Recombinant DNA

My friends and I had made a discovery which had stunned the scientific world: we had proved that there was a huge reservoir of water near the Earth's core, by analyzing its rotational irregularities and variations in temperature. I was giving a lecture to 2000 people on our results, and my lecture was focusing on two things: first of all, much of our knowledge about planets and the geology of our own Earth was simply wrong, and secondly, I was proposing uses for this enormous water supply.

About halfway through the lecture I took a break, and left the stage to go and change my clothes for some unknown reason. I sat down with a friend of mine from school called Cathal, and started to get undressed. Cathal pointed and said "Is that Shane?" I turned and looked to see a very old friend of mine standing in the doorway of the lecture hall. He saw us and approached the table without smiling, and stuck out his hand for Cathal to shake. Cathal didn't move, staring at Shane, and I remembered that when we were in school Shane had been pretty nasty to Cathal, in a subtle, underhanded way.

Eventually Shane withdrew his hand and I stuck mine out, expecting him to shake it, but he totally ignored me and walked away. I was really puzzled. I saw Liadain sitting at another table close by, so I walked over to her and crouched down. She didn't ask me why I was naked, and I didn't think it was worth explaining. While I was talking to her, another woman who had obviously really liked my lecture kept sticking her head in between us, trying to get my attention with an inane grin, and I had to keep looking around her.

"I just saw Shane, and he totally ignored me."
"I know, I saw. It's because our families are related."
"Yours and mine?"
"Yeah - we have the same grandmother. It's something to do with recombinant DNA. People are a bit scandalized because when a DNAunt and a DNUncle get together, there's a chance that their children will have birth defects. It's like one in several hundred thousand."
I'm very puzzled at this point.
"So you're telling me that the reason Shane won't talk to me is because you and I are getting married even though we're related?"
"It's the talk of the town. A lot of people are very angry with us."
"That's very weird."

I get up and walk back to my table to finish getting dressed, trying to get my mind away from strange friends and recombinant DNA and back to the Earth's core, but at some point during the process I wake up.