The Clone Wars This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   "Log: March 20, 2097. It has been twenty years since the clone rebellion began. For two decades, the human race has lived under the tyrannical rule of the clones. I, Joe Hope, understand the reasoning behind the clone rebellion, but understanding and agreeing are two different things. The clones have become what they hate. I look out my window and all I see is despair. Human beings are slinking around the streets, fishing through garbage cans in search of food. Rags cling to their gaunt bodies, and they kill for something to eat.

"A clone soldier patrols the lane. He beats a poor old man, who was unfortunate enough to cross the soldier's path when he was in a bad mood. The wretch cries and begs for mercy, but the soldier does not hear. Suddenly, the cries stop, and the old man slumps to the ground, a pool of blood oozing from his battered body. With a horrible smile, the soldier kicks him one more time and walks away, leaving the body to be run over by a passing hover car.

"This sight disgusts me, yet I cannot help but feel guilty. For this is the way we, the human race, treated the clone population only a few decades ago. Cloning technology began in the late twentieth century, the first major breakthrough taking place in 1997 with the cloning of a ewe in Scotland. Research continued, and in 2017, the first human clone was created, generating a universal debate about the ethical issues of cloning. Would it put an end to true individuality? What if the clones turned out to be evil? Or if we, humanity, abused them? In the end, however, cloning was adopted.

"By 2030, nearly everyone in the world had at least one clone. Over the years, the use of clones got closer and closer to slavery, until clones weren't even considered people. One of the most feared issues became a reality. Humans treated clones like the clone soldier treated that old man in the street. All clones were outfitted with pain implants imbedded beneath the skin behind the left ear. These devices were intended to make clones behave. Unfortunately, the device was abused. The power people had over clones made them feel good.

"The clones, however, could take only so much. In 2076, they snapped. By this time, clones outnumbered humans two to one, and it didn't take long for the rebellion to engulf the human race. After only a few months of warfare, humanity gave in, and the clones took over the world.

"The condition of the human race has deteriorated to where it is now. Only a few lucky humans have been able to keep their houses through enormous bribery. The rest live on the street or in shelters. We are often chosen to work, but aren't paid. We are forced to live on hand outs from the clone population, which are less than generous. They live in splendor, and we live in squalor.

"I suppose that in a way, we deserve it, but I believe that we have learned our lesson. Although the clones have taken revenge, some are still thirsty for more. It is necessary to stop them. That is why I have helped form the Human Coalition. We plan to rebel against this fierce tyranny and overthrow it. I know that this is the last hope for many of the humans who live in despair on the streets. We must succeed.

"I'm not a strong man. I am not brave or bold. I'm much more brains than brawn; I'm short and balding; my spectacles sit comfortably on my nose. I'm not very sure that this rebellion will work. I - "

The groveling voice of Joe Hope abruptly stopped with a crack. He slid to the ground with a soft thump, his neck broken. The murderer stepped from the shadows. He was Joe Hope, but with a twist ...

Jason Riley sat outside Joe Hope's quarters, waiting anxiously. He had been asked to pick Joe up at 5:00 p.m. sharp, and Joe was always punctual. But he was already ten minutes late. Jason began to pace. Where was he? Jason knocked on the door.

Joe Hope dragged his stripped, dead body across the floor into the small closet. Hiding himself behind the rubbish, Joe carefully closed the door and straightened his tie. With a sinister look in his eyes, he touched the small silver implant behind his left ear, almost subconsciously. A knock sounded at the door.

"Who's there?" Damn, he thought. Too gruff. He didn't sound at all like his counterpart. His caller didn't seem to notice.

"Joe? Are you in there? It's ten past five."

"Oh, really? I must have lost track of time." Still too gruff. Voices were so hard to imitate.

"Joe, are you okay? You sound funny."

"Fine. Be out in a second." Yes! He had nailed the voice. Who was picking him up? Julian? No. Jason.

"Jason! Ready to go? Good! Let's hope this works, because ..." Joe started off, rubbing the implant. The idiot Jason didn't suspect a thing.

When the duo got to the rebel headquarters, Joe instantly became all business. He had a mission to complete. He didn't kill his creator for nothing. Yes, he thought wryly, Joe Hope was, in a way, his creator. After all, they did have the same face. Why did they have to pick him anyway? He hated this personality! This cushy, kind-hearted, sweet, frightened little man made him nauseous.

"Joe? You okay?"

Joe blinked out of his scornful reverie. He found that he was snarling and quickly smoothed his expression.

"Oh! Yeah, yeah, fine. Peachy actually, and how are you?" He winced painfully at his own words, but the guy actually smiled.

"Pressure getting to you too? Well, it will all be over in a few days when we defeat them. 8:00 a.m. Tuesday! That will be our victory hour!" Jason slapped him on the back.

"8:00, huh?" Joe muttered under his breath. He pressed the implant behind his left ear, accessing the link. The attack will begin on Tuesday morning at 8:00, he reported. The others responded in the voice of a collective. Excellent. Have you found out anything else? they asked. Negative. Going into the briefing hall now. Joe cut the link.

In a way, they really had to thank the humans. These pain implants, while terribly unpleasant, enabled the clones to operate as a collective. By touching the loathsome device, one could speak instantly with the collective.

The briefing room was as sterile as the hallway. No windows lit the room; there was only a harsh yellow light from the ceiling. The briefing was about to begin. The holo emitter hummed in anticipation from its place at the center of the table. Joe took his seat near the head of the table. The head of the rebellion, Jack Chaser, punched a few commands into the control pad in front of him, and made the emitter come to life. A three-dimensional diagram of the clone government complex appeared and began to rotate, showing all sides.

"People, people!" Jack's voice rang out, a clear and crisp tenor. The conversation abruptly stopped.

"I'll make this simple. Joe and I have come up with a strategy for penetrating the clone defenses in the main government complex. Good leadership will be very important. We will split up into two teams: one will come in from the south entrance, distracting the enemy's attention, while the second force will come in from the north, entering through the hover car bay doors. We will enter the complex and shut down the entire network, causing the government to experience a power-out. When the computers fail, we can take back control of the government complex, and hopefully, the world. Any questions?" Jack finished.

"Um, yes. I was wondering ..." someone began, but Joe was no longer listening. He began reporting his findings to the collective. Were the collective uninformed of the proceedings, the plan would undoubtedly succeed. Maybe this Joe Hope hadn't been such a drip after all.

Jason Riley peered at Joe. Something was wrong with him. First, he was late, then he began scowling whenever he began to think, and now he was touching the skin behind his left ear. Were they being infiltrated? No. Couldn't be. But still ...

Joe got up, found his designated group, and grimaced again. All of a sudden, a shout pierced the air.

"He's a clone!! Get him!

Hands grabbed him, pinning them to his sides, and an arm tightened around his neck. Pushing him face down on the ground, someone sat on him. How had they known? His mind whirled in confusion as the weight of rather fat man squashed his thin body. Someone grabbed his left ear and pulled it forward, and Joe let out a cry of pain.

"You're right. He's a clone. Here's the implant," Jack said. He was disheartened, yet mildly flattered. "What do we do with him?" someone asked.

"I say we kill him," someone else snarled.

"No! We won't kill him. We have promised ourselves that if this rebellion succeeds, we would not go back to the way things were. We'd be just like them! We must treat him with respect, even if he doesn't deserve it. Take him to the vault. Keep him under guard so he won't get word to his government, but treat him like any other human being. Clear?" Jack asked. "Good. Dismissed."

Everyone in the room got up and left. Jason pulled his blaster and motioned for the clone to get off the floor. When he had pried himself up, he began to whimper. He was not quite as brave as he had thought. He hadn't anticipated falling into the hands of the rebels, and when reality hit him, he wanted to beg and grovel for his freedom. He opened his mouth to speak, and the collective sighed in regret. He planned to defect, but that would not be permitted. Before the clone of Joe Hope could utter a word, his chest blossomed in a fountain of blood. The collective bent their heads in genuine grief, for Joe Hope had been a fine man. They regretted setting off the heart implant, embedded in every clone for this purpose, but it was necessary. Jason, stared in disbelief at what had once been the clone's chest. He requested medical assistance.

The rebellion failed miserably. The clone of Joe Hope, having warned the clone government, ruined any chance the rebellion had. The forces of the government met the north-siders, and defeated them instantly. The clones remained in control of Earth for several years before humanity finally successfully rebelled. By then, humanity had really learned their lesson on abuse. Never again were a group of people scapegoats for all the world's problems or abused to make someone else feel good. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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xAllegria said...
Jun. 27, 2010 at 2:26 am
Nice, very deep and intense. The ending seemed a bit brief though. It made it sound like you were quoting from a history textbook.
 
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