Dr. Jonathon Randall was merely twenty-nine years old when he watched his wife pass through agonizing torment and from his life forever. She left him with a chubby two-year old daughter who had her mother's eyes and her mother's smile. Seeing the child sent waves of pain shooting through him, and so he hired a nanny and threw himself into his work.
He initially determined that he would find a cure for cancer, but he soon found that that was not sufficient. He had to find a way to eradicate all disease, anything that could threaten to take his daughter, his second great love, away from him.
Dr. Randall was a brilliant geneticist, and his work progressed quickly. First he learned how to catalog individual genes in the human genome. Then he focused on perfecting splicing techniques. His breakthrough led to a patent on designer genes, and he marketed the technology to a chain of fertility clinics. He made a fortune off of parents who carried home from the hospital babies with beautiful blond hair and blue eyes, who were more likely to win spelling bees and make captain of the football team.
He used the money to further finance his research. He expanded his laboratory and hired an army of the most brilliant young minds to assist him. He learned how to identify defective genes, and he developed the technique for replacing them. He focused his attention on the code for immunity, and through many experiments learned how to create a super-immune individual.
But that would only help the rising generation, the new babies of parents who could afford the enormous expense of genetic manipulation. His own beloved daughter still caught colds and flus and once, walking pneumonia.
He stumbled upon the answer while he was recruiting at the International Conference for Young Scientists in Alexandria, Egypt. One impressive young man, fresh out of grad school and still working on his doctorate, had given a fascinating presentation on the potential of retroviruses. With their ability to invade and insert their own DNA into host cells, they were the perfect vehicle for transferring engineered genetic material into anyone, anyone at all. Dr. Randall offered the lad a six-figure salary on the spot, and arranged to have him begin working at the lab the following Monday.
It worked. After several more years, Dr. Randall had created a super-bug, a retrovirus that contained the ability to alter a person's DNA so that they would be resistant disease. He had done it. But as Dr. Randall held the triumph in his shaking his hands, he finally looked up from his work and discovered that his daughter was now a stranger to him, and humanity was no longer worth saving.
“My Million Dollar Idea”
Identify a problem or issue – either in your everyday life or community. What product or service could ease this?
Let your imagination go crazy. If you had access to all the resources you needed, what would your million dollar idea be? Just remember, alot of the advances in science came about from writers ‘crazy’ ideas and asking “what if?”
This was very fun for me, getting back in the swing of things after our horrific move! And, just as a teaser, this is part of my story that started with "Iced." You can read my previous excerpts here, and here, and here.
And don't forget, this is the last day to enter Cathryn's giveaway for a free copy of her debut novel, The Demise of the Soccer Moms, and a free Kindle! Visit her blog for details at Suburban Noir.