Actually, I guess 35 of us were. Kemper kept on grinding. I just needed to tell someone, first. I shook my head but I understood. Kemper finished grinding and held up his work for examination. He seemed pretty proud of himself. I woke the next morning to the distinctive sound of indistinct conversation in the hallway. Oddly, even though I knew they had the same voice as me, it sounded different coming out of their mouths, somehow at a higher pitch or something. I got up and headed to the hallway where half of us had already gathered. Acton, Belize, and Cairo were easy to spot because of their hair.
Where the heck did Belize get a bleach and dye kit to dye his hair blue?
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The one putting on the hat might have been Flanders. I was pretty sure Encino was wearing the vest. I have no idea how they knew it was me. The guy with the necklace and beard spoke up. Was he, like, doing an Asian accent? Breakfast was a cacophony of clones. Everyone was speculating, no one knew anything.
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Somehow, it seemed prudent to hold off on talking about it, which is strange because I am not a prudent man. Maybe I am? I wondered if the other clones were having similar existential crises. I noticed a couple of the staff gathering at the entrance in what looked like pretty serious conversation. I ignored it as the others were closer to them. I saw Izumo sort of sitting by himself. I excused myself from Jericho and made my way over to him. In the past few days, I had barely interacted with Izumo. His differentiators were the necklace, the beard, and the affected accent.
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We can all tell who you are from the beard, ok? He smiled ruefully. What is it that differentiates us? Acton, Belize, and Cairo have the hair. I mean, what made Kemper decide to take off in the middle of the night and not me? And there it was. I knew something. So I think he just snuck out last night. Izumo sat there thinking about it. I guess we all would have. He was right.
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Or maybe it was something else. As soon as we stepped into that room, we were different. What was it like for Acton to be the first one and then to suddenly see a clone walk into the room? What was it like for Belize? And maybe they were there for an hour before the rest of us made it. And Kemper was the last guy until you showed up. I only saw the three of us walk in: Jericho, Kemper, and then you. Jericho and Kemper had that strange bewildered and lost look that I imagine I had.
But you were different. The body. The machine shop. Izumo and I stared at each other and then bolted for the exit after everyone else. There is something surreal about staring at your own dead body. What am I saying? This whole past couple of days have been surreal. For one thing, mirrors present a reversed image. I glanced over at Izumo, to see how he was taking it. Not well. I glanced over at the others and caught them looking back. We were all trying to figure out — well, to try to make some sense of it.
The body — Kemper, I forced myself to attach his name to it. Kemper was lying on the ground, his neck twisted in an unnatural angle. Other than that, he looked completely normal. He was lying between the machine shop and the fence. I glanced up. From his angle, it was possible that Kemper had trying to jump and somehow missed the fence or slipped.
A couple medics were checking him out and I was guessing they were coming to the same conclusion from the way they were glancing up at the fence as well. Another woman was approaching with what I was guessing to be a body bag. I turned around and saw Patricia. Gah, how did she always find me?
I looked around. Nobody was paying us much attention. Mostly, I wanted to see if Izumo was okay. Izumo would have been the closest to Kemper and I was a little worried for him.
I spotted him with a couple others, Jericho and Encino. Of course, we were all thinking the same thing. I figured he was in good hands. Well, at least as good as mine, for whatever that was worth. I could use someone to talk to right now. We were back at the Mexican place. Patricia got right to the point. She stared at me, as if trying to will me to say more.
I stared back, challenging her to make me. We stared at each other for an uncomfortably long time, especially considering how attractive she was. Her eyes were beautiful and it was— chah, this was incredibly bad timing considering everything that was happening. Boy, she really knew how to kill a mood.
I think she did that intentionally. Like, she could tell what I was thinking. Or, maybe, just to throw me. Well, two could play at that game. Fortunately, she kept on going. She paused to give me a chance to reply. She closed her eyes, rubbed them lightly, and shook her head. I could almost see the exasperation in that tiny gesture. I distinctly remember Adam telling us that there were 16 of us, telling our class — of That never occurred to me.
Man, were we always this dumb? Patricia tapped her watch and started reciting. Well, a few days plus two decades. Some of you found an illegal re-enactment of the running of the bulls thing they used to do in Spain and five of you decided to try it out. She stopped. She looked at me, as if considering whether to continue. I stared. Somehow, that just felt … right. Like that was what I was born to do. In a literal sense, I guess it was. Every single one of you has jumped at the opportunity to be a bodyguard. Patricia started to reply something, but then thought better of it.
Suddenly, it seemed very important what my next choice of words would be. But something made me push, even though something seemed dangerous about that very question. I felt like my life was on the line. I realized that it was conceivable that it was. I was created to be a bodyguard. What would happen to me if I refused? I could see real panic in her eyes. It made me want to reassure her. Of the four of you that had survived, only one is still a bodyguard.
Two are instructors and one is … retired. I was worried about getting in trouble if I somehow influenced you into refusing.
She chuckled. I liked her chuckle. The rest of the day was a blur. There were some classes scheduled, mostly physical stuff designed to get our bodies back into working order, but they were hastily cancelled. Instead, we were all summoned for a meeting. Adam was at the front, looking visibly shaken. He looked around the room. In particular, one important woman stood off the side in front. She dressed pretty simply in a red jacket, black shirt, black pants. Priscilla popped in and of course, sat next to me.
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We nodded. She parlayed an early breakthrough in bioinformatics into a multi-billion dollar company. You, all of you, are essentially a result of one of its research departments. She walked to the front of the room and instantly the atmosphere changed. The murmuring stopped as she brought her hands together in front of her.
She seemed to be considering something.
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But she seemed to be directly addressing only us. Somehow, even though were were spread out through the room, it felt like she was talking to each and every one of us at once. All you need to know is that I have spent a great deal of time and resources to bring you here today. And you are here today because you are vital to the future of this project, our company, and humanity. The twelve of you were the result of years of research and the best technology we have available. The twelve of you had specific roles that we were hoping you would take on.
But now? It was as if she were acknowledging each of us in turn. But somehow, the way she said it seemed to impart the gravity of the situation. No one spoke. The silence was palpable. It was only then that I noticed the security guards posted outside the door. They nodded, left the room, and closed the door behind them. I felt a slight chill go down my spine. Be that as it may, the importance of confidentiality cannot be overstated.
That resulted in a chuckle from the whole room. As one of the 11, I felt a strange glow at being singled out. Vickers waited for the group to settle, closed her eyes and took a deep breath. But it is the opinion of the medical examiner that the injuries are not consistent with a fall from the top of the building. It was late. Priscilla and I were at the cafeteria again. The other guys were back at the barracks trying to make some sense of it.
I figured there were enough of us there, literally, so I took Priscilla up on her offer for coffee. The rest of the meeting had been a series of presentations of what information they had gathered so far. At the end, they asked us if anyone knew anything more about Kemper. I was thinking about that now. For all I know, any one of them could be the killer. She thought about it. I probably trust you more than anyone else.
The next morning, Izumo refused to come out of his room. A few of us were standing around his door. For some reason, it fell to me to try to talk him out. We can do whatever we want! I tried the handle again. Still locked. I looked back at the others. They shrugged. It was the first I heard from him all morning. Well, it was good to hear that he was okay.
I was getting better at distinguishing us. Jericho was easy because we roomed together. Also, the pierced ears. But I probably would have been able to pick him out regardless since he was the one I spent the most time with. Celebrate having the whole room to myself? Maybe having someone you know killed off changes you more than we think. Izumo knew him best. Maybe it affected him more than we figured. I kept on trying to think what I would do. Maybe I was at one point but now we were too different for me to predict him. We all sighed. We all knew what it was like to want to be left alone.
That was one of the benefits of being a clone, shared memory. Why would this affect Izumo so differently than the rest of us? It was a little weird to be yourself and observe others being the same. We were all subtly different already, as evidenced by variations in dress and hair color.
Then it hit me, we could start with a small divergence and build from that. Four rounds later, Jericho emerged victorious. Through an unspoken understanding, he was given the right to speak. Remember what they said in orientation? Everyone nodded. The weekend passed with hardly a word from Izumo. Monday rolled around so we were expecting another round of orientation. But instead, we were called out into the field where Adam was waiting for us looking pretty much the same, except he has a buzz cut.
Who am I? I paused for a second, not sure what to say. Tell me everything you observe and everything you can deduce. I looked him over. He looked like Adam. Actually, he could have been any of us except for the hair cut, which could have been easily done recently. You look a little more muscular, but that could be the clothes. Cairo, please remove my glove.
I know all your names. He flexed his fingers and we could see the palm adjusting subtly. This is. You guys all got the spiel about divergence, right?
The man pointed to Acton and Cairo. The joke might have been offensive from someone else, but it seemed good natured when it came from one of your own. My name is Latxa. You guys were lucky. And the last ones tend to be the most observant. I thought about it. Home Apps Archives About. She smiled. I liked that smile. Chapter 2 And then the flash hit.
Narula and Young  indicate that cardiac myocytes have an acute sense of self-preservation. They are able to duck, dart, and dodge foreign substances that may harm the cell. In addition, when a myocardiac arrest - a heart attack - occurs, it is actually the cardiac myocytes entering a state of hibernation in an attempt to wait out a lack of resources. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Cutaneous nociceptors. Manchester: Manchester University Press; Taxonomy and classification of pain. The Handbook of Chronic Pain. Nova Biomedical Books; Fridlund and Daniel Reisberg Psychology 6 ed. CBC News. Retrieved Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. Ethology and Sociobiology. American Journal of Sociology. Marketing Theory: Philosophy of Science Perspectives. Marketing Classics Press. Heart Failure Clinics. Medicine, Conflict and Survival. Evolutionary biology portal. Categories : Ethology Self-care Evolutionary biology. Hidden categories: Pages with DOIs inactive as of All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from January Articles with unsourced statements from December