hermialysander: Hermia and Lysander (Default)
A persistent tattoo of noise woke Justice from a brief nap he had begun to take a quarter of the way into his daily routine. Swinging his legs to the floor, he paced to the door, jerking it open to confront whoever was on the other side with a rigid salute and a contumelious, "What?"

Standing before him was the young scientist Zane, clipboard in hand. He hopped from one foot to the other as he motioned for Justice to follow him.

“What is it?”

“The copy is unstable, sir.”

“What do you mean unstable?” Justice grabbed the young man’s shoulders, forcing him to stop and stand at attention.

“It is exhibiting a pattern of behavior we have encountered with the others just before they malfunctioned. In my opinion, sir, its mind is atrophying.”

Justice reached for his jacket and hat while considering Zane’s observations. “Are you positive?”



Straightening his uniform jacket so that the front ends were even, he motioned for Zane to precede him down the corridor. The young scientist was eager to comply, his movements reminding Justice of an enthusiastic schoolboy. All elbows and knees.

A short while later, Justice was looming abreast of the two-way mirror which was the dominate feature of the Replica Lab, his hands clasped behind his back. The copy knelt on all fours in the middle of the sterile room. It appeared to be scratching at a seam running five quarters the length of the floor.

“What is it doing?” Justice voiced his thoughts aloud as he watched the copy frantically dig at the floor with the soft pads of its fingertips.

“Repetitive motions are just one of the many problems with this copy, sir.” Zane twisted a dial, and they could hear the copy grunt with each motion.

“It’s vocal?” Justice winced as he saw Zane slant him an eyebrow.

“If you consider grunts a form of vocalization, sir."

Justice scowled, and Zane quickly maneuvered a microphone so he could communicate with the other room.
hermialysander: Hermia and Lysander (Default)
The room was white. A vast open space. Seemingly endless. The floor, smooth and indistinguishable from the ceiling or walls stretched to invisible corners. The copy lay on its stomach, palms flat on the hard surface which was neither hot nor cold to the touch. Its head hung limply between shoulders narrow and wisplike, as it tested its strength and found it lacked the ability to hold its head up for longer than a second. Shoulders buckling, it collapsed. Arms folding underneath its body.
A hairline seam cut a line on the floor, inches from its nose. Tracing the crack with its eyes, it worried the spot until its eyes glazed with dreams or maybe memories:
"A bright light illuminated the night sky with a beam brighter than the sun, but colder, without the sun’s warmth. Bathed in the light stood a figure, head tilted up, one hand shielding their eyes and the other hand grasping the arm of a much smaller form. I stood watching, insubstantial and indistinct. As I watched, the two seemed to fade. Panic swelled within me, constricting my chest and making it difficult to breathe. I reached out wanting to stop them, but they were gone."
Panting, thought and reason seemed to return to the copy as it lay on its side, and continued to worry the hairline seam in an otherwise unblemished floor. Too weak to move anything other than its eyes. Questions intermingled with feelings that could be past experiences jostled for dominance in an otherwise submissive subconscious.
"Am I alive?"
hermialysander: Hermia and Lysander (Default)
3010 BE (Beyond Earth)
“Should we terminate, sir?”
Justice watched the young scientist’s hand hover over the black button as it was reflected on his side of the two-way mirror. Staring past the reflection through to the room beyond, he studied the prone figure huddled on the floor in the fetal position. Bare flesh smooth and unblemished. Maybe he should be concerned with how his first reaction was to ask if its organs were viable for transplant purposes? After all this time, and all this effort, the fact he could still be impartial, even indifferent to what lay on the other side of the glass, surprised him. Besides, he told himself. It was a mere copy, not the real thing.
“Sir, should we terminate? It appears our latest attempt has failed.”
The indifference bothered Justice. He had invested much of his time and energy in this project, for it to fail wasn’t an option.
Shaking his head he waved his hand dismissively and stood with a frown puckering his brow, arms crossed at the chest. How many has it been? How many copies have they tried to replicate from the originals? On the flipside, how could they ethically keep all those people in hibernation? Probably for an indefinite period, he thought with a smirk. If only he knew how old the specimens were.
“Do not terminate. I want to study this one further.” Taking his hat from behind his belt he arranged it firmly on his head.
“But sir…”
“Tha's an order, citizen!”


hermialysander: Hermia and Lysander (Default)

February 2017

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