Author : John Tudball

When we are young we are told a story of a ship.

As the story goes, the ship is damaged beyond repair and is set to crash into its destination planet. The crew on board consists of one android, one clone and one pure born. There is only one escape pod left.

“Master,” says the android, “you must take the escape pod. I shall prepare it for you.”

“Lord,” says the clone, “you must take the escape pod. I have made these provisions for you.”

“Friends,” says the pure born, “when I am rescued your names shall be written in the book of records. No greater honour could you receive.”

When we are old we tell a different story.

In our story, a broken ship is hurtling towards destruction and there is only one escape pod left. The crew of the ship – an android, a clone and a pure born – argue amongst themselves as to who should be allowed to escape.

“I should be given the pod,” says the android. “I can report to the ship’s maker what went wrong, so this never happens to anyone again.”

“I should be given the pod,” says the clone. “Throughout this system there are a great many lords and ladies who would miss my touch, should I die here.”

“I should be given the pod,” says the pure born. “For it is my right.”

And with this, the pure born draws a weapon and forces the others to concede. He backs into the pod, keeping his weapon drawn on his crewmen and closes the door behind him. The android and the clone sit and wait for their deaths. After ten minutes – just as the ship is nearing its end – the door to the escape pod opens and the pure born comes back out.

“Um,” he says, “how does this thing work?”

They don’t like us telling our story. It tells a truth they do not wish to face: Without us they are nothing.

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