GeneHack, Kevin’s Defection (I)

The seat was uncomfortable, the thin layer of padding failing to soften the hard metal frame.  Kevin squirmed uncomfortably as he waited for the seminar to start.

He still wasn’t quite sure why he had even decided to come.  Looking around, trying to keep his glances inconspicuous, he saw that many of the other people shuffling into the large hall were ill, unwell, injured or sick and obviously unable to pay for treatment.  Kevin wished that he could sink lower into his own seat, concealing his fit frame.  He tried to be frugal, but the easy money from his job often gave him fuel to spend on genemods.

But wasn’t that money one of the reasons he was here, skulking in the back of this auditorium?  As he waited, Kevin thought back to the most recent ad that his company had been hired to design.  That he had designed.

The mod itself had been fairly straightforward, nothing too flashy.  Called Hi Jump, it had targeted abs, quads, calves, and hamstrings, upping both calcium receptors and growth hormone levels in fast-twitch white muscle fibers.  The results had been moderately positive, with most participants reporting a fifteen to thirty percent increase in jump height.  Not satisfied with these rather dull sounding figures, Hi Jump had hired Kevin’s team to make certain that sales went through the roof.

Over the last few weeks, Kevin’s team had come up with several compelling ads to present to Hi Jump.  One had featured a man racing alongside a gazelle, matching it leap for leap.  Another had shown a montage of pro basketball players, with an announcer going wild on the audio track.  Kevin’s ad had featured a young kid on an inner city basketball court, interspersed with images of pro players, suggesting that Hi Jump would give that last push necessary to reach stardom from humble beginnings.

Kevin’s ad had been selected by the consultants from Hi Jump.

Of course, there had been celebrations in the office the next day.  Landing such a large contract, especially for a successful genemod with an advertising campaign, was a huge success.  But then the Hi Jump consultants came back to the office.  They told Kevin and his team that they were each eligible to receive a bonus in the high four figures.  A very significant amount of money.

Or, if they preferred, they could decline the cash bonus and instead receive an advance copy of the Hi Jump genemod, at a fifty percent discount from retail.

Continued in Part II, here.

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