Interview with a Clone
Modern Mars Magazine
By Mary E. Gerdt
Alice Karma has let it all hang out with Modern Mars Magazine in her latest interview with Captain Gigi Fairweather, commander of the Mars shuttle for 10 years and now Senior Lifestyle correspondent for Modern Mars Magazine.
Captain: Hello Alice. Thank you for connecting with our interplanetary entertainment show, Modern Mars Magazine.
Alice: Hello Captain. Thank you for inviting me. It is an honor.
Captain: How is it stateside?
Alice: Freezing where I am at. Bermuda has had constant blizzards since the asteroid hit. I am surprised communications are so clear.
Captain: We have had some enhancements. Stuck on the island until the weather clears?
Alice: Perhaps I should ask you that Captain.
Captain: You got me there Alice. The shuttle’s been grounded until at least two years…
Alice: (Interrupting)…I heard 5 at the least, possibly 10...
The Captain switched the microphone to privacy, “Alice, What do you mean telling this audience we won’t be getting anymore food for 10 years!?”
Alice: Well, it is the truth.
Captain: This you must retract. No talk of gloomy subjects, especially about how we may be stranded here forever. The subject is you and being a clone.
Alice: That is news?
Captain: That is a distraction, that is what that is my lady and we need it badly. The obscure, the strange, different. Why we all came to Mars to begin with, and I bet why you came from Bermuda.
Alice: Well Captain, Is that dead air?
Captain switched back on the microphone: I am so sorry Mars and Earth listeners, we had a slight malfunction in our solar panels. Jake had to go adjust them again. This time we let him use the good wrench. Maybe it’ll last. We’ve had several Marsquakes today and it knocks out the antennae every time. Now Alice Karma, where were we?
Alice: We were musing about the strange and different.
I completely lost track.
Captain: Let’s talk about your…beginnings, shall we say.
Alice: That is usually where it begins.
Captain: Did you have one or two parents?
Alice: Well that is already a controversial question.
Alice: My essence began when my replicative parent contemplated cloning herself. She was blessed with health, physical beauty, extraordinary intelligence and demeanor. She could speak 10 major languages fluently and was working on writing the Mars Dialect which would become the universal Martian language we use now for the cross cultural bridge and universal translators. She flew rockets, airplanes, jets, helicopters and submarines. She was deathly terrified her works would not be complete without replicating another human for the preservation of the human race in case there was an extinction event. She had developed arthritis by then and was crippled by its pain, yet she persisted in her research for the final 10 years of her life. She moved to Bermuda where she established a state of the art facility with perpetual power supply, security and self sustaining food sources using cloned animals and plants.
Captain: So, you had a garden growing up?
Alice: I guess you might say that Captain. It was a square mile.
Alice: She was feeding the lab and all the workers.
Captain: Go on.
Alice: She began with plants and then small mammals. Then moved quickly to pigs. Very similar to humans. Soon she wondered about a child replica of herself. Would she capture the same intellect, perfection, and ultimately isolation in a tiny version of herself? After all is said and done the baby would be totally different but undeniably human. She wondered about how to begin this 5 year project without telling one other soul. There were times at conferences or dinner dates with colleagues when she was so tempted. But she kept to herself and let no one see what she did all day at the remote cabin in Bermuda.
Captain: Was she worried she would be arrested?
Alice: Yes, and worse, someone may have tortured her for the secret, or otherwise wanted to cash in. Mom was worried about the dark side: Growing babies for slavery.
Captain: Well that sounds extreme.
Alice: Mom was threatened in college when she worked on plant cloning and the enviro police threw Molotov cocktails at her house.
Captain: Guess she hit a nerve.
Alice: Can you imagine what my news would do?
Captain: Hmm…So what is your greatest concern about human cloning?
Alice: Pause…I guess that I am different in the eyes of other humans.
Captain: I don’t understand.
Alice: That’s what I mean. You don’t and never will understand what it is like to be a clone. I know what it is like to be human.
Captain: Do you?
Alice glared at the microphone and sighed loud enough to be heard on Earth and Martian feed.
Captain: I suppose it is time for a break. Let’s hear from our sponsors, ADM space foods international, where we grow and launch food for Earth and the colonies.
Break music begins to play. Captain turns down the volume.
Alice: Hello Captain.
Captain: Hello, I am sorry but I needed a little drama.
Alice: Did you know, for the record, I am as human as you?
Captain: I know. (She was tiring of the scientist’s vanity child spewing virtues of creating little clones. She only had her on because she needed a good diversion. Be nice, Gigi, the Captain said to herself.)
Captain: Commercial’s over. Places.
And here we are back at the titanium microphone at the Red Palace on Mars. We are speaking with Alice Karma, famous clone daughter of one parent, Dr. Susan Wolf.
Alice: Thank you Captain.
Captain: Now how were you treated at school, for instance?
Alice: No one knew. Mom had been in Switzerland for two years while I was being developed. She came back and was implanted and claimed she had had an affair with an unknown soldier in Swiss Army. She would joke to me when she gave me a swiss army knife, This is Dad’s, she said. I knew there was no Dad. Only Mom. She is all there ever can be.