Table of Contents Perry Portly and the Fake DNA Results, by Gary Gocek

[INITIATION II-b ] - Road of Trials

Perry entered the Pittsford Community Library. It looked like, well, the inside of a library. If Perry were to investigate the origins of the unexpected DNA test results, the best place to start would be within the library's local area network. Perry sat at a catalog search computer. "Fake DNA".

Of course, the whole point of DNA testing is that it's not fake. A DNA match is like a lottery jackpot. The odds are huge. Oh, once in a while there is a mutation that skews the odds, and you end up with a Pittsford-ite. Perry chuckled at this mean little joke. But, he wasn't much closer to solving the mystery of DNA results showing Fairport-ers descending from Pittsford-ites. And his mind wandered in front of the search window.

A group of young Pittsford-ites passed by and glanced at Perry's screen. "Bigfoot truth or legend?" "Beautiful librarians."

"Beautiful librarians!" they squealed. "Where ya from, stranger? Maybe he's from Fairport, where the fair Carrie Ann went. Ha ha ha ha ha!"

Perry cleared his screen and scurried from the library as the Pittsford librarian shushed the Pittsford-ites. He didn't get much information on fake DNA results, but it was certainly a shock to hear that Carrie Ann, subject of his dreams, was a Pittsford-ite!

Perry walked quickly, looking for a spot to plan his next step. He walked by a brewpub. A sign in the window announced, "Today's new recipe, Slovakian Vidalia Pilsner." Yes, they had strange tastes in Pittsford. Perry kept walking.

Perry loved coffee when he needed to think and he found a little shop. He ordered their darkest roast. While fumbling with his phone and searching for DNA test information, a woman sat at the next table. Perry only glanced briefly when she arrived, but he imagined she resembled Carrie Ann, except a decade or two farther down the road. She wore a designer face mask with a fancy but unpronounceable label. She surprised Perry when she commented with her husky voice, "Oh yes, I'm fascinated by these DNA tests you can get these days. Alas, no surprises for me, it's not like I'm the long-lost queen of Slovakia." She chuckled huskily.

Perry wondered why Pittsford-ites had so much of an interest in Slovakia. He blurted a mostly incoherent comment about Neanderthal markers. This incoherence didn't seem to bother the woman.

"My name is Thornella. What's your name, stranger?" Perry wondered how everyone seemed to know he was a stranger in Pittsford.

"Perry. Perry Portly."

"Ah, a fine, strong name. Almost woody, I would think. With a hint of sage." Perry had no clue what she was talking about. She continued, "Let me show you something in the side room."

"About DNA tests?" Perry asked.

"Um, yes, whatever." Thornella led Perry to the next room and around the corner. She immediately invaded his personal space, pushing Perry against the wall. She pulled off her face mask. She pulled off his face mask. She was close enough that Perry could tell she was not running a fever. Perry realized he had met that fearsome creature, the Pittsford cougar! He had never previously believed they actually existed and he wasn't quite sure how to react.

"About those DNA tests," Perry prodded. After a bit more invasion of his personal space, not altogether disagreeable to Perry, Thornella breathlessly exclaimed, "Oh, just go see Pippelini at the AI Center in the town hall building. We're done here, anyway."

The Artificial Intelligence Center! Now he was really getting somewhere! Perry scampered out of the coffeeshop and to the town hall, again cheating death while crossing Main Street. A huge Jacob's Ladder electrical device was mounted on the roof of the two-story building, with sparks shooting up two, twenty foot tall metal rods9. Perry had heard the deepest technical work was done in the top-security basement. When he walked to the doorway on the side of the building, he heard, "Pssst. Pssst!"

A man in a trench coat wearing Groucho glasses beckoned to him from a corner in the shadows. Or was it a woman? Yes, and not just any woman, but Della Brooks from the Fairport Public Library!

AI Center

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©2020, Gary Gocek, http://gary.gocek.org/, @garygocek, gary@gocek.org