The Creator had been up several hours working in his lab while the storm outside raged. It would subside when he was ready to leave, which he planned to do soon, while the veil of the night could still shroud him. He had been watching videos of a young Holly while he waited for the analysis of the baby’s DNA to be completed.
According to the files, Holly had been delivered to the Order of Writers from her parents at the tender age of three. By then she should have been running around, speaking and testing the limits of toddler-hood. Instead, the Creator watched a sullen child, the size of a one year old, crawling and mumbling and grunting in place of words. She had been born prematurely and if the parents could afford nano treatments,they had not worked. Her parents had responded to the advertisements, bringing her to the Order of Writers for treatments and a better future. In exchange, they had to surrender her to the Order. The Order of Writers, for obvious legal complications, did not want parents who might interfere with their tests.
Tests were designed with four main purposes. First, to activate the biological component of the brainchip. Second, to understand why it would not activate. Third, to pinpoint the difference between hybrid fetuses who died in utero compared to hybrid nonfunctionals (HNFs), like Holly. Lastly, to study the difference between normal children and hybrids. The results showed that prematurely born babies were thirty-five percent more likely than full term babies to be HNFs and medical nanos were less effective in HNFs than the norm. Other than that, they really had no answers.
Some of the testing, (beside taking biological samples) attempted to stimulate different parts of the brain through both pain (torture, traumas, varying deprivations) and pleasure (palatable foods, play, strong scents and rewards). Memory banks were constantly being reset so Holly would not remember any of this.
And then there was this baby. A birthed hybrid with a fully operating system, but in a comatose state. The Creator was so frustratingly close to the realization of his dreams, and yet cruelly, he could not quite reach them.
“The DNA strand is ready.” Jean said. “They are a perfect match.”
“Holly and the baby – their DNA structures match, perfectly.”
The Creator mulled this over and Jean left him to his thoughts without further ceremony. That was why Jean was his lab assistant. That and a natural IQ almost as high as his own.
There easily would have been enough of Holly’s DNA on file to create a clone. No doubt, someone in the Order was offered the right price to sell samples on the black-market. Artificially created babies were the only option for many of the lesser individuals to raise children, as most physicians would not ethically allow criminal types to reproduce.
That explained why the Operator knew with certainty that his DNA was not the culprit in the baby’s ailing health. The Operator’s DNA had nothing to do with this baby.
Why was Holly’s clone actualized and Holly not? Could it be environmental? Did it have to do with the process of creating artificial life? If so, this opened another world of possible scientific discoveries and he could not help but allow his dour mood to lift.
The Creator ordered the rain to stop. He needed time away from the lab to think. He followed the path downward from the Order gates, his hands in his pockets and his hood over his face.
Walking along, lost in thoughts, the Creator nearly tripped over a body, but managed to steady himself. It was a shock to come back into the present moment, and more so by a body along the path. Alarmed, he turned the small sopping figure and immediately recognized the face.
Holly’s lips parted in a moan and her eyelids fluttered, but did not open. What a fortuitous meeting! If the High Author was a real being, and not just the delusions of his crazed daughter, then he would compliment her for the timing of this encounter. He scooped Holly effortlessly up into his arms and quickly recalculated his plans.