Trial and Errors

“Recording,” Melody said.

“Batch three-hundred-thousand, eight-hundred and seventeen. Trial..,” Dana paused then looked at her assistant sitting at the control panel.

“98,”

“Trial 98. Let’s begin.”

“Go ahead,” Melody said. She spoke through the intercom to the man standing in the next room; on the other side of safety glass. He leaned against the wall to stay close to the edge of the room. A 10-foot circle of purple light glowed in the middle of the room. The tall, athletic man nodded and stepped into the light wearing only a pair of boxer-briefs. He reached the center of the circle and gave Melody a thumbs-up gesture.

“Opening the void,” Melody called out to Dana as she pressed buttons on the panel. The white walls in the other room disappeared, swallowed by black nothingness. The only part of the floor that remained was the purple circle. The man looked like he stood on a purple disc in empty space. The only reason they could see him was because of the purple light. Light on their side of the window could not penetrate the void.

“Starting attunement,” Melody said then pressed more buttons. The purple light shifted through the spectrum until it found red. The color change served as a signal for the volunteer and he lowered himself to the ground to lay on his back. The red light pulsed under him. It grew bright red, then dim again over and over.  After several cycles, the light transitioned to purple again and the man stood up.

“Attunement stable, we have a match. Final phase,” Melody said. Though she did not move to press any buttons yet.

“Go ahead,” Dana said. Melody nodded and pressed a large red button in the center of the panel. Half of the purple circle shimmered and rippled like violet water.

“Go ahead,” Melody repeated the instruction through the intercom. The test subject stood at the edge of the liquid half and stepped in. His foot dipped below the surface and he kept walking down until he disappeared. Ten seconds later he climbed back out of the liquid, followed by another man that looked exactly like him, except naked.

“Checking integrity,” Melody reported. The liquid surface solidified again and the purple light shifted back to red. At exactly the same time both men got down on their backs.

“Did you see that??!” Melody asked. She turned around to face Dana and found her boss did notice. The pale woman smiled brighter than Melody had seen in a long time.

“It worked,” Dana whispered. Melody turned back to the control panel to read the data. The circle turned purple again. Melody jumped from her chair and wrapped her arms around Dana.

“100% Soul match!” She kissed Dana on the cheek. “YOU DID IT! YOU CLONED A SOUL!” Dana glared at her assistant.

“We’re working,” she said. Melody immediately dropped her arms and took a step back. “However, if I can’t celebrate a career goal with my wife in my secret lab, then with who? Where?” She leaned forward and gave Melody a gentle hug. “Send both of them in again,” she said after the short burst of affection.

“So soon? Usually, you take time to go through the data,” Melody asked.

“Usually I need to make adjustments. This time I don’t. Now that we know it works we need to see what limits it has.”

“Yes, Ms. Sharp.” Melody sat at the control panel again and pressed the red button again. Half the circle shimmered.

“Go ahead, one at a time,” she said. The men nodded and the naked one went first. He stepped into the pool and climbed down the steps. Ten seconds later he walked out again followed by another naked man with light blue skin and bright white hair.

“Ms. Sharp…,” Dana called but did not take her eyes off the scene. In the other room, the blue clone leaped onto the naked man’s back and bit into his neck. The original volunteer in boxer briefs panicked and shoved both of the clones into the pool.

“Cover it!!” he yelled.

“Don’t,” Dana stopped Melody as she reached for the control. She dropped her hand and watched. The blue clone climbed out of the water dragging the headless body of the naked clone. Behind him, a dark red clone stepped out of the water dragging a blue clone.

“Now close it and bring them back. Get security in there, I want the blue and red ones alive.”

“Yes, Ms. Sharp.”

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