Vendetta Dark | Chapter 6

Cover of Vendetta Dark by Josh Pederson

Cover of Vendetta Dark by Josh Pederson

Josh Pederson, Author

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“What is our natural state?” Hastings asked, not at all frustrated by her ignorance of the subject. He was always happy to share his theories with people. “It’s exactly like what you were saying in your article. Our concept of normalcy and what’s natural is completely inconsistent. Man has been adapting to his environment since the days of hunting and gathering. We’ve lived through the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Middle Ages, and so on. Do you know why we were able to persist through nature, disease, and famine?” He didn’t wait for her to answer. “Because we’re able to adapt. I think once upon a time, our ability to do that far exceeded what it is now. Modern conveniences have spoiled us. Medicines, computers, grocery stores; they’ve caused us to regress. Just as muscles atrophy when you no longer use them, the same can be said about the mind. Why do we only use such a small percentage of our brain’s capabilities? Because we no longer have to think as hard. We no longer have to solve the puzzles of survival, we just put it into Google, and they do it for us.”

“So you think we’re devolving?”

“I think that every convenience comes with a consequence.”

“In your book you compare the adaptability of animals to those of humans, a lizard changing color to blend into its environment, a spider walking up a wall, the reflexes of felines. Do you really think humans are capable of superhuman traits?”

Hastings laughed. “I’m not trying to create super heroes, if that’s what you’re asking. But yes, I do believe that we have the ability to conquer such feats, if they were needed. Humanity is at the top of the food chain, so we adapt to our environment at a much slower pace. Animals, on the other hand, live in a world of constant threat. They have to adapt or die.”

 “Like Darwin’s theory of survival?”

“In a way, yes. Adaptability results in survival. Who knows what humans might be capable of several hundred years from now, or what they won’t be capable of. They could be bigger and stronger or smaller and weaker. These are the things I’m trying to figure out.” He looked at his watch. “As much as I’d love to go into more detail about it, I’m a little short on time. It was nice meeting you, Ms. Schreiber.”

With that being said, he hurried down the hall, taking the first right and disappearing from view. Carmichael watched him with suspicion.

“You’ll have to forgive his lack of manners,” he said, fumbling around his pockets for something. “Hastings is a brilliant man, and like all brilliant men, he has some major personality flaws.”

You’re one to talk, thought Cali.

He pulled out a keycard and slid it across the lock. It beeped, prompting a series of numbers to scramble across the tiny screen, flashing like some of kind of warning. Judging by the look on Carmichael’s face, it wasn’t the desired outcome. He tried it again. The second time, the series of numbers changed but led to the same result. He couldn’t get in. With an annoyed look in his eyes, he picked up his phone and called his head of security.

“Hello, Mr. Strike,” he said. “I need you to stop Rhys Hastings from leaving the building, and send somebody down here to get a door open. If you like your job, I suggest you do both of these things with haste.” He hung up the phone and slid it back in his pocket. “I’m afraid I have to cut our interview short, Ms. Schreiber. I’ll have one of my security guards escort you out so you don’t get lost.”

 “I don’t suppose you’ll tell me why?”

“Not at all,” he replied. “I will tell you this, next time you find yourself pondering the ethics of business, remember this: morality and sentimentality will always result in the death of progress. And apparently, so does trusting your employees.”

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