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Tears of a Clone
By Tucker Burns
NEW YORK — Last week, Chronicle reporter Grace Hall met her match. Literally.
Lured to the Lower East Side of Manhattan on a bogus lead, Hall ran into her clone in a dark alley. “She was exactly like me in every way,” said Hall. “Except that I would never try to kill me.”
Hall’s clone was on Earth on a mission from the Nemekoids, an advanced alien civilization. “The Nemekoids have cloning technology our scientists can only dream of,” said Chronicle Editor-in-Chief Donald Stern. “They’re out there whipping up exact duplicates of humans while our best minds are counting sheep.”
The clone’s plan: to kill the real Hall and take her place. However, the real Hall wasn’t too keen on this plan. A brief scuffle ensued in which the real Hall tossed the Clone Hall into an electrified puddle, knocking the clone unconscious. “Nobody messes with me,” said the real Hall. “Not even me.”
When Clone Grace awoke, she suffered from short-term memory loss and had forgotten her mission. Eager to track down who sent the clone, Stern stowed the real Hall away for a few days and waited for the clone’s source to come to them.
In the meantime, Clone Hall, believing she was the one and only, lived as the real Hall, working at the Chronicle and spending time with the real Hall’s mother, Evelyn. However, the clone couldn’t shake the feeling that someone, or something, was after her. “Some of us were concerned she was going crazy, including me” said Chronicle photographer Wes Freewald. “But I was too quick to judge. I never considered the possibility that I was dealing with an alien clone.”
Clone Hall’s suspicion led her to follow Stern to a hotel, where the real Hall was hiding. She quickly learned that she was right to think that she was in danger. However, it wasn’t from Stern. It was from the Nemekoids.
After the clone failed in her mission, the Nemekoids sent an assassin to erase all evidence of the operation, which above all meant killing the clone.
“The guy had insect-like eyes and climbed walls like a spider,” said Freewald, who was almost skewered when the assassin came after him in a forklift. “Thank God we weren’t driving my car. I just had it detailed.”
By this time, Clone Hall had found the real Hall and Stern, and they explained to the clone what was happening. Scared, Clone Hall retreated to the hotel roof.
The real Hall found Clone Hall there, just as the Nemekoid assassin arrived. “He wasn’t going to go home without taking one of me,” Hall said.
Although the two Halls tried to confuse the assassin, in the end it was Clone Hall who sacrificed herself to save — well, herself.
“It was terrible to see her go,” Hall said. “I was really beginning to like me.”
Back at the Chronicle, everyone was glad to have the real Hall back. “Face it, sequels are never quite as good as the original,” Freewald said. “Except The Empire Strikes Back. And Terminator 2. And I guess Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was pretty good, even though everyone says it’s too dark, but that’s just a matter of opinion. And you have to admit that Aliens really rocked. And Wrath of Khan kicked some serious ass…”
“Tears of a Clone”
Written by Hans Beimler
Directed by Adam Davidson