The Gene Man

Alberto Martinez was the 24th wealthiest person alive according to the news reports in 2089. He liked breaking into the top 25 list. He was high enough up to feel an inordinate amount of public esteem based solely on wealth, but he was far enough down that he could still go out and have dinner in public and not be recognized by everyone.

Years ago Alberto, Big Al to his friends and close colleagues, parlayed a genius mind and newly-earned medical degree into a moderately lucrative job in a small but robust lab that had a corporate entity that sold its services to the masses. That service was genetic mapping. Want to know your ethnic background? Send a saliva or blood sample. Want to know if you have genetic indicators for various hereditary diseases? Send a saliva or blood sample. Will your children be gay? Send two saliva or blood samples. We’ll send you a report with all the details.

Telosgene International, Big Al’s company, was a hugely successful. First hundreds, then thousands, then hundreds of thousands, then millions of people voluntarily sent saliva swabs or blood from pin-pricks to Telosgene for mapping and testing. Big Al was one of the leads in Telosgene’s labs. He made up new methods of testing and mapping people’s DNA. Faster methods. Cheaper methods. He worked with programmers to create databases filled with DNA records. After a time Telosgene would find your relatives for you based on your DNA.

Big Al moved from position of importance to position of more importance in the company. After a time he leveraged buyouts of other companies. Before long Telosgene was not just into DNA mapping services, but was producing custom-made cancer treatments based on a patient’s DNA and the DNA of their cancer.

Then Big Al pushed the envelope. He got a permit in Guatemala to start genetic modification of fertilized human eggs. Want your kid to have blonde hair and blue eyes? We can improve the chances - even when there were none to begin with. Want a boy over 6 ft tall with good musculature and a better chance to be a star athlete? We can do it! Want to rid your progeny of that family balding gene? No problem! Now pay $5,000,000.00 US for each egg we work on and hope implantation works out okay.

The move into genetically modified humans was what put Telosgene on the proverbial map. But Big Al didn’t put himself on the board or give himself a fancy title. He just kept his plurality ownership of the private firm working for him on the down-low.

But, Big Al’s power in the company was challenged by people with a different vision. A vision that was more cautious. Had more ethical review committees. Wanted transparency and public oversight. It was then that Al remembered that he had personally done some work for a Russian. A Russian with an unsavory reputation, an unlimited bankroll, and a family disposition towards obesity, heart disease, cancer, and bone density problems. Pavel Igonov was the head of a huge crime syndicate and Al reached out to him. What would it take to make Big Al’s ethical headaches disappear? Pavel was happy to solve his problems for $5,000,000, or a daughter with blonde hair, blue eyes, perfect figure, and none of the family’s hereditary problems. The deal was struck. Pavel took care of Al’s ethical problems, and Al personally worked on the egg that would grow up to become Nadezhda Pavelova Igonova, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, girl with a knack for languages, and a body like mortal sin.

But, as the old saying goes, in for a penny, in for a pound. Big Al found Pavel asking for help for others in his organization. In exchange Pavel would do Al favors. Licensure in some European nations wasn’t as much of a hassle. Inspectors at Telosgene facilities became more accommodating and less eagle-eyed.

After a time Big Al wondered how far, or how little, he could really trust Pavel. That was when he had a brainstorm and set a plan in motion. It started by offering one of Pavel’s bodyguards some pheromones that made Nadezhda’s teeth chatter, her cheeks flushed, and her body filled with desire for the bodyguard. Once Pavel’s angel started to secretly disobey daddy’s orders to avoid the bodyguard, Al gave the bodyguard a new pheromone. It filled Nadezhda with lust, and Pavel with rage. The problem resolved itself when Pavel found Nadezhda and the bodyguard in the pool house together. Guns, knives, and table utensils were all used the most merciless and inhumane ways. When it was over all three were dead, and Al found himself the power behind a huge Russian crime syndicate.

Over the next few years, Big Al used his power to expand his company’s wealth, influence, and power. He was careful to stay as far under the radar as possible, but eventually his avarice compelled him to formally run the company and direct its board. That was when the real wealth, the almost unimaginable wealth, flowed to him.

He had all he’d ever dreamed of, and more. He even made himself a Nadezhda and groomed her just the way he wanted her to be. In secret of course, his long-time wife, Carley, wouldn’t have approved. Big Al figured that he would have Carley meet with an unfortunate accident when his Nadezhda 2.0 was ready to turn 18.

What Big Al didn’t know was the Carley Martinez had figured him out years ago and had plans of her own.

(This is not the story I mentioned previously in this post. That story still is a work in progress.)

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