By John Pilling
In the early 21st Century it was discovered, almost by accident, that a transfusion of blood from a young person to an old person revitalised the recipient to a remarkable degree. Further research in the field also discovered that the life expectancy of the older person was significantly increased.
At about the same time as this discovery was made, the principles and techniques of human cloning became common knowledge amongst scientists. The wealthy were not slow to react.
* * * *
One of the attendants has got me a recording device. She’s placed it on a ledge in my cell for me. Voice activated of course, because I have no hands now, they were the first things they “harvested” from me when I was first brought here, along with my teeth, but I only have to turn my head and I can whisper into it with no one hearing. It took me a long time to persuade her and has cost me all the money I saved during the good years but I have no use for that any more… I believe I have very little time left but it will make my dying easier knowing that maybe someone, some day, will hear the truth.
They have brought another one in this morning, a girl, shouting and screaming about being Lady G’s provider and threatening the guards, saying how they will all be very sorry for treating her like this. Poor girl, she’ll learn quick enough that Lady G doesn’t want to know her any more, apart of course from when she needs some particular bit and then that will all be arranged for her… very discreetly.
That’s what happens in here you see, when you reach fifteen or so, and your blood no longer contains the “elixir of youth”, your replacement arrives and you are sent here to the complex as a reservoir of spare parts. According to the guards there are thousands of us in this one complex. God knows how many worldwide.
I have been harvested again. They don’t tell you of course, simply feed the knockout through the feeding tube. When I awoke I tried to feel which part of me they had taken. I can’t see as my eyes were taken some time ago, they said I wouldn’t need them any more as there was nothing to look at in my cell… very logical, they always are.
I think it is one of my feet but my tether is too short to allow me to get down and check. I asked a guard if one of my feet had been taken but she just laughed and asked why I was worried, I wasn’t going anywhere.
I am T324, that is my name, I am a clone son of the High Lord Shaeloh. I think I am now about sixteen years old. My first memories are of a place where everything was white, the floors, the ceilings, the walls, even the attendants wore white tunics.
There were lots of us, all boys of differing ages from toddlers like myself to boys of nine or ten. As I grew older I remember thinking it strange that we all looked the same.
We were well treated, but all the time they were doing tests on us, particularly blood tests. At first they used needles but later some of us had a sort of tap fitted to the inside of our arms and they used that to get blood. Boys without taps gradually disappeared.
When I was about ten, I was taken to live in my Lord’s house. My function was to provide fresh blood for him. I didn’t mind, I was used to having blood taken. Those were good years, my Lord was kind, I travelled everywhere with him and was given anything I asked for. I knew it wouldn’t last of course but he assured me that he had made plans for my future. Indeed he had.
I think I am going to be harvested again, I can feel the knockout flowing into me, I don’t think I can survive another, it’s too soon…
* * * *
The breathy whispery voice ceased and after a moment or so the recorder clicked off.
Steepling his strangely youthful hands High Lord Shaeloh looked at the uniformed man sitting opposite.
“Who else knows about this?” he asked quietly.
“No one my Lord, the recorder was found when the cell was being cleaned, I brought it straight to you.”
“The guard has been identified?”
“In solitary confinement my Lord together with the cell cleaner who found it.”
The High Lord smiled briefly.
“I will make arrangements for them, this evening probably, perhaps you could attend?”
“Of course, my Lord.”
“You have done well Governor, do you wish any… reward?”
“I am to retire soon my Lord, perhaps… certain concerns about my pension, my wife and I wish to travel.”
The High Lord nodded slowly.
“You may use my name, good day to you Governor.”
The High Lord sat quietly for a few moments, feeling the steady beat of his new heart, then pressed a button on his desk.
“I have a disposal job for you at the complex.” He said to the woman who answered. “The Governor will show you… take him and his wife, he may have been somewhat indiscreet.”
The High Lord sighed. Life wasn’t easy. Sometimes he felt the weight of his three hundred years.