Author's note: I wrote this for Science class- we had the option of taking our topic and turning it into a... Show full author's note »
The BeginningFebruary 19, 2:35 PM, 2035 AD- New York Labs
“Now, you are the new girl, I presume? What’s your name?” Dr. Shelt said stiffly. Cassie stood up straighter, somewhat intimidated by this man. He seemed… off, to her, and that scared her. She’d talked to him all of five minutes, and there was just something wrong with him that she just could not put her finger on…
“Rosen. Cassie Rosen. I’m the new trainee, sir. They’ve just sent me in from Connecticut- Sir, I’m not exactly
“Didn’t they tell you? You are going to be put through extensive training to become one of the Scientists- you will be allowed the honor to create the clones- the greatest creation of all time, if I do say so myself. Your training starts in an hour. You have a lot to cover, and you only have three days to get down the fundamentals- and then we will go put you to work. As your career advances, you will be given more training, allotted higher access, but for now, you will be a simple tech assistant. But for now, I’ll give you a simple tour- you need to know the place before you can do anything with it, am I correct?” Not letting her answer, he continued.
“Over here we have the training room. You will report here in an hour. Then,” he pointed to a section in the corner, “you will be sent to your Scientist, who will fill you in on your job for him or her at the moment. Over here, we have the elevator.” He paused. “You are not, I repeat, you are not allowed in there. The only level it leads to is the Labs, and you are not allowed in there until you have a Level Five clearance, which I suspect you won’t earn for another year or so. It is a high honor to go in there and witness the creation of new life- or to CREATE it yourself!” he said. Cassie cocked her head.
“What exactly allows you to create the clones?” she asks curiously.
“Oh, it’s a long and grueling process. To shorten things up a bit, we take bits of DNA from the person we want to clone, and take a donor egg from another person. We wipe the DNA and all traces of programming from that egg and reprogram it with hereafter referred to as the stem. Then we find someone willing to carry the baby and be its temporary surrogate mother, and we surgically transplant the egg into the mother. We give her certain growth hormones that speed up the pregnancy, and the embryo is a fully developed human baby within five weeks. Once the clone is born, the baby grows at a rapid pace, and develops to the age of their stem within three to five months, depending on how old their stem is. The clone is now an exact replica of the stem, but has all of the more… attractive qualities that the original stem had mixed with less… desirable traits. The clone is our version of a super human! They do whatever we ask, and don’t think twice about it. It’s in their nature. We program it that way.” he explained. Cassie just looked at him, eyes as wide as an owl.
Well, if that was the short version, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to hear the long version, Cassie thought. She nodded. Dr. Shelt looked more excited than she thought possible for someone such as him.
“Such a marvelous thing, isn’t it? We came up with the process after about twenty years- we’ve been able to clone animals since the 1990’s. It was only a matter of time before we figured out how to clone humans. Those Resistance people,” he spat, clearly disgusted by them, “have no idea about how wonderful this is. They think it’s unethical, unnatural, blah, blah, and blah. They just don’t get that the benefits completely encompass any losses or disadvantages. I mean, think about it! We could create a race of super humans here- look how close we to doing it! I’m mean, look at the Doppelgangers- they are the closest we’ve come yet! Think about what we could do!”
Cassie nodded again, at a loss for words. This wasn’t what she signed up for! She figured she’d be in the medical labs- not the Cloning Labs! This was evil- she couldn’t participate! But she didn’t see any way out. Everything she saw here was confidential- if she ever told anybody, they would kill her! She didn’t want this for her life! She wanted a safe, normal existence- this was creation for the whims of man, not valued as it should be. This was mankind trying to play the role of God- and sooner or later it was going to backfire, and somehow Cassie knew she was going to end up in the backlash. It wasn’t safe to be here.
What were her parents going to think? As supporters of the Resistance, they might disown her. They believed this whole idea was blasphemy. Taking someone’s cells, wiping them, and then imprinting it with another person genes so it turned out to be an identical copy. And programming them so they didn’t have any choice whether to have freewill or not- that was even worse! Didn’t they see the beauty in diversity, the miracle in ones genes, untampered with and natural? But what could she do? Protest and hold a boycott? No. They’d have her killed in a second- no, an instant. So all she could really do for now was play along.
“Now, come. I’m to send you along to the Training Center and then you will be assigned a Scientist and sent to a lab somewhere across the states. Most likely Vegas, I’m assuming. We’ve been lacking in help lately there. But don’t worry. You’ll get the hang of everything soon enough.” He starts to walk away after he brings Cassie to the Training Center, but then stops and turn around. “Oh, and by the way Cassie:” he paused dramatically.
“Welcome to the family.” He said cruelly.
But Cassie felt anything but.
July 14, 7:45 AM- Oregon, Town of Grace, Thane’s house
I’m not human.
At least, not a real one.
I’m different from everybody else here at my town. Everybody else was born naturally, with their own personal DNA and genes that nobody else has. They weren’t created with someone else’s DNA or born by someone who isn’t really their mother, just a woman who volunteered to be their surrogate mother. They weren’t programmed with specific traits and instincts.
To put things simply, I’m a clone. My stem was a seventeen year old boy named Arris, who volunteered to be cloned for the money. He died after DNA replication. That’s all I know of him. That he was seventeen, and that he’s now dead. I live in Oregon, a place where the Resistance completely governs. They would have killed me as soon as I was grown, but the strangest thing happened. Unlike every other clone in the world, I don’t have to follow orders from the Scientists. The Scientists are the leaders of all clones, and they create them- or shall I say us.
Because I wasn’t actually born by a real mother, I have no technical parents. After I reached the maturity of my stem after about four months, I was taken in by two people who wanted a child, but aren’t able to actually have one of their own. They took a liking to me, and took me in as their ‘foster child’. I love them, don’t get me wrong, but it would have been nice to actually have someone who is blood related to me, with a serious, ingrained sense to nurture me, love me.
Turns out that the world isn’t a magical wish-granting machine.
I joined the Resistance when I was physically sixteen, about a week or two before I reached full maturity. They accepted me, because unlike every other clone, I don’t have to listen to the Scientists. They figured I’d be good to have, a way to infiltrate the Labs and pretend to be on their side- a double agent, they said.
I went on my first mission two days after I joined. We infiltrated the last real Lab in California, and we succeeded. I’ve been on eight more raids since then.
I look around my room, and I inspect all of my meager possessions, trying to decide what to take with me this time. I’m supposed to depart with fifteen men, plus my best friend Jasper, on another mission, in about half an hour. I go to my closet and pull out a small backpack, and fill it with an extra shirt, a water bottle which I make a note in my head to fill up before I leave, socks, a couple granola bars, and lastly, my notebook. Okay, call me a sissy if you want, but without my notebook, I’d have gone insane within the first month of my creation. It helps me vent, without having to sit down with someone and scream at them until I lose my voice.
I shoulder my pack, and look around my room one last time before I leave. I want to get one last good look in case I never come back from my mission. It’s always a probability. I shut the door as I leave, and walk down the stairs, passing by Mom and Dad in the kitchen as I stop to fill up my water bottle. Once done, I head towards the front door.
“Be careful,” Mom calls. I crack a small smile.
“Aren’t I always?” I reply. Dad gives me a small nod, and sips his coffee. He’s proud of me; I know that, he just isn’t one for much talking. I close the door, and step into the frosty air, my hot breath forming small, swirling circles at every exhale. The cold, cold air hurts my lungs on every intake, but that’s okay. It’s the clearest air left to breathe in the United States. Everywhere else besides maybe a couple Resistance towns have very polluted air. I can’t image what it’s like to breathe in that filthy smog, day after day.
I get into Mom and Dad’s car, and start it. The heater turns on, and hot air rushes into the small sedan. It takes about ten minutes to drive to the base, and I park carefully. I get out, and walk over to the door. I enter my pass code, and hold my eye to the scanner. I hear a beep, and I know my identity has been read, and accepted. The door clicks open, and I walk through the first door. I am met by a second one, this one iron with a big click wheel. I place my hand upon the scanner next to it, the machine whirs, and my name is displayed on the top. I spin the click wheel to the numbers 17, 9, 3, and 1.
I change my combination every month or so, everybody having a different code that can only be used once their prints have been identified. I change it to numbers that are significant in my life. The last two haven’t changed for the past eight months. 17 stands for my physical age, and 9 for my months of actual age. 3 always stands for the number of people that I trust in this world. Mom, Dad, and Jasper. And 1… 1 stands for the man I have to blame for the destruction of the world, the man responsible for the Clone Epidemic. The man responsible for my abhorrent existence.
Dr. Shelt. I shake my head in disgust. The door creaks open, and I stand forward into the blackness, prepared for what I’m about to do.
Las Vegas Labs, July 15, 10:35 PM
The city was quiet. Different from what I heard and learned of it. I learned that it was a city of lights, casinos, and hotels, people everywhere, always loud, always packed and warm, and somewhat dirty. But not now. The city was a desolate area of broken buildings and shattered life. Only one intact place of civilization remained: the Lab.
But not just any lab. The biggest lab besides New York. If Shelt wasn’t here, he was twittering away in his place of horrors, coming up with God knows what. But if he was here, he was a dead man.
The team of fifteen men and I hid in shadows, guns locked and loaded, ready to shoot at any moment. We’re prepared, and dangerous, willing and able to take down anything and anybody that crossed our path. We have our orders, and this is the last stop before we hit the big one: New York.
The team and I turn the corner, guns pointed at the front of the building. It’s almost midnight, and we see almost no lights in the windows, except for one, a small broken window near the first floor. I silently point it out to my men. I get a nod from them all, and we creep towards the entrance, unheard, and unseen, in the shadows.
This is it, I thought darkly, the Lab. If Dr. Shelt is here, he will die, or I will die trying.
July 16- Thane’s Journal
The raid is done, and it was a mistake. We lost all but two of our men. It’s a miracle even those two got out with their lives.
Jasper’s gone. He was taken, kidnapped by a group of Scientists. One of my soldiers, a woman named Cara, betrayed us. It turns out she isn’t a human- she’s a Doppelganger. She alerted the Scientists of our upcoming raid and they were lying in wait, ready for us. I don’t know why they want Jasper, or why they didn’t just outright shoot him. We also got one scientist, only identifying herself as Cassie. She was scared- not calm and demented like the others. It’s strange. I’m pretty sure there is no chance she has any idea where the hostages are kept, but we might still get information out of her. She doesn’t seem as tough- probably easier to break. If she were innocent, I would feel bad for saying that. People are people. Not things for us to break and manipulate- if that’s what we did with innocents, we’d be no better than them. But she isn’t an innocent. She is one of them- no matter how different she may seem to be. We’ve never been able to get information on the cloning process, at least not specifically, and she may just be the ticket to that jackpot of information. She claims she is only a tech assistant, but I’m not buying into it. She could just be saying that to avoid interrogation and to save her own skin.
He wasn’t there, either. Good for him, but bad for me. Because that only means one thing: Dr. Shelt is New York, and we only have the smallest chance in the world of finding him, killing the mad doctor, and destroying the largest central of clones on the continent. Because he’ll be in New York, there will be extra security, extra weapons,
extra men needed to use and more men that could possibly die. I don’t want to be responsible for the deaths of more of my men, but it seems that there’s no choice. My personal reasons aside, Dr. Shelt needs to die. Dr. Shelt is the body of the hydra; if we destroy a head, it’s just going to grow back with an additional one as well- we kill him,
we kill the body of the hydra, and it can’t come back.
I don’t know how I’ll survive.