Waking Gods Page 39

—Could you not target specific markers from…normal DNA, which I believe is passed on from both mother and father?

—It’s called autosomal DNA. Like you said, you get more or less half of it from your mother, half from your f…father. You have two copies of each gene, but you only pass on half of your genes to your ch…children, and you don’t get to pick which ones. It’s called recombination. Autosomal DNA recombines every generation. That means how much DNA is shared with a specific ancestor gets cut in half every time. The parts that are shared also get shorter and shorter. Over time, there will be almost no…nothing left that is shared by all the descendants of a specific person, certainly not as much as what these p…people have in common.

Take whatever mutation the survivors had, both of their parents must have had it, but probably not in both c…copies of the gene. The parents would have died in London. The little Russian girl saw her father die. The same is true for their children. A lot of the survivors had children and they all died, except for one. Their children didn’t have all the same genetic tr…traits since they got half of their DNA from the other parent. Genetics gets really mixed up over long p…periods of time. If they were trying to save people from a single family, the gas would have wiped out most of their lineage, except for a com…pletely random few.

—Then, could you ensure that only descendants of these specific individuals survived, even if most of them were killed?

—Maybe. A very small and very random fraction of them.

—Is there anything…out of the ordinary about the genetics of the survivor?

—Have you been listening to wh…to what I said? Yes, having so many genetic variations in common is d…definitely out of the ordinary. I thought I had made that clear.

—You had. I meant taken individually. If you do not consider their shared genetics, or even the number of genetic mutations they possess, is there anything you would not expect to find in an average human being?

—I’m not sure I understand what you mean.

—I want to know if you can confirm with absolute certainty that they are entirely human.

—Human? I…I do not…Some of their gene mmm…mutations are rare, but they are just that: rare. There is nothing really unique about their genetics other than the f…fact that they share a lot of it. I have never examined alien DNA so I have nothing to compare it with.

—I will give you access to the remains of the two alien pilots who died a year ago during the first attack. Can you compare their genetic makeup to that of the survivors?

—Do they even have DNA?

—Not exactly. I do not pretend to fully understand the distinction or its implications but, if I remember correctly, the sugar in their nucleic acids is…arabinose—

—That can’t be right.

—Dr. Franklin was also excited.

—She sh…should be. That is…extraordinary. Is there anything else?

—You can read it for yourself, see for yourself. I will provide you with the report from the geneticist who first examined them. How soon can you tell me whether their genetic structure matches that of the survivors in any way?

—I’m not sure that I can. You’re really talking about apples and oranges, but I will cer…certainly try. Thank you!

—Do not thank me as if I have in some way done you a favor. You are probably the one person on this Earth I am the least inclined to please, and if anyone had told me a year ago that I would grant you access to everything you dreamed of, I would have told them….Well, I suppose this is as close as we will ever get to hell freezing over.



FILE NO. 1571


World of Warcraft—Aegwynn Realm

[Eva002]: Essie! I can go!


[SkyJumper]: Hi Eva! Go where?


[Eva002]: To your place. I can go! I can sleep over.


[SkyJumper]: Ur mom?


[Eva002]: She said yes.


[SkyJumper]: ??


[Eva002]: I can do what I want.


[SkyJumper]: How come?


[Eva002]: Mom believes me now. It happened just like I told her.


[SkyJumper]: What happened?


[Eva002]: Those people in London. I saw it.


[SkyJumper]: That’s messed up.


[Eva002]: She thinks I’m talking to God.


[SkyJumper]: RU?


[Eva002]: NO! Can I come?


[SkyJumper]: Dunno. Everyone’s scared. M&D stopped going to work. Can’t go out when it’s dark.


[Eva002]: Same here. Soldiers everywhere. But PLEASE! I’ll bring you those rocks I found.


[SkyJumper]: I’ll ask. Eva, those people are dead. U not afraid?


[Eva002]: I am. I was scared before everyone was. But I wanna see you.


[SkyJumper]: When?


[Eva002]: I don’t care. We can make jewelry. I have new charms. Lots.


[SkyJumper]: I’ll ask.


[Eva002]: I need to get out of here. Please say yes!


[SkyJumper]: OK. Stop! I said I’ll ask! Wanna play this or not?


[Eva002]: OK, but we should switch servers. Paladins everywhere.


[SkyJumper]: Pallies suck. Later though. Told Miguel we’d duel here.


[Eva002]: Be back in a sec.


[SkyJumper]: WHAT? NO! Raid is starting!


[Eva002]: Lots of noise downstairs. I hear Mom screaming.


[SkyJumper]: ??


[SkyJumper]: ??


[SkyJumper]: ??


[SkyJumper]: ??


[SkyJumper]: ??



—End intercept—



FILE NO. 1574


Location: Fort Bragg, NC

—Is the Delta team in position?

—They arrived in San Juan a few hours ago. They’re set and ready to go. We were waiting for you.

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