“Isn’t that what you planned to do all along? Stop them from trampling on that human soul?” -Casey, Sons of Earth.
It began on the manufacturing floor of the factory I work in. I was a brand new operator in a pharmaceutical plant, adjusting to the new regimen and rules. There were so many rules! Any product that didn’t meet the strictest of parameters was ‘reject’–garbage. One day I got this funny idea. What if we were manufacturing clones? What would the factory do with clones that didn’t meet their specifications?
With the idea of human ‘reject’–garbage clones–Sons of Earth was born.
A manufactured person is no person at all. Designed to fight and die, Dominic escaped from the metallic womb of Caspian Genetics. He knows that if he is found out he’s as good as dead, but he cannot forget that his brothers are enslaved.
He matches his wits against Caspian’s might. But how can Dominic stand against an industry that denies his personhood when he doubts his own humanity? As his plans unravel, Dominic is forced to face the question: Was he lied to? Is he human after all?
Can you just ‘throw out’ a human being? I suspect a normal, rational person would say no. But what if we believed they weren’t really human? Some might think this is a giant leap, but I would contend that dehumanization is easier and more common than you’d think. Case in point: the YouTube comment section.
Have you heard the adage “Do unto others as you would have them do for you?” This golden rule is nowhere to be found in comment section debates, where the slightest difference of opinion is grounds for ridiculous name-calling. Unfortunately, I cannot exempt myself from this tendency, in the interest of full disclosure. Why do we do this? On a subconscious level we don’t believe they’re as human, or as valuable as we are.
Let’s move down a layer. One of the main arguments in the prolife/prochoice abortion debate is ‘When does the fetus become a human being?’ By the grounds of ‘it isn’t a person,’ thousands of babies are aborted. The motto, “To keep you is no benefit. To destroy you is no loss” could be aptly applied.
So it doesn’t take a big stretch in my overactive imagination to picture clones that didn’t quite make spec being fatally injected and incinerated. Rights? They have no rights. Those who are good enough are sold, and their owners do what they please with them.
Dominic, Casey and Justine do not call them worthless. Dominic calls them his brothers. Caspian Genetics treated him like scum, and he’d like to serve it back to them. Casey and Justine are devout Christians and see the clones as God’s creation, just as they are. But they are just blue-collar workers, nobodies themselves.
A penniless son of a drunk struggles to make a good life for his family. A clone’s search for revenge lands him in a relationship that will break the heart he didn’t know he had. An unlikely alliance challenges an industry.
What is a life worth? Explore this with me in Sons of Earth.
Geralyn Wichers writes from Manitoba, Canada. When not writing, or working in the factory, she can be found running down the sidewalks and trails of her hometown, singing in the church choir, or staring into space–possibly all while carrying a massive book.