A small band of Rebels, however, believes the genetic quarantine policy is not only the moral equivalent of Nazi, Dr. Mengele-like science, but that it is also a shortsighted formula for genetic Armageddon. The Establishment, they argue, is playing God and second-guessing nature, a practice they believe will leave humanity genetically vulnerable to a wide range of viral, ecological, and other unpredictable biological threats in generations to come. What’s more, they believe that elite members of the Establishment are secretly using the genetic quarantine policy as a front while working to breed a permanent underclass of worker humans to clean the stables and stoke the furnaces of their dream Utopia. Establishment scientists call such claims a paranoid fantasy and insist that their only goal is to spare future generations from needless suffering.
The Rebels are prepared to go to desperate extremes to prove their point. Renegade genetic engineers have infiltrated Project Utopia and obtained the secret genetic codes that are being used to select and design future generations of productive citizens. Drawing upon this information, the Rebels have custom-designed the New Genesis Virus, which will affect only those who carry so-called “desirable” genetic traits, while ironically leaving those in genetic quarantine unscathed. Although the New Genesis Virus is not always fatal, it is debilitating and highly contagious. The Rebels intend to release this airborne virus into the atmosphere of a dozen major cities in 48 hours, thereby demonstrating that stringent control of the gene pool may render us particularly susceptible to unknown disease in years to come.
To put your Rebel heart to the test, imagine yourself assuming the identity of one of the following characters (or make up your own) and go though the scene in your mind. The fate of the world depends upon it.
The EstablishmentDr. Jan Halvah, director of Project Utopia, a brilliant scientist and dedicated idealist whose mother died at a young age of breast cancer, and who dreams of ending needless human suffering via cross-generational “genome therapy.”
Galen Fester, a muckraking television reporter whose unqualified support for Project Utopia has played a pivotal role in winning widespread public support for the program.
Kit Kapshaw, director of the Foundation for the Human Future, an eccentric billionaire and die-hard eugenicist whose disturbing vision of the future includes the elimination of so-called “undesirable” racial and other characteristics from the human gene pool. Provides essential funding for basic genetic research, however, some of which has led to breakthrough cures for previously untreatable diseases.
The RebelsDr. Billie Weinstein, a former “child prodigy” of genetics research, who was actually the product of an early genetics experiment. Dr. Weinstein is undeniably a genius, but is also cursed by violent and untreatable “migraine storms.” Currently runs a roadside hot dog stand in Tucson, Arizona. Created the New Genesis Virus in a backyard shed, with the stated intention of “teaching the bastards a lesson in Genetics 101.”
Jaime Olsen, reporter for the National Wiretap, a supermarket newspaper whose unabashed motto is, “Even If You Throw A Fit, We Print.” Although the National Wiretap is known for its lurid celebrity gossip, Olsen has effectively used it as a forum for exposing political corruption and corporate chicanery of every variety.
Captain Lou Bastion, combat helicopter pilot, decorated veteran of World War III, and a self-described “freedom fighting patriot.” Bastion believes Project Utopia is a long-term plot by our enemies to make the population vulnerable to biological warfare agents designed to kill millions while leaving the physical infrastructure of the nation standing. To prevent this from happening, the captain is determined to deliver the New Genesis Virus to its designated targets as a “wake up call to the nation.”
Think you know now if you’re a Rebel at heart or a defender of the Establishment? Maybe it’s not so simple. This was just one possible future. You might respond differently under other circumstances.