As a boy of eight, Seth finds his life changed by a dark secret … something that he can’t possibly understand.

Years later, old faces, memories, and an envelope, draw Seth back into the web.


21. 21 - Pure

21  -  Pure

April 19, 2383


Seth feels the intensity of Carry’s eyes. The large room seems to grow smaller around him. He’s suddenly aware of a strong smell … the smell of paper. His throat feels dry again.

“I’m sorry Carry. I really appreciate the information you gave me about my parents and I understand your concerns about cloning, but I don’t think I’m the right person to help you.”

Her eyes remain locked on his. “You’re wrong, Seth. You are exactly what I’ve been waiting for. You are pure, and you have a direct connection to Dolly. Your parents died in cloning accidents” she smiles, “and you’ve just turned eighteen.”

He takes the last sip of his soda. The smell of paper, even stronger now, masks its flavor. “I don’t understand.”

“I’m so close, Seth. So close to having everything I need to expose Dolly and the Dolly Factor. I just need a little more time, and a distraction.” She extends an arm, resting her hand on his leg. “You’re eighteen now, old enough to file for legal proceedings. I need you to file a suit against Dolly Incorporated for the wrongful deaths of your parents.”

Seth swallows, the smell of paper growing stronger. He can taste it. He shakes his head. “Carry, I’m sorry, but this is a bad time for me to get involved in this. I’ll be joining the LED in a few days to start my training. Perhaps … perhaps I could get back to you in a few weeks?”

She smiles. “Don’t worry. It won’t take you any time at all.” She opens the file on her lap and pulls an envelope from among the papers inside.

Seth looks at the envelope. His name is written on it.

“Everything is here for you. All the paperwork completed. You simply sign them. I’ll handle everything else.” She holds out the envelope, smiling.

Seth looks at the envelope. The overwhelming smell of paper blurs his senses. He has to get out. He stands quickly, knocking the empty soda glass from the arm of the chair.

“I’m sorry Carry … no.”

He leaves the room and stands in the main room of the penthouse, breathing deeply and feeling light-headed. The smell of paper begins to fade. What had happened to him? He tries to relax.

Carry comes into the room and walks past him. She stands by the vid-screen. “Seth, I can’t understand why you’re reluctant to help me. I’m not sure that you realize how important this is to me, to your parents, to everyone, but it is your choice. Please think about it, there isn’t much time.”

Seth nods, feeling drained by their short meeting. “I will.”

He turns toward the gate, and stops, looking out a circular window at the clear blue water of Aquatica. Three bright stars twinkle in the daytime sky. He turns back to Carry.

“Have you seen Tristan recently?”

She gives him a curious look “Tristan?”

“Yes, I remember her as a friend of my mother’s.”

Carry is quiet for a few moments. “Tristan is dead, Seth. She died shortly after your mother did. She was another victim of Dolly Incorporated, another cloning accident.”

Seth blinks. “I see. Goodbye Carry. Thanks for your time, and the soda.” He moves to the penthouse gate.

“Oh, Seth?”

He turns back to her.

Carry looks at the vid-screen. “The number you reached me at isn’t available through normal channels. Very few people know of it. Where did you get it?”

Seth hesitates. He doesn’t want to bring Jullian into this. His tired mind scrambles for a believable answer.

She looks at him and tilts her head. “Did Jullian give it to you?”

He feels his stomach tighten. How did she know?  “Yes, but I …”

Carry smiles and turns away, looking back to the vid-screen. “That’s alright, Seth.  Go … and stay pure.”

He turns away slowly, and steps into the gate.

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