The Beast, Pt. 67 (Chapter 17m)

Papa Chub arches an eyebrow and reaches for his drink. “That’s twisted.”

“Yeah, well. Imagine growing up with it.”

“How did you deal with that?”

The redhead shrugs. “Rich people are all weird, you know?”

“Everyone’s got some kind of dark secret or whatever that they don’t want word of getting out.”

“Honestly growing clones of yourself to serve as your daughters, or maybe a vessel for your consciousness as you near death, isn’t that weird.”

“I mean, it’s pretty weird. Just not by those standards.”

“Rich people standards.”

“You know what that’s like, right?” the redhead asks and she’s looking right at me, and there’s a smile on her face that doesn’t look smug, but still it’s like she can see through me somehow.

“Yep,” I say. “Sure do.”

“Well, what brings you ladies to the Meadows?” Googe asks, leaping in and seizing the conversation by the reins. “Vacation? Business? Family stuff?”

“Industry meetup.”

“Yeah. There was a big conference earlier. Clones, twins, android replicas, body doubles. You name it, if it looks like a copy of it, it’s here.”

“This is one of the after parties. Duh.”

I look around the room, my friends doing the same. Now that our attentions’ been drawn to it, it’s painfully obvious how many people in this suave and sophisticated lounge look just like everyone else in this suave and sophisticated lounge. Not everyone, certainly, but enough that it’s a stark testament to the human brain’s laziness that we didn’t notice it earlier. Countless visages belonging to the same few archetypes. Button noses that repeat themselves. Chiseled jaws as if from an assembly line. God gone lazy with copy-paste. Hell, there’s even a set of identical triplets that are all wearing their name tags from some earlier function. Hello, My Name Is: A, B, C, as appropriate..

Monk grunts. “Well. How did we miss that?”

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