The digitalised voice echoed and bounced off the glistening walls
of the metallic booth. Two lone figures sat huddled at the monitor in
the centre of the room, hands clasped tightly together. Soundless
tears trickled down the woman’s ghostly pale, hollow cheeks as her
body quivered uncontrollably. The man ran his fingers through her
wispy, translucent hair in a desperate attempt to calm them both.
There they remained, consumed with pain and heartache.
‘Genine,’ the young man’s mellow voice glided through the air,
sucking away the sinister silence. The two syllables triggered a
broken sob from Genine as she clutched her husband’s hands more
‘Genine. It’s just a test,’ he whispered soothingly. ‘It’s just a test.’
The foreboding red crosses next to their names flashed ominously
on the sheer screen of the monitor.
‘Yes, Mendello. It’s a test that will change our lives forever,’
Genine’s usually calm, melodious voice was cracked and strained.
The door swung open smoothly and a middle-aged man bearing
a solemn expression strode into the room.
‘Dr. Cannister,’ he announced, placing a digital notebook on the
polished steel table.
‘Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss,’ he recited
mechanically. He rifled through the files on the machine, muttering
to himself as he skimmed through them.
‘Genine and Mendello Chromost. It has been determined that
you do not have the authority to conceive under any circumstance
with the combination of your genomes.’
He paused as he shut his notebook with a snap. ‘Albinism and
cystic fibrosis. Please read through the files I have provided. As you
will see, there is one hundred percent chance that your children
would have been carriers of albinism and fifty percent chance for
cystic fibrosis. It is unacceptable.’
A strangled cry escaped through Genine’s pursed lips.
‘Mendello, I refuse. I refuse to listen to a word they say.’
The couple sat in the rear of the sky shuttle as they hurtled
towards The Association. The words seemed to rouse Mendello
from his frozen state. He cupped his wife’s chiseled cheek, his brown,
weathered hands starkly contrasting with her papery white skin.