Testimony: Test and Testiment

Testimony: Test and Testament

Once word leaked out about Frederick’s scheduled appearance on the witness stand, the whole world literally was watching, but it took some considerable legal maneuvering to even have his testimony allowed in the first place.

The attorneys for PharmaCorp (and the SAIC and LEIDOS) swarmed the court with injunctions of every imaginable configuration because to even recognize the ability of a primate to offer testimony was unprecedented.

Preliminary interrogation of Frederick away from the jury eventually determined to the satisfaction of the court that he was capable of answering questions by way of American Sign Language. What surprised them the most was what he had to offer of his own volition.

This was by far Frederick’s most limited method of communication, but considering the fact that his ASL vocabulary included over three thousand words, it still far surpassed anything that PharmaCorp’s attorneys had anticipated.

It is noteworthy that Frederick’s comprehension of words was many times over even that, and given his telepathic abilities he was far more eloquent than anyone except the most enlightened members of The Home for Wayward Souls could possibly imagine.

It was documented by PharmaCorp’s own research that the primates in the “Talking Monkeys Project” were capable of ferreting out certain “buzz words” from entire conversations that correlated to matching pre-recorded responses designed to function as answers used to qualify particular prospects as targets so as to be diverted to an appropriate human closer.

ASL has thousands of hand signs, positions and gestures that symbolically represent words, concepts, and combinations of ideas which are much more acceptable to the simian brain than the “finger-spelling” often used by humans using ASL.

Stimulus-mediated responses of primates to identified word triggers was already old news to the members of PharmaCorp’s research participants, but interpretation of meaning by decoding combinations of letters to produce words is infinitely more abstract and indirect than the processes used to communicate in the way that it has already been documented that primates like chimps and gorillas are capable.

We are not talking however, about normal primates or great apes. The randomly produced quantum leap that Frederick’s hybrid mutation by virtue of his Chimp father and Bonobo mother represented the absolute apex of primate evolution very similar to what occurred during the The Great Eurasian Leap Forward that had produced the first branching from the lineage of hominids that eventually yielded the ancestors of modern man.

And once Frederick was introduced to The Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he found himself suddenly capable of standing upon his own shoulders in terms of intellectual and conceptual developments that had taken Man tens of thousands of years to accomplish.

And when he was put on the witness stand, the harder PharmaCorp, Leidos and the SAIC’s attorneys tried to discredit Frederick’s sentience, the more eloquently they helped make his case for him.

The telepathic communications that were possible between Ash, Kali, Merle, Mark and Darcy to help prompt Frederick’s answers as essentially One Common Mind of the group additionally gave the impression of an inspired level of genius that few, if any humans could aspire to attain.

And so it was that Frederick’s testimony began. It was mutually agreed that the court-appointed interpreter would speak for Frederick to the jury unless there was a significant disagreement between either the plaintiff (Frederick et al) and the Defendant (PharmaCorp/SAIC/Leidos).

“Hello, my name is Frederick. My father, Malkira is a Chimpanzee and my mother, Lilith is a Bonobo, sometimes called a Pygmy Chimp. I am to the best of anyone’s knowledge the only member of a hybrid species I like to call Bonanzee.”

(Plaintiff’s attorney): “Why are there no others like you?”

(Frederick): “First of all, the Congo River separates our two tribes, and Chimpanzees do not swim, which is very fortunate for the Bonobos.”

(Plaintiff’s Attorney): “Why is that fortunate?”

(Frederick): “The Bonobos are generally much smaller and considerably less aggressive. Left to their own devices, the Chimps would have undoubtedly overrun the Bonobos into extinction. Also the cultures are not especially compatible.”

(Plaintiff’s Attorney): “What do you mean?”

(Frederick): “The Chimpanzee are more like conservative Republicans. They are monogamous and almost exclusively heterosexual. They are not only more aggressive, but also somewhat territorial. They frequently patrol their territories to drive off, or even kill other tribes that invade their territory, and will sometimes even eat smaller primates, like monkeys for instance.”

(Plaintiff’s Attorney): “And the Bonobos?”

(Frederick): “They are very much like liberal Democrats. They are more prone to polyamory and bisexuality. The females are often known to use sexual favors to barter special foods, and as a bargaining tool for promoting higher pecking order within their tribe.”

“They are also more passive. Murder is almost unheard of, and there are no known instances of Bonobo cannibalism or the eating of other primates, like monkeys. Also, they are generally more clever, although both tribes are inventive and imaginative as regards tool-making and use.”

(Plaintiff’s Attorney): “Is there anything else that they share in common?”

(Frederick): “Comprehension and manipulation of abstract concepts and symbology, simple arithmetic, bargaining and deal-making, even lying to avoid discovery of guilt, and emotional responses to elements of their surroundings…plus, maintenance of a tribal social order, conducting funerals, and adopting orphans within the tribe.”

(Defendant’s Attorney): “Wait a minute…lying?…what’s to say you aren’t you lying now?”

(Frederick): “If you mean in my previous statements, the question would be to what end? If you were asking about my actions, or a sequence of events, yes I could be capable of lying about them, but everything I have said so far are simple documented statements of scientifically proven facts.”

“In order to claim possession of those skills it would necessarily require some understanding of them. However, lying to cover up guilt or to gain an advantage in deal-making is an essential part of negotiating skills…but then again, as an attorneys, you should already know that.”

With that the laughter that was only marginally stifled prior to Frederick’s last remark broke out into such pandemonium that the judge threatened to eject all non-subpoened members within the court that did not have direct reason to be physically present.

The trial was televised, breaking all previous records for viewership since the O.J. Simpson Trial, but there was nothing to say that any non-essential observers had to be allowed in the courtroom at all.

A live audience gave Frederick his best opportunity to perform for them, and to play them like a fish on the end of a line and in so doing create a moment in time that could be felt, like a humid atmosphere or a smell so strong that once acknowledged, could even be witnessed on a television screen.

The attorneys for PharmaCorp/SAIC/and Leidos would have preferred no audience at all. For them, the best possible public opinion was NO public opinion, or even knowledge of any of the facts related to the trial.

PharmaCorp’s recent mergers and acquisitions had created the most powerful near-monopoly in the history of the business in the United States, if not the world, all with the approval and sanction of Congress.

The fact that they were almost single-handedly hijacking the entire institution of pharmaceutical healthcare insurance within the United States was producing more than just a ripple of negative public opinion.

With more than half a dozen states’ attorney general already seeking indictment of PharmaCorp, several of the major pharmaceutical manufacturers, and a number of the healthcare insurance providers for conspiracy, violation of SEC regulations, price-fixing, and unfair restriction of trade, the wave of public opinion had the potential of turning into a tsunami of ill-will and resentment.

In the recent past, as they had risen in less than two years from a merger of a Fortune Fifty and a Fortune Five Hundred company to one that was soon to rise to somewhere in the teens they had simply ignored all public opinion and got away with all of it with complete impunity.

All to the tune of over Two Hundred Sixty Billion dollars annually.

They disallowed coverage and changed co-pay rates in the middle of the year for hundreds of drugs, forty to sixty at a time; an action that was previously illegal in the healthcare insurance industry prior to January first of 2014.

PharmaCorp had leveraged themselves into becoming regarded as the Gold Standard for denial and attrition of claims and money paid out by virtue of successive denials. Even if they simply delayed the payout by three months, the interest on the money in question is still free money for the investors.

Just think of it as being a way that a company can pay for its entire existence, as well as all the salaries of all the executives by virtue of the amount of money they can “save” the programs.

They function by ostensibly saving “waste” by doing things like sending nurses home early in the middle of a shift if the momentary census, called a DRG drops below a certain level.

Then if something else happens, like a car wreck on the local interstate that generates enough patients to justify calling more nurses or doctors back in, they will have to wait for the arrival of those doctors and nurses so that a six-figure suit with a guaranteed salary can live in luxury.

Healthcare Insurance Administrators do just that. They study how much money can be cheated from the insured overall in a year, and give back a specified portion to the Insurance Provider.

As the population glut produced by the “Baby Boomers” reaching retirement age prepares to hit its peak, the enslaving of America doesn’t just continue…it careens out of control.

They even crowded out Wal-Mart with Bombay Batches of bathtub remedies that masqueraded as generic drugs by paying off the FDA to approve pills that were pressed so poorly, they had already begun to disintegrate in their vials before reaching their intended recipients.

Medications were sent that were described as smelling like cat urine or gave the recipients severe diarrhea despite the fact that the brand name (or even other generics) did not.

Although it was ruled that a generic medication had to be within +/- 5% of the strength of the active ingredient of the original brand name drug, proprietary “secrets” regarding bioavailability may remain the intellectual property of the company making the brand-name drug.

There are good, and there are bad generic copies of the original trade name medications. The good ones all cost more money. Do the Math.

There seemed to be nothing to stop them as they breathed the same sweet, rarefied air inspired by only Apple, Google, Microsoft, the Big Oil companies, Big Tobacco, and pharmaceutical manufacturers, but the idea of subjecting Chimps to conditions only a telemarketer would tolerate had the kind of emotional content that might be regarded as the last straw.

Fuck telemarketers….

They are so generally maligned and despised that virtually no one cared how they were treated, but to do so to anything as charming and lovable as Frederick seemed unthinkable, draconian and inhumane…even without adding the Chimpanzee Commando Scenario, which, at least for now, PharmaCorp/SAIC/Leidos had managed to get gag-ordered.

They also desperately wanted to prevent the public from finding out that the chimps and bonobos were being drugged in order to get them to repeat the same sequences of events endlessly day in, day out. They had research statistics that showed how Cerebral Tunnel Syndrome (Repetitive Brain Injury) was measurable and significant among their test subjects.

The primates had happily embraced the initial testing that had proved that they could do it, but once they had proved their point, the seemingly endless daily repetitions were what necessitated administering the drugs to the “test subjects”.

It was also at that point that what could be legitimately considered experiments in learning, perception and behavior crossed over into slavery.

The public would consider it to be an abomination to force chimpanzees and bonobos into a life of addiction to amphetamines, SSRI’s and Xanax, even if their own lives mimicked the same. Theirs was a life of their own choice, promoted by a combination of necessity and greed.

Chimps already had everything they wanted or needed in their own natural environment.

Chimps are disinclined to the concept of working overtime to pay for a bigger house in a better neighborhood, luxury automobiles, designer clothes or to send their offspring to private schools.

(…and there are some things a Chimpanzee won’t do….)

One of the things PharmaCorp/SAIC/Leidos’ attorney’s hadn’t anticipated or prepared for was the way that Frederick was able to not only take control of the interrogation, but also to captivate the attention of all of the jurors.

(Frederick): “But a great deal more than just intelligence determines the difference between simply being Human and being Humane…I was touched by the recognition of emotional responses and self-awareness being characteristic of possessing sentience.”

(Plaintiff’s Attorney): “Why shouldn’t you be used for experiments that might eventually save human lives?”

“Is it not reasonable to assert that simple possession of emotional responses to one’s environment coupled with the ability to express those emotions justifies the validity of their sentience?”

“And once that sentience can be established, does it not follow that beyond simple pecking order, are they not exempted from placement upon your food chain?”

(Defendant’s Attorney): “Would you deny that Man is intellectually far superior to the Apes?”

“If Man is indeed blessed by his prominence at the apex of All Things Living, shouldn’t his enlightenment breed empathy for all others?”

“There are all kinds of masters in this world, but among those, kindness and understanding are the earmarks of a benevolence bred of tolerance. You don’t have to be able to do algebra to understand Nobless Oblige.”

(Defense Attorney): “Are you suggesting that animals shouldn’t have to work for Humans?”

“I think we need to re-examine how we work with Man. There are monkeys that act as the hands for quadriplegic. Almost no one uses horses or mules or donkeys as beast of burden or draught animals unless they need to go someplace a motorized vehicle can’t.”

“Although we couldn’t find an approved spokesperson for industrialized poultry…Look at canines in law-enforcement…they like what they are expected to do…it suits their natures, which are basic and simplistic.”

“I never heard of a dog that questioned his willingness to obey his master’s commands. That doesn’t say they are less entitled, or somehow inferior to Chimps…its just not in their emotional make-up to question whatever rules their masters enforce.”

(Defense Attorney): “What’s so bad about working for Man?”

(Frederick): “Some of the chimps liked some of their job assignments, at least for a while. Some of the Bonobos didn’t like some of the assignments they were given at all. And none of them liked the routine work on the telephones.”

“They didn’t want to be made addicted to drugs that made them feel crazy, just to go to work every day…that’s why you Humans have the expression ‘The Man’ to describe how you treat each other. Imagine a Chimp with no cocaine…Now imagine a stockbroker or an attorney without it.”

(Plaintiff’s Attorney): “Just what is it you Primates want, anyway?”

(Frederick): “You humans are the top of the primate chain…we get it…everybody gets it…but do you get it that we are your first cousins, and are therefore entitled to fundamental deference and respect among the other animals?”

“You invented your so-called “Soul” in order to proclaim some sort of exclusive rights to God. We may not be able to produce spoken words, but would you deny that we have thoughts and feelings?”

“Once I learn to express myself in a way that we both can understand, how long must we wait for you to allow that our sentience can be regarded as having crossed the abyss between Man and the Apes.”

“If you need to proclaim the exclusive existence of your Soul to assert your superiority over us, so be it…that’s your problem…we just ask that you don’t make your problem our problem…fair enough?”

At that exact moment, and for the second time in this story, a fly was startled by the sound of a pin dropping somewhere in that courtroom.

 

2 Responses to “Testimony: Test and Testiment”

  1. Interesting stuff as always! I’ve been gone, but I’m back. Good to see you still churning out the words!

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