In the Genotopia novel series, animals have been genetically modified with superpowers that can cure a multitude of diseases, and are referred to as “genopets.” Humans are segregated into clans based on race, and each clan is responsible for training a specific species of genopets in order to combat a specific category of diseases.
Kyanne– A human of Barnationese descent. She is of the Barnation Clan, and like all Barnationese people, she has purple eyes, fair skin, and silky, lavender hair.
Soriana– Kyanne’s Barnation genopet. Barnations have all the features of a Barn Owl, except they have a white carnation for a face, surrounded by brown feathers, with a small, yellow beak curling out from the lower center of the carnation. There were no eyes on the carnation face. Their wings and tail were composed of purple leaves instead of feathers. The Barnations were engineered to cure diseases caused by the wild carnations that grew around the territory of the Morninglory Clan
Jeremy– A man that Kyanne just met. Apparently, he is not affiliated with any clan, and has no genopet of his own.
Medical Dilemma (an excerpt; written by Michelle Dalson):
Kyanne stared at Jeremy with a distant look in her eyes.
“Are you saying it’s possible that these Snowlians were exiled for another reason that has nothing to do with some plot against Dr. Z?” She spoke calmly, as she normally did whenever she was confused and anxious at the same time.
Jeremy gave a sideways smile. “Pay me and I’ll tell you what really happened.”
Kyanne narrowed her eyes. “And why would you think I should believe you?”
Soriana gave a low hoot. “Ahem. This man is a Wanderer.”
Kyanne flinched and spun around to face her majestic genopet. “Great Hox! He’s a Wanderer?!” Wanderers were people who were not affiliated with a single clan. They were like rogues, living on their own without the aid of a genopet to protect and provide for them. This meant that they must have somehow modified their blood so that they were unable to be tracked down by Dr. Z, because ever since Dr. Z had divided all of humanity into clans based on race, every human and every genopet they trained would become blood-registered into a system where they could be detected in case they ever ventured too far from their clans without their clan Emperor’s permission. Therefore, it was illegal to wander the planet without being affiliated with a clan. As a matter of fact, it was almost impossible to wander the planet without a clan, because that meant you would have no partnership with a genopet to protect you against all the horrendous diseases that plagued the planet.
Soriana’s feathers ruffled. Her eye-less carnation face was pointed down toward Kyanne. “You should listen to what he has to say. As a Wanderer, he must have done something to escape the system so that he can roam this world without a clan and without a genopet. Therefore, he must have learned some important details about what’s going on with other clans since he has been traveling across these lands for some time.”
Kyanne clenched her fists. “Or he could be a criminal, with his own destructive intentions.”
Jeremy yawned and turned to stare across the open clearing in front of his stump. “I live off of the medical resources people offer me in exchange for telling them important information I’ve learned about other clans. That’s how I get by, that’s how I can keep myself healthy in this disease-ridden planet, since I have no genopet to fight battles for monetary rewards like all you clan-people can do. So if you can give me a few valuable things, I’ll give you the truth.”
Kyanne raised an eyebrow. “Oh, so you meant that you wanted me to pay you resources, not money?”
Soriana chortled. “What can he do with money as a Wanderer? He doesn’t have a bank account, because he doesn’t virtually exist anywhere in the system. That’s why he’s a Wanderer. Dr. Z doesn’t even know that he exists; otherwise, he would have been imprisoned or killed for escaping his clan.”
Kyanne crossed her arms and stepped up to Jeremy. She eyed his features more closely. His tangled hair was cerulean blue, as well as the messy, untrimmed facial hair that surrounded his lips. She wondered if he had once been a member of a clan responsible for training aquatic genopets.
Jeremy slowly turned his head toward Kyanne. Blue eyes met purple eyes. A few seconds of silence passed, and then Kyanne spoke. “Where exactly are you from? How long have you been a Wanderer?”
Jeremy chuckled. “One question at a time, darling. Give me the resources to treat my current condition, and I’ll tell you about the Snowlians. Give me additional resources for me to take along with me, and I can tell you more about myself.”
Kyanne stomped her foot.
But Jeremy leaned closer and spoke in a smooth voice. “There’s a carnation growing inside my liver. So I have acquired Liverbuds. If you can treat me, I can tell you everything about those Snowlians.”
“Our Health Center is already packed with sick Snowlians whose health insurance is not associated with our League,” Kyanne spoke in a sharp, bitter tone. “So we’re basically giving out free healthcare here, which means a lot of our Barnations are wasting their energy to heal for free. You, as a Wanderer, obviously cannot be associated with any health insurance in the world since you’re not affiliated with a clan, so treating you would mean we’re adding an extra patient for our Barnations to care for. ” Kyanne turned to Soriana, shaking her head. “You’ve got to be kidding me. Soriana, we can’t help this man. We’ve got 50 Snowlians to treat today, and none of them are going to pay us, which means I won’t have enough money in my account to purchase any Barnation food to restore your healing energy.” She bit her lips. “Great Hox, Soriana, you’re going to be exhausted.”
Soriana nodded. “But we must find out the truth about these Snowlians. If they are here for dangerous, malicious reasons, we could tell our Emperor and he can drive them out, saving up space in our Health Center.”
Kyanne sighed. Soriana was right. She turned to Jeremy. “Alright, you can come over to our Health Center, and I’ll examine your liver. Soriana can do her best to treat you after that. But…” she narrowed her eyes at his cerulean hair. “We’ll probably have to say you are from the Squirlpool Clan, just so that no one knows you’re a homeless rogue and tattles on you to Dr. Z.”
The Squirlpools were hairless, wolf-sized squirrels with cerulean skin and plump, spiraling tails that were twice the length of their bodies. When they spun their tails, water would spiral around the tails, and such water could be mixed with a variety of chemicals that can cause and cure water-borne diseases that occurred in the lakes, rivers, and swamps in the territory of the Morninglory League.
Jeremy shrugged. “Sounds good to me.” He stood up and clasped his hands around Soriana’s right hand. “Thank you for not denying treatment to a poor man.”
Kyanne snatched her hand away and smacked his face. “Listen, you foul rogue. We’re supposed to report people like you to Dr. Z. Wanderers have been known to be manipulative spies who like to turn clans against one another by spreading lies. But luckily, Soriana knows how to grow a few plants that will put your mind in a trance-like state, so that you’ll be sure to tell us the truth. If I find out that you’re just trying to play around and stir more trouble between our clan and the Barnations, then I’ll report you. No, I’ll have Soriana grow ten more carnations in your liver, and then I’ll report you.”
Jeremy laughed softly. “You young Healers amuse me.” He watched Kyanne climb onto Soriana’s back, and then he climbed on and sat behind her.
Soriana flew through the giant trees, passing by the busy clusters of her clanmates’ houses on the branches. Soon, they approached the tree where components of the Barnation Health Center were built. Shiny, lavender buildings were settled on the great branches, and Barnations were flying in and out of the buildings with Snowlian patients riding their backs.
Kyanne’s eyes scanned the tree branches and then she pointed to the branch that was closer to the ground. “There’s the Squirlpool Ward. We’ll find a room for you in there.” She looked at Jeremy over her shoulder. “If anyone asks, we’ll say you’re Squirlpoolish. We’ll tell them your Squirlpool also got Liverbuds just like you did, and ended up dying because too many carnations grow in its liver.”
Jeremy shrugged. “Sounds good to me.”
Kyanne held her breath as Soriana approached the ward where their Barnations took care of all the Squirlpools and their Squirlpoolish human masters. Her heart was pounding. It was not going to be easy, pretending that this clan-less man was Squirlpoolish. Squirlpoolish humans, as well as their Squirlpools, were known for being very attentive, alert, and easily aroused. They were quick to judge and were easily suspicious of others. Great Hox, she thought. I hope the Squirlpools and their human masters in the ward are too sick to notice anything sketchy about this man.
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Questions to Think About:
What problems are the Barnation Clan encountering for treating the Snowlians and Snowls for free?
Besides those mentioned in this excerpt, what other problems can the Barnation Clan encounter for treating foreign clan members for free?
In what ways does this excerpt reflect the issues in healthcare in our country (or other countries)?
What would you do with Jeremy if you were in Kyanne’s situation?