Lower than the Angels: Part 03.

It took her five months to exert total control over Tyrell Corporation. She had always been Tyrell's heir-designate, and she dealt with the expected infighting, objection and backstabbing ruthlessly. After five months, she could go to sleep knowing that the remaining directors would not try to kill her in the night.

"Wake up."

She was awake instantly, but kept her eyes closed. There was the sound of breathing very close to her, and the quiet whisper of someone moving near the door.

"Wake up." The voice sounded familiar. She opened her eyes and stared into her own face.

She composed herself, told herself she had been expecting this. She tried to smile, confidently - duplicate the wolfish gesture that so often worked when dealing with the board - not here. The vision of her uncle's crushed skull, fabricated in her dreams, came to her now.

There was a man guarding the door, gun drawn, moving restlessly, wary and ready. Deckard. She had read his file; he was one of the very best - easily able to evade, if not defeat, the security force already on its way.

"Rachael," she said.

The other Rachael recoiled, and she knew she had gained the advantage. It was easy if you knew what approach to take, what words or actions exposed hidden weaknesses. It was even easier with replicants than with people.

"You know," the replicant said.

The smile came easier now. "I knew. Everyone on the board and half the staff knew. You were part of the grand experiment. Are you going to kill me?" She asked the question, knowing the asking of it would lessen the danger to her.

"No."

"Then why come here?" she asked, genuinely curious.

The compulsion to answer a question, to obey a command, was ingrained in a replicant from inception. It took a massive force of will to counter it. This one wasn't even trying.

"I had to. Ever since I found out. I had to meet the other Rachael Tyrell. The… real Rachael."

The words were dull, defeated, like a replicant at the very end of its life. Then, a spark: "You understand that?"

"Of course I do," Rachael said, lying.

"How much… how much am I like you?"

"You are me," she said. The other Rachael stared at her. She was amused, knowing the replicant didn't know what to make of that answer. Would it have been satisfied with any answer?

"They're coming," Deckard said, and then they were gone.

"Come again," Rachael said into the air, knowing that they would.



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