Relic (By: Preston and Child) - Jennifer Nguyen

Introduction

Set in a world with stubborn civilians and greedy directors, Relic is a story that will send chills down your spine and open up a new facade to science. It is a science-fiction, murder-mystery thriller that incorporates the young minds and science advancements to present the creepy story that lies ahead with extraordinary descriptions of the murders. These descriptions will have you shaking and questioning "what is going on?" If you are sensitive, beware.  

Science is a subject that most people deem to be reliable and very logical; however, that view starts to change when strange things start to happen in the Museum of Natural History, which will bear the name Museum of Unnatural Mystery soon enough. The book will give a "flashback" to the past to build the framework of the mysteries and then continue on in modern day of New York City. People will think these murders are just simply crazy, but not everyone does. Some know way more than what one should know and some are just trying to live. 

Written by Preston and Child, Relic is the first novel of the Pendergast Series and is one of their best sellers. They thrive in writing thrillers and the horrors described will be no match to any other thrillers. They are very experienced at scaring the guts out of people while slowly revealing a mystery that everyone is trying to take a pull at. Whether for fame or money or even just simple survival, the characters within the book are ready to sign their lives away in identifying the secrets to these murders.   

The scientists say the murderer is a creature like no man, but the police say the murderer is a human. Who do we trust? 

Task

You will construct an animation to show how the creature developed, how it got to New York, what you think it is by using the information provided and your understanding/interpretation of the book. Make sure to show its behaviors, food source, outward appearance, etc. Also include the characters' responses, which shouldn't deviate from their own personality within the book; this will kind of turn the animation into a story, which is what it should be by the end. It will be an animated story that you make based on your knowledge (of the book and information provided) that will show how everything started and the characters' responses to it. Make sure to make it realistic and visually appealing!

Process

Below are topics that are incorporated in the book. The level of importance for each of the topics are up to you. Using the article/video/picture/your own knowledge, answer the questions that follow each section. This will help you prep for the making of the animation.

Viruses: In the book, it talks about the plants attracting a retrovirus, which is the food source for the creature. The virus in the book is known to make organisms bigger, stronger, violent, and more addicted on the plant fibers (which has traces of the virus). How and what the virus affects is up to you to find out. 

Article: https://www.verywellhealth.com/hiv-is-a-retrovirus-what-does-that-mean-3132822

Questions: What is a retrovirus? How does it enter an organism and reproduce? How could this become fatal? What do you connect from the book to this article? Brainstorm. Do you think there could be a cure? Why or why not?

FBI/Police: These people are everywhere in the book, running around trying to uncover the secrets of the murders. Also trying to protect civilians, as well as, their own lives.

Article: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/fbi-police-officer-career-information-974840

Questions: How do you think their responsibilities affect the way they react and respond to certain situations? How much do you think the characters should owe them for the way the book ended?

Personalities affecting responses: A person's personality is different from everyone's else. You may think some are similar, but no one is ever the exact same. This leads to the diversity and various outcomes in the book, and also the different responses we get to witness.

Articles: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4261697/

https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/crisis-how-would-you-respond#1

Questions: What type of personalities do you think will survive the most? What types will die faster? How would you respond to the situation in the book? Are any of the personalities similar to those from the book? List them and give examples.

Hypothalamus gland and its hormones and anatomy: In the book, the murders are brutally described and one specific part is always mentioned. It must be important then, right? 

Picture:  

Article: https://www.hormone.org/hormones-and-health/brainy-hormones

Questions: Where is the hypothalamus gland? What hormones are produced? What do the hormones do? Why do you think the creature is addicted to it?

Science behind preferences/impulses: The creature prefers different things. It could range from the food source, to behavior, or even to its habitat. It also behaves very violently, so its impulses must be very aggressive. 

Article: https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/why-do-we-like-what-we-like

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4040919/

Questions: Why do you prefer things the way you do? Is it just because you like it? What does the creature prefer? Why does it prefer those things? What impulses do you think the creature has? (think about the food source and detection of it)

Taxonomy and classification: This creature has an interesting name as shown in the DNA testing and machines in the labs. Does the name make sense to you? 

Video:

Questions: Any idea of naming the creature? Brainstorm. What descriptions seem to match the creature the most?

Sketch/Brainstorming ideas for the creature: This is a place for you to write some ideas down on how you will handle the animation. 

Genetic Material: This includes RNA and DNA. They are genes that provide expression of different factors in the body. As used in the book, DNA was taken through the Extrapolator to identify what the creature is. It doesn't prove a lot of help when some genes are unknown. Even proteins, translated from RNA, were shown. This shows the expression of different characteristics and how everything and everyone differs from each other. 

How plants and animals behave in real life: Obviously, nothing of the same sort of the creature exists in today's world. Using background knowledge, what are the differences of real life behaviors and the behaviors in the book. Both with the characters and the creatures, as well as other animals/plants?

Evolution: Evolution is gradual and not instant. Does this support Frock's idea of evolution? Do you think it is possible for instant evolution? How do you think the creature evolved? 

Evaluation

0/100

  • Didn't do it at all
  • Did it by copying others

59-/100

  • Identified creature with an unrealistic name
  • Showed how the creature developed and how it came to NY inaccurately
  • Showed the creatures behaviors, preferences, appearance inaccurately
  • Included the characters' responses inaccurately
  • Made the animation not visually appealing and not realistic
  • Animation is choppy and unorganized
  • A lot of errors
  • Animation shows no analysis and understanding of book

60-69/100

  • Identified creature with an unrealistic name
  • Showed how the creature developed and how it came to NY with a lot of mistakes
  • Showed the creatures behaviors, preferences, appearance with multiple mistakes
  • Included the characters' responses with a lot of mistakes
  • Made the animation visually appealing, but is unrealistic
  • Animation is choppy, but organized
  • A lot of errors
  • Animation shows minimal analysis and understanding of book

70-79/100

  • Identified creature with a somewhat of a logical name, but not completely
  • Showed how the creature developed and how it came to NY accurately with some mistakes
  • Showed the creatures behaviors, preferences, appearance accurately with minimal mistakes
  • Included the characters' responses correctly with some mistakes
  • Made the animation visually appealing and somewhat realistic
  • Animation is kind of choppy
  • Some errors
  • Animation shows some type of analysis and understanding of book

80-89/100

  • Identified creature with a logical name
  • Showed how the creature developed and how it came to NY accurately with minimal mistakes
  • Showed the creatures behaviors, preferences, appearance accurately
  • Included the characters' responses correctly with minimal mistakes
  • Made the animation visually appealing and realistic
  • Animation flows and is not choppy, but has some open holes
  • Some errors
  • Animation shows some type of analysis and understanding of book

90+/100

  • Identified creature with a logical name 
  • Showed how the creature developed and how it came to NY accurately
  • Showed the creatures behaviors, preferences, appearance accurately
  • Included the characters' responses correctly
  • Made the animation visually appealing and realistic
  • Animation flows and is not choppy
  • Rarely any errors
  • Animation shows the student's deep analysis and understanding of book
Conclusion

The ending is quite a disaster. Right when it was about to be all wrapped up, something gets revealed that completely changes the outlook of the book. The future, with that secret revealed, will be up to you to imagine. The different motives of people really does take the story to different levels.

Not everyone near you is trustworthy. So many twists and turns to this book that it is impossible to predict who is good or bad. And for predicting the future at all? Yeah, that is thrown out the window. People are so greedy when they get a taste of money; it gets really sad. It seems these deaths don't get enough attention from the actual Director. It just keeps on going like no other care in the world.

Everyone loves a little science here and there. It probably won't make sense in their heads, but it is interesting to read about the creature's existence. I wonder if there are more that exist in the book. People like to think that science is the most logical thing that could exist in the world, but once one, tiny thing goes wrong (or what everyone think is wrong), science becomes fantasy. People end up doubting what is true because they don't want it to be true, which leads to the stubborn minds of the upper powers.

Once someone figures out that it is true, it is all too late and the boundary of safeness has long been passed.