The God Chromosome

1.

“How did you two meet?”

“His name came up during my analyst team’s search for an expert in the field of obstetrics.” Chris Devereux was even keeled in his delivery. There was no longer the weight of navigating protocols and politics upon his shoulders. This was a free man. “I didn’t know we would become so close. I suppose I didn’t realize how distant I was from everyone until we met.”
“How close did you become with Dr. Riley?”
“In the short time that I knew him, hmmm, that’s a tough question. I will say he had a terrific impact on my life. On who I am, and what I believe. I owe him everything.”

“I understand that you were friends, but how do you justify that statement, ‘owe him everything’.” The questioner adjusted his glasses as he and his associate typed Christopher’s responses into their e-hubs. The room was cold, and clinical. The wall to Chris’s right was a one-way mirror, and Chris found himself wondering if there was anyone observing from the other side that had dealings with him in the past. As an Analyst in Charge for the Atlanta Accountability Office, he had often flown up to the Hill to debrief with members of Homeland Security often.

Chris leaned in and spoke plainly, “I was blind, but now I see.” He rubbed the stubble on his chin, such a contrast to the classic Oxford refinement that had been so axiomatic for 16 years. He had lost weight since going off the grid. Less drinking, less sedentary. He looked good, a fit frame, square jaw line, and engaging brown eyes that had seen through lies for an entire career.

“With him gone, why did you come back to D.C.? Was it for,” the interviewer’s finger swiped through files, “Cassandra? Cassandra Hale?”

“Yes. Last time I talked to Cassie, I told her I would find her, and explain to her why I left and went off grid.”

“Well Christopher, that is precisely what we would like to know. You realize disseminating that report, how you wrote it, how you went to the news. You personally caused the deaths of thousands of Americans. You are looking dead in the face of treason charges. Do you understand that?”
“I understand that that is Homeland Security’s perspective. Yes.”
“So you deny causing the deaths of thousands of people?”
“Is this office blaming me for the actions of thousands of people who are free to act as they wish?”
“For inciting riots, smart guy.” The associate next to the guy-with-glasses finally spoke up, and was sternly announcing his presence.
“I do not mind sharing the details of our case, sirs. And if it is the choice of this office to lay the blame for this country’s reaction to the truth at my feet, then so be it. But whether it came from me, or from the failure of Platinum Labs to deliver a cure in the previous weeks, you know that this country was already set to rip itself apart. But I understand this office needs a scapegoat. I find it strange that I am it, but what are you going to do, right?”
The stern associate interjected again, “Do not accuse this office of drumming up some strawman to burn at the stake for the sake of quelling the masses! You know very well the parameters of your position as Analyst in Charge, and you broke the law!”

Glasses-guy stepped on his associate’s sentence with his own calmer brand of accusation, “Chris, Chris. At this time, we are charged with ascertaining the facts. It isn’t about guilt or innocence yet. Yes, I’m sure there will be a trial, and I am sure you knew what laws were being broken at the time you chose to break them. Clearly you felt justified in doing so. We will get to that.” He adjusted his glasses again, letting the tension wind down a bit from his partner’s aggression. “You have been nothing but cooperative, and we have no reason to believe you will stop being so. Let’s just start with the initial work order matrix. You were commissioned by Congressman Dumas from Tennessee to conduct an analysis of Platinum Labs, is that correct?”

Chris looked at bad-cop, and then at Glasses, wondering if they had planned their approach in the hall before entering. “May I have a coffee? I imagine we will be here awhile. We might as well make ourselves comfortable.”

Glasses leaned back and to the left, and spoke to the mirror, “Can we please get a coffee in here for Mr. Devereux. Terry? Coffee?” Bad-cop nodded. “Just make it three coffees please. Thank you.”
“Yes, it was the Congressman from Tennessee that initiated the request. But it wasn’t Platinum. It was a branch of Platinum, the RIGHT Project. It was Alex Dumas’ opinion, one which I ended up agreeing with, that several people from within the government had hooked their wagons to the inevitable fiscal success of Platinum through this new project. He was pursuing his own political options to weed out corruption surrounding the project, but our specific task was more refined in nature. It was to investigate the chances of the RIGHT project to save the human race.”
“And for the record,” said Glasses, “state what the RIGHT Project is, please.”

“RIGHT stands for Recovery Initiative for the Genome of Humanity Team.”

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Releasing the Novel…

On a more personal note, I would discuss the artist’s mindset upon releasing a work into the wilds of the world. I think we all have a creative side, to one degree or another. I have found that even the most stoic and calculating souls have a hidden place inside where they always dreamed of painting, or wrote a few words of prose down. Many play instruments, some dance, and I am a big supporter of these outlets. They tend to relieve stress, and help you to know yourself. But many times it is personal and never gets beyond the door of your sanctuary. Which is fine.

But many let fly their passion, past the gates, and into the world, like releasing something they loved. Now, before the actual release, there is most certainly anxiety, some reticence, and usually a healthy bit of scrutinizing over the work. Hundreds of man hours go in to tweaking the art form, because it will become a public thing.  You have to be sure that when released it conveys the best of who you are. The best of what you can be. Many don’t release it at that last moment, because of fear. Fear of failure. Fear of letting themselves down. And there is fear of your art being hated, which, since it is something you loved so hard, means they hate you.

But those that do, those that take that step, that sign their name to something, to a performance, to a piece of art, they get to experience one of the great treasures of life, one that cannot be had by way of money, or affection from the opposite sex, or from self-service. Because to make art is to give the world a piece of yourself. It is to love others with the gifts you were given. It is to be courageously you. And if that passion moves people, or succeeds in however we measure success, then you have proven to your inner most being that you have added to the world, that you are special, that you are unique. And conversely, if you fail, you have taught yourself that actually failing after trying was not nearly as bad as what you feared it might be. You have risked, and learned how to grow. You have gained courage, and knowledge, and have come that much closer to discovering just what it is exactly that makes you beautiful.

There is a world full of joylessness out there. A world full of the anonymous negative, who hate that they have not risked, or that they have never tried, because they think if it doesn’t work out, if the world doesn’t make them ‘go viral’, it is tantamount to being nothing. Those people will attack, they will use the anonymity of the web, or the distance between your effort and theirs to berate and slander and cut down who you are. And I understand that not everyone has the self-confidence to face such a world. That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. But, as a man who has written songs I feared people would hate, and stepped on stage to sing when I knew that I wasn’t one of the vocally blessed, and written a novel half convinced I wasn’t qualified to write, I will say that following through is an awakening of self-discovery. Each show, or story, both the good and bad, has forced me to reflect upon my path, and honestly assess who I am and where my power lies to affect others for the better.

I don’t know if lots of people will read my novel, or even if the subject matter is cared about by most. But in a few days, it will be released, out in the wide world, to be seen… or ignored… hated… or enjoyed. I feel strongly about its quality, and am confident, if it is read, that most will really enjoy the journey within its pages. And my answer to those who hate it? “My friend, I tried with all my heart, and all my love, to do honor to the gifts that God has blessed me with.”

I would encourage you all to try, to push the boundaries of those passions you love, those things you spend hours doing, perfecting, and to put that love into the world. The world will never get better by taking from it, only by giving to it, and you all have something unique to give. Let it fly, and do your best to not just hear the negative joyless, but look beyond to the courage you had to love the world in a way only you could.

@JRCooperauthor

http://www.facebook.com/cooper.author

The Last Saint