Share Your World – Ruocha Wang

Cover Art

Storyworld

Year 2025. Technology makes life better.

Genetic testing walked out of the bio labs. Now you see us with a portable testing device on the street. It’s free, it’s fast, and it’s always good to know more about yourself. A comprehensive prediction of your future is generated real-time as your gene is being tested. What if you find out that you are likely to develop a serious disease, and there is no way you can afford the treatment? We are here to help: Invest in a healthy future by participating in our medical experiments in exchange for full coverage for any treatment.

Thanks to your active contribution in the medical experiments, we are able to accelerate the drug development process. In return, you are more likely to benefit from the more effective drugs the day you actually develop the disease, and it’s all free.

Sounds like charity. But there is no such thing as a free lunch. What you’re selling are your most valuable assets: your gene and your body.

Let’s see what happens next: What we give you is merely 1% of the information from your gene. I take your sample back to the real lab, test it again, then put the result into our database. See strange drug advertisements online? That’s us. Insurance company gives you a higher premium than others? That’s us. Your rich fiance has a second thought about your marriage? That’s all us.

Besides, you never know what we harvest from you in the medical experiments. I don’t know, either. I’m just a tester in the company.

Of course, someone has to do the work. Call us bad people, but your life wouldn’t be any better without us.

Microfiction – Old

Technology makes life better? Sure, for rich people. It’s a total scam. Rich people would never go for “free tests”. Our tests make their lives better.

Every month, there are breakthroughs in interpreting genes. A year ago, when I had the test outside that flee market, they were only able to predict chronic diseases, which I already knew pretty well from my family. Last month, there was a research group that claimed to be able to “predict criminal behavior” for companies. “Background research is faster and deeper than ever before” is their slogan. In the past, it was hard to find participants and conduct an ethical research. Now the researchers just buy database do some math games. You guessed it right, I lost my job this month due to “a fact that the company cannot share with me”.

I feel scared. Testing was a one-time thing. But the result will be read again and again even after I die because my kids also carry half of my genes. Who knows what is going to happen?

Microfiction – New

Whatever.

So they know my genes. So what? They probably also harvest some of my cells in the “medical experiment” for some other research projects like how the HeLa cells were stolen. But I’m getting treatment for my early-onset Alzheimer’s. Without this obvious scam, I can never afford treatment and I probably can’t work or take care of my family anymore. I still need to go to the medical experiment once a week, but I don’t think about it anymore.

I guess for people like me, our most valuable assets are indeed our gene and our body. If you want life to go on, you sell them.

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