• Chapter One: Chaucer’s Story

    Morning wake-up mode initiated.

    A mundane message came through the small intercom located on a dresser next to Chaucer’s bedside. Groaning, he rolled over and tried to drown out the noise by covering his head with his pillow. He was never really a morning person, and being woken up at 5:00 AM daily really wasn’t working for him. After realizing he couldn’t win the war, he sat up slowly and yawned. Reaching over to the dresser, Chaucer pressed a button down, which promptly quelled the intercom’s morning call.

    Dustin Chaucer was a slender man of 21, standing at 5’ 9”. He lazily brushed a few locks of his shoulder length silver hair from his face, revealing a pair of ice blue eyes. Looking around the small room in which he was staying, he slowly got out of bed and made his way to the bathroom. The entire room as a whole was small, but large enough for one person, having little more than a bedroom and a small bathroom. Ten minutes later, Chaucer wandered out, now dressed in a pair of black work pants, matching shoes, a white t-shirt and a light blue over-shirt. A logo was sewn into the left breast pocket which read, “BioTech.”

    Taking a final look at himself in a mirror hanging on the back side of the door to the room, he sighed and exited, locking the door behind him. Chaucer wandered down a long hallway, glancing at the various other doors that lined the hall. His room number had been “613”, and he was down into the “500s.” Stopping in front of an elevator, he pressed a button on a wall panel and waited. After hearing the characteristic “ding”, Chaucer walked through the door and stood, watching the door close behind him. Pressing the button for the bottom floor, Chaucer waited as the elevator began its descent to earth. A few floors later, he stepped out into a white tiled hallway.

    Today was the day they would finally put the experiment to the test. If it went off without a hitch, it could very well change the direction of the human race forever. At least that’s what the head of the whole project had said, J. D. Hunter. Chaucer hadn’t been sure of what Hunter meant; through he couldn’t really say he cared too much either. He hadn’t taken this job so much as they had offered it to him. Chaucer turned down a small hallway and kept going. His position required him to wake up an hour earlier than the others, making the halls empty.

    A metal door with a small space of glass blocked Chaucer’s way. There was a small panel on the wall next to the door, beeping softly every few seconds. Chaucer reached into his pocket and produced an I.D. card, which he fed the panel. A green light clicked on as the panel spit the card out. Pocketing the card, Chaucer entered as the door slid open. After walking a few feet, he herd the sound of the door closing behind him. A few other BioTech workers were monitoring some form or reading on a large computer, while others were all gathered together in the corner. As he made his way towards the cluster, a few stopped what they were doing long enough to give a, “Good morning Mr. Chaucer,” to which he just smiled and nodded his head.

    “Chaucer! Glad you could make it,” a voice came from the crowd of people. Recognizing the voice, Chaucer replied,

    “Coming from you, I can’t tell if that’s good or bad.” A man emerged from the crowd and walked up to him, grinning. He wore a pair of thin glasses that magnified his jade eyes. His short, unruly blonde hair looked as if he had just gotten out of bed. His voice was smooth and confident as he spoke.

    “You should be more excited,” he said. “Do you realize the magnitude of this single experiment?!” he exclaimed. Chaucer blinked.

    “Glad to be a part of it…I think,” he said. “Mind filling me in on what ‘it’ is, Hunter?” Chaucer asked. Hunter grinned and motioned for Chaucer to follow him. They worked their way through the cluster of people and stopped at a lab table with a large microscope, which had a cord running from it up to a large monitor on the wall. Showing the microscope to Chaucer, Hunter spoke again.

    “As you know, we have performed multiple tests involving combining different cells of organic matter. As of today, we have a high enough success rate that we are now ready to perform the test using human DNA samples. We are going to introduce animal DNA extract to a sample of human DNA. A small electric pulse afterward should start the whole process going.” Chaucer raised an eyebrow.

    “Right…Doesn’t that sound like something that we shouldn’t be messing around with?” he asked. Hunter laughed.

    “Only one way to find out,” he said confidently. Hunter took a small Petri dish and two needles from a nearby shelf and placed them out on the table. Chaucer was curious as to what would happen, but his expression belied his curiosity. As always, he simply stared calmly at the scene unfolding. “First,” Hunter said as he placed the dish under the microscope, causing an extremely enlarged image to appear on the wall monitor, “we’ll add a small amount of animal DNA.” He took one of the needles and emptied part of its contents onto the dish. Not skipping a beat, he picked up the other needle and squirted a small amount of its contents onto the previous liquid. “And this is the sample of human DNA. As of now, it looks as if they’re simply sitting on top of each other. But, once we add the electric pulse…” Hunter said as he lifted up a small contraption from the floor. It had a large, metal disc in the front, with little more than a cord and a switch on the back.

    “Are you sure this is going to work?” Chaucer asked, wondering how the procedure could possibly proceed correctly. Hunter reassured him.

    “This isn’t just a normal electric pulse,” Hunter said, sidestepping Chaucer’s question. “It sends out a unique frequency that agitates the particles and causes them to begin to bond with others around them. The process will only have an effect on organic matter, so there’s no worry of the DNA bonding with its environment when we administer it to the sample.”

    That’s all well and good,” Chaucer thought, “but he didn’t answer me...