Bargain

By Robert Lynch

“What’s a logo compared to the benefits?” Jack asked.

“A logo that our child will be contractually unable to remove to the entirety of its life?” Jill asked.

“They can wear a hat,” Jack said.

“Our baby will wear a symbol of us not being able to provide for it for the whole of their life,” Jill said.

“We can’t get the money,” Jack said. “Even if we sold the house, we couldn’t get the cost of gene therapy.”

“Maybe our parents could pitch in?” Jill said.

“If we asked them, then they would,” Jack said, “But you know that they can’t afford it either. We would be putting them in a dangerous place financially, and if something trips up the economy, then all six of us could end up destitute. I couldn’t live with that.”

“A corporate logo tattooed on a child’s head is going to make them a source of ridicule,” Jill said. “School is going to be brutal; you know what children are like.”

“We could distract from the logo. Name the kid Sue or something.” Jack said.

Jill frowned. “This is not really a discussion that can handle your jokes.”

“Fair enough,” Jack said, holding his hands up in submission. “But there is no way that we can pay for the procedure out of our own pockets; no bank will give us that money. I asked them if we could get the logos instead of the child and they refused, false advertising, they said.”

“I feel so helpless,” Jill said, blinking back tears. “The scan was clear, without the procedure in the next four days, the embryo will miscarry. We can save the child if we accept this Faustian bargain.”

“It probably won’t help to think of it that way,” Jack said, wrapping his arms around her. “It cost them a lot of money to develop this procedure; they’ve told us the price. If they didn’t offer the free option, we would not be able to save the baby at all. We don’t really have a choice here; we need to accept the free gene therapy GeneCorp is offering. The price is the logo, and it’s the only price we can afford.”

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