Authors Note: So this was written for a class assignment but it was and idea I had been working on before that.
Disclaimer: I do not own Gattaca only Dr. Lamar's children.
Dr. Steven Lamar wearily opened the door to his three bedroom apartment. He trudged in and was instantly swamped by his perpetually jubilant children. Thomas, his eldest is an invalid, although he appeared as fit and able as the best of the valids. No one would guess his genetic shortcomings just by looking at him. The problem with their culture was that nobody looked anymore. Steven turned to his daughter, Eleanor, tall, slim, beautiful, valid. She would be able to go anywhere in life as her genes were only a notch below those of Jerome Morrow.
Jerome Morrow, a man of mystery. Steven had looked at his genes for three years now yet never met the actual man, only his stand in, who was an invalid. The man that had given his son hope again. Hope to be able to reach the stars and go beyond them. Hope to be seen as something other than an "invalid". Each night as he had arrived home, his children, Thom mostly, had besieged him for any new stories about Jerome, an invalid who was valid. Eleanor rejoiced in the stories as much as Thomas did because it gave her brother something to aim for. Nightly he would regale them with stories of Jerome's actions. Stories only for them. Secret. Just like Jerome's true identity.
Most families inevitably ended up favouring a valid child over an invalid one. They had better grades, better sporting results and better futures ahead of them. Steven had grown up with parent's from abroad, they had brought him up to see all as equal and to ignore the divide that many put between valids and invalids. He hadfought for years to make sure that Eleanor and Thomas were treated the same at home- obviously his son would always be treated differently outside his home.
"He has gone! Thom, Ela Jerome made it. He left for Titan today." Steven's children danced around the house in glee. Jerome had reached his goal, now there was a true chance that Thomas could make it too.
"Father, Eleanor, I am going to start my application tomorrow. I am going to be an engineer for Gattaca." Thomas announced to his family.
"Thom do you really think that's such a good idea just now?" Eleanor asked, "why not wait for him to get back. Then they will find out that he is an invalid and it will be so much easier for you to get in. That will give you more of a chance."
Thomas looked at his sister shocked. She had never questioned him, she had always believed in him.
"You don't think that I can do it?"
"Thom, listen to me. For them nothing has changed. Jerome Morrow when into space today not some invalid pretending to be him." Eleanor tried to reason with her brother.
"No, I will do it tomorrow." With that Thomas returned to his room to prepare for the next day. Succeed or fail, tomorrow would write the rest of his future for him.
The hours slowly ticked past as Thomas waited for the application officer to get to his file. Others were called away. He was reading the information booklet on Gattaca for the fifth time when the officer reappeared and called him into the laboratory. Thomas ran his hands through his hair one last time to get it off his face. The officer looked at the unopened manila folder, held out a cup and instructed him to give him a urine sample.
Slightly self-consciously Thomas urinated into the cup and handed it back to the watching man. Taking a cannula syringe the officer drew some of the sample and ejected it onto a DNA sampler. The machine flashed noiselessly into action taking only second to spit out all the genetic information on Thomas Lamar. Smart, Well liked, Fit, Invalid.
"I'm sorry, your application has been rejected." The officer turned to leave the room through a door that lead further into Gattaca.
"Hey wait. That's all?" Thomas called before the man had succeeded in exiting the room.
"Yes." The officer looked back momentarily and was then gone.
That was it then. His hopes of working for Gattaca, his hopes for becoming an engineer were gone. Invalid, just like him.
Thomas tried to open the apartment door with minimal sound. He knew that his family were waiting to hear about whether he passed or not. He didn't think he could face them. Not today and maybe not even tomorrow. His sister stuck her blonde head out of the living room and seeing her older brother she ran to him.
"Thom! How did it go? Did you get in? Are you going to work for Gattaca now?"
Eleanor attacked her brother with questions.
The only answer she got was a sorry shake of her brother's head before Thomas disappeared into his room.
Two weeks later Thomas had still not spoken about the interview to his family. It was only on the day that Eleanor was going to attend her own set of Gattaca examinations that he approach her.
"Elly, wait." Eleanor paused at the door leading from their apartment.
"What Thom? I have to get going." Over the last few weeks she had grown tired of her brother's avoidance of discussing the interviews.
"Just, don't expect it to be anything other than a discussion of your DNA." Thomas returned to his room before Eleanor had a chance to respond, so with a shrug of her shoulders the young woman left for the interviews just as confused as before her brother had spoken to her.
Eleanor's wait for the interviews to call her name was only a tenth of the time her brother had had to wait not two weeks earlier.
"Miss Lamar, please follow me." The man that had also performed her brothers "examination" motioned to her to follow him through the same double doors into the same laboratory that her older brother had been in.
The officer handed her a small cup and instructed her to step behind the privacy screen and provide a sample. Slightly self-consciously Eleanor urinated into the cup and handed it back to the man. Te officer took some of the sample and ejected it onto a DNA sampler. The machine flashed noiselessly as it searched for the corresponding genetic information on Eleanor Lamar. Smart, Well liked, Pretty, Valid.
"Welcome to Gattaca Miss Lamar." The Officer stood to shake her hand. "You can report to Mr. Western tomorrow morning for your briefing." The officer turned to leave.
"Wait, please." Eleanor called out to the Officer.
He turned to look at the young woman. "What else can I do for you Miss Lamar?"
"Sir I would like to know why Mr. Thomas Lamar failed his examination?"
With a quizzical look at Eleanor the man opened up a file on the desktop computer and read through the file quickly.
"Because he was Invalid. Now I really must be going." Again the officer turned to leave.
Eleanor stalled for a moment before she called to the retreating officer one last time.
"Sir, I will not bother you again however I would be most appreciative if you read through this file."
Eleanor passed the officer a manila folder with the words Jerome Morrow/ Vincent Freeman printed on the front.