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by • April 11, 2018 • Flash FictionComments (0)

Rewriting the Code

Harry looked at what he had created through the lens of the microscope, the gaggle of cells that could kill Manhattan dead. Less virulent forms of it had killed off entire civilizations, turning men into malarial, puss-filled zombies. What had possessed him to make such a thing, to tinker with its genetic code until it had lit all of the inheritable sequences that indicated peak deadliness? He had known about scientists doing similar things, creating super-flus or some other calamity in a test tube. But when interviewed for scholarly journals, those people always spoke in legitimate sounding tones of building things in order to create defenses against them.

He had begun in his kitchen sink, though, starting by manipulating yeasts and bacteria with the LOKI genome editing kit he had bought online. Now that he had reached beyond making glow-in-the-dark pizza or flora that sang in the wind, to make something that could actually exert real, permanent change in the world, he knew the real reason those scientists had created all those awful toys.

Because they could.

See the author’s published work here.

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