Here's a little something I wrote ages ago, and just felt like translating...
The Natural Look, 100% Synthetic
Everything started out rather small – a bit of color, and gentle stretching of the skin. It continued with complete renovation of cartilage structures, hypodermal insertion of polymeric bags containing some kind of nameless sealant material, advanced through the growing of skin cultures in a lab and their transplantation with high chances of success, newer, more "natural" looking sealants, burning the hair off from its roots, and the hand that holds the innovative, made-in-Japan scalpel or directs the laser beam is still hard at work.
At some point, I've reached the conclusion that the human race has came to the conclusion that the way they were born is simply a regretful mistake of nature – an error that they will indubitably be willing to invest much resources in the correction thereof, as part of that inexplicable obsessions of theirs with "feeling better with themselves" (or, in other words, to please other people in a world where a natural appearance was pretty much an obscenity). Either that, or they were just fed up with looking like human beings, and they'd much rather have appeared to be bipedal pieces of plastic. Both of those theories work perfectly well.
As a person of my type – a type that believes that Mother Nature was right about a thing or two regarding the production notes for Mankind, and that arguing with her over nonsense such as a tendency for asymmetry of the left ear or some psychological problem with the size of the chest, or the hips, or body shape (Just who in hell was the person that came to the conclusion that women, for instance, have to look like some skinny hourglass with strange basketball-sized bumps on its upper segment) or only the devil knows what is just a teensy-weensy-bit petty (not to say downright arrogant), I've never understood why it was that in the time when I grew up, plastic surgery was such a common phenomenon that Frankenstein's Monster could have made one hell of a great sex symbol.
But, as years went by, it was becoming slowly evident that things are only getting complicated – that no matter how skilled the surgeons were, in the end of the day, if you weren't born with it, it was quite obvious you weren't - and that much was easily noticeable. And that was when the greater medical complications began. From year to year, more and more problems following old cosmetic procedures surfaced, and the health system was in danger of complete system breakdown as a result of overload of complaints and lawsuits over medical negligence. Back then, I was a student of Biotechnology – A field that, at that time, was blooming at an amazing pace – especially interested in technologies of cloning and growth acceleration, especially for medical purposes. Think about it – taking a cluster of stem cells from a person that is in desperate need of a liver transplantation and growing them into a new, completely healthy liver, that can be immediately transplanted – no more awaiting for a donor, no more tissue matching, simply grow and transplant, with no unnecessary complications.
… It's not that there were never talks about the cloning of humans for stem cell production purposes before. But the ethics of the whole thing were very complicated – when does a fetus stop being a lump of cells that has no greater biological meaning than a simple segment of skin tissue and becomes a living organism? One with a soul? One that the killing of which would be considered murder? What the hell IS a soul, anyhow, and what creates it?
This is what led me to leave that field of research and start researching the biology of the soul. That is, what turns a person to the person that he is, biologically. Just about everyone in the faculty wondered just what planet have I come from, but I was patient. I started out small and advanced onward until finally, I found it. And when I found it, I also found a way to preserve it. And soon enough, I found out how to transplant it. I shan't tire you with the technicalities – It is a complicated process that has to do with a thorough, systematic mapping of the brain and miscellaneous biological functions within a few phases of scanning and compiling the whole thing into one greater whole – and the reverse process in order to 'burn' that map of the soul pattern into a new body.
Imagine the computing and scanning power needed to map a human. But, as I said, I've started out small – and even the frogs I started out with required a LOT of processing power and a lot of computer time. But, the first experiment in soul transplantation with a success. And if that experimental process would have worked on human beings as well…
The idea struck me like lightning on a midsummer day – why not, actually, scan the DNA map of a person, correct minor DNA corruptions, regrow the body to its primal state and then perform an artificial transplantation of that person's soul within the new body?
Imagine for a moment, a terminally ill patient suffering from AIDS. Imagine, for a moment that you could map his DNA, correct it from within (removing any traces, even the most minute, of the viral DNA), regrow the body without the disease and then transfer his consciousness from the old body to the new one. Or for instance, imagine a baby born with a severe genetic defect that would not allow it to survive to the age of two. Imagine that baby growing up and having his own happy, healthy babies with not a single trace of such a genetic defect. Back then, it sounded like science fiction. But then, the revolution came that has finally allowed the cloning of humans without severe moral implication – a biological formula has been discovered, one which allowed the acceleration of a body's growth processes while leaving it completely devoid of awareness until its operation is stopped via a matching antibody serum – the brain, simple as that, functions only in the mechanical level needed to keep the body alive, without allowing it to grow into a living, sentient being. In a way, the brain is not 'alive', and the body's growth is accelerated in a way that allows monitoring and control. More developments have eliminated the need for 'host' mothers for cloned embryos, and accelerated computers to levels that made soul transplantations, finally, a possibility.
And then, along came the people who decided that they could harness these innovations to make money – genome cleaning, alteration of developmental elements and exposure to hormones during accelerated growing of the body – to a younger age than the original. A potential fountain of youth. More and more powerful computers entered the transplantation market, and rather quickly, soul transplantation became a phenomenon even more widespread than the plastic surgeries that were just about everywhere when I grew up. Authentic Mind, Synthetic Body.
Just bloody great.
A few years have passed since then already – and there are still more people in the world who went through the procedure to look 20 at the age of 200, and less people who went through the procedure to cure some incurable disease. It turns out that there were complications in this field too – The body isn't always capable of accepting the soul pattern, and sometimes, even in spite of all efforts, the new body begins developing consciousness – at least in its initial stage – and then we find ourselves dealing with patients with split personalities. And sometimes, there are people which find themselves, due to (heaven forbid) an incorrect translation of the soul map, with gaps in their memories, or with changes to personality structure that they themselves don't notice, but those around them definitely do.
I think the greatest question now is – If we've managed to entirely fix the body… What next? Surgeries for the correction of the soul?
… I personally hope I won't live long enough to see something like that happen. But on the other hand, if I DO live that long and someone decides to run me through something like that… Would I ever really know that anyone did anything to me?