The wind whipped my coat around as I ran full speed at the man in front of me. I had to admit that this new body was fricken awesome. I had been running for nearly five minutes and I wasn’t even winded. I would thank my doctor but I just saw the man in front of me throw a knife straight through the good doctor’s eye socket. I wouldn’t have worried too much because I know that the good doctor will just be recloned to do exactly the same job he’s been doing, but the “man” was in the midst of telling me some serious shit. The knife may have killed my doctor but it just pissed me off.
I hear you saying, gee Rane, why don’t you just shoot the guy? Blow is brains out. Stick a bullet up his rectum. As lovely as those suggestions are I currently have no ammo. Believe me… as soon as I heard the sick thud and saw the knife sticking out of Doc’s eye I had my gun out to do just that. Turns out that when my best friend and roommate gave me my gun back, she didn’t have the foresight to reload. Still I can’t complain. This was fun. After all the shit I did manage to hear the doctor say before his untimely knifing I needed this.
In fact I have to say that the info I just received was pretty heavy, more so than you might think. As was I wasn’t really even thinking about exactly what it was he said, but I’ll get to that in a minute. First a little exercise.
I jumped up over a table that was perfectly placed to allow me a full jump and dive at my target. The nice thing was that the dive was perfect. I landed directly on the man’s back. I heard bones snap in his leg as I landed. Then the little bitch had the unmitigated gall to scream out in pain.
“What the fuck, bitch? You scream like a girl. You just stabbed a ‘man’ in the eye. You didn’t hear him scream.” I shrugged a bit as I was pulling the man over so I could see his face. “Of course he was dead pretty quick, but still.”
I looked at the man. He seemed so familiar, but I just couldn’t place the face.
“Do I know you?”
“Fuck off, wench.”
“Wench? Really? Who uses a word like that?”
The man just squirmed as I held him down. He tried on last attempt to get up and get away. I just pressed my foot down on his broken leg. He screamed again. I actually wanted to laugh, but that’s not very professional and I’m nothing if not professional.
“Stop laughing at me, bitch.”
“Opps. Didn’t mean to laugh. Not very professional.”
As I hit my wrist pad to call the police department a squad of CenGen (the lovely creators of my new body) goons came running up from seemingly nowhere.
“We’ve got him, ma’am.”
“It’s Rane, not ma’am.”
I’m pretty sure that was on purpose.
It hadn’t been twenty minutes since I arrived back at the facility I had left only a couple hours before. So much had happened in that time. I really don’t want to get into it but it was emotional. One of those human things the doc was unable to feel. Makes me wonder if he felt pain as he was murdered. Come to think of it maybe it was time to digest exactly what he had been telling me before he saw the blade.
I walked through the door of the facility and the receptionist smiled and pointed towards the doctor’s office. Of course I had only left a while before and knew exactly where his office was but
I smiled and thanked the woman anyways… she was probably just clone. Damn things are everywhere.
We entered the doc’s personal office and he greeted with that creepy ass smile of his. He saw my distaste and quickly apologized.
“Ah yes… Miss Rane, I have some… odd findings in your medical history.”
“Well, shoot doctor.”
He looked at Kimmie who was standing behind me.
“She’s ok. She’s with me.”
“Actually I would prefer that we discuss this alone.”
The doctor motions for us to leave his office. Kimmie follows us out and then went over to a bench near the receptionist’s desk. She smiled a little at me and I turned and followed the doctor down a hall and back to the facility where many of the painful tests were put towards my new body.
We entered through the main door and as soon as we did he turned to me and the look on his face was nearly confused as emotional… maybe a mixture of scared and shocked with a bit of constipation.
“What’s up, Doc?”
“Miss Qu… Rane… I dug into your personal files… much deeper than I probably should have. I must admit that I found many things about your surgery odd to say the least. The strangest though was something in your blood.”
“And that would be?”
“It’s a certain type of protein that is synthetically made only for replicant blood.”
“And that means what?”
“You were a clone even before this process. I have some files on at my work station that would give you some leads as to where you can get more information, but I don’t have any more. The company that created your last body is defunct. Most of it’s files were purged and assimilated through the three remaining replicant companies. That’s how I found what I could. I can… ”
Thud! Knife to the eye.
I made my way through the maze of corridors that I had previously been running though with the help of one of the goons. He seemed to be overly helpful to get me out of the building. Odd behavior for a goon, but hey that’s the way it goes. Remove the trouble from the situation and you are left with no worries.
As we entered the lobby of the building I looked back and realized we had completely avoided the doctor’s work space.
“Wait. I need to go back in there. The doctor had a file for me.”
“Ma’am, this is a crime scene and no one will be permitted in until after a full investigation.”
“That’s fucking retarded.”
“Maybe so. As for now I suggest you leave.”
“You’re a clone, aren’t you? Freaking clones.”
I turned and nearly walked into Kimmie who had come up from behind me.
“What’s going on?”
“I just watched the doc take knife to the eye and I caught the guy and now the goon squad won’t let me get my file.”
“That’s about what I said.”
“I have no idea what’s going on here.”
“Joint the club, Kimmie. Let’s go home. I have a feeling this is something I’m going to have to come up with answers to on my own.”
She shrugged at me with complete cluelessness.
AS we got into her vehicle and pulled away from the building I looked out at the people that were casually walking in and out. I wondered how many were really original and how many were like me… well, maybe not exactly like me. Apparently there’s more to me than I originally knew. Now I wonder just how much my mother knew.
“Kimmie… I think we should go see my mom.”
“Didn’t we just leave there?”
“Yeah, well… I think maybe she might know about me being a clone.”
“Um… we already established that.”
“Hm?” I looked at her confused. “Oh! No. Apparently I was already a clone. “
“My thoughts exactly, baby. My thoughts exactly.”
We pulled up to my mother’s building. The emotions that I had before leaving were not there. Now there was only the questions that needed answered.
We took a quick elevator ride to my mother’s floor and then walked to her apartment. I pushed the call button and my mother answered the door. I saw her face was still in pain as she saw me standing there.
“I told you…”
“Yeah, well now I’m not here to discuss my miraculous return. I want to know what you know about my last body being a clone as well.”
He look of pain was replaced quickly by shock. I wasn’t sure at that moment if it was her finding out this information or that I found out about it. She stepped back and ushered us in. I was in a mix of emotions. I wanted so desperately to hug my mother and I in turn wanted to smack her for not telling me about who I was earlier than now.
We sat down in her living room and she rubbed her face. I could see the years on my mother’s face. I had never noticed them before. To me she was always young and alive… even with all the tragedy she had endured.
“Suzy, I’m not your mother by birth.”
I felt my heart sink. I’ll leave it at that.
“When you were a baby… You were given to your father and I. The situation was… very complicated. I knew you were a replicant.”
“If you knew that then why did you treat me like you did when I showed up? You made me feel like I was a horrible creature… a freak.”
“You are no freak, but I couldn’t bear the thought of my baby dying and what they could bring back from that… that place.”
“They brought me back. I’m me, mother. I’m the little girl who wore your clothes and put on your make up when I was ten and who idolized my father so much that I went to police academy and dealt with the real shit behind the scenes of that dirty rat hole they call a police department. I’m the daughter who lost her father in front of her and went home to tell her mother with his blood still on her uniform. Maybe my body is changed but my mind is still here. I remember it all.”
She started to cry so hard I almost wished I had kept that all in, but I needed more answers. I wanted to know who I am.
“Mom… I love you. But I need to know who I am. Please.”
“Then you need to ask her father.”
She looked over at Kimmie and I looked over at her. Kimmie looked at me with just as much shock as she could. I looked back at my mother.
“Because he knows who you were.”
You know, of course that that only made this more necessary to find out everything. It was no time before Kimmie pulled her car up to the police station with me riding shotgun… and it felt as if I managed to get out of the car before the door was fully open. I rushed up the stairs that led to the front door and without making more than ten feet inside I was face to face with the mustache.
“Who am I?”
He looked down at me and I saw a look of confusion on his face.
“You’re Susan Quinn. Do you need to sit down? Are you losing your memories?”
“No… who am I really?”
The confusion turned to shock and his face went ghost white.
“I think maybe we should talk, Chief.”
We walked to his office and he held the door as we walked in. His demeanor was completely unlike his normal gruff and tuff man in charge act he would usually be known for. Like my mother, he seemed to age on the spot. It truly made me feel as if I was personally destroying their youth. Was that my new clone powers? Am I a youth thief?
I sat down in one chair and Kimmie sat in another. We waited for the elderly man to walk slowly around his desk. I looked at him as he slowly slipped into his desk chair and I realized that even his mustache was drooping with the added age. That, of course made me want to laugh more than I ever have. Weird. Maybe they did mess with my mind.
The Chief looked at me then he looked at Kimmie. I could see his eyes starting to get red again. Suddenly I wanted to scream out for him to stop. I knew what was coming next was going to change everything in my life. I didn’t want it to change, but I guess that’s what death brings. Right? Life and death are all just changes happening around us.
“Your name is Susan Quinn. You were adopted by your parents after…” The tears he had been holding back earlier were falling down his cheeks and right into his mustache. “After the woman you were cloned from… after her brain was found to be damaged beyond use.”
Kimmie was looking concerned at her father, but she was my rock. She reached out and took my hand and held it tightly as her father tried to sniffle the rest of the way through my back story.
“The woman you were replicated from… her name was Maureen… Baker.”
Kimmie went ghost white and her hand went limp. Maureen Baker… Baker, like as in Kimmie Baker and Chief John Baker and his deceased wide… Maureen Baker.
I felt my hand on my mouth before I even realized I had raised it there. I wasn’t breathing. How the hell was I alive? There was no air going into my lungs. I felt like passing out. Then out of nowhere I felt a gasp from my body as I choked in air.
“You were meant to be the body clone for my wife… Kimmie’s mother, but… due to complications it wasn’t possible. The process was stopped at infancy and I was given the choice to allow you to grow as a new life or… abort you. I couldn’t abort you. That… would be losing Maureen all over again. So, I took you into my care and I took you to my best friend and asked him to take care of you. You were raised to be Susan Quinn and you are who you are. You are basically the offspring of my wife… a new life that was raised to love and honor and be a good person. You were raised to be Susan Quinn… daughter of Peter and Sara Quinn.”
I stared at the man who was my… husband? Best friend’s father? Ex-boss… and so many things flowed through my head… So many things this man said and did now made perfect sense. This old man in front of me was looking at his wife every day and couldn’t even show his undying love. This was the end all/ beat all of hell for him. Losing me in that hallway was not just losing his best friend’s daughter… it was losing his wife all over again.
“You’re my mom.”
I looked over at Kimmie and she was looking blankly at me.
“I’m sure glad we didn’t get married to get that discount on our apartment. That would have been hell to explain.”
I just let my mouth flop open in disbelief after she uttered that. And then I just burst into laughter. She joined me and we sat laughing at the horror of realization. We laughed so hard that tears streamed from our eyes.
When I was capable of looking up at the Chief I saw him whipping his eyes and laughing as well. This was hard for him… harder than for either Kimmie or I. This wasn’t something that was going to be brushed over lightly, but for now we laughed. We laughed and we cried.