Max took a breath
Look this may all be connected to that AI paranoia of yours its why I came here in person. I analyzed the blood you took this morning as soon as your AI sent over the results.”
Max paused for a sip of beer, and Jay had the distinct impression he was not going to like what Max was about to say.
“Something caught my eye,” Max said, “And I was pretty sure that the DNA mod I had sequenced, the one you’d injected last night would have had some effect on you, so I ran a background check on your base DNA against the International Database. And for fun I threw in that random sequence of numbers you told me about, the one from your dream.”
Jay’s heart started racing. “And?”
“That string of numbers is DNA sequence,” Max said. “Unbelievably it seems now to be a critical missing part of base genome code. I just had a hunch it looked like a gene code string so I checked. I am still considering it all but I think this has been deliberately and consistently omitted from your DNA code profiles when we pull them down from central.”
Jay took three gulps of beer, one after another. It blunted the shock, enough for him to speak?
“That would explain a lot.”
Max gave him a long look. “We have to be really careful how we play this.”
Jay wondered if Max was joking. “Are you fucking kidding me?”
“I wouldn’t kid you,” Max said. He leaned in and lowered his voice, even though they were under the sound damper. “What I mean is, whatever I’m looking at is impossible. They documented the last human DNA deficiency ten years ago. This is new, in your core DNA and no one has reported it, it does not fucking make sense. Because if it is true, you’re either a national security threat and fall under articles where information can be withheld or were being bullshitted.”
This was what Jay had always been afraid of he covered his face with his hand and fought back the stress.
Max held up a gentle hand. “I know, that’s why I came out to talk to you in person. We need to go run some more tests in a clean room to be sure. I need to build my own version of your base DNA. However, if I’m right, your dream ability is something to do with core human DNA, not like you suspected, something that was accidentally or deliberately put in there when you had your jabs as a kid, nor something the military put in there when you underwent all those tests. This could be a good thing for you physically Jay. What it means for the establishments of government and military if it’s true are wide ranging. This is explosive Jay; we need to tread carefully.”
Jay told him briefly of the pings on the firewalls in his POD.
“Look let me go tell Abby I have to take off,” Jay said. His head still racing, he stumbled over to Abby, who looked amazing in her long black shape-shifting dress, which shimmered as she laughed in conversation with the other women. For an instant, all he could think of was how long he could tolerate being away from her tonight.
“I’m really sorry, darling,” he said, leaning in so that only she would hear him. “I’ve got to go. You can find your way home all right from here, can’t you?”
She looked startled. “What?” she said “No! Come sit with us. Marjorie’s in my advanced chem class. You might learn something.” She indicated the black girl seated across the table, then patted the bench next to her.
He smiled at the women. “Wish I could, I really do. Ladies, a friend of mine has a personal problem and needs my help.” It wasn’t entirely a lie, and he wasn’t about to tell the whole truth to a bunch of strangers.
“Who?” Abby said. Then her eyes widened slightly. She must have seen him speaking with Max. “Oh. Can I help?”
“No, but that’s really kind of you,” he said.
“All right,” Abby said. “I’ll stop by later if I’m not too wasted.”
He gave her a modest peck on the cheek. “Don’t get too drunk in public, you know I worry,” he whispered in her ear.
She patted his butt as he left.
They left via a side door, the dampness of Manchester’s night air hitting hard after the warm bar. His jacket bulked out and grew a hood that he threw over his head. He skulked toward the hopper park assuming Max would put up a stink about walking all the way back to the POD at this hour.
“No, not that way,” Max said. “I want to do this in a clean room, not your lab.”
“Where then?” Jay asked, feeling irritated.
“The Douglas building. I can get us into the lab, no problem, I know a back-way in. Once we have a clean sample coded, we can zap it over to your or my AI and head back to your place to check the results.”
Jay grunted. The Douglas building was a short walk from here. He pulled the hood tighter around his face and, banishing the last images of Abby from his mind, stomped off after Max