Once my laundry got started, I made my way through the library, on my way to the kitchen, but my way was quickly obstructed, when Jill spotted me.
“Ah, perfect. Jake, come here,” Jill ordered. My stomach growled and urged me on.
“I am just going to get some breakfast, I’m apparently quite hungry, or so my stomach tells me.”
Jill looked at me with quite a bit of dismissiveness and then spoke. “That can wait, you need to see this.”
“Jim, you have contextualized all the medical knowledge available in the United States Library of Congress, perhaps you can do a better job of this than I can.”
“Sure,” Jim said, from behind my right shoulder, where I hadn’t seen him a second earlier. I was startled but also wondered how sound works when one is a hologram—it really sounded like he was right next to me, and not at all a light projection. Before I could bring any of these questions up, an all too realistic hologram of a human muscular structure, including all the major organs, appeared in the center of Jill lab. In other words, I was startled again.
“Yuck—what is that?!” I asked
“It’s you,” Jim said.
“Well, it’s you about six hours ago, while you were still sleeping.”
“We wanted to make sure you weren’t injured after being on that asteroid.”
“Great, but could you put flesh on me? That’s disgusting!”
Suddenly a layer of flesh appeared over the hologram, leaving me staring at myself naked.
“OK! HOW ABOUT SOME CLOTHES?” I yelled, looking away. Quickly, a gray sweatshirt and sweat pants appeared.
“THANK you,” I said. “Jill, you know I have body issues, jeez!”
“Jim, go on.”
“So, let me zoom in on your DNA,” Jim said, as holo-me suddenly got big and was then replaced by a cell of mine with some double helixes floating around in it with some other things that looked like the double helix DNA but were tangled and yet others that were tangled, well, differently.
“Looking at your DNA this closely, you can see that blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah, blah blah.”
OK, obviously, that’s not what Jim said, but you can see right where he lost me, can’t you?
After a lot of re-explaining and oversimplifying, Jim managed to explain that my DNA had been changed at some point, probably recently.
“We think it was done by what ever Wise put on your hand.”
“The triangle in the circle?”
“Yes—and that… can you draw that for us?” Jill asked.
“Do you have a pen and paper?” I asked. Jill nodded to Jim who immediately spoke. “Just use your finger.”
Clearly I looked confused because Jill started explaining. “Draw with your finger in the space in front of your face.”
“Mo-cap finger painting, cool!” Kate said, entering from the stairs wearing a similar jumpsuit to mine. I held my index finger up and drew a circle with glowing yellow holo-ink and then drew a triangle inside of the circle.
“It looked like that but it was dark brown. Like melanin, almost.”
Suddenly the color switched from yellow to dark brown.
Jill stared at it for a long time.
I waited another few moments and was about to say her name when Jill spoke.
“Yeah, that thing probably changed your DNA, but at some point we need to get a sample of your DNA previous to all this stuff.”
“So, what does this mean?” I asked.
“You’re different. We don’t know how but this DNA does not match mine in the way it should,” Jill said.