All around, on the other side of the decorative tanks, swirled a glowing, purple starfish forest.

“Transgenic. We spliced in bioluminescence genes from an anglerfish.”

Looking up, DuBois saw the figure of Dr. York on the walkway, still holding a wine stem from the party.

“Why not just display the anglerfish?” DuBois said.

“We’d need to make the enclosure a foot thick for the right pressure,” York replied, “and before you ask, putting fresh genes into anything with a backbone makes people nervous, so we couldn’t just adapt them to the lower pressure. Starfish, though? No one cares.”

“You and the team have created quite the attraction here,” DuBois continued. “The LagoonPark CEO sure thinks it’ll save his company, or at least let him keep using ‘lagoon’ in the name without resorting to running the coasters under a waterfall.”

“Off the record, I sometimes worry that’s all the LagoonPark people see in us,” said York. “As a cash cow, good for purple glowing starfish and some mildly interesting transgenic patents they can sit on.”

Dubois looked out over the bioluminescent echinoderms. “Makes a good five-second clip for the 24-hour news cycle, anyway.”

“Come on,” York said. “I’ll show you something we’re cooking up that isn’t quite ready for the grand opening. You’ll like it.”

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