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So you’re well into your latest book and you have the coolest protagonist ever, an FBI agent who rides into town on a white horse to save the day by solving the latest murder. His first order of business … to take charge of, well, everything. First, he gives the local homicide detectives the boot. Next he tells the chief to stay out of his way because this is a job for the feds. Then he scouts the area for just the right person to fall in love with him before the case is solved. Now, it’s time to get down to business.

Of course, you’ve gone to great pains to get your details right by watching Matlock and Andy Griffith. You’ve tossed in a great crime scene, some fingerprinting, DNA evidence, bloodstain patterns, a car chase followed by a huge explosion, the agent saves the girl, he defies orders from his boss to wait for backup … and, here it comes, the big payoff … he shoots the gun out of one thug’s hand and karate-chops another on the back of the neck to render him unconscious, AND THEN the agent catches the best and baddest villain ever concocted by a writer.

Sound familiar?

Okay, this is the point where you should click on the video below. It is the soundtrack for the following text. So hit the play button and hang on!
 

 
Well, those super cool FBI details are all fine and Jim Dandy, with the exception of one minor detail … as a rule, FBI AGENTS DON’T WORK MURDER CASES!! And, they don’t come into town and take over any local cases. And they don’t have to be called in on kidnapping cases. The fact that they can work a case involving children doesn’t mean they work ALL of them. Each state has its own kidnapping/abduction laws. Local detectives work kidnapping cases all the time.

Besides, someone would have to call the FBI before they’d even have a clue that a child has been abducted. Every single town in the good old USA doesn’t have an FBI field office situated next to the corner Piggly Wiggly. Sometimes agents are hours away from a town. In fact, they’ve probably never set foot in many of your towns. Nope, they probably don’t know that Dinglebopadoodle, Rhode Island even exists.

FBI Agents Don’t Ride White Horses

Okay, I know this one will be difficult to grasp, but here goes … FBI agents do not have a crystal ball that sounds off every time a child is abducted or a murder is committed. I know, what a shock. So take a moment to settle down and catch your breath before reading more of this crazy new information.

What? You want to know what cases the FBI does work?

Hmm … I’m not sure if you’ll be able to handle the truth. After all, you see all of the above in so many books.

I know, it’s hard to take in all at once.

Yes, I’m sure you’re frightened, but you’ll be fine.

What’s that you say? Your literary agent said that IS what FBI agents do.

Wait a minute. Let me fini—

Wait—

Please don’t cry.

I know she told you about the white horse—

Yes, and the explosio—

Ah, so that’s where you guys are getting the cordite information ….

Well, I’m sure your literary agent and/or editor has a long history in law enforcement (big eye roll here).

Anyway, see for yourself. These are the cases the FBI works. No, I didn’t make this up. It’s straight from their website. For more details about the overall crimes be sure to click the titles of each section below.
 

Cases Worked By The FBI

 

Terrorism

Protecting the United States from terrorist attacks is the FBI’s number one priority. The Bureau employs a variety of…

Public Corruption

Public corruption, the FBI’s top criminal investigative priority, poses a fundamental threat to our national security and…

Civil Rights

Since its earliest days, the FBI has helped protect the civil rights of the American people. A dozen…

Organized Crime

The FBI is dedicated to eliminating transnational organized crime groups that pose the greatest threat to the national…

White-Collar Crime

The FBI’s white-collar crime work integrates the analysis of intelligence with its investigations of criminal activities such…

Violent Crime

Even with its post-9/11 national security responsibilities, the FBI continues to play a key role in combating…

WMD

The FBI created the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Directorate in 2006 to support a cohesive and coordinated approach to…

 

It’s the year 2525 and yes, man is still alive. Things are different, though, in that scientists  have unlocked the secrets of altering and editing genes.

Experts began gene-altering for the purpose(s) of having the ability to switch on the “good stuff” and turning off “the bad characteristics.”

With this process in full play, the U.S. government (they control all gene altering) hired numerous “gene editors” who were once former employees of major publishing houses.

When the Great Book Plague struck in 2500, well, book editors and agents were left twiddling their thumbs. This transition was a no-brainer. Gotta pay the bills, right?

Red pencil

So, with red pencils in hand and the luxury of never, not ever, having to respond to emails, the former literary folks hopped into their teleporters and zipped over to the DARPA headquarters situated on WIP123, the meteor tethered to the spot where New York City once sat. There, the editors and agents were divided into two groups—one responsible for gene drive and genetic remediation technologies, while the second … vivo therapeutic applications in mammals.

I know, a huge leap from the written word to dealing with live mammals (some of you will recall that literary agents are mostly solitary creatures who often avoid contact with other humans, especially writers). But, upon closer examination, the change is not all that drastic. Think about it. Book editors and agents are tasked with finding the good in a manuscript. Then, using a red pencil they trim away all the bad, leaving behind a desired product.

Genetically altered turtle

The same is true when altering the genes of living things—trim away the bad and leave the good.

This entire process started way back in the year 2017, when the U.S. government awarded DARPA grants to seven teams—The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Harvard Medical School; Massachusetts General Hospital; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; North Carolina State University; University of California, Berkeley; and University of California, Riverside.

DARPA invested $65 million in the Safe Genes program through 2021.

Those scientists were tasked with collecting empirical data and developing an assortment of versatile tools that would work to support bio-innovation and combat bio-threats. 

The idea was for the seven teams to devise and develop biomolecular “instructions” that provide actual and reversible control of certain genes in living systems. They were also to go even deeper by devising drug-based countermeasures to provide the ability to prevent disease, as well as offering treatment options.

Edited “Tweet”

Gene editing is designed to protect the integrity of the “good genes” in populations of organisms, as well as providing a means of detecting and eliminating unwanted engineered genes.

And …

Okay, enough Sci-Fi. This is happening right now. Today. In the United States.

Those seven teams mentioned above are currently hard at work devising means to switch on and off genome editing in bacteria, mammals, and insects.

Angry mosquito in need of intervention

The plan is to limit or protect against future biological threats, reverse mutations caused by exposure to radiation, develop an “off switch” in mosquito species relevant to human and animal health, gradually improving mosquito performance (little or no malaria), regulating invasive species, target species that spread Zika and Ebola (for example).

The program could go a longs ways toward making the world safer, I guess. But at what cost? Well, other than providing an income for all of those out of work editors and agents … in the year 2525.

So, what are your thoughts about our government having the capability of altering genes to force living things to behave according to the desires of government officials? I know I don’t mind at all. In fact, I signed up as human guinea pig to help further the research. And, you know, I haven’t seen a single thing go wrong. Not one side effect.