Posts Tagged With: Star Trek

The Klone and I: Chapter Five

Previously on: Peter has sent his clone (really, an android) to keep Stephanie company. Stephanie gets drunk and then faints.

Chapter Five:

Stephanie wakes up and has a hangover. “It must have been the champagne.” Right. And not whatever you were drinking at dinner with your kids. Then comes this lovely sentiment:

Paul came in and offered to help me shave my legs.

Now, maybe I’m prudish, but the thought of a man shaving my legs for me at any point other than physical handicap or late-term pregnancy (and in both cases it would have to be a very special occasion for me to bother). So, this whole thing just icks me out.

“No, thanks, I can do it myself.” He sat down on the toilet seat next to me then, with a fresh glass of champagne in his hand, while I wondered if I should just forget about my legs, andslit my wrists instead.

Uh, why is she contemplating suicide? Because he’s watching her bathe? Or because your boyfriend is a mad scientist who has sent his freakish monster to stay with you? Either way, I don’t think suicide is the answer. And to toss it around so lightly shows some mental instability…

After the shower, she makes breakfast. Her daughter comes out in her school outfit:

She appeared late, as usual, straightening the much-too-short skirt she was wearing and fiddling with her hair. She was wearing a necklace that looked like a stop sign but said SEXY, and my favorite pair of high heels. And I sent her back to change into the Adidas she usually wore to school.

So, everything else about that outfit is kosher, but because she’s wearing Stephanie’s “favorite pair of high heels” that’s what she has to change. If I had walked out of my room wearing that for any occasion, let alone school, I would have been told to go back and change from head to toe. Of course the clone/android is not the best role model. He appears in the following getup:

a one piece leopard spandex jumpsuit, with a skintight T-shirt in an almost electric hot pink, with matching shoes.

This was one of the first images to come up in Google Images when searching for “mens leopard jumpsuit”. This is how I’ll imagine him for the rest of the chapter.

After the kids get off to school, Stephanie and Paul have some rather boring sexytimes. Afterwards they’re in the bathtub together (which must mean that Paul has amazingly waterproof out layer). The phone rings and this lovely exchange occurs:

“You should answer the phone. It might be the kids.”
“What kids?”
I couldn’t have remembered their names at that point if he asked me.

Now, I know I’ve pointed out several times that Stephanie is not the world’s greatest mother, but this is seriously ridiculous. Mothers (and fathers) out there: Have you ever been so overwhelmed by the awesomeness of sexytimes that you not only forget you have kids but when reminded of them, you can’t remember their names? Let me know in the comments.

Anyway, of course, it’s Peter on the phone. At this point I should mention that Stephanie still doesn’t understand that Paul is actually a clone/android/monstrosity. She thinks its Peter pulling a prank. So, when she hears him on the phone she thinks its a recording he’s worked up to some how fool her (which realistically wouldn’t be hard). Thus she tries to give non-traditional responses to stump the recording. And so we get this nonsense:

“How are you, Steph?”
“Pretty sexy,” was my answer, instead of “fine.”
“What does that mean?” he asked. Another standard response to anything I might have said.
“I’m just lying here in the bathtub. We’ve been making love all afternoon.” There was a moment’s pause, which made me smile. He had obviously left a space in the recording, which was clever of him.
“He’s bionic, Steph. He’s not real. He’s entirely man-made, synthetic from head to toe, and he doesn’t mean a thing he says. And whatever he does, it’s strictly a mechanical performance.”

I have to things to say to this: First of all: Remember back last chapter when Paul said he could get Stephanie pregnant if she wanted? Well, in all their sexytimes they certainly aren’t using protection, so hopefully that’s an added feature that has to be manually enabled and not a standard function (yes, I’m thinking way to much about the mechanics of android sex). Second, if Paul is synthetic and entirely man-made (though, technically, aren’t we all?) then he is not a clone. He is an android. This bothers me more than I can convey via text. Actually, as a picture is worth a thousand words and all, here’s a visual of what I’m doing constantly while reading this book:

If you’ve got a theme, stick with it I say.

Stephanie finally realizes that Peter is on the phone and it’s not a recording (takes way longer than it should). Peter tries to further explain what exactly Paul is:

“He is. They cloned me. Actually he’s a hybrid of sorts, a clone tempered by bionics.”

Damn it, Danielle Steel! Make up your mind. Is he a clone or an android? You cannot have it both ways. Either he is a living being with your identical genetic structure (clone) or he is a machine that resembles you and has been programmed to be similar to you (android). There is no such thing. Eff this book.

Peter tells Stephanie not to have sexytimes with Paul anymore. Stephanie’s response:

With a body like his, and Paul’s, what did he expect? Mother Theresa couldn’t have resisted him.

Uh, I bet she could. I like to think that Mother Theresa wouldn’t have been this shallow/superficial to begin with, but also, seeing as she lived a long and (I’m guessing) sex-free life, she was obviously very committed to her beliefs. And the fact that Stephanie is now blatantly cheating on her boyfriend with a monstrosity that defies explanation and is rationalizing makes me slightly sick.

The rest of the chapter is pretty boring. Except for this gem:

[Paul] had already had two bottles of [champagne] at ’21’, but he insisted that his wiring was so good, it wouldn’t affect him, although he had already admitted that it had affected his memory the night before. But he said that he was able to drink all night, and never feel it. In fact he seemed to prefer alcohol to food. Clearly a glitch in his system.

No. No. No! NO! He does not require food or drink. He probably needs a battery replacement or to recharge at some point, but unless he’s using the ethyl alcohol in the booze to fuel his mechanical systems (unlikely) he shouldn’t need any of it. And it shouldn’t affect him at all.

I’ll just leave this here.

I’ll try to have another recap for Wednesday, but this is going to be a busy week so I make no promises.

Happy Reading!
– K

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The Klone and I: Chapter Four

Previously On The Klone and I: Stephanie and Peter finally do it! Peter is leaving on a long business trip to LA and has promised Stephanie a “surprise”.

Chapter Four

It was an odd feeling after he left. I had gotten strangely used to him in the short time we’d been together. it had all the elements of a fabulous romance, and yet there was a comfort level, and an ease with each other that was almost like being married.

Ah, we start off so well. Talking about how close you are after only knowing the man for several weeks.

He had won Sam over weeks before, but Charlotte was continuing to glower. She still attributed the worst motives possible to him.

The best part of this is that our own narrator once referred to Peter as a probable “sicko”, so chastising someone else for thinking he’s up to no good is a bit hypocritical, no? Plus, I think we’ve established that the 13 year old Charlotte is much more mature than her mother.

There’s a knock at the door. Stephanie opens it to who she thinks is Peter wearing outrageous clothing, specifically “fluorescent green satin pants, skin-tight and startlingly revealing, with a see-through black net shirt, with a little sparkle to it, and a pair of black satin cowboy boots” which sounds like just about the most hideous thing ever. Now, Stephanie is in the kitchen and the kids are in their rooms. And even though we are only told that they “disappeared” to their rooms moments ago, she knows without checking that they are “doing their homework” which seems awfully presumptuous. When I was a kid that was the last thing I would be doing in my room, but I was a strange child.

However, Stephanie reminds us that:

I hadn’t met many of [Peter’s] friends yet. It was still too soon.

Right. So, after over a month its too soon to meet his friends but you introduced him to your children after 2 days. That makes loads of sense, right? And this doesn’t bother her either. Because Peter is perfect and couldn’t possibly have ulterior motives.

I’m the surprise,” he said proudly, “and the secret. They cloned him.”

So, this person who has shown up at the door is Peter’s clone. Peter sent his effing clone to his girlfriend’s house while he’s on a business trip. Yeah… They talk about it for a while and basically Stephanie thinks she’s going crazy and Peter is playing some trick on her.

But now we have to have a little vocabulary lesson:

Clone: A group of organisms or cells produced asexually from one ancestor or stock, to which they are genetically identical.

Android: (in science fiction) A robot with a human appearance.

Remember this. It will be important for the rest of the book. I firmly believe that Danielle Steel did absolutely no research into science (or science fiction) before righting this book and has confused these two concepts.

Paul (the clone, excuse me, Klone) is talking about why he doesn’t dress the same as Peter.

“My name is Paul, and I can do everything he does . . . except,” he looked apologetic, “wear khakis. I can’t stand them. He tried programming me for that at first, but it kept screwing up my systems.”

He keeps explaining himself to Stephanie, including all of his… functions.

“You know, if you want to get pregnant, Steph, it’s probably easier for me than for him. They worked all the kinks out of that last year.”

Right. So, here goes the first of probably many rants about the confused science of this godawful book. A clone does NOT have programming or systems. That is an android. A clone does not have “kinks” worked out unless they go to a masseuse. You remember Dolly the sheep, right? Well, if you would have cut her open, instead of finding a motherboard you would have found lamb chops. Cloning ≠ Android.

Not to mention it’s really f-ed up that he offers to get her pregnant. Or the fact that her boyfriend is sick enough to send her this monstrosity while he’s away on business. But that’s small potatoes compared to the Clone/Android mixup (especially since she uses the egregious word Klone in the very title).

This is how I’m picturing Peter/Paul from now on.

Paul assures Stephanie that the kids will “get used to me”. Right. Because that’s a totally normal thing. But Charlotte offers us even more insight into her mother’s parenting style.

“I bought a shirt like that once. Mom made me take it back. She said I looked like a slut in it.”

Okay. It’s one thing for a mother to think this but a completely different thing to say it out loud. Parents, I know I don’t have any experience in this, but listen to me. DO NOT tell your 13 year old daughter she looks like a slut (even if she does). It does not do good things for the self-esteem and self-image, especially to an already, presumably, self-conscious pubescent teenage girl.

Stephanie’s reaction to all of this is to drink herself under the table. “I was drunk halfway through dinner”. Now, this is in front of her kids on a school night. Which seems totally responsible, right?

Anyway, they make it through dinner okay. Paul helps Charlotte with her homework. Everybody goes to their respective rooms. And now Paul wants sexytimes with Stephanie. So, he lights some candles and cracks open some champagne. And of course, Stephanie doesn’t turn the booze down. “I was drinking the champagne by then. I wasn’t about to waste good champagne, and it was the only way to cope with what had happened.” What had happened was she thinks her boyfriend is pulling a trick on her. See, she doesn’t believe Paul is a clone (I absolutely refuse to call him a Klone, besides, we’ve already discussed that he’s actually an android). She thinks Peter is playing some sort of game. So, instead of throwing him out and telling him to grow up, she lets him spend alone time with her kids and drinks to cope.

And then Paul really creeps me the eff out. When talking about how the kids seemed to be okay with him being there, he mentions that “Sam even asked me to sleep in his room”. Remember: nobody in the family has known him for much more than a month. Peter has never spent the night while the kids were in the house. Her 8 year old son just offered to let a virtual stranger sleep in his room and the “clone” spent an hour in Charlotte’s room “helping her with her homework” (the quotes are mine. As far as I know, there is no actual child molestation in this book, though Stephanie makes jokes about it frequently. But the opportunity was there and as Peter is setting himself up to be a creeper I wouldn’t have put it past his clone, especially as his clone is a horny bastard).

[Paul] locked the door quietly, and as he slipped off the ghastly green pants, I almost felt as though I recognized him again, until I saw the gold lamé jockeys he was wearing, if  you could call them jockeys. It looked more like a Speedo, and the gold was more than a little amazing.

First of all, I have never in my life called them jockeys. Second, I know this book was written in the 90s, but why does his wardrobe have to be so ungodly atrocious? If any man every came to my bed wearing a gold G-string (she figures this out just after this paragraph), there will be no sexytimes with me until he finds himself a pair of real underwear.

As they’re getting their funk on, the phone rings. On the other end is Peter, which really freaks Stephanie the eff out. So much so that:

The room spun around as I listened to him, and I looked at Paul, and unable to withstand any more, I closed my eyes, and fainted.

And that’s the end of this mercifully short chapter. She faints because she has absolutely zero coping skills. And Danielle Steel has never read a single science fiction novel or seen a single episode of Star Trek.

This is how I picture Paul. Would you let this man around your children?


Hopefully I’ll have another chapter up this afternoon.

Happy Reading!

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