Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

“Breeding for luck?”

“Breeding for luck.”

“Why does that sound familiar?”

“A famous 20th century science fiction writer once hypothesized…”

“Okay, okay I remember now. I read the whole series,” waving his hand in the air, “Plus most of his other stuff, brilliant fellow indeed.” Then the elderly prime minister’s face became serious again, “But you’ve done it for real?”

His science advisor looked like a schoolboy bursting with a nasty secret, “Better yet if I show you, come this way sir.”

As they ambled down the long corridor the younger man briefed him. “Sir our families go back together well over a century, in fact,” he held up a knowing index finger like an exclamation point, “my great grandfather started this experiment with your own great uncle, the thirtieth minister, Hector.”

The prime minister’s face showed genuine surprise. “Really, that far back?”

“It takes time to breed through generations sir. Of course they started with the best. The first couples were all multiple lottery winners, many of them also recipients of large family inheritances. But we didn’t stop there.”

“Oh?” Now the older man was entirely transfixed.

“No sir, not at all. We had survivors of multiple accidents. There was one fellow who lived through three plane crashes, and a woman who plunged from 40,000 feet without a parachute only to land in a thick patch of forest without a single broken bone.”

“Amazing!” interjected the prime minister.

“Indeed,” answered the scientist. “And we kept at it, over and over, testing subjects in a variety of ways. One of the earlier descendants is said to have played over 500 hands of blackjack against a professional Vegas dealer without a single loss.”

“Oh you tale spinner Norbert, don’t keep me in suspense, where does that leave us now?”

They reached a large set of double doors. “Come see for yourself sir.” He pushed through and they entered a laboratory buzzing with activity. “Ah good, we are about to witness a live test run. Our timing couldn’t be more perfect.”

The lab-coated workers parted as their boss and their national leader walked toward the large bay window overlooking the testing room. Together the men stood and watched as the scene unfolded.

Inside the chamber a door opened and a young man entered wearing a blindfold. Norbert pushed an intercom button and said, “Go ahead Mr. Reid, like we practiced, make your way through the room at your own leisure, and remember, it’s all virtual, you can’t be hurt.” Then releasing the button, “He’s our best sir, you’re bound to like this.”

Then the two watched as the blindfolded man proceeded forward and a spiked club sprung down from the ceiling missing him by inches. He continued and stumbled forward as a volley of sharp darts flew by just above his head. And it continued, a swooshing razor sharp axe, an onslaught of arrows, a pit full of buzzing saw blades, he stumbled on almost comically, avoiding all of it without a scratch. And then for the grandest of finales as he neared the far side of the room, he suddenly hopped to the left, narrowly missing the crushing weight of a grand piano dropped from a hidden trap door.

The prime minister applauded, “Marvelous, simply marvelous!” Then he turned, a questioning look on his face. “But I must know, how was that virtual, everything looked entirely real.”

“Oh it was,” the scientist patted him on the shoulder and smiled. “It all has to be real, otherwise we wouldn’t really be testing his luck now, would we?”


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