Two Men in Lab Coats

“What stage is the sample at now?”

“It looks like it’s just progressed beyond a high infantile mortality rate. The lifespan of individual organisms has risen by a good two minutes.”

“That’s good. Looks like we’ve found one with the potential to develop further.”

“Also, the population’s booming.”

“What else do you expect?”

“Honestly, the chances of this naturally occurring without the tinkering you’ve done in shielding their breeding grounds is slim to none.”

“Give it enough trials and it would’ve happened eventually. I’m just helping things along a bit.”

“We began less than two hours ago. If their self-sufficiency follows traditional patterns, they’re still debating the existence of us.”

“If they’re smart enough, they’ll understand how the timeline just doesn’t add up without an interfering entity to set it all in motion.”

“So what, you just like being a god?”

“It’s fun isn’t it?”

“Wholly unethical – but, if anything, its an ego boost.”

“Listen, think of it like art. We build, we destroy, we manipulate – but in the end, we’re creators nonetheless. It’s just art.”

“So… you’re a biological artist?”


“Don’t you have some sort of… I don’t know, duty to what you create then?”

“That’s just what’s been pedaled by people looking from the outside it. What I create is my business, and what I decide to do with it is totally my own prerogative.”

“I – hold on, we’ve hit another snag.”


“The population level: it’s taking a nosedive.”

“There’s already been one near mass extinction.”

“No, this isn’t from an outside force, like when you replenished their supply of hydrogen dioxide. This is self-induced extermination.”

“Just hang on. It’s growing pains.”

“Wow. Yeah, it’s leveling out again.”


“I don’t get it. Why? What possible reason could they have for something of this scale?”

“They’re territorial, and divisive. A bad combination.”

“We’re referring to the organisms as ‘they.’ Does that not weird you out?”

“They’ve got a basic level of sentience. They always do. That’s how they climbed the damn food chain.”

“And you didn’t help out with that at all?”

“I tweaked the atmospheric conditions a bit so they’d grow bigger faster, and now we’ve got this.”

“Looks like someone’s taking a personal interest.”

“You haven’t?”

“It’s an experiment with the sole purpose of simulating the conditions necessary to develop a lasting existence with the ability to survive as a singular, coherent population. No, I’m not attached. And I don’t think you should be either.”

“And if it works?”

“It can only spread to the boundaries of the vacuumed space. And if it does, then it’ll have been a success.”

“Weren’t you criticizing me as the unsympathetic one?”

“You’ve got a personal, vested interest. That’s why you altered the variables.”

“Look – we’ve only gotten this far because –“

“Hey, they’re expanding their presence.”

“Well then. Right on time actually.”

“They’re sending scouts.”

“Yeah. And soon, the existential dread sets in.”

“That’s presumptive. Maybe this could be the one.”

“That’d be nice.”

“’Nice’? That doesn’t sound very enthusiastic.”

“I’ve gotten my hopes up one too many times.”

“That’s what you get for being sympathetic.”

“The near successful tests always look promising.”

“You say that, but what’s stopping them?



“Their nature.”

“Oh. Well that makes a little more sense. After all, aren’t we in control of nature?”

“To a point.”

“Hah. Can god make a mountain he can’t climb?”

“Can man make a simulation that outlives him?”

There was a pause.

“Doesn’t matter. Look, there goes the population again.”


“What’s causing it?”

“Does it matter?”

“Is it the atmosphere?”

“Whatever it is, it’s not of our doing.”

“The population’s still declining.”


“Aren’t you going to do something?”

“Wouldn’t that be tampering?”

“Oh shut up.”

“Besides, there’s little we can do.”


“No, mark it.”

“I… Yeah. Yeah, there goes the last of ‘em.”

“I’ll prep the next sample. We’ve got a full day ahead of us.”

He took the scotch tape and stuck it on the outside of the glass orb, writing:



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