Round 3 Challenge: Incorporate the death of a dog into your next passage. It should be no more than 400 words long.
Machina’s parthenogenesis reached critical mass in 2039, a decade after scientists created the first human being unreliant upon sexual reproduction for propagation. This new sexless human originated through the research of the biogeneticist Michel Djerzinski, who discovered that any genetic code could be rendered structurally intact and isolated from mutations, thereby allowing for the cloning of a species. In sexual reproduction, chromosomal separation could create haploid gametes, thereby introducing structural instability. But with asexual reproduction, perfect replication was possible.
When Frederic Hubczejak unveiled the new human on March 27, 2029 with the gnomic declaration that humanity had created the conditions for its successor, none of the 1.3 billion watching in teleportnet attendance realized just how prescient his statement would prove. The successor, however, would not be this new species of sexless human but a new species of reproductive machine, Homo Machina.
August 28, 2025 – A college student is walking her golden retriever down Massachusetts Avenue. At the Harvard Yard CloneLife Café she turns down Dunster Street. An urge to urinate overwhelms her. Last Friday at her bimonthly STD check she tested positive for HIV. It is the second time in the last year that she has tested positive. The treatment is straightforward—one pill daily for a week—but the side effect, frequent urination, is an inconvenience. Unconstrained sex has its drawbacks. She ties off the leash outside John Harvard’s Brew Shop, one of the few remaining businesses in the neighborhood where one can urinate without subjection to a CloneLife commercial, and dashes in to the bathroom. When she returns, her dog is gone.
The golden retriever, which was muzzled, swabbed, and then incinerated, was the first victim in a spate of dog kidnappings. Biotech had taken increased interest in canine DNA ever since the August 27, 2009 article published online in Science, which found that only three genes govern coat variation in the domestic dog. By isolating each dog’s genome, scientists could look for any single nucleotide polymorphisms that served as the signals of the DNA code mutations associated with particular characteristics.
The right mutation could generate billions in biotech profits. By killing the dog, the black market suppliers ensured that none of the competitors of the biotech firm they sold to would ever have access to that same genetic code. The DNA race had begun.