‘Tell me about my Noumenon, Trainer.’
Monica opened the computer.
She had not used a computer in all her 24 years of life, nor seen it one.
It was a product of the past.
She had only learned bits and pieces from the mouth of her aunt Anneliese Grey. She had never thought that the information might become handy now.
Monica couldn’t but recall her childhood in her old-fashioned home. It felt silly and insensible to start reminiscing about her past while trying to get things done. And, of course, while the Clone Resistance forces were probably being crushed outside.
Even down in this dark basement, she could still hear the booming sounds up above and feel the ground tremor in rage.
It would only be a matter of minutes until some random State soldier barged in.
Monica tried to steady herself. She can’t fail now.
She had gone so far, endured so much. Giving up is simply not an option now.
All her hope, no, rather, all the Resistance Army’s hope, is here, in the U disk she was now holding in her trembling hands.
Monica steeled her nerves. She couldn’t afford to be soft now.
Think of Isai, think of Amelia 56, think of Cho 1, think of all those who are dead. Her mind urged her to make a decision. They shouldn’t die in vain.
Monica tightened her grip, and clicked the disk into place. She opened the file, and started to record:
‘Monica 1, I am your Noumenon Monica Grey. Please hear the following things closely.’
‘You mean she just died?’
Sandra 49 could see that Monica 1 was confused. Her scarlet irises were bigger than usual, illuminated by the soft lights on the compound ceiling. The blood red colour of her pupils were much lighter than usual, almost reduced to a pale tint of salmon pink.
Sandra 49 could feel a pang in her heart as she studied Monica 1’s features.
They looked so alike.
But Monica had blue gray eyes, Sandra 49 reminded herself, much like a blue sky with a soupy mist of gray fog.
She wanted to remember everything about Monica, but 15 years’ time was like the roaring water of a river, sweeping the memories away. Sandra 49 even had trouble remembering what Monica usually wore now. Monica’s features had become hazy and indistinct, her eyes were touches of gray, her lips were smudges of ruby.
Sandra 49 was starting to forget about Monica, and that made her panic.
‘Yes, Monica 1. Any other questions?’ Sandra 49 decided to be as straight forward as possible. Explaining somebody’s death is always messy and gruesome, and she would rather not get too involved. Though in the present circumstances she wasn’t sure how she would act.
Monica 1 was as still as a statue. Sandra 49 couldn’t interpret whether it was horror or awe on the young Clone’s face. ‘You’ll soon get used to it. No revolution without bloodshed. Especially since... well... our biological problems.’
She could see Monica 1 knew what she was referring to. Since the ground-breaking experiment of Dolly the goat, the problems for Clones had arisen. They couldn’t have a normal life cycle, their life expectancy depends on the age of their Noumenons when the Noumenons decided to have Clones.
‘But my Noumenon is human.’ Monica 1 pointed out, ‘Why did she die because of a cut in the arm?’
Gods, Sandra 49 thought, I really do hate curious children.
‘I am sorry, because from the beginning of your creation, I realized that your life will be full of gunfire, smoke and bloodshed.
Your growth, will be unbelievably hard.
Because your birth can only happen in one certain circumstance – my death.
Please forgive my selfishness, my cloneI don’t see you as a tool for reprimanding my various mistakes of the past, which I made when I was young and impulsive. In our body, in our veins, the blood of the Greys churn as we breathe every time. From a biological view, you and I don’t have any differences. We have the same genes, we got the same DNA and we share the same blood.
Everyone has the right of life and the right of freedom by birth. It was the belief spoken out during the French Revolution millennia ago. When the Empire seized control, these basic beliefs of morality and legislation were forgotten and twisted. Nobody has the right to decide about the life or death of others. The Empire and the State were both wrong from the beginning. And this is exactly why the people, who have been under pressure for hundreds of years, have started to fight back, to rebel now.
When I joined the Resistance, a truth revealed itself to me: Everyone eventually will have to die. Rather then dying as we’re kneeling in front of fate and trembling from cowardice, I would prefer to burn like a comet, lighting up the night sky and providing hope for the people.
Our lives should be like a lamp, pointing out a way for our successors, leading them onto a the right path. A path to the future.
I myself now cannot escape death much longer. I hope you can spread my thoughts wide. But I can’t decide your path for you. You have the freedom to decide what you really want to do. But I have stored all my memories and the useful data for the Resistance forces in this old-fashioned U disk. If you choose not to get involved, please give this to Sandra Fisher 49.
Life is forever, and the revolution shall be eternal.’
Sandra 49 made a mental note never to stick around with Monica 1. She reminded her too much of a pervert, only this one perverts her emotions and thoughts.
‘Well, it turns out that Monica...’ She sharply changed her words, ‘Miss Grey had Hemophilia, with consanguineous marriage so common in the Grey family, it’s not at all shocking that they have loads of Genetic diseases.’
Monica 1 lurched back as if in shock, ‘So do I have genetic diseases?’
‘No, you don’t.’ Sandra 49 said gruffly. She wasn’t good at comforting people, but Monica 1 seemed much calmer. ‘When Miss Grey’s body was studied for the cause of death, they found that she had Hemophilia. So the scientists at the compound changed your genetic code, since you hadn't been born yet.’ She started towards the door.
‘Oh. So you were real close to Monica Grey, weren’t you, Trainer?’
This unexpected question made Sandra 49’s footsteps come to a halt.
How would she describe her relationship with Grey?
That was a question that had tormented Sandra 49 years before Grey’s unexpected death, and every night since the funeral.
She wasn’t the out-going, changeable Clone spy any more. Time had hardened her heart into stone, harder then she’d realised. But a part of her heart still ached despite her better judgement.
When she was alone in bed in the dead of the night, when she looked at the old graphics on the compound’s walls, when she saw all the other trainees and soldiers joking around with their friends. The dull ache would become uncontrollably painful. But Sandra 49 could never talk about it in broad daylight. She didn’t have the courage to open up old wounds.
Time can heal many things, but it never did heal the small crack in the deepest part of Sandra 49's stony heart.
She turned her emotionless eyes on Monica 1, ‘No. We don’t “get close” to people here.’
It will only make you vulnerable.
This short story was inspired by a small inspirational paragraph from my best friend. She had created an alternate universe where Clones and normal people existed together.
This is great, Pluiva. I really like it. Its a particularly haunting theme because the world we live in now seems to have the technology and knowledge for making clones, so I guess its just a case of human morality.
Anyway, the story is great so far. I can't believe you're now using vocabulary that I have to look up in the dictionary myself, haha (consanguineous).
The final line (It will only make you vulnerable). Is this a thought? If so, it should be in italics right(?), just like the thoughts from earlier in the text.