“I want blue eyes.”

This again.

“Sure honey, blue eyes.” Sometimes, acquiescence is the better part of valor.

“And, she has to be able to dance.”

Ever since Jennifer – my onewife – downloaded a GeneStarr catalog to her smartsheet, I had been subjected to a never ending list of traits my daughter will have engineered into her DNA: “oh, look, math-plus enhancer”…”I like the athletic hip gene structure”…”isn’t that a great cortex template.” You get the idea.

“Maybe we should…”

“Sorry honey. Just got a head mail…gotta go…”

I left the apartment. I wasn’t sure where I was going – no message had actually come through my brain chip – but anyplace would be better than home.

It was raining…light, warm…just enough to make me damp and to create a few scummy puddles on the sidewalk. The streets were packed with the pre-dawn crowds. Once the day was in full swing and the UV was at maximum, everyone would be inside. But, now, with the sun hidden behind mile-towers and cloud cover, you could move around without a cloak and face mask.

I was feeling hungry and was getting sick of being swept along by the flow of humanity. The garish neon of a Chen’s Tea and Noodle Shop stood out and I ducked inside. Faux wood chairs and tables, ceiling fans, Neo-Chi decor, warm scents of cooking food spiked with aerosolized endorphins. Everyone’s favorite fast food chain. At least, that’s what the advertisements say.

I ordered a bowl of breakfast noodles with eggs and a large tea from a blankly pleasant teenager and took a seat in a corner, settling in for a little life contemplation.

When Jennifer and Ghaniyah – my twowife – had decided that the former would bear my first child, I was pretty happy. A child would mean tax breaks and, since they decided on a girl, education credits and a guaranteed slot in a decent university. My bottom-line started looking better from moment one. For the first few months, as we planned out the reproduction, and created a basic life-outline for the Department of Reproduction, all was well. The life systems analyst with the DOR had approved our preliminary plan, having produced favorable decision matrices out to 12 years and positive trend lines to 25, and had given us the go-ahead for the reproductive act.

And then, the catalogue…the endless possibilities that genetic engineering offered to prospective parents.

Ghaniyah was reasonable. She just wanted to make certain the child was healthy and had the appropriate protective genetic mods done. And who could argue with that? With the environment still in a state of flux, one couldn’t be too careful; skin work, filter lungs, protective eye membranes…these were all necessary. You would have a hard time finding anyone outside of some GapWorld failed state who didn’t have them. My own parents had gotten me sight upgrades and an anti-uv skin reconstruction. Their skin had been as white as my noodles; mine was a deep mocha. Other than that, I was baseline.

Jennifer…she wanted a complete uber-upgrade for our child.

I felt the inner buzz of an incoming headmail. It was from Ghaniyah.

“Jennifer has left for the market. Come home and we’ll work on a plan to rein her in a bit.”

I smiled. Good to know that I’m not the only one who has some qualms about trying to build the prefect offspring. In the end, I guess, it doesn’t matter how our daughter is modified; we would be a family. That’s the one thing that the gods of biotechnology haven’t engineered out of us yet.

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *