Where strange fact and stranger fiction collide
I love the works of H.P. Lovecraft, but I will not defend his racism. Lovecraft’s racism is almost funny. Not funny in a ‘ha-ha’ kind of way, but funny in “gee isn’t it pathetic that at one time most Americans thought like this” this kind way.
Though his feelings about races appear in many stories, in two stories the concept that a white male from a good family had within him, the blood of an eldritch horror, is the central theme, The Shadow Over Innsmouth and The Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and his Family. Like I said I deplore his racism, but the idea that a person is at least partially something nonhuman is not completely off the table, for me for a horror story.
Deep inside us there is this this fear that we are not like all the other 7 billion people on the planet. That is both self-aggrandizing and scary.
The idea that we can find out all about our past from a single drop of blood is both awesome and terrifying. Until they share the secrets unlocked in out DNA a scientist or more likely a lab tech, (as DCotu dear friend Obie Wan said “From a certain point of view.”) knows more about us than we know ourselves.
Since most of us don’t have the knowledge to run the tests ourselves, we need to completely trust those who preform them for us. What if the lab doesn’t have our best interests, or at least has alternative motives?
Finally I love it when a bigot gets a result that he is at least partially the race that he has looked down. It kind of makes me believe In karma.
The DNA Test
By David Heath
Roy Jones tossed the handful of junk mail on to his kitchen table. Among the ads for stores he would never visit, cars he would never own, and food that never looked like the photos of them when you went to the restaurant, was the one piece of mail that he had been waiting over two weeks for. The results on his DNA test, from Gen-E-Flex. He had taken the DNA test because several people at work had already done it and the idea of seeing where his ancestors came from intrigued him. He had chosen this particular company because it had the best, quality of website compared to cost for the test ratio.
For a mere eighty bucks and a saliva swab, Gen-E-Flex promised to send back a detailed report of where his ancestors came from. Roy’s initial interest was because some of his work buddies had got it done and they could not stop talking about it, during the two week wait for his results, he had become extremely curious about what the test would reveal.
He ripped off the top off the oversized envelope and pulled out the single sheet of paper. He skipped past the intro paragraph and read the results. Irish….22%, Scandinavian….19%. Well that was constant with what his mom’s mother had said about her line being Dutch-Irish. Welsh…18% that would be Jones side of the family.
English…10%. Damned right of the first night, as Grampa Jonesy used to say.
Caucasus Mountain Area…8%. Roy wasn’t sure that he knew for sure where the Caucasus Mountain Area was, but in a way it made sense, didn’t scientists once believe that all white people originated from the Caucasus?
The next two lines read Sub-Saharan Africa…6%, and Native American (Cherokee)…4%. Well wasn’t that interesting, Roy thought. At least he had something a little cool to share with the gang at work.
Then he glanced at the bottom line, in
red it said, Nonhuman…13%, Roy blinked and shook his head, what the hell did that mean? Was this some kind of Joke? Were these not the real results? Had Jerry in IT somehow “hacked the system”, and sent him fake results?
He reread the sheet of paper again. There was something at the bottom that gave 800 number to call if you had questions about the results. Jones pulled out his cell phone and called the number.
He had heard of rare cases of people getting back a DNA test with a result that included some Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal DNA, was that what it was saying? If that was true, how could he have such a high percentages of these evolutionary dead ends in this day and age?
He felt like he had been on hold for ever. A check on the clock on the wall, indicated it had been twenty-three minutes, since he had dialed the eight-hundred number. The electronic voice on the other line, listed off a dozen languages and asked him to select the language that he wanted to speak with the operator in. Since Gen-E-Flex was an international company based somewhere in Europe that was to be expected. What did seem odd to Jones was that after that the hold music wasn’t a generic auto tune songs but a series of Gregorian chants.
Finally a deep baritone voice. with what Roy assumed was an Italian accent came on the line. “Mr., Jones, my name is Bonito…”
Roy was taken back by this, how did the guy on the other side of the line know what his name was? Then it dawned on him, they must have caller ID, surely he put his phone number somewhere on his application form. “Listen, there is something weird with my test results, I need to speak with a supervisor.”
“I assure you I am the person that is handling your case.” There was a long drawn out delay like the man calling himself Bonito was deliberating on what he said, but when he did say it he said it with an authority that convinced, Roy that this was not going to go any higher up the chain of command.
Roy regained his composure and said. “There is an error with my test results, it says that I am thirteen percent nonhuman.”
There was an audible sigh on the other end of the phone, then again a pause. “It is not uncommon for there to be confusion and concern when those particular results are revealed.”
“What happened, is your test so cheap it couldn’t identify thirteen percent of my DNA? And you are trying to cover it up!” Roy yelled into the phone, unsure why the man’s tone bothered him so.
“I guarantee we use the most advanced scientific techniques available at this time.” Bonito reassured him.
“What then? Are you some kind of New Age wackos who believe that human descended form aliens?”
There was an almost instant response of a chuckle from the other man, who a few moments latter replied “No, Roy I don’t believe in aliens.”
“Then what is this all about.” Roy demanded. Normaly he was a calm even keeled kind of guy. He worked with irate customer all the time, and this guy was making him more irate than a decade of angry consumers.
Bonito took one his long signature pauses then replied. “I admit there was a mistake.”
This admission did not quell the anger running through Jones. He yelled. “See, I told you, you screwed up my test!”
After moment later Bonito replied. “The mistake was not in your results. What you received included information that should have remained…In house. The results were not in error, but revealing the results to you was.”
“What do you mean?” Jones yelled at the phone.
Another delay then. “If we had not errored in revealing your true nature to you, things could have been different. If you had not known what you really are, who you were a descendant of, we could have monitored you… From behind the scenes, watched you as you lived your life… and only taken action if you seemed to be about to become a danger to those around you. But because of our blatantly negligent error, you now know what you are, and action must be taken. And for that I am truly remorseful.”
“I don’t understand what you mean!” Jones yelled his face burning red. Anger and hate was consuming him in a way it had never been before.
Finally Bonito responded. “Mr. Jones the problem is, that you do know I am talking about. We have inadvertently awaken something buried deep inside you and we have no way return you to who you were before you opened that letter. Again I deeply regret what our error has done to you.
Bonito was right, something inside him was changing. Roy Jones was always, a different kind of fellow, even as a kid. Awkward, and unable to quite fit in with others. That was why he had taken the DNA test in the first place, so he could show the others at work he was just like them a regular guy. But now he knew that wasn’t true. He was now painfully aware that his entire life, until a few moments ago had been a lie.
He wasn’t human, he was something more powerful and more evolved than puny mankind. He realized that he was the descendant of a fallen angel. All his life he hadn’t fit in, because he wasn’t meant to fit in. He would now take all that had been deprived of him. He would make them pay, not just the ones who wronged him, but all of mankind.
“I am so sorry.” Bonito said as the line went dead. Roy then heard the front door explode inward. The man he was taking too wasn’t just choosing his words carefully he was stalling, buying time for the hunters to arrive.
The men wore black and gray tactical armor and carried assault rifles. Roy felt this obscene hatred for them not because they had come to his home to kill him, but because they were humans, who had no right to be breath the same air of one who should be there god. His face was now not bright pink from anger but the color of blood. Horns sprouted from his forehead. His fingernails became talon’s of iron, as bat like wings burst through his work shirt. He charged the men and they began to start firing.