Today I found a notice in the mail. Paternity suit. The hell? I don't think I've ever even met this girl.
I mean, sure. There remained some infinitesimal chance that I could have impregnated her, whoever she was, somewhere, at some point in the past, without my knowledge. But wouldn't she have mentioned something to me early on in the pregnancy? Attempted to contact me in some other way about the baby before bringing a lawsuit against me? Common courtesy, one might think.
I called the number on the notice: shunted straight to voicemail. Then I called my lawyer.
"Do you own a dermasuit, or have you gone through dna encryption?" she asked, after I hurriedly explained my situation.
"I have a dermasuit," I replied. "DEO is a little pricy for my blood. And the idea of it gives me the jibblies."
"Have you gone out without your dermasuit recently?"
"No," I said. "I'm not *that* crazy."
"Any leaks or loose fittings?
I was trembling slightly as I examined the surface of my dermasuit carefully. I had only partially removed it before sitting down with the phone; I had to twist to examine the back of the ultrathin transparent material. The fluid catchers and tubes were screwed on tightly. I found no leaks or cuts.
"It looks fine from here." I agreed to call back after checking the house seals since she had to take another call.
The shower drain catch was pretty gunky... I dug out a gob of slimy hair and scraped some old skin cells off the side, dumping each into the dermashredder. Zzzt. The toilet waste processor was pretty solid, but the house is old, you know? Who knows if there's a slight leak.
Phone. Lawyer. I picked up.
"I've checked, but I've gotten all paranoid," I said, skipping the hello. "I mean, something coulda slipped through when I was changing a filter."
"I've got the number of a good dna seal inspector. He can answer your questions. Got a pen?"
There wasn't much more I could do til morning, so I googled some stuff. Dna identity theft. Organ reconstruction. Paternity suit scams.
The tech had advanced quite a bit; where they had once only been able to reconstruct smaller, unsightly skin grafts, now they were building entire functioning organs for transplants and customizing results. Bigger. Faster. Stronger. Healthier. All while the prices were dropping, more from competition than any sort of magnanimity.
Eye transplants with perfect vision. Heart and kidney transplants. A full blood change, much like flushing a car's transmission, to treat blood-borne diseases. Missing limb replacement. New tendons and cartilage for athletes, custom designed to withstand even greater strain. Full facial replacements were costlier but more effective than plastic surgery.
The body mod communities had taken this in a different direction, of course. Additional functional phylanges and limbs. Transparent skin for that muscular system look. Cartilage puzzlebox appendices that protruded through the skin, holding your keys or other valuables. Fangs for the antisocial. Pain-free (or even pleasure center) hymens that regrew in a matter of hours. And the obligatory penis enlargement transplants, with customized nerve endings, shapes, and colors. Though the attempts at making them prehensile were as yet a failure.
But it was easy to listen to the protesters, the nay sayers, the bible thumpers and the technophobes. Forensics have been compromised due to the availability of reconstructed fingers complete with prints; matching dna samples; blood; and so forth. A dna match no longer was considered incontrovertible proof; only a sign of possible involvement or an expensive attempt to frame the dna owner. And there was a rise in identity theft. And paternity suits as dna splicing and sperm reconstruction became more publicly available. From as little as a drop of saliva, a tear, a loose hair.
I grimaced and pulled my dermasuit back on. As uncomfortable as it might be, I was going to sleep in the damn thing.
( rabbit hole day )