HEREDestiny (Science Fiction Short Story)
A story about what our DNA predestines us to be or not to be. What does the code of life mean for us?
Symptoms included joint pain, skin rash and fever – the teenage boy read out loud from the dusty book. He found it in the attic while searching in the stuff his parents stored there. He was bored and looked for something to pass the time with. While reading, he kept on turning to his personal communicator to search for the meaning of certain words. His parents told him about symptoms and diseases from the old days, but he never experienced any of these, moreover, he never heard about fever.
There was a strange excitement in him that fever could be a feeling he has not felt before. What could it be like? What is chronic pain? How did symptoms appear? How did they make them go away?
Then, the communicator started buzzing.
When you receive a call and they summon you into the Drug Centre, you know they found something wrong with you. This was the first time he received the call. He had no clue what to expect. Every citizen had to check in there in less than three hours after the call or get seriously punished. No one risked it. He was more nervous than excited now. Maybe what he wished for became real too soon. Or finally he can have a new feeling in life.
The man in the black coat checked his device and opened a box behind him that looked like the others but with a special mark on its side. He got three red pills out and offered it to the boy who was the first in a long, long line.
– This is for you.
– But I’m not sick. – Said the boy who stared at the man standing behind the wide desk full of sensors, equipment that looked like something out of a scientific documentary and a lot of screens flashing with information.
– I thought this was only a check-up. – He continued.
– You might not be sick now but based on your report, you will be in less than 2 days. Reports are never misleading and we cannot take risks. I’m sure you understand.
– What if the algorithm is wrong or my report is incorrect?
– Don’t be ridiculous! You know the rules.
– Please check my report again and let me call my parents.
– You must take these pills or I call the officers – responded the man firmly changing his tone.
This was not the first time he didn’t want to obey orders.
There is a reason why people never understood him. Without diseases, pain, poverty and crime, everyone is satisfied in this brave new globalized world. With the technology called HEREDestiny, it can be known what diseases people catch, what characteristics they have and even what decisions they will make based on the code in their DNA and all the biomarkers from blood to vital signs. Everything is simply predictable and society can prepare for anything. For years, algorithms haven’t made a single mistake thus their track record is flawless.
There have been no diseases for over a generation, over four decades. With the completion of the Individualized Genome Project in the early 21st century, it is finally understood what DNA predestines people for. Every disease can be treated, and later be prevented forever, moreover illnesses coded into the DNA could be reverse-engineered. Humanity learnt how to program life and keep people healthy.
Whole industries built upon this idea and all the miracle pills and serums are manufactured for changing the blueprint that is imprinted in blood. Everyone can live without the fear of getting sick or not knowing when he or she would die. All future life events and health problems are contained in the personal HEREDiary which people get on the day they are born. Everyone lives with its notifications and follows its instructions.
Life has become a code to program.
And society’s task is to bring life into codes. Nobody has to suffer ever again due to an illness, unexpected disease or a bad lifestyle decision. The progress humanity tried to achieve for thousands of years is finally achieved. The boy grew up in this but as a teenager, he felt he has to rebel against this system.
Even his family couldn’t understand why he was against all the miracles modern society has provided. Even if someone need to obey certain orders, living a healthy and long life seems to be a good enough reward. Most members of society think like that.
The boy threw away the pills and left while the next patient eagerly submitted their parameters. It has been a common routine of their lives for decades.
– I just want to make my own decisions. – Shouted the boy, while officers took him probably to spend a few nights in a cell where he will understand why HEREDestiny is here to help him.
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