Chapter 4

Sharp Park Part 4

By GREG MAFFETT | Published: September 13, 2010

Terry Downed a double espresso in 5 minutes. That plus the five minutes he waited to order left him 5 minutes to get back and check on his son’s prediction. As he stood to exit he bumped into Gold. “Wha?” “They want to talk to you.” “You done?” “Yup!” “Break 3?” “And 4.” He answered. “And 5. 525. To be exact. They are either bedazzled or flummoxed in there. Either way, they want to see you, something about that bird that was outside the window while I was testing.” Terry walked in and Gold could see the head scratching going on amongst the proctors. One of them pulled out a book and pointed out something to Terry. Terry shrugged and offered a few words in response. Then the proctor handed Terry a sheet of paper and that was that. Terry exited the building and motioned Gold to the car. “The one proctor is a birder. Said that bird should not be more than 10 miles inland.” Gold paused for a second. “Didn’t they have a whale that swam all the way up here from the Bay.” “I mentioned that when they started talking about invalidating the results.” “So the results stand?” “Like Half Dome.” They slid into Old Yeller and started home. Terry sat there more stunned than anything while Gold took in the sights of the flood plain. The grain silos behind them. Then the Sierras. Finally Terry broke the silence. “525?” Gold chuckled. “Yeah, we’re done, or I’m done with these exams...” “But how is this even possible, that is over twice-“ Gold waved him off. “You want to question the success of your own program? You and Jane made this possible. I just filled in a bunch of circles really fast and got a number for doing so. In the big scheme of things...” True Terry thought. It was just a test. It wasn’t like the kid had actually done anything more today than if he stepped on a scale or stood before a tape measure. This was more potential than the world had ever seen before, but wasted potential… And there were still two more sons. Could they repeat this? Exceed it? What really were the bounds, if any? They were in Vacaville by the time Terry figured out this was not the end of the road. Bird The bird was now back in the park, alternately dive bombing the squirrel, Dave and eventually one unlucky earthworm. Things appeared to be back to normal, at least at the park. Jane “525? That is unheard of?” You know what we need to do now...” Terry knew. Or thought he knew at least what Jane wanted to lock down. She wanted to verify the ingredients that made this stew. They had to find out just who fathered each of the boys, but especially Gold. It wasn’t that it mattered whether it was Dave or himself, but once this got out, well, the media would be asking questions. The comparisons to Einstein, Da Vinci, Newton would begin. All premature, but the media loves hyperbole. Oh and of course the surrogate would turn up. And then and Henry Kissinger’s axiom “What must be revealed eventually, should be revealed immediately” would apply. They had to get out in front of this, now that they knew they had created the master race. When human beings, regular ones, figured out what this meant...well, there really was no telling how they would react. Would this be more akin to landing on the moon or discovering space invaders among us? There really was no predicting, but if they got out front, ahead of the media...well they need to call the kids together. That was the first thing. “Yes” Terry finally said “I know. After dinner tonight, we’ll get the samples then.” Dinner passed as usual, no one wanted to talk about the test results. Yes it was the elephant in the room, at least to the adults. But were the kids being coy...or was this really just another day. They talked about games mostly, upgrades to techniques for game play and game design. How to squeeze the most fun out of an hour, that was where their heads were, while the adults were busy mulling over the effect of this on the future of the race. Something was off here, something for sure. While the younger generation may have known the answer, the older generation was at a loss to explain the day. Talk bounced around between the quality of the dinner and traffic and tenure and anything that they could take a small bite of. But not the elephant. They were not ready. Not even close. Eventually, well after dinner, Terry called Jane and the kids into his study. Terry opened “So you know that the test results today are going to change the future of the human race.” Gold rolled his eyes. Bronze, who was holding a woozy Spiffy, chucked her chin. Sliver stretched and sighed. “Ok, sorry for underwhelming you with the obvious. But there is something you don’t know about your past.” All three boys put out their index fingers. Terry looked puzzled, Jane more so. Bronze spoke up, “Blood samples, you want the blood for sequencing.” Jane blinked. “There is very little we don’t know. We know about the surrogate...you aren’t sure who the father is. We know our heritage, but you, you have questions. You need the blood samples, so get out the kit and let’s get this over with.” Terry started to say something about who was running this meeting, but opted to get the kit and take the samples as he realized it wasn’t him. As he started to label the samples, Sliver offered “They are all going to sequence the same.” Terry smiled thinking that meant one thing. He was sure on Sliver, so if they all sequenced the same...well, no surprise to him. A prolonged silence ensued, with no one quite sure where to go next. Gold took the lead. “I didn’t cheat on the test.” Jane interrupted “We never thought you did.” Gold continued, “...but I wasn’t alone either.” Terry wondered aloud “The bird?” “No, Sliver and Bronze.” “How? Your iPhone? The proctors would have seen, plus there was no time...” Jane again interrupted “They were both here in the City, no?” “Turn out the lights.” was Gold’s way of answering that question. Jane flipped the switch. Slowly a thin neon blue light began to shimmer between the boys. It built in intensity and widened as they focused their concentration. It was a perfectly shaped right triangle connecting their heads. Jane and Terry were speechless as they watched this unfold before them. Gold spoke up, “Let’s patch Dave in.” “Dave?” Terry’s face would have shown concern were the lights on. The beam between Sliver and Bronze now passed through the study window towards Sharp Park, it wavered then grew in strength as they added Dave into what was now a polygon of blue. Terry shook his head “So you mean to say it’s been Dave all along? Not me?” The blue lights faded and Gold closed the meeting with “Relax. Go have the genes sequenced. We will talk more after you see the results. You need to put your fingers in the wounds before you will believe this.” Jane and Terry headed out to the garage with the samples and fired up Old Yeller. After they pulled out the driveway the boys removed the lasers from behind their ears and grinned. “So the big guy was right...” Bronze summarized. “Has he ever been wrong?” Sliver asked. Faultless logic, Gold thought. Always faultless from the big guy. Spider Webs were getting boring. The more the spider thought about that, the more he thought that is how most spiders die. They get bored with spinning webs and that was it. He wasn’t that bored, not yet. But he was beginning to understand more each how spider got to that point. Terry and Jane and Dave and Alice Terry and Jane swung by the Park to gather up Dave and take him along to the lab. It was a rare night, the fog had not rolled in over the Park. Dave was laying face up on his favorite bench, enjoying the stars. Or playing connect the dots. Or developing his next theory. Actually, no one really knew what Dave was doing at any given moment. But the couple made the effort to include him. “Dave? You here?” “Sure, I’m here.” “We saw the kids, how they drew you into the web.” “Really?” “The blue lights, the mindweb...how long has this...ah it doesn’t matter. You want to see the results of the genetic sequencing, we are going over to the lab now.” “It’s a very nice night, I think I can do more good here.” Terry nodded, sure that Dave already knew the results. He took Jane’s hand, something he never did, and led her back to the car. They both sensed this was the end of something, but neither was entirely sure just what. They were still holding hands when the sequencing was completed and they were called in to get the news. They were greeted by a squirrelly looking fellow in the white lab coat. "So" Terry stood tall and opened "Let’s cut to the chase, how did the chips fall? Sliver was mine? Bronze was Dave's? Gold?" The lab coat looked at his printout. "Uh, well..." "Uh well?" Jane interjected. "Uh, yeah, uh well, uh here is the thing." "The thing? There is a thing?" Terry asked. "Um well, yes you see this sequencing is actually very precise and the answers are statistically significant to the point that they will stand up in a court of law and um, well, here is the thing. Neither you nor Dave had um, well, this is sometimes hard to hear. Perhaps sitting down? No, OK, well. Here it is. Neither you nor Dave had anything to do with these three boys, genetically speaking that is. There I’ve said it. I can do this job, really, I can. See?" Jane broke the silence. "So they bungled this in the lab, switched the sample for the Artificial Insemination in the surrogate?" "Um, well" "Oh no. Not another ‘um, well’." "Um, yes, here is the thing, you had nothing to do with this either, Jane. Once again, genetically speaking, so to speak." It was back to Terry. "So we are looking at what, something biblical here?" "Um, no, no. All very normal and very human...the surrogate was um, well..." "..not so much a surrogate" Jane offered "Well spotted!" exclaimed the lab coat. "Yes that was half of the formula. She was really the mother, yes, yes indeedy bobareedy!" “Huh?” “Oh just a nervous thing I do, maybe I’m not so good at this job after all.” Terry peered over his eyeglasses. "Ok..then the other half of the material?" "Well, yes, um well, we um, knew well, we have the sequences for the top 100 minds on earth so of course we ran that...or those, ‘those’ is probably more correct grammerwise and well, um..." "No hits" said jane "Right toe!, but then we got what I can best describe as an unsolicited genetic sample. And that filled in the gaps quite well. Quite well indeedy bob." "I hope this isn't the project down south, did they infiltrate, did we raise one of their projects using our methods? We’re we that..." Terry petered off. "Well" lab coat went on "the sample arrived in the US mail, no postmark, no return address. Just an initial and a surname." "So you did a search?" "Yes there are a number of possible answers, two are alive on the east coast with direct access to the postal system and um, well, one is um, down south near the other project...but um here is the other thing. All three of the boys had um, well, we've never seen this before in triplets, but um, well" "The exact same sequencing. Meaning they are all from the same egg. And I'd guess Gold was only split once and then the other two were redoubled, hence the physical oddities in those two." "Um, well, could be, could be, but there is a lot of research going on about the effect of the womb on the development of the...um, well, it’s all cutting edge stuff really" "Not that crackpot theory again." "Um before you get too um, well, perhaps if you look at the name here that matches the sequence..." Terry looked at the name and shrugged. "Can't say I'm familiar...Jane?" Jane took one quick glance. "Those fucktards?" "Jane?" "Oh did I say that out loud?" Bird Far and away, the best thing about being a bird is being able to look down on all the sad, pathetic creatures that can’t fly. If any of them had the slightest clue...they would kill themselves and pray to be reincarnated this way. Ignorance really is their bliss.   The machine formerly known as Duce Gold practically glowed at his invention. “Ok, this is it. The Clonemaster Trey. We verified the match on the critters, so, Bronze, you are sure we have the real stuff this, time?” “Sorry, you know, I tried last time. Who would have thought people would lie about things they sell on the Web?” “So you got this from a reputable source?” ‘The big guy himself.” “Whoa, ok, he has never let us down before.” “Always a first time” Sliver chirped in. “Thanks, Pollyanna.” “So we can dial in the copies here” Gold sets the dial to 3. Bronze looks at it and coughs. “You know it is only a $1.47 a copy, if one is good...” “Two is better!” Silver suggested. “Meaning three is best, OK three each, let’s go for 9.” There was a slight dimming of the power grid as the Clonemaster kicked into gear. A little whirling and a smooth purr as each creature somersaulted out the delivery hatch and slowly unwound and found their way to an upright position. When all 9 were out they were a bit puzzled as to just what to do with themselves. Eventually each of the boys grabbed three and led them back to their rooms. About 5 minutes later all three boys were back in the basement going over the Clonemaster with a fine toothed comb. In the midst of this, Terry walked in. “Oh here you are, we checked your rooms. Do you know there are naked triplets in your rooms? And they appear to be deaf and mute? Jane is up there trying to get them some clothes.” “Yes, we know. We were only going for mute, but uh, hrmm, well, maybe we need a software patch. Really puzzlin, unless....wait we did get these from the Big Guy...” Gold had it figured, it wasn’t the machine this time, Trey really did work. The big guy was older and from the looks of it wiser. Gold focused on Terry. “Sup Terry?” “So we got the results on you guys. I’m OK, but Jane was a little disappointed. Did you guys know all along?” “Nah, the big guy didn’t tell us until we were about 6 I think.” Terry nodded. And this big guy, his name would be?” Gold shook his head. “All he ever gave us was an initial, so we just called him Guy.” Terry nodded “Guy for G.” “Of course” the three replied in unison. “So let me get this straight, you’ve known about this for 2/3 of your life and didn’t mention it.” “You know T, it never really came up...” “So each of you has a 525 IQ thanks to-” “Whoa no!” “We are each at 175, we only get the 525 when we mind-net ourselves. That was what the Big Guy showed us” Gold said Silver nodded “Yep, that was what he kept telling us that all of us together were smarter than any one of us. We thought he was just being mystical or was tripping like Dave...until he showed us how.” Bronze finished “So yeah, he showed us how to net each other in...then we added Dave...so yeah that’s it. Really none of us individually is as smart as you or Jane, we don’t really come close solo...” Terry grinned broadly. He had it now, he was still up there on top of the world and this was just a tech trick. The race to breed Superman was still on. He hadn’t lost. He had to tell Jane. “Ok boys, well back to your machine then. And oh, what were you planning to do with the Blonde’s in your rooms?” “Oh we really hadn’t figured that out. But just out of curiosity, what would you do with three deaf mute versions of Scarlet Johanson?” Terry never liked Zen Koans.   Squirrel The squirrel noticed the bird was having an earthworm for breakfast beneath his branch. There wasn’t a lot of history to be made as a squirrel, but he thought taking a dump on a bird having breakfast might get him something. By the Log The boys met Dave by the big log in the Park. Dave listened to their story and didn’t appear surprised. “So the big guy was right, it’s universal...” The boys nodded, Gold spoke “It was a lot easier for them to believe that we had this magical blue lined mental web going for us rather than...” Dave continued for them “...rather than believe that you were the next species and they had nothing to do with it. Even the best and brightest still prefer a pleasant fiction to an unpleasant reality. “Dave didn’t seem to surprised.” He went on “So you have that covered, I think the only loose ends are the clones you made, what are your plans there?” “Well there is a lot of housing available in Oakland...” “You mean you guys are going to make 400,000 deaf mute starlets and plop them down in Oakland?” They all nodded. “And just what are you going to call that?” “A good start?”



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