Friday, January 04, 2008

Unnatural Love

Jonathan was, strictly speaking, human. He was of mixed parentage and in his day and age that meant a certain level of hostility was reserved for him by a certain portion of the population less open minded than his parents. They had found love in each other despite their differences. They made it work, they said, not in spite, but because of their differences. Some kids made fun of him, but most of the derision actually came from adults: those from the previous three generations too stuck in their on notions of right and wrong to see love for what it was. That's what his parents had always said when he asked them about it.

Sometimes Jonathan would ask his mother why people treated her they way they did just because she was different. Usually, just before bedtime was his time for philosophizing on the inequities of life. It seemed the best time for such serious matters. It seemed the most likely method to earn him a few moments respite from sleep. Despite his protests, his mother would tuck him in and assure him that everything would be okay. She kissed him on the forehead and sang the first verse of a song about the new and verdant forests growing on the ancient landscape of Mars.

Jonathan's father was human but his mother was a robot. His father donated the genetic material to serve as the basis for Jonathan and his mother took creative license with the material; added a few mutations here, fixed a couple recessive genetic defects there, snuck in a foreign feature or two. He was incubated in a tube, a small one at first graduating to larger size until birth. His parents, progressive as they were, thought the tradition of birth was important. So, the tube incubating Jonathan was carried by his mother in an abdominal cavity until he was ready to be born.

Jonathan's sister, Ada, was a sentient isomorphic software written by his parents and downloaded into the latest hardware on the market, several generations the better of her mother. There was always a rivalry there between them; him the "natural" and more easily accepted in the world and her the superior in every other way. Some people would make fun of her and say she had no soul. This often made her cry, but Jonathan always took up for his little sister. He never made fun of her despite his attempts to always outdo her. She looked up to him and how he could always remain so calm in difficult social situations. Secretly, she envied his soul.

They were the prototypical family for the new century.

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