Copycat

Journal Entry 15 – 7:47 p.m. 

I think it’s Thursday, March 14, 2020.

The facility was abuzz with scientists running from room to room. Papers scattered at their feet, periodic crimson lights blinked the halls with an awkward translucent light closer to dawn than the actual color red.  I stayed still on the angled examination table. X-rays covered the walls and a desk in the corner. Everything was written in medical lingo. Gibberish as far as I was concerned.

I traced lines across my sensitive skin. A minuscule ache transcribed the back of my neck.I scratched the lower part of my belly and tried to swat a mosquito away, maybe a gnat.  I didn’t pay much attention.

I sat up and grew tired of waiting, tired of being put in the dark.  The facility was freaking out over something major, or maybe something major to them.

Dr. Drake rushed through the door in a frenzy, and he scattered a pack of papers across his desk.  He eyed me. Enough for me to notice, enough for him to notice the strong concern in my face.  He intentionally flipped some papers he found I was trying to interpret.

I rubbed the goosebumps from the back of my neck as he placed both his hands against the mahogany desk, stressed with hidden knowledge.  

“You gonna tell me what’s up?” I asked.

He looked at me sternly, with a look between concern and fury. He removed his horn rimmed glasses and tossed them on top of the medical sheets.

“What?” I asked again. Less question-y, more authoritative.

“It’s…not your concern,” he said. “There were just some…issues with the experiment.”

“Like, what?  Another failure?”

The doctor rubbed his eyes then the top of his clean shaven head. “Look, it’s nothing. Just stay here and we’ll continue the blood work.”

“What do you mean it’s nothing?  It was my blood!” I raised my voice slightly.

My brain worked like a sprinter in the race of his life.  My blood, my DNA, my everything.  I breathed to force myself to calm down. I thought about the last few days and about the three months that had passed since I signed up for the experiment.  

It was 2020 when the biggest breakthrough in medical science happened, sometime between February and June. 

A cure for every existing disease. All I understood was that they crossed different types of DNA. Like a transfusion, but more direct and focused on eradicating the old blood.

I didn’t fully understand the process, but I signed up regardless because of money, like everyone else.  Two other people signed with me.  I hadn’t seen them in weeks.

They kept me in the dark. They didn’t let me read. They didn’t let me understand any of the science.  Silence and experiments. Blind faith. All for a few easy payments.

The doctor was fidgeting. He seemed conflicted with something I couldn’t guess.

“What happened?” I said, on the edge of my seat for an answer.

“It wasn’t that it was a failure,” he said slowly. “It’s that…”  He trails off, hoping I would stop him from talking.  I nod for him to continue.  “The subject…”  Another trail off, another nod.  “Is gone.”  

More scientists ran past the open door.

“Gone? Like dead? Or just gone?” I said.

The doctor slammed his fists on his desk. Something in him gave way, and he flew forward, a floodgate opened with no hesitation.

“It’s gone from the pod! We created damn clones with your blood. Tried to use it as a base for curing the disease and imperfections. I wasn’t my fault! It should have been textbook. Reintroduce the blood, cure everything. Cancer, AIDS, even fucking baldness–” He clenched a few papers, cracked the lenses of his glasses between his fingers.

“And what!? It escaped?” I asked. Something was bubbling in my gut. I clamored to his side, grabbed his shoulders, and continued, “I don’t understand. Aren’t there protocols or something? How do you lose a fucking clone!?”

We stared daggers into each other for a while. Our breathing came out in short rasps. 

“It’s not one of us anymore,” the doctor said.

“Then…what is it?” I said with a shaky voice. “Doctor!” I yelled to gain his attention, his full attention as his eyes wandered.

“What is it?” I said again.

His body tensed, the short hair on his head receded, the fins on the underside of his arms arched, and his eyes blinked in their normal vertical fashion. He gave the hardiest stare he could muster–

“It’s human.”

I sighed loudly and lost my timid behavior. I placed a hand on the back of his oddly colored head, a mixing touch of oil and ceramic.  

He knew in that very moment.

I chuckled lightly, a strange chortle void of any watery gargle, and my other hand slowly made its way to his eyes.

“Damn…Thought I was pretty good,” I applied just a tinge of pressure.  His strange features and slick muscles started to tremble.  

His hollow-boned neck snapped with ease. After all, no one could trust a human.

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