Fiction in A Flash Challenge Week #24

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I awoke feeling languid and tired and rushed around to get ready to leave so that I could arrive for my appointment in good time. I hate being late.

Dr Staples called me into his office as soon as I arrived. It was a most unusual appointment as he didn’t examine me at all. He used his large and expensive looking desktop computer to connect to the microchip in my brain.

“I will know immediately if there is anything unusual taking place in your body,” he explained. “The microchip maps the condition of every cell on an on-going basis. If you are suffering any kind of illness, I will be able to adjust the setting of the microchip to cure the problem.”

I felt a bit overwhelmed so I merely nodded my head and waited for him to speak again.

Ten minutes later, he looked at me with his piercing eyes and smiled. “There is nothing wrong with you, Jen. You are pregnant. Isn’t that exciting news?”

I drew in my breath sharply. Pregnant! I’m not ready to be pregnant. Not ready to have a baby.

Dr Staples continued to smile delightedly. “You are fortunate, Jen. John and you will be having a baby that is genetically modified to ensure he or she is a strong biological specimen with no physical disabilities, no predisposition to any genetic diseases or illnesses and an exceptionally high intelligence. The baby will also have the benefit of an exceptionally long life, the same as John and you, but his or her aging genes have already been edited to slow down the aging process, while John and your genes have had to be edited to slow down the process and reverse some of the effects of aging that have already taken place in your bodies.”

“Wow,” was all I could manage to say initially. “That is incredible, Dr Staples. I can’t believe I am pregnant and to be told that our baby will be genetically enhanced like you have described is amazing.”

A wave of excitement surged through me and I felt ever so much better, full of life and cheerfulness.

Dr Staples notices the change, I think my cheeks went all rosy, and he smiled again.

“You will see a gynaecologist and obstetrician here at this hospital and you will also deliver your baby here. You are one of the privileged and all your needs will be attended to by the World Government team of medical practitioners. I will ask my receptionist, Mrs Carter, to make you an appointment with Dr Chambers, your new gynaecologist, for next month. In the meantime, I see you have been feeling nauseous and I have programmed some slight adjustments so that you will feel better. You will also see me once a month, for the next six months, and two weekly thereafter, so that I can monitor your progress and the cells belonging to your baby.”

It was a relief to have everything organised for me like this, especially since I was still adjusting to the idea of motherhood. Fortunately, this hospital was close to Canary Wharf and my office.

Before I left, Dr Staples told me not to discuss the genetic enhancements that were being made for my child with anyone other than John.

“The World Government does not want public protests erupting about the new social system of genetic haves and have-nots. These genetic enhancements will only be provided to exceptional couples who are being hand selected for the programme. You are giving your child the best possible start in life and that is what you must focus on. Mrs Carter will ask you to sign an undertaking in this regard before you leave. John will also be required to sign it.”

“Okay, Dr Staples, that is fine, I won’t discuss that aspect of my pregnancy with anyone else. Thank you for your time and all your advice.”

I signed the undertaking and set off for the office in a sort of dream-state. I can’t wait to speak to John later that evening and tell him the news.

This was written for Suzanne Burke’s weekly writing challenge. You can join in here: https://sooozburkeauthor.wordpress.com/2020/11/06/fiction-in-a-flash-challenge-new-image-prompt-week-24-join-in-the-fun-iartg-flashfiction-writingcommunity-writingprompts/

72 thoughts on “Fiction in A Flash Challenge Week #24

    1. Thank you, Jessica. Last year I started writing a cli-fi book about climate change and the fourth industrial revolution. I wrote 40 000 words and had the trilogy mapped out. Then Covid-19 struck and I thought I needed to wait a bit and see if there are permanent changes before launching a book set in a 10 years from now timeframe.

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      1. A vaccine serves a different purpose to genetic engineering to produce more beautiful and more intelligent babies. If we get to a point where this becomes available [I didn’t say possible because it already is possible], it will become very elitist.

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      2. I know they serve different purposes, but they have some similar ethical issues. It is easier to decide in favour of some than it is others. Sometimes they sneak in and we’re not given a choice. We don’t even realise what is happening.

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  1. What a story, Robbie. The government control was creepy. I can definitely see the differences in opportunities between the haves and have-nots. That’s happening in many ways already, and I can see it expanding into genetic engineering. Yikes.

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  2. This is such a terrifying and entirely possible scenario, Robbie. Great take on the prompt. Thanks so much for joining in again, I have just had the pleasure of sharing this.❤

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    1. Hi Pam, yes, I believe that this sort of genetic interference could have long term consequences for mankind and not necessarily good ones. There are very specific characteristics that belong to Type A personalities and an exacerbation of those qualities would be a very bad thing.

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      1. Absolutely agree. How about if doctors or parents decided to interfere with a fetus who would be autistic or Type A or B or… the list goes on. Each “type” of person is unique and an important addition to humankind.

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  3. I’m having my own issues with the medical profession. Insurance covers Well Checks… but a Well Check as far as I am concerned is not a physical. And I see no reason to sit in a doctors office to say I am well and have nothing else to discuss. The last Well Check I had wasn’t a physical and I wondered how anything could have been just determined by my words. We are actually looking into selecting a doctor that actually does annual physicals other than just blood work (mine was fine with some borderline issues but nothing requiring meds). And seeing if our insurance will actually cover a true physical. Which I believe should have some ‘hands on’.

    There are some medical advances that are very good. Others I’m not so sure about. Taking away some of the mystery also takes away from the experience to deal with anything that is other than perfect.

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    1. I hadn’t heard of Well Check until yesterday, and now you have also mentioned it. I understand it is a health insurance you pay for while working and receive post retirement? We pay over $500 a month for our medical aid and it only covers hospitalisation, x-rays and scans. Everything else we pay for separately.

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      1. When I switch Dr.s offices I had a visit with the new Doc… never laid a hand on me. I remained on the exam bench clothed the whole time. It wasn’t a physical. I don’t care if the insurance covers most of the cost and I only share a co-pay if there isn’t anything to check why bother?

        It was my Hubby’s Hazmat (for the active folks who go on the calls) physical – that Doc who discovered a thyroid issue – That has since been taken care of (no help really from the ‘local office’ that wouldn’t even see him right away – so he got the Hazmat Doc to make a recommendation/referral for the next steps sooner than later.) I’m going to be checking another local Doc that a friend has who told me she actually had a physical. As well as with our own insurance of what the difference between a physical and a Well Check is, because to me a Well Check appears worthless and not worth the time or money.

        The Local Office did do OK for another recent issue my hubby had. But I’m not impressed with the doc I saw. Not being terribly impress by any doc’s really…

        Our coverage is fairly good I think, but it doesn’t cover eye or dental exams. With the dental we would have to pay extra and we figured out that the difference wasn’t worth it.

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      2. Just called our insurer this morning and we are covered. Why even have a Well Check option is beyond me – but I didn’t get a physical that first visit and was disappointed. So I never scheduled another. Until I got a letter from the office basically saying; we think you might need to visit. But I wasn’t happy with just a well check and they didn’t offer a physical as an option. Twits. We also discovered there might be a better place not associated with hospital mark ups for the yearly blood work.

        And Doctors wonder why no one wants to go to them anymore…

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  4. eehouch, not sure I could cope with going there but guess it’s happening already! Just that I’m not one selected so I am ignorant of this genetic enhancement …

    gripping writing Robbie, you certainly know how to spin a good yarn!

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