by Max Barry

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4

Vice Archbrain Metron Vektorin



Once more, welcome to CORTEXIS! To represent our country, we have prepared our national food... the delicious NUTRIBRICKS! Many foreigners could be put off by the fact that a nutribrick contains 0% NATURAL INGREDIENTS, but let's be honest here: if you wanted to, for example... EMBED A NAIL into a piece of wood, what would you use? A hammer, a specific tool created and, over time, PERFECTED for this particular task, or... A ROCK you found on the ground that could sort of work as a hammer? There, a piece of Cortexisian mentality to go with a Cortexisian meal. Oh, by the way, none of you have eaten anything today, right? Because the nutribrick is designed to be the only meal you have to eat during a single day... that's the nutribrick's entire deal.
Metron Vektorin, hosting a state dinner

Metron Vektorin

A rare photo of Metron Vektorin looking serious and wearing a clean lab coat.


Vice Archbrain of Cortexis

Assumed office
14. 3. 2504 Incumbent

Preceded by
Doktor Klischeestein

Archbrain of Cortexis

Assumed office
2. 4. 2503 14. 3. 2504

Vice Archbrain
Doktor Klischeestein
Preceded by
Doktor Klischeestein
Followed by

Personal information

Born
2. 4. 2478
Citizen physical category
Bioconstruct
Gender
Male
Sex
Male

Metron Vektorin is the current Cortexisian Vice Archbrain. He was also the Archbrain before the current one, Turbina Vorlis. Just like Turbina, he holds the record of the longest time spent in office. Like Archbrains, Vice Archbrains also rarely stay in their position for more than two years. He himself only stayed the Archbrain for a year.


Early childhood

Metron Vektorin was born in Krch, the last village in Cortexis.
Vektorin's childhood was an uneventful one, growing up with his parents in the family castle.
Galvan Vektorin, Metron's father, was famous for being a brilliant omnidisciplinary scientist. Suffering from a previously unknown genetic condition that left his body severely disfigured, he was also the ugliest Cortexisian in documented history. It should be said at this point that the documented Cortexisian history goes way back into the caveman times, including photos.
Metron's mother Artifia, highly attractive, was covered in stitches and lacked any paper trail.
Metron was grown in an artificial womb. Perhaps motivated by his own disfigurement, Galvan used the best genetic material available, intending his son to be physically perfect according to Cortexisian standards. Surprisingly, this placed no pressure on Metron while growing up. Another reason why Metron wasn't concieved "naturally" was that his mother was literally too fragile for childbirth.


As an Archbrain and a Vice Archbrain

He became the Archbrain at 25 years old. The only controversy during his short time in the function was the passing of a controversial bill that mandated a parenting licence in order to artificially create sapient life. His own father was one of the most vocal critics. Many have called the bill a "violation of the basic principle of Wild Science".
However, since then, no artificial sapient lifeform ever went on a brutal murderous rampage of revenge, and so Cortexisians realised that the bill had its merits. The objections regarding "Wild Science" didn't hold their grounds, since the bar to obtain a parenting licence in Cortexis is really, really low.

As an Archbrain, he never showed much interest in politics, focusing on his own scientific experiments. He never wanted to become a leader, but took the position out of a sense of duty.

He became the Vice Archbrain at 26 years old, performing so called "career jump in reverse". It is quite common for the new Vice Archbrains to harbour at least a bit of animosity towards new Archbrains, as they essentially took their spot as a smartest citizen. Metron, probably for the reason mentioned above, is not the case. In fact, he welcomed the change because it rid him of many responsibilities distracting him from personal projects.

In his second year as a Vice Archbrain, he survived several assassination attempts. The identity and motivation of the failed assassins still remains a mystery. Metron himself commented on it as "an interesting experience."


Personal life

Vice Archbrain Vektorin is an excitable and direct individual, much unlike the very reserved Archbrain Vorlis. He also has slightly better "people skills", although that does not say much. Neither of them is actually good at dealing with people, but unlike Vorlis, Vektorin enjoys human interaction if there is nothing more important (according to him) to do. Due to this, he usually attends events which require talking with people, rather than to them, instead of her.

Often, he becomes too focused on whatever project he is currently working on, to the point of obsession. During these periods, he frequently refuses to sleep and is fed intravenously to save time.
He finds it nearly impossible to properly concentrate if he gets too comfortable. Due to this, he has a habit of consuming what he calls "Thinking mints", which he creates himself. They are extremely rich in both menthol and capsaicin, making the mouth feel both freezing and burning.

He lives in a fairly large house with his personal assistant Odor Trileby and an undisclosed amount of experimental lifeforms that he can't bring himself to put down.

Shortly after his body stopped growing in height, he performed several bio-augmentation procedures in himself.

Aside from replacing his organs with artificial lab-grown organs that were much smaller but still capable of doing more work than the regular ones, he added three backup hearts, a spare pair of lungs, another liver, two more kidneys and a significant amount of additional brains into his own body, and fixed several other issues he had with human anatomy. Another augmentation added an extremely fast regeneration ability that also prevents him from aging past his physical prime. Now, he is effectively immortal. As long as at least one brain remains intact, he can regrow any lost body parts.

Rumours spread by certain tabloids that he might be romantically involved with Archbrain Vorlis are completely ignored by the Cortexisians, who couldn't care less about something as silly, pointless and boring as "personal lives of strangers". The only Cortexisians who don't completely ignore these "articles" are Metron Vektorin and Turbina Vorlis, who consider them highly entertaining.
The articles are full of misinterpreted information and information from dubious sources (among others, a satirical news website that's essentially Cortexisian version of The Onion). Sometimes, the authors just make things up. Despite this, the "journalists" still managed to somehow come to the correct conclusion, and that, in the opinion of Archbrain Vorlis and Vice Archbrain Vektorin, is most amusing.

He dislikes more conventional scientists (or, as he puts it, "a decaying gerontocracy of stuffy cowardly fossils without a single atom, no, a single subatomic particle of fantasy left in the calcified remains of their so-called brains"), the clergy and sunny weather.
In his free time, he is interested science of literally any kind and enjoys maniacal laughter, relaxing to the recorded sounds of lightning and thunder, and undisclosed night activities involving a shovel.


Miscellaneous trivia

He has a phobia of agricultural tools

He lives in blissfull ignorance of the flat-earth, anti-vax, alternative medicine and other pseudoscience movements. It has been agreed that keeping it that way is the better option.

Just like Archbrain Vorlis and her glasses, he doesn't need the monocle, he just likes the look.


Quotes

"To quote a certain great scientist, "Don't let the little head rule over the big head, Dan"."

"Take teeth, for example. They're important bones. And yet, they are continuously practicaly disolved by their environment, causing unnecessary pain in the process. Why? And why are there nerves? Why are there BLOODY nerves in teeth? To feel the temperature of the food? Newsflash, the rest of the mouth does that as well! The part of the mouth that does not decay with use! Teeth, along with human backs and horses in their entirety are a great argument AGAINST creationism, because if some sort of a higher being did such a shoddy job, they deserve no praise or worship. I did a better job regarding my anatomy, and I had to operate on myself without anesthetics! Odor had to hold a mirror above me so I could see what I was doing to my internal organs! So anyway, teeth... stupid design, so stupid... that's why I tore mine out and replaced them with something more reliable. *He smiles. His teeth shine. Like, literally shine. They emit light is what I am trying to say.* That is an unintended side effect... probably the material I used... but it didn't do this until after I implanted them into my mouth... On the plus side, now I can read in the dark!"

"My father envisioned me as a perfect human. Emphasis on human, since he lacked imagination. Anyway, as I have said already multiple times, human body is, from a design perspective, really REALLY awful. That's what random mutations get you. Have you looked at the organs in our bodies? So ineffective! So much wasted space! Imagine how much more brains you could fit inside if you somehow... somehow compressed the rest! Imagine the possibilities!"

"Excuse me, I know that things are probably happening too fast for you, but what are your preferred pronouns?... Good, good. In that case... HE'S ALIVE! *maniacal laughter* You see, "it" can be so dehumanising, so I try to avoid using that... By the way, good news, your biological sex actually corresponds to your gender! Yeah, got it right this time... But just to be clear, I would build you another body if that wasn't the case, I'm not a monster or something... That would be you. Kidding, kidding, don't worry. Nobody will consider you a monster, it's not the 1810's anymore. Now, where was I? Ah, yes.*maniacal laughter continues*"

"Curiosity killed the cat? No no no, you got it all wrong. It wasn't a cat, it was a dog! Curiosity killed the dog...ma... Curiosity killed the dogma... COME ON PEOPLE, THAT WAS WITTY!"

"I watched a movie recently. It was a foreign one, I forgot the country of origin, but that is not important now. What's important is that it took place in Cortexis, so I watched it to see what some foreigners think we are like.
The story is essentially that a Cortexisian man falls in love. The issue is that he does not want to be in love, because the newly felt emotions keep distracting and confusing him. Eventually, he decides to "remove the source" of his problem - kill the woman he felt in love with. Sadly for him, the feelings were mutual and she had better aim.
...
...
You know, sometimes it leaves me speechless and a bit sad to read the bullshit that they think about us past our borders... that the Cortexisian language has no word for any emotions... that our favourite national pastime is "shooting clay pigeons, but with holy books as targets"... I mean, how could you have this as THE most popular pastime in a country that is almost 100% covered in buildings? That thing requires large open spaces! Like we would dedicate precious space to a "sport"...or that we produce electricity by burning bibles and/or missionarries in thermal power stations... OK, that's on me, I have literally said that multiple times, but it was a joke! A joke!
Where was I? The movie, yeah.
Anyway, with such bullshit myths spread wide around the globe, it is refreshing to see something that actually gets the facts right.
Yeah, the plot of that film is something that happens...all the time, trust me. It's a big problem. BIG problem. I mean, not for me, I am immortal, but still..."



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