Johan looked down at his silent phone and sighed. The battery had died, and he had left his charger back in his room. Johan had a quick idea about texting his roommate to bring him the charger, but then realized that was impossible. He wanted to call his mom in frustration, but with a dead phone that was a no-no. Google would probably give him twenty-five alternate ways to power his phone from potatoes and shit like that, but once again no way to do so. Johan was now an analog outcast in the digital world. How would he survive?
“Play a game?”
“I’ll so flip your table.”
“You think you are some hot damn player.”
“There is no way to win with me. You should have given up.”
“Instead it’s game over.” With that she pulled the trigger, ending his life. Too bad it wasn’t enough experience to level.
Walter looked down at his baby girl and felt pride at creating such a perfect little person. She returned his stare, no comprehension on her face of the significance he would have in her life, but he knew how much she would change everything. She would be his legacy; his gift unto the world. The baby started to cry out, looking for succor, a wet diaper, or maybe even both. Walter looked at his assistant. “Well, are you going to take care of this?” he asked.
The assistant hurried over to take the child, almost dropping her in the process. “You harm one hair on that child they will never find your remains,” Walter said. The assistant fled the room with the crying infant. The automatic doors closed, cutting off the annoying sound. “It is going to be a long few years,” Walter said to himself. He turned his attention to the monitors showing every room in his domain. He traced the path of the assistant as the assistant searched for the wet nurse. This experiment would take years, but Walter was a patient man, at least when it came to his research.
Making a human being is ridiculously easy for most of the population. Just insert tab A into slot B and leave behind a bit of genetic residue. If slot B is compatible, ovulating, and able to bring to term, bam you have a human being. The big problem is that human being is a misplaced mishmash of human material that randomly wins the genetic lottery to have the possibility to spread half of its genes in some random encounter later on. There has to be a better way, and many scientists took it upon themselves to find it.
Once Walter had been one of those poor fools. Dolly the sheep was first cloned in 1996. After that people were in a race to clone a human, which was illegal in so many countries that it caused researchers to find hiding spots in some of the more backwater parts of the globe to try their hand at immortality. Experiment after experiment met with failure, or worse, abominations of genetic flotsam.
Walter had found a small spot in a third world country that had a friendly dictator who worshiped money much more than any god. He had sold the man a bunch of beans, promising that a clone would be the perfect way to keep the palace in the family so to speak. The buffoon ate the whole thing, even allowing him a choice of hosts for his pet project. Walter liked that one. It was always hard to find volunteers. Still, cloning a person was such a stupid idea. Cloning flawed beings just continued the madness. This is where Walter’s genius had taken over. If you want to move closer to perfection, you choose what matters to do so.
Walter brought up his chart and marveled at his brilliance. You take the heart from a world class cyclist, the lungs from a deep sea free diver, the liver from a man who drank heavily well into his nineties and never developed sclerosis, and of course his own brain. You clone the best parts and put them together. It had taken years to get all the pieces to work and transplanted into this baby. Of course that part had been fun as well. He enjoyed playing insert tab A, but of course it was all for science.
Discovery can be a wonderful thing. Imagine finding where the x on the map really did mark where buried treasure was located.
Discovery can lead to unexpected and beautiful consequences that weren’t even imagined moments before. Discovery can open up new experiences and insights allowing you to perceive that much farther into the universe. Discovery can make new something old and too familiar, bringing a smile to your eyes. Discovery can do all of that and so much more.
Discovery can also be me finding out I have been an idiot. Yeah, I can put an x on that map.
Building a world on the back of words spun from the cloth of imagination can be hard work. Finding a way to hack into the reader’s brain and deliver an experience that challenges as well as entertains, while delivering a message about the human condition seems impossible to even contemplate. Yet everyday people sit down and try to articulate fully formed stories from the ether by sifting their thoughts through their souls to find the gold nuggets there within. They then take that gold and refine it in their minds, burning off impurities, and pouring off the slag to reveal…
It was when Herm noticed the gravity of the situation that he fell from grace. No force on earth could have restored him to equilibrium. What little static friction that had kept him grounded vanished in the kinetic condition, leaving him slipping along the path of good intentions. He would have to spring back at a later date, but for now he had to bob with the wave. He felt his moral bank redshift and wondered why since everything is relative. In the end he just stood there between emotional states, not knowing if he was happy, sad, or some superposition of the two.