|I had started transitioning, and my grandpa was visting. I tried to explain to him what I was going through but for some reason he refused to use my old pronouns. I noticed him trembling and was worried about his health. I knew he had a history of seeing a lot of doctors to try to cure whatever was ailing him. We were at a restaurant and at one point a bunch of strange men in suits were approaching the building, and my grandpa looked so spooked we ended up hiding in the wine cellar while the bartender warded them off. I had no idea what was going on, but he said he'd explain everything later.
At one point, I tried calling an anonymous nurse hotline to try to see if they had any new ideas on what to try with grandpa's symptoms. I told them what he already tried, and that he was reluctant to do surgery again because he had tried that several times. They suggested some medications which I made a note of to pick up at my local pharmacy.
I played with my sisters and nieces, marveling at how one of them was already starting to learn her first words, while grandpa was rummaging through his old stuff. He had sent several boxes of mementos to us for safekeeping as he felt his time was coming to a close. Grandpa mentioned that he thinks he knows what those "government spooks" were looking for, and mentioned, "You always want to hide stuff where people least expect to look. When was the last time you saw a phone booth?" He eventually fished out a very old looking phone book, and when he opened it, there was ahollowed out compartment inside with some very official looking documents. "I think it's finally time to reveal what has plagued me all these years", he stated.
We came up with a plan to make sure this didn't get hushed by the government, making copies of all the documents and sending them to any news agency that may be friendly to us. Several news agencies agreed to do a remote interview, and Grandpa told them his story. Several hours later, as the news was about to air, I dropped off the original documents at the mailbox of the governement agency responsible and gave them the middle finger before rushing off.
Grandpa's story aired: "I was a young man in college in the 1960s, looking to make some extra money on the side. I saw a promising study that wanted volunteers from my college that fit my profile: young and virile. Seemed simple enough, try their special drugs and see how it affected sexual performance. Then, one day, the fire alarm went off and we all evacuated. Thankfully it was just a false alarm caused by someone smoking in the break room, but I was the first one back inside. One of the researcher's folders caught my eye and I began flipping through it, curious what kinds of drugs they were trying on us. The actual purpose of the study was very alarming, and I quickly rifled through one of the nearby file cabinets for any more detailed documents before hastily departing.
They were attempting to make modifications to the human race itself. Something about hormones and DNA, make everyone horny as hell and get them to reproduce fast for cheap labor. But there was a big caveat: They only wanted people to live as long as they were useful, and as soon as they hit the age of 50, the modifications were designed to kill people off quickly. Of course, people in positions of power would be exempt from this, getting a special formula to keep the effects at bay.
I settled down for a while, fell in love, and had kids. But my constant hypervigilance was offputting to my wife, who left me early on. I was afraid to confront the government with the truth, but I did hear that the study eventually shut down due to lack of funding, along with so many other strange experiments of that decade. Thinking the threat was over, I kept the documents safely hidden away, just in case. But I always lived with that fear that the government would one day find the one who got away. As far as I know, none of the other volunteers survived the study as I didn't see them again.
I grew old, my kids had grandkids, and the troubles began. I started getting strange health symptoms and pains which doctors tried to pin down to bone issues, nerve issues, even cancer. But none of the remedies gave me relief, even chemotherapy. I somehow managed to make it past the age of 50, so I figured I got out early enough that what was happening to me wasn't completely fatal. I gave up seeking cures and attempted to live a quiet life.
I came to visit because I heard one of my grandkids might be transgender. I was terrified that somehow, whatever modifications were made on me might have passed on and that any issues I had now may be hereditary. I knew hormone experiments were part of the original therapy and I hoped this curse had not passed down. I realized I had to get to the bottom of what that experiment's cure was so long ago. I am proud to call you my granddaughter, I only hope you don't have the same fate that befell me.
Once the government sees this, worst case, they send me to Guantanamo for the last few years of my life. Best case, they make amends. If I had gone any farther in that study, I might not be alive today to see my grandkids, never mind my great grandkids."
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