Chapter Two


Adrian's Gene Editor Video

It's time for our second class.

Adrian comes in and announces, "Who wants to see the latest Gene Editors promo video. It stars... me!"

We all laugh and clap and say, "Sure."

Adrian pops us the URL and we sit back.

Adrian is sitting in an office looking well-groomed and executive-like. He is smooth and comfortable when he says,

"Welcome to Gene Editors. I'm Adrian Messenger, CEO, and I'd like to tell you about our latest product.

"At Gene Editors we are developing the tools that advance the genetics revolution. We don't make the breakthroughs, we provide the tools that let others make breakthroughs. We allow thousands of genetics geniuses express themselves quicker, faster and cheaper. If we were in the old West at the Gold Rush, we would be providing shovels to the prospectors.

"What I will tell you about today is our latest shovel." Adrian pulls a real shovel from behind his desk, "Whoops, not this kind!" he grins. The view changes to a swirl of graphics mixed with shots of engineers in a lab slaving over a hot monitors while Adrian says, "The new tool suite offered by Gene Editors is transforming genetic engineering into word processing.

"Genes tell a story by producing proteins and folding them up into useful patterns. With Gene Editor tools a genetic engineer can access the basic grammar of DNA and understand the first level implications of his or her changes. Gene Editor tools will point out what other protein synthesis is directly affected by changes the editor is making.

"This ability will speed up the development of useful enzymes in bacterial synthesis, make the development of antibiotics a process that takes hours, not weeks and widen the scope of biomaterials manufacturing.

"And we provide an open source library so editors can build on the work of other editors."

The scene switches to a wholesome family scene with kids playing in the park, "Our lives, all our lives, are going to become a whole lot better thanks to Gene Editor products."

The video finishes and we applaud again.

"Congratulations," says Ben, "So, are sales going well?"

"This is something we won't release for another six weeks, but sales of our existing products are doing well. We've been able to report better-than-projected results to our investors."

"Very impressive for a startup," comments Ben.

"Thanks, Ben. Yeah, this phase of Gene Editors has been quite gratifying. Frankly, we are getting good results sooner than I expected. People are getting the idea really quickly."

"Your equating gene editing and word processing makes it sound like something even I can master." I laugh.

"Well... should we see what we can get you creating?" he grins back.

"We should... but not right now. Now is time for class. Let's all take a look at our next lesson."


Dahlia Lesson

Lesson One -- Baby Making Overview

Two hundred years ago there was only one way to make a baby. The only variation possible was on who to make a baby with. A hundred years ago medical technology had advanced enough that the first primitive variations from the traditional method became possible. Today we have dozens of ways to make babies, and the popular ones each have their strengths and weaknesses.

The variations center around five things:

o Who produces the sperm and who produces the egg

o Who modifies the DNA and other heredity carriers in the sperm and the egg

o Where is the zygote developed into a fetus

o Where is the fetus developed into a ready-to-be-born child

o What environment is this person-to-be adapted for?

After the child is born, then a whole new collection of choices present themselves -- those centering on how to raise a child from newborn to grade school age. Then there are the set of choices on how to handle grade schoolers, and so on.

What this series of lessons will talk about is how to acquire a baby -- how all of the above mix with current commercial, government and legal reality to produce your current baby acquiring choices.



Oh give me one last kiss

The night for the last kiss date comes. Andy picks me up at work. That's fine because I'm not going to have to dress special for this. The furnishings at the Shangri-La Love Motel will take care of that. Our first stop is for pizza. It's fast, simple and we both like it that way. Being fast, it leaves us all the more time to enjoy the motel.

We don't waste time. We head there next. It's costing us a bundle, so even though it's still dinner time, we check in and head up to start our festivities.

The Shangri-La is equipped with state-of-the-art pleasure avatars. The furnishings can both sim and simulate -- sometimes we are in virtual space powering bits, sometimes we are in real space powering physical sims, avatars.

Some people like to get drunk or high before taking their pleasure, but Andy and I like our pleasure straight. It's part of why we get along so well. We suit up and get started.

The first stop is a simulation. We head for a 1940's-era nightclub ballroom with a big band and do some social dancing. Andy and I both took dancing lessons as we grew up, so we can do the basic moves, and we're not too clumsy. But in v-space like this, we can do even more. We can get pretty good! With the sim helping us with coordination feedback, we work up to some Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers stuff, and the band starts playing just for us. After a finale dance, we bow to all, head off stage, and move on to...

A ballet performance. We're in a dancing mood, so we up the ante a bit. Neither of us do ballet in real life, so we just do a couple of basic routines out of Nutcracker Suite, and accept the sim coordination and the sim audience applause. And this time move on to something completely different...

Andy has had fun, and he's been patient, but now he wants to get out of this "chick stuff" so next we move into one of his favorites. He's going to drive me up Butterfield Canyon in Utah. We will be powering real world sims in this adventure. The road winds up a canyon in the Rocky Mountains, and leads to a high mountain pass that overlooks a huge open pit mine with the whole of Salt Lake City sprawling behind it. The view is something, and the drive is exciting, too.

We pop out in a 4x4 pickup that's in the parking lot. Andy is in the driver's seat. He's being real Western Country on this sim. I indulge by wearing a peasant blouse, jeans, cowboy boots and a long blond braid. I'm next to him, and I cuddle up with him. Before he starts the engine he puts his arm around my shoulder for a moment, then slides it down under my peasant blouse and back up to my breast. I don't have a bra on. He smiles at me and kisses me. I kiss him back. Before we half think about it, it's liplock time! Oh yeah!

When we come up for air, he starts the engine. I tell him, "Keep your hands on the wheel now, cowboy." I say it in a teasy way, but in truth, he really has to!

On the way up, I split my time between watching scenery, getting warmed up by Andy's touching, and rubbing his leg in a really nice way. He would do the same, but he's set this situation so the sim is actually doing the driving, and he's actually controlling the sim.

Doing the driving! Pfft! It's macho bullshit, and sure enough, we pay! There's a snowbank across the road partway up. We are following a big flatbed truck, and it grinds its way through it leaving foot-deep ruts. We follow and get stuck! Fortunately, Andy has the presence to honk the horn, and the truck stops to help us.

These are locals, and while I get behind the wheel, their and Andy's strong backs push us back out downhill. Whew!

Then the chief local comes over and takes a quick glance at our instrument panel. He points while he says, "You may want to take your snowbanks in four wheel drive, son."

Then "Where 'ya from, anyway?" in a neighborly way. I'm relieved, this could have gone a lot worse. We could have been marooned up here for an hour while someone brought up a tow truck, and these locals could have made serious mockery of us in our sim sets.

"New York City." explains Andy, "But my grandfather lived out here, in Herriman. That's how I found out about this place."

The local agrees. He looks at the two of us and says, "You'll get a fine view up there. I proposed to my wife up there... That's been a while now." he laughs, "Have a good time." He may be reading us wrong, but not that wrong. We smile at each other, and thank him again.

Andy engages the four wheel drive, and as the locals watch, we grind through the snowbank as smoothly as the big truck did. Everyone cheers and we all get back underway again.

We follow them only a few more minutes, then they take a different fork and head down Middle Canyon, according to the sign. They wave and we wave and off we go headed for the overlook.

By the time we get to the overlook, we are both feeling real warm and fuzzy again. He parks. It's close to sunset. The view is stunning. I get out and walk around to take one last look at the scenery, while I wait to get "jumped" by Andy. I don't have to wait long.

He comes up behind me and rubs my arms and breasts a bit, then, with a fast move, he pins my arms behind me with one hand, and puts his other hand over my face.

I am in his control, I arch my back a bit and look up. He kisses my neck, then moves his hand from my face to the back of my head, and controls my head with my braid. I'm loving it. I respond to his every push and tug.

He leads me back to the truck. The tailgate is down, and there is a mattress in the back to cover the pickup bed. He flops me face first on the mattress. My feet are on the ground, my tummy and face are on the mattress. He lets go of my arms, but I hold them behind me. I know what comes next.

From somewhere Andy pulls out a rope and holds it over my back so that some of the loops drag over my arms and back. He does this for about thirty seconds, and it is such a turn-on! Then I feel the coils of rope start looping around my elbows and wrists. I'm a cowgirl and I'm being tied up!

We've done this a few times now, so he ties me well. I'm helpless. I'm his! And I'm really, really happy about being this way. This is one of the things I really like about Andy. I'll miss it...


The moon rises over the mountains across the valley as we rest peacefully on the mattress. Andy gets up to stretch his legs, and wanders over to the overlook and starts watching the mining machinery at work. We are so far away that you have to listen hard to hear the machinery, but it's all so big! You have no trouble seeing it! When it's clear he's happy there, I get up, join him and slip under his arm.

"We should come back some time, and operate those machines. That would be a blast." He says that just as someone below sets off a dynamite charge and part of a cliff side tumbles down. We both giggle at that.

"Weren't you just complaining about doing chick stuff?" I rub his chest and give him a quick kiss. He laughs and smiles back, "OK. That'll be a boy's night out."

For our finale episode we go real traditional. We go to Pandora. Yeah, the setting is inspired by that hundred-year-old movie: Jungle planet with floating mountains where you fly around. It may be a hundred years old, but it's still hard to beat! We are far from alone on this sim, there are hundreds of others out. But it's a big comfortable place. We fly, cavort, and finally settle down, exhausted, in a fairyland glen. We were planning on more cavorting, but just getting cuddly and sleepy feels sooo good!


... We wake up the next morning back in the Shangri-La room, in the real world.

(Oh, and just so you know, when we left the sims up on the Butterfield Canyon overlook, some creations took control and drove them back. These days, getting there is all the fun, and creations worry about getting stuff back.)


Over breakfast we talk about the breakup. He agrees he's not ready for child raising. He asks if I'm sure I am, and I tell him, "Yes, I'm really sure."

That decided, we spend the rest of breakfast calling people and catching up on news for the day. It's a workday, so we both have lots to do.

That day, I start on my pills, and by week's end my time with Andy will be a still be of many warm, delicious memories, but he will not be someone I still feel hot for. If he takes pills, and I presume he will, the feeling will be mutual.

This is some of the new biotechnology at its nicest. In the old movies, the girl's plea to "lets just be friends" was a silly one, neither could really think that way once the hormones heated up. Nowadays it's quite common, and that chunk of plot building looks as silly as the plot device in even older movies where a man murders his wife because she won't divorce him.

For Andy and me, it's time to get on with life, and pills will help us do that quickly and painlessly.