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Breed: Twenty-one


  07:54:00 pm, by Nic Wilson   , 901 words  
Categories: Breed

Breed: Twenty-one

?She was scared,? Mayumi said softly.
?I can't even imagine Roxy scared,? Mikaela said, opening the door into the Saunders Sciences building.
?She had a gun. I don't think it was hers.?
?But she wasn't hurt??
?Not physically.?
?At least there's that.? She led the way up a flight of stairs, then turned right down a hall. She led Mayumi past several open labs, then into one marked 209.
?Hey, Pete,? she said.
?Mikaela, I'm glad you stopped by,? Pete said, walking out of an aisle between two lab tables to greet them.
?Really?? she asked.
?Well, the experiment is not going terribly well,? Demi said.
?There is that,? Pete said. ?You've met Demi. My other assistant,?
?I thought we agreed on 'partner,' at least for you and Cris,? Demi said with a grin.
?Is Cristobal.? A slighter man waved from the end of the table.
?And this is Mayumi, who's part of an exchange program. So what are you up to??
?Failing,? Peter said.
?Could you maybe ask for an extension??
?Not the assignment. My hypothesis.? She frowned. ?I wanted to prove intelligent design. Seems simple enough, really. If there's a guiding principle behind design, it would be towards life, and living. We took a bacteria from the human gut. We're depriving it of its usual food, and instead raising them in environments that usually have either a neutral or even lightly antibiotic effect. The bacteria that survive become better acclimated to these new environments and food sources; that's fine, evolutionary observation tells that.
?For our hypothesis to work, the bacteria would have to evolve in such a way that it incorporates these new conditions without losing their ability to thrive in normal conditions. Because these are artificial conditions; you won't find them in nature, or even outside of a lab. Intelligent design says that they should evolve the ability to survive both in the artificial environment and be able to survive when placed back in natural conditions. Otherwise, they've evolved themselves into extinction, which is what every batch has done thus far.?
?So?? Mikaela asked. ?Why does it have to be an all or nothing proposition??
?Because intelligent design is an all or nothing idea. You can't claim that there's a plan to everything, except for the parts that seem random and unexplainable. There either is intelligent design, or there isn't. I'm proof- all of us in this room are proof- of evolution. Hell, I'm evolving, even now. When I came to school, I entered a biology program thinking I was smart enough to disprove evolutionary science. I was dumber then. And I don't just mean academically. I started taking IQ tests, when I noticed it. But I'm getting quantifiably smarter. And the smarter I get, the more I believe in evolution, and the less I can even pretend to believe in intelligent design.?
?I find his lack of faith disturbing,? Cristobal said from across the room. ?I mean, excuse to do my best Vader voice aside, I actually do think he's put too much faith into this. I don't know if I believe in intelligent design, but that doesn't mean I don't believe in God. Of course, I've also made my peace with a God that could make me gay in a homophobic church. Just because God set up all of the dominos doesn't mean he had to guide how each fell into place.?
?I'm not here for the philosophical,? Pete glared at Demi and she rolled her eyes before continuing, ?or religious debates. I'm here because Pete is seriously as smart as he thinks he is, and as obnoxious as that is, it's a chance to work with somebody brilliant. Plus he's fun, and he and Cris have this whole 'will they won't they' thing, which is adorable.?
?We won't,? Pete said.
?Yeah, but that's what you used to say about evolution, so...?
Pete flipped her off.
?I'm here because there's going to be a protest on campus over the transhuman spying program. Kean's organizing it through the student council and the school's social media. But I feel responsible for at least helping put the idea together. So I wanted to ask people I know personally to come.?
?Count me in,? Cris said.
?How old are you?? Mikaela asked.
?Seventeen,? he said. ?Why??
?Because there's a good chance there's going to be violence. So we're encouraging minors to stay home and signal boost on social media.?
?It's one thing to ask an adult to put themselves in harm's way for a cause. But it's not right to do it with a kid, no matter how mature.?
?You didn't ask. I volunteered.?
?Think I'll pass,? Peter said. ?I get hassled enough for my sexuality, without adding outed transhuman or upstart to my public persona.?
?Plus he's going to be here, obsessing over his lab results,? Demi said, ?which is the real reason he won't go. But only one of us is necessary to sit on this experiment- though our preliminary results make me expect nothing's ever going to hatch. So you can count me in. Drake coming??
?I'm heading to his place next, see if he and Santiago want to come.?
?I texted him. He didn't deign to reply. So he'll show, if a pretty girl asks him.?
?You meant another pretty girl, right??
?Aw,? Mikaela said. ?Thanks for that.?
?No problem. And I'll see you there.?

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