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[Fiction] Alchemist - ATGC Sonata


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Adenine, Thymine, Guanine, Cytosine

Who would have thought that those insignificant chemicals would show us all we are, and all we could be. No one knew they would eventually be the four horsemen of the apocalypse. No one knew except for maybe one man, the man who held the end in his hands.

Moonlight Sonata played faintly in the night. Glenn shut all artificial light off and let the natural moonlight trickle into the room. It was quiet here; far quieter than the hustle of his Chicago abode. The curtains swept lazily in the breeze coming in from the balcony. The Sonata belonged to this time of night, Beethoven had captured the essence almost perfectly. Tonight was the time to decide and it was only fitting that a song of captured essence played as he pondered what he was to do.

Glenn took up his glass of Pinot Noir and peered into it as the music swayed along with the curtains. It was all about the building blocks. Once when Michael and Dorothy where younger he explained to them in the best way he knew. “The universe is like Lego building blocks. Usually they are so small that no one can see them.” They where pleased with this answer and he was as well. Simplistically it was true. He saw the “Legos” in the Pinot Noir. His wrist pivoted sending the wine into a circle in the glass. After admiring it for a moment more Glenn took a sip of the contents and relished the “Legos” using a different sense. After satisfying his taste buds he set the glass quietly back onto the polished wood table and picked up the only other occupant resting upon the polished Walnut surface.

Just picking it up made Glenn’s mood change. His expression grew from one of simple pleasure to concern. The small metallic case was cool to the touch but Glenn was past the simpler pleasures of tactile sensations, his mind was sharpening his sensing honing to a Quantum point. He opened the unlocked box revealing its contents. One would think given the import of what lay inside he would have immense security surrounding it. However there was none. From the day he thought this invention up to the moment that is now lay in front of him no other person had knew about this project. He had worked on it off and on for just over two years. It was more of a hobby to him than anything else. Just a thought experiment to see if it could be done. Well now he knew, he couldn’t be absolutely sure but he was as sure as his intellect granted him.

Inside the case where only two objects. A vial filled with amber fluid that looked like something you would pour on pancakes and a compact 500 TB flash drive. The balding man picked up the vial and held it before him like the Pinot Noir he held only a few seconds before. It was all there. Every amino strand, the sequences where all right. It was a simple viral casing he had placed the sequence into. The Capsid warhead like tip of the viral vector looked much like a weapon to him he thought grimly. He shook his head and sat back into the nearby recliner.

Moonlight illuminated the room as Glenn thought what it meant for this to exist. At first he thought it would be the greatest equalizer mankind would ever be given. But now he began to realize how dangerous what he held truly was. Gene alteration was becoming easier everyday. It was only a matter of time before someone else figured this out. Glenn dismissed that angrily. There were no excuses for him to allow himself to become a mad scientist. There was no way he would report this to Triton. Yet here he was with this thing he had made. All he had to do was uncork it like the proverbial genie from the bottle. After all he had set the viral vector to be airborne. Factoring in wind patterns from his home, virulence and incubation time. Every human being on Earth would be a latent Nova within six months. This promised only the hope of equality didn’t it? It didn’t mean every human would become a Nova it only meant almost everyone would have the chance to be. Of course that wasn’t counting the twenty one percent that would not survive the virus’s “Therapy” and die horribly of the rejection. Roughly two billion people would die if he opened the vial. That is all he had to do and the word Mad Scientist didn’t even come close to the term that would fit the act. So then he had to ask the question why did he even bother creating this. It couldn’t have just been the challenge of it.

The Alchemist sat there for the better part of the night staring and pondering at the vial. He hated it at times and loved it at times. Yet in the end he knew in the end it was too much. If this one little creation did what he thought, it would indeed change the world, but not for the better. The Earth simply would not be able to take the strain of Billions of Novas. Human culture could not either; it was barely keeping together as it stood now. Glenn stood up keeping his grip firm around the vial as he did. He placed the vial back in the case with the flash drive that held all of his research on it. Let someone else unleash the horsemen upon the world, it would not be he who did so.

Glenn walked outside, the predawn air was wet and chilly. He laid the case down in the field and opened it again laying two addition metal objects alongside the drive and the vial. One was a plasma charge the other a hard radiation charge that held a magnetic bottle full of isotopes that when combined the new element existed in only seconds but the temporary radiation was hard enough to destroy amino strands entirely. He set the timers on both closed the case and walked away. When he was one hundred steps back to the cabin turned and watched the radiation charge go off. Not in an explosion but rather just a hum of the magnetic fields giving way. The radiation played over the box. The grass and all life around the box in a three-foot radius died immediately. His senses confirmed that the deed was done. Still he had left no room for doubt the Plasma charge followed twenty seconds later burning brighter than magnesium as the case, the flash drive and the inert contents of the vial where reduced to base elements.

In less than a minute nothing was left but a scorch and a slight grass fire. Glenn sighed as he walked over with a rake and scraped dirt over the fire and darkened earth where the case had been. It was gone every scrap of it. All the potential, both good and bad erased from the Earth. The Alchemist finished his choir and began walking back to the house with a measure of satisfaction before realizing he hadn’t destroyed it all. Every scrap of how to create it was still within his mind. He shrugged as long as no one looked for it, it was safe and short of erasing his memory or killing himself there was no way to get rid of it. The information was as safe as it could be.

The sun began to rise as the Alchemist went back inside his home, thinking he needed to come up with less risky hobbies.

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