“The GE is nothing too serious, but it’s still in the early stages of development. Don’t be angry at your mother and father, they only wanted the best for you and would have paid a great deal of money to obtain that. Some of the kids who endured GE developed certain… capabilities and this school was established to place them in a controlled environment where if any mutations did develop, scientists and therapists alike would be able to deal with it?”
“Going through the mutation stages can be a traumatic experience for some students. We saw it fit to send them to a therapist.”
“Oh. Right.” I gulped.
“These capabilities, mutations, powers, whatever you want to call them, they can be dangerous so we monitor our students very closely. Anyway, kids here call them ‘extras’ because, obviously, you’ve gained extra abilities aside from the ones GE presented you with.”
“Sorry, but what does the genet- I mean, GE, even do? Why would you put your own child through that?” I was horrified and they were both acting as though it was the most normal thing in the world.
“Parents pay a great deal to gift their child with impressive athletic abilities, enhanced intelligence and they can even alter their child’s features. Like eye colour and hair colour.” Mr Mac said calmly.
“Our mum and dad paid them to make Ryan and me as identical as possible despite the fact… uh, biologically we’re different sexes and being identical twins would be impossible.” Rowan interjected. He had been sat silently the entire time, his hand on mine was the only thing reminding me of his presence.
“And your eyes.” I said quietly. Rowan looked up at me surprised.
“No, my eyes are naturally green.” I frowned in confusion, a strange sensation tingled in the back of my mind, and I somehow knew he was lying.
Rowan laughed, it was a kind of cold sound and it didn’t suit him well. “Karin, why don’t we just stop arguing over the authenticity of my eyes and get back to learning about GE.”
“Sure,” I snapped, then I removed my hand from under his, turning to Mr Mac. I knew he was lying. I could feel it.
“Yes, so, GE is essentially altering your child’s DNA before they’re born. As this is an especially… modern science, things go wrong and cause, as I said, certain mutations.”
“Why are they even allowing it if it goes wrong? Isn’t this illegal?” I fretted.
“The organisation which performs the GE operations is run by the government.” Mr Mac informed me.
“Are you kidding?”
“This is fucked up. This is so fucked up.” I moaned, hanging my head, “my parents didn’t tell me anything, not even when I… when I hurt the girl at my old school.”
“Yes, that’s why you were sent here. It was wrong of your mum and dad to keep you from us throughout your high school years. But you’re here now, and you’re safe. That’s all that matters.” Said Mr Mac warmly.
“I… I need, um,” I stumbled over my words, the severity of the situation sinking in. “I need, um, yeah. I need a moment.”
“Take all the time you need, we’re right here,” Rowan said softly, he reached over and interlocked our fingers, squeezing my hand reassuringly.
My shoulders began to shake, and I realised I’d been crying the entire time. But only now were the sobs starting to rattle my bones and I shuddered and choked on air. I heard Rowan’s shuddering gasp and he wrapped a comforting arm around my shoulders. All the while, I tried to tell them about my betrayal, about how sick this all was but I couldn’t form the words in my mouth.
I was a lab experiment and my parents had lied to me for my entire life. I knew, as soon as those thoughts passed through my mind, that nothing, nothing, would be the same again.