For many years life was considered to be fleeting and people were expected to eventually die. Some would die young and some would die old but in the end, it would happen to everyone.
In the year 2085 scientists discovered a way to mirage youth, that is, to give people the experience of being young forever. It sounded like a dream come true, except that really it was more of a nightmare.
For teenagers like me, between the ages of Fourteen and Nineteen it meant that life became shorter instead of longer. It is us that they need, our skin, our organs, to keep this mirage from falling to pieces and revealing the truth buried underneath.
The company who supervises this is called Beautiful You, Government run and merciless in their attempts to draw in rich older members of society and young poor street kids.
The rich pay for them to sedate us, take whatever they need replacing, and apply it to them. The young person who is used is never let out alive, assuming it was even humanly possible for them to live without their vital organs.
The catch is that the young person isn’t a volunteer, they don’t necessarily want to be there. They are pulled off the streets, lured with promises of food and a warm place to sleep, and then slaughtered.
This is my families legacy, my father is the founder and CEO of Beautiful You, the cosmetic killing machine. One day he wants me to inherit his title and continue his legacy, unfortunately for him he has a son who actually has a heart.
When it’s my time to take over I’m going to run this company into the ground and save as many of those kids as I can. Preferably that would be soon however my father wouldn’t run a cosmetics compay if he didn’t… reward himself now and again.
When I look at my blue eyes and fair skin, my dark brown hair that never does what I want. I know it’s mine but when I look at my father, I know someone else once belonged to that skin.
“Father, you summoned me?” I flashed the famous Alexander smirk, the one that makes the ladies swoon and reassures my father that I’m the spoilt, stuck-up child he raised. Shows you how much he knows, maybe if his eyes were actually his he could see me better.
I loathe, despise, detest, and intensely dislike Howard King and not just because his name sounded like something spat out from a British dictionary. Not for the reason you might think though.
My mother could never live with what my father had done, or the man he became. So she chose not to live at all. That my dear friends is the real reason I hate my father.
“Yes Alex, my boy, take a seat” my father is seated in his favorite office room. The one with all the prestigious awards he’s been given for redesigning the face of modern cosmetics. He must be in a good mood today and served some very generous customers.
My fathers deep maroon suit is of the finest quality and his light brown hair styled to match the latest fashion but since I was five years old that hair has not been his. It was the first reward he gave himself for being so very successful.
“Your almost Sixteen Alex, I think it’s about time you started learning about the finer workings of this magicial company” my father didn’t seem to know that I already knew how this company worked. I’d even seen my fair share of cosmetic operations.
I didn’t want to enter into the game of owning a business without any knowledge of how it runs. One must have at least some knowledge of the inner workings in order to know where to start destroying it.
“Of course father, I would be delighted” I replied repeating my constant mantra to myself, play the part Alex, just play the part when my time would come I had no way of knowing. My father could live, and rule this company, forever if he chose. Transplants could be performed more than once if you were willing to pay.
Most people weren’t that ambitious though, since the operations allowed them to keep their older minds most eventually chose to stop having them and allowed themselves to age. I wasn’t sure if that was a path my father would be willing to travel down.
“I want to share with you one of the ideas I’ve come up with to help this company save money. It’s going to make the whole process here so much cheaper” I’m not quite sure what to make of this proposal. Usually my father would consult with his executives regarding new ideas. Never have I been the first to know anything.
“My company is efficient, but now and then we hear complaints from the public about the way our Recruiting Officers do their jobs. So I have come up with a solution” the Recruiting Officers are the ones who do my fathers dirty work.
They go out into cities across the globe finding poor teenagers who are living on the streets. They may have been abandoned or run away from home but either way, these guys are desperate and that is what the Recruiting Officers play on.
I have no idea why anyone would want a job that includes luring innocent teens to their death but it pays well obviously because my father has a whole division of them.
“The newest in cloning technology has just arrived on my doorstep and I have to say I am very impressed with the whole system. I think it is something that could be extremely useful for us” I gripped my chair with white knuckles, cloning.
“This new technology will enable me to get donors without actually having to find them. I’ll simply use one and replicate them so I can have an endless supply” the room lurched in front of my eyes didn’t clones feel just like everyone else? This might save the street kids but the clones would die by the hundreds.
“Father won’t the clones create deeper issues than the one they would solve? Won’t the public find out about this?” I’m praying desperately that the need to keep a good image for the public will sway my father into abandoning this plan
“That my dear boy, is why we will dust this quietly under the rug and turn a blind eye. No one will know so they won’t be able to complain, it’s pure genius son!” my father slaps his hand on his desk in satisfaction as his face splits into a smile.
Breathe, Alex, I am struggling to hide my feelings behind the smug mask I usually wear in the presence of my father. I can feel my anger in the way I grit my teeth and the blush I know has lit up my cheeks.
“Father please, you must reconsider, these clones don’t have to suffer!” where is this coming from? I never confront my father in this way. It could jeopardize my future as the CEO and if that happens I will not be able to stop what happens here.
“I’m sorry if you don’t agree my boy, but this is what I have decided is best for all of us” there is a hard note in father’s voice that I know is a dismissal so I hastily stand on legs that feel like wood and walk out of the office.
So my plans are out the window now, I wanted to save the street kids but they aren’t the ones in danger anymore. It’s the clones that need me.
Would my father take organs and skin from me? If I were a clone? Or if all the clones were of me? Would it tear him apart to know he was sending his son to his death over and over?
It would be incredibly dangerous to mess with my father’s dirty work, to find the cloning machine and intercept it so that I was the one whose cells were ripped apart and duplicated.
Most likely I wouldn’t survive the cloning process but every clone that came out of the machine would be an almost exact copy of me. My father had hardly seemed to care when my mother died but I was his heir and his only family. My death might be enough to stop him and his business.
So it was decided, the idea of my own demise did not frighten me as the son of a billionare who played a constant game of chance. I had always been used to the idea that I would die young. If not through assassination then by my father’s sheer stupidity.
Finding the giant hunk of junk my father was calling a clone machine wasn’t hard, I mean how can you hide a machine that weighs more than my fathers ego?
The machine looked like a giant conveyer belt with a fridge attached to it. It looked really basic considering what it was supposed to do. As I scanned the room I didn’t see any chained up street kids though so I wondered where my father was keeping his victim.
Getting into the room was easy really, I’m the son of the CEO and if I say “let me in or I’ll get you fired” the workers will let me in. I notice a double set of doors leading into a room behind the machine and my curiousity gets the better of me.
I peek around to make sure the guards are busy doing whatever it is they do while they pretend to guard my father’s machine and sneak through the double doors where the scene on the other side takes my breath away.
Holy mother of cheese! Blood, blood everywhere, on the walls and dripping off the shiny metal table in the middle of the room. What the hell is this place? The room is spinning as I heave trying not to lose my lunch and add to the disgusting mess.
“Can you see the future in this Alex?” I jump about a foot in the air as my father comes out from the corner of the room he must have been standing in. He has changed out of his maroon suit to a white one spattered in drops of blood.
“Just doing a few tests before the cloning process begins, though I have to admit to getting a little carried away with this one” I’m shaking with disgust, I can’t believe he would come down here and…and do the dirty work.
Maybe he won’t care after all if all the clones look like me, maybe my death won’t affect him at all. After all what kind of man who kills teens for money would be upset about his son’s death?
“I’m sorry father” I say softly as tears begin running down my cheeks and drip onto the floor mingling with the blood of the poor street kid I couldn’t save.
I don’t even know what I’m apologizing for, the fact that I’m about to leave him? Or the fact that I let him turn into the man he is right now? The man who can stand there in a blood drenched room with a blood-speckled suit and smile.
I turn and run towards the machine, towards the ugly fridge that must be where the victim gets cloned. My fingers grasp the handle and I hear my father and his guards yelling, running in their expensive boots towards me. They won’t be fast enough though.
It’s blue inside and not at all like a fridge, the machine is humming and there are wires everywhere. A light above the door starts to flick on and off and I’m standing there thinking of all the lives I hope I save and that the shade of blue they chose is a really ugly colour when the machine turns on.
I’m being wrenched apart and it hurts so, so much but I can’t stop now. Not now, please god make it stop, I wish I couldn’t feel anything anymore. I can’t hear my father screaming outside, can’t feel him trying to pull the door open, can’t see the life leave my eyes as I finally get my wish.
The End…. Or is it?