Like precious gems in a jewelry case display, row after row of Petri dishes
pass with the press of a button, each row representing a set of biotic samples
with variations in color, texture, moisture, resiliency, and numerous
other features less conspicuous but equally definitive. Cultured from embryonic
stem cells these lines of living tissue are infinitely replicable. Derived from
totipotent blastomeres—derived, in turn, from donor eggs—each group owes its
origin to a 'baby-in-waiting' never to be born. It is this 'potential' viability
that has stirred a wasp’s nest of controversy. When are humans human, not
mere clusters of cells, and why are they ,are we, off limits when conducting certain
experiments? Stuyvesant Fink, quite frankly, cares not one jot. What interests him, at
the moment, is neither why nor when but…
"Who, I'd like to know, could be the source for a swatch as superb as this?"
The skin specimen labeled '2NA’ is positively opulent.
Stuyvesant, consigned to routine tasks of brain-numbing repetition, recording
sequence upon sequence of “a” “c” “g” “t” and countless permutations, is impatient to strike out on his own, and has, in fact, engaged in
some renegade experiments—none endorsed by the University, all indeed
abhorrent to the culture at large.
"Beautiful! Flawless! On a scale of 1 to 10, this is a 12! Flesh
like—hers, I presume (?)—is worthy of a patent. Would that all
integuments could glow with such luminosity!"
Shedding his right latex glove, Stuyvesant ventures a touch—index finger
jerking away on contact with the uncanny cross section, its feel so uncannily alive its surface
threatens to blush at his naked indiscretion, goose bumps raised in truth from
his digit's inquisitive reintroduction, stroking now massaging now irresistibly fondling
the prepossessing flesh, pondering where on the anatomy (were it to
have one) the sample might reside.
This, in turn, serving to underscore the problem faced by engineering grafts;
namely how assign
a specific stem cell to a specific area on the body’s multi-functional envelope? Furthermore, how
to match it with a given recipient’s sex, age, race, and size? Questions still
unanswered. About which Stuyvesant Fink, restating his attitude, cares not one jot;
his agenda and that of the university's
already have diverged.
With one hand placed on the specimen, the other hand
rifling through a file, Stuyvesant garners details, comparing errant guesses
against pre-recorded facts:
she is a nineteen-year-old sophomore),
her boyfriend during foreplay, pre-ejaculate ushered further
in by his subsequently-sheathed member, penetration causing her to claw
rouge-red tattoos on his piston-pumping bum
she donated eggs after answering an ad in our student body newspaper)
greed, no doubt, or to fund her burgeoning drug habit
(a hike in
school tuition was her stated reason for needing financial aid)
afterwards panicking, her production labeled "meager"
drug administered, to the contrary, induced a record yield)
consent form kept
a secret from her traditional Chinese parents
reluctant to be
photographed in the buff, she tried to hide her face
(nope; here she
is, face front, eyes on the birdie—amazingly pure complexion)
5 foot 6, slim
of hips, breasts like plump persimmons, and scarcely any body hair
(5 foot 5)
That's a ponytail)
lips full—arranged as by a pout
(or a pucker)
and tip to toe
ensconced in the most exotic, erotic epidermis
the donor's most dazzling trait).
Caught, or nearly caught, by an interloping lab technician, Stuyvesant breaks both
augury and contact, releasing the laminated info-card with withdrawing his
unprotected hand, leaving the dish and its pulchritudinous sample for later 'requisition.'