The La-Iin Series
“The Clone Cause”
It was a bright Sunday morning, the temperature chilly but otherwise fairly neutral. Some of La-Iin’s younger neighbors were outside, playing with their toys, parents, or friends. Gran-Howas was even outside with his V-Puppets.
La-Iin, however, was hopelessly bored. She tried to draw, but found she had no inspiration. She picked up her game, before remembering that she had recently completed her new one and now only had extras to do. She took Choungetsu on a walk, but quickly became frustrated by all the noise outside, and returned back home.
“I bet Dami’s doing more interesting things right now. He’s probably traveling to someplace like Aena.”
“Has he ever actually gone that far?”
“I don’t know! But he’s probably not the only one. Fer-Shi might be doing something fun with her parents….well, for her, anyway. But she’ll still be doing something even if it’s stupid. I bet San-Kyung is having a good time right now too. How I’d love to join him…”
“Are there any guarantees about that? The way you talked about San-Kyung gave me the impression that all he cared about was evil and his friends. Which is a weird combination, if you ask me.”
“I’d say it’s all you need for a fun time, but I found out that sometimes, you really do need an idea for evil. Anyway, it’s probably not just him. Rival-boy seems to be having fun a lot of the time. Or maybe today he’s just lying on his bed and feeling sorry for himself. Either way, he’s probably doing more than I am. Ai-Reia’s probably cramming more information into her head. That’s fun, for her. Sale-Dessu’s probably doing something fun with Eul-Bok, or something stupid…”
“First off, that’s a lot of probablies. Second off, you know, for those people you mentioned there are things you could do to find out if they’re up to anything. I know you can call Fer-Shi and Asul-Zenza. Now, San-Kyung, Dosa-Mina, and Ai-Reia, those three I understand, but Sale-Dessu lives right next door.”
“I know. Bringing him up gave me the perfect idea.” La-Iin smiled a sly grin. “There’s something I had been wanting to ask him lately. Something V-Puppet related.”
“Well, if it’s V-Puppet related, I sure hope you intend on taking me with you when you tell him this thing.”
“Oh, I do,” La-Iin said. “Come on! Let’s go now!”
La-Iin flung Bes-Isa off the bed and ran down the stairs, through the kitchen, the small hallway and into the living room. She head outside, closed the door behind her, and made a quick dash across to Sale-Dessu’s house, then tried to open the door. It was locked. She gave a frustrated huff.
“Looks like Sale-Dessu’s pulling that shit again,” Bes-Isa groaned. As La-Iin began to knock rapidly on the door, Bes-Isa yelled, “HEY! SALE-DESSU! OPEN UP! WE WANT TO TALK TO YOU!”
La-Iin began to bang on the door harder and more rapidly, so much so that when Sale-Dessu opened the door, her fist slammed into his stomach.
Sale-Dessu sucked in a breath. “I could have sworn a long time ago I made you promise not to bother me randomly…”
“But that was a long time ago. This is now. And how would I know if I’m bothering you? Anyway, I want to talk to you about something.”
“Something V-Puppetry related.”
“Oh.” Sale-Dessu nodded. “Come on in.”
La-Iin casually walked inside, glancing around the house and heading for the area she and Sale-Dessu normally held their meetings. Sale-Dessu followed close behind her and took his seat.
“Hey, Father, I heard you open the door. Is something–” Eul-Bok peeked his head into the room. As soon as he spotted La-Iin and Bes-Isa, he glared and walked out the room.
“Good. That means we don’t have to see him today.”
“So, um, La-Iin, what was it you wanted to know? Was it something about autonomy?”
“No, it wasn’t something about autonomy.”
“Really? But that’s what most of my V-Puppet studies were focused on.”
“Well, maybe you’ll have an answer for me anyway. I’m sure you had to study other things while trying to find out how to make Eul-Bok autonomous. So I wanted to know, do you think it would be possible to clone V-Puppets!?”
“Huh!? Where did you get that idea?”
“So it’s not possible?” La-Iin asked, pointing at Sale-Dessu.
“Now what’s going on?” Eul-Bok asked, peeking his head in once again. “Do you need me to deal with her, Father? Maybe cramp her wings or something?”
“Well, look who decided to show up again. Way to make this situation worse than it already was!”
Instead of looking agitated by Bes-Isa’s complaint, Eul-Bok looked confused. “What did I miss?”
“Well, Sale-Dessu? I’m waiting.”
“Why do you want to know something like that?”
“Because I do. You’re giving me mixed signals, Sale-Dessu. I don’t like it!”
“What does she want to know?”
“La-Iin wants to know if cloning V-Puppets is possible,” Sale-Dessu said. Eul-Bok snorted.
“What? That’s ridiculous. V-Puppets are just like you and Father in that regard, La-Iin. We’re all our own people. We could never be cloned, right, Father?”
“Well, not exactly,” Sale-Dessu said. Eul-Bok gaped. “When you said ‘cloning’, what exactly did you mean by that, La-Iin?”
“I meant cloning the original V-Puppet completely. Just curious.”
“Why would you want to know something like that!?”
La-Iin shushed Bes-Isa. “I have a reason. It’s not as bad as you think it is.”
“I’m not exactly sure what to make of that, because what I’m hearing so far sounds pretty bad!”
“That’s complicated,” Sale-Dessu said. “There are ways to copy the appearance of a V-Puppet entirely. That one is common knowledge. Lots of items can become V-Puppets, and if they’re mass-produced, they’re going to look a lot alike. I think I read a book once that mentioned companies that mass-produce plushes for the sole purpose of making them into V-Puppets.”
“There are companies that do that,” La-Iin said simply.
“The ways of cloning I know would only make an exact replica of their appearance. It wouldn’t copy them completely like you said.”
“Really? That’s all?” Eul-Bok gave a sigh of relief. “For a moment there you had me worried.”
“Geez, don’t make it sound so ominous. Is that all you know how to do, Warlocky-boy?”
Sale-Dessu raised his eyebrow at Bes-Isa. “Er, yes. As far as I know, there’s no way to copy a V-Puppet’s personality. I don’t think even cloning a V-Puppet’s appearance and bringing that one to life too would do anything about it. A-anyway, why would you even want to clone a V-Puppet?”
“I was curious. It was for an idea I had. But that’s none of your business. If you can’t help me with cloning V-Puppets, you can help me in other ways. I always expected that anyway.”
“So, La-Iin, now that you’ve found out you can’t copy me, mind telling me why you wanted to do it in the first place?”
“Once we leave,” she whispered. “Okay, I’m good.”
“La-Iin, sometimes I don’t understand you,” he sighed. “Why would you want to copy a V-Puppet entirely? What benefits would you gain from having two of the same person? Wouldn’t you be disturbed if there was a copy of you running around?”
La-Iin stared at him. “My copy would always be inferior,” La-Iin said. “She might think that about me too. Or maybe we could team up together. Anyway, does it matter? I can’t copy myself or a V-Puppet. So I don’t care about hypothe….hypotheticals like that.”
She stood up and head for the door. “Good-bye,” Sale-Dessu called out. Once he heard the door close, he bowed his head.
“You know, I felt a little bad when she asked that question,” Sale-Dessu said.
“Why? You told her you couldn’t do it. You haven’t even cloned a V-Puppet’s appearance before, have you? So what do you have to feel bad about?”
“I know I haven’t done anything like that, but I wondered the same thing some years ago,” he said. “But cloning anyone, whether they’re a V-Puppet or not, would just be wrong. It would be harsh towards both the original and the copy.”
“I agree! …Father, are you alright? You look down.”
“I know it’s impossible. I know that very well. I’m just wondering, if I can make a V-Puppet autonomous, is it perhaps possible that there’s someone out there who could clone a V-Puppet entirely? Who knows? I don’t think anyone will ever completely understand about powers, whether a Warlock’s or not. That’s what makes them so fascinating…”
“So, now that they can’t hear us, could you tell me why you wanted to copy me?”
“I didn’t want to copy you. I just wanted to know if it was possible. I keep thinking about the possibility of a V-Puppet army who helps me in the initial stages of ruling the world. At first I didn’t like it, but then I thought, I control V-Puppets anyway, so I’ll still be the one ruling the world. But I was thinking of making a new V-Puppet with a more obedient personality and copying them. I just figured it would be faster than bringing to life a whole bunch of separate ones.”
“That actually sounds like a fairly solid plan. Except, you’d need a V-Puppet who could hit hard enough for it to matter. An army of plushies, unless they were plushies stuffed with rocks or a LOT of plushies, probably wouldn’t be very helpful in ruling the world. And also, you have me to put into consideration.”
“Why? I wouldn’t make you fight with them.”
“That’s not the point. I’d gladly fight if there was something in it for me. And while I’m not sure I would trust you to hold to your word if you promised me something, there’s another issue I’m thinking about. And that’s that I just don’t like it when you make other V-Puppets. Tae-Kyok pissed me off. I bet an army would too.”
“But they would just be a disposable army. And I can’t believe you remember Tae-Kyok. I completely forgot about her.”
“Well, I can’t change how I feel. And I couldn’t do anything about it, either. I just figured I’d tell you.”