Chapter Twenty Six: Waiting For a Sign

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Dogma had almost gotten used to life in chains and that was a bad sign. The mute clone hardly remembered what it was like to be outside. All he had known for so long was the hell he was trapped in. All he knew was the cold that made him cough and the way he just wanted to give up. It was so hard for him. Almost too hard. He was forgetting what it was that made him a human. And it was all being replaced by the torture that was Kamino. Even Slick, his blind vod'ika, was forgetting. Dogma hoped that would never happen.

The cold bit into his bones as he curled up. Slick pressed his bony body into Dogma's, trying to keep him warm. Dogma appreciated the gesture, but he was too cold for it to really help. And it had been so, so long since he got to sleep under warm, thick blankets... Dogma wasn't sure what he'd do if they were ever rescued from this hellhole. He just knew that they would hurt him like the guards here did. Or even take Slick away from him! His little brother couldn't do it without Dogma there to be his eyes!

A guard walked down the halls, boots ringing on the cold floor. "So, what are you looking for? Something with a little bit of fire for you to break? A defect to vent on? Or just a broken clone so you can...have some fun?"

A woman answered back. "I'm looking for the one known as Slick. You see, I rather like having a clone as a slave and those are the ones that you can break easily. He's been here for how long?"

Dogma pulled a shivering, mewling Slick into his arms. 'I won't let them take you!' he tapped out. 'I promise! I'll die first!'

"Don't g-go," Slick sobbed. The blind clone pressed his face into Dogma, crying softly. Dogma wrapped his arms around his vod. He didn't know what he'd do if someone took Slick away from him. This...this would be bad. The blind clone couldn't work. And if his new owner figured that out pretty quick...it could go badly. Very badly. As a blind clone, Slick was worthless. He couldn't work and that meant no one would want him. Blind slaves were reliant upon their owners for almost everything. It would be nothing for a slave owner to lock Slick in a cage and leave him if the woman discovered he was blind.

'I won't,' Dogma promised. And he meant it, too. He would never let go. Not even if it cost him his life. Clones were stubborn like that. They had to be, otherwise bad things happened to them. 'I'll never let you go! Not even if I have to get sold, too.'

Slick looked at him with blinded eyes. They were so milky white now, just useless things on his face. What if his new Master decided to take his eyes because he couldn't see and they were useless? "P-please don't go!" He started shaking, his eyes wild. "Don't want you to go!"

The guard walked through the area, his eyes as cold as ice. Dogma trembled and pulled the clone into him. They were shaking, so scared that one of them would be taken away. A Togruta woman looked the two of them with cold eyes. Dogma sniffed and wished he could plead his case. The woman looked them over with cool eyes.

"That one is blind," she sharply said. The woman crossed her arms. "I might not want him anymore. What's the use of a blind clone?"

Dogma wished he could talk. As it was, Slick pressed into his arms and tried not to cry. The two clones sobbed a little bit. He just wanted to keep his little brother warm. Slick had once been so strong and proud. Now he was a shaking, broken wreck. He was just another clone to be broken up in the meat grinder that was Kamino. And he just wanted to die now. He had told Dogma as much. Clones were useless here. They were just things to make money from. And now Dogma understood why Wolffe had a fit when you visited the shady places on Coruscant. How many of those dancers were slaves?

How many people had Dogma hurt by doing something like that to?

The Togruta crossed her arms as she looked the two of them over a little bit more. "They look useless. I don't think I want to pay fifty credits a head. They look sick and they're going to die on me. Are these filled with worms, too?"

The guard swallowed a little and looked at the woman. "Ah...they shouldn't be. Though you would have to take them through medical just to make sure."

She cleared her throat. "Yeah. And is that going to cost me extra, you bar've?"

"No!" the guard jumped back and looked at her like she was going to take his head off. "No! We're not going to make you pay extra! I'll even knock off twenty five credits just to make them...better for you?"

The woman nodded after a minute. "Yes...I think I would like that. I'll pay seventy five credits to keep these from getting killed. As far as I know, they look like they have a nasty case of worms. Especially the blind one." Dogma shuddered and held his brother close. Slick grabbed at him.

The guard shrugged and yanked both clones up. Dogma shuddered and tried to get away. But the other man just slapped him across the face and hauled him into the washing room. Slick let out a wailing scream as he started hosing him off. Dogma twisted around until his hands were locked in shackles. He wanted to get out of here! But their hair was shaved off, all the hair on their bodies lasered off, minus the hair on their head, and they were doused with lice killer.

Through it all...Dogma started crying. Even though he was dosed with a dewormer that made him scream in agony. But what could he do? He was just a clone.

And just a slave.

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