The next few years passed rapidly. Richard couldn’t say they were without incident, but at least nobody tried to kill him. Richard’s parents- along with those they had working for them- found the rest of the Brotherhood of All Knowledge. That was one danger he didn’t have to worry about anymore. There were still other, lesser dangers. Richard had to be very careful in labs, because accidents were more likely to occur with him around- to him, specifically. However, that was what gloves and goggles were for. With care, he could avoid most problems, but there was still occasionally a beaker that cracked under too much heat that he could do nothing about. He had to know the dangers of what he was working with better than most, which wasn’t bad for his studies.
Thus it was that he found himself with a completed degree. He now knew everything about biology, except of course those things covered in some of the classes he hadn’t taken, and those things in graduate level courses. There were also things not in any classes at all, or that hadn’t been discovered. That is to say, Richard had a good, foundational understanding of the basics of biology and its different areas. That was what a handful of study would get, in most cases.
He didn’t intend to stop there. In fact, for what he wanted to do, he couldn’t. He might be able to work as an assistant in a research laboratory, but he didn’t want that, and he wouldn’t even be qualified as an assistant in some labs. That wasn’t where he wanted to stop though. There was nothing wrong with being an assistant, especially if one devoted themselves to other things outside of the workplace, but Richard had grander ideas in mind. He was going to be a genetic engineer- an occupation he liked the idea of very much, and found himself oddly well suited for. As for whether or not his abilities to manipulate DNA would be useful in the context of actual laboratories, it didn’t really matter. If it helped, that was great… if not, Richard would manage the way everyone else did. Of course, that would require an additional amount of schooling of at least the same time he already had.
Elena was also going to become a genetic engineer. Her goal was and always had been finding a way to help the Noxians. That hadn’t changed in the slightest as the years passed. It wasn’t going to be easy- one more person working on the problem might not be enough to find a solution, but then again it might.
Jot’s goal was to become a Grandmaster in Xevaronian martial arts. This wasn’t related to schooling, but even so he continued to study. He wasn’t going into martial arts to earn money or be famous. If he had stable income, he wouldn’t have to worry about how to take care of himself. It was a practical approach to the problem and though he felt that he could likely win tournaments or other things to support himself, that wasn’t the life he wanted.
Susan wasn’t sure exactly how to go about what she wanted to do, but she had a plan. She wanted to help people like her. That didn’t necessarily mean clones brought up in secret labs, but it could. Perhaps that could even include finding and shutting down such secret labs, but that was for some time in the future. For the current time, Susan was volunteering at homeless shelters and other places that helped those who were in a bad state get back on their feet. Beyond that, she made plans for the future.
Hiroshi and Jessica were apparently already doing what they wanted. They weren’t always around, but there was usually someone around keeping Richard and Susan safe- just in case. They weren’t incapable of protecting themselves, but having dedicated eyes and an ally was always useful.
Richard’s parents decided to go back to exploring. There were some systems that hadn’t been catalogued, and perhaps there were races yet to be found. Unfortunately, this meant that they would be gone for a very long time. Travelling to new systems was more dangerous, because it wasn’t always clear what obstacles existed. Thus, it took longer. Even so, crossing the galaxy could take years, depending on where they went, and then they could spend years studying a system or even just one planet. During that time, they wouldn’t have much chance to communicate, with only very limited systems available. However, it wasn’t a sudden idea. They still planned to remain near Richard for several more years while they solidified their plans. Still, Richard already found himself missing them before they left.
Beyond his interests in genetic engineering, Richard had another plan. He wanted to repopulate his species- that of his birth parents, the strange energy beings he found was part of himself. That was perhaps not too hard to accomplish, because theoretically he would just have to have children. He knew they could inherit that part of him, but he wasn’t sure exactly how it would work. Would it happen every time? Would there be issues with him being the only one? Presumably he had some kind of energy genetics. Would that make all descendants from that part of him a kind of clone? That wasn’t a problem by itself, but if the genetics had any problems they could die out. Richard wasn’t in any rush to test things. Unlike messing around with a tree, having children carried around with it greater responsibility. Of course, genetic engineering had responsibility behind it, and if his tree was dangerous he would certainly be responsible, but it was a different kind of responsibility. Richard wasn’t ready for it yet… and besides, it wasn’t something he could do alone. Was it? Richard actually wasn’t sure about that. Perhaps he could take a part of him and add it to another creature. That was basically how he thought it would work with a new child anyway… but it was more risky. He was definitely going to avoid that until he understood the situation better. Though he had information from his race, it wasn’t the same as having an actual teacher there, and some of the information wasn’t as clear to the human part of him. Well, Richard had time to figure it out.