Earlier in her career, getting rid of a curious onlooker, or a critical peer, while in the office of a corporate research facility was always hard for Gail, but now…
The reporter and his crony are back from Vice President Conner’s office. Dr. Dunhill is in the courtyard sulking, predictably uncooperative, or perhaps even more uncooperative than usual. It’s unlikely that she still wants to work here, unlikely that she would take any pleasure in the now obvious fact that her genes are inferior.
Does she enjoy the chores of research enough to remain without any functional executive purpose? Who knows? Once again, the sniveling reporter is beginning to ask questions – by some authority granted to him by whining to the VP no doubt.
Gail sits behind a growing stack of reports, inquiries, and lab results yet to be analyzed, as she glares at the reporter making himself at home in one of the chairs in front of her desk – the cameraman hovers over his shoulder.
Where do these idiots come from she asks herself? This denim/polyester sports jacketed reporter wants to know what it’s like to be the mother of so many children.
‘First of all, I didn’t bear these children,’ she thinks to herself, ‘and second, even if I did explain it, I can’t imagine how this idiot could possibly understand what it’s like if he doesn’t have any children of his own!’
She could point out the fact that the andrones created from her DNA, especially Noah, were testing out way beyond any of Anna’s offspring, and way beyond the original andrones, and way beyond anyone’s expectations, but she could hear the vice president in the back of her thoughts – predictably complaining about the divisiveness created by competitive comparisons – “at least not when you’re speaking to the press Dr. Irvine”.
Gail is beginning to wish that Anna had stopped at the door when she called her – that is before Anna lost her nerve and fled to the courtyard. She could have pawned this annoying microphone toting grease fiber off onto her and been done with it.
No matter what is said, she knows that journalist is going to run whatever slant will make him the most attention. Reminiscent of the story he covered on the two thousand South Korean protesters marching in front of the American embassy – if it weren’t for her Korean friends, she never would have heard about the thirty thousand pro-American demonstrators in front of the Korean capital. You know, at some point these ‘slants’ begin to seem more and more like lies, which is why this microphone toting voyeur has suddenly become so nauseating to her – as he continues looking into her eyes, with that ‘trust me I’m a journalist’ look on his face, which makes her want to puke. He might as well have been saying, ‘trust me I’m a car salesman’.
There was a time when she would have placated him and laughed at his paltry attempts at humor. There was a time when she was compliant to the egos of others – a time when she just wanted to get along, but that was before she realized their inferiority.
Inferiority made all too clear by the superior testing and the striving performances of her andrones. Compared to the other, less impressive, andrones hers were the most ambitious – they were the only ones to put forth enough desire to go further than the testing required.
It disgusts her to think back to the time when she went along with the puerile behavior of the deformed one (Shay) whose DNA must have been affected by some errant transposon. ‘Luckily for us, now we have ways to test and abort the retarded andrones to ensure that we no longer have any little ‘Shays’ running about,’ she thinks to herself.
The next day she had a meeting of even more displeasure than her deceitfully roundabout meeting with Ann – her husband’s serving of the divorce papers. Apparently, he’d had enough. Over the years, Gail had grown more and more attached to her job and not to him. They rarely spoke to each other and he had been living in an apartment for the last six months.
“Good,” although there’s plenty more that Gail wants to say. “It’s final.” She pities him, his nappy dog, his timid shuffle, his matted hair, and she doubts that he’ll ever really fall in love again.
She, on the other hand, has already fallen in love with an associate researcher. Unlike her now divorced husband – they are still relatively young and have everything to look forward to – the giggling, the probing, and those awkward moments of indecision.
“Feeling’s mutual,” Ted says. As expected, his hands begin to quiver. The churning in his stomach had reached a peak, which had started thirty minutes ago, with the anticipation of serving Gail the divorce papers.