Forrest Cameranesi: Geek of all Trades

(6x03) The Magic of Antiquity: Part 1, Episode 3

In the course of his research, Keius discovers the mysterious organelles unique to the Ehrban biosphere to be in fact tiny nanoscopic machines of incredible sophistication – of a level very difficult to explain by natural selection alone. These nanites each possess intelligent, programmable computing abilities and sophisticated energy-field sensors and manipulators; and further still, they appear to communicate with each other via some sort of phenomenon resembling the ansible links used to establish the Ehrban's interstellar wormholes. Goran appears disturbed by this news, and worries that a discovery of this magnitude may have profound impacts on the religious beliefs of the various worlds – which are very much polarized along core-fringe lines – and further exacerbate the existing political tensions. Tatia, however, has the final say as the head of research at this facility, and urges Keius to continue, fascinated by his results thus far. But as Keius is preparing to begin experiments with these nanites, the laboratory is shut down by the imperial government, which is apparently withdrawing its important installations from the fringe worlds in preparation for war.

But determined not to be put off from his research – and hoping, contrary to Goran's worries, that a discovery of this magnitude might draw his people together and forestall the oncoming violence – Keius remains illicitly in his laboratory and conducts experiments with the nanites on himself. Tatia urges him not to stay, but refrains from ordering him to leave, respecting his dedication. But when word of these activities eventually reaches Goran, he warns Keius that he is risking not only punishment by the empire for unauthorized use of their laboratory, but also the wrath of the rebel alliance which will very likely strike at the lab when the inevitable war begins – not to mention the condemnation of Geiana for this unnatural abomination. But Keius then cuts himself severely with a piece of lab equipment, and when the wound almost instantly heals, Goran is amazed. Keius explains that the nanites can be used as intelligent nanoassemblers, and that he has programmed his own to repair any damage they find to his body. Goran is shocked by this development and leaves Keius to report to his superiors.

Alone once again in his lab, Keius continues his research, experimenting further upon himself. He begins to toy with methods of linking control of the energy manipulation capabilities of the nanites with conscious thought patterns, which could hypothetically allow an individual much finer, more subtle projection of gravito- and electro-magnetic fields and waves than the gross energy manipulation technology used in such devices as the wormholes. But just as he has his first success with this technology, moving – to his own amazement – a piece of lab equipment with his mind, a rebel strike force appears in the sky above his lab, having come to destroy the "bioweapons" or "supersoldiers" that are rumored to be under development there. As Keius scrambles to save what of his research he can, the rebel forces bomb the lab to rubble, and Keius is left for dead.

Next: The Magic of Antiquity: Part 2, Episode 1