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Breed: Three


  12:01:00 am, by Nic Wilson   , 1048 words  
Categories: Breed

Breed: Three

Mikaela's phone alarm went off. Her doubles had helped her put together her bed frame, so she wasn't sitting on the floor like she had been earlier.
She rolled out of bed. She was still dressed, and sniffed at her shirt. It wasn't exactly clean, but it was orientation, and she wasn't planning on slow-dancing with anybody, so it would do.
She grabbed her sweater and her laptop bag, and left out the front door. She was still half asleep, so when she glanced at her phone she wasn't surprised that she was running late.
She started to jog, down the paved path, through the newer campus buildings, and past the track and field. The campus sloped downhill for a ways after opening to cobbled stones, and once Mikaela reached the courtyard where the ground evened out, she found several rows of folding chairs. Applause covered her approach, and she slid into one of the last remaining beside a young looking Latina with black hair cut above her jawline, and a badge on her shirt that said her name was 'Rox.'
Mikaela set her bag down at her feet, and squared in the direction of a temporary stage in front of a fountain. A small, unassuming man in a well-tailored suit was standing at a podium in the center of the stage, adjusting his glasses while glancing down at a notecard.
?Good morning, students,? he said, looking up. ?My name is Danny Kean. I'm the Dean, as well as one of the founders of this school. Now, at most institutes of higher learning, students never see their dean, know him only by reputation and possibly his portrait in the school paper. I don't want this to be that kind of school.
?You are all here because you are special. You are the future. I believe that. So without further ado, I'd like to introduce Professor Hamilton, our resident expert in the kind of special that most of you are, what he's taken to calling humanity's new breed.?
The slight man gave a shallow nod, and took a seat beside the podium. A man who had been seated in a chair opposite his rose. He was taller, heavier-set, and with a full, bushy head of hair and a thick bear took his place.
?Thank you, Dr. Kean. The future of mankind rests on your shoulders and in your hands. Let that idea sink in for a moment.
?You are a new breed, as Dr. Kean said. Not a distinct species, at least not yet. Instead, you are a bridge to humanity's potential. But unfortunately for all of us, we're running out of time to cross that bridge. Climate change, pollution, food and water shortage, epidemics that will make the Spanish Flu look like chicken pox. The dominoes have already been positioned, and if you listen, I believe you can hear them beginning to fall.
?My generation has failed you. We punted for too long, and most if not all of these problems are happening- no longer potential. They will happen in your lifetimes, and with even a little luck- provided I beat my family's spread,? he self-consciously touched his paunch, ?inside mine. But my generation, we are not up to handling them, in the same way that we were not up to the task of preventing them.
?So I agree with the dean, wholeheartedly, when he says you children are the future. But I'd go a step further, and say without you, there is no future. You have been gifted with abilities that will shame our greatest scientific breakthroughs, with intellect that will eclipse the greatest minds our species has ever produced, all within a generation. You will do great things, and elevate the species with your accomplishments and your abilities. But that isn't enough, either.
?Incumbent upon you is another task, one with which our species has no right to burden you. Because your numbers aren't enough. They can't be. The challenges facing you are farther reaching than that. I could show you population graphs, how all western populations are declining at a pace to cripple economies, at a time when potential outweighs the risks and the cost of expansion.
?Among your ranks are the best and brightest stock humanity has ever and may ever know. But even that population will decline if we don't reverse the demographic trend. This might be the last time someone has the spine to stand before you and say it, young and fragile as your lives are now, but you need to breed. Not for the joy of it, but because there aren't enough of you to save us, not yet.
?I hate to interrupt,? Kean said, pushing his way to the microphone. ?But I would like to remind everyone here that as part of your tuition, you have access to the school's clinic, which includes, dental, vision, and family planning services, as well as more general medical services, and we encourage all students to avail themselves of said services. And I'd also ask Professor Hamilton to move on.?
?Right,? Hamilton said. ?The dean and I may not exactly see eye to eye on that last point. But we do share another concern, that we wanted to broach with all of you, here today. Registration. Not for classes, but with the newly minted Bureau of Breed Relations. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it is a branch of the Homeland Security Department. They claim that registration is voluntary, but that it will provide registrants with access to government services.
?I can't tell you not to register; legally, Congress has made it a felony to urge anyone not to register. But what I can ask is that you consider, very carefully, how far you trust this or any government. If you're a liberal, do you trust this information in the hands of a conservative government, a conservative with a liberal one. Because you aren't just trusting the government you know, but every one that comes after.
?It may seem innocuous, the first reasonable step in making sure we don't hurt people. But the yellow badges in Nazi occupied territories didn't seem like much of an imposition, either.?
Mikaela sighed heavily. ?Because it just isn't the afternoon without a Nazi metaphor,? she said.

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