This is Part 2 in a story based off the potential of using DNA to store information. Written by Winston Myers and Chris Weihert.
The clock seemed to tick for hours, though only minutes had passed. Ferris didn't want to rush the DNA polymerization and risk ruining the sample. He needed to know what all that extra DNA meant, and that required patience.
Ring! Brrrring! The sample finished duplicating. The chime reminded him of his hunger pangs. The cardio-epigentesis procedure required an empty stomach, a fact his body hadn't forgotten. Earlier, Ferris replicated the operation on himself, due to the ineptitude of his personal robotic assistant, M1K. He had to know what The Man in the Gray Suit was after.
Ferris looked at the dataDNA tube, the 21st one he’d received. These messages from his parents were more frequent earlier in his life. But seven years passed since the last one. He still couldn't even figure out where they were sending the tubes from.
Eve opened her eyes. Could it be? Is she alive? Or is this the afterlife? She tried to raise her head but couldn't – for the bulky neural cap would not budge. She moved her fingers and wiggled her toes. She couldn't believe it. She was alive!
“Eve?” said a human doctor.
Doctors surrounded her. The room was white and sterile. Just next to her, laid an old woman. It was her – her original self. The old woman was one of the oldest people in the world. She laid there sleeping. She would not wake again.
A body lay in front of you. Prodding his fleshy neck with a finger, you examined him for any signs of a pulse. Puke and drool dribbled onto the sidewalk, and his blue skin was tinted sepia by the streetlights. These, you understood, were the signs of an overdose.
This information, however, couldn't explain the blood oozing out of the hole in the back of his head and the twisted, smoking circuits that the hole revealed. Fragments of a central processor unit had melted onto his gray matter, warping the web of copper wires and neural lacing that threaded through his skull. SYNTAX ERROR could find no information on this phenomena.
I watched the flashes erupt from the distant red rock above, a constant for as long as our Leaf-Eater kin ruled the land. The red glow hung in the sky and served as a reminder in the night; that separation a surety to my people's’ survival. It happened there, the burning and the flames. I knew that we Leaf-Eaters didn't want the fires here.