A Luck Would Have It

A genetic studies scholar makes a decision about his latest discovery.


1. As Luck Would Have It


The year was 2012. Whitney Housten died, Gangnam Style was on the loose, Disney bought Lucasfilm, and John Tucker had discovered that luck is hereditary. 


It was really by chance that he had made this important finding. By luck, even. Tucker was studying different traits found in humans, like inherited diseases, when he just happened upon it. What would this mean for the future of science, he thought to himself, if we could find a way for this to be manipulated? Different theories flew through his mind, like leaves blowing frantically in the wind as winter drew nearer. 


Could we edit this? The thoughts flew faster and faster. No longer would CRISPR-Cas9 be just for diseases. It could be so much more. The ability to improve one’s fortunes from birth – it was hard for Tucker to even begin to believe.


He paced frantically around his lab. Should he tell anyone? What if this fell into the wrong hands? What if the person it was used on was evil in some way, or didn’t use this power for good. Whoever got it, and knew about it, could either be Sauron or Gandalf, and they’d be unstoppable. And what happens when two people with this gene go up against each other? There were too many possibilities.


No, Tucker thought, this can’t be put into the wrong hands. It can’t be put into anyone’s hands. He looked around, for some clue, something that would help him, but nothing came to him. He knew it would be better if no one knew about this, not even his colleagues, or his family, or his friends. No one could be trusted with this, especially since he didn’t know if it would work.


He paced some more. Walking was helpful; it put things in perspective. Tucker had two choices: burn all of his research, and his content, and remove his findings from the face of the Earth.




Or he could continue to develop this idea in secret, never to tell anyone, but perhaps his own children could benefit. But it would go no further than his family, not at least until someone else made the same (inevitable) discovery.


To think, he could let his children rise far above him, go further than Tucker himself would ever go. There was only so much you could do with ambition, but luck? One could do so much more.


For all of his genius, it never occurred to him that he might carry the gene himself. 


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