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8th Hakiray, 3279 after Digitalys settlement. Goraka.

A beautiful morning sun greeted Goraka after she left the house. Some small animals were shouting out to their kin, something furry was gliding from one tree to the next. It sang to it’s children waiting in a hollow for her return. 

How they managed to do that with a mouth full of berries, seeds or nuts, was beyond Goraka. All she knew was that they were considered pests out in the fields, normal in the forests and cute in the towns. 

After the long row of trees along the road to the research centre she found a large transport waiting outside the building. 

Uneasy she entered, a row of workers from the matriarchy was carrying out crates filled with notes, papers and samples. The uneasiness spread in her. 

Still there was a small chance of hope inside her, although the equipment carried past her, looked awfully familiar.

With weak knees she walked to her lab. No one had spoken to her, since she entered the building, only gazes were shyly thrown in her direction. 

“What is the meaning of this?” Her crushed hopes vocalised as she came to stop in front of her lab.

Or former lab. 

A few matriarchy officials were still inside the room, opening closets for the tenth time to ensure nothing had been left behind.

“I’m terribly sorry, Goraka.” Slythis approached her, the head of the research centre seemed to be truly sorry. “The matriarchy revoked your position, confiscated your research. I tried to fight it, but,”

Goraka raised her hand. “No ‘but’, you tried, you failed.” Goraka clenched her jaw. Nothing would’ve satisfied her more than to jump at Slythis and maul her. But she wasn’t the one to blame. 

“It is I who must thank you. For your patience with me over the years, and the attempt to save me.” And it is I who is to blame for this.

Not waiting for a reply from her former superior she turned to leave. “They are watching you! Dont pursue your ideas.” Slythis grabbed her by the hand. “At least not publicly.” She hissed, letting go of Goraka’s hand, leaving behind a data crystal. 


“My position with the scientific community has been revoked. Matriarchy knew of the problems with sequence 531, the fact they confiscated all my research is proof for that. Gladly Slythis has saved all of it digitally and returned it to me. They must’ve known about the transferring genes! I will continue my research in private. Gotta be extra careful now that I have no backing.”


Humming ventilation was almost a lullaby for Jane. All her life. 

But in Hylia’s quartes it was keeping her awake and alert, she almost felt as if birds and insects were buzzing around, ready to peck at, or sting her. 

“These logs contain a lot of scientific data I can’t follow.” Hylia studied the logs Jane was referring to. “I’m an engineer, I knew the brain of my ship, and the engine parts. I don’t understand anything about genetic manipulation either.” She closed the logs.

“But that isn’t what they are supposed to communicate. Yrag included that data to show how sophisticated the genetic engineering was, but still failed to understand the greater picture.” The harpy made a face of regret. She hadn’t intended to mention the name of Yrag just yet. “Forget that name for now, the next one you’ll be interested to read about is Cruq. A male, but with a lot of genius, no wonder, was he the son of Goraka.”


16th Joshi, 3309 after Digitalys settlement. Cruq.

There was a certain stiffness to the wind that came down from the mountains. Cruq glanced into the diatance against the wind. 

Up in the mountains weather must’ve been harsh. 

Crisp air, perhaps early snow. 

Glad he didn’t live there, he looked across the fields of Arratis before him. They belonged to his sister in law and his wife Lyma. Eco rebels as the matriarchy called them, as they had largely unspliced crops. Pollen from spliced crops however crept up on the fields with the wind and migrating pollinators. 

It worried him. 

Shortly after being expelled from the scientific community Goraka had found a man, and settled in the area, they had only one nest, and only one egg hatched.

Him.

He met Lyma in their childhood, her parents already were eco rebels. But the matriarchy let them continue.


Seeds were low, he noticed with a worried experts eye. Many Arratis plantaswere dead from fungus and weeds, what survived was ravaged by the pests.

But, the harvest was free of spliced sequences. 

“We found the new sequence on the property.” With a shaky hand and angry undertone to her voice Lyma handed him a datasheet.

“I told you.” Expressing his dislike for her always checking his findings with his facial expression only, he took the sheet back. “Sequence 2210 is even worse than 531!” Crying in anger she trembled as a whole. “It is found to kill animals that eat those that were supposed to be merely repelled by sequence 2210!”

All the facts she was reciting to him, hen had heard before. Some he brought to her attention. But he kept silent as they walked down the side of the field. 

The smell of the rotten roots and plants lingered in the air with an all too familiar moldy-sweet note, mixed with the smell of the near ripe seeds. 

“We can’t release the harvest.” He stopped underneath a fruit tree the two had played under as children. 

Worried but still furious she looked in his eyes, although an eco rebel she was a strong matriarchist. Convinced that men, although smart sometimes, were not as smart as women. “That’s silly,” 

He put his finger to her lips. “I know what you believe, this is not a sexism debate, nor should it be. We provide splice free crops for like minded people. They are not splice free. They are now laced with the most dangerous sequence the matriarchy has yet spat onto our plates. We cannot release the harvest. Think about it Lyma, and you will come to the same conclusion.” 

Leaving her to ponder his words Cruq marched down the beaten track, he had a shed there. Under some old trees, which had overgrown with a fungus from the fields. They had formed a symbiosis with it. Not pretty to look at, but healthy in its own little weird way.

Silently gliding into the wall, the door revealed a tidy laboratory inside the shed. Once, it was his mother’s, now it was his. 

“Computer, open nanite research, replay last programming sequence.” Under a low hum a holographic projector went on. 

In the middle of the room a giant apparatus was projected, but Cruq knew it was as small as a few molecules in truth. 

Routines and subroutines appeared next to it, always so that he could read them, no matter where in the room he was. “I still have to introduce you to my wife.” He sighed judging his creation. 


12th Shekray, 3310 after Digitalys settlement. Cruq.

“I have received information claiming that sequence 2210 has shown up in our own kind!” Behind Lyme the door to Cruq’s shed slid close again. It was three months since he had shown her the lab his mother had created, three months in which Lyme had changed her look upon her man completely. 

He had, in her eyes, the mind of genius woman.

“Say again?” He turned from a microscope to face her. 

“Three people have died from sequence 2210, several dozen are poisoned, and it is linked to ovarian death syndrome in half a dozen cases.” She sat down next to the hologram of the nanite Cruq had running to view changes he made, on a large scale.

“Dead hatchlings? Due to 2210?” Uneasy he got up, paced up and down the room. “I can’t believe it. Are these allegations confirmed?” 

A stern glance from Lyma remined him that confirmation of such allegations was a tricky thing, as the matriarchy denied them, hushed them.

“I have good new however.” He turned to the microscope, with the push of a button the nanite on display changed minutely. 

“They’re ready.” 

Almost instantaneously Lyma jumped to her feet. “Ready for what?” 

“They target sequences 531, 2210 and markers identified in the DNA of both weeds an pests threatening our crops. They can even be used on people.” 

Determination in her eyes Lyma stretched forth her arm. “Give it to me, if you err, I will perish, but you can continue to work, so don’t do the crazy scientist stunt of injecting yourself with it!” The tone of her voice told him not to try and argue her out of it. 

Nodding he strode over to the desk and took the batch he was working on from it. “If we want this to be spread, we have a lot of work ahead of us.” He mumbled under his breath as he prepared the injection. 

“If we want this to be spread, it is better we try to sell it as either a joint venture, or my idea all together.” She rubbed the point on her arm where he had injected her. 

Agreeing with her he put the injector aside, and took out a small wand like scanner. He waved it over her arm, and her torso. 

“They’re spreading as planned. According to the signal they emit, they’ve found 2210 and traces of 531 in your body already and are targeting it.” The data was displayed in the hologram, in a way so they could easily read it.

“I feel quiverish.” She admitted, but figured it was due to excitement. Before the two left the shed he began synthecating more nanites over night. 


Halfway to the house Lyma looked across the harvested field, standing underneath the fruit tree. Satisfied that she had listened to him when he said they couldn’t release the harvest she smiled, as a cold wind from the mountains set in.

“Thank you.” She took his hand. “For what?”

He squeezed it back, not letting go though.

“For putting up with me, even though I sometimes treated you like most women treat men.” She stopped, leaned against the fence. 

“And for sharing your invention with,” suddenly short on breath Lyma sancknto the ground, Cruq tried to suppn but was utterly helpless. “What is it?” 

“I can’t breathe!” 

From his pocket he produced another scanner wand. “They’re multiplying too quickly.” He read from a small display at thenother end of the device. Quickly, with a surprisingly calm hand, he adjusted a few rings on the wand, checked the reading on the display and confirmed the new instructions for the nanites.

Gently stroking her hand he kept kneeling next to her. “It is getting easier!” Falling in love all over again with that smile of hers he couldn’t help but smile too. “Good, now don’t let me forget to make that adjustment on the new batch tomorrow, or you’ll end up a widow.” 

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