By Mary E. Gerdt
2012 all rights reserved
Alice pondered the waves from the beach under the umbrella . This was the spot where Susan Wolf, Alice’s cloning mother and Alice would sit. Also where Susan told Alice that she was dying.
Perhaps oddly, her mother, Susan Wolf, did not die for 40 years. Actually, now she is in a cryogenic storage in a cask in Antarctica.
Susan was a bit of a hypochondriac, self diagnosing genius as well as a scientific,
Sensible, common thinker. She would ponder all dimensions of a question.
Never afraid to explore to the nth degree. And she suffered the last 40 years with arthritis she refused to treat. She was afraid of what the immune modifiers might do to her research Susan had planned, in advance, to be done long after her death.
Susan would sit, feet up, in pain with swollen joints. They always had hired help in the house and labs. Susan had the processes on autopilot.
They would sit under the umbrella, Susan reading a cheap novel, Alice would read about famous people, musicians, glitter, glitz, and glamour. The beachfront seemed boring and the same sometimes, especially to an adolescent girl deprived of socialization and big city lights. She always wanted most what she could never obtain.
She nodded off for a short time, it seemed. The fresh sea air washed away her mother’s images and blended in images of crushing, pushing, feeling pressure, images of the guys in the spike hats again. The phone rang and she woke up, abruptly. She shook her head before finally answering, “Alice.”
“Hello Alice. This is…”
“Oh, I would know your voice anywhere, Gigi. How’s Mars?”
“Well, Alice, FYI, we are on the air…. We were hoping we could do an interview dedicated to the pioneers of Martian travel….” Gigi’s voice drifted off as she lost energy. It was draining groveling to this “special” child of her old friend, Susan. Gigi desperately needed to entertain the pioneers. They were rationing food and the rescue wagons were 7 months from arriving, with the best case scenario. Gigi wanted a weekly radio show, figuring it could give the pioneers something to talk about, argue about, settle doubts about and they would not be thinking about hunger.
Alice gave in this second impromptu interview. She softened up and maybe grew up a little as she realized the pioneer colonists on Mars had it much worse than she did, lying on the beach, talking on the com phone.
“Hello Gigi“…Alice heard applause through the receiver, building until it was deafening,.
“Hello Mars…” The roar grew even louder as Alice put the phone down until
The noise died down.
“My name is Alice Karma.” The applause grew again, and did not stop for 10 full minutes.
Witnesses on Mars who were there said their palms were bleeding with hope, hope of life, pain better than the numb they felt moments before.
They now had hope, and they heard it in the form of a Clone’s voice.