Sunday Scribblings "Healing"

The prompt over at Sunday Scribblings is “Healing.”

Sexual Healing (One Gene at a Time)

In geneticist parlance, it’s called “stirring the tanks.”
Gene therapy only left the door cracked a little; what flooded out were the parents who insisted on designer spawn, little tikes on trikes with Einstein’s wild grey hair expounding on quantum physics while being able to hit the hard slider to all fields with power.
So, from time to time, we stir the tanks.
Sure, anyone with clean room, some Petri dishes and a long-read tower sequencer can engineer a child to grow up blond, blue-eyed and with the intelligence quotient well in the 150s.
(Jesus, let’s create what Hitler wanted, but in test tubes and back alleys; continents of beautiful people, all with straight teeth and perfect skin, like we’ve all been stamped at the bakery with the same cookie-cutter shape.)
Stirring the tanks calls for leaving a few selected genomes to float free – free radicals – so as to cause a mutation when the gametes of the man and the woman meet, thus producing a human embryo, the little Timmys and Sallys of the world. The ones who may or may not grow up to be president, No. 32 on the wish on the list for parents coming into the center.
(Pitching for the New York Yankees is Numero Uno, even though the Bronx Bombers only carry a dozen pitchers on their 25-man Global League roster. Averages, people, the law of averages, still applies, no matter how good the geneticist.)
So these free radicals cause a mutation that, if natural selection is to be believed, nature will accept and adopt and adapt. Like color vision, walking upright, opposable thumbs – the biggies for chrissakes.
We all want one of our little tank stirs to be the next big leap. We all, of course, want to be the next Mendelssohn, whose stir is credited with advancing the human brain to accept telepathy as the sixth developed sense.
(Of course, it should be noted that Mendelssohn died penniless, persecuted and with a wicked case of mutated Herpes Simplex Virus 2 contracted from unprotected sex with an exotic dancer in Vegas who somehow managed to pass a handheld scan before Mendelssohn forked over a mess of Credit Units for an hour of slap-and-tickle.)
Alas, I digress.
All of us, I know, mess with stirring the tanks at home labs that don’t quite meet Global Union mandates on the safe and ethical use of gamete manipulation protocols. Like the farmer who first messed with the watermelon to produce a sweet fruit without seeds, we all wanted to see what we could do with the little Johnny or Marys of the world.
Some of us cashed in on the stirs; slip an extra grand in CUs and little Tommy is playing Piano at Carnegie Hall at 12, calculating a more elegant drag coefficient on the next-generation of mag vehicle technology at 15 – or, yes, pitching for the aforementioned New York Yankees (increase the size of the hand, increase the length of the index and middle finger by an inch, tighten and strengthen the arm and shoulder tendons, then extend a tank stir that gains the preponderance of squirting out a southpaw, and you’ve got yourself a kid with the raw materials to toss a wicked split-fingered fastball that even George Michael Steinbrenner IX couldn’t ignore.)
Me, I could give a shit. I’ve always been dedicated to pushing a Mendelssohn. On the grandest of planes.
I wanted to create man in God’s true image, one who was not tied to one dimension, but instead could learn to manipulate time and space.
There’s an elegance in that, I think. It was my life’s work, that one grand tank stir.
Until I met the Mehra family (the couple, actually), who tugged on a heartstring. Caused a stir, as it were.
My most effective, if predictable, stir to date.
Omar and Crystal Mehra (he Punjab Indian, she American Southern White Trash), came looking for help with their first spawn. She’d met Omar through Selection Singles, the “most trusted name in Neural Net dating services;” maybe a little research would have prevented the relationship from gaining purchase, before she spent all her CU’s for the introduction to Omar’s deep brainpan characteristics, she would have noticed his withered lower limbs, a routine case of cerebral palsy (spastic diplegia) that left Omar being able to fumble forward with the help of braces and aluminum crutches, yet out-think nearly everyone with an I.Q. well past 190.
While put off physically – she of blond hair, 38 DD breasts, long, tanned and beautiful legs and hips that were designed by God to squirt out offspring – she stuck with Omar, hoping the geneticists could bypass the CP and give her a Miss Global Union to dote on, pageants being her whole life, and combined with Omar’s brainpan, the child could get past what had always tripped her up – the question-and-answer portion of the competition.
(Besides, a sandy blond half-breed with big tits, long legs and skin the color of toffee was bound to tug on judges’ new definition of “global beauty.”)
It was my turn in GenEnTech’s selection bullpen (think of it as the DMV of gene therapy) when I met the Mehras.
Crystal Mehra was a shrill, overbearing bitch.
Omar was kind, considerate, quiet man who adored the Boys of Summer - the Yankees, especially.
We hit it off immediately.
Through small-talk, I learned that he was never picked for a game of stickball while growing up in the New York Metropolitan Quadrant, a sprawl of government tenements, concrete egg crates, really, where despair and disease were the order of the day.
Dude had an impressive brainpan, though, a true genius. But with a thick Fu Manchu mustache that would put Rich “Goose” Gossage’s to shame. And a love of the game that went past religious furor. It burned gracefully in every single cell in Omar’s being.
Crystal was adamant about a beauty queen; Omar simply smiled, spoke softly, wished for a child who wouldn’t suffer the slings of childhood oppression due to shriveled limbs and brown, patent-leather orthopedic boots.
So, I stirred the tanks.
Didn’t accept the CUs Crystal tried to pass under the table, but persuaded the couple for a double-blind stir, no questions asked – and no recorded geneticist of record on the birth certificate.
A mercy stir, we call it.
Darell Amat “Six-Finger” Mehra makes his Global League debut at The House That Ruth Built at 7:05 p.m. today. I’ve got clubhouse-level seats behind home plate, which cost me a fortune, but I couldn’t resist.
I just had to see the glow on Omar’s face, the simple beauty of a man whose withered limbs will be healed with the sound of slapped leather, the catcher’s target of his son’s scorching 120-mph fastball.


quin browne said...

even the kindness of this stir chills my bones at the idea of playing with genes...

well done.

Miss Alister said...

Ooh, yeah, ditto Quin.
Spooky, man. Written driving hard, hell or high water as usual, and that is a good thing : )
Miss A

Tammy Brierly said...

Well done! You have my mind spinning with scary possibilities.

Daily Panic said...

Growing up my relatives tried to encourage me to look for certain traits in a mate to - of course- mix the genes- I wonder if we all are compeled to do that ourselves to some extent, but really a greater power has control over it, not us and sometimes the recipient is blessed with mercy.
Great story.

danni said...

wow --- verrrry scarrrry!!!!! - does the end justify the means or do the means justify the end - me thinks neither - i believe in leaving well enough alone, for in nature things are as they are meant to be - far cry from a strawberry to body and soul --- great post!!!

Tumblewords: said...

Surely a stirring and well told tale about the vagaries of man - Strongly tuned.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

I like this take on the genetic manipulation issue. I suspect if current trends continue, not all outcomes will be as benign as a superstar pitcher.