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One of the greatest benefactors of all lifekind was a man who couldn't keep his mind on the job in hand.



One of the foremost genetic engineers of his or any other generation, including a number he had designed himself?

Without a doubt.

The problem was that he was far too interested in things which he shouldn't be interested in, at least, as people would tell him, not now.

He was also, partly because of this, of a rather irritable disposition.

So when his world was threatened by terrible invaders from a distant star, who were still a fair way off but travelling fast, he, Blart Versenwald III (his name was Blart Versenwald III, which is not strictly relevant, but quite interesting because --- never mind, that was his name and we can talk about why it's interesting later), was sent into guarded seclusion by the masters of his race with instructions to design a breed of fanatical superwarriors to resist and vanquish the feared invaders, do it quickly and, they told him, ``Concentrate!''

So he sat by a window and looked out at a summer lawn and designed and designed and designed, but inevitably got a little distracted by things, and by the time the invaders were practically in orbit round them, had come up with a remarkable new breed of super-fly that could, unaided, figure out how to fly through the open half of a half-open window, and also an off-switch for children. Celebrations of these remarkable achievements seemed doomed to be shortlived because disaster was imminent as the alien ships were landing. But astoundingly, the fearsome invaders who, like most warlike races were only on the rampage because they couldn't cope with things at home, were stunned by Versenwald's extraordinary breakthroughs, joined in the celebrations and were instantly prevailed upon to sign a wide-ranging series of trading agreements and set up a programme of cultural exchanges. And, in an astonishing reversal of normal practice in the conduct of such matters, everybody concerned lived happily ever after.

There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler's mind.

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