JamesSavik Posted October 4, 2010 Report Share Posted October 4, 2010 Dreams of Tomorrow The Red Planet Bar & Grill was like a thousand others. It was a seedy little establishment at the edge of Flynt-towns spaceport and, much like the town, it had seen better days. When Mars was booming, the place would easily seat a few thousand people a night. Now it saw barely a hundred on a good night. It was just the sort of dark, quiet place that Daniel Sokolsky was looking for to do business. He picked a nice dark booth in the back, ordered a steak and waited for his contact. Peter Devries of GenTech arrived shortly after his steak. The dowdy scientist looked a little twitchy. As he arrived at the table, he scanned the few customers in the bar. Satisfying himself that nothing looked wrong, he sat down in the seat opposite Sokolsky. Daniel looked up from his steak and said, "Could you have tried to look a little more suspicious?" Devries ordered a beer and sat back in his chair scanning the small crowd. "What you are asking me to do is a serious crime Mr. Sokolsky. I have to ask: are you a member of the Alliance Secret Service?" "No. Of course not." "The Human Genome Preservation Act is very serious business. They would send us to a penal colony for decades if they knew we were even talking about breaking it." Sokolsky waved his hand at the bar, "You can buy guns, dust or arrange to have someone killed here. The mob runs this place. The cops are paid off." Devries still looked skeptical but he seemed to relax. He turned on an electronic jammer device so that their conversation could not be recorded. "Like I told you and your wife, we take samples of both your DNA, sequence it, remove any genetic defect or disease and implant a perfect fetus. That's legal. We do it a few hundred times a day all over the planet. It's even necessary because of all the genetic damage that most Mars natives have taken from radiation over the years." Sokolsky said, "It's the enhancements that we're interested in." "So you want a genius or a champion athlete." Sokolsky shook his head. "No. We just want to give our son an edge- edge enough to get out of this place. Mars is a slum and since it was mined out, it is only getting worse." "So why don't you sign on for one of the new colonies?" Devries asked and sipped his beer. "Because it is dangerous and difficult and so many colonies fail. I've got a good job here but I want to give my son options." Devries sighed. "OK. It is expensive and I've got to tell you that it is dangerous. Ordinarily our implantation procedures are completely safe but with enhancements, there a 27% failure rate. There is also a small chance of a rare genetic anomaly occurring as the child matures." "You aren't much of a salesman Mr. Devries." "I'm trying to talk you out of it. Public hysteria over enhanced individuals is... quite hysterical these days." Sokolsky said, "I think we can keep it under wraps." "You better. Enhancements carry a mandatory ten year minimum sentence." "So let's talk specifics. What exactly can you deliver?" Devries smiled and said, "I think we have just what you are looking for. Dr. Bruckner discovered it in her masters work. For her masters thesis, Dr. Bruckner studied the DNA of a number of very prominent scientists: Einstein, Gauss, Liu, Shu- men and women who were the genius of their age. She found something that 98% of them had in common: a mutation in the gene designated H76. We can add it and your son will have the tools that will put him well ahead of his peers." Sokolsky asked, "How much?" "400,000 credits. Under the table of course." "How will we know that we have gotten what we paid for?" "You will know. Believe me. You will know quite soon. Just be prepared for Ivy League tuitions in fifteen years or sooner." Quote Link to comment
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