My friend Dr. Frenjo Borkstar had been in poor health for a long time, but it was only toward the end that it became apparent how extensive his problems truly were. Amongst other issues he had been suffering renal failure, administered a constant stream of medications and immuno-boosters.
In October he decided to take his health into his own hands and sourced (no doubt through legally questionable channels) a retroviral cocktail intended to augment the DNA of his Jovian forebears – I don’t know to what extent he has Jove ancestry, only that he has some.
This had predictably disastrous results, wrecking what was left of his poor body. He spent a week and a half ill and in excruciating pain before being approached by Seraphim Risen, a member of Scope Works and the proprietor of Genetic Angels Laboratories, a research firm on the cutting edge of advanced medicine and genomic research.
Seraphim offered Dr. Borkstar the opportunity to be the subject of a highly experimental procedure, using tissue samples from deceased Jove ambassador Misu Baniya to in essence re-write his genetic code, whilst using a cocktail of substances to purge the retroviruses from his body.
On the eve of the procedure I spoke to Frenjo via the IGS, offering my prayers and support. He then invited me to attend the procedure. I reminded him that I felt that proceeding with it was a bad idea, but would accompany him to provide what support I could.
The procedure was, one could say, a qualified success at best. While the procedure managed to alter his physiology, it was too much for his body to handle. With his organs failing, the decision was made to administer a trans-neural burning scan and terminate his clone, transferring his consciousness into a blank grown directly from Baniya’s genetic code.
When he awoke, he had lost all memory of his identity and past. His body was weak and his mind was shattered. It took weeks of intensive therapy to restore him physically, but the infomorph that was Frenjo is no more.
Upon recovery he has styled himself as Viriel, and is eagerly learning all he can about Jovian culture and, indeed, about life as a capsuleer in general. Early on I acted as his caretaker, teaching him how to interact in capsuleer society and doing all I could to protect him – both from himself and from the many who would see him killed.
I have since taken more of a role as mentor and guiding hand. He is free to do as he will, but still has much to learn. I have great hopes for Viriel. He may never be wh Dr. Borkstar was, but he holds great potential if he can just stay alive long enough to realize it.