â€œI still donâ€™t understand how anyone could justify putting a little kid through this.â€ Quinnâ€™s father glared at the doctor, viciously protective.
The doctor shrugged. â€œItâ€™s to discourage use. They didn’t intend it for little kids.â€
His mother had been begging hopelessly against the policy all morning. â€œThen why does he have to do it?â€ She asked.
The doctor was direct. â€œItâ€™s the law.â€ They came to the end of the white corridor. The doctor put his hand on the white door, and looked directly at Quinnâ€™s father. â€œTen minutes in the room, you are allowed to be present because heâ€™s a minor, but you canâ€™t block his line of sight.â€ The doctor held open the door. Quinnâ€™s father pushed the wheelchair into the room. There was a boy asleep on a metal bed in the middle of the room.
Quinnâ€™s father started his stopwatch. â€œIt’s starts now.â€
â€œRight.â€ The doctor sighed, shaking his head.
â€œQuinn, that boy isnâ€™t you.â€ His father gestured to the sleeping child. â€œIt may look like you, but it isnâ€™t.â€ Quinn couldnâ€™t see the boy on the table very well from his wheelchair, just the side of the Copys’ pink face and arm, the rest covered by a blue sheet. The Copy was totally bald, and everything Quinn could see looked soft. He had no spots or scars at all. The Copy had tubes in his arms that led to bags full of yellow goop and clear liquid. Quinn felt his father put a big hand on his tiny shoulder â€œHe hasnâ€™t even got much of a brain son, so you donâ€™t need to feel sorry for him. We just have to stand here in this room for a bit, because itâ€™s UN law, because they want to make little kids feel bad.â€
â€œThey make everyone who gets a clone done for parts do it.â€ said the doctor.
Quinns father whirled and pointed his finger. â€œYou just keep your eyes on your watch.â€ Quinns father knelt next to the wheelchair. â€œNow Quinn, itâ€™s important that you understand that boy isnâ€™t real, heâ€™s just a bunch of parts, like the Connect-A-Bits that we got you. He doesnâ€™t think and heâ€™ll never wake up. Heâ€™s just going to go on sleeping forever.â€
Quinn knew the truth, he knew because he had heard the other kids in the hospital talk about it when the grownups were out of earshot. They said that the doctors donâ€™t make the first cuts on the Copy; itâ€™s all done by workmen who havenâ€™t taken the doctors’ oath. They just go in and cut out a huge chunk of person in the area they need and then doctors take that slab of meat and carefully take the chunk they want. One of the kids said that sometimes the Copy wakes up and screams, but Quinn didnâ€™t believe that part, it sounded stupid, like it was from a scary movie.
Quinnâ€™s motherâ€™s eyes were glassy and she tightly gripped his hand. She looked at the Copy, her chin trembling, and her mouth tight. Her eyes were red.
â€œHeâ€™s breathing.â€ she said softly.
â€œYes, Sarah, itâ€™s breathing. It has to breathe. It doesnâ€™t mean itâ€™s alive.â€
They were silent for a long time after that, all of them watching the nameless, nearly brainless boy.
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