The Shroud

A New Techno-Thriller
Pierce Evans (L) and Frank DuPont (R)

Headline April 10, 2002 !!

President Bush Urges Congress to Ban All Human Cloning

The Shroud is the hottest, most pertinent, fiction available today.

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Should scientists be allowed to clone humans? What would happen if they used the ancient blood of  historical figures? What if they used the blood of Christ from The Shroud of Turin ? What if a clone from the blood on the Shroud of Turin were here today? Are you sure you want to know?

    Despite worldwide opposition to cloning humans, genetic scientists, have the audacity to attempt to clone Christ from a blood stained snippet from the Shroud of Turin, but lurking in the ancient DNA is a terrible secret that will have devastating consequences. It does not contain the essence of the soul.

The Shroud

A New Techno-Thriller
Pierce Evans and Frank DuPont

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ISBN: 0-7414-0891-0      Copyright 2002


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A Peek Inside THE SHROUD

     Andrew tired of the simple games he was playing with his psycho kinetic skills and moved on to more difficult activities. Soon he was able to mentally manipulate the pins and tumblers of the locks on the door to his quarters.
     At night, he started exploring outside his quarters. At first, he merely explored Dr. Platinier's office and the corridors but could not contain his curiosity about the offices of Dr. Goodenough and her associates. He explored them and devoured the knowledge found in their libraries, often reading several books in an hour or two. They were all interesting but narrowly focused.
     He wondered why the books and papers concentrated on such subjects as mitosis, amino acids, blood typing, chromosomes, ribonucleic acid (RNA), deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), alleles, electrophoresis, chromatography, genome projects, C- A- T- G, replication, genetic engineering  .  .  .  and cloning.
     He read reports on artificial insemination experiments in which a sperm cell from an anonymous donor was injected via a micro-pipette into an egg cell from another anonymous donor and the fertilized egg had undergone many cycles of mitosis, in vitro, and had developed into a recognizable human fetus. Then, when the objectives of the experiment had been met, the living fetus was killed with formaldehyde and pickled in a laboratory jar (neatly labeled, dated, and placed on a shelf with other specimens) or, if there was nothing noteworthy about the experiment, it was flushed down the drain like so much garbage.
     Andrew noted with detached interest that over a period of time, one experiment after another had been terminated. He quickly grasped the fact that termination did not mean just the end of the experiment, it meant the demise of the object of the experiment. These were living creatures, but they were terminated coldly, clinically, without remorse.
     If Andrew drew any conclusion at all from this, it was that life of any kind has no intrinsic value. When it has served its purpose it can be terminated. Andrew made no judgments about this. He was a soulless individual, amoral, unable to make ethical judgments. It was plain enough to him. One does what one has to do.

     He understood all that he read as though he had always known these things. His problem was why they picked such strange words and phrases to describe such simple concepts. It was their scientific terms that, for a while, stood in the way of his assimilation of the knowledge collected in their books and papers. Then, in Dr. Jurgensen's office, he ran across a glossary of terms relating to the Human Genome Project. He read it from beginning to end in less than an hour and quickly absorbed the contents. Now he no longer had to stop and puzzle over the meaning of the terms he encountered in the various books and scientific papers.
     There were numerous papers on cloning studies documenting attempts that had failed but many in which lower animals, like newts, had been successfully cloned.
    Struggling with the scientific language, he almost missed the essence of what they were doing here until he digested the glossary. Then it hit him.
   This was a study of enormous import and he was at the center of it.
   They were cloning something,  .  .  .  some creature,  somebody very special.
   It was him!
   HE was a clone!

     At night they all left the laboratory complex.
    Where did they go?
     What did they do?
     What was there outside the sterile environment of this laboratory?
     Andrew's nightly forays carried him further and further afield until one night he reached the door to the outside world. He stood looking out the window of the heavy door and his curiosity could not be contained.
     He looked at the lock, concentrated on it and heard the pins and tumblers click into place. The handle slowly turned, the bolt made a loud clunk as it slid clear of the striker plate, and the massive door swung open.
     Andrew stepped out into a world quite different from the only world he had known up to this moment.

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