Read Second Class Supers – Page 23
Tuesday night arrived in a blur. Kya sat slouched on the couch in the living room of her apartment with Sam and Mattie, worn down from her day at work. With a few finger foods placed out on trays, and drinks already poured, Kya raced through a rant about work, how her hours had changed, and life with Super Leonard.
“Why don’t you just quit?” Mattea asked. “You are better than the crap you have to deal with from Don and now Leonard too.”
“I wish I could!” Kya laughed. “But, sadly, I need the cash. The job pays well, especially considering it’s a Normal job. Plus, Sam’s a nice guy-”
Sam raised a questioning eyebrow at her which interrupted Kya’s train of thought.
Continuing, she stuttered slightly. “But I don’t think he really wants to carry me financially.”
Sam tipped his glass to her, and gave a half smile. The pint of pale golden beer sloshed around and foamed slightly as he took a small sip and held it firmly on his knee.
“I just have to stick it out there long enough to get Supers.” Kya finished.
“That’s ridiculous.” Sam blurted out.
“Pardon me?” Kya asked. Her eyebrows were high on her forehead and her voice was a touch higher than usual as she reacted to Sam’s outburst.
“Sorry, it’s just Supers.” Sam paused as if he were searching for the right words to use. “Everybody acts like Supers are the be all and the end all. Like they’re the answer to every problem. It’s ridiculous.” He placed his glass onto a cork coaster near the edge of the table and frowned, looking down at his half empty drink.
“Well, they do make things easier.” Kya replied unsure of why Supers were always such a touchy subject for Sam. “I feel like we’ve had this conversation a million times.”
“Okay,” Mattea cut in turning on her motherly voice. “So let’s change it up a bit. Why not focus on current events.”
“Oh, here we go!” Kya said with a grin. “Myles Redwood was released yesterday.”
“Yeah Kya, and we’ve never talked about him before!” Sam said with a friendly laugh.
“I saw a news report where people were giving their opinions on his release and his punishment. It seems that most people think that because his Strength is gone he’s safe to be in the world. It was the Strength that killed that photographer.”
“Newton.” Sam said with his eyes closed. He took a deep breath and his face tightened.
Kya leaned in and wondered what he was going to say next.
After two short seconds, Sam opened his eyes wide, and with a look of determination on his face he spoke solemnly, “Newton Wilson.”
Mattea leaned forward. “Sam, why do you remember his name?”
“It’s important to me.” He replied. “He was a victim of a senseless act that should never have been allowed to happen.”
A breeze passed through the apartment causing Mattie to visibly shiver. Her choice in clothing was more suited for a bright warm day, than an evening in an air conditioned apartment.
Kya smiled as she noticed Sam turn on his phone to adjust the temperature of the apartment up a few degrees.
“It shouldn’t have been allowed, you’re right.” Kya said. “But Myles is only just old enough to get Supers. He got all five of them from different companies”
“Exactly.” Sam said.
“I’m not sure I get it.” Mattea admitted.
“Myles cheated the system.” Kya continued, “he secretly went to five different companies to get the Supers, and then he was overwhelmed by them. There was no way for any of the companies to-”
Sam cut in, stopping Kya from completing her thought. “Each and every company missed the mark with him.” He continued, calmly but clearly. “If any one of them had done a simple Internet search they’d have found that he’d been to other clinics. The system failed him.”
Taking a deep loud breath, Mattie caught Kya’s attention. “I think Myles could have chosen to be responsible, instead of cheating the system that is in place to regulate these things.”
“Supers are dangerous.” Sam said. “How and where can Super Strength not be a dangerous weapon?”
Kya opened her mouth to respond.
“It’s a rhetorical question.” Sam said.
“So,” Mattie began with a small smile on her face, accentuating her round rosy cheeks, “you don’t think that Myles was to blame?”
“Oh, no!” Sam said. “If a person is shot, the person who pulled the trigger on the gun is guilty, not the gun itself.” He opened his hands wide, and Kya noted his tone and gestures had become more professorial in nature. “But if the gun was never in the wrong person’s hands…”
“No one would have been shot.” Mattie said finishing his thought with a nod.
Kya stood, as she took the last sip of her drink and contemplated Sam’s words. “Can I get either of you a refill?”
“More water would be wonderful!” Mattea said with a good natured smile. “Thanks.”
Sam shook his head ‘no’ then turned his attention to Mattea. “No wine? I think we have a Zinfandel, you like that stuff, right?”
Grabbing Mattie’s cup, Kya went into the kitchen and began to pour the drinks, but thankfully she could still see and hear her friends.
“I do,” Mattie nodded, “But Rory and I are trying to have a baby.”
“Oh, that’s cool.” Sam said. “A test-tube baby?”
“Sam!” Kya scolded from the kitchen, her head swivelled and her eyes locked on Sam. Distracted, Kya continued to pour the water and as it streamed onto the floor over the sides of the glass, she mentally chided herself.
With a calming smile, Mattea responded. “IVF, yes.”
Kya came back into the room with a glass of Zinfandel filled nearly to the brim and a still overflowing glass of water. Passing the water to her friend, she took her seat back on the couch, a full cushion away from Sam.
“Hey, Mattie,” Sam said leaning his elbows on his knees. “Do you mind if I ask about, like, genetics?”
“You mean, genetic modifications to the embryos?” Mattie clarified.
“It’s kind of creepy, don’t you think? Some of the things you can modify, like personality traits. Why not just let your kids decide if they like music or sports or books or math? It’s weird to choose that stuff for them, isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” Mattie shrugged, “It doesn’t guarantee they’ll like those things, but it does kind of lead them in those directions. We didn’t do that. We agreed we wanted our kids to gravitate to whatever is natural for them”
“The idea of picking what they look like is interesting.” Kya said, taking a sip of her drink.
“I think I’d rather see a natural mish-mash of me and my lover in my kids.” Sam said.
“You have a lover?” Kya said with a grin and a wink.
Sam threw a small pillow at her in a knowingly playful way, and they both laughed.
“Rory and I thought the same thing as you, Sam.” Mattie said, ignoring the exchange between Sam and Kya. “In fact, the only gene manipulation we did was to filter out diseases.”
“See, that part is cool.” Sam said. “Did you filter out the fertility problem?”
“No.” Mattea said. “They don’t know enough about what is causing it to be able to filter it out.”
Sam’s brow furrowed, and he picked up his tablet for a moment. “That is so weird to me.” He tapped on the tablet, read for a moment, and then spoke again. “In the most recent study I can find, it says at least sixty percent of the human population is unable to reproduce, but that they are close to finding a solution to the problem.”
Both girls stared at him and waited for him to continue.
“Well, isn’t it weird that we can give people the ability to fly; we can make them invisible; we can engineer a child to be a tall, blond, astrophysicist, surfer, who is immune to most diseases, but we can’t figure out how to fix whatever has taken away our ability to replicate naturally?” He polished off his drink. “That’s just backwards to me.”
Kya and Mattie both shrugged. Unsure of what to say, Kya popped several small squares of swiss cheese into her mouth.