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Eight and his six siblings are by-products of an underground, illegal human cloning experiment. Born and raised in a laboratory under constant scrutiny, observation and experimentation. They have rarely, if ever seen the blue skies of the world outside.
One day, the alarm sounds and the man they call Father ushers them toward safe passage, as the laboratory is seized and shut down by a government task force. The seven aptly named and numbered children are forced into a world unknown and unseen by their senses to experience the vivid realities that we consider day to day living. While struggling with the rising emotions of anger, greed, love, loss and religion, they quickly learn of their delicate place in this world along with the frailty of their bodies and minds as they cope with medical side-effects and “abilities” of their condition as only Father could explain.
Oh, and lest we forget, the task force that is set upon their capture and if necessary, extermination of this inhuman and abnormal breed of humanity.
The story dissects the journey of the seven children as they discover the modern world for the first time, for better and for worse, while fighting for their lives against a military that is hunting them and the secrets in their past that haunt them. While bordering on science fiction, modern reality and medical discovery, the story unfolds and gently touches on the philosophical effects that human cloning can have on the minds of children when faced with the harsh realities of their differences in this world.
From Chapter Four:
His hand instinctively tightened on the pistol. It gave him comfort. It gave him strength. It gave him the upper hand. He held it up and out as he walked backward toward the door of the bomb shelter.
Robots? We are not robots! Four stepped up for the first time since the red light started flashing. Stop calling us robots! We are not robots!
Father told you not to call us robots.
Stop being so mean. Why are you so angry?
Seven stepped closer to Six. Brother, please. Stop. We know that Father gave you free will. But right now, we need you. We need to stick together. They need you to be strong and be helpful. The only way any of this is going to work is if we all do what Father asked of us.
You have no concept of the word mother, yet you are going to blindly seek one out? We have no mothers. Don’t you understand that? We aren’t like them. We are different. We were not made the same way. We are different. Why should I stay? I will be just as safe on my own as I would be with you robots.
Hey! Stop it! We are not robots!
Eight reached out and put his hand on the pistol.
You know what this pistol is?
We all have free will.
No. You are all robots. You do as your master set forth. I. I am not like that. I am free will.
Brother. We’re in this together. We each have our own special problems, our own special needs and we need to stick together if this is going to work. We are a team. We live together. Apart we die. Who is going to administer your vaccination every day?
I am not an idiot. I can give myself a shot every few hours. It's not like I haven't been doing this all of my life. I’m not going to forget. It’s a matter of survival, brother.
Brother was used as an insult. As a curse. Such a biting tone escaped his lips. The word lingered in the air and reverberated around the rusted iron shelter. His emphasis on the word "brother" was, and always had been, intentionally hurtful. They had all grown used to it. Six had been like that his entire life.
You don’t know what it’s like. Out there. Up there. I do. Finding this "mother" is not going to be the solution to all your problems. To us, it’s just a word. Not like it is up there.
As a small child, Six had broken away from the pack. Early on, he had realized that he was different from all of the others. The others from the world above. The children that lived in the blue skies and the fresh air. Six had known. He had witnessed it.