A Series of Grafts

The latest experiment in the labyrithine laboratory, part “Labyrinth,” part “Pan’s Labyrinth,” part of “The Metamorphosis,” part “The Island of Dr Moreau,” started simply, measuring frog length, height, weight and other characteristics not prone to subjective views, such as colouration and wart count.

But my lab assistants bore themselves with such trivial matters, assigning the tasks to semiautomated industrial robotic arms repurposed for laboratory work.

Then, when I’m not looking at how they’re spending my money (after all, I’m the one who first set up the bank of graphic accelerator chips to mine Bitcoins!), they experiment with frog embryos.

Nothing out of the ordinary, they said, just manipulating a few genetic traits, producing extra limbs through chemical baths simulating agricultural runoffs.

That is, until they discovered newts on the forest floor which covers the underground laboratory.

If only they had asked my permission!

If only I had given them access to notes from previous experiments that I and my former colleagues had meticulously recorded as we, too, decided to play designer gods.

Every generation chooses how to leave its mark on society.

I walked the forest this morning, meditating upon the quietude of a midsummer heat wave, a light fog giving the forest a misty, mysterious maze of tree trunks to meander around.

I kicked over a small rotting tree limb and out scurried a half-frog, half-newt mutant.

My sixth sense told me I saw not a marvel of evolution but a student experiment that escaped laboratory confines.

And, sure enough, my current batch of assistants (themselves a hybrid of biological compnents and electromechanical wizardry that they had convinced themselves were congenital — who am I to tell them differently, my being an amalgam of parts myself?), they admitted the animal was created by them.

Rather than punish them for their creativity, I sat down with my assistants to discuss this creature scurrying and hopping inside the terrarium which sat in the middle of the conference room table.

What did they wish to accomplish?

Nothing untoward, they said, just seeing if they could manipulate DNA to create hybrid creatures.

They had not yet matured enough to project futures during their experimentation.

Of course, the oldest of them was only five so I expected nothing more of them in that regard.

I taught them the Law of Negative Transivity in respect to mutations.

A frog is not a newt so what, then, is not a frog-newt hybrid?

In other words, what shape in the future would the frog-newt become that would not exist otherwise?

Points on a straight line are not always what they seem — every basic mathematical matrix teaches us as much.

A point is an average of all conditions that meet at that point.

For instance:

1+3 = 4 = 5 – 1 = 2 x 2

A frog is not a newt but a frog plus a newt equals a frog-newt hybrid.

Therefore, a frog-newt hybrid plus something equals something else entirely.

I sent the assistants back to the laboratory to continue their experiments after they finished an inventory of frogs, newts and hybrids to account for the missing hybrid I found and to sort out how it escaped.

Meanwhile, I’ve got an empire to run.

Working with a thinktank of self-important geniuses, I’ve projected a future where the vast majority of the world has legalised the public consumption of most major natural mood enhancing plants, reducing the illicit drug trade and changing the face of society.

Of course, it was a predicted progression of the rich getting richer, supplying the poor and destitute with nothing more to ease their worries, pains and starvation but through low-cost medicinal self-therapeutic catharsis, making sure enough of them still accrued sufficient debilitating debt throughout their participation in modern society to keep building the gap between rich and poor.

But we already know all these futures.

I want something more, something more than my hyper-enhanced body provides.

We, us, the global network of human/machine hybrids, we live in a state of constant fear under which people learn to love one another.

We fear total collapse of the planetary weather pattern which has turned us into the dominant if not most prolific species on Earth.

We know it’s going to happen because of natural cycles.

We fear it’s going to happen faster because of our intentional and unintentional changes to local environments which add up to a significant enough change to the global environment that it seems to tip the global weather patterns against nominal climate fluctuations.

I look at my lab assistants and wonder if their frog-newt hybrid is our future.

What if our species is doomed to collapse and our lasting legacy is a totally new set of beings we created through accidental laboratory results?

My intuition says yes.

What does yours say?

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