Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Being more than a Simulacrum (a Kim Possible fan fiction) (part 1)

When she woke up, her eyes stayed closed. It was a practiced skill; it had taken forever to perfect. Originally her eyes had always snapped open. When pretending you're still unconscious could make the difference that saved the world, it was best to keep your eyes closed on waking.

She wasn't in her bed. That was easy enough to feel. The noises would have alerted her anyway. They, combined with the smell, told her she was in a hospital or infirmary.

She subtly tested her limbs. They weren't bound. Probably meant she was amoung friendlies. Even so, when she opened her eyes it started with just a hopefully unnoticeable cracking open of her left eye. Just in case she judged wrong and she'd been captured by the enemy.

What she saw confirmed what she already knew: some kind of medical facility.

To get more information from her surroundings she was going to have to reveal she was awake, but there were other sources of information. What was the last thing she remembered. Her mind was hazy, but she thought she put things into the right order. If she had, then that would mean the last thing she remembered was fighting Shego. She must have been knocked unconscious, but that didn't tell her who brought her to here. Friend or foe?

To find out she would have to tip her hand, so she opened her eyes then tried to sit up.

A hand firmly, but gently, forced her back down.

I wouldn't do that in your current state.”

She recognized the voice: Shego. She was amoung enemies. That clarified nothing. If Shego had control of her then why wasn't she dead? Why wasn't she locked into the hospital bed? Why did Shego's voice lack animosity and taunting?

She decided to play along, “What is my current state?” she asked as politely as she could.

You're a recently created clone,” Shego said in an infuriatingly matter of fact manner.

Her eyes opened wide in panic. If she was a clone then that meant there would be no rescue, there would be no one to stop whatever it was that Shego planned to do to her.

What are you going to do to me,” she asked, trying to keep the fear from her voice.

“Nothing. You can go to your family if you like. They'll accept you like a long lost daughter and never think any less of you for being a clone. You know that.”

“But...” she let the word hang when she realized she didn't have a sentence to follow it with.

You're unrestrained, you know your way out. If you want to, you can leave. I've instructed the henchmen: no one will try to stop you.”

I, uh, actually don't know my way out,” she admitted.

Oh.” Shego sounded somewhat surprised. “Out that door,” she pointed, “take a left, go passed the training area, take a right after the living quarters, and continue to the end of the hall.” Shego looked away as if she were finished, but then she added, “But wait twelve to fifteen minutes for your body to adjust to being … made.”

The girl on the infirmary bed was trying to take this all in.

If she was a clone then there were so many questions. How would she distinguish herself from the original? Were her memories, feelings, and personality less real because they belonged to someone else? Why did she have those things, which DNA surely wouldn't carry, in the first place? Why had she been cloned? How would she explain to other people, “Oh, I'm not Kim, I'm just her clone”? What would she do with her life? Did she need to live in fear of carbonated beverages? Was the process that created her stable? While she was sure Kim's family would accept her if she asked them, could she convince everyone else that she wasn't Kim's evil clone? All of these things and more came to her mind, some came and went so fast she couldn't hold onto the thoughts long enough to remember them.

And, on the other hand, if she wasn't a clone, then what sort of mind game was being played here?

Why did you make me if you don't plan to do anything to me?”

Shego sighed. “This may surprise you, Princess, but there aren't any experts on clone psychology out there. We weren't even sure if telling you you were a clone would cause a breakdown. We made up an elaborate lie just to spare you from that possibility but in the end I decided to tell you the truth, hope for the best, and have a therapist on standby.”

The girl said, “Two things.”

The first?”

If there's a therapist on standby where is he?”

She is in the next room.”

The girl nodded. “Second: How does that relate to my question?”

It relates to your question because we also don't know what telling you why you were created would do to you. One theory is that you'll latch onto it as your purpose in life. Another is that you'll rebel against it. A third is that it will have no effect upon you at all.” Shego paused. “Regardless, to be on the safe side, I'm not telling.

You're going to have to work things out for yourself.”

So you created me, and now you're just going to let me go?”

“If that's what you want.”

“What do
you want?”

I want you to decide, of your own free will, to stay around here for a while and get a better idea of what it's like than you would racing in, blowing stuff up, and racing out again.”

The clone was puzzled, “Why would I do that?”

“Why not?” Shego asked.

The girl gave a look that indicated it wasn't a good enough answer.

Curiosity?” Shego asked.

The girl thought that was a tempting reason, she'd never had access to one of the bases. She saw them mostly through ventilation systems and the lab that housed whatever the latest “super” weapon happened to be. Beyond that she knew almost, but not quite, nothing about them.

On the other hand, she was either Kim Possible, the nemesis of the people who worked here, or a clone of the same. That didn't seem like it would result in pleasant relations with the people there.

She decided to show no reaction to Shego.

“Ok, how about this: you're probably ready to sit up now.”

The girl tried to sit up. She succeeded with no ill effects.

And you'll be ready to walk out of here soon. However, you're not exactly in fighting trim. There are any number of people who would do all sorts of things to get themselves on the vaunted Kim Possible,” for the first time Shego spoke with sarcasm and animosity, but it evaporated with her next words, “or a copy thereof.

I'm sure you'd be completely safe with your family, but if you want to go off on your own you'll probably have to wait until you've trained yourself up to Kim's level anyway, so why not do the training here? You'll not only be sure that you'll be safe when you do go out, you'll also make sure that we're not doing anything evil by being in our midst the entire time.

Necessary practice, keeping us from being evil, no one loses.”

The girl asked, “Where's the exit again?”

Shego sighed, the girl thought that she could see a sadness in Shego's eyes but wasn't sure. Regardless, Shego answered, “Out the door, left down the hall, right after the living quarters, exit is at the end of that hall.”

And if I go no one will stop me?” the girl asked.

“No one,” Shego said, this time looking away.

The girl weighed various possibilities in her mind. Letting her go could be a bluff but she, or Kim, or whatever, had gotten pretty good at reading Shego and it didn't seem like one. If it wasn't a bluff then she had no idea what was going on. Why create a clone just to let it go? If it was a bluff then not calling it arguably put her in a better position than calling it. Better she be seen as playing along than be in open defiance.

She didn't think it was a bluff. She thought that if she wanted to she could leave. And that made her decide to stay. She was curious, and, while she'd never stay if she were forced, if she could come and go as she pleased then she saw no downside to staying around for a bit.

Finally she said, “What was the lie?”

“Huh?” Shego seemed surprised. She seemed to think the conversation had ended and also seemed to have forgotten mention of a lie.

You made up an 'elaborate lie' because you weren't sure if it was a good idea to let me know I was a clone. What was the lie?”

It was elaborate, but it didn't take a lot of effort to make it up. It was just my story but with the pronouns changed to sound like it was your story.”

What is your story?”

Personal.”

“You were considering telling me anyway.”

Yeah, but...” Shego sighed. She didn't like all of the sighing she'd been doing. She'd known this was a bad idea from the beginning, yet she had insisted on doing it anyway. She'd been desperate and hadn't seen another way. Now she was going to have to … on the other hand, maybe it was a good sign. It showed interest. “Whatever,” she said, trying to sound annoyed. “Make yourself comfortable.”

The girl adjusted herself so she was sitting cross legged on the bed facing Shego. She rested her chin on her hands.

[Part 2]

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