As the 20th Century was ending, scientists had worked out the map of the human genetic code. And, with the beginning of the 21st Century, this research was greatly accelerated. Soon, the doctors had the ability to fix defective genes in the womb. This meant that most of the health problems, such as muscular dystrophy, Usherís disease, Parkinsonís, Multiple Sclerosis, and all of the many crippling diseases that had previously affected people in the 20th Century could be eliminated.
The prognosis was fantastic. For example, if a parent had a defective gene that would have caused an unborn child to be deaf, or have congenital high myopia, or a host of other problems, a modification in the unborn childís genetic code would ensure that the child would not have the particular problem that was caused by the defective gene.
Unfortunately, as with most everything in life, the modification did not always work. If, for example, the parents were myopic or if there was a history of myopia in the family, it was required that the unborn childís DNA be tested for the presence of the myopic gene. When tested, the childís DNA would often be found to have the high myopic gene. It is not understood how it could happen, but sometimes the child actually wouldnít have the defective gene, even though the test showed they did.
When this happened and the doctors went in and altered the suspected gene, the child almost always was born with congenital high myopia. This usually was not much of a problem for most people, as the myopia could be corrected with proper glasses, giving the child useful vision. But, the powers that be in the government, had decided that everyone had to be perfect, and anyone that had to wear glasses had to undergo medical treatment at the age of 18 to become perfect. In many cases, treatment by laser surgery was not possible or was a failure and the person was terminated.
My wife and I were one of the unlucky couples that had a family history of high myopia. Our unborn daughter was suspected to have a defective gene, so the doctors genetically modified her DNA. By the time our daughter was a year old, she did not seem to be seeing very well and was diagnosed with congenital high myopia. Very strong glasses were immediately prescribed so she could see. When my wife became pregnant again, the unborn child again tested positively for high myopia and the doctors modified the gene.
But like our first girl, she also was found to be highly myopic and had to have very strong, thick glasses to correct her high myopia when she was one year old. Our two daughters grew to be lovely girls, and their high myopia did not really affect their lives too much, except for the fact that they had to frequently have their prescriptions increased and were very dependent on their glasses to see.
They both were honor students, and they wanted to be teachers. When Anna, our eldest, reached her 18th birthday, she was required to go to the government hospital to have her myopia surgically corrected. Anna came out of the operation totally blind. We were told that this occurred only rarely, one in one thousand cases.
The government took Anna away from us, and eliminated her. My wife and I were devastated, and we wept for many days. We then decided that there was no way we would take a chance that the same thing would happen with our second daughter, Christy. We had about 18 months to decide what to do, and although it was against the law, my wife and I decided that we would smuggle Christy across the border into Canada where the laws were not so stringent and inflexible.
We were aware that the penalty for doing this was death. But, if Christy underwent the operation, and also ended up blind like Anna, she would also be put to death like Anna, and we would not be able to take it. My wife and I decided that it was bad enough that we had lost Anna, and that if we lost Christy too, we would also rather be dead. So, we decided to take the chance of getting caught and take Christy to Canada.
My father had relatives in Canada, so we got the necessary permits for a visit, and went up to see if we would like to take Christy to Canada. We liked what we saw, so when we returned to our home, we began to put a plan into action. We first had to sell everything, and turn all of our assets into cash. This was difficult to do, as society had become mostly cashless by this time. There were, however, still some tricks that we could use to accumulate cash, and I proceeded to use all of them.
Christy was not the only high myope facing this problem, nor was Anna the first to have been eliminated after being blinded by the surgery. As a family, we belonged to an Internet support group for families that had highly myopic children. We learned that the children in the brave new world were not nearly as perfect as the government and doctors portrayed. The genetic modifications were not being very successful in the elimination of myopia. There were significant numbers of children with moderate to high myopia and statistically the numbers were increasing and not declining in the population.
This was primarily due to two factors, (1) the imperfect diagnosis of the potentially defective gene and (2) a society that has children doing close work almost from birth? Every family, no matter how poor had a computer. Most schooling was done on, or with the aid of a computer. And as a result by the time children reached their 5th or 6th birthday, they were wearing glasses for the correction of their myopia, which continued to increase as they grew. When these children reached their 18th birthday, they all were sent to have their vision surgically corrected.
We didnít dare let anyone in the group know what we were doing, until we had successfully carried out our plan and reached our destination. But, as soon as we arrived at our farm in Canada, I posted a message on the Internet, telling the others that we had successfully escaped with our daughterís life. I was amazed at the number of other parents that responded and felt that we had taken the right step. Soon we were getting e-mail inquires from other parents, who had decided that their childís life was important enough to them that they also wanted to flee the country and join us.
We quickly set up a pipeline to bring these families North to join us. I had purchased a large farm, and we were doing our best to be self sufficient, but it was a strange new life for all of us, and we were very resentful that our elected representatives had put us in the position of being criminals to save our childrenís lives. I had myself had gone back to the U.S. to assist others to bring their children to our safe haven. On my last visit, I had discovered that I was now a common criminal, with a death warrant on my head.
By now, we had a large number of families living on our farm. Most of the children, although highly myopic, were extremely intelligent. They had been raised in a computer literate world, and we had purchased a very up to date computer system for the kids to work with to maintain their skills. Just because they were very nearsighted and had to wear thick glasses in order to see, didnít mean that they were stupid.
One evening, when I returned from working in the fields, Jason, a young teenager with very thick glasses and relatively poor eyesight, asked me if I would like to be able to return to the U. S. to live. "You know we canít go back Jason," I replied. "We could if we brought down the government and changed the laws" was his reply.
While I was out working in the fields, these kids had come up with a plan to cripple the finances of the government. Using their computer skills, they had broken into the heart of the government computers. When they explained their plan to me, I found that it was so simple that I should have thought of it before. If the government was unable to repay their loans, and went into default, then anyone could buy up the loans and, in effect, seize control of the Treasury. Without the Treasury, government employees would not be paid, and whoever held the bonds that were in default would then be eligible to take control. The government would be powerless and collapse.
So, I let the kids set things up. I knew it would take a while, but soon the parents and close relatives of all the nearsighted children in the U.S. became the proud owners of the majority of the outstanding bonds issued by the Treasury. But, it was not going to be as simple as the kids had thought. The President and the Senate did their best to force extensions of the due dates of the bonds. But, as more and more bonds became overdue, a lot of the general population found that they were owners of worthless bonds, and chaos became the order of the day.
First, all those on Social Security did not receive their checks. Then the suppliers of non-critical services, such as librarians, and teachers went without their pay. These were followed by the police, and other emergency services. And, all the while, the tax revenues that should have been rolling into the Treasury were mysteriously not appearing in the Treasury accounts.
Finally some diligent, and probably unpaid government employee discovered that all the tax money had been diverted. But, Jason had expected that this would happen, and had moved the money around so that it was completely untraceable. Now was the time for us to move.
We sent an ultimatum to the Government and citizens of the U.S., promising the restoration of all the diverted funds, providing the government changed the laws regarding the genetic modifications, and the quest for perfection of its population. Most of the general population had not realized what was happening, and when they discovered that otherwise healthy kids were being put to death because of myopia and other similar imperfections, the outcry was so strong, the politicians had to listen to the wishes of the electorate.
Further, any of the parents that had accompanied their children to the camp in Canada, and were now fugitives, were fully pardoned, including my wife and myself. Many of them returned to their homes, but some of them decided that they liked the style of life we had developed, so our northern camp survived. And, I am pleased to report that the laws regarding genetic modification and required surgeries were revised.
Now, as a parent, you had a choice, and if the choice backfired, as our forced modification did for our girls, there was no longer any forced operation to correct the defect. Some parents still chose to have the genetic modifications. And many of these children became severely nearsighted. Some did choose to have surgery later in their life, only to end up blind, as Anna had. But, fortunately there was no longer any requirement for having the blind children eliminated.
So, we had won back the right of free choice. But, as with any form of government, the battle was only over until the next time the government would try to force their will upon the people. It actually was surprising that a democratic government, such as was found in the U. S. in the 20th Century, would revert into a totalitarian government that required specific treatments and euthanasia to obtain a so-called perfect society. I guess, such is the result of "the end justifies the means" and politicians developing the arrogance of power!