The Originals

Set in the year 2023, this terrifying story tells of a world where the human race has been overpowered by evil doppel-gängers. The bane of a cloning experiment gone wrong have wiped out the entire planet of humans. Or so they think. The few human survivors are hidden underground, hoping, plotting, waiting for the chance to regain their home. Unless they caught first...

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2. Shoot for the stars

It's a day that every scientist dreams of.

The day that those long, hard years of work, research and staying overnight at the lab, pay off. All those years of being called a failure, a loser, useless...finally, I had something to be proud of.  I realised what I had lost; my marriage, my friends, everything just to keep this job. Just to keep my passion alive. 

It was around quarter to eleven at night, I had been working all night but...nothing. I grabbed a bottle from the chemical shelf, I didn't even bother filling the syringe; just tipped the bottle in and put it back on the shelf above. I waited. Five minutes passed and still nothing.I didn't expect it to do anything. I was so used to failure, I didn't believe it was possible. I didn't tell the chiefs that though. I wanted them to think they needed me. 

I gathered up my coat and briefcase from the office and was about to flick the light switch when I saw the container still on the table. Tired and not in the mood to make an effort, I was  tempted to leave it lying there but I forced myself to walk over and pack it away. I can only thank God that I did. If anyone had found that in the morning or the janitor had seen it while cleaning, they would've claimed that they discovered it. I walked back to the worktop and picked up the petri dish, about to shove it in the freezer.

It was then I spotted it. The usual one cell was now in two parts and then in a matter of seconds, four parts.

I dropped the petri dish in disbelief and then scurried to the floor picking it up and putting it on the table. My bag, coat and car keys lay strewn across the floor but I didn't care. This was a breakthrough in science...MY breakthrough in science.

At first they thought I was lying, making it up, some thought I had lost it and my boss just stood amused. He despised me and every chance to kick me down he snatched with open hands.I poured the purple liquid over the cell, my hands shaking slightly as I prayed it would do the same as last night. A few minutes passed and eyebrows were raised and a few exasperated sighs were head but I waited patiently and then, there, in front of my eyes, the cell started dividing slowly into two, then four, then eight, identical cells.In a instant, everyone was crowded round the table, their eyes wide and gleaming and a cheer went up.

"You've done it!" Someone behind me said, "You've actually done it!"

Applause richoted around the room and I felt the thundering pats of praise of my back. My smile filled my whole face and I was speechless.

Kenny, my boss, he just looked at me. He motioned with his head to follow him and I could only assume we were going to his office. I squuezed past the amazed scientists still fixated on the cells and followed after him.  

He said nothing the whole way; didn't even look at me. His corridor was down a flight of stairs and at the end of a long gloomy corridor. His door was always locked, even when he was inside. He swiped his card on the keypad, inserted a key into the door and twisted the knob. 

As soon as we entered, I could almost taste the dull, grey, dreariness of the place. 

"Should I sit down?" I asked, missing the sound of my voice.

"I don't care" His voice cutting through the air like steel bullets

Slightly embarrased, I turned away to look at the walls. Their plain, grey presence made me feel unsafe and imprisoned. 

"Why am I here?" I stammered, suddenly wanting to leave real quick.

"Because I don't believe you, I don't believe that a hopeless, untalented, quivering fool like you would ever in a million years even come close to creating a cloning formula" He spat at me,

"But I did..." 

"No, you didn't, you see, if it gets out that a bumbling idiot like you created that formula, we'll be under safety inspection for the next twenty years...that's why I'm making you a deal. The company are prepared to offer you 1.2 million dollars in exchange for your formula" He stated,

"What do you mean exchange?"

"We keep the formula, we decide what to do with it, you have no associations with it whatsoever, you say you didn't make the formula Chris and you'll walk away from here a million dollars richer"  

"No" 

"Sorry?" He said, raising his eyebrows,

"No. I made that formula. It's mine"

"But don't you see? You made it with our company's equipment, in our time, in our lab with our chemicals so it's far from yours Chris"

"I don't care. Only I know the formula and I'm not going to sell it for a million dollars"

"Quite right you are. How about we raise the stakes...say, 5 million?"

"You want it that bad? My minimum is 75 million dollars, take it or leave it" I shrugged, walking towards the door.

Behind me, I heard a desk open and a then a small click. I turned to face the black, daunting barrel of a gun.

"You should have taken my offer Chris...now you get nothing" Kenny sneered,

"You can't kill me...I'm the only one who knows the formula" I pleaded,

"We have the petri dish from this morning, we can run some tests and have the formula in an hour"

"Then why did you bring me here?"

"I was being nice Chris but this is where nice gets you" Kenny smiled,

"But you don't know about all the dilution and procedures, if you get one bit of that wrong, you could destroy everything..."

"Shut it. I'm not stupid, I know what you're trying to do...trying to wind me up, make me scared. You're the one who should be scared Chris. In case you hadn't noticed, there's a gun to your head" He shouted,

"Kenny. Think about it. This doesn't have to end like this. I'll take the 5 million, walk from here and never come back again , No mess, no dead body, no investigations. Look, just give me the contract, I'll sign it"

Kenny titled his head at the ceiling and smiled, "Chris. You've been such a valued member of this team. You turn up to work on time, never asked for a raise, stayed nights at a time just to finish working." He looked straight at me, "But you're also a bother, everything you do you fail at, you're always asking questions and thinking excessively about 'complications' and frankly, everyone on the team is sick of you" My eyes lowered to the floor.

"Chris...You're fired" The words flew out his mouth just as the bullet left the gun. Time slowed down and the bullet finally reached me as I crumpled to the floor. But I wasn't dead yet; just dying. I knew I had to do something, I couldn't let Kenny get away with this. Kenny had turned away to light a cigarette and I was tempted to pick up the gun on the table beside him and blow his head off.

But I couldn't reach there in time. I could feel the air leaving me so I did the first thing I could think of. I locked the door to his office and slid the key out and into my chest pocket. Then I heaved myself up to the security button and with my last strength, hit it and then fell to the floor. The loud siren started and Kenny turned at once to see what was going on. He saw the illuminated button and tried the door. It was locked.

"What did you do?" He screamed, kicking me, "Where's the key?" 

I couldn't answer. I could feel the blood draining from me, my eyes fluttering shut and it all going dark. And then, my pulsing heart stopped.

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