Larry stares over Tycho Crater, arms hanging by his side, like broken wings. “Last murder.” He sighs. Rustling with its feathers, the vast blackness above him stirs. Its many empty eyes blink down on him curiously. He deactivates the jammers – still, the silence of the lunar remoteness echoes through his com.
Cold and loneliness pierce him, like an insect to the ash colored background of an oversized display case. He needs to move. The suit adds weight to his lazy limbs. Only the oxygen injectors hiss their reliable song.
“Last heist, last rover. Last disappearance from Harbisson.” Ivory protrusions crown the lip of the basin some six hundred meters bellow. Nothing moves, except Terry doing his ecstasy dance, or whatever those moves mean. Larry frowns at his twin brother, jumping up and down.
This is the part where that perverted chicken-head, gets what he wants. This will end soon. No time to waste on him, his DNA is damaged, unstable, beyond repair.
Chichi shows Larry the results of the blood tests. It’s clear. The clone will not survive, maybe not even next month… The degeneration is too advanced. Larry swallows. Leukemia is going to end Terry fast.
Maybe Chichi will come with him, to start a new life in Surveyor Seven… Anyway, if she refuses, he’ll go alone. “Chichi? You copy?” Terry turns his head and torso towards him. That’s not family anymore. No privacy is the price a twin has to pay. Before his genes turn on him, Larry dreams of a family of his own. Chichi and him, and later a little boy, his son. Legacy. “Chichi?” No answer. He checks the jammers again, both are off. “Odd…”
What was she says about the most humane way to kill? Morphine is too pricy. Six clones before this Terry, all wasted. So many deaths, and all in vain. First two clones die of natural causes, cancer and lymphoma. Three has an accident with a malfunctioning suit, resulting in fatal gas embolisation throughout his body. They all die in so much pain, after futile treatment.
Their suffering is too much. Larry is by their side, twenty four-seven, feeds them, washes them, cares till he cannot care anymore. He promises to end their tainted lives, before the agony takes them over.
Since Terry’s third death, he doesn’t tell his brothers’ that they are cloned. He kills Four and Five as humane as possible, after he recognizes the symptoms. Four is barely conscious as it happens. Larry lets leukemia get far with Four, between the pillows of the hospice bed, nobody looks for evidence for a crime. Five puts up a fight, whaling and screaming all the way, till the blood loss weakens him enough to submerge him in a tub without difficulty. It’s a mess, and Larry never uses a knife again on one of the clones.
Six has been difficult from their first day together. After practicing with the good people of Surveyor Tycho City, he tests the capacity of their tasers to the limits of a cloned body. Seven though is nasty piece of work. He doesn’t even merit the name Terry anymore. He’s an aberration, a disgusting caricature of his original twin brother. After Seven is gone, Terry will be lost forever.
The emptiness shakes its many heads, laughing. Larry understands. HE is lost – alone, like everybody else… He grant one last present to Terry Seven. “Terry, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…“ He sighs. “You can have the angel.“ Larry surrenders softly. Terry giggles and claps his hands, bows to untie his precious cargo.
“Allow me.” Behind the visor of the ripped suit, the face glows with soft light. Ryo chuckles, sits up and unties the ropes fixing him to his rover. Terry turns dumb stuck to Larry. “Hello, my murderers.” His satisfied grin morphs into a malicious smirk. “I’m your judge, jury and executioner.” Ryo bows a courteous bow. “A one-entity-court, if you please.”
“Judge Judy?” Terry stutters, trying to take in the situation. Ryo smiles a warm smile, and nods.
Author: Ramona Darabant
R. C. Darabant was born Romania and lives now near Vienna, where she works as a family physician. When she isn’t working, she writes poetry, flash fiction and short stories. She recharges her batteries during storms and night strolls. In her stories, there is a distinct lack of happy endings. It’s not pathological, rest assured, she had that checked.