Author: Carolyn Myers
A well-dressed woman flung the office door open and collapsed onto the sofa across from me. I pretended not to stare at the woman whose body appeared completely artificial. She had cosmetic work done to accentuate what I supposed were her good features. Whoever performed the surgery did a poor job because she looked like an overstuffed model.
“Welcome, Ms. Barkley. You have put in a request for a daughter,” my boss said.
“I want you to make me a superstar daughter!” Ms. Barkley yelled. My boss frowned but maintained her composure.
“Let’s start with the appearance,” my boss said. She nodded at me. I pressed a button that displayed a three-dimensional baby on the screen.
“Blue eyes,” Ms. Barkley snapped.
“Ms. Barkley there is no blue-eyed genes in your DNA,” I said. Her face contorted into the most disgusted expression like it was my fault what was in her DNA.
“Do you think I care? I am paying for the most expensive package,” Ms. Barkley said. I quickly pressed a few more buttons taking the blue-eyed gene from our gene bank.
“Tan skin, tall, thin but not too thin,” Ms. Barkley rattled off traits that she did not possess.
The baby was nearly finished but Ms. Barkley appeared increasingly upset the closer we came to completion.
“Make her a superstar,” Ms. Barkley whined.
“What traits do superstars possess?” I said.
“She has to be famous,” Ms. Barkley said. I sighed and looked into the lifeless eyes of the simulated baby. She gurgled on the screen.
“I can’t do that,” I said.
“You have to help her. Give her best chance of being somebody!” Ms. Barkley begged.
“I’ve been designing babies all week and I hope to God they become somebody. Unfortunately, I can’t make your daughter famous it isn’t a gene.” I said. The woman looked depressed and angry at the same time.
“Fine. Give the child a good memory, make her fearless and…and…give her the ability to be an actress,” Ms. Barkley said. I quickly typed in several commands giving the child a memory was easy but the other traits were harder. I motioned for my boss. She quickly rushed to my side.
“Can you make someone fearless and have the ability to act in movies?” I whispered. Ms. Barkley began to tap her foot on the hardwood floor. My boss shook her head.
“Ms. Barkley we can’t guarantee that your child will be fearless or an actress. We can try to generate those results but there isn’t a specific gene. What may cause one person to become an actress can make another a pathological liar,” my boss said.
“I am willing to take that chance,” Ms. Barkley declared without blinking. My boss typed in a few letters and numbers across the screen.
“Your baby is finished.” My boss said.
“Superstar,” Ms. Barkley demanded. I pressed a few commands aging the baby into a beautiful young woman standing on a movie set. Ms. Barkley smiled.
“Yes, that is a star waiting to be born,” She breathed. I pressed a button that displayed a pie chart across the screen.
“Five percent of her DNA comes from you, Ms. Barkley. The remaining Ninety-five percent comes from strangers in the gene bank,” I said.
“That does not matter to me. She is everything I have ever wanted,” Ms. Barkley said. I clicked the big blue button labeled create. Ms. Barkley had not noticed the fine print on the bottom of the screen. Computer generated imagery may not be anything like real life.