LProper care and education for children begins before birth. (Before conception, even: a sound mind must have a sound brain to run in, and the genetic engineers have pursued with vigor the Eupraxic Collegium’s goals of improving everyone’s overall noetic architecture, hacking away at cognitive biases and unifying the mind’s layers into unicameral sanity; but also before birth.)

The gestatorium of the House looked more like a greenhouse than a medical wing, an airy glass building filled with greenery, set in a secluded and quiet garden behind the main estate building. Within, masses of greenery and flowering plants filled the space, giving it a soothing, restful air; the aether, too, breathed peace; partially shielded from the constant babble of civilized life, the techlepathic frequencies held nothing but the quiet pulse of the background and the calm thoughts of the caretakers, minds schooled to serenity.

Few intrusions disturb these appearances, save for the fat, upright cylinders of the exowombs themselves, scattered in niches throughout the gestatorium, accompanied by the cardial throbbing of peristaltic pumps and a salty, amniotic tang to the air. Other machinery is carefully hidden from view below the ground, the central systems to which nutrient feeds and waste collection tubs and monitoring lines are hooked up, and the cogence cores of the AIs providing the axiom feeds.

Prenatal brain development in darkness and isolation might be suitable for baselines – and certainly, notwithstanding the requirements of all its enhancements, even a rarefied alpha brain could manage the trick of it – but it is no longer necessary. From the earliest formation of the neural tube, gentle sensory stimulus caresses the forming neurons and their glial counterparts, carefully computed noötropics blended seamlessly with soothers, nurturers, and parental voices. In synergy with the fetus’s own nanosomes and nanocytes, microelectronic and photonic stimulation guides the genetically-enhanced accelerated pathway formation among the densely-packed neurons, and the embedding of the carbosilicate interfaces of the neural lace. As the cortex forms and the self-awareness loop begins cycling, educational shaping begins, feeding coordination into the cerebellum, basic language skills into the linguistic areas, preparing the various specialized regions of the brain for the tasks they will soon assume and priming the noesis-supporting lobes for the rush of information that comes along with decanting —

Modern civilization, after all, requires too much competence and flexibility of its citizens to waste valuable learning time or potential.

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