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Nana’s chosen outfit is the epitome of modest haut couture, calling attention neither to itself nor to the body it disguises, unisex in style while discreetly sensual in its understated elegance, conservative yet alluring, its monochrome matching perfectly the room’s periwinkle blue—as perceived by him who bids his guest a double-barreled welcome.

STUY-REM

My, my. Look at you; look at you! Come in; don’t stand on ceremony; we’re very informal here. Please, pull up a chair. We’d seat you ourselves were it not for our... infirmity. And do forgive our appearance. If only we’d known... But never mind, we love surprises. Yours, Ms Wolffmüller, yours could knock us over with a goose quill.

The smile on Stuy-Rem’s face, if not disingenuous, is troublingly manic. Eschewing medication, he is un-sedated; abjuring psychotherapy, he has not been 'helped'—aftershocks of Tardive Dyskinesia reminding him he must keep the doctor at bay.

Nana, as invited, moves a chair to the mental patient’s bedside, seats herself demurely, and regards her host in silence.

Is she armed, do you think?  
  She’s certainly dressed to kill.
Why else...  
  ... after all these years...
... would she bother...  
  ... to track us down?
Premeditated...  
  ... murder?
Vengeance?  
  Nostalgia?
A search for...  
  ... personal identity?

STUY-REM

What brings you, after lo so many moons, to drop in on a lunatic, if you’ll pardon the pun?

Hesitant to answer, Nana readjusts her motives in light of the situation, sensing she confronts a man whose wits (forecast by her sculpture) are doubtlessly split in two, understanding Stuyvesant Fink and Remington Falk collude in their acute (if droll) communication.

STUY-REM

Okay... we’ll hazard a guess. Why, is what you’ve come to ask. How, is unimportant, though you may have gleaned the details—blueprints of genetic engineering being oh-so ubiquitous, if none quite emulating yours. Pretty piece of work, if we do say so ourselves; there are two of us, you realize. Think of us, if you would, as Doctor Ovum and Mister Blastomere, insofar as your beginning was a collaborative effort, with kudos for the child whose womb stood in as host, or hostess, or should we say hostage (?) for your gestation.

NANA

Alexandra Albright.

STUY-REM

Right you are! We see you’ve done your homework. Last creative act the comatose kid performed. Rude of us, we suppose, to have imposed our will on a hapless minor. But mothers of invention, in days of yore, were rather hard to come by, and youth—our own—though unequivocally culpable let ethics somewhat slide. Alright slither; diabolical is as diabolical does. Nonetheless, it is to us and to Alexandra you owe your coming-into-being.

NANA

On February 29th at Brigham And Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

STUY-REM

If all of this is old hat, my dear, why...?

NANA

You said it; "why"?

Stuy-Rem casts a calculating look into the eyes of his creation, toying with the options of truth, half-truth, or lie, leaning toward adoption of 'compassionate disinformation.'

Careful, now, she’s sharp...  
  ... and by the same token gullible.
Wants it straight from the shoulder, man to...  
  ... she-male (?); wants punches pulled.
Must have travelled far...  
  ... searched high and low.
Maybe hired a...  
  ... private investigator?
How...  
  ... we’d like to know...
did she ever escape...  
  ... his Highness?

STUY-REM

You were the first—and firsts are always special—in our lifelong quest to improve the human race. Not to enhance it, mind you. Enhancements merely accentuate this or that fickle attribute, leaving basic nature virtually unchanged. Our intent, from the start, has been to ameliorate DNA. Reshuffle the genome. Produce a superior product. Give evolution a boost, so to speak, and free Man from his cave.

  You really think she’ll swallow that crap?
I don’t see why not; it’s true.  
  True in the overall thrust of our work but...
Not in the specifics? What would you have me tell her; we were horsing around?  
  We were! Hormones outstripped heroics when we swiped this lady’s stem cells.

Nana waits expectantly for Stuy-Rem to resume, pleased to hear her origin described in terms philosophical, relieved she was conceived for reasons exceeding those strictly sexual.

STUY-REM

Violence—Mankind’s nemesis—is the trait we strove to purge. S, R, Y... are you with me?

 

NANA

The Sex-determining Region on the Y chromosome.

STUY-REM

Are you, perchance, a geneticist, Ms. Wolff...?

NANA

I am a sculptor with ambiguous genitalia—a condition someone summarized in choosing my compound surname. You, I presume?

STUY-REM

Guilty.

NANA

How did you choose Nana?

STUY-REM

The label on your Petri dish read "NA2."

NANA

Signifying stem cells you derived from whom?

Roots it is; she hasn’t come to slay us!  
  Don’t be too sure; we engineered what most would consider an atrocity.

STUY-REM

Women, arguably less aggressive than their partners-in-crime, generally lack certain substances, which is why we were studying SRY.

NANA

You have not answered my question?

STUY-REM

Not all aggression is negative, so maleness has its role... sort of... kind of... though, frankly, men may be dispensable when it comes to a species upgrade.

NANA

From whom?

STUY-REM

Mostly, then, our work has focused on females—your prototype among the most superb specimens ever obtained.

Suspecting his is a delay, not an out-and-out dodge, Nana lets the narrator spin his yarn sans further interruption.

STUY-REM

Mothered quite a line, in fact, did Yvette Nguyen—initially recruited for her quality of skin. Like yours, hers positively glowed as if illumined by some otherworldly light. We never met. We saw her only in a comprehensive set of clinical photographs, which barely did her justice—based, that is, on the sample swatch of flesh we two purloined.

  Too much; you’re telling her way too much! Worse than that, you’re expurgating data to conceal our baser nature.
Greater goals by lesser minds are all too often slandered.  
  Lesser minds-R-us, I hasten to remind you. Why not blow the whistle on how "we two" cashed in?
Can’t you see she wants us up on a pedestal? Why insist on denigrating our image when Sainthood might be ours?  

STUY-REM

Believe us Nana—may we call you Nana?—you were wasted at MIT. Their transplant program never reached fruition; their research schemes were flawed. We, on the other hand, 'applied' you, so to speak, in radically novel ways—you and your 'clonettes.'

NANA

There are more of me?

STUY-REM

Not exactly; I misspoke. There are more of Ms Nguyen. One extant, in fact, though we predict her days are numbered. But you, dear Nana, you are one of a kind.

  Amazing! You really think this crackbrain plot you’re thickening will serve to...
Get us out of here? Whom would you enlist; another attorney? But no, I don’t.  
  Then why involve Ms Wolffmüller?
Call it restitution.  

STUY-REM

Tell me, Nana, what became of Sheik Hadithah?

Upon mention of the Sheik, Nana’s nerve ends cringe. How did he, her maker, first make contact with her mentor? Had the two maintained that contact? Had the Sheik known all along that he who Nana sought, who she hired a private eye to locate, lived in Wellington, New Zealand? Questions abound; their answers lurk behind a face that grins and scowls—intermittently—like a tragic-comic mask.

SMASH CUT TO:

 

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