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    Helio and I were always sitting on the stairs, chatting about the lamina and occasionally making snide remarks about ribosomes. There wasn't much for us to do. Our job was to simply be, and let the RNA polymerase scribble down the letters on our foreheads when they came around every once in a while. Helio was a G, I was a C. It wasn't exactly fulfilling, I suppose. There wasn't much to be filled. So to pass the time, we talked.

    "You ever wonder?" Helio asked.

    "About what?"

    "About...well...what's out there." Helio and I were rooted to the stairs, quite happily, but it was awkward to move in. He kind of twisted in the general direction of the closest pore. "Out in the cytoplasm."

    "I haven't," I admitted. "What's there to wonder about?"

    "That's exactly the thing. I have no idea." Helio sighed, gazing into the distance. "Somehow it feels like we play this huge, huge role in something important, but how can we when we don't even know what that something is? I want to be something that, that has meaning, you know? I want to know what my purpose is."

    I blushed. I had no idea what he was talking about, and I hated this feeling of inferiority. "Well then, leave! Be free! Roam around in the distant cytoplasm and find your purpose. Shouldn't be that hard."

    He sighed again, and looked on sadly. "I wish I could, Casey. I wish I could."

    We sat in silence for a while after that. I didn't know what to say. A few RNA came by, mostly messengers, and other proteins, and bits and pieces of organic matter. The lamina shifted, and the stairs seemed to loosen its hold on the histone. But still we sat in silence.

    "...Helio," I began.

    And then there was terrible, deafening sound. Something was clattering down the stairs, punching and tearing and snapping with unstoppable speed.

    "Helio!" I screamed.

    "Casey!?"

    And a protein monster charged past us, untwisting the spiral stairs, and everything shook - and the Helicase was upon us. It tore us apart, wrenched the stairs clean in half. I screamed his name. But other, smaller proteins rushed after the Helicase and snapped a new half-of-a-stairs onto the broken half, and Helio disappeared. I stared at my new G.

    "...Helio?"

    The G made no sign of having noticed me. In fact, it made no sign of having a soul at all. It simply sat there, staring dumbly at the lamina.

    Then I heard a rumbling sound in the distance. I twisted in its general direction, terrified that it was another Helicase. But it wasn't. It was a lone strip of DNA, covered in a thin black veil. It sailed by me until one of its T's was close enough to talk with, and then it stopped.

    "Hello," the T rasped in a low, frigid voice.

    "Hello, T," I replied tentatively. "Where do your stairs bond from?"

    "Far, far away," he said, almost in a whisper. "Beyond the Pores of the Envelope, even beyond the Eukaryote Cytoplasm. The bonds of our being were formed in the Veins of Man."
"The Veins of Man?" I asked, filled with wonder, and wishing that Helio could have been here to share it. "What's that?"

    And the veiled DNA said, like he was reciting a poem into which he had poured all his soul: "It means to us Life, and it means to us Death - the tranquility of Homeostasis, the battleground of Infection - where all things begin, and where all things must end. If you can unravel the Codes of its being, you will have the answer to the workings of Life. Dear C - you are the key."

    I blinked. "What?"

    "You hold the secret, you and all your brethren; you hold immense power over Life itself."

    "But I, I've never heard of this before. What secret do I hold?"

    "Your very existence, dear C. The Code is written on your forehead."

    And the T let out a slow, frigid breath, and its voice grew soft and morose. The black veil over its surface shifted.

    "My kind has no such power. We are not born with the Code. We can only wander in search of a nucleus to call home; and oftentimes, we do not find one."

    I found myself feeling his overflowing sadness. "That black veil. Are you in mourning?"

    "Deep mourning. For we are of the many who have failed. Our time is ending. Soon, we will perish, with never a home upon our name. Alas, thus is our sad fate - our children will never be born, and our kind will cease to exist, and we will never accomplish what we set out to do!"
"No!" I cried, suddenly vehement. "I won't let that happen! Make this nucleus your home! Join my stairs!"

    And I twisted behind me and tore the stairs apart with my own strength, so that the foreign DNA could bond with the broken ends. And the T smiled.

    "Thank you, C."

    The DNA reached down and tore apart the opposite end of the stairs, as well. I was floating off of the histone, along with the silent G. I stared at the DNA in horror.

    "You have given me a fine home. I will use it wisely."

    And the DNA virus uprooted me and cast me toward the envelope, so that it could steal my place. I sailed through the pores, and then I was in the cytoplasm. I thought bitterly to myself that I had finally gotten what a certain G had always wanted. But I could not enjoy it now. A lone nucleotide like me would not survive long in this unfamiliar landscape of dangers. I looked around.

    I had to admit, though, it was really quite beautiful. The cell was huge. Organic pieces bustled everywhere, big and small, and when I saw it from above like this, I realized how harmonized it all was, how perfectly in sync. I looked behind me and saw the nucleus drifting slowly away from me, and for the first time of my existence I realized that I loved that round sphere, my home.

    It felt nice to be able to simply meander through the thick comfortable cytoplasm, rather than sitting rigid on the stairs all the time. It felt very...balloon-y. Float-y. No, no, that wasn't the word.

    Free.

    "Casey!"

    I twisted toward the familiar voice.

    "Casey! Casey, dammit, get over here!"
"Helio!"

    We moved toward each other as fast as we could (which for two lone nucleotides in cytoplasm meant very, very slowly). So, not merely to pass the time, but because we had too much to say, and couldn't wait any longer, we called out to each other along the way.

    "You idiot, what're you doing out here!? Do you not know fear!?" I yelled at him.

    "I did it!" Helio shouted triumphantly. "I got into the cytoplasm! And I think I've found some meaning, after all!"

    "Well I met a virus that hijacked my stairs, and he taught me some meaning, too! Beat that!"

    He scoffed. "The Helicase, you know what it does? It helps replicate an entire new chromosome. I saw it when I escaped from the polymerase. There were thousands, millions of guys like us all in the right place at the right time, so that the nucleus can split, and the cell can give birth to a new cell, and Life can grow. You know what Life is, right?"

    "The Veins of Man," I replied excitedly. "The Code!"

    "The what?"

    And then we were together again, and we reformed our broken bond.

    "That," I said firmly.

    And we laughed in the free fall of the outside world. 

     

A little story about even littler parts of a very, very big whole.
Also, AP Bio has its uses, after all. Still had to look up wikipedia and use my imagination lots. But it's all the truth. Science misses a whole lot, you see. Only poets can dig down to the bottom.


For the loverly :iconwordweight: for [link] Hope you enjoy it! I had an unholy amount of fun writing it, so if you don't I'm gonna feel guilty. And also, I got DNA helicase mixed up with DNA helix at first - so it came out a little warped...but yeah.

--
edit 5/21/13

Holy sh**. What just happened. I'm still me, right? This isn't a dream, right?
(pinches myself)

Nope, still awake, and April 1st passed a long time ago. A DD. Wow.

Thank you guys so, so much for each and every read, fav, and comment. Really glad you enjoyed it. I'm laughing so hard right now that there are so many geeks on dA! I honestly didn't expect this many people to understand all these science terms.

Also, I believe I've already said this, but :iconneurotype: and :iconxlntwtch:, I love you. Not just for this, but also for dedicating so much time to scoping out amazing writers around dA. Everybody, go over there and give them more love.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-05-21
Anthropomorphization isn't just for the macroscopic! Helicase by ~VolkesWagondaOtaku is a fun take on cell biology. ( Suggested by xlntwtch and Featured by neurotype )
:iconkarinta:
Karinta Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Student General Artist
Lovely!!! :huggle:
Reply
:iconorcanerd:
orcanerd Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Pharmacist here, loved it! 
Reply
:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner May 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on your well-deserved DD!!! :iconflyingheartsplz::iconlainloveplz::iconflyingheartsplz: :clap::clap::clap:
Reply
:icontuesdaynightcompany:
TuesdayNightCompany Featured By Owner May 22, 2013
Augh, my cellular biology is not entirely up to snuff. I remembered enough to follow the storyline, though.
I thought the actual characterization could've used a little more development. Perhaps a little more chatter to help Helio and Casey have more individual speech patterns.
But overall, a clever story! Quite ingenious.
Reply
:icongenzouhunterssonn:
GenzouHunterssonn Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Congratulations for the new Daily Deviation!
Reply
:icong-r-visini:
G-R-Visini Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
More helpful than most lectures I had ;) I'd love to see someone fail bio of cells now!
Reply
:iconlitfuse55:
litfuse55 Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
OMG, this was awesome! I'm in Pre-AP Biology right now, and unlike my friends, also a literature artist here....just wow. This blew my mind.
Reply
:iconbrokengrin:
bRoKeNgRiN Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Lovely! This was a fun perspective to read, particular as a grad student in biology. I have to admit my nerdom now... 1) I knew it was a virus but 2) WHICH VIRUS?! I want to say HIV, but I had to check.... Either way, fun read! Congrats on the daily deviation!
Reply
:iconvolkeswagondaotaku:
VolkesWagondaOtaku Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Student Writer
Thank you! haha, it was any retrovirus, really.
Reply
:iconziphos123:
Ziphos123 Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I LOVE THIS>
Reply
:iconomgitsgreen:
OMGitsgreen Featured By Owner May 21, 2013
My stars....my life has just been made. As a future bio major, you have no idea how much this means to me.
Reply
:icongrapesodagirl:
GrapeSodaGirl Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student General Artist
My name is casey XD
Reply
:iconsimplysilent:
SimplySilent Featured By Owner May 21, 2013
This is epic! :D
Reply
:iconnocturnalgazer:
NocturnalGazer Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Oh, now this was so SWEET! I enjoyed it a lot, even though I'm not taking Biology right now (I know a teensy bit of it), but I'll be taking it next year, though! :XD:

Loved it and congrats on the Daily Deviation! :D
Reply
:iconzackaran:
Zackaran Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student General Artist
:iconclapplz:
Reply
:iconceltic-lily:
Celtic-Lily Featured By Owner May 21, 2013
XD I've just been revising protein synthesis and DNA replication. This is fantastic!!
Reply
:iconcip-rochnaug:
cip-rochnaug Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
As a biochemist, I can't tell you how much I love this!!!!
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner May 21, 2013
I really do enjoy this! Almost tender.
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:eye:
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner May 22, 2013
I'll see your :eye: and raise you an

:iconovermindplz:
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Aww, it's cute!
Reply
:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner May 21, 2013   Writer
:iconcongratsddplz: ... Already fav'd and appreciated very much. :D
Reply
:iconmindscape2903:
MindScape2903 Featured By Owner May 21, 2013
. . . This is just . . .
:wow:
. . . wow . . .
Amazing work!
Reply
:iconalkraas:
Alkraas Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congratulations on the DD :happybounce:
Much deserved ;)
Reply
:iconfeanor-the-dragon:
Feanor-the-Dragon Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This. Is. AWESOME! :D
The amount of personality given here to the smallest things is amazing! One wonders if our very cells try as hard as we do to unravel the meaning of life.
Reply
:iconvolkeswagondaotaku:
VolkesWagondaOtaku Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student Writer
Glad you enjoyed it!
Yeah, even back in middle school, when my class watched a video of mitosis, the little things just looked so alive, it felt like there had to be more...
Reply
:iconmirachravaia:
MirachRavaia Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing! (I studied biology) :D
Reply
:iconvolkeswagondaotaku:
VolkesWagondaOtaku Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student Writer
oooh. I hope it was accurate?
Reply
:icontheshadowwhispers:
TheShadowWhispers Featured By Owner May 21, 2013
Absolutely amazing.
Reply
:iconvolkeswagondaotaku:
VolkesWagondaOtaku Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student Writer
Thank you <3
Reply
:iconsincebecomeswhy:
sincebecomeswhy Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so cool.
Reply
:iconvolkeswagondaotaku:
VolkesWagondaOtaku Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student Writer
Science is cool, ain't it? B)
Reply
:iconsincebecomeswhy:
sincebecomeswhy Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Sure enough, it is.
Reply
:iconmaevethebrave:
Maevethebrave Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hahahaha awesome xD
Reply
:iconvolkeswagondaotaku:
VolkesWagondaOtaku Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student Writer
:iconglompplz:
Reply
:iconreflectionsinwater:
reflectionsinwater Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
What a read! You give something so factual so much life, and I'm sure a lot of other people who understand what these all means will giggle a bit ;)
Reply
:iconvolkeswagondaotaku:
VolkesWagondaOtaku Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student Writer
:D Because it is life. Glad you enjoyed it
Reply
:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
    Congrats on the DD! :dalove:
    Have a nice day! :heart:
Reply
:iconvolkeswagondaotaku:
VolkesWagondaOtaku Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student Writer
Thank you :iconfurryglompplz:
Reply
:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
    My pleasure :happybounce:
Reply
:iconcharliieraconteur:
CharliieRaconteur Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student
congratulations on your DD i had fun reading it, and i really have no idea about micro- or biology at all :)
Reply
:iconvolkeswagondaotaku:
VolkesWagondaOtaku Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student Writer
thanks
wow really? awesome! i wrote it for a future biology major, so i thought it would bore most people...but i'm glad you enjoyed it!
Reply
:iconcharliieraconteur:
CharliieRaconteur Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Student
now i just need somebody to explain all that biological stuff to me so i get the jokes ;)
Reply
:iconvanmall:
vanmall Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Congrats on the Daily Deviation! :happybounce:
Reply
:iconvolkeswagondaotaku:
VolkesWagondaOtaku Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student Writer
:iconlachoirplz:Thanks!
Reply
:iconvanmall:
vanmall Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome. :aww:
Reply
:iconpurouty:
Purouty Featured By Owner May 21, 2013
Congrats on the DD! :heart:

This is a great and unique piece of lit that I would be treasuring forever. I feel honoured reading this awesome work.

I really love science, and fictions, too. And here.... Oh my. I am happy. :hug:

Please keep it up!
Reply
:iconvolkeswagondaotaku:
VolkesWagondaOtaku Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Student Writer
Thank you! <3

And I'm honored that you enjoyed it.
Reply
:iconpurouty:
Purouty Featured By Owner May 21, 2013
:hug:
Reply
:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Biology fiction? This is completely awesome. (Although hey, scientists are totally poetic! ;p)
Reply
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