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Not for the faint-hearted, ‘The Omega Wave’ is a full-length science fiction novel exploring gothic facets of consciousness and human nature. Luper a sensible young scientist finds himself working with Frieda a giddy teenager. As their relationship grows, so do the biological computers called neurospheres that they have developed. Encouraged by Quade, their acquisitive boss, and counselled by Broc, their Ethics Council chairman, they progress secretly, slowly and meticulously. However, working in the shadow of a rogue American-controlled embassy, they get caught up in a web of deception at first concealing but later revealing what they have seen and done.
This is the hardcover version of the book, 408 pages: €30.96.
It was the happiest day of their lives when Luper and Andina first secured positions working with Wes Lane Inc., the giant Silicon Valley Corporation in California. They had already met Hans Vogel, the principal investigator of Unit 19, some months earlier. He had spent several weeks working with them at the astronomy observatory on Tektite Ridge. And some time later, Hans headhunted them to work in the R&D Section of Unit 19.
Luper Beauchamps’s main project involved the development of novel chip interfaces and, in the first two months, he had helped secure three new patents. However, by the end of July, Luper became bored of the tedious repetition and relentless pressure of the work. The fact that two further patents were pending did nothing to spur his interest, despite the fact that each patent gave him another increase in royalties.
Andina Jorgenson was happier with her work. She had joined a group in the Nanofabrication Unit working on modifying chip components for dedicated purposes in miniature machine tools. Some of these components could operate in inaccessible areas in larger machines and be used to repair faults in situ, thus saving time and the expense of stripping down their outer structures. They were also planning to make an even smaller device.
Almost from day one, Quade Barras, the Director of the adjacent Neurochip Facility at Wes Lane, had insinuated himself into their company. Around 11 a.m. each day, he would come and join Luper and Andina during their coffee break. Sometimes Hans would also be with them but even when he wasn’t, Quade would join them. He was very knowledgeable about everything at Wes Lane and had given them guided tours of most of the facilities. On one occasion, he brought them into his own unit, in Area 47, and showed them some of the neurochips he was developing.
However, Luper was beginning to have second doubts about Quade. It was hard to put a finger on what the problem was, but Luper knew instinctively that there was something knavish about him. Luper’s girlfriend, Andina, felt the same way. At first she was highly impressed by Quade’s charming manner, his brilliant conversational skills and his handsome appearance. But more recently she felt that he was overly sincere.
As time went on, Luper was assigned to a different shift and was unable to meet Andina for coffee at eleven. Instead, he went on his breaks with Frieda at 12 noon. Frieda Delvin was a nineteen-year-old IT Assistant who specialised in writing patent applications. Luper and Frieda got on well together even though Luper was several years older and much more sensible. Frieda, on the other hand, was as giddy as a scatterbrained kitten chasing butterflies. One Thursday morning after their coffee break, they went for a walk along West Avenue, which was the main avenue running the length of the complex. It was very hot, almost 100?F, so they walked in the middle of the road where the shade of the trees was coolest. Out of nowhere, a Humvee came racing up the avenue at 70 mph and nearly hit them. The driver blasted at them to get out of the way and just kept going as they scattered. Two US jarheads sat in the back row with rifles but didn’t look around after Frieda screamed an ear-splitting curse at them.
“I thought this was private property,” Luper said.
“It is, but I’ve seen that Humvee several times. It always comes back the same way after about an hour,” Frieda said.
“So, the security man at the front gate lets them in?”
“Are they part of our security?”
“No way. They wouldn’t be wearing army uniforms if they were.”
When the couple returned to Unit 19, Luper asked Hans if he knew what the army were doing driving through the complex. Hans said they were probably going to the US Army barracks and support facilities at Fort West Wing. They had some arrangement with Wes Lane to take a short cut instead of driving around the complex that was several square miles in area.
“They nearly knocked us down. There’s a strict 30 mph speed limit out there. I’m going to complain to security,” Frieda said, storming off to make a phone call.
“You’re wasting your time,” Hans shouted after her as she disappeared.
Luper went back to the lab and took a deep sigh when he saw the amount of correspondence lying on his desk. Written correspondence always meant trouble.
As he waded through the pile, Hans came over to him and said, “Not more questions about our new patents?”
“Yes, mostly … what a bore!”
“I know,” Hans said. “Why don’t you get Frieda to do that? I’ve something more interesting I want to show you.”
“Okay, most of these are not of direct relevance to me anyway.”
Luper followed Hans into the office where Big Hal, the Director of Wes Lane was waiting.
“Hello Luper. I hope you’ve settled in by now,” he said in a cheery voice.
“Oh yes, quite settled,” Luper said.
“Good. Hans and I were talking about setting up a new unit. We’d like you to become involved.”
“Absolutely.” Luper’s eyes lit up.
“You know that email I sent you—oh it must have been last January—about the fuzzy logic boards …” Hans said
“Well, we’d like to carry out further investigations on the effect of ELF radiation on them.”
“You mean extremely low frequency electromagnetic radiation. Actually, I do remember you saying something about how it had a stabilising effect on the board’s activity,” Luper said.
“That’s right. We’ve repeated the experiment and it seems to be a genuine effect. Are you interested in following it up?”
“I’d be delighted …”
“We’ll ask Frieda to assist you as well. She’s probably fed up of writing to the patent office,” Hans said
“Great. To tell you the truth, I was beginning to fell as if I was in a rut.”
“I know you’re ready for a change. We keep a close eye on all our staff,” Big Hal said with a smile.
“What about Andina?” Luper suggested.
“At the moment she’s happy where she is. Perhaps later we can review the situation,” Big Hal said, struggling to stand up—his corpulent belly wedged between the arms of Hans’s comfy chair.
“When do you want us to start?”
“Soon, hopefully next month,” Hans said.
Afterwards, Luper couldn’t wait to tell Frieda the news. He felt re-energised and had no difficulty getting back to work developing his latest chip interface design. He planed to integrate a filter permanently into the chip plate to minimise data analysis of the subsequent results. It was a novel approach and could win him a share in his sixth patent if it worked.
When Frieda came back to the lab, she looked much calmer and smiled at Luper as she approached.
“You’ve changed your cloths,” Luper observed.
“Do you like …?”
Luper studied the style for a moment—short black mini skirt, black leg warmers which stopped short of her hemline, and a bright green blouse to match her sandals.
“My God, it’s very striking!” Luper exclaimed. “You’ll never get away with it.”
“So, you approve.” Frieda concluded.
Although a petite nose made her young face look coy, her jet-black cropped hair declared there was nothing timid about her personality.
Reviews for "The Omega Wave (Hardcover)"
|Reviewed by Melissa Levine (Reader)
|The Omega Wave is science fiction in its most complicated presentation. Author Richard Rydon injects pure science into a story that incorporates kidnapping, torture, and cover-ups. Science is the base of the terror that ensues and the center of the enlightenment that ultimately leads to the end of a nightmare.
Luper Beauchamps was originally hired by Wes Lane Inc. to develop new chip interfaces and to secure patents. After a short, but successful stint on the job, Quade Barras, the Director of the Neurochip Facility befriended Luper and ultimately offered him a job in his department testing neurochips. Frieda Delvin, an IT Assistant is assigned to help Luper with his new assignment. Quade’s assistant, Rose Allen, also works very closely with Luper and Frieda on the project.
The neurochips are created from strips of human brain. Wes Lane has an agreement with local hospitals to obtain the tissue from the deceased. There are limits to the number of neurochips the company can develop due to rules established by the Computer Ethics Committee. As Luper, Frieda, and Rose begin to mesh as a team, they explore various techniques and equipment for increasing the life-cycle of the neurochips. The scientists are seeking answers to two questions: Where does consciousness begin? Where does consciousness end?
As the neurochips gain in age and brain function (including perception and telepathy), Luper and Frieda discover strange activity on the adjoining Army base and Central Asian Embassy. After several secret expeditions to the embassy, the couple learns that prisoners are being tortured with the assistance of “minders”, people trained to coordinate their brain waves with those of the neurochips to cause distress and physical pain to the detainees.
The Omega Wave includes detailed scientific references from the opening of the book. Initially, the text may be difficult to follow for readers who are not scientifically inclined, but as the story progresses, Rydon breaks the science down into manageable components that fit seamlessly into the rest of the plot. Throughout the book, the three researchers “… systematically test the effect of various electromagnetic (EM) frequencies in the range from 1 to 100 cycles per second (hertz)” on each neurochip. They also work towards putting an end to the abuse of human rights taking place at the embassy. Luper and Frieda risk their own freedom to achieve their mission.
The Omega Wave will provide a refresher in college-level sciences, stimulate the reader’s imagination, and feed the desire for adventure.
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