Parameters of life

He was badly tuned. And he was making things worse. He had gone back in time, to right before he had been born, and was fiddling with the knobs that would release his baby-soul into the waiting baby-receptacle. There were thousands of knobs, some as small as pinheads, their dials too small to read, others as tall as he was, made of steel and turnable only by engines (the one the angel had given him had been picked up by a stray cherubim, who had been humming too loudly to hear his “Stop!”). When he turned one dial, all the rest changed according to some gear-ratio logic. He didn’t know what any of the dials did, because they were labeled with Hebrew, Sanskrit, Latin, and other Godly languages. It would be okay if he messed up some parameters, as long as he increased intelligence. But intelligence was not a single parameter, according to the guidebook. It was an emergent parameter, depending in a chaotic manner on hundreds of other parameters. Fortunately, his laptop was cranking away trying to optimize all the different variables; all he had to do when it finished was to turn every dial to match the readings on the screen. When he turned back to the screen, the program had crashed. In fact, the laptop had become simply a notebook, with error messages scrawled on its blue-lined paper. He flipped through its pages, looking for the numbers, the numbers… The time to birth was running out… His time would be up at any point, and he would be sucked back into the time machine, to wake up as the boy the baby would later become, rendered dysfunctional by his own trembling fingers…