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Monthly Writing Prompt
For this month's writing prompt write a scene using the following sentence to start;

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?

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Look Back

When not able to write ahead, it helps to look back. In my case I had written a paragraph ahead of the story. What I needed to do was add a section of exposition (talking) presenting some facts. In going back, I realized that I could insert a section where a 'tour' of the surroundings could be done. This allowed for character interaction, story development, and other things that enabled me to present the facts in an entertaining manner.

One should not face a writer's block with the mentality of bursting through it. I have found in my own experience that a writer's block is usually due to my mind indicating that it has a problem in 'channeling' the story. One reason might be a re-imagining of certain story points. Another reason however is that there is a problem in where you are at in the story, so you need to look back and find out the problem with the 'journey' that prevents the tale from advancing.

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 Code Key (Fiction Short)

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PostSubject: Code Key (Fiction Short)   July 27th 2008, 4:48 pm

She worked in a research lab, day after day testing human genetics. Just out of high school it seemed like the best opportunity for me being as though I didn't want to go to college. During our first six months of training we learned all the aspects of DNA and other things pertaining to the human body. Tonight she had some extra research to do so she stayed late. The office was quiet; the only sound was the steady hum of her computer. She felt a chill and looked up from the screen and was startled by a young boy standing in front of her desk. Having no idea from where he came she spoke quietly still trying to catch her breath.
"Are you lost sweetheart?" He didn't answer.
"Are you okay? Can you talk?" Still no answer as she stood from her desk and he stepped back. His piercing aqua blue eyes got bigger as he turned to run.
"Wait!" She yelled, and he stopped as she walked toward him.
"My name is Allie. I work here and I can help you."
He walked towards the Authorized Access Only elevator, that no one but the bosses have access codes to activate. Placing his hand over the control panel the doors opened. He walked in stopping to block the entry way looking back waiting for Allie to join him. The elevator stopped on the third floor and when the doors opened so did her mouth at the shocking thing she was seeing. Two of the walls were lined with seven cages each containing a small child about the same age as the one who brought her up to the third floor. He pointed to the empty cage and begins walking towards it. Allie stopped in front and grabbed the file. It read: David Jacob #001
"Is your name David Jacob?" She asked. He shook his head yes but spoke no words. It's been over eight years since she'd started working here and from what she was reading in David Jacob's chart is that they were cloning humans. Human cloning is illegal right? She thought to herself. She sat on the edge of David's bed and he sat next to her handing her a book. It was a simple childrenís book and then laid down. Before she started to read she had to ask one more question. "David do you know where your mother is?" He gave no answer. "Do you know who made you?" He gestured toward her which made her heart beat faster. She again looked over his chart and she was the first research worker on his case. She read the book until DJ fell asleep. She closed the cage as watched as the children slept silently, her head spinning.
When she got home she was unable to go to sleep. What they are doing in that building is illegal. There is no doubt about that. How many other floors were occupied with cloned children? She helped create David Jacob. How did he get out? How did he activate the elevator? One thing she was certain of was that she wasn't quitting that job. She didn't have a college degree, she took the job here for instead of going to college and there was nothing else she really knew how to do. Unable to sleep she continued throughout the night to question the moral fiber of working there, she called off the next day something she'd only done once since working there to sort through her standing issues and get over all the things going through her head. Tomorrow however became today and she gave up on thinking about the legalities and just decided that she would do her job as she had done. David Jacob is locked securely in his cage; she made sure of that yesterday.
The next day she arrived to work and made it through the day as if nothing was wrong. Just before she left for the evening however one of the bosses approached her and requested that she work some overtime. Never had a boss had to request overtime from her and research was up to date there was no need for it. Her heart began pacing and her head began pounding as she slowly shook her head yes. Do they know about her encounter with David Jacob? Are they going to fire her? Will they kill her? She stayed at her desk barely able to move waiting for the worse. Everyone had gone and the office was once again quiet.
"Ms. Tomazewski we are having a meeting on the second floor we'd like you to join us." A bald boss said coming up from behind her. She followed him to the elevator and then into the conference room.
"Ms. Tomazewski we called this meeting because of an event that occurred two days ago. We witness through our security cameras your meeting with project #001. Do you have any questions about what it is we do here?"
"Well I did meet David Jacob and tried to read his chart. He came down the elevator and I locked his cage when I was done reading the book he gave to me. He didn't speak and I don't really understand what you do up there but I know my job down stairs. So after taking a day to think about it I just figure I do my jobs as I've always have?" I spoke as clearly as I could trying to hide my fear.
"Well we like your attitude but being that you know so much we want to offer you a higher position. We haven't been able to control project #001 since he woke and we would like you to work with him. So in other words, Ms. Tomaszewski we would like to make you a boss. We want you to now work upstairs with not only project #001 but occasionally with others as well. For the first six months you will be living on the fifth floor in a luxury apartment with project #001.
"Okay." I interrupted. "Can you tell me how David Jacob got out of his cage and how did he know I was the researcher who worked on his case?"
"I don't know why any of this is relevant." The bald man with a striped beard replied.
"Well" Dr. Michael jumped in. "She has a right to know."
"Look!" I said now irritated looking straight into the bearded mans eyes. "I have worked here for a long time. Never given you all any problems. I am a hard worker and I enjoy my job. DJ came to me! I don't know how or why but he did." All the men in the room got wide eyed as they stared behind me. I felt a tap on my arm. As I turned around there stood DJ again with a smile on his face. I stood up and pulled a chair closer to mine and DJ sat down next to me never letting my hand go.
"Ms. Tomaszewski the truth is we don't know how DJ got to be so special. He can open the house bars and operate the elevator just by placing his hand over the controls. He feels the access codes and then he open and operate things within the building."
"Allie" another man interrupted. "DJ picked you because you are his mother." The room got quiet.
"What?" She asked in shock feeling my knees go weak.
The bearded man cleared his throat. "Yes DJ was cloned using your eggs taken during your training." We were required to give blood, semen, egg, and saliva samples during this training to perform some of our first tests. And after eight and a half years she finally knew what it was exactly that they did. As I turned to look at DJ he was smiling and tears came to my eyes. I dropped DJ's hand and walked outside the door to the conference room. Afraid of throwing up I placed my head between my knees. Yes I wanted to be a boss but a mother too this was just too much. After composing myself I walked back in and took DJ's hand.
"Can someone please show us to our home?"
"Miss Tomaszewski do you have any questions for us?"
"Yes. I have a million questions but right now is not the time. I accept my new position as one of you. I need to do some shopping because being that you are all men I take it this apartment is a blank slate. DJ needs to eat and I need to get to know my son." David got up from the table and handed me a binder. David the love of her life. The man she's been dating all these years. The one she'd hope to marry one day. She sighed and walked out to the elevator. The binder contained all of DJ's files, access codes and an envelope with bonus written on the front full of money.
"I'll show you Allie." David said. In the elevator I looked at David, "You knew about this David? You knew and you never told me."
"I couldn't Allie but just to let you know I wanted to especially the part about you being his mother."
"Yeah right David, you had so many opportunities to do so and you never said a word." The elevator opened and DJ pressed #5.
"How did you get to be so smart huh?" She asked and he just smiled. "Does he talk?"
"He can yes but he's a little behind on his education. Allie look I am so sorry. I made a mistake I'm so sorry."
"A mistake? David a mistake? We've been together for years and you think this is just a simple mistake?"
"Ok I will explain it all to you. The projects, the research, everything." They arrived at the 5th floor which opened up into a lavish apartment with big windows. Bigger and better than her house for sure.
"There are two bedrooms, an office, and a game room. The elevator in the kitchen goes straight down to the street and there in the 5th car port is your new car."
"All this just to keep my mouth shut huh?" She asked sarcastically.
"Allie don't think about it like that, think about what we are doing for science."
"Yeah well it's illegal. DJ and I are going to the grocery store then to my apartment to pick up my things we will be back."
"Your things are already here and we even settled the mortgage. Your workload is in your office but mostly for the next six months is for you to take it all in and work with DJ."
"David tell me something."
"Where do you live and why do you always come to my place?"
"I live on the 7th floor, there are 10 floors and the top 5 are apartments like yours." She went to the closet and grabbed a jacket for DJ and after putting it on him walked to the elevator in the kitchen.
"David you can go home now, I have this covered." DJ looked up at me and smiled again as the elevator doors closed. The elevator doors opened and we walked to our new car.
"Wonder where my old one is?" She asked the coolest of the evening air while strapping DJ into the car. She continued to talk to herself while DJ looks on concerned. "Well mom you'll be so proud of me now. I finally had the grand baby you wanted." She giggled. "What am I going to do? Sure it's a lot of money and the perks aren't too bad but I have a child. I have a child? How could I work here so long and not know what I was doing or what they were doing? Human cloning? Breeding babies in test tubes, growing kids in jars. What kind of person am I?"
They arrived to the marketplace. The harsh weather left the storefront looking like something out of a horror movie which is what Allie felt she was in. In days her world has change and she wasn't sure if it were for better or worse. Undeniably beautiful her son held the door open as she walked in "thank you," she said looking into his amazingly sea reflected eyes. "You're welcome ma'am," he replied with a smile. "Oh my, that a beautiful voice but please don't call me ma'am, I'm not that old." She giggled, and although he really didn't get it in his mind he stored the knowledge never to call her ma'am.
She was gorgeous. Long dark curly hair with big beautiful brown eyes and a slim petite frame that carried his manhood without him even knowing it. He was head over heals for her and although they'd been dating for the last 4 years, graduation was just ahead. She was an academic, he was an athlete and he was almost certain that she would go to college some where along the east coast. Harvard, Yale, Brown, MIT doesn't really matter to him only thing that matters is she would be too far to continue a relationship with him, that he couldn't take. There wasn't much he could do and he knew that. She was too ambitious and strong willed to do anything less then the excellence she illuminated. He walked down the corridor to the library where she spent most of her free time and a gentleman from the company LabTech was standing outside passing out pamphlets to the seminar being held inside. He took one from the man and read it as he walked in.
Strive for excellence with a career as a labtech for LabTech, internationally known for its test of human genetics. Studies of human life with the mission to improve the living experience.
"Hey baby," she wrapped her arms around him from behind.
"Beautiful, just who I was looking for."
"Is that right?"
"Oh yeah baby, thatís right."
"So what do you think of this Labtech stuff?"
"I think its worth getting out of Mr. Bartís government class for."
"I hear that. Letís find a seat."
They sat and listened to these men for almost two hours before signing up to join the orientation at the Labtech facilities. He was surprised that she would even consider working instead of going to college. She was destined to do great things she, he knew that but was certain that she was uncertain of where she wanted to go or what she wanted to do exactly. He wanted to go to college; he wanted to do great things that required his mind and not just his physical body. Something not so brutal as to tackle every guy coming into his path of crosses the goal line. Something that required a little more effort than that. He liked the idea of working for Labtech, the pay increasing his enthusiasm toward making a living. This was something that could allow him to be free and live a life accordingly. What exactly would he do there he didn't know, really didn't care, he was driven by the thought of working there, doing something productive with his time and being paid to do it. There wasn't much to go around in the small town. The Labtech faculties were right outside of town and even though it was less than 30 miles away he knew that those 30 miles were the difference between living in a sea of broken dreams or realizing his potential and creating the freedom he thought he deserved. When they talked, he spoke about Labtech with passion, not even knowing what it was all about, he still wanted it and it always made her tingle with the excitement that she'd longed to see in him. Other than football, baseball, hockey and her he held no interest in his future. They'd talk about what they would do together, buying a house, getting married but never did they talk about careers because when she'd bring it up he'd say it didn't matter, no matter what he did, he'd take care of her and that was all he ever wanted to do. She knew that this wasn't just some miff attempt to just get laid but she needed to know more. She needed to feel that in the future she would indeed be taken care of. "Welcome to LabTech Mrs.Tomazewski, Mr. Schindler if you will please go in and find a seat we can get started." The bald man said as he ushered them into the conference room C.

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PostSubject: Re: Code Key (Fiction Short)   July 27th 2008, 4:49 pm

The building looked like an old abandoned factory on the outside, old brown bricks with a few red newer ones throwing off the upright rectangular flow. Window tinted with years of dust and debris; along with unwarranted landscaping gave it a feeling that no one has occupied the building in years. On the inside however; it told a different story. The first floor was lined with cubicles and new computers with flat screens. Work hadn't actually started there just yet being that they are new to the neighborhood. The conference room was filled with people around the same age as them, just out of high school, computer geeks, is what they saw at first glance. Quite the opposite though, these were the best of the best kids in the southwest. They sat at the long rectangular table and began searching the room for something that inquired a normal place to work, they found nothing. One half of the room was lined with two way mirrors, they were being watched as if they were criminals, and the kids were all unbelievably quiet and observing of each other.

"We are a community looking out for the betterment of the human experience. We are looking to improve the quality of life, in search for peace, truth and harmony in every aspect of our existence. We are a privately financed company with a billion dollar project in human genetics in the works. Our job here is what you will call the ground work of the company. We will be testing different strands of DNA to see how far or close they match in comparison. We will look at physical, mental and emotional structure or two different objects to compare similarities. What does that mean? Well we are simply comparing samples and then reporting our results to those who are higher ups. Although you will be working on the ground floor, that in no way shows your value to this company. In fact the ground floor is where what we do is most valuable. Along with opportunities to raise within the company we offer a complete benefit package and a grade A pay rate. Now the question becomes, why? Why should you not further your skills in college before jumping into the business world? Thatís simple. You are here, we are offering you more than the entry level positions you will receive Post College. Therefore you don't have to sit through the boring classes because all you need to know will be taught to you. You will have the opportunity not only to further your education but further your bank account, learn and earn by starting to live now. The decision is up to you of course but if you choose Labtech, I know you won't be disappointed because look at me. A few years ago I too was in your shoes, bouncing the idea back and forth in my head on whether or not I should go to college which is what my parents wanted or work for a company that can provide the college experience of gaining knowledge along with a paycheck that allow me to start living in the real world now." His speech was precise and direct and just what both of them were talking about the night before. The next morning they all went through a physical and another day of training before deciding to give Labtech a try. It was what they wanted; something more than a college education that would cost too much and waste time that they could work and begin the life they wanted to lead now.

Allie sat and watched DJ eating the overcooked crusty pizza which she'd accidently burnt while being caught up in her own thoughts. She didn't like the idea of working for a company doing something illegal and the angel on her right shoulder was telling her to get out now. The devil on her left shoulder recanted saying it was too late. She was caught up in everything. She'd worked so hard and gotten so far and now here it was the promotion, the prestige being handed to her in a neatly wrapped envelope containing 2 million dollars. She sighed loudly and DJ looked her deeply into her eyes and smiled.

"Incomplete," he whispered before taking another garnished bite.
"What? What do you mean DJ? Incomplete. What's incomplete?" He shrugged his shoulders and continued eating.

She got up and walked away. She's living in a strange environment with an uncommunicative boy who is her son. Her son. Perhaps it was just pure exhaustion, but at quarter after seven she watched as DJ carried his plate and emptied the uneaten crust into the trash can before placing it in the seat. He sat next to her on the couch in front of the television using the remote to turn it on, quickly finding the first cartoon. He turned and smile at her, she forced a smile back before rubbing his incredibly thick brown hair. She went into her office. Elegant, classy, almost identical to the one she'd created in her apartment. She sat on the mahogany love seat; grabbed a frilly pillow and allowed tears to flow down her face. Her heart was heavy with worry. Not with the job itself but with the pressures of living. After wallowing for a few more minutes she went over to her desk and began reading the information given to her. There were articles discussing the advantages and disadvantages of cloning. There was the file on DJ which had grown quite tremendously in the past couple days. This made her suspicion. Were they setting her up? Did they know that DJ would find her working late on the first floor and hide half of his file hoping she wouldn't be as smart as they thought she was? She dismissed this entirely; she was top of her class in high school. She was fucking brilliant! She knew they weren't that naive'. Planned or unplanned she really couldn't care less, she was here now. She began filling in the lesson plan schedule for DJ, alphabet, spelling, math, she cringed at the word math, it never been her favorite subject, not even close but its important. She read through some of the articles willingly discussing stem cell research but what we are doing here in this building is not stem cell, they are cloning whole human children.
"I didn't do anything!" He screamed as she grabbed his mother's grasp bruised his wrist.
"Then who did it DJ? WHO?"
"My sister." He replied in a low voice.
"You don't have a sister, try again." He looked right through her with his sea drenched eyes. "Why did you do it DJ? Why? Tell me!" Tears formed in her eyes but she dismissed them right away trying not to let him see her, to feel what she was feeling. Her heart ached with thoughts of losing him.
"She said she was my sister and that we will be together soon."
"I can't say."
"Do you understand you are in trouble? You will be blamed for this; you will be taken away from me forever. You will be punished, how I don't know but you are in serious, very serious trouble. Now tell me who do you think is your sister?" He didn't speak a word. He just stared at her, never blinking his eyes did go through her and he knew that she was scared, but he was scared too. He walked away once she'd let his wrist go. She wasn't only scared of losing him, her son. Her miracle. She was afraid of him, she didn't understand, there were times when he was just a regular boy, actually he was normal most of the time. Then there were times when he'd get quiet and began searching everything, looking in the skies, meditating, and his eyes seemingly fallacious. He frightened her in those moments, as if he were premeditating. "Ok, well we will talk about this in the morning. Letís just get some sleep ok sweetie?" She said empathically before walking him to his room. "Incomplete," he whispered before falling asleep while she read to him.
She never understood why he kept saying incomplete. What did that mean? She was a brilliant scientist, self educated but couldn't figure it out. When she'd ask him what it meant he'd never give an answer. He would just shrug his shoulders as if she hadn't asked a comprehensible question at all. After making sure he was asleep she locked up the windows and took the elevator up to 7th floor. David was waiting when the elevator opened.
"Was it him?" He asked.
"Well hello to you too."
"Allie was it DJ?"
"I don't know. He said no but I don't know. David this company seems to be in the mindset of keeping things from me so you tell me is he capable of something so horrid?"
"Nothing is being kept from you anymore Allie. You know more about DJ then I do."
"Yeah right David."
"It's true. What did he say?"
"He said that he didn't do anything. Then he started talking about a sister and then again with the word incomplete."
"I don't understand." He replied.
"Let me see your files."
"You have the same files Allie what do you need to see mine for."
"Now David."
"I can't."
"Why not?"
"I just can't."
"Yeah and no one is hiding anything." She said punching in her elevator code.
"Allie don't go."
"Why the hell not. This relationship is not working for me."
"I don't trust you. You've hid things from me, are still hiding things from me. It's over."
"Allie don't give me this shit. You like bringing up the past because you are too fucking scared to make a commitment to me."
"You damn right I'm scared but I'm not scared of commitment. I've forgiven you for not telling me about the project, but you are still hiding shit. Let me see the fucking files. I deserve to know what the hell is going on with my son. I'm probably going to lose him because he will be blamed for this; he's the only one who can get through any of these doors, any barriers. How or why I don't know. But a year ago I was told I had a son and I've fallen in love with him and now he's going to be taken away from me and I don't understand why. I don't even trust him on some lower level; I don't know any of whatís going on or what to do next."
"Allie you know everything I know."
"Then let me see the files."
"I can't."
"Fine." She entered her access code again.
"Allie?" He said placing the palm of his hand on her back his breathe on her neck. She couldn't fall for this again. When the doors opened she walked away. She turned around and starred him straight in the eye and saw DJ's aqua blue eyes in him.

In her office she sat down the thousandth time to read over everything given to her over the years. She'd missed a step somewhere. She knew something was going wrong in her seemingly perfect world. Something terrible had happened and now there wasn't much to do other than to wait it out, but she wasn't one of patience. She was one of action. She read through everything and over and over again. "Oh my God, how could I have missed this?" She gripped the paper as she stormed into Davidís apartment. "Where the hell are you?" She yelled, but there was no answer. She immediately went into his office and straight to the file cabinet. She grabbed DJ file and began reading. It was true. David was the father. There was an asterisk next to David Jacobs name so she went searching for the reference. All the way at the back of the file was a paper but before even skimming it she heard the elevator stop. Quickly she ran to the back elevator located in the kitchen and took it back down to her office where she began reading.

Subject #001 (David Jacob) - Birth

Breeded though the process of hair implantation taken from one Allie Tomaszewski then infused into an unfertilized egg taken from the same subject, existing DNA was removed. The egg was then fertilized with a semen specimen taken from one David Schindler and implanted into the incubator uterus device. There were 14 eggs implanted the same way only this one actually held under temps and graphs. However the egg split through the process which allowed two equally formed specimens to dwell in the same incubator. Twins.

#001 - 1 Year of Age

David Jacob, progressing at a remarkable rate. Can say the alphabet and count to 50.

#001 - 2 Years of Age

David Jacob, still progressing rapidly. Can speak without shuddering and as begin reading childrenís books.

#001 - 3 Years of Age

David Jacob, in an unsupervised moment watch as another specimen dies in the hands of doctors. Unable to sleep during the night of incident. Read stories out loud to the other children in the room. Spends most time with second specimen #002 (Madison Grace) unable to break connection.

#001 - 4 Years of Age

David Jacob, only wanting to communicate with subject #002. Only other communication with doctors is the word "incomplete."

#001 - 5 Years of Age

David Jacob well advanced. Can write and spell (level advanced), mathematics included. Still uncommunicative with others.

#001 - 6 Years of Age

David Jacob not allowed to communicate with subject #002 who was moved to the surveillance side of the building. Has become unsociable, not leaving his unit. Reads to himself, no longer writes.

#001 - 7 Years of Age

David Jacob, still well advanced in his studies. Reads at an advanced adult level and is progressing in beginnerís algebra. Can operate the house doors without entering an access code. Has explored the entire building but hasn't said anything of his adventures.

When she finished reading she was even more confused. She had a second child, a daughter and their father was the man she'd one time hoped would be the father of her children. This wasn't the time however; this was completely too much to handle. She cried out, "someone help me understand how this has happened." She sobbed like a 3 year old child who just dropped her ice cream. She stood up and lost her balance, falling to the floor. Her knee ached as she got back up and headed for the elevator. She pressed seven so hard that she broke her nail and cursed out loud.

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PostSubject: Re: Code Key (Fiction Short)   July 27th 2008, 4:50 pm

"David! Where are you, you son of a bitch?"
"Allie whatís wrong now? Is it David? Is he ok?" He came running out the bedroom in nothing but his boxer shorts. Allie took a swing at him as fresh tears stained her cheeks.
"Where is she?"
"What are you talking about? Who she?"
"Don't play fucking stupid with me you son of a bitch where is Madison?"
"You know why! Now tell me where she is!"
"I can't do that." She took another swing and missed again.
"Why not, sheís my daughter."
"Davidís eyes got big. His mouth opened wide."
"Oh did you not know that or is this just another one of your little secrets?"
"I don't have any secrets."
"Oh really. You knew about David. You know about Madison and letís not forget that you are the father of my children." His mouth hung open again. "Yeah, thought I wouldn't find out huh? Wow what a way to start a relationship. Lie after lie, I don't know maybe itsís in now. Maybe this is what all the girls go for. The bad boys with an agenda. The men who keep secrets. The boys with all the power to hold onto you but not the balls to tell the truth."
"You are being over dramatic Allie. You know I would never do anything intentionally to hurt you."
"True. But you did. So the only thing left between us is to answer my question. Where is my daughter?"
"She was moved to another wing of the building a few years back because she was holding up DJ's progress. He would only talk with her and no one else. The kept to themselves and when she was moved is when it became evident that they were connected."
"Thatís bullshit David. They are twins, you knew they were connected."
"Yes, but we started studying the effects of connection between them which required us to break the bound to see their behavior patterns."
"This is all well and good, but I want my daughter."
"Allie, look I understand you wanting..."
"No you don't, you don't understand a damn thing. I started working here the same time as you. Yeah sure because you have a cock and two hanging targets between your legs gives you the heads up. Gave you the promotion, allowed you to hover over me like a fucking 50's husband but itís not the 50's. Women have a lot more rights and I'm not just some quiet housewife who's going to stand by and let you or any of these other pricks ruin my life. I agreed to this shit once I found out, so yes I am guilty of naive' consequences but if I have a daughter I want her because that is all I have right now. These kids are what make me strong, they aren't lab rats they are human beings. Sure they were grown in jars but they carry seeds of you and me. I don't give a damn what you do, but I want my kids, I want to know they are safe at night, I want them to grow up as normal as possible, and I want it now."
"What do you think you are going to do just walk out of here with them? They are human clones!"
"No they aren't. Cloning means they were developed from a previous subject. All this is is an advanced fertility David. There were no other children before them. They took and unfertilized egg extracted certain strands of DNA and then fertilized it with your male hormone. They were built so to speak from the product of you and me, and that means they belong to us. Don't you get it; they are trying to play God. God is the creator of all things. This is just a fancy way to provide women with children when they can't have any. And although I'm with all of things pertaining to womenís rights, its still unethical in the fact that they are doing it behind everyoneís back. They are doing this for what? To study whether or not they can bore real children? I've had DJ for almost a year; he's a good kid but has spent most of his young life in a cage. In a cage like a lab rat. In a fucking cage, like he's a menace to society, and what does that accomplish? Kids need to play. When we started making plans, I dreamed of watching my kids play little league, soccer, and all sports they wanted to. I watch in my mind how they would fall off a bike and you would help them up, kiss their scraped up knee and show them how to get back on. I watched you running behind them and when they finally got it, you'd stand in the street holding up neighborhood traffic, clapping and screaming their name as if they'd just got a touchdown for some major team in the NFL. I dreamed of us, staying up all night, trying to figure out how to put together the most elaborate dollhouse just to see our little girl or girls smile when she came down the stairs on Christmas Eve. These are children and they aren't going to grow up at all normal stuck in cages."
"Allie what do you want me to do?"
"I want you to be honest with me. I want you to tell me everything you know about this project. Wait. I don't want anything David. I know enough about the project to know that ... well never mind just tell me where she is?"
"Allie, let me figure this stuff out before we go off on some little crusade against these men."
"We? Ha, there is no we David. You are just one of them."
"Oh, then why did you come to me Allie?"
"Why? Because you are these kids father. Like it or not, you are in this, and in it deep."
"Yes, I'm their father, but what am I to do Allie? There isn't much I can do, other than follow their orders until we get to the bottom of it."
"The bottom of what David? We already know whatís going on here, you more than me obviously..."
"David! What? I'm just telling you what I know; I'm good at telling the truth."
"Allie please stop that. I told you what I could."
"Well it wasn't enough." She turned to leave completely forgetting what she'd come upstairs for. He was a liar from the start why should she believe he'd tell her anything other than lies now.
"Incomplete." DJ had somehow appeared again. Quietly and calm he repeated, "Incomplete."
"David what does that mean?" David asked.
"She just wants to be with us."
"Who David?"
"MG just wants to be with us, incomplete, until she is with us."
"Madison Grace wants to live with you?"
"Incomplete." DJ repeated again. Allie stayed completely quiet.
"DJ what happened on the 4th floor today?"
"She said he kept us incomplete. So she told him she wants to be with us. He said no. She said he shouldn't say no. He laughed and then fell. She didn't mean it; she only wanted to be with us."
"Take me to Madison David," Allie said looking at him.
"Because she's scared. She needs me."
"She doesn't even know you."
"Yes she does. She obviously knows more than you think David. Sheís a kid trying to break free of her cage."
"Well now she's in trouble Allie, he didn't fall. He was pushed."
"Did they call the cops David? No. Because they don't want them to know whatís really going on here. What are they going to do? Blame her? Blame her for what exactly, she's an 8 year old girl, there is nothing sinister about her, she just wants to be apart of something, something other then these menís experiments."
"I don't know Allie. I don't know what to do."
"I bet you don't." Allie grabbed DJ's hand and pushed the elevator button. She breathed deeply allowing the tears to flow freely down her face. She didn't know what to think, what to do, all she knew is that a year ago her perfectly normal world had be turned upside down and now, well now its on the verge of being ripped apart. The elevator opened and she turned around and looked into Davidís eyes again seeing DJ. This was the father of her child. A coward. She shook her head as elevator doors closed. She went to push the 3rd floor when DJ pushed the second.
"What are you doing DJ?"
"Going to find MG, she just wants to be with us."
"Ok." Allie smiled inside; she loved her son with all her heart.

They arrived on the second floor but instead of the front elevator doors the back ones opened. DJ took her hand and walked her to a desolate room where he placed his hand over the controls and the door opened the same as it had the first time they met. Another room lined with cages and kids in each of them. We walked to the third one on the left side. There was a beautiful little girl with long dark curly hair and she was standing there at the front of the gate smiling brightly as if she was expecting them.
"Hello, well aren't you the prettiest little thing." Allie spoke softly as to not wake the other children. DJ placed his hand over the controls and the gate opened, he walked in and hugged her.
"Complete," they both said in unison. Allie smiled. Then was startled by the elevator again clinking to life, Allie ushered them in the cage and closed the gate behind her. DJ climbed under the bed and Allie hid behind the tall bookcase as Madison laid in bed, pretending to be sleep. Two men stopped outside of Madison's cage and quietly watched her chest rise and fall with each breath.
"Now that she knows this is her daughter, we should just let her have her, maybe she will have some type of control."
"A man is dead Jim. This little girl pushed him into an acid filled container."
"She's just a kid Alex; you think she meant to kill him?"
"I don't know, maybe she has a bad seed in her, maybe she is just a devil spawn child who will knock us off one by one, until the whole building collapses."
"You seriously need to stop watching those murder movies dude, they are frying your brain."
"I know, but itís possible."
"Shut up."
"So what are we going to do now?"
"There is not much we can do, if we call in the cops, well we can't and you know why, and there isn't any evidence other then he's missing. There is nothing we can do but continue with the project or not."
"We aren't in the business of killing children Alex."
"No I mean the project as a whole."
"What are we going to do with her?"
"Leave her here, let her be as she is. She has some of the same qualities as her brother, but not as advanced. We need more attentive supervision over her and document her advancement."
"And Tomaszewski?"
"Well, thatís where the problem lies, we have knowledge that she knows. We can give her another bonus hoping she will stay with the project. You know she's the brain in all of this. She's the important piece of this puzzle."
"Sure she's smart and she helped keep us going all these years, but she knows everything now."
"What does she know? She has two children, who were grown using science, but are normal children. Bond between mother and child is completely amazing and unique. What does she need to do other than be a mother? She's rich enough to make a great life for her and her children. We can just let it all go."
"Let it all go? You're kidding right. We've worked our whole lives on this..."
"I know..."
"...and besides Tom isn't going to just let anything go."
"I know, so what do you think we should do?"
"Erase the 4th floor tape, and see what else is going to happen."
"Alright, but..."
"But what? Are you suggesting that we clean them all?"
"I don't have the slightest clue of what to do."
"Well letís get out of here, sleep on it."
"The kid just might come and decapitate you in your sleep."
"Ha ha ha... you are such an ass."

Allie came out from behind the bookcase, "DJ lets go, and Madison got out of the bed and with tears in her eyes looked at Allie brokenhearted.ĒDonít worry, you're coming too." She smiled. Madison placed her hand over the controls and they arrived at their apartment. "Two brilliant kids, some good genes I tell you!" Allie says out loud and the kids giggled. "You can sleep with your brother tonight ok Madison," she shook her head yes and smiled so big. Allie watched as they curled into bed sleeping next to each other. She didn't really know what to do but she knew that if she didn't climb into her bed and try to sleep now she would collapse under exhaustion. She crawled into bed fully clothed and her tears put her to sleep. What felt like only ten minutes was 7 hours when Allie awoke to find JD and Madison had crawled into bed with her during the night, she watched them sleep.
"Beautiful kids."
"Ahhhh," she jumped at the sound and sight of three men standing in her room, pulling the covers up covering herself forgetting she was fully clothed. "What the fuck are you doing in here?"
"Shh, you might wake them, come into the living room, we need to discuss this."
"Shit," she whispered, climbing out of her bed, making sure the kids were still covered. She ran her hand through their hair. Loving them more every minute. She walked into the living room, unafraid and it showed.
"Allie I see you've found your daughter."
"Yes, do I have any other kids I should know about now?" They laughed in unison.
"No no we could assure you, you have no more children. Sorry we kept it from you this long."
"Yeah I bet," she replies, squinting her eyes, reading their body language before taking a seat on the overstuffed sofa. She grabbed a throw pillow and cuddle up into the fetal position. "So what do you want?"
"We would like to offer you a promotion."
"Hmm another promotion, so if I find another child to take in, will I get a really big raise too?" Animated she asked.
"Look it's not..."
"No you look! What you don't seem to understand is I'm not working here for the money, prestige or respect. I'm here because I love my job. In fact I loved everything about up until one year ago, and then I just let that secret roll over me, and here it is, a year later and it only gets worse. No, I take that back, not worse, I have two beautiful children. I'm not stupid and I still love my job. I just want something normal, something concrete in my life and here you all are offering me more money to keep quiet. Well look where quiet has gotten me! I don't need anymore money. These kids..." she stood up pointing towards the bedroom, the men seemed uncomfortable as tears began forming in her eyes, "... may have been born some type of science project, but they are kids, human beings. Their birth, although quite unconventional doesn't make them any less human, they aren't computers. Sure their brains functions are at an advanced level, I know, mine is too, but they are human, they live breathe, and hurt the same way you and I do. I don't need a promotion, I'm a mother and thatís enough for me."
"Ok Allie..."
"Thatís Ms. Tomaszewski to you."
"Ms. Tomaszewski please, we aren't trying to get you to shut up."
"Yes you are, you are just sugar coating it."
"Well we have reason to believe, your daughter; Madison killed Thomas Avery last night."
"No she didn't, she pushed him and he fell into a open container of acid, it's not her fault, what the hell are you all doing with acid, let alone leaving it open?"
"We can't discuss that."
"Again with the "we can't". It's not that you can't, it's that you won't. Thatís ok though, I don't need to know. I don't want to know. I do know however that you can't call the police right?"
"Is that a threat?"

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PostSubject: Re: Code Key (Fiction Short)   July 27th 2008, 4:51 pm

"Take it how you want it Alex. What are you going to do, clean us all up?" His mouth opened wide as he looked over towards Jacob Gates. "Yeah I heard you two talking last night. I heard everything you said. There is no evidence other than the fact that he's missing, the acid took care of that. So what are you going to do?"
"Allie look we aren't threatening you. We are just here to offer you more of what you already have."
"Money is only a product of greed. Sure it's nice to have enough to live on, which is what I have for both my children and me. I don't need anymore money thank you, but no thank you."
"What do you want then?" Alex asked.
"I want a house that I can make a home, these apartments are nice, very nice but they are closed. They are just apartments, it's like I'm in a cage. I want out of this building."
"We can't let you leave the building Allie."
"What? Why not?" She asked jumping out of her seat and into the Alex's face.
"You are just going to up and quit?"
"I will still come to work; I just want some sort of normalcy"
"You can't leave the building with those children. They aren't normal, she killed someone last night."
"She threw a tantrum and pushes a man, who was unsuspecting and he fell into something deadly. How many times can I say it's not her fault? All she wanted was to be apart of a family. She knew, just like DJ knew that you all were caging her like some animal. She's a kid, not an animal and it wasn't premeditated. Call the police. Call them!"
"Letís calm down here."
"No, you calm down, this is the perfect situation for you isn't it? Using children as a bargaining chip over a mothers head."
"No one has threatened you, no one is going to call the police, and no one is going to take your children away. We came here to offer you a promotion and thatís all."
"Fine. I don't want it and you can go now." Allie said walking back towards the bedroom.
"Allie, just take the fucking position."
"I don't want the position; now get out my fucking house." They left and Allie crawled back in bed with her kids and again started crying. Although this time she didn't know what she was crying for. She didn't know what she was going to do other than continue working as she had been. Truth be told you hesitated when they asked whether she would quit or not because in all actuality she wanted to quit. She wanted to take her children and leave that building and raise them like normal kids.
"Everything will be ok mommy." Madison said smiling brightly while wiping her motherís tears. Allie couldn't help but smile as a slither of morning sun drifted across her beautiful girls face.
"Yes it will. Yes it will." They both fell back to sleep.
Later that day Allie made a copy of the document she'd taken from David's apartment. She handed him the paper only half stepping off the elevator and immediately turning around to go. "Allie wait!"
"Come on, don't be like this." She stayed silent looking him straight in the eyes. "Allie, like with DJ I wanted to tell you."
"But you didn't."
"I didn't and I can never change that but you have to believe I wanted to."
"Yeah." Allie said turning around and going back to the elevator.
The kids were watching television when she'd went upstairs but the house was quiet when she returned. "MG, DJ where are you?" She asked the empty apartment. After searching the apartment she got back on the elevator where she was met by Alex. They were silent for a minute before Alex got off the elevator at the sixth floor he turned to her and said, "A French physiologist once said, it is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning."
"What does that suppose to mean?"
"You'll figure it out." The elevator doors closed and Allie was left alone with her thoughts. She never dreamed of being famous or even rich. She only wanted to work hard, raise a family and live a happy life. But here she was confused and incapable of sorting all the rampant thoughts running through her head.
She got off on the 7th floor and searched for David, who had apparently disappeared as well. Back on the elevator she checked the first floor, everyone was busy working, not wanting to be pulled into a conversation with co working friends, the ones she hasn't spoke to in over a year, she went back up. On the second floor she watched the children for a minute, looking at each of them making sure they showed no signs of dwelling in her gene pool. She headed to the third floor, which looked more like the labatory of a mad scientist, she giggled to herself at the thought. She walked around, searching for some signs of life, anything, "hello?" she called out. There was no answer. She eyed the jars containing what looked like odd little body parts in a foggy, oatmeal like substance. She sighed loudly and was startled by a noise in back of the long narrow room. She walked to investigate, thinking about how silly women get themselves in trouble investigating strange noises in seemingly abandoned buildings. She looked in cabinets, under counters and found nothing. She walked back to the elevator and let out a muffled shriek as someone grabbed her from behind. With their hand over her mouth she tried to scream and it didn't work. She fought with her legs, kicking her arms trying to punch behind her nothing was landing; she didn't know what to do. She started to panic, tears streamed down her face rapidly and she bit the persons hand over her mouth.
"Oh SHIT," he screamed as he pulled away. She got up to run but he tackled her against one of the doctor tables, knocking over instruments and glass. She couldn't breathe, the wind knocked out of her, as she tried to scream for help. Nothing came but a silent gasp for life. He taped her hands behind her back and threw her over his shoulder. She begins to beat him, from behind, screaming out for help. He sat her down and for once she saw his face, "who are you?"
"It doesn't matter, just shut up."
"It doesn't matter? Are you fucking kidding me? Who the fuck are you?" Now she was screaming.
"If you don't shut your fucking mouth, I will kill you now." She stayed quiet as he grabbed her arm and shuffled her through the back door and into a room, nothing but a cage. There was more instruments lying around, he pushed her down into a chair. and taped her feet together. "You see Mrs. Tomaszewski; there is a lot at stake here at LabTech. You asked who am I, well I'm the one who started all of this." For a moment she was confused, she'd met all the bosses, worked with each of them on occasion trying to figure out each ones character, whether or not they were a danger, a risk to life in general, hers and anyone else within the building. She didn't know this guy, she didn't even know of him. An old man with bifocals and a droopy gray moustache, gave her a curious look, but nothing more. "You are wondering who I am?"
"Yes, but more importantly what do you want with me?"
"Well Mrs. Tomaszewski, you have the power within you to shut down my whole organization. You know everything going on here at LabTech. Now each of the bosses, Charles, Alex, Bob, all of them know only the gist of whatís going on, you have the ability to individually shut down each department one by one until I'm so buried I could never build these scientific advances back up."
"What are you talking about? I've never even been on some of the floors here. I know there is something illegal going on, but I've proven to everyone, including myself that there is nothing that I can do about it other than keep my mouth shut, I know that I'm apart of this now. Besides I wouldn't even know how to shut this place down. So all I've been doing is living and doing my job, does that make me a criminal?"
"Oh no, actually that makes you an accessory to everything going on here. But with all your knowledge, with everything that goes on here you do have the power."
"Wait! You keep saying power, what power do I have?"
"Well at this moment, this exact moment you have nothing."
"Where are my kids?"
"They are doing well Mrs. Tomaszewski. You have wonderful kids, super genius, and substantial ability to be just as significant as you. Thereís another problem, a whole family of unexplainable circumstance. See after the death of one of my men I decided to take matters into my own hands. They say if you want something done, you have to do it yourself, and that is very true at this point in my life. I've worked really hard all my life to come to this point, I'm rich, successful all because I gave everything I had, including my blood, sweat and tears to this project. We've cloned well over one hundred children, starting with your two Mrs. Tomaszewski. We've lost a few, had to exterminate a few, there are some who have grown through the last couple years with defects and thatís normal. With all the stem cell advances going on now days, we've only heightened the process by taking it a step further. Sure there are plenty of people know how to clone human beings, animals, etc... But none have had the guts to actually do it. If you remember the Dawson report, you highlighted in your first year here, you drew out a code that allow my entire operation to get started. You made this all happen, you didn't know, but you started it. You took it from just normal stem cell research to cloning. For that I'm grateful, for that you can't imagine how grateful I am."
"And this is how you repay me?"
"But..." he sighed loudly.Ē... now that you know, what am I to do, allow you to run free, to distinguish me?"
"What makes you think I would do that?"
"The question is what makes me think you wouldn't?"
"You are nothing but a walking clichť', you've just spent the last 10 minutes telling me how competent I am, yet you want to kill me? That doesn't even make sense, you answer questions with questions. Yet you haven't answered a single question of mine. Where are my fucking children?" Her voice was raised with scared desperation.
"The kids are being well taken care of."
"Where? Did you kill my kids?"
"Would I do such a thing?"
"God damn it, what the fuck is your problem? I don't know if you would do that, I don't even know who the fuck you are. Where? Where are they? If you are going to kill me, just tell me where my kids are?"
"I am going to kill you, right after I remove the memory chips from your brain because now I can't go through life thinking that I destroyed my prize possession."
"You don't own me; you are an evil man without a clue. You have no character, you think you can just destroy anything you create, and thatís fine, but you didn't create me, I am a human being, those kids after you manipulated their birth have grown to be human beings, and if you touch one hair on their head I guarantee that you will pay for it."
"See thatís what I like, the anger, at any moment you could just decide to go to the media, to the sheriff, to anyone and tell them what I am doing. I have no character? I save fucking lives; this research will go to saving children and the human beings you talk about."
"And you think that gives you power? You help save them, yet you also have no problems what so ever destroying them."
"Lack of morals I guess."
"You guess." He chuckled. Allie had worked the tape off her hands and as he turned around setting up his work area she grabbed a scalpel and placed her hands back behind her back. "I've never asked for any of this, itís not my fault, I'm just making out the best I know how. I grew up as a normal kid, I had loving parents. I never wanted to be famous, or rich for that matter. When LabTech approached me, it just seemed like the only option other than going to college. I was so bored in high school. There wasn't anything challenging about it, other than my relationship. The most difficult math problem I would solve, even before the teacher, and then I would give other examples in order to reach the conclusion, the answer. I prove hypothesis right or wrong everyday, constantly being praised for being so smart. First kid in the town to get perfect scores on the SAT and ACT, they even thought I cheated, made me take a lie detector test, even made me take the tests over, still got a perfect score. How? I don't know. Why? I don't know, but I never asked for any of this, and LabTech saved me from being the next Donna McIntyre."

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PostSubject: Re: Code Key (Fiction Short)   July 27th 2008, 4:52 pm

"Donna McIntyre?" her speech interrupted as he asked.
"She was the prom queen, smart as a whip; she graduated 2 years before us. She could have been anything she wanted. Never perfect in school as far as grades but always the best. The whole town was disappointed that she didn't go on to become something special. She turned down a bunch of scholarships for an awful job as a waitress at the IHop. The town despised her, thought she was selling herself short and she was. She could have done anything. But she got pregnant, fell in love and gave up all her dreams to stay. I on the other hand stayed, but with promises of a better life."
"I've given that to you."
"Yes but now you are taking it away."
"I have to."
"No, you don't. I don't have any power. Who am I going to tell, I'm apart of this, my kids are apart of this. And believe it or not, whatever lack of morals you have, you can't tell me that there isn't anyone in this world that you love so much that you would give your life for?"
"My wife died a few years back, this project is all I have."
"You couldn't save her? Now you are taking it out on me."
"I tried. By the time I'd run my paperwork downstairs, through you. By the time you actually created the code, it was too late. The cancer took over all her vital organs and there wasn't anymore time. She asked me to let her go. I knew she was suffering, and the code that you came up with would have worked but she didn't want anymore pain. She was tired."
"So tell me, would you have died for her?"
"Yeah probably."
"So I guess I must die for my kids huh?"
"Thatís not why you are here Allie."
"Tell me why I'm here?"
"Because you are a threat to my organization."
"Look at me! What type of threat can I be?"
"Oh, you really don't know do you? You have so much power right now."
"I don't have shit; I'm tied to a fucking chair for crying out loud. I'm about to die and you still won't tell me where my kids are." She broke into tears again.
"Your kids are safe. There will be nothing done to them. They will grow up and live healthy lives."
"Until you see them as a threat, then you'll destroy them as if they never existed."
"Touchť'" She continued to cry, unable to control herself. "I promised not hurt you."
"Just kill me now, just get over with, us talking is not changing the fact that you don't have a fucking heart. Your wife probably died to get away from you." He lunged at her smacking her straight across the face. She used all her might and lifted her legs hard, crashing them into his groin. He almost fell on top of her and she slashed the surgical knife across his face, he screamed out. She immediately cut the tape wrapped around her feet and stabbed him in the throat. "I'm a smart woman, you are right, you underestimate me. One more inch I could kill you, how does it feel?" Her tears uncontrollable she continued. "How does it feel to know that your life is hanging on by a thread? You can't just destroy anyone you want because they are smarter than you. Where are my kids?"
"Fuck you!" He gasped for air, he would survive if she left him alone now, and he could take care of this simple wound. She composed herself, sat him up in the chair.
"Tell me where my kids are, or die? Itís your choice."
"You think you can kill me? What about your morals?"
"Don't you know, I have the power, I am your God. Now tell me where the fuck are my children!"
"God?" He laughed, holding onto his neck to stop the bleeding. "You aren't anything, I made you, and I made those kids."
"You didn't make me, my parents made me. You didn't make my kids either, you said it yourself, I did. So what do I need you for?"
"The tables are turned, you have the power, and question is what are you going to do with it?"
"You just don't quit do you?"
"No. That is why I am here. You can't kill me Allie, your high morals won't let you, and your God is telling you not to."
"You think you have me figured out do you?"
"Oh I know I do, I've studied you for over 9 years now."
"Well, whoever you are, let me enlighten you. I could not kill you and I could leave you here to mend your own wounds, find my kids and run. But that would leave me watching over my shoulder for the rest of my life wouldn't it? I'll be packing up my kids and moving house every time I thought someone, or something was around. Maybe one time I decide I was just being paranoid and stay, wake up with a gun my head or my kidís fingers being cut off and mailed to me after they have been kidnapped from their beds at night. For the past year I've lived here like a fucking prisoner in this building, I had millions of chances to run, to hop a bus and tread my way across country trying to get away from LabTech and its wake, but I didn't. I stayed true to you, your company and still you want to, hmm what was word you used? Exterminate me. Loyalty isn't at the top of your list either huh? I only have one question for you, and if you don't answer it, then you die. Its simple just answer my question because I'm tired of talking. Now where are my fucking kids?"
He laughed, "I should have killed them." She looked into his eyes and instantly he knew he shouldn't have said that as she pulled the blade across his neck with ample force. He gasped for air before taking his final breath. She dropped the knife, without time to dwell; she didn't bother to cry but ran to the elevator and went up to the next floor. She searched quickly; there was no one to be found. On the next floor there were more kids, "have you seen David Jacob or Madison Grace up here kids?" No one answered, but one girl pointed up. So she went to the next floor and found the two of them locked in the same cage where she'd found Madison the night before. "DJ open the gate, come on hurry!" She exclaimed. He got up and placed his hand over the panel but nothing happened. She begins pushing in access codes, all the ones she knew, and then just random numbers. DJ could sense the urgency and tried again, but nothing happened. "Stay here; don't let anyone take you anywhere I will be right back." She left and took the elevator to sixth floor and it opened, Alex was on the couch drinking and watching TV. "I need your help!"
"Oh my God, where is all this blood from?" He asked.
"Never mind that. I got the quote, I understand it now because of some maniac tried to kill me, and now my kids are locked in one of those cages and I can't get them out. All I want to do is leave. I need your help!" She was screaming, crying, breaking down right there in front of him, and he stood shocked.
"The codes are easy. They are in the back of your mind." She looked at him confused.
"What? You knew I was going to be attacked didn't you? Thatís why you fed me that; you know already line isn't it?"
"Yes, every one of us only knows certain aspects of this corporation, but we've met up together without the knowledge of him..."
"Him? Who is him?" She interrupted.

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PostSubject: Re: Code Key (Fiction Short)   July 27th 2008, 4:53 pm

"... Him, he, he is the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of this entire world. He bought the building and researched all of us to his specifications and then brought us, lured us in with promise of excellence. Itís like a whole another world here. There is so much going on, and you Allie, you are the key, you are the one with all the ideas running through your head, but you don't even know it because he is controlling them. He placed a chip in all of us and he's been controlling us for all these years. But we knew that he knew that in your mind you were figuring it all out. I couldn't, well; none of us could tell you everything that was going on without him knowing because he knows all through these chips." She continued crying uncontrollably. "He could have just erased our memory, but for some reason he could never erase yours. He told us that you are the key and that if he felt the need to erase you that he would erase all of you. I've never seen this man scared but when we talked at our last meeting he seemed preoccupied when we updated him on the situation from Madison. He didn't like the fact that slowly but surely you were putting together the clues to unlock the secret to his success."
"Well, he has now failed, he's dead. I made sure of that and all this work is nothing but a bunch of bullshit. All I ever wanted was to live, to love, to grow up and have a happy life. I still can't understand it all. I need your help. It's over, and unless you want to remain a prisoner of this building you will help me."
"The codes are all in your mind, it could be simple or complex, you are the key, and youíve made all the codes in this building." As soon as he said that, the number 317 popped into her head and she immediately ran to the elevator, he followed. She went and entered the date of her parentís death and the doors opened.
"Did he kill my parents?"
"Itís a possibility; he killed my wife, who worked one the first floor with you."
"Yes." His eyes filled with tears. "She was the only woman I ever loved." Allie leaned into hug him.
"Now what? What do we do? He's dead and all these people are going to lose their jobs."
"I don't know." They slowly walked back to the elevator. "Letís go up to his apartment." They took the elevator up to the tenth floor. The doors of the elevator didn't open. "We need another code."
"When did his wife die? He said a little over a year ago. What was the date?"
"I didn't even know she was dead. He'd once mention breast cancer and that she wasn't doing good, but he never mentioned it again."
"David, help mommy" He placed his hand over the control and nothing happened again. He made a face, like he disappointed her, he never wanted to disappoint his mother, and he adored her. "Ok. The codes are in me. Think Allie, think." She closed her eyes and waited.
"721!" He said.
"What? His wife's birthday was 721, I don't know, worth a shot right?"
"Yeah." She entered the number but nothing happened. "Ahhh damn what the hell do I have to do to get a break?"
"Calm down. Think Allie, you are the key."
"Quit saying I am the key, I'm not the key to anything." She screamed. Madison slowly placed her hand over the code box and the doors slide open. "Oh my God, two brilliant children!" She kissed Madison on the forehead before taking their hands and slowly walking into his apartment. In the living room hung a huge black and white photo of him and his wife. "Alex what was his name?"
"I don't know, we just called him, sir." Allie went into his office. There was an equally huge photo of her with a list of access codes below it, each of his filing cabinets required a code, and there was a list of the 113 children and their parents. Allie's name at the top of the list, along with Madison and DJ, David of course listed as their father. She closed her eyes for a moment and when she opened them she found another list. At the top in big black letters, EXTERMINATE. Under Allie's name was Alex Drowing, Bob Madder, and the list went on. She handed the list to Alex, his eyes widened, "that son of a bitch."
"I still don't know what to do Alex. Do we tell everyone? Do we go to the police?"
"If we go to the police Allie, we lose the kids I have one locked somewhere downstairs, they wouldn't even tell me which one it is. Charlotte found out and he killed her, so I didn't investigate it afraid I might be next. For sure I was next."
"We don't have to worry about that anymore. Lets call a meeting, tell everyone whatís gone down and then leave?"
"Someone has to answer for his death Allie; we can't just leave the building and do nothing." She sat down in his chair and began to cry when they heard a noise coming from the bedroom. "Shh." They all walked slowly towards the room, she heard a weak cough. Allie opened the door, and they all stared in disbelief as they watched the old woman trying to turn over on the queen sized bed.
"Hello?" The woman slowly looked up to see who was calling out to her. "Ma'am we don't mean to disturbed you but..."
"Come in." Her voice was weak and came out as a whisper but they understood and quietly walked in. "So I take it he's dead?"
"Yes ma'am." Allie responded.
"Good. So you must be Allie Tomaszewki?"
"Yes I am."
"Well my husband told me that if he were to die to tell you that your birthdate is the most special of days and that you would know what to do with it."
"Thatís just it, I don't know what to do with any of the information that I have."
"Look around the house and try to find it; my husband knew about science but he wasn't the smartest man on the planet. He thought he was invincible, but he was nothing more then a worthless piece of flesh. You my dear are the key."
"Why does everyone keep saying that, I'm the key to what?" The old feeble woman sat up in bed, looked at Allie with concentrating eyes. Then she moved her hand slowly to Allie's stomach and lifted her shirt up, and there sketched in her skin is the number 519 with dried blood outlining it. Allie had never seen or felt this number before, carved into her skin like a tattoo it was so delicately done she didn't even see it.
"This is the most important number you can remember." Everyone watched as she traced the numbers along Allie's midsection.
"Thank you ma'am, but now that he is dead what are we going to do?"
"Figure out where that number goes, and then do what you have to." She said as she laid back down and closed her eyes. Allie shuffled everyone out of the room quietly and closed the door. They looked around the house, searched; even the kids were looking around. Allie came back to her picture, she traced her finger along the gold plated frame and it fell away from the wall behind it was a safe. Another code, Allie began pressing numbers before finally realizing that she was the key. She entered in 519 and it opened. Inside she found 37 million dollars, more files, an insurance policy on the building, and one paper that held Allie's interest, showed a spot in the apartment. A switch that, if pulled would set the whole building on fire each floor individually with no way to extinguish the fire before all files and equipment are destroyed.
"He thought of everything." Allie whispered after reading the paper.
"I bet he did. So have you decided what to do?" Alex said coming into the office up behind her.
"How many people work here at LabTech?"
"2600, thereís a list over on the desk."
"So we hold a meeting, letting them know that what was happening..."
"No, don't tell them exactly what was being done here. They might go to the police, or something." Alex interrupted.
"Thatís true. So ok, only the people on the list with children will know exactly what we've been doing, the rest we will just tell them the company is going bankrupt or something. Then we can offer everyone some sort of compensation using this money here in the safe."
"I am so glad you are here."
"Yeah remember the first meeting we had down in the conference room? You weren't glad then were you?"
He chuckled, "well honestly, I wasn't glad to be there either Allie, I was scared too." She giggled with him.
"Well its time to end this all for good. Now pack this money away with the lists of kids and parents and the lists of every employee while I go and tell the wife what the plan is."
Allie walked back into the bedroom and quietly sat on the bed. She knew as soon as she sat there that the old lady had languished. Maybe she was holding on to tell Allie what she needed to know, she smiled at the thought. She knew her husbands plan, she knew that he somehow lacked morals; Allie could see it in her eyes as she spoke. She silently said a prayer in her honor before crossing her arms over her chest and leaving the room again. The meeting was held that evening, the ones with children were brought up to the conference room and all but one was excited with the parental opportunity. The one that wasn't excited, Carly was the proud mother of beautiful 8 month old Jolene Destiny. Carly only 19 years old, never expected to be a mother, neither did the rest of them, but she just didn't want to hear it. Once she heard about the compensation plan, she agreed to take Carly home. The rest of the crew took it all to heart, each with enough money to live lives full of happiness. To Allie, it was never about the money though, it was all moral related and although she was rich beyond all her imagination, she also received a piece of the compensation plan. In three hours, the entire building was cleared, except for Allie, her kids, and Alex when she returned to her apartment.
"You two ok?"

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PostSubject: Re: Code Key (Fiction Short)   July 27th 2008, 4:53 pm

"Yes mom," they both say in unison. What do you say we get out of here?" Allie said to the kids.
"Allie where have you been? I've been looking all over for you." David finally showed back up.
"We've been busy. Why?"
"I missed you is all."
"Don't worry about us, we'll be just fine."
"Well thatís all well and good, but can you please let me know when you are going to run off for hours on end without a word?"
"Is this a new rule of the building?"
"No, I just worry."
"Don't bother worrying about anything David, just leave us alone."
"I'm not going to leave you alone, sure I made a mistake here, a lot of mistakes, but I never stopped loving you."
Allie smiled, "well guess what sunshine; you need to grab whatever you want from your apartment cause this building is going down."
"What do you mean? What are you doing Allie?" She explained the entire story to David, after handing him his indemnity envelope. "All this just to keep my mouth shut huh?"
"Don't think of it like that David; think about what we've done in the name of humanity." She smiled and walked away, "10 minutes David, thatís all you get." Allie grabbed a bag for each of them. Alex was back in Allie's apartment with his bag; he hugged and thanked her for all that she had done. She'd saved his life, he was next on the list and if she hadn't been there he wouldn't be alive and with his 5 year old son James Carson. He looked like his father Allie thought to herself. Alex must have been a nice looking man before male pattern baldness took over.
"We will be waiting down by the cars." He said. The parking lot was empty except for their three cars. Allie sighed as she took the front elevator up to the tenth floor for one last time. David got on at the 7th floor.
"You are an incredible woman Allie Tomaszewski."
"I know and brilliant too."
"Will you let me see my children once in a while?" He asked sincerely. She hadn't really thought about them being his children, she knew he was the father but didn't realize till that moment, their family would be incomplete without him.
"Of course you can, they need their father." She smiled at him. He watched as she flipped the switch outlined on the page, she grabbed his hand and led him to the back elevator taking them down to the parking lot.
"Well this is it; finally we are back in the real world." Alex said.
"Finally I can live the life I've always wanted." Allie replied. "And you bring James by anytime you want, DJ and MG has gotten quite close to him you hear me?"
"Anything you say Miss Tomaszewski."
"Miss Tomaszewski? What's with the formality?"
"Hell I don't know, just being polite."
"Call me Allie, Alex; you know more about me then almost anyone, besides friends aren't that formal."
"Friends." Alex smiled and winked a goodbye as he strapped James into the back of his car.
"So where to Miss Tomaszewski?" David asked.
"Well the first night when I found out about DJ, before going to the grocery store, I made sure my apartment was still in my name and taken care of. Thatís where I'm going at least for tonight. After a very much needed rest I'm going to go searching for the house I've always wanted. Right now however, we need to get out of here because the building is on fire and the trucks will be arriving soon."
"I have no place to go Allie."
"Come home with us daddy." Both Allie and David looked into the eyes of the kids as they suggested in unison. David looked at Allie with his piercing blue orbs, like a sad pitiful old man.
"I guess you do." They all smiled and got into the cars and drove away.
The building had become a furnace, slowly burning on the inside, covering up every little detail about what went on there before the outer walls collapsed inside of it. There was nothing but ash and debris as the four of them watched the firefighters wondering what to do with it on television.
"Complete." David Jacob and Madison Grace both said in unison again as they looked at each other and then at their parents. They all smiled at each other.
"A cottage along the water, two children possibly more and rich beyond all measure of control, so Miss Tomaszewski what do you do when you've gathered all the happiness in the world?"
"Complete with a live in maid. I should by you one of those little maid outfits and a duster."
"I'm not going to live this down am I?"
"Hmm I don't know, I'll see how you progress. So Mr. Schindler what do you do when you've gathered all the happiness in the world?"
"I go for one more thing I've been waiting for since high school."
"Not another scheme?"
"Will you marry me?" Allie looked at him completely shocked that he chose this time to ask but something in her wanted nothing more than to marry him.
"Yes Mr. Schindler, absolutely yes."
"It's about time."
"Don't push it!" All smiles Allie turned off the television, they put the kids to bed.
Life after that? Well Allie was the beneficiary of the building, unknown to her, leaving them well off for anything they ever dreamed of. Finally complete.

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PostSubject: Re: Code Key (Fiction Short)   July 29th 2008, 1:13 pm

I love this story it feels like you are in it ....Great story sis....

But words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think. (Lord Byron)

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PostSubject: Re: Code Key (Fiction Short)   August 18th 2008, 12:17 pm

Okay, I'm going to be totally honest with you, because stroking your ego isn't going to do you any good and I know you are capable of better.

I couldn't finish it. I only got halfway through the first posted section, before I just completely lost interest.

Your perspective shifts from first to third person a couple of times in the first few paragraphs, but did seem to level out after that. This however, though it was annoying and confusing, isn't what lost me.

You are telling us what your character is doing, saying, and thinking, but there's no emotion or feeling behind it.

Okay, she's upset that the company she is working for is doing cloning, and that she's part of it, but what does that FEEL like?

If you're mom calls you and asks how you are doing you can get by with saying, "I was worried about work and didn't sleep well," but your readers don't care about your character or know her like your mom does you. We need to know the details. We need to be able to picture the scene in our head, if there is to be any hope of us getting into your character's head and actually coming to a place where we do care about her.

So, what are the details of her sleepless night? Did she toss and turn? Did she pace the floor? Did she say fuck my latest diet and dig through the freezer in search of hidden ice cream. Beside the legality of human clone why is she so torn up about it?

Also, what kind of job can a person with a high school level education do for a cloning lab besides sweep the floors? How did she come to find such a good job, when most women in her position would be working nights as a waitress at the local IHOP?

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PostSubject: Re: Code Key (Fiction Short)   August 19th 2008, 7:01 am

Quote :
Your perspective shifts from first to third person a couple of times in the first few paragraphs, but did seem to level out after that. This however, though it was annoying and confusing, isn't what lost me.

First thanks very much for the compliment and don't worry about stroking my ego. This is what I want, constructive criticism. That is why we are here. Secondly, I definitely agree, I've often have the problem of 'tense jumping'. I don't know why I can't get it under control. This is my main problem as a whole concerning my writing. I'm shocked that this is not the reason you've abandoned ship so quickly.

Quote :
You are telling us what your character is doing, saying, and thinking, but there's no emotion or feeling behind it.

To this particular story: This is my first attempt outside my norm, romantic bittersweet, tragic suspense story. Of course I've touch some of these areas but my main objective was at somewhat of a 'sci-fi' theme. Didn't work but I still enjoyed writing the story. Not an excuse just an admission of inexperience.

Quote :
Also, what kind of job can a person with a high school level education do for a cloning lab besides sweep the floors? How did she come to find such a good job, when most women in her position would be working nights as a waitress at the local IHOP?

I agree, and this is told later in the story when she is compared to the overachiever prom queen of her high school who is in fact working as a waitress at the IHOP.

Quote :

This is funny, (not in a bad way) because I'm always told I have too much detail.
'You're taking away from the plot.'
'You're building the scene but not the characters'

So question time has arrived again. Should I rewrite and rearrange that the characters are introduced first?

Better question: What exactly could I do to keep the reader interested long enough to get the detail they want without compromising the plot of the story?

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PostSubject: Re: Code Key (Fiction Short)   August 19th 2008, 8:19 pm

You just need to rework what is there, but not really rearrange anything.

Openings in general are tough. Action and conflict are the standard, but it's hard to say what will keep a reader's attention; all readers are different.

Quote :
She worked in a research lab, day after day testing human genetics. Just out of high school it seemed like the best opportunity for me being as though I didn't want to go to college. During our first six months of training we learned all the aspects of DNA and other things pertaining to the human body. Tonight she had some extra research to do so she stayed late. The office was quiet; the only sound was the steady hum of her computer. She felt a chill and looked up from the screen and was startled by a young boy standing in front of her desk. Having no idea from where he came she spoke quietly still trying to catch her breath.

Just for fun I took your opening paragraph and rewrote it.

Now, of course it's not in your style/voice and I've likely stepped on some of your storyline. So, take it for what it is.

She'd worked in the research lab since leaving high school. The first six months had seen her through the training needed to teach her all she'd ever need to know about human DNA. The job itself and the training had been an amazing opportunity for a girl not crazy about the prospect of collage. And to think her high school guidance councilor had told her she'd end up as a waitress if she didn't continue on with her schooling. Of course she was screwed if the lab ever shut down or she somehow got herself fired her, but considering human genetics was an ever growing field she didn't much fear that possibility. Plus, she was among the lab's few techs who were willing to stay late and skip lunches in order to get the research needed finished on schedule.

Her only company in the quiet office the sound of computer's humming. It was a pleasant sound. A calming sound her tired mind was becoming lost in. She was on the verge of nodding off when she felt a sudden chill move across the nape of her neck. Looking up from the screen she was startled by the sight of a young boy's striking blue eyes staring back at her.
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