|"Testing, testing, how, now, brown, cow. One, two, three, four."|
|Ed Norton, from TV's Honeymooners|
The testing and implementation of Phrenicea was anything but smooth.
The complexity of amassing human brains in an artificial "braincomb" environment was daunting.
It all began early in the twenty-first century with the explosion in brain research, led initially by the world's pharmaceutical companies,RealityCheck! in pursuit of new drugs to ameliorate or cure brain disorders, particularly Alzheimer's and the like.
It was the beginning of a heady (sorry!) quest for enormous profits that eventually ensnared tech (search engine companies and chip manufacturers), biotech, nanotech and even entertainment companies; and ultimately just about any entity with enough resources to pursue conquering the final (practically
But even with the vast financial and technical resources expended, at first competitively and then cooperatively as a consortium (coined Phrenicea!), the brain's inner machinations proved too elusive to elucidate.
What was successfully developed however was a working interface with the human brain. This soon was followed by the ability of individuals — triggered by mere thought — to connect and communicate with ("engage") a complex of interlinked brains that were "donated" by gullibles seeking eternal consciousness. These in vitro brains were kept alive artificially within hexagonal-shaped capsules — each becoming a contributing member (knowledge, experience, perspective, etc.) in a gigantic beehive-like chamber fittingly called the "braincomb."
Initial "engagements" by volunteers were fraught with epidemics of:
Memetics experts were on hand to monitor the proliferation of unwanted viral-like memes that might erode the diversity of thought amongst the passel of brains. A distinct concern too was intoxication from a massive infusion of synthetic mind-altering compounds by protestors, which deemed Phrenicea a threat to humankind.