Armed Only With An Idiot's Guide To The Human Genome Project...
'Enough!' I interrupt, 'I know the drill. Just be there. And don't even think about double-crossing me. I have powerful friends.'
'You and me both sahib. You and me both.' he mentions this as a sinister fact, not a threat.
The Artifact in question was the skin samples of The Man of Sorrows, a.k.a. Jesus. I had recently decided, on a whim really, to clone the DNA of the bearded one. It seemed like a good idea at the time. How does a man whose intelligence is on par with a brain-damaged numbat,
a man who gets nosebleeds even thinking about a Rubik's cube, suddenly decide to tackle a complex procedure that has tested the minds of some of the most brilliant scientists on the planet? A childhood promise. That's all.
"Ben Trovato" is on time. Good. I like punctuality. There is no one else at the pier. He holds up his briefcase and it reflects the light shining from the battered moon, indicating he has the Stuff. I hold up a tattered wallet indicating that I've left the money behind oops! but I'll deposit in a Swiss bank account later because he'll kill my family if I don't. He nods wearily and we walk closer to each other. Up close it's impossible to tell what his nationality is. Part Sri Lankan? Maybe some Native American by way of Europe. Or a little bit of African judging by his tan. Even when he talks, the language that dances on his tongue is like a chameleon. It's English yes, but the accent is too hard to place. It is a djinn. It is smoke with an impossible flavour.
'Here is the Artifact.'
'Is it genuine?' I ask.
He shrugs his shoulders and passes me the briefcase, 'It is yours now. Do as you will with it.'
The briefcase is lighter than a feather. As light as a soul. I turn and walk away, eager to get home and start my experiments.
'One thing though,' he yells out at me, 'it's a thing my second wife's mother used to tell her: "You shouldn't try to clone an army of Jesus Christs for there confusion abounds".'
'She really used to say that?' I turn and ask but "Ben Trovato" is no longer on the pier. It was like he had never even been there.
They LAUGHED at my theories at the institute! Fools! I'll destroy them all!