The one thing, the only, sole, one thing I like about my original – that is to say, myself – is that I have a lot of courage. Not social courage, not yet. But courage courage. As in, the courage to risk the rage of this institution and make the perilous journey to Napoleon's room.
I like being courageous. When I get it in my head to do something dangerous and exciting like this, it goes to my head and makes it feel swimmy and invincible. I'm carrying a book (Hitler in Russia, which I brought with me so if I'm caught, I can say I'm going to the library to return it), and a flashlight. Hidden inside the cover is a small piece of paper on which I've written everything I've needed to say.
The corridors are dark, very dark. I keep to the wall so that if I'm seen, I could be mistaken for an open door or a potted plant. It takes ages to get to Napoleon's room and several times I get lost. But I find it, eventually, and I knock on the door, softly, three times.
Is he even in there?
I knock again. This time I hear a scuffling. Yeah, he's in there all right. Just ignoring me, because he thinks he's superior, because he spends more time in the 'in' group, even though he's the bottom of the 'in' group.
"Napoleon, hurry up. It's me. Adie."
Will he leave me out here to get caught?
No, he won't. The door opens a crack, and I see the reflection of what little light there is in his eyes. "Get in," he snaps.
I do as I'm told. I switch on the flashlight –
"Put that off!"
In the dark, Napoleon drags his covers off his bed. "What are you doing?" I ask. I can't see anything.
"I've made a cover. You can switch on your flashlight in there."
I crawl around in the darkness. I know I'm in the small, makeshift fort near the TV when I turn my flashlight on.
"Now," says Napoleon, settling down next to me and picking up a console. "What's your problem?"
"You mean my theory," I tell him. "And it's this. That Martha's dead."
Obviously it's not groundbreaking, in fact, many of the clones have probably entertained the idea themselves, but they don't have the proof that I have.
Napoleon gives me an odd stare. Don't know what he's looking at, he's wearing purple pyjamas with pictures of UFOs on them. "Is that what you came here to tell me?" he asked.
"I came to give you proof."
I pull out the hidden piece of paper. Napoleon takes it. They're notes from what I saw on the day I woke up and saw Martha's fate. It's jumbled nonsense without an explanation, so I tell him the story:
"I woke up that morning and looked out of my window. My bedroom's on the West Wing, near the Gates." Napoleon nods; the Gates are the remote area where the occasional truck might come in and drop off scientific equipment. It's very heavily guarded. "Well, I saw this big black car drive up, and some professors walk out, holding this big black box. They put it in this car and close it, and then it drives off. Then they go indoors."
"And then?" Napoleon asks.
"Then that's it."
"Well how do you know it was Martha in the coffin?" he asks me.
"I didn't at the time. And I've noticed that only Martha's missing. Everyone else is here, therefore my process of elimination tells me – it must have been her."
"Why do they keep denying anything happened, then?"
"I don't know, but it reinforces the idea that she might not have died of natural causes."
"They killed her?" Napoleon says disbelievingly, quickly lowering his voice.
"They must have, or they wouldn't be lying to us. What's more, I think it has to do with Professors Hule and Rougeau."
"Who are they?"
"Two of the Head Professors, one of Art, the other of the entire clone department. What's more, I think Salvador might know something about it–"
I'm interrupted at once by Napoleon. "Stop now. I think you've said enough."
"It's time to go to bed. Plus if they find you in here they'll kill you."
"So go back to bed."
He sounds impatient, angry. I should not have mentioned Salvador. "Catch up tomorrow?" I ask.
"Go to bed."
I think it's best to leave.
I make my way out and all the way to my bedroom. I do not sleep, but stare at the Gates from my window, distant, and covered by thick hedges, until the dawn's pink-orange light touches them in awakening.