Two of a Kind
The Boy in the CylinderIn the heart of the city, glittering in the night like a circus of fireflies, there was a small bookstore. It opened at eight o’clock am and closed at eight o’ clock pm. Nobody went to buy books there. The old woman who ran the store was annoyingly deaf and all the books were ridiculously overpriced. Besides, there was another bookstore across the street with a better selection of books set with a handsome male bookkeeper.
The lights were all dead since it was well over eight hours after noon. Yet there was movement in the old building, underneath the old building in fact. There were troops of security guards and even more figures in white lab coats walking around holding thick files.
The bookstore was merely a cover shrouding the source of every illegal deal in South East Asia from the government. Though curiously the orders were usually from powerful influential men who worked in the government.
This source of South East Asian black markets was a laboratory, rather small in size compared to its reputation. There operations were done, body parts taken away – regrettably by force - for implants, drugs and all the latest technology forbidden by law. However, the most important and dangerous experiments were held in one particular room: Special Orders Commission. But most simply called it the Soc.
But only one of the white robed people was permitted inside the Soc. She was a young lady with striking black eyes, blood red lips and a soft brown waterfall of shoulder-length hair. Her low silver heels went clack-clack-clack as she quickly walked to the Soc.
The lady pressed her hand on a glass screen and at the same time scanned her iris on front of a black hole on the wall. A blue light flashed on the glass screen. The door, flat against the wall that it was a steel rectangle on the wall, made a hole small enough for the lady to barely pass through. This was for security reasons in case someone tried to follow her behind.
The room would’ve been pitch black if not for the eerie green glow emanated by the glass cylindrical containers filled with clear emerald liquid. The containers were lined up against the wall because the room, really, was only a very big corridor. None of the containers contained anything, except for the one on the left side of the lady and fifth from the door.
It had a young boy inside.
She could hear his heart beating steadily through the special microphones plugged at the base of the glass container. Although he was underwater and wasn’t breathing, his heart beat as shown in the pointed hills on the single line running through the screen of the machine next to the container. He was curled up in a ball. His head was tucked underneath his arms, the black hair curling like seaweed in the ocean bed.
It’s like a baby inside its mother’s womb, the lady mused. She was extremely pleased with her work. Cloning a human had been no easy work as a human had an infinitely more complicated system than an animal’s. But it was worth it. Tomorrow a million Yuan would be sent to her Swiss bank at home. And her client had already paid fifty thousand Yuan in prior. She placed her gloved hand, which looked ghostly pale in the green light, on the curved surface of the container.
Perhaps, she thought, it could sense me right now. Suppose it would hear my voice like a baby would hear its mother’s lullaby inside her womb.
The lady smiled at the thought. She never had a child nor did she plan to have one. But to think that the boy floating inside the liquid was, in a way, her son was amusing.
There was a name she had always named her child when playing family with her pet rabbits. If it was a female rabbit, she had called it Alison. If it was a male rabbit, she had called it….
“Alan,” she whispered.