Thank you to all the Loyal Minions who read and in some cases reviewed! The end of the Nature Versus Nurture series is at your fingertips. Happy reading!
"Give order that these bodies
High on a stage be placed to the view,
And yet let me speak to the yet unknowing world
How these things came about. So shall you hear
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts,
Of accidental judgments, casual slaughters,
Of deaths put on by cunning and forced cause,
And in this upshot, purposes mistook
Fallen on the inventors' heads. All this can I
--William Shakespeare, Hamlet
At this point, if I were guided by purely literary considerations, this story would have ended here, but I am bound by promises I've made to remove the mask now and tell my readers that this is not only a story. It is also a warning.
Jordan Nicholas—obviously not her real name—hesitated at first on a venue to relate the events of the life and death of her best friend. She knew that there were "elements that control world affairs behind the scenes"—the puppet masters—and that they controlled media as well as government. If she tried to sell the story to a mainstream newspaper or television show, they would laugh her out of town, they who had successfully squashed all mention of the SDSI's secret scientific experiments, including the first successful cloning and genetic engineering of humans. The Weekly World News was at first amenable to publishing the story, as they first broke the story of the SDSI's early experiments, "Jordan" said, but the mainstream reader—one of the "sheeple"—would never believe it, thanks to lifelong brainwashing from the puppet media and politicians.
That is where I come into the story. "Jordan" and I had been exchanging correspondence for quite a few months, both through email and message boards and web groups dealing with both conspiracy theory—"Jordan" had by then reposted her father's blog—and with a certain six-armed supervillain that we were both quite fond of.
I'd like to be modest, but it was I who first saw that our only chance was to publish as fiction what would never be listened to as fact. A systematic non-fictionalized report could still be given, of course, but not only would there be universal skepticism (at best) and disbelief (at worst), but it would certainly also result in a libel action from the scientist whom I gave the fictitious name "Melitta." "Dr. Melitta", I believe, is now the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize in Biology, and she is also, incredibly enough, a role model to millions of feminists and young girls. I also pointed out to "Jordan" that this could reach a wider public very quickly, and certainly reach a great many people sooner than "Melitta." Besides, if it were "fiction," it would never pose a serious threat to the Illuminati, because of course fiction is regarded to be by definition false. Still, there would be indications enough in the narrative for the very few readers who wished to look further into the matter.
I have changed virtually all the names of the persons involved, both for turning fact into fiction and for their privacy as well. The exceptions to the rule are Peter Parker, who at the time of publishing has publicly revealed his superhero identity, as well as Dr. Otto Octavius, Norman Osborn and other characters generally recognizable to the readers of Marvel Comics, old hands at fictionalizing too-strange-to-be-true-but-still-are events.
"Octavia" is also not the real name of "Jordan's" friend and the heroine of the story. Her adopted parents, whom I gave the most generic names to, gave her another name. I simply thought, for purely literary concerns, the name was supremely appropriate for the female clone of Octavius. The names of "Jordan's" friends, close family, and acquaintances, such as "Daisy" and "Brittany", have also been altered, though "Morgan", believe it or not, really is named after his mother's favorite actor, who is in real life frequently mentioned in the celebrity tabloids. Although only Otto has my heart, I can still observe in the glossy magazine photos why "Melissa" loves him.
The substance of the story and all of the major events are true, as I promised "Jordan". However, she has been a bit displeased with the final product, although I explained that I had to have a certain amount of embellishment, just for literary considerations, to make a more thrilling and readable story. She understands and is glad that the series is quite popular.
I happen to be very well-read, and I have always brought my knowledge of literature, science, and psychology to my work. However, "Jordan" knew that in a few previous stories I wrote, I brought up the issue of the "nature versus nurture" dilemma in regards to super villainy. In those four stories, which my readers are already quite familiar with, I set up two contrasting portraits of the children of two supervillains, one raised by his mother without the influence of his villainous father and later became a superhero, and one raised by her villainous grandfather and followed in his footsteps. Jordan gave those stories a favorable review and suggested I continue with that angle.
At this point I must reiterate that this story is a warning. I can no longer remain silent—and as "Jordan" has said, "Who do they think they are, that they may silence me, silence my father, silence my best friend?" I fear that the type of genetic engineering described in these three stories is quickly leading humanity down a slippery slope with only impaling slivers at the bottom. The very fabric of human nature is at stake because of psychopaths that meddle with creativity in ways it should never be meddled with. The last time eugenic action was attempted on such a scale it lead to a holocaust—the Holocaust—and today's Josef Mengeles have 21st century technology and knowledge of genetics on their side. Still continuing with the metaphor, what we need is today's Hannah Arendt, and "Jordan" serves the role admirably. I think "Anthony", looking down from Heaven, is very proud of his daughter, who has gladly tracked down various memos, newspaper clippings, and transcripts for me to include in the story at great personal risk. Her family is, sadly, still in some danger and probably closely monitored. I wish them only the best and hope the worst is behind them—and, as Hamlet said, "The rest is silence."
Finis (No, really.)