Test Day

Nora stood silently, staring through the glass window into the other room. Patrick sat there on the floor, studying his chubby baby hands in great detail. He proceeded to taste them, too. He continued chewing on his hands until baby drool was running down his arms and dripping from his elbows.

Dr. Graham entered quietly from a side door, closing it just as quietly behind him while holding a clipboard in one hand. Nora turned and smiled nervously.

“How’s he doing?”

“Oh, he’s fine,” replied the doctor, “We’re just letting him get comfortable with the room before starting the test.”

Nora stared at the floor. She had been dreading this day for exactly one year – since the day Patrick was born. Of course, she had known her whole life that it was her duty to bear at least one child, but what she didn’t expect – what she couldn’t possibly have known in advance – was how much she would love that child. Over the past year, Patrick had become her everything. Now, she was terrified at the thought of losing him.

She glanced through the window again. Patrick was being so good. He hadn’t cried once. He just
studied the room with that look of wonder on his face, every experience was a marvel to him. A tear welled up and rolled down her cheek. Nora wiped it away quickly, feeling embarrassed. Did other mothers feel this horrible sense of dread on test day?

Dr. Graham’s voice took on an uncharacteristically grave tone, “Your choice of paternal DNA would suggest you’re hoping for a builder.”

Nora nodded her head, “I’m an engineer,” she stated.“Excellent. Let’s find out then, shall we?” said Dr. Graham, returning to his soothing voice. Nora nodded her head again, barely able to speak, staring at Patrick more intently now. In the other room, Patrick had noticed the three tiny doors along one wall. He instinctively knew they would eventually open, but he jumped with a start and began to cry when it happened.

“That’s normal,” Dr. Graham whispered to Nora. “Ninety percent of children cry when the doors
open. He’ll calm down.”

And he did. Shiny silver trays slid out of the open doors, each bearing a toy. These captured Patrick’s curiosity, and he studied them.

Nora couldn’t breathe. Please, Patrick… pick the right one.

Patrick leaned forward. He had only taken his first upright steps last month, and he still preferred crawling in order to get around quickly. He crawled forward.

“Here we go…” stated Dr. Graham.Nora closed her eyes, she couldn’t watch.

Almost immediately, Dr. Graham uttered what could only be described as a “hoot”. Nora’s eyes
flew open. Patrick sat next to the second silver tray, holding a small, handheld computer. The building blocks and the box of dirt with a little green sprout in it were left untouched on trays 1 and 3.

Nora’s heart sank. Dr. Graham placed his hand gently on her shoulder.

“I’ll give you a minute to gather yourself,” he said. “Then we’ll have the separation ceremony
and you’ll go to meet your new child.”Nora turned to face the doctor. “You already know who it is?”“We’ve had the child here for almost two months. She’s been the only builder in a long time.

Patrick will go to a lovely mother who writes code for the Pentagon. He’ll be raised in a perfect home for his interests. And you’re going to love Sheila.”

Nora slowly calmed herself after Dr. Graham departed. She had known this might happen. If Patrick was a programmer, then he needed to be with other programmers. This little girl, Sheila, was a builder, and Nora would raise her to be the best builder she could be!

Squaring up her shoulders and holding back a flood of tears, Nora opened the door to go and say goodbye to her son, and hello to her new daughter.

The science article that inspired this story: What Should We Be Teaching Young Children? via NPR 13.7 cosmos & culture 


Project Copper Fly (CLASSIFIED)

I downloaded this file from the website 4chan, but it has since been deleted, with no trace of it being found anywhere else online, and I can’t find any trace of the user who posted the original message either. What do I do with this? Is this a joke?

User name “ICS3cr3tsII” wrote: “I found this file after hacking some shithead with a Russian IP
address. Have no idea if it’s real or not. Can someone check this out and get back to me?”


Begin Transmission:
June 23, 1972
From the Office of
Richard McGarrah Helms

Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency
Internal Memo



This memo is to inform all relevant personnel that Project Copper Fly has been deemed successful.

All recruitment and training of operations officers is to cease effective immediately. All assets are currently frozen.

Within the next 72 hours, all relevant personnel will be receiving an AFP. Wear this in an inconspicuous place and keep it on your person at all times. This device will deactivate Copper Flies within a thirty-foot radius.

Due to the sensitive nature of Project Copper Fly, the operation will permanently remain clandestine, and is clean to our current knowledge.

Further information to be sent shortly.

OTP: 34 – 4 – 38 – 94 – 3 – 2 – 58 – 88 – 26 – 9 – 17 – 73 – 12 – 5

End Transmission.

The thread had 2 responses:


This is interesting! Rumors about Project Copper Fly have been around for decades. As far as the memo goes, this would seem to indicate that there have been no spies in the CIA since 1972.

Have you ever met a spy? They only exist in movies. Spying on citizens has been done with tiny drones and nanobots for longer than anyone knows. This really pisses me off!

The term AFP is unknown, but some people speculate it stands for American Flag Pin, lol.

An OTP is a One Time Pad, a sequence of numbers that are used to decrypt a secret message
one time only, as the name implies.

On a side note, the CIA isn’t exactly known for being inventive or clever when picking names for their projects. Have you ever seen a shiny-looking copper fly flying around your house? I will certainly be on the lookout for them after reading this memo. This is a clear violation of our privacy!

-(name withheld)

And this is the scary one:


You’ve got it all wrong. Copper Flies aren’t spies. They’re assassins.
Copper Flies are used to inject lethal doses of synthetic fentanyl into targets, causing death in minutes.

Here, let me show you.

The science article that inspired this story: Why Fentanyl Could Become the UK's Most Dangerous Drug