Chapter 1 – How It Began

I came back for you, it doesn't mean much now, not to you. I couldn't feel anything when I found your body. It was cold. Too cold for the room, too cold for life. I knew that if I had been there you would still be alive, and it would be you kneeling over my cooling body instead. I should have died for you. I had always promised to. What are promises though? Are they flesh and blood? I'd never thought so before, promises were just words. Empty threats to the world. I don't know why I'm writing this, I've never turned to writing before. Perhaps it was seeing what the world has become that prompted this piece of emotion. I don't suppose this will ever be read, and if it is, I don't know if anyone will understand it. If it's those beasts we call men words will mean nothing, this last part of me will just become kindling. The world has finally fallen. It wasn't supposed to be like this, we were supposed to succumb to Global Warming or Nuclear Warfare. Instead we had been denied the only ends which might have made sense. At this rate the world won't exist long enough to notice the polar caps melting or the air burning. Well, people won't. But I was always brought up to believe in hope after all I was a child of hope, so I think I have to write what has happened, what is happening. Maybe there still exists pockets of land untouched by this madness and when we've all died out they'll emerge to salvage whatever left.

2221

It began ironically with life or more precisely with the creation of life. The world had reached a state of peace for the first time in millennia but it had come at a cost. The years spent living under nuclear power development and endless drugs meant to cure every problem had left most people infertile or carriers for mentally and physically debilitating genetic illnesses. We needed children more than anything else. In some ways that is what had led to the peace we now enjoyed, the need to fix a greater problem as one.

We had the knowledge and with a peaceful world our greatest minds could be used for something more useful that creating machines of war. It seemed like such a good thing, a big step in a direction which could change the world forever. It changed the world. Now we are left with its effects, a decimated population and burning hulks of concrete, our greatest cities turned to rubble.

I am not a scientist; I was always more of a dreamer so all I really understood about the project was that it was working on altering the way our DNA interacts when a child is born. They added chromosomes, re-wrote our DNA and cheered when a mere five years later the first child was born. Maryl Elizabeth Dowell was born to Jaret and Sybille Dowell on the 8th of July 2227 AD. She was a symbol of our world's progression and a beautiful child too. Maryl was monitored for the first 16 years of her life to monitor her natural growth and her body's responses to the varying stages of development.

For the first five years the only remark made was that she was slightly more boisterous than other children and reached her development markers slightly ahead of her peers. After that these feature petered out and she resumed development at a normal rate, although it was noted that the knowledge she had learnt earlier helped her to develop into an intelligent adolescent. After fifteen years people began to demand that the process be rolled out to the general public since it had shown no adverse effects. It's funny now to think that they could have watched her whole life play out and still never predicted what was to come. In 2244 the first batch of genetically engineered children was born, a total of 1500 of which 1487 survived birth. From then on the numbers only increased as scientist began using their DNA modifications to make other changes to foetuses creating fully tailored children to anyone who wanted them. It seemed like such a good thing as we saw the end to inherited diseases and children who lacked any natural deformities.

I was born in 2244 and was one of the first children to see the effects of our generation. My parents loved me more than anything and placed me in all the best schools which meant that I was mostly in class with other GENIES which is what we were called. They wanted us in different education to make the most of the early childhood boost we were born with and I had to attend class with boys and girls who were in their own way expected to change the world. For the first few years no one really accepted that there was a problem with the boys. They made it out that boys are naturally more rowdy than girls and it would fade away like it had with Maryl. It wasn't until we, the first, turned eight and they saw an escalation in the problems among the boys. They began displaying signs of instinctual violence against everyone but their parents. However even they were only left out for another year. All the boys were taken for testing and they began to see that the problem was more than bad parenting or lax teachers. These children were actually regressing at an astonishing pace. Things they had been advanced in like reading and writing were being pushed away as their brains started changing. They were filled with high levels of adrenaline and it became almost impossible to calm them for long. Understandably people were terrified by the idea that their children were becoming more and more primal and there was a mass protest against the world's governments to find a way to fix this situation.

All those high and mighty minds came back together and began testing children more carefully, comparing the males with their female counterparts. They saw no changes from Maryl timeline in regards to the children when education and social situation were taken into account in any of the girls they examined and determined that when changing the DNA nature had taken over at some point trying to rectify the interference of science with natural development. It had made connections which had not been accounted for and, some might say, reverted back to base 0, Alpha man at its earliest. It took them a year to come up with a stopgap solution, a new drug which subdued baser urges and instincts, in order to give themselves time to find a more permanent fix. They ceased the production line and anyone carrying a male child was made to abort regardless of the stage of the foetus. I remember this part of history though I myself was only just about to turn ten. I remember boys being brought back into class in small test groups. Their minds not the same as before but at least able to focus more and less bent on disruption. They were drugged to the hilt, slow and compliant but still they progressed at an astonishing rate.

I remember how my parents reacted when they found out the boys were back, first there was denial followed by fear and soon eclipsed by anger. They were angry at the schools for allowing it, angry at the government for suggesting it, but most of all angry because for the first time in my life they regretted me. They weren't the only ones either to regret or even resent their children and cases of abuse towards the GENIES became common. If we hadn't been created then these monstrosities of children would not have existed and I cannot forget the hatred geared towards the girls for not sharing the same imperfections of their own boys.

It's strange, but as I read over what I have written I notice that I have yet to acknowledge us as sons and daughters. I know we had parents, I even remember how my own looked, but I also remember how they looked at me after a time. How people stopped calling us their children and just referred to us as those Rats short for lab rats. Some were even vying for our human status to be removed although this never went through. It was a terrifying time to be a GENIE and it didn't matter that we were children because no one could see us that way. The only other noticeable thing which happened in my 9th year was an advancement to all the girls over the course of two days. It didn't matter about their ages and when it was over everyone could tell that something drastic had happened but it took a further month to pin point what and why.