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Requiem of the Human Soul, by Jeremy Lent
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In Requiem of the Human Soul, Eusebio Franklin, a school teacher from a small community, is faced with the most terrifying dilemma imaginable: should he carry out an act of mass terrorism in order to save the human race?  


By the late twenty-second century, the majority of the world consists of d-humans: people whose genetic make-up has been enhanced, making them healthier both physically and psychologically.   "Unimproved" humans, or Primals, comprise the poorest 3 billion of the world's 10 billion population.   The UN is on the verge of approving the PEPS program: the Proposed Extinction of the Primal Species, which would use a radioactive isotope to partially sterilize Primal women, allowing them to have one child, thus halving the Primal numbers each generation.  

the humanists

Eusebio Franklin is a Primal abducted by a Primal Rights group to New York to take part in a special session of the PEPS hearing as a representative of his race.   Eusebio is a history teacher, a widower, living in a small community of Primals known as "Humanists", who avoid all genetic enhancements, focus their lives on the ancient cultures of the past, and exist as living time capsules, completely isolated from the modern world.   This community was founded in the twenty-first century by Dr. Julius Schumacher, the great scientist who invented "neurography": the imaging of human thoughts.   Through his research on the images of thoughts, Dr. Schumacher had made a chilling discovery that led him to hypothesize that genetic engineering may lead to the disappearance of the soul from the human consciousness.

the rejectionists

Before the PEPS session begins, Eusebio is secretly visited by Yusef, who urges him not to take part in the UN hearing, explaining that he will be their "stooge", legitimizing a global genocide.   Yusef was sent to Eusebio by the Rejectionists, d-humans who never accepted the Global Aggression Limitation Treaty ("GALT"), which arose after the Great Global Wars ended in the early 22nd century.   GALT – unanimously agreed to by the world's nations sick of the devastation of war - only permitted genetic engineering that subordinated the "aggression" and "doctrinal belief" gene-sets. However, the Rejectionists – mostly Muslim but also Sikhs, Buddhists and Hindus – refused to accept GALT, believing that subordinating these gene-sets would stop the ability of humans to know God.   Modern society is ruthlessly attempting to eliminate the Rejectionists, who have gone underground and are helped by millions of Primal sympathizers across the Muslim and South Asian world.

human race on trial 

In spite of Yusef's urging, Eusebio decides to participate in the PEPS session, supported and guided by Primal Rights attorney, Naomi Aramovich.   Over the next three days, Eusebio finds himself going through a strange, legal process of defending the human race.   Harry Shields, the UN prosecutor, argues that the Primals, throughout human history, have destroyed anything worthwhile in the human soul and the world around them: driving so many animal species to extinction, destroying those ethnic races and cultures where the human soul was worth saving.   Eusebio is forced to talk about his beloved cultures of the American Indians, the Aboriginals, the Aztecs and Incas, and then witness through virtual reality their destruction at the hands of the white man who – in the words of a wise Aboriginal – "came up blind, bumping into everything, putting up a flag.   As the "Primal witness", Eusebio must sit in a "neurographic chair" which – he is told - scans his mind to ensure that he is speaking the truth.  



Each day, Harry, Naomi and Eusebio take "virtual reality field trips", whereby they "visit" places relevant to the session.   First, they visit Shaktigarh in West Bengal, where Eusebio witnesses the dire poverty of Primal life, and gets involved in an unfolding, dramatic horror that leads to the violent death of their guide, alienating Eusebio further from the d-human world.   The next visit is to a re-engineered African game reserve, where Eusebio is initially enthralled by the once extinct re-created wildlife, but then finds that it's all been digitally optimized, like a gigantic Disneyland.   Horrified, he understands that this is what they intend to do with the last remnants of the Primals.


Raising the Stakes

Each night, as Eusebio feels increasingly alienated, Yusef secretly visits him and raises the stakes.   Would he be prepared to join their cause to save the human race?   Yes.   Would he be prepared to die to save the human race?   Yes.   Would he be prepared to kill others to save the human race?   Eusebio's first reaction, as a peace-loving person respecting the lives of others, is an angry and unequivocal "no".  



In an attempt to show Eusebio that he has now become part of a global struggle for humanity, Yusef devises a way for Eusebio to take a virtual field trip to Pannakot in the Northwest Frontier of Pakistan, one of the areas where the Primals support the Rejectionists.   There, Eusebio witnesses a little girl brutally murdered by a soldier from the UN's GALT Enforcement troops searching for Rejectionists.  


Humanity's Last Chance

At this point, Eusebio, disgusted by what he's experienced, is reluctantly prepared to kill if necessary to save the human race.   That night, Yusef ups the ante further: a nuclear explosion in Manhattan killing millions.   The nuclear device is already in the UN building, but requires a trigger.   Because of the intense security, only Eusebio, as Naomi's "Primal witness" would have the clearance to enter the building and detonate the device.   Yusef explains convincingly to Eusebio that this is humanity's last chance to be saved from the extinction of the PEPS proposal…

Interested in the story?   Buy the book and enjoy reading what happens next!

© 2010 Jeremy Lent. All Rights Reserved.

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