“I’m sure you’re aware of what’s going on with the humans in Philadelphia?” Evander said.
Uncle Jimmy pulled some dried leaves from the plants to his left, then began to pluck the dead blossoms from a tray to his right. Without looking up, he said, “The human beings are doing fine as far as I can tell.”
That was a disappointing statement if ever Evander heard one. “They may be on the cusp of warring with the clones you created,” he said. “Something needs to be done.”
Uncle Jimmy removed his focus from the flowers and met Evander’s gaze. A gentle innocence settled over his face. “I’ve never made a human clone. I was against making the clones from the very beginning.”
“And yet somehow, with your help, an entire race of them lives on this planet. How is that, I wonder, and please don’t tell me it was written in the stars. Things like cloning don’t just happen.”
“Cloning has been and always was sewn into the tapestry of human fate, even if that’s not what you want to hear,” he said, his cheeks pinkening. “You seem upset, are you?”
“I don’t know. Maybe.”
Jimmy went back to tending to the various plants. “You’re human. It’s to be expected.”
“Yes, you’re right. I’m human and I’m Jovian and I have emotions. From what I’ve been told you experience them, too. Is that correct?”
Jimmy gave up on gardening and stepped up to Evander, tilting his head in a contemplative way.
“I feel empathy. Empathy and all that comes with it.”
“So you can understand when I tell you that I made a promise to my mother to protect the human race, and I intend to follow through because she means a lot to me.”
“But you’ve already followed through. You’ve protected them with your legislation. You saved their planet, made it inhabitable again, safe again. I suspect you’ve done more for this planet than any other individual ever has … or will, for that matter.” He paused before placing a heavy hand upon Evander’s shoulder. “Your mother would be proud of you.”
“That may be so, but what’s happening in Philadelphia would concern her nonetheless,” he said, stepping aside so he could get out from under Jimmy’s hand. “I thought you cared about my mother. She always spoke so highly of you.”
Jimmy blinked as if some dust had fallen into his eye. “I care for her just as I care for you.” He rubbed the back of his head, the thin shock of hair left standing in a whirl. “And, for your information, it was the humans who came up with the science that led to cloning. I only nudged them in the right direction. Either way, it had to be done in order for other occurrences to … occur.”
“In spite of that,” Evander said, “the humans and clones are at odds. The humans are the physically weaker species, and they know it. They’ve been fearful of the clones from the start.
The only leg they have to stand on is a societal one. They are purebred. ‘Real,’ as they like to say. But they’re not stupid. They know the clones are smarter and stronger, and therefore destined to take over the species.”
“What you describe may be an issue now,” Uncle Jimmy said with optimistic light in his eyes, “but it won’t always be. Minds will change. In time, all of the genes will have mixed.
There will be no such thing as a purebred human. No reals or fakes, clones or hybrids. Only humans with varying degrees of Jovian DNA. That’s the beauty of it.”
Uncle Jimmy argued with ease and self-assurance, but Evander knew it wasn’t that simple. Life never was. Humans, in particular, never were.