Although Violet knew the answer, she still asked the question to her father. “How did they get the information from you?”
“From what I remember, I was destroyed when they killed your mom. I wasn’t in my right mind. They deprived me of sleep. They hurt me in ways I never thought were possible. They wouldn’t let me have food or water. It was barbaric. They broke me. I had no will to live anymore. I became weak.” Jacob’s tone sounded like he was seeking forgiveness.
Violet interrupted, “Dad. It’s okay. Please, you don’t have anything to feel bad about. So you told them about me. Big deal. They didn’t get to me, so everything worked out.” Violet reached over and touched her father’s hand. “Dad, I’m so sorry about what they did to you. They had no right.”
“Thank you, sweetheart. I’m coming to terms with it. I know that it was an impossible situation. I’m surprised I lived through it. I’m learning how to let go of the pain and guilt. Sometimes it’s hard when I remember, though. I’m making good progress. My doctors are fantastic, as you know. They are the only reason I’m better today.” Jacob replied.
“They are exceptional. I’m so proud of you, dad. I know it can’t be easy. I know it’s hard for you to talk about. Don’t ever feel like you have to if you don’t want to. But I’m always here to listen if you need me.” Violet squeezed her father’s hand.
“I really appreciate that, Violet. I couldn’t do this without you and your mom. But, unfortunately, I have to talk about it and share some things with you.”
“Okay. What it is?” Violet asked.
“During my time in the facility, they took tissue samples, bone marrow, hair and nail samples, skin samples, and the blood samples. Until I heard the other Prohibited stories, I thought this was normal, but I have recently found out that it wasn’t. I’ve remembered some things lately that are concerning.” Jacob took a breath. “I think, actually, my doctors think, that they were doing these things trying to replicate, you.”
“They were trying to clone me?” Violet asked with sincerity.
“With the memories I have and the tests they ran, yes, we think that was their intent. They interrogated me for years about Adelaide and me. I didn’t understand it back then, but now it makes sense.” Jacob replied.
“Why would they want to duplicate me?” Violet’s voice shook as she spoke. She removed her hand from her father’s.
Delilah interrupted. “Because you were different. They had to assume you might have different gifts. They would be right.”
Violet sat back and pondered this information. “So did they try to clone other Prohibited?”
“We believe they tried. We don’t know, but I would assume so.” Delilah said.
“But we don’t know if they were successful with any of the duplications?” Violet asked.
“We don’t. Our sympathizers inside the facilities aren’t at a high enough level to be privy to that information. We do know, you know, the secrecy and security they follow in those places. We should probably assume they have been successful at some point until proven otherwise. If there are replicated Prohibited, I would assume that they are deep within the facility if not held in other places. Kind of like our safe houses.” Delilah explained.
“What would be their goal to duplicate Prohibited?” Violet asked.
“We surmise that they want to control from the beginning. Or they want to create powers that would benefit them and not us.” Delilah said.
“Is it possible that there are duplicate Prohibited among us?”
“It is. But there’s no way for us to tell.” Jacob responded.
“But, if they were able to duplicate me, we would know, right?” Violet asked with concern in her voice.
“We believe so. You are the only violet-eyed Prohibited that we know of. So it wouldn’t be difficult to figure that one out.” Delilah said confidently.
Violet turned toward her dad. “Dad, do you remember anything? Anything at all that would lead you to believe that they accomplished duplications?”
“I’ve remembered overhearing conversations that lead me to believe that they had. But that’s all.” Jacob answered.
“But that’s enough to make us concerned.” Delilah interrupted.
“Who else knows about this?” Violet asked.
“Most of the underground. Until we were certain that we should be concerned, we didn’t want to put it out there. We still don’t want it public. So we aren’t going to tell the average Prohibited. They have enough to worry about. We do think it’s time for you to share this information with your group, though. Anyone involved in the rescues. Anyone engaged in their rehabilitation should be made aware. If we rescue a duplicate, then we need to be cautious. They should look for anything out of the ordinary—even the slightest concern.
“Wow. Okay. I’ll let them know. I’m curious to know if Genevieve is aware and just hasn’t said anything. I don’t know why she wouldn’t.” Violet thought out loud.
“Have you seen anything in your images?” Delilah asked.
“No. Nothing. At least nothing that would lead me to suspect duplicates. Just when I thought things could not get more bizarre. That’s definitely a weird one.” Violet responded.
“It is.” Jacob replied.
Violet instantly realized that for her and many others, this would seem odd. But to her dad, who was held captive for decades by these Normals, this probably wasn’t so different from what he was used to. She placed her hand on his. “Dad. I love you. I’m sorry they did to you all the things they did. You are so strong. I promise, they’ll never get to you again as long as I live.”
Jacob looked his daughter in the eyes. “Thank you, Violet. I never thought I would be here with you and Delilah. If it took spending years in that place to finally be here, I would do it again.”
Delilah placed her hand on top of Violet’s, which was resting on her dad’s hand. “Well, you don’t have to. We’ll protect you.”
“We’ll protect each other.” Violet replied.
There were hugs all around as the trio got up to exit the room. They could smell the fire in the fireplace upstairs as they left.
“Does everyone want hot chocolate?” Delilah asked, now in a happier mood.
Both Violet and Jacob said yes as they walked up the stairs.
“I need to contact Genevieve and Senator Kindle. I’ll be down soon.” Violet separated from her parent and walked up the stairs to her bedroom.
Delilah and Jacob joined a Prohibited group in making hot chocolate as other Prohibited were sitting in the living room and sitting at the kitchen table. Conversations were happening as usual. The Normals were contributing to discussions and making the hot chocolate as well. It was a cold day, and being indoors near a popping fire was precisely how they all wanted to spend their time on this day.
“Who’s up for a movie?” Caroline asked throughout the house. Everyone was in consensus, and a vote was taken on what kind of movie. A comedy it was. Caroline read off the list of possible options and took another vote. Couches, chairs, and beanbags filled the room. This was a large room, and they were glad for it.
Once everyone grabbed a seat and blankets, the movie previews began. After the previews, they paused the movie until Violet could join. Jokes and laughter filled the room. It was a Sunday, and everyone was relaxed and exceptionally happy. The Normals had found comfort in being around the Prohibited. For the most part, Normals had stopped the protests outside their home. The Prohibited had become so used to the vocal admonishing through their front door that once the protests stopped, it was almost too eerily quiet. But that wasn’t a bad problem to have.
Violet walked down the stairs to the awaiting audience and joined her parents on one of the couches. She sat between both of them. She cherished every moment. Delilah handed her a cup of hot chocolate. Violet took a sip as steam rose from the cup.
“How did it go?” Delilah asked.
“It went well. Genevieve doesn’t see any duplicates that she can tell, but we’ll get the word out, and we’ll be cautious.” Violet whispered to her mom.
“Good. Can you see any in your images?” Delilah whispered back.
“No. Not that I can tell. But as we know, things can go wrong. We’ll be careful.” Violet reiterated.
“Ready?” Caroline happily interjected. Everyone sat comfortably in their seats.
“We’re ready.” Jacob said with a smile.
Violet reached for her mom’s hand and leaned her head against her dad’s shoulder and would only leave this position to drink her hot chocolate. She was so happy that he had returned. She was never letting him go again. She sat in ignorant bliss as they all enjoyed their day. This would be one of the last fond memories she would have with everyone she loved. She was simply unaware.