtedly know, the ensuing chaos and destruction was wrought forth by several things, the prominent being the endowment of usually-destructive or self-harmful supernatural abilities. If you were not aware, these were known as Compensations for the Survivors, although they usually caused more hurt than healing. One of my co-workers for example, an intern brat named Andrick, suddenly began fuming toxic, corrosive gas that flooded the place horribly—I still have some acid marks on my suit, here, here, and here—and eventually killed everyone else besides him and me. I, who was granted with a strange ability I have dubbed 'Preemptive Safety Action Takeover', or PSAT, transferred my brain into an android suit that I had worked on for around a year before then, the same suit, more or less, that you see now. The details of the brain transfer are still blurry even to me, most likely as a side effect of my Compensation 'taking over', but I remember the encounter with Andrick most clearly. Let us hope that my memory projection equipment still functions.

Oh dear, no auditory output. Well, I'll narrate for you! This footage is from my perspective, obviously, as recorded by my head camera. The green, hunched figure stalking over to me from the green mist is Andrick. He looks more pale than usual because of the mist emanating from him, which was taking a toll on his body at the time and contributed to his defeat. It is extremely dark in this scene, since I was in a hallway where the power connections had melted. I was trying to find one of the main exits out of the building, and encountered Andrick accidentally.

Hiss, hiss. That's the sound of the gas leaking from his pores.

Grunt, grunt. That's Andrick, trying to speak, but failing, since his jaw is almost detached by this point.

I then attempt to reply. 'Andrick, stop this madness immediately!' Squish. I tried to step forward in that moment, but I ended up stepping into the skinny stomach of one of my co-workers who had decomposed because of the mist. Blood and stomach insides splatter and stain my right leg, much to my disgust. My post-filming analysis suggested an intense and painful death. Her name was Mariah.

Grunt. He rushes at me, the mist clinging oddly to his shoulders.

'Stop rushing at me or I will be forced to put you down like a rabid dog at the pound!' My robotic hand is held up in front of me, to convey 'stop'. It is ineffective.

Roar. OK, maybe not a roar exactly, but more of a mix between a yelp and a grunt. He pounces upon me, bypassing my outstretched hand and going for my cranial compartment. Not good, if you can't tell.

'Back off, you beast.' There are also more hissing noises, but this time from my armor plating corroding rapidly. Metallic whirling is heard as I snatch him off my chest and slam him to the wall.

Crumble, crack. His shoulder bones chip away easily and reveal bone marrow and flesh, sure signs of defeat for him.

Slump. He dies silently, followed by violent hissing as the remainder of his body decomposes almost instantly into green gas that obscures my vision and the camera.

By now, you might be wondering why I am telling you all of this. Why I am showing you such raw footage right before the supposed start of your new journey into science.

Essentially, it is hard for me to explain. But I will try anyway.

I was not the only one that survived a few moments after the Singularity. There was, of course, Andrick. But there were also other security guards and researchers, not to mention one or two particularly clever custodians. Indeed, after I looked back at the camera footage within the institution, several of them had almost escaped using projects around the facility, but they all failed in the end when compared to me.

Take Mariah, for example. She could not survive because of the technology she used, not because she lacked the wits. What she wore was an artificial biofilm skin, meant to protect against harmful chemicals and light radiation. Where did she obtain it? She was the team lead of the development team for the project. Unfortunately for her, the crafting of the suit was rushed, developed for mass production for citizens of urban areas. What was wrong? All of it. They were underfunded by themselves, as they tried to minimize costs and maximize vanity and appeal. Everyone on that team succumbed to the failures of the thin material, which was not coated with Kelaminon, a chemical that would have saved their lives, but driven up costs thricefold. An unacceptable price to pay for the corrupt safety industry, no doubt. So unacceptable that I bet several draft designs were rejected in exchange for worse, just-sufficient ones.

Now, contrast this with my own suit. Unlike them, I worked under a grant given by the institution to create something worth making. In fact, everyone was given to work under this grant, but most did not challenge it, since they had to pay back the grant—more like a loan in this sense—if they did not design something of good use. Rather, they took a less-risky approach and accepted offers from industries and private companies, just like the one Mariah and her team signed off with.

Thus, I did not care about specific budgets or looks. I did not have major restrictions. I worked to Sell and back because I wanted to, because I wanted to create, not sell or profit off of something. I even went as far as to create my own parts, since cybernetics was not well-explored at the time. My final product was a cyborg android suit, in which the user could implant some of their organs and live on in a metal shell. My purpose? None in particular. Perhaps I wanted to create stronger soldiers. Perhaps I wanted to empower the elderly. Perhaps we will never know honestly, because my memories of the time before the suit are greatly damaged because of the implantation process. A defect, but at least not one that cost my life and that of my team. On the bright side, I lived. Mariah and Co, and the many others, did not. They all relied on technology, cheap, ineffective technology, distributed by factories, factories created as a result of our consumer society, while I survived from my own yield and loss.

So, I guess the lesson of the whole debacle is that there is no substitute for passion and crafting. You cannot mass manufacture perfection, nor can you rush art. Remember this moving forward in all that you do.

In the end, science lacking industry was, and still is, superior. It is that which lasts, and last it will, our work in cybernetics. It is handed down from maker to student, from crafter to pupil. And finally, in this moment, from me to you.

Good luck, Damien. Let us begin, for real, without limitation."

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