Linda awoke with a startle; her head was pounding, and her ears were ringing. This was her first real hangover since the day after her father’s funeral over two years ago. With a groan, she held her head in an attempt to lighten the weight. Reluctantly standing up, she headed towards the front door ready to give her two cents to the annoying internet salesperson she assumed would be at the door. Instead, a drone silently hovered a few inches from her face. As Linda stood in the doorway, her jaw dropped at the unlikely visitor. The drone placed a small black box with a majestic blue and red bow gently by her feet. Before Linda could process what had just happened, the drone zoomed away without a sound. Linda lowered herself and was suddenly overcome by a wave of nausea reminding her of the poor decisions she had made the night before.
With the box at hand, Linda made her way back inside, curious to open the package. While she was heading through the living room in the direction of her kitchen table, she overheard an ad on the TV.
“Have you ever wondered what’s in your genes? Unzip the mystery and find out. Join the 2 billion people that have trusted In Your Genes with unlocking their genome.”
The previous night, Linda had finally received her In Your Genes results. She had ordered the kit as a gift for herself after the two-year anniversary of her father’s death. About 15 years prior, he had been diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease and had discovered that he possessed a rare mutation that was transmittable to his children. Until recently, Linda had refused to test herself. As the saying goes, ignorance is bliss. However, as she got closer to the age her father was when he was diagnosed, she had caved and purchased a DNA kit. Plus, this would also allow her to verify if she had mutations predisposing her to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, or even if she had the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap.
Last night, when she had finally received the anticipated ping in her email, she couldn’t help but feel her stomach drop. To calm her nerves, she had opened the only decent bottle of red wine that she owned, and poured herself a generous glass, then another, and another, before having the courage to view her results. To her surprise, she learned that she not only didn’t have the mutation for early onset Parkinson’s disease, but she also had no other predispositions, all in all, making her results quite boring but reassuring.
Once Linda had taken a seat at the kitchen table, she tugged at the large bow and opened the dark mysterious box. Inside was a gold necklace with a circular locket, on which was written AcuTe CleansinG in black letters. Linda was dumbfounded and perplexed at what acute cleansing could possibly mean and why it was written so strangely. She placed the locket in her palm to better inspect it. Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain in the center of her palm. With a cry, she dropped the locket on the table. As it fell with a thud, the locket opened. A hologram of a man wearing a lab coat and goggles appeared and spoke directly to her.
“Hello Linda, I trust that this package has found you well. I would like to first congratulate you on being one of the lucky few that have been chosen for the Healed World. From everyone at In Your Genes, we are pleased to announce that you have been immunized against a highly contagious viral infection that is about to decimate most of the world’s population. Recently, the Earth’s population has reached over 8 billion, and not only have we been destroying our planet for centuries, but we are also the most prolific invasive species the world has ever seen. Together, myself and the board of directors at In Your Genes, have decided to reduce the population back down to a manageable 10 million, in an attempt to preserve our planet and cleanse the human race. For this to be achievable, we needed the healthiest population we could find, and you have been deemed a perfect specimen to help us achieve this goal. Good luck, and welcome to the Healed World.”
Linda sat in disbelief as the TV showed the morning news.
BREAKING NEWS: Laboratory explosion in a Biosafety 4 lab causes panic as authorities try to assess the imminence of danger.
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