Lamia Chandler immediately snapped off her bloodied gloves as she entered her suite room dancing with holographics of the human biology, spinning diagrams of the DNA analysis of each person in the entire society. She threw her tablet onto the large bed at her left, gritting her teeth as she felt tears welling up in her eyes when she recalled the boy’s fearful face, the desperation and sudden horror and understanding racing across his features just as she ordered him to be put down.
Like a dog, mind you. Her mind sneered nastily. She passed a hand across her face and sinks onto the bed, her hands clutching the wavy mess of dark hair on her head, messing up the immaculately neat hairstyle she had donned for her work, the tight pulled bun and the sideswept bangs sloping down the side of her forehead. Now it was a mess, a frazzled, complete disarray.
How ironic, she thought, Just like my conscience. Lamia sighed, feeling the tears subside to nothing in her eyes as she calmed down, and she blinked carefully and deliberately. You never knew, you see, sometimes even if you blinked your eyes after the tears subsided and your eyes feel dry and free from those damning tears, they would still come in a split moment, running down your face shamelessly and listlessly. She straightens her posture, falling back on the soft bed and pulling at the covers close to her feet up to her chin protectively, cocooning herself in its warmth. She heaved a heavy breath. It was duty, no matter how painful, to run through every birth to death of each person– No. Soldier. She reminded herself desperately.
You mustn’t think of them as a person. That would be your undoing, Lamia. She told herself silently. They aren’t your children. No. They’re abominations of nature created by human hands. Half robots, Half humans. Her creations. That was it. Something that her society needed in order to survive. Nothing else. Not the remnants of her lost dead family. Not remnants of a remainder, an echo of what could have been but would never be. She raised her hand to the illuminating light, watching the eerie network of veins branching out in her hand. How ironic. Now she was one of the ten originals left. Asher was never counted. He was a wild card, not part of their society and group. A bitter smile graced her lips as she threw her glasses to one side. Her eyes flickered as she turned on her right, curling into a foetal position.
How did she even get to this point? To be this unfeeling person, the creator–well, part creator of this dead, dead, dead, society. It had all seemed so far away, the laughter she once knew, the joy, peace, love that had graced her being and made her world beautiful and wonderful. She never really treasured it. Well, she didn’t see the need to then. There was always a family to rely on wherever she went, be it adopted or biological. Be it friends considered as family or simply her real family, and a shoulder to cry on when she needed it– and now, there was just..nothing. Emptiness filled the very being of her soul when fate: yes , she thought bitterly, fate and its damned consequences ripped apart her world into nothing but a body of water, dark, deep, treacherous and so, so cold. Her eyes squeeze shut as she recalls it, the gurgling of choked voices, garbled and so filled with pain and desperation, palms hammering against the glass panes as they started the procedure, and yes, screaming. The nine-metered waves had swept over her homeland, the land once known as Singapore within a split second after the lab her calculated the results of the calamity, too late to inform them, too late to save anyone but themselves. Bodies thumped against the glass as the ten of them stood in the chamber, drifting down the ocean in the reinforced bauble, sending them down to the secret branched underwater facility they had been creating ever since she joined as a fresh-faced, hardworking, exceptionally gifted geneticist that climbed the corporate ladder so smoothly with her feminine wiles and charms. That was all in the past.It was a selfish choice, but when had they not made any selfish choices? Every single moment of their lives, choosing to keep the underwater facility a secret, choosing to keep their greatest creation and discovery of the rising water a secret had led to the tragedy. But they hadn’t any choice then, she convinced herself. Lamia herself had barely gotten into the bauble’s chambers had it not been for her colleagues. She remembered the moment before the wave struck, the glorious moment of joy and happiness as they stood outside the chamber, watching and waving as everyone gathered there to applaud them for their breakthrough in genetics. Lamia saw her daughter’s face, her sweet lovely darling Emma, only six then–she would’ve been eleven now, had she survived, and a pretty little thing, with her mother’s pale skin and warm brown irises and dark wavy hair, her caucasian father’s long lashed almond shaped eyes and slightly heart-shaped mouth, a button of a nose and the sweetest, most angelic voice in the entire universe, shining and aglow with pride, her hands clapping as she bounced excitedly, astride her father’s shoulders, and her darling boy, Eric, eyes bright, shining behind those rectangular framed glasses like hers, his biology book in hand and a crooked endearing smile on his lips. Oh yes. Her darling Eric was so like her, so talented in the areas his mother excelled in, so quiet, so contemplative and clever. Her handsome sixteen year old boy, proud and bright–and then her arms were flung open in delight at seeing them, her hands and fingers reaching out to touch them, to hug them, to tell them she loved them all those months she committed to her work and never came home–and they were both running towards her, mouths open in excitement, arms flung wide to accept her embrace, Eric in his teenaged gangly lanky way and Emma with her spirited bounce and skips of delight. Her fingers nearly touched their skin, reaching to pull them into her embrace and press them to her, smelling their scent and hearing their loving voices..and then, the water crashed in without warning, coiling and heaving its wrath and they were swept away from her fingers. Millimetres away from touching them, and they were ripped away mercilessly by the harsh unforgiving water–and she screamed and screamed and screamed, jerking backwards she was tugged and thrown harshly into the chamber, the spray of salt water on her face, her children’s cries for her ringing in her ears, and the desperate cries of her colleagues to — start the chamber for goodness sake! –and her face and palms pressed against the thick glass, hammering and screaming as she watched the horror take place before her eyes, the crash of bodies as the water howled and slammed bodies mercilessly against the glass rhythmically, the thump, thump, thump, like a steady beat of the dreams and a heart. Her own twisted mercilessly ,in a crippling pain. She shattered into nothing as the thrashing of bodies finally stopped, her eyes dry and hurting as she watched the bodies float in the blue water, a garbled sob rising from her throat as she sank to her knees, prostrate on the ground in agony as she saw them: The flair of the pink polka-dotted Minnie Mouse skirt her daughter had insisted she buy for her birthday, the chiffon collared blouse, the spots of reddish patches blooming on the peach material erratically, the long beautiful dark hair spread in a halo around her daughter’s head, Emma’s pale arms entangled in a hug with her older brother’s, their limbs entangled into an intimate embrace, Eric’s chin resting protectively against her head as they floated in the water, lifeless and dead, the pale pallidness of their skin making them stand out against everyone else in the water, their bright beautiful eyes closed as they were mercilessly tossed by the currents. The biology book that belonged to her son thumped against the glass mockingly, just once, then his rectangular framed glasses, splintered and broken into pieces floated into view. Lamia keened in anguish, curling into a foetal position. A tear ran past her cheek and her lips cracked open as she passed the command.
“Review the day.” Her voice rose and fell in a whisper, croaking out horrendously as the holographics rearranged themselves, the images flickering as they screened through the day’s birth and progress, finally ending with Asher and Pierre’s death. She rose from her position a she stared at Asher’s euthanization, the boy surprisingly calm and composed, only resigned look to his face and a relieved smile to his lips. A bitter smile crosses her own. At least he had been given the choice to die the liberating death. She couldn’t. She could never escape from her life, she could only live in agony of being all alone in a world she didn’t belong to, live in agony of the absence of her own children, reliving their deaths in nightmares that plagued her very being every night. Lamia was far too valuable to the society, far too valuable to be put down, her knowledge too extensive and too rare, her gift lacking in the society that she brought forth. Lamia envied him, Asher, and her fingers rose unconsciously to stroke the boy’s face, so calm and peaceful. Her eyes flickered to the next holographics, her breath hitching in her throat as she waved it on, her eyes landing on Pierre’s profile. The handsome Asian boy stood starkly apart from his peers, and the tears that Lamia had tried so hard to repress welled stubbornly in her brown eyes. She pressed a button, her breath heaving erratically in her chest as she browsed through the pictures of the boy, from a small hapless baby to a curious toddler and finally to the lanky tall handsome boy he had been before his death. Tears fell unrestrained down her face as she mourned, her fingers trembled as she watched Pierre struggle in his death and restraints, then his oddly stiff stillness as the euthanasia took its deadly course.
“ Oh my boy,” She whispered, dashing away her tears. She was selfish. Had been selfish, and guilt stripped her conscience bare as she stared at the terrified face of the sixteen year old. You see, Lamia had missed her Eric too much– She knew she promised Pierre’s father, the Minister never to do such a thing to any of her creations, to sequence a half human in the likeness of her children’s characteristics, no matter how much she missed them. She broke it on the day Pierre was created. Her selfish desire to see her son in someone again had led her to sequence Pierre’s character after her Eric’s. He inherited her son’s intelligence, quiet musings,curious interests and when Pierre begun to display those characteristics in his everyday life, Lamia’s heart burst with joy. It was like seeing her son re-incarnated again, despite the obvious disparencies in their physical characteristics, and Lamia kept a close watch on him, documenting Pierre’s progress and growth, knowing that he would be an anomaly to society. She selfishly let him survive to the age her Eric survived to, and then reported his anomaly to her superior when the tragic day her son and daughter died in that wave. She put him down mercilessly, harshly ordering his death, watching him struggle with a weird sense of liberation as he died, and then her heart ripped to pieces again as she watched him struggle, comparing it to her vision of how Eric would have possibly struggled in the water while protecting his little sister, reliving her son’s death again, except this time, everything was in her control. Lamia sank to her knees in front of the holograph of the boy that reminded her of her son, smiling as silent tears coursed down her face as she murmured prayers for forgiveness to Pierre. In a weird twisted way, Lamia needed this release, even if she was killing a child to achieve those feelings with her own choice. She laughed quietly to herself, letting the droplets of salty tears drip onto the carpet as she mourned her loss of her son in her own special way.