The Clone Trial
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Earth ran out of oil. Nuclear power is the main alternative. Simultaneous human and natural disasters created massive radiation leaks rendering human life infertile. Thus, cloning is legalized. Clones and off-world species provide the workforce. Each “original” or "host" is allotted two clones. Watch what happens in the first trial of a host accused of killing his clone. A short story mystery! More
Earth ran out of oil. Nuclear power is the main alternative. Simultaneous human and natural disasters created massive radiation leaks rendering human life infertile. Thus, cloning is legalized. Clones and off-world species provide the workforce. Each “original” or "host" is allotted two clones. Watch what happens in the first trial of a host accused of killing his clone. A short story mystery!
The jury room was sparsely furnished with a long rectangular see-through glass table and metal chairs tucked in around it. There was one entrance and a closed door leading into a restroom. No windows, no distractions. Along one side of the room about halfway up was a movable belt for garbage disposal. On the other side were dispensers for food and drink. There also was a metal bar hanging down from one corner creating a perch at its end.
“I suppose we should settle in and introduce ourselves to each other,” a human female with long blonde hair with streaks of green said.
“My name is Nancy,” she said. “And, um, I’m a human as you can see and let me make it clear that I am no copy!”
Suddenly, a flapping sound startled everyone as a creature took its place on the perch. It was bright blue with yellow tipped wings. It had a face similar to a human baby’s features.
“What are you looking at?” The bird entity asked indignantly. “No copy, no copy!”
“D-Do you have a name?” Nancy asked.
“I am Grllic from the planetoid Xerkas. You cannot pronounce my first name so call me X. It is a place you humans have staked out as a colony for mining and drilling. No oil! No oil! You should get used to my, um, what you might call outbursts. It is a natural way we converse on my planet. I have, I want, I mean, I have wondered about something.”
“Go ahead,” Nancy said.
X continued, “Why are there off-worlders on a jury about a human crime?! Humans! Clones! Copies!”
“I can answer that,” a voice from a corner of the table said.
“I am Randy2, and you know from my name that I am a first clone of Randy––my, uh, benefactor. So, I am a Second Citizen. For those off-world colonists here, let me give a bit of brief Earth history. I pride myself on being a student of history. At the turn of this century, there were several simultaneous catastrophes. Well, that was just the beginning. Earth finally ran out of oil––natural gas, too. Many nation states had built nuclear power plants and, unfortunately, too many in the wrong places, like on ocean coasts. You all no doubt know the disasters in the early twenty-first century in what was known as Japan. Then they had the big one in 2047. Of course, we all know, there is no Japan now and few Japanese. The same can be said about Old France and much of Old Asia. Not a bad review for a copy, huh?”
“I’ll tell you what happened!” a new voice yelled out.
“I am Reddy of the Mars Colony. You can remember that from my red skin. You humans burnt your gonads! The radiation from core meltdowns rendered your planet sterile!”
“It’s true,” Nancy said. “But calm down please Mr. Reddy.”
“Just Reddy or Red, please.”
“Well, I can add some to your story, Red,” Nancy said. “I do have a Master’s degree in Earth History. I believe the story is that the more recent radiation leaks rendered most, if not all, of the planet’s inhabitants sterile. That is why our space program was re-energized to explore planets for resources and, well, species to make up for the humans who are dying off. We need a work force. So yeah, none of us––yes, that means me too––not one of us can have children. I . . .”
“Why is that?”
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