In a sterile microbiology lab on the spaceship Chiron, illicit nanodes swam freely in the alien “Pandora” infectious DNA sample recovered from a thief. The microscopic robots got busy doing what they’d been programmed for. The tube labelled BinDNA was supposed to be safe. Carefully created BinDNA was full of a binder chemical for stopping the tiny strands with the titanic powers from altering the human genome. Unseen to human eyes, however, the binder was being altered. Over time, it was totally eaten away, ending its ability to keep the alien attacker in its place.
Professor Weinz sat up, popped a pill, and blew his nose. Cursing the cold his underling Dr. D’Amour had given the whole ship, he threw his legs over the edge of the couch he’d been napping on. After heaving himself up he shuffled over to his lab bench. Clueless about the tampering it had taken, he reached for his tube of Bound Infectious DNA that had been stolen on Mars station and recovered before they Quantum Displaced to deep space. He studied his precious BinDNA that Earth needed to find a cure for the pandemic running rampant on it.
A sudden cough made him drop the rack. The tube fell onto the bench with a clatter and rolled around. He caught it, still coughing, and breathed a sigh of relief. Sure enough, the modern tube material and seals were undamaged. He clenched it firmly until his wracking was under control, then expertly cradled the cork and slipped it off.
Thinking his culture was safe to handle, he focussed on carefully placing the stopper in its designated disposal unit. Thus, he totally missed the slight level change in the liquid. He wore no mask, confident that the binder on the BinDNA would do its job and keep the dangerous “Pandora” infectious DNA from aerosolising like it had on Earth. It didn’t.
DNA freed by the privateer’s tampering rose through the air, sticking to his dampened hair, and anywhere else cough spray or moisture had fallen. Weinz let out a powerful sneeze, and a dusting of risen particles were blasted by deliciously moist mucous blobs. The tampered strands happily rode along the tiny bits of nostril spray and landed in a vat of growth medium, a perfect place to nestle in. There they feasted and infested.
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