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Writing The Anti-Clone


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Thought I'd do something special for my 250th post. :D Yeah, yeah: status doesn't matter, but I'm gonna be immature and do something a little different anyway. :p

This little story is a play that I wrote for a creative writing class I took two years ago. It was the final project. Haha, as you can tell, English is my weakest subject, and I try to hide that fact by putting some science tidbits into my play. Now that I read it today, the science stuff seems really excessive... However, I got the highest grade for this particular project, so I'm pretty proud of this work.

Anyway, I wrote this essay when the controversy around cloning were still fresh and active. In this play, I try to tackle what a clone is when he becomes what some people consider "human."

All comments (both positive and negative) and questions are welcomed. :)

[Center][B]Act I[/B][/Center]

[I]A pitch-black room?s darkness is intensified by the light behind it. The audience can only see shadowed versions of the environment ? like a silhouette. A person?s outline can be seen sitting next to a table in one of the corners. A couch and coffee table lay in the middle of the room. After the environment can be absorbed and understood by the audience, another shadowy figure steps into the room with what is clearly a gun. It is clear what the armed person?s intent is as he stands and speaks the following words:[/I]

[B]Aster:[/B] (calmly, with a sense of philosophical thought) Your existence is a counterfeit. Just by living you are spreading corruption and falsities to the entire world. I can?t allow that.

[B]Old Man:[/B] (Quiet tone, almost sympathetic) I know what I am and it doesn?t change anything. Kid, it?s not how you got here, but what you do here-

[B]Aster:[/B] And I?m doing everything I can to stop phonies like you from destroying humanity! Evolution is the solution. You are nothing but a parasite!

[B]Old Man:[/B] What about God? Don?t you believe that He?s responsible for every life on this world ? including parasites? Aren?t you going to follow His plan?

[B]Aster:[/B] (moment of silence, Aster turns his back to the Old Man) God... God is the creator of life. But God did not create you. What does that make you? (his tone changing to confident) No, you are not part of his plan, you are the product of the tainted man ? you have no substance. (as the Old Man is about to reply, Aster turns and fires the gun, which the audience can clearly see and hear among the shadowed figures) I don?t have time to quibble. You are one of too many, and there?ll be a day when the people will be free of your plagued kind!

[I]Aster leaves the room, and the lights die, thereby destroying all shape to the audience.[/I]

[Center][B]Act II[/B][/Center]

[I]A well-lit office room that is clearly for one of the higher-up persons in the business, as it holds the atmosphere of a lounge. The furniture is also of a relaxing nature: three couches, coffee table in the center, and anomalous materials and documents on the two lamp tables that separate the three couches. There is an inconspicuous crack in the floor. It is morning, and Aster is sitting drinking tea as his father, Criston, steps into the room. Both father and son are visually gentle persons, with age and a paternal mustache separating the two from being considered twins.[/I]

[B]Criston:[/B] (as he sits down and makes himself comfortable) Ah, Asterion, I believe you have something to discuss with me? (Aster continues to indulge in the morning ambience as if his father had not addressed him) So you?ve heard, eh? But I can?t allow you to go on like this ? expending our profits in order for others to succeed. It is not the way business is handled!

[B]Aster:[/B] (calmly, without looking at him) There are things of greater importance than business, father. We are at the point of defining the future ? what you call ?business? ? and you are concerned with profits? All of mankind is in this future, and we must give all of them a chance to define it. Monopolies will just not cut it.

[B]Criston:[/B] How can insolent dolts define the perfection of man?!-

[B]Aster:[/B] (finally looking at his father) And what the hell makes them any different than you?!

(As Aster is confounding his dad, his best friend, Kaeneus, steps into the office. ?Kai? has a very confident air about him, and his face lacks any observable expression, like that suited for a casual friend. When he does express emotion, though, his eyes keep their adamant attitude.)

[B]Kai:[/B] Ho! What?s this? Comparing your father to chess pieces again?

(Both father and son rise to shake the guest?s hand. Each is now in their respective couches.)

[B]Criston:[/B] Kaeneus, your a whiz with science! Tell me now, what does a scientist do when something is wrong with a specimen? Does he not use a perfect version of the model to investigate what the defective archetype is lacking?

[B]Aster:[/B] (breaking in as Kai is about to reply) How can you say what is perfect? We can certainly imagine perfection, but humans are incapable of creating it. Humans are still incapable of creating a perfect circle, and here we are disturbing nature?s evolution to create the perfect man?! Truly preposterous!

[B]Kai:[/B] (in an attempt to stop the argument from escalating) There?s no need for either of you to make a point. When two resolute persons try to convince each other, it is like two kings in a game of chess (using his index fingers to visualize repelling forces) ? stalemate. The only solution is for both parties to take action and see which one God sides with.

[B]Aster:[/B] (to himself, but heard by both Criston and Kai) God again!

[B]Kai:[/B] People can go about and change fate, the future, and evolution, but it?s initiative and ambition that?s required ? not some goddamned philosophers sitting on their sorry backsides talking about their trivial ideas! (Kai goes into his inner pocket) If you?d like, I can finish this petty argument with a coin toss. (reveals a coin)

[B]Criston:[/B] Ah, I see! A game of chance need not be one ? should God factor into it. 50-50 aren?t the chances anymore! I?m up for some amusement, how about you, Asterion?

[B]Aster:[/B] (has an expression of thinking while talking) This won?t change anything, but I?d like to see for myself what this God essence wants from our lives. Kai, I?ll go with tails.

(Kai flips the coin towards the coffee table in the center of the room. The coin, however, rolls off and falls into the crack. Kai and Aster are a little stunned by this, while Criston shows great amusement.)

[B]Criston:[/B] (clapping, almost laughing) Well done, Kaeneus! Your words were broken by your own jest! Looks like it?s time to go back to good ol? fashioned people to find the answers to the questions! You?re right about initiative to change one?s life, though. Asterion, go and make your own mark in the world, instead of shadowing mine! (looks at his watch) Well, I must be going. Take care, Kaeneus.

(Criston exits.)

[B]Aster:[/B] Looks like your God is not going to put his foot in this one, Kai. Why do you believe in such a being when all the knowledge of science is within your mind?

[B]Kai:[/B] Because my definition of science is different from yours. Science is truth. God is a greater factor than truth itself, and therefore he supercedes even what we know as real.

[B]Aster:[/B] Don?t try to avoid my question, Kai. Why did God just flip that coin so that our discussion could not end with a sound conclusion?

[B]Kai:[/B] Aster, I?m telling you what you need to know. Your father may be dense, but that doesn?t give you a reason to be the same. The truth is clear-cut: there is neither a moral truth nor an evil one. God is different, because he?s a benefactor to all. You?d do well to remember that.

(Kai stands up, taking a last look at Aster, and leaves Aster to himself)

[B]Aster:[/B] ?God is a benefactor to all?? Even to my damned father? (lays his head over the couch so that he stares at the ceiling) When the Hell did you show up?!

[I]Lights die once more.[/I]

[Center][B]Act III[/B][/Center]

[I]Same atmosphere and mood as the previous Act I, with the only change to the entire setting being that of furniture. A different, younger person can be seen sitting in one of the seating furniture pieces. He is tied up, and appears to be in a weak condition. Aster once again enters.[/I]

[B]Aster:[/B] You make yourself out to be a man? My father?s the fool who creates all of you... you clones! (raises his gun)

[B]Young Man:[/B] (in an exasperated voice) I believe in God! I know that my suffering here is part of His divine way to test me. I will not falter and ask God why!

[B]Aster:[/B] (intrigued, lowering his gun) You believe in God? How could you believe in God when you know what you are? In all books referring to God, God only speaks to man. When does He speak to the parasitic clones?

[B]Young Man:[/B] I?m no different from you! God is the creator of all life.

[B]Aster:[/B] Exactly. And man was your creator, so you could not possibly be alive. (raising his gun once more)

[B]Young Man:[/B] What ? are you talking about that goddamned test tube I came from? How about that uterus you fell out from? What?s the difference? Humans give birth to humans, but God is still responsible for the creation of man!

[B]Aster:[/B] (lowering both his gun and his head) No, it can?t be true.... By cloning, we are destroying the natural process of evolution by keeping all of our current genome. But by God?s divinity, humans create more humans. (raising his head) Is that why the coin did not answer the question? God! Kai said He?s a benefactor that supercedes the truth! Was God protecting me from it?

[B]Young Man:[/B] God helps all, boy. Look to Him for the answers, and ask Him to stop you from killing another one of His creations.

[B]Aster:[/B] (grabbing his head with both hands) Evolution ? is that mutation? Are we defective? Is our ability to create unaltered humans our only salvation? (yells up into the air) Are clones part of your plan?! Are they the humans you seek?! (quickly looks down at the Young Man and raises his gun). If you are my brother, I am sorry. (gun is fired) Everything Kai said about God is true. He must be right about changing the future as well then. I?m going to fix humanity?s future!

[I]Aster exits, the lights die, and shape is once again lost.[/I]

[Center][B]Act IV[/B][/Center]

[I]Same office scene as in Act II, but this time, as the lights open, Criston?s body is lying on the floor and Aster is standing looking outside a window.[/I]

[B]Aster:[/B] God, thank you for accepting me. Had he picked tails, the heads side would have risen, because thanks to my initiative and ambition, you have decided that man?s fate lies with evolution.

(Kai enters and is stunned by what he sees)

[B]Kai:[/B] Aster, this can?t be your father?s body.

[B]Aster:[/B] Ah, Kai, welcome to the evolution of mankind. I did just as you said: I took initiative and hoped that God would decide a different fate for humanity instead of cloning.

[B]Kai:[/B] You killed a human being, Aster. Whether or not he thought differently didn?t matter. And as for your supposed initiative, were you not aware of the defect within your father?s clones?

[B]Aster:[/B] (turns to Kai) Huh? Defect to God?s chosen?

[B]Kai:[/B] No, not God?s chosen. Clones, Aster. Clones which lack all reflexive functions ? even a twitch of the eye.

[B]Aster:[/B] Are you saying everything I believe and did ? even after you helped me decide ? was wrong?

[B]Kai:[/B] I didn?t help you with anything. You forgot my words about your dispute with your father before: that it was petty and didn?t need a conclusion. Aster, you need to stand down and understand your erroneous set of actions.

(Both are looking at the other in a moment of silence. After this, Aster starts to break down and begins to cry.)

[B]Aster:[/B] Oh, I?ve killed my own father! God has never chosen me! I must go to my father immediately and apologize!

[B]Kai:[/B] What? Aster, that?s not the way!

[B]Aster:[/B] (becoming maniacal) Oh, Kai! Why don?t you join me? We?ll have a jolly time in Hell!

(Aster pulls out his gun and Kai does so at the same exact time)

[B]Aster:[/B] Don?t forget your science, Kai! The blast to the head will force one person to increase the calcium ion concentration in the blood and constrict their muscles, thereby pulling the other trigger. No matter who fires first, we both go to father!

[B]Kai:[/B] Wrong, Aster. I didn?t forget my science, and I didn?t forget about incomplete clones either. Aster, one of us is defective. For a species so evolved, this is a primitive way to find out who.

[I]The lights fade, and the curtain falls, leaving the fate of the two friends in an enigma of questions and decisions.[/I]

[B][I]About the Play and Its Many Holes[/I][/B]
Strapped for time, the author was not able to bring his play to the level he wished it to be. For example, the dark silhouette scenes were meant to be sub-scenes, which were transitory parts between progressive acts and scenes.
To explain some holes, Aster?s madness was supposed to be a gradual change, symbolic of evolution. As psychology teaches us, an eighteen year old has firm and almost immovable ideals and beliefs. The fact that Aster is being forced to question these very beliefs drives to change and eventually ? due to an unfavorable evolution ? insanity.
The debate about clones being human was supposed to be better developed by Kai?s mastery of science, along with his belief in God. Oh, and as a twist, Kai was supposed to be the anti-clone, and Aster was supposed to be the successor to that position. Thank you for your patience and time in reading this.
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