“The Mind-Changers – II: Basic Rules” / Memorable Fancies #1259

[The future: Transplanting minds from one living person to another is now possible.]

[“Are you out of your mind?” – a frequently heard query]

After experiments that resulted in several permanently lost minds, the following rules were applied to the relevant technologies and the firms that profited highly from them:

  1. No mind without a brain. The mind-gration must take place within 14.2 seconds or the mind, lacking a flesh and blood brain-host, will die.
  1. No brain without a mind. The result would be a zombie, autonomic processes only. But this is insufficient to keep the organism alive more than a few hours, not the often-cited 28 days.
  1. No brain with more than one mind at a time. The conflicting mental processes quickly interfere with and disrupt life processes. The brain and body both die, and the mind-functions disintegrate.
  1. When a brain dies, the mind in that brain also dies, unless migrated-out while there is still normal brain function.

An upshot of these rules was the development of holding facilities (“vats”) for temporarily un-brained minds, and the growth of a new profession: Body-Sitters, those minds who have given up their own bodies and brains and live in the vats, minding the store until their body/brain combo is sold again, or rented out for special events.

[“Vatricide. That crime of crimes.” – Donald Barthelme]

  1. The penalty for vatricide is confinement in the mind of a sadist delighted to have company.

[“That is how we spend our time, tending the vats.” – Donald Barthelme]


Buy it on Amazon: Fragments of the Future, 18 dark and unexpected sci-fi stories originally from StoneThread Publishing, now in a new second edition.

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