I did it again.
I shoved another knife halfway through Dr. Briggs' desktop, right in front of him, not surprising him by my presence, much less this "untoward display," as he so calmly called it.
"I'd been wondering when I'd hear from you again. So tell me, how are things going?" he continued, unshaken, amiable, seeming oblivious to the blade embedded in the counter, just looking 'kindly' right into my eyes. Smiling, he awaited my response, and it was impossible to follow through on the murderous intent with which I had entered his office. He seemed pleased as he read in my expression that I could not hold on to my anger as well as I used to.
"Why do you do it?" I demanded.
"Cloning?" he answered without losing his smile. "We offer people a way to cheat death. I am performing a very special service."
"Is that really what you think?" I growled furiously.
"Well, I'm always open to a new perspective," he said through a smile that just had to be condescending. It was then that I noticed my knife was gone, no longer protruding from the desk. I didn't see any of the guards who usually attended to the cloning center's security concerns.
"These are humans," I pointed out. " WE are all human." At this, he sighed, sat back in his chair, put his feet on the table and folded his hands over his belly.
"We aren't merchandise to be bought and sold," I protested angrily. "We aren't property to be warehoused, categorized and registered. We aren't products to be made and disposed of at your whim and fancy."
"So is that the root of your distrust?" he mused, almost entertained by what I had just said. "From the start, if we had gone strictly by the books, we would have disposed of any clone that is defective beyond a certain point. Somehow, one slipped through the cracks. Not only was the amyg chip defective, but the DNA infusion didn't take so well. I took a chance on you. I kept the defects to myself. All this time, I have been there to support you and help you along, and it seems you've found yourself."
"What does that tell you, Doctor?" I shot that back at him as though it were a bullet from a rifle, and he was interested enough that he cocked his head to one direction, but he still seemed eerily relaxed, all things considered.
"It tells me that education and experience can put most anything in a new light. I knew what I was doing. I know what I do. I'm a professional. Why do you think we changed the name of the clinic?"
"You're dodging the real question here," I retorted.
"You haven't asked it," he said, unmoved. "So?"
I holstered the pistol I'd held behind my back, turned and walked away. The door didn't snap shut behind me the way it usually does. I just kept walking and didn't turn back.
No, I've made up my mind.
I'm not that person. I don't care who he was. I don't want to know any more about him. I just don't care anymore. I'm not who he is or was, and he's not who I am.
So now what do I do with the clone I bought two cycles ago?
Is he my brother?
Or perhaps my cousin?
Or is he my son?
How do I save him, and what do I tell him?