Chapter 1: Mirror

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January 1, 2340

Valor Prestige Hospital

Valor, America

"Scalpel," the cold voice instructed, her long fingers uncurled for the instrument. The thin, shiny metal was placed into her hand, feeling no heavier than a stylus.

Never taking her eyes from the distended stomach, once the weight of the scalpel settled into her palm, she got to work. True to her nature, the monitors on the wall behind the patient's head did not receive an ounce of her attention. Nurses were prepped and ready on either side of her as she made the necessary incision all down the stomach. As soon as the flesh was parted, they were able to see the two infants huddled against one another, their tiny legs curled up to their chests. Bathed in the surgical lights, the cameras ringing the circular bulbs captured the image in perfect clarity.

Without pause, each nurse reached inside and grasped a tiny human being in their arms. They were technically born at the same time, without even a second difference. As soon as the gloved hands touched their tiny, thin bodies, a voracious scream erupted from both infants simultaneously.

On either side, more nurses and interns were removing the afterbirth and cutting off the umbilical cords. As soon as they were finished, the infants were carried to either side of the room to begin the process of registering them. The doctor did not care to watch. Other doctors would care for the babies. Her patient was their mother.

Just as she was suturing up the stomach of the surprisingly calm mother, the nurse to her left spoke up with obvious hesitation. "Doctor Carson? Her chart said that the infants were monozygotic male..."

"Yes. Lucky they weren't siamese, too. They did not split until the twelfth day after fertilization." Doctor Carson had not even taken her eyes from her work. "Why do you ask?"

There was a silence so long that the doctor was nearly finished with her sutures before the nurse answered, "Because this one is female."

The room grew silent and still. Even the babies were no longer piercing the air with their voices.

"Impossible," stated the nurse on the right side of the room. "This one is male."

Until now, the mother had been lying still and silent on the table. Now, she pushed herself up onto her elbows and her blue eyes shot from one child to another, though she couldn't see the very telling difference. Yet, displayed on the screens above each child, the truth was available for all to see. It was then that she made the very necessary decision.

"Catalogue them. Quickly. Something must be different about them."

It was the command needed and the medical team quickly set about doing their work. In practiced moves, they had measured the weight and length of each child, finding that the boy was two centimeters longer. Digital scanners were presented and prints of their feet and hands were taken. The results of which were entered immediately into the Citizens of Earth Database.

Then came the most telling of tests. Though young, a tiny vial of blood was drawn from each child. Like their prints, their DNA was automatically entered into the Database. That is when the entire room stilled once more.

"That is not possible!" Doctor Carson gasped, the first to speak in the long silence.

In the octagonal room, eight screens were available to look at. Two, on the wall behind the patient's head, were strictly used to monitor the procedure. Only cameras ringing the lights could project on those screens.

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