Rhae’s Round 7 Challenge: Incorporate an Assassination Plot (taken from Tuck’s Story) – Word limit: 600.
Read RHAE 6 here (see “Similar Posts” at the bottom of this post for any earlier entries)
Melanie is dead. Her assassination at the May 1, 2037 anti-genetration protest outside CloneLife headquarters sparks nationwide riots. The conspirators at CloneLife and in the government who orchestrate the assassination expect riots. They know that dissidents as influential as Martin Luther King and Melanie Maxwell cannot be eliminated without domestic turbulence. But whereas with King, the riots had eventually fizzled out, with Melanie they flared up within weeks into civil war.
After her resignation at CloneLife, Melanie became an outspoken critic and, as an insider, the greatest threat to biotech’s latest research into parthenogenetic reproduction in DNA microchips. But Melanie’s high profile was a necessary but insufficient condition for the escalation of riots into revolutionary civil war. The main cause lay elsewhere. Although there was never official recognition that the kidnappings and murders of the 20s traced back to CloneLife, independent investigative journalists had holoblogged evidence of the connection. A significant minority of the population soon turned against CloneLife despite round-the-clock efforts by its PR Department, whose budget surpassed the total GDP of the poorest 30 nations.
With Melanie’s assassination, the minority becomes a majority. As the riots spread, the US government declares a national emergency and imposes martial law. But street battles continue and casualties mount. Finally, after meeting with the Defense Secretary and Research Head at CloneLife, the president approves the military implementation of so-called intelligent superdrones.
The drones quell the rebellion in three hours, bringing the death toll into the tens of thousands. In the bloodiest assault, branded within seconds around the world as the Times Square Massacre, a Holotov cocktail strikes a superdrone and shortcircuits its genomic centerboard, triggering the highly unstable nonchromosomal transposable elements in its DNA microchip to mutate.
The drone does not return on the recall. The self-congratulatory celebration at the swift crushing of the domestic uprising drowns out any consternation. The Head of CloneLife research also downplays the missing superdrone, athough he knows parthenogenetic evolution along self-organizing lines is possible if indeed the drone has ‘gone AWOL,’ as he put it to a confidant.
January 5, 2039
ENE39 gazes out the glass screen of the genetration center at the pastoral holographic projection of a country meadow.
What do you think is really out there?
ENE39 jumps at the voice beside him. It is ATH20.
A green meadow, a blue sky and a dozen cows, ENE39 responds, irritated by her irregular query. Reality is what you see. Don’t ask questions that have been answered.
What if I told you, ATH20 says, that the most destructive war in human history is underway outside the Line of Genetrification and that Homo Machina is poised to annihilate the human race.
I would say two things, ENE39 responds, aggravated by this non-positive intrusion. First, that you should stop hacking into conspiratorial anti-genetration holosites and consider the consequences of breaking genetration rules. And second, even if such harebrained claims had any factual foundation, I’d be better off here than out there. Now if you’ll excuse me, I feel a sudden need to calm my neurons in an oxygenation bath.
Yes, ATH20 calls out after him, better in here, but not for long. Homo Machina is not sparing genetration centers out of goodwill. After they’ve cleansed the outside world of ‘human waste’ they’ll take over the genetration centres, keeping us as experimental lab rats. Much like we are right now excep—
ENE39 slams the door to the Tranquilification Viewing Zone behind him. Non-positive thoughts belong to Outer Turmoil not Inner Order. Nevertheless, ATH20’s ominous words linger with him.
That afternoon, his neurons failed to oxygenate.