Deleted Scene from “Perfection Unleashed”
I love the extra features that accompany movie DVDs, like the director’s commentary, movie bloopers, and deleted scenes. My debut novel, Perfection Unleashed, which won multiple awards, is frequently compared to an action movie, anime, or graphic novel, and today, I thought I’d give you a peek into one of its deleted scenes.
But first, what was the scene in question, and why did I delete it?
The deleted scene was the prologue, and it set the context for the entire Double Helix series. The scene helped transport readers from “today” into the “not-so-distant future,” and described key players in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution, including mutants with psychic powers. It also introduced Galahad, the perfect human being, and foreshadowed the existence of the abominations, inhuman by-products of the path to perfection.
Clearly it was an important scene, but why did I delete it?
The prologue didn’t do much more than the first chapter did. By the first chapter, readers are introduced to Galahad, and hear the banshee-like wails of the abominations. By the first chapter, we know that mutants with psychic powers populate our world, even though we have to wait until chapter three to meet Danyael, the alpha empath, Galahad’s physical template, and the protagonist of Perfection Unleashed.
It was a hard decision. The prologue was the scene that launched the movie in my mind, which eventually became the Double Helix series. I was, perhaps not irrationally, deeply attached to the scene. Still, in the final count, the prologue slowed down my attempt to plunge my readers straight into the action. I took a deep breath and hit delete.
Figuratively speaking, of course. The prologue never made it into Perfection Unleashed, but I did save it as a deleted scene, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share it with you today. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
The large octagon-shaped building that housed Pioneer Laboratories seemed especially desolate on that Christmas Eve when the child was born. It brooded as it kept watch over the manicured lawns all around, unimpressed by the gently falling snow. The lights that usually spilled from its many windows had been extinguished, save for one glowing softly from the highest floor.
Shepherds did not keep watch over the child that night, but scientists did. Two gray haired men whose seeming age was belied by the youthful vigor in their lithe frames waited in the dimly lit birthing chamber, speaking in lowered tones about nothing in particular. It would have been bad luck to speak about the only thing on their minds—the child—even though they knew, logically, that that no amount of conversation could change the outcome of that night. Still, they could not bring themselves to anticipate success or even discuss outcomes, not after having failed so many times before.
No angels heralded the birth of this child. It was the soft beep of the incubator as the timer ticked down to zero. Conversation stilled as the scientists moved quickly to the machine. They exchanged glances but said nothing as one scientist held his hand over the incubator’s controls. The moment of truth was at hand; the successful birth of this child would redefine the boundaries of genetic manipulation.
The scientist inhaled deeply before pressing down on the switch that would open the incubator and release the infant from the now-perfected artificial birthing process. Both scientists held their breaths as the translucent cover of the incubator swung silently to the side to reveal its precious contents.
The rules of life were broken. The science of life was rewritten in that single magical moment when the child was delivered into the world.
The perfectly formed, healthy male infant was the most beautiful thing the scientists had ever seen. With trembling hands and near reverence, they lifted the child from the chamber and wiped the birthing fluids from its soft skin before wrapping it in warm clothes. Warm and content, the child transitioned from incubator to world without the slightest fuss, making a soft gurgling sound—a happy sound—as it snuggled into the scientist’s arms.
The other scientist gingerly touched the child’s tiny, perfect hands and then smiled as the delicate, little fingers closed tightly around his. He looked up at the other man, almost afraid to hope even though he longed to believe. “Do you think…?”
“We would need to run tests over the course of the child’s life, but I think it’s safe to say that it’s done.”
Yes, it was finally done. Genetic manipulation had always been part art, part science, and completely magical. What began with the unraveling of the double helix and the cracking of the code of life in the Human Genome Project had finally led to mastery over life itself. The human genome had been mapped, scrutinized, and analyzed. Gene therapy, genetically modified food products, and cloned pets were parts of everyday life. Cloned human beings, once deemed impossible and outrageous, were steadily becoming the norm.
The journey was also littered with failures. Mutants tarnished the purity of the human race, typically created inadvertently as a result of genetic selection taken to an extreme. And in the past few years, increasingly dangerous psychic-level mutations threatened to tip the balance of power entirely.
But there was still that last step—the creation of a human being from a swirling mixture of nucleotides, building the double helix of life a base pair at a time, one gene at a time, to create the perfect human being. For the two scientists, it had been a lonely and difficult road, littered with failures, but the child born on a cold and quiet night made it worthwhile. They forgot the nagging despair they had felt during those long nights of painstakingly careful genetic coding, forgot the helpless anger they’d felt at the mocking derision of their colleagues. They held success now—sweet success—in their hands.
“What shall we name the Gene Child?” one scientist asked as they left the birthing chamber together. Their footsteps echoed hollowly down the empty corridors as they walked towards the nursery, carefully carrying the product of thousands of hours of work. “Gene Child” was an interesting and potentially acceptable scientific classification for this unique creature that had neither father nor mother, but it would need another name. “How about Galahad, after the last, the peerless knight of the mythical Round Table?”
The name seemed appropriate for the perfect little being. The scientist carrying the child set it down in the crib that had been prepared, a smile curving his lips as he gazed upon the sleepy infant. “Welcome, Galahad,” he said. The birth of the Gene Child was their ultimate gift to the world on this quiet Christmas Eve.
But another voice was heard that night. Deep within the bowels of the building, a low, inhuman moan, aching with pain and anger, shuddered its way from behind the thick walls of its prison to break the calm silence of that perfect starless night as something far too grotesque to be human welcomed Galahad—its brother—into the world.
Jade Kerrion unites cutting-edge science and bioethics with fast-paced action in her award-winning Double Helix series. Drawing rave reviews for its originality and vision, and described as “a breakout piece of science fiction,” Perfection Unleashed, and its sequels, Perfect Betrayal and Perfect Weapon, are available in print and e-book through Amazon and other major retailers.
About The Double Helix series:
His genetic code sourced from the best that humanity offers, Galahad embodies the pinnacle of perfection. When Zara Itani, a mercenary whose abrasive arrogance exceeds her beauty, frees him from his laboratory prison, she offers him the chance to claim everything that had ever been denied him, beginning with his humanity.
Perfection cannot be unleashed without repercussions, and Galahad’s freedom shatters Danyael Sabre’s life.
An alpha empath, Danyael is rare and coveted, even among the alpha mutants who dominate the Genetic Revolution. He wields the power to heal or kill with a touch, but craves only privacy and solitude—both impossible dreams for the man who was used as Galahad’s physical template.
Galahad and Danyael, two men, one face. One man seeks to embrace destiny, and the other to escape it.
The award-winning Double Helix series, consisting of Perfection Unleashed, Perfect Betrayal, and Perfect Weapon, will challenge your notions of perfection and humanity, and lead you in a celebration of courage and compassion. Science fiction, urban fantasy, and action-adventure readers will enjoy this thrilling roller-coaster ride as it twists and turns through a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution.
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