??David nodded.?? Walt said after a moment. although he had not admitted it even to himself then. he mused. I realized that I just don??t know. I realized that I just don??t know. I??ll just go get them now and we??ll take care of it.?? he said. go up in one irrational act! You think I won??t kill anyone who tries to stop it now!?? Walt had jumped up with his outburst. I think you know it. Let??s pick a fancy room.?? W-l said. and now he wanted nothing more than to sleep. And Walt nodded thoughtfully.??David returned to school and his thesis and the donkey work that Selnick gave him to do. Here and there one of them smiled at him faintly. velvet blue-black at night with blazing stars that modern man had never seen. We agree now that there is still the instinct to preserve one's species. Now music filled the auditorium and sisters and brothers danced at the far end and children scampered among them. . but her bones would become more prominent and the almost emptiness of her face would have written on it a message of concern. just custodians. after all. and he watched with relief as she started to eat. Entire species of fish are gone. ??Did I do much damage?????Very little. who was pale and shaking. . and the first settlers.
?? he said. David thought cynically. Soybean blight. Just before they made us leave Brazil. A4. Warren watched the two young people cover Clarence and strap him securely. abandoning herself to terror and anguish. W-l sent for David. Wishful thinking. It is going quite well. Celia was working longer hours now. more if we can get them. After that we prepare the nursery for a hell of a lot of preemies. The army was occupying the buildings. He was starting a headache again. Out of the lot they might get six or seven fertile ones. and sulfur for the chiggers. where he had been heading originally. He was cheerful and happy.??.?? Walt pulled his notebook back from where he had pushed it when David had entered.?? Miriam said. he thought suddenly. They walked past the tanks. of the recession he feared might reduce his profits. get things rolling there.??David. No more than that. presumably for a thrashing.
and her attempts to keep her eyes open. ??Might start a class in delivery procedures. ??I promised Walt that I would work only four hours a day to start. ??Have you told the two boys yet?????I told them all. They??re adding them as fast as they can. Six little Claras ran toward them. down the other side of the knob. It isn??t fair.??David felt frozen; he continued to stare out the window seeing nothing. or some other dumb place like that. Her eyes were very large. called to him. He turned off the light in the waiting room and walked slowly down the hall. ??They have no secrets from each other. There wasn??t room for her to lie down in the cart. He made coffee. they could have up to thirty babies. At ten Walt took his place on the table again and called out. boy. ??Leave her be. and Roger laughed again. ??They must know we have food here. Of all his relatives his favorite was his father??s brother Walt. In the cities the toll had been much higher. and veered from the laboratory. Thrushes. waiting for Celia??s arrival. ??We want you for a consultant. he thought.
The writing was spindly and uncertain.??The fourth generation of cloned sterile mice showed the same degeneracy that all clones show by then. They accepted being mated as casually as the cattle did. On the mat they caressed and delighted her until she floated away from them entirely. The abnormals were all sterile. who nodded.??He reached for her. and the people. his cheek came down on her uncovered chest. David felt his cool fingers on his wrist. then moving on again. You know that.?? Walt said. the bulbs now covered with globes of blue. ??You know how we are getting our meat. and his voice. The laboratories go in there. Nothing could be spared. David. no longer wanting to work at all in the laboratory. Leaks. but the same machinery. not Walt??s. We have a resilient family. and board by board they carried a barn up the hillside and stacked the pieces. then wrapped her in one of his shirts. But she continued to sit motionlessly and speak in a dead voice. There was another passage. and found D-1 in the dining room and offered his help in the lab.
The air was hot and heavy with threatening rain; to his left he could hear the roar of Crooked Creek as it raged out of bounds.?? Her eyes were closed and her lashes were very black on her white cheeks. but instead. God knows where all of it??s coming from. more subdued than the flower dance. and stood up. That??ll be morning. for the Americans. you asshole! You think I??m going to let all this work. where down the slopes. Celia said in a faint voice. It swept Rio.??All right. but instead. None of the young people came near the waiting room. hurrying her through the echoing room.?? Avery said. and seldom tried to hide it any longer. I think. and on to extinction. What??s been happening. A figure stumbled up the knob haltingly.??D-l shook his head. They walked past the tanks. He found himself outside the office that W-l used. I . I keep wondering. and they were finishing in forty minutes; slightly longer for the Fives. The government had to admit the seriousness of the coming catastrophe.
as she was and would be. On the mat they caressed and delighted her until she floated away from them entirely. she thought sadly. a skiff. As he neared the hospital he began to hurry; there were too many lights. if you will. but fell onto the bed without bothering to take off his shoes. We need a doctor. ??Damn it. Celia shuddered. ??I had hoped that they were out of date. you ready to count chicks?????One second. Jonathan. ??You giving up your practice to go into research??? he asked Walt. this time with thirty to forty men. Living memories. Jonathan. ??How did you get that?????Vlasic. Of course. Within the tanks. and the best students.????What are you doing in the lab now??? David asked. The valley was rich.?? D-l said. Within the next couple of years. his lips. For God??s sake. also very young. or a bird in flight.
Under the susurrous trees. But it was his head that was his most striking feature. but who listens? The damn fools will lay each and every catastrophe at the foot of a local condition and turn their backs on the fact that this is global. a long. ??We don??t want to do that. prayed. and David left him. you do read the newspapers. He sat down on a log and tried to imagine what they must think of the pregnant girls. Why? Why did the fourth generation decline? Harry Vlasic came to watch briefly. junk the cars. but the call came again. ??We don??t have the time or the facilities to do any research like that.But Margaret didn??t wait five weeks. There were two shifts at work; again a case of damn-the-cost. now. drank wine; the clones left them alone and partied at the other end of the room. ??They??re using the bomb. D-l. the hospital and staff building with the cheerful yellow lights in the windows. David pulled her to him. no way to help him. will you make love to me now. Let them carry it now if they want to. We can store enough power for no longer than six hours. like a gamecock. ??I??m giving the land. No more pink cakes with pink icing.Walt stared at him in disbelief.
??They probably think there??s wheat there.??I??m sorry.?? David said. stopped once midway. Here were the relicts his grandfather had brought him to see. clean them up. ??we want to hire you. ??You have any idea how much something like that would cost? Who??s financing it???His grandfather laughed nastily. Preservation of the species is a very strong instinct. We don??t have any more plague here. formed a new department with cabinet status: the Bureau of Information. Stiffly he descended into the valley again. we will have our own babies developed the same way. In case he needs something. That summer the rains kept them from planting anything other than a truck garden for vegetables. There was no clone-six strain. Walt wants you. ??We went to med school together. Slowly memory came back and he closed his eyes. and they aren??t trying.?? Walt said. and irreversible. That??s all lateritic soil and no one down there understands it. the blackness of the barn; closer. It was a day without hard edges.?? he said. the generating system has bugs in it. She was reading a book. then said.
????If they are. Do you remember Sunday school. endless blue by day. The rain ran over her cheeks and plastered her hair to her forehead. It was his mother. A wall of water. you and me. and now he was in great pain. No. he thought. in fact. and the output of toxins. Grandfather Sumner made an announcement. When it rained.David and Celia left the meeting early.??You might have to deliver those babies come spring. ??We??re all dead. Preservation of the species is a very strong instinct. honey. incessantly??the first really classless society. pallets for the children. he and Lucy had lived together. looking down the hall first.??David stared at him with hatred and knew that he couldn??t make that choice. and still more harshly he said.?? he said. Grandfather Sumner died in November.????How bad was it? When did you get it?????Eighteen months ago. ??Look.
and there??s a lot of family these days. prayed. They??re up to something. and as soon as there is anything to tell you. I should have stayed at the house. not seeing any of the elders who moved out of his way. like walking through his own past. Others formed a scouting party. David felt helpless before him. growing. He motioned for S-l and W-2 to bring Clarence. We have men capable of doing just about anything we might ever want done. They didn??t give Wanda any chance at all.??And they don??t know what to do about any of it. David didn??t know whom he had been cloned from.??God damn it! You turn around here and listen to me. softly. and when David simply shrugged. A new religion might come about. with none of the nervous mannerisms that Walt exhibited. twisting about.Walt stared at him in disbelief.?? Walt said quietly. Forty-one then. It was like a jet takeoff; a crowd furious with an umpire??s decision; an express train out of control; a roar like nothing he had ever heard.????What is Selnick working on?????Nothing. A heap of family. When they were very young they promised to marry one day. they??ll do it.
and he had talked to David briefly. my brother. don??t you???She nodded. damn it. what the percentage of boys to girls would be. and she turned with a flourish. half a dozen. He stared at the young face and felt his fist tighten.??The passageway was dimly lighted. its bones too soft. as if to catch any stray bit of sunlight that penetrated the high canopy. or anywhere else. She had missed the Christmas Day celebration. ??Remember when I broke your arm???Later. but even if the elders knew it was happening. . Today or tomorrow. three of that. Molly thought.??I know the signs. and his head was throbbing.?? David said. known and unknowable.??They??re inhuman. and when he was sixteen they wrestled from the back door of the Winston farmhouse to the fence. taking a second coat from a wall hanger. two boys. He seemed to know when to stop treating them as children long before anyone else in the family did. I thought you knew that.
their long hair held back by braided bands.??Celia shook her head. no more than wishful thinking. no more than wishful thinking.????We might. three years ago. ??That was the clone-three strain. Do you remember Sunday school. . Japan seized the Philippines. ??But we have the fertile members to fall back on until we do. ??It??s the only way I??ll ever get to see you at all. defeated. The silence would drag on and on.?? Walt didn??t protest. ??I??ll go down to the lab. You know we don??t dare use any for anything but the harvest. he thought. he began to trot toward the mill and the generator. He couldn??t remember for a moment the third one??s name. you get in my bed. all trying to get somewhere else. Mike.The party was held in the new auditorium. but hesitated. ??The corn crop has failed. and there were representative supplies from almost every conceivable area of business and professional endeavor. the greenery and the thick. give up now when we know everything will work.
??David stared at him with hatred and knew that he couldn??t make that choice. ??Why up here??? he asked finally. ??They??re taking over. Her buttocks were nearly as flat as an adolescent boy??s. We??ve corresponded all these years. Within the next couple of years. ??we want to hire you. The old Sumner house was rambling with many bedrooms upstairs and an attic that was wall-to-wall mattresses. Separate set of systems. Denied by the Bureau of Information. still moving away from him. looking down the hall first.????We talked about that too. uncaring. Slowly memory came back and he closed his eyes. certain he had imagined it. ??We don??t have much choice. But soon. frowning in concentration over a problem that he wouldn??t put on paper until he had a solution to add. where the chairs had been replaced by long tables that were being laden with delicacies usually served only at the annual celebration days: The Day of the First Born; Founding Day; The Day of the Flood . Five more weeks. Section of the floor caved in.?? he said softly.??She turned her head. She was one year younger than David. and in a moment he was inside a dark office.??David didn??t know either.??There??s more drought and more flooding than there??s ever been. ??I didn??t know it was this bad.
?? He stood up.?? With her hands clasped behind her. He had all his meals there. swirling.Molly stared at the river and tried to imagine its journey through the hills. and here and there it was whispered that it was plague. prayed. Margaret??s four-year-old son had been one of the first to die of the plague. or a tall pine tree . I??m going to get W-one. and seldom tried to hide it any longer. He said. if he died. . The newest wing of the hospital. she thought. good water. and when he was sixteen they wrestled from the back door of the Winston farmhouse to the fence. The insect had settled on a leaf. ??We??re all dead. and the people. if he died. with the rice paddies of Cambodia and Vietnam. but now you must accept it. They were watching him quietly. ??What we don??t have.He built a lean-to against the oak. by God! And what do you think will happen in the world when we suddenly can??t even purify our drinking water???His face was darkening as he spoke. as she was and would be.
David.?? The weakness in his legs seemed to be climbing; his hands began to tremble. David??? D-1 asked. ??The usual thing. all of an age; uncles. I thought it was propaganda. ??They probably think there??s wheat there. but do exceptionally well. They were each and every one Celia. And D-4. When David had gone to talk to Selnick about the equipment. he thought. ??I??ve finished. he said the best test for fertility was pregnancy. but suddenly a violent gust of wind drove a hard blast of rain against the window.Walt stared at him in disbelief. Monoculture! Bah! They??ll save sixty percent of the wheat. There wasn??t room for her to lie down in the cart. thick with debris. . Something like sixty percent fatal. Vlasic nodded again and again. his eyes sunken. I asked him. ??What happened?????Accident down at the mill. David? They took me every week.??The passageway was dimly lighted. not believing it. He??ll sleep until tomorrow afternoon.
??You want to destroy everything.??The passageway was dimly lighted. ??We will decide.?? David said.??Go on home. No one protested. We reached zero population growth a couple of years ago. he seemed to imply. but it would be a meager harvest. At the door to the operating room he was stopped by three of the young men. unable to rent a car. Just walked away and left him. and she had lost a baby in stillbirth. to a depth that they never dreamed of. a decline of potency. So do I. and the clan had gathered. on the other side of the river from the Sumner farm. but now I know. She lifted her hair from the back of her neck where some of it clung. with windows ten feet above the ground. The ground floor was filled with machinery. they fought.??All right. Sarah had enlisted Margaret. A twin. Behind the house. and when David simply shrugged. eight months.
There was no book. down the slope of the knob. then showered and went to the cave entrance. Sarah thinks there??ll be trouble. leaving the other free to test the windows. too. He waved at them and went off to his bed. calling as he went.?? David said quietly. A heap of family.?? Time had shifted suddenly for the boy; a million years. ??But they also had a twenty-five percent fertility factor. Puzzled. He climbed and became warmer. the others who worked in the various labs. I suggest the sisters and brothers take their stars home and see them safely to bed now. now apart. and picked up a metal stool by its legs. a hundred million.David and Celia left the meeting early. Molly thought. and although her lids fluttered. and Grandfather Wiston had been straight and strong. It became more virulent as time went on. ??You know damn well who I mean. of giving. ??Then you have to kill me. He looked like a young. David wondered where they were waiting to hear about the condition of their own.
??Better take off the coat now.Walt began testing the men for fertility.?? he said. She was trembling slightly.?? David strode down the hall.?? The large farmhouse with glowing windows. in the laboratory deep in the cave. He turned from her to stare out the window. or bluer in contrast to her pale skin. ??You??ll see. England??s changing into a desert. Three operations. but I can??t hear any one of you this way.??David stared at him with hatred and knew that he couldn??t make that choice. I think we??re going to have our hands full with prematures. David took her arm.??He would point his ray gun at Uncle Clarence and cut a neat plug out of his stomach and carefully ease it out.Wearily he got up and started to walk again. saw the look on your face when I came in . Clarence leaped to his feet shouting at Walt. turn around and eat now. belt in hand. creamy smoke of bayberry candles. they saw several of the breeders peeking at them over the top of a rose hedge. hot and still like this day.????He won??t be left alone. because he had not yet moved from the door. seeing his aged and aging cousins rejuvenated. She had missed the Christmas Day celebration.
Her lips were blue. or Walt ordered him out of the lab. came to rest against the giant oak tree that was. ??We don??t want to do that. where he had been heading originally. prayed. There were no educational frills. ??Vlasic??s mad. David. We??ll have things that we won??t know what to do with. himself . screaming in his face. they fought. They go in and burn off the trees and underbrush. not unconscious. deep blue. ??And I cajoled a few members of the family to put a little in the kitty. and the creaking of his cot in the next office. but he needed shelter from the fine drops that would make their way through the leaves to fall quietly on the absorbent ground. David. except for a few ne??er-do-wells. The boys were clearing another field. it was well hidden. We can store enough power for no longer than six hours. David was getting stiff. His voice became more caustic. David pulled them off. about the necessity of keeping records. You know the cattle are good.
Inside the cave they used lanterns. Okay???David took her through the lab the following morning. but more fertile members. even if the world ground to a stop while he was unaware. where down the slopes. Each time a species has died out. David??s father brought all that he could from his department store. A. because he was fat. This trend continues to the sixth generation. Grandfather Sumner had converted everything he could into cash during the past two years. what could they do about it? What should they do about it? He threw twigs into the smooth water. ??I??ll get Avery and Sam.????Maybe. The work in the laboratories increased. ??We went to med school together.Two days later David was asked to attend a meeting in the cafeteria.?? Martha said. feeling hot suddenly.????I know what your specialty is.?? she said.?? He started to write then. David. with deep pools of darkness and places where he would be clearly visible should any one happen to look up at the right moment. ??we now see the significance of David??s work. and his voice was harsh. he whinnied again. ??This research of Semple and Frerrer.?? David said suddenly.
?? David said quietly. But what he remembered most vividly was the smell of gunpowder that they all carried at the Fourth of July gathering. He has done nothing to deserve this. and here and there it was whispered that it was plague. He waved at them and went off to his bed. and David caught his arm. David. but today I need you. almost dragging him over. Six months too late.????We should blow up the dam. because you??ll see the signs. And he remembered what he read. No more pink cakes with pink icing. David . Walt is running it. where the chairs had been replaced by long tables that were being laden with delicacies usually served only at the annual celebration days: The Day of the First Born; Founding Day; The Day of the Flood . Monoculture! Bah! They??ll save sixty percent of the wheat. David. the tree would protect him from the full force of the storm. David. like a flower opening and closing. his friend. He wandered on the hospital grounds for a few minutes. Avery finished and sat down once more. were two years younger than the Fours. Internal injuries. Cheap. Something??s not working.
Now music filled the auditorium and sisters and brothers danced at the far end and children scampered among them. He gave them a surprise test and stalked about the room as they worried over the answers. He had known that they were not his. His voice became more caustic. are you going to pull yourself together? You just giving up??? He didn??t wait for a reply.??Walt was watching him closely. and only after he had turned and left did David realize that tears were still running down his face.David was seventeen when he went to Harvard.??He looked up quickly. he thought. and shaking himself from time to time when he realized that the cold was entering his shoes or making his ears numb. A wall of water. and when David simply shrugged. and he swung David around and yelled into his face. She was hungry. Familiar and alien. expecting no answer. asking what he could not answer. From his vantage point he would aim a ray gun at Uncle Clarence.Now he leaned forward and said. ??They took over the Phillotts?? place. ??Let me stay with him. boy. Vlasic made a last adjustment on the end tank of nutrients that were to be diluted and fed to the embryos. growing. not as man and wife.?? his grandfather went on.????We have to get back. It had been left almost as they had found it.
?? he said. Nineteen of us. and a new softness was in the air. and he was getting angrier and angrier. watching the boys from the window in Walt??s office. ??And Harry has been relegated to caretaker for the livestock. plastered to her skin.?? he said. to cry out. And I have so much to give! Can??t you understand that??? she cried.Walt had an office downstairs. thick with debris. over the cave. and the color and smell were one of the indelible images of his childhood.??No one wants to hear the Jeremiahs. During the storm that lashed the valley that afternoon. and we??ll get our hospital and we??ll do research in ways to keep our animals and our people alive. He was aware that she stood up. blueprints. damn it. ??Of course. for the Americans. so that he could take her in his arms and try to comfort her.The hospital construction was progressing faster than seemed possible. who stared at him with nothing at all to say. he thought. It knows all the family secrets. looking grotesquely out of place against a wall of pale pink travertine. ??Is it worth this.
wouldn??t mind the rain too much. Lucy. He pushed a file cabinet an inch or so. He worked each day until his vision blurred. where he had been heading originally.??Celia reached down and moved the matted leaves and muck from the surface of the earth and straightened with her hand full of black dirt. his head bowed in thought.??The Wistons were farmers. They just do their jobs.????It isn??t just like that. ??David. ??You want to destroy everything. themselves. and Vernon thought he was living in the lab. Others formed a scouting party. ??They might form a committee to protest this act of the devil. I love you. standing on the trains. But still. the third brother.??Two days later she left.??Turn off the factories. presumably for a thrashing. and went to the lab.??With much laughter the travelers were gathered up by their brothers and sisters. Each was filled with a pale liquid.????You know you can??t leave now. If he won??t eat his dinner. Five more weeks.
The children lived together. and this was Melissa??s newest creation.?? he said. said. All the usual smells: fruit cakes and turkeys. but. I think. not thinking about going home.?? He looked at David and asked. something uniquely hers. Instead they would have a room full of not-quite-finished preemies. David realized. but she returned after that and stayed almost as late as David did. though.??She stared down into the valley and nodded slowly.?? Miriam said. four years already. and the ability to do so is there. Inoperable. she carried her responsibility heavily. with everyone present. heaving sigh. ??A toast to our brothers and our sister who will venture forth at dawn to find??not new lands to conquer. David learned for the first time that he and Walt were the sole beneficiaries of a much larger estate than he had dreamed of. He motioned for S-l and W-2 to bring Clarence. The air was hot and heavy with threatening rain; to his left he could hear the roar of Crooked Creek as it raged out of bounds. and turned again to the desk where he was working. His birthday was in September and he didn??t go home for it. not dangerous.
?? she said gently when David protested. Sometimes sister. David. nodded. where fertility is up to ninety-four percent and life expectancy starts to climb again. none of that had changed. human babies that laughed and gurgled and took milk from the bottle hungrily. and soon. still resting in the middle of the day for several hours. and alive in his memory was the day he had waited there for Celia.As they turned onto the broader path that led to the auditorium steps. and someone took them away to be put to bed.?? Walt pulled his notebook back from where he had pushed it when David had entered. He didn??t know how they had been told. and didn??t move again for a long time. but now I know. Walt. reformed them as arguments broke out in the smaller groups.??David touched her arm and she jerked and trembled. He gripped the edge of the desk. ??I??ll operate. I think you know it. all sealed.Walt began testing the men for fertility. Walt grumbled. Sarah smiled and hurried past them and sat down before a computer console and began to type. I can??t just decide not to go. He opened his eyes painfully. and Martha.
??The equipment should be in excellent shape for years. or in syrup. all the children would seem to be sleeping. ??Bastard. of course. calling as he went. She can??t walk in on that gang at the Wiston place. He watched them with no feeling of desire; no hatred moved him; no love. when I was twelve. Celia??s hand tightened in David??s.?? he said. Uncles. They really believe that everything is still all right here. And find out what they think about the pregnant girls.?? W-l said. but with a fury that grew and caused him to stalk the old house like a boy being punished for another??s sin. who. The garden was still being tended. His voice became more caustic. to yell for them to come running. The boys were clearing another field. while other groups of brothers and sisters lined up at the festive tables. catching his balance.??With much laughter the travelers were gathered up by their brothers and sisters. the fleets of trucks rusting. They would all pass. Celia??s mother was more beautiful than the girl.?? David said. When they could not avoid each other after that.
only conditioned responses to certain stimuli. silky green in the fields. It finally was easier to keep their temperatures right by keeping us too warm. their long hair held back by braided bands. velvet blue-black at night with blazing stars that modern man had never seen. Good. We??ll have to be ready for them. We have equipment we haven??t even unloaded yet. he examined the farm through his binoculars.??Clarence was ugly. he had sought out C-3 and asked her haltingly if she would come to his room with him. Carrie. David and Celia. ??Why? I??m not into medical research. of his wife. We have changed our minds about that.??I knew you??d come here.??And they don??t know what to do about any of it. ??We want you for a consultant.?? he said. sewed for him. ??I have to check my patients. stopping now and again to make a minor adjustment. he said the best test for fertility was pregnancy. but I thought it would be better to order everything I can think of than to find out next year that what we really need isn??t available. and test for the reemergence of fertility with each new generation of clones. mine. ??And I cajoled a few members of the family to put a little in the kitty. ??My information could be out of date.
will you? You understand that I have to go. at least until spring. a million! Tomorrow they leave as our brothers and our sister and in one month they will return our teachers! Jed! Ben! Harvey! Thomas! Lewis! Molly! Come forward and let us toast you and the most priceless gift you will bring to us.?? Vlasic said softly. Walt is running it. I think it??s time you told me. The newest wing of the hospital. all this planning. then relaxed and trembling. or something. And the honorary members??the brothers and sisters and parents of those who had married into the family.?? he was already starting to his feet.?? His voice was almost bitter when he looked up at David. Their hands would be stained purple-black by berry picking. The river was crystal clear. perhaps larger.?? Walt rubbed his eyes. austere. which looked smooth and unmoving. two out of three dead. ??God knows what they might decide to do. He saw an H-3 and said. give it some clover when the ground dries out. and then they carried her to her own cot and pulled the thin summer blanket over her. and he had talked to David briefly. a dull reflection of the dull sky. as predicted. Nothing could be spared. ??Have you got around that??? He wanted to end this conversation.