The splice worked! The cells multiplied and started resembling something corn-like. Success! The corn-like substance grew into corn. Seeds were harvested, and more corn was planted. First, in small greenhouses and when all went well, the corn was upgraded to small crops (of course, segregated from all other crops).
We started growing the crops in the open in order to subject them to the elements; the crops were more likely to encounter pests, but even when neighbouring crops became infested, not a single bug could be found on our test corn. This lead us to believe the splice was, not only complete, but also, very, very successful.
The project was a success; everyone was happy, with the exception of my wife, Dawn. But she isn’t easily swayed when it comes to matters of genetic engineering. Hugo and I hired lab technicians and field hands to help with all the work; we were working 16 hour days prior to this. My uncle wouldn’t increase the funding until it was clear that the project was successful. I don’t blame him, Hugo flip-flopped like yesterdays pancakes.
Dawn was the watchdog throughout all of it. She would keep a watchful eye over us to make sure we never grew complacent with the project. We would have to maintain constant diligence to keep the outside corn out and our test corn in, no matter how successful the project ‘appeared’ to be. Dawn immediately spotted (and criticized) every lapse in security, she warned everyone of what ‘could happen’.
Once the crops grew to substantial size, strange things happened… Large, and often, intricate, crop circles started appearing. It’s literally as if the corn just keeled over and died, but it wasn’t dead.. it was just lying down, or playing dead, if you will. It was truly baffling.
But really, crop circles were a bit of a fad at the time and they’d soon die off like all other fads. And my uncle, who is a respected, experienced businessman agrees with me… so then it must be true.
I sat at my kitchen table cutting out an article from a magazine; I folded it carefully and stuffed it inside my husband’s lunch box. I’ve been doing this for months and Ian doesn’t seem to be affected by it at all. He’s even passing the obscure quizzes I started giving him!
I was already pretty much completely against my husband’s work, but when Ian started coming home and talking about strange happenings in the crops, I began sensing something sinister lying in wake. Crop circles? I mean, seriously, you can’t ignore that shit! I even told Ian, but he just rolled his eyes. It drives me crazy when he rolls his eyes – it’s the most drawn out process.
The part that’s the most scary is that Ian and Hugo don’t know what could possibly go wrong – no one does. But here they are splicing a gene out of bacteria and putting in it a plant. What if that specific bacteria plays role we don’t know about; a role that we cannot even fathom. That bacteria could be the reason birds fly, or the sky is blue, or oxygen is on Earth. Putting it where it doesn’t belong (like in corn!) could lead to strange and bizarre things and I think the crop circles are just the beginning.
Big thanks to EliseArt for providing (the good) illustrations.