The brown haired boy stood in line. The line was made up of other boys, all of them the same. They weren't just similar, but completely identical. Short brown hair, brown eyes and they were all outfitted in the same gray sweater and black pants. Tuesday, after all, was sweater day. One boy broke the rigid line by shifted his weight as a plain looking man began to hand out little blue slips of paper.
The blue papers had haunted the nervous boy's dreams for months. These seemingly insignificant pieces of paper would tell them their professions. The boy had studied hours upon hours to score high enough to qualify for the same profession as his father; A Doctor. The boy felt his insides squirm as the rhythmic foot steps continued, growing closer by the second.
What if he didn't make it? What if he got stuck being a sewage manager? He winced as he dug his nails deep into his own arm- just like how they had shown him in class. Rule seventy seven: All workers are equal he mentally recited as he exhaled, releasing his arm. He hated correcting his behavior, but he knew thoughts like that were dangerous. If a sewage manager was considered inferior, then he would be judged as being worth less and then the cast system would come back, throwing society back into the dark days, to times of war.
He was next in line. He felt his heart pounding as his palms grew moist. His whole education had been leading up to this moment. He glanced over to see his father standing in line with all of the other fathers, grinning at him. The boy in front of him groaned as he mumbled and shuffled off.
The boy looked into the plain man's hollow eyes as the man asked "Name?" The boy took a breath, "Bill 16, Generation 3." He said repeating the name his father gave him, his age and the Generation to which he belonged. Bill knew that natural birth had been banned for years, cloning replacing it. Each Generation had a unique face, and was free of disorders and conditions. Bill felt his heart skip a beat as the man pulled out a blue card, handing it to him. Bill glanced down and a wide smile danced across his face.
Bill-16: Generation 3
Doctor- Immediate Training
He let his gaze speed over to his father as they both smiled widely. Bill ran over, throwing his arms around his father and laughing happily. Everything stopped. Everyone starred. Bill could feel their eyes burning holes into the back of his head. His father quickly pushed him away.
"Inappropriate displays of emotion, Bill. You just made everyone jealous of your happiness." He said scolding his overly excited son. Bill felt his face burn with embarrassment, he felt as if he had been slapped in the face. Why had he made such a simple error? Bill's father grabbed his arm and led him to the Medical Office, and began showing him around immediately.
During the day Bill learned how to draw blood, check a temperature and fill out paper work. Last came learning how to administer a vaccine. He watched intently as his father unwrapped a sterile syringe and insert the needle into a small vile, drawing out the cloudy fluid. He saw his father withdraw the needle and tap the plastic gently, squiring a small amount out. "That releases the air so it doesn't bruise." He said and handed the needle to his son, beaming with pride.
Bill was wondering what life saving miracle the syringe held. A cure for cancer? A priceless vaccine? He let his mind drift away thinking of what lives could be saved by something as simple as an injection. He looked up to see his father smiling. Bill smiled back, glad to see pride smoldering in his father's eyes.
Bill had never felt that his father was proud of him. Someone had always been stronger, smarter, nicer... Bill was never exceptional. He wanted to be the best Doctor he could. He needed to prove to his father he was a good son, he needed to see that look more often.
The day was running smoothly as Bill followed his father. The job seemed so interesting, diagnosing, testing, and curing. Helping people and saving lives seemed to be the most rewarding thing on the entire planet. Suddenly, his father's mobile went off. Bill watched as his father answered it, speaking to a voice on the other end. "Right. Yes sir. Right away sir." His father said and hung up, looking over to Bill with a soft smile. "Come with me. Today you have an assignment." He said and Bill eagerly followed.
They walked to a small room, where a man with a military hair cut and matching uniform stood stiffly. "Doctor, I'm sending you a natural born. It is to be relocated. Do this as soon as possible. Understood?" He asked and Bill saw his father nod as the man left. Bill began to fidget nervously. He knew the government was nothing to fear, they were keeping him safe, holding society together. He made a fist, digging his nails into his palm, letting the pain wash the negative thoughts away. He really hated correcting his behavior.
His father set a hand on Bill's shoulder, pulling out a clear plastic box that contained a vile, a syringe and an alcohol wipe. "Go prepare room five, and when they bring it in inject it like I showed you. Then we will send it to a colony where it will fit in." Bill nodded and quickly walked to room five, wiping down the table and preparing the paper work he would need to fill out after the visit. A few minutes of silence passed in the silent white room before the door opened as the military man led a small girl in. Bill's eyes widened as he saw hand cuffs being pulls off of the child. She was at most seven years old, and obviously not a threat. The man gave him a stiff nod before closing the door. Bill saw the thick, curly brown hair hiding the girls face. She looked so thin in her paper gown. Bill saw the arrangement of bruises peppering her legs and frowned.
She looked up through her mousy hair and Bill felt his heart stop. Her eyes were the color of the sky on a cloudy day. He stood in awe, starring at the girl who stood before him. He was caught off guard by his emotions. No hatred, no envy...he found her eyes beautiful. This was nothing like they said in school. He couldn't imagine hurting her. He realized not everyone would have the same reaction as him. What if someone tried to place her in holocaust because of her eyes? He had to protect her, and keep her safe. The only way to do that was to send her to a colony where she wouldn't be different.
He picked her up, setting her on the table. His hands began to fill the syringe. A small voice broke the silence. "I promise I won't hate you." She said softly through missing teeth. Bill laughed a little bit saying
"The shot won't hurt that bad." He said smiling at her. He noticed the needle tracks going down her tiny arms and felt his stomach sink.
"No, not the shot....You killing me." The girl said quietly, looking away.
Bill's hands worked on filling the needle as he frowned. "I'm not killing you! I'm going to make you sleep that way the trip to a place where little girls have blue eyes like you won't seem so long." He said and tried to reassure her with a grin. She sighed,
"You don't know do you mister?" She said emotionlessly. "They did these tests on me. They took stuff from my blood and bones, because I'm different. I don't hate them either though. I won't hate you, I promise. Maybe dying will be like sleeping... Maybe then the pain will go away." She said looking up at Bill. He faked a smile as her small voice tugged at his heart strings. She smiled back. "Maybe if I wasn't different we could have been friends." She said and looked down.
Bill finished filling the needle, tapping it and releasing the air. He walked over, needle in one hand, as he extended the other. "Hello. I'm Dr. Bill. Let's be friends for today, okay?" He said and watched as the blue eyes glittered for a brief second. She shook his hand, smiling,
"I'm Sara Marie Walters." She said and Bill felt a cold feeling creep into his stomach. She had three names and no generation. She was born naturally. He knew he had to relocate her, for her own good. He ran the wipe over her arm as he tried not to look at the bruises. Wondering what had they done to the girl.
He let the needle slide under the skin as he released the clear solution into her veins. He pulled it out, and held a cotton swap over the small wound as it began to be tinted pink. "See, it's not that bad." Bill said smiling up at her as she smiled back.
Suddenly, her breathing became erratic and her eyes widened. Her chest began to rise and fall as she crumpled into a small ball, shaking violently. Small noises were coming from the back of her throat as she clutched his arms. Her eyes were rolling back in her head and her grip was getting tighter. Then...she stopped.
Sara was still, too still. Bill checked her pulse and his jaw dropped as he felt nothing. She had died. Right there, in his arms, she died. Bill felt tears welling up in his eyes as his stomach heaved. He raced to a trash can, and crumpled to the ground. He heard his father walk in, as his stomach heaved once more. A nurse entered behind him, lifting Sara's body and sliding it down a trash shoot. Bill jumped up, pushing the woman out of the way as he tried to clutch Sara's tiny foot, but instead watch her limp body slide into the darkness.
"Son, this is how it has to be. You understand that, right?" His father asked as he reached deep into his coat pocket. Bill starred at his father in shock as hot tears fell.
"That wasn't a reaction? I killed her!?" He asked in awe as rage began to rise in his stomach. His father wouldn't look him the eye.
"Tell me you understand it was necessary." He said and Bill felt rage coat his tongue before he spoke.
"It wasn't necessary!" He said panting, "We could have given her contacts! We didn't have to kill her!" He said as he began to pace, pulling at his own hair. "What's so bad about being different anyway?!" He asked as he sobbed. Bill saw his father open his arms for an embrace and collapsed into the familiar body as he shook from sobbing.
"Son..." He heard his father whisper, looking heart broken. "I wish you could have understood." He heart his father say as he shifted his arms. "You would have been a great Doctor." Bill shut his eyes as guilt overwhelmed him.
A sharp pain in his neck made his eyes shoot open as he jerked away, pulling the needle from his neck. He looked up to see his teary eyed father as he felt his body convulse, his knees buckling beneath him. He felt pain swimming through his body as he shook and his eyes rolled back. The darkness began creeping in, and a deep silence filled the ebony air. Soon, a soft, sweet voice broke the silence.
"I don't hate you, you're my friend...Dr. Bill..."