A young boy visits his father's bioengineering firm on "Take your child to work day" and discovers a secret underground human engineering lab that creates catalog children
BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP! “GOOD Morning Billy, Good Morning Billy, Good Morning Billy!” Billy rolled out of his bed in frustration to turn off the surround sound automated alarm system in his bedroom. He stood up, yawned, and stretched his arms, pressing a button on the wall to open up the blinds and watched as the sunlight filled the room.
As he started to pack his backpack for school, he suddenly remembered, “Wait a minute, today is ‘Take Your Child to Work Day.’ That means I don’t have school!” With this realization in mind, Billy excitedly made his way to the bathroom, in no rush, confidently smiling at his reflection in the mirror as he started to brush his teeth. He glanced at his bright green eyes, light brown hair, and strong facial features. He muttered to himself, with his mouth full of toothpaste, “Looking good as usual.”
Strolling down the stairs, he saw his dad sitting at the table, reading the morning news from his iPad, headed March 24th, 2112. He looked up and said, “Good Morning Billy!”
“Morning dad. Hey, why do you still use that iPad thing, isn’t hologram projection easier?”
“It is, but I picked this up at an antique store the other day, and found it quite fascinating, to be limited to such a small field of vision all the time, you know, and people used to stare at even smaller screens on their cellular phones. How miserable it must have been… but anyway, you ready for school yet?”
“I don’t have to go to school today, remember? It’s ‘Take Your Child To Work’ day.”
“Oh really?” Billy’s father responded with an impressed expression on his face. “Well then you’re in for quite a treat.”
Billy’s father was Dr. Robert Reichmann, a descendant of the great Reichmann family of the 20th century, the one that controlled the Olympia and York business empire. He was the CEO and Founder of a bioengineering company called Utopia. After a century that saw the birth of many Biotech firms, all the possible combinations of Bio, Gen and Tech had already been exhausted, so the company decided to go with something simple, and memorable.
They both left the house and headed to the city in Dr. Reichmann’s new pod car. After just a few minutes, they arrived at the building, an inverted pyramid partially cut off at the bottom, 50 floors high with 4 large cylindrical towers providing support at each corner.
As they entered the building, Dr. Reichmann looked to Billy and said, “Alright son, I’ll start you off with a short tour of some of the scientific achievements that Utopia has accomplished throughout the years.
They walked to the other side of the lobby and entered a museum, which had high quality holographic video displays. They stopped in front of a hologram that displayed two identical young boys sitting next to each other on a couch.
“Ah, here you can see our first successful human clone. You see, when the mother of the first child, the one on the left, or was it the one on the right? Well, you get the picture son, when the mother was pregnant with her son, she was premenopausal, and desperately wanted to have two sons instead of just one. Fortunately for her, Congress had just passed a bill that legalized human cloning, so she was able to get the second child cloned for her. Remarkable story really, the company was ecstatic when the second child was successfully born.”
Billy looked at the hologram of the two children, he had to admit that it was pretty impressive, but he honestly felt that something just wasn’t right about cloning a replica of your first child.
They walked to the other end of the room and came to a hologram of a head that appeared to float in midair. “This, Billy, is the head of a 45-year-old paraplegic man who came to us one day asking if we could attach his head to a new body. We told him the risks, and that although we had successfully performed the procedure on several chimpanzees, we could not guarantee him that he would live, let alone be able to move his new body parts. Well, he went along with the procedure anyway, and guess what, he not only lived, but since we were able to retransmit his neurons to adjust to the new body, he was able to walk and he lived another 10 years! The best ten years of his life, I’m sure. Since then, we have been doing this for many paraplegics, and the average additional life expectancy is now 20 years!”
As the holographic head slowly rotated, Billy couldn’t help but be reminded of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, in which the main monster was knitted together from several different human body parts.
At this point Dr. Reichmann checked his watch and said, “Oh my, how the time flies when you’re presenting recent scientific breakthroughs. I have a meeting in 5 minutes, I’ll need to take you up to my office."