Unnamed Journal 7 - Page 22

seven feet tall and weighing almost three hundred pounds; Jack was a commanding figure both inside and outside the courtroom. He favored a tailor in London and traveled there at least once a year to shop for suits. Jack's pocked marked face was clean shaven; his head crowned with thick, slicked back salt and pepper hair. Jack was a shark. Yet a human heart still beat inside his barreled chest. Jack was warm and loyal to those he cared about. Years before he'd become a partner at his firm, he'd been Colin's college roommate. Jack poured over the documents that Colin brought him, occasionally making a "hmm" or "tch". When he turned his attention to the pamphlets featuring the Vanderschloss's, he looked up at his old friend sitting across the desk from him. "This is some spooky shit, isn't it?" He held the pamphlet up so he could compare the picture within to Colin. "And you said that you did some googling and found news articles about these people?" "Yeah," said Colin, "that's right." "And this Johnson guy comes to your house, gives Miriam this stack, and then leaves without explaining much of anything?" "Yeah." "Christ, she does look like Miriam. And these two look like Nicole and Christine. Let me guess: there's another one in here for Talbot?" Jack said, flipping through the other pamphlets. Colin glared at him. "Sorry. Just trying to find some humor amongst all this creepy shit." "Jack, what should we do? Do we have case? Should we just sign these papers and be done with it? As my attorney, what is your advice?" Colin struggled to keep his voice from rasping. "Well," said Jack, "that depends on what you want to do. To be honest, I'm going to need to do some research on this Alpha Biotechnical Solutions company. Depending on what I find, we could file a civil suit against the company. I doubt you could press criminal charges, even though there's a ban on human cloning in this country. The feds might decide to go after ABS if our civil suit drew public attention. “I think you'd have vanished to somewhere, had whatever body part they needed removed, and then who knows what.” Alternatively, if we kept things quiet and tried to get them to settle, we might be able to get more money out of them." "So you think we should sue them?" Colin said, his head was tilted. "Colin, think about what this paperwork is saying.You and your family were living backup copies of other people, being kept around just in case one of them needed one of you for spare parts. You had no knowledge of this fact until a few days ago. What could have happened to you or Miriam or the girls if these Vanderschloss people hadn't died in a plane crash? Do you think, based on any of this paperwork, that they would have asked nicely if they needed part of you? I don't. I think you'd have vanished to somewhere, had whatever body part they needed removed, and then who knows what." Jack took a deep breath. "No, I don't think it benefits your family to just sign these papers and send them back. You certainly could do that, if you wanted to. But if you did, you'd be waiving your rights to future legal action." "Is that legal?" "It can be. What they've sent you is a release and waiver of liability. If you sign that, you're giving up your right to sue them. But considering the... unique circumstances of this paper work, and the implications of it, I wouldn't just roll over and give that up, Colin." "All right," said Colin, "let's say we do sue. What do we do next?" "Like I said, I'll need to do some research on Alpha Biotechnical Solutions. See what I can turn up. From there we can plan the basis of a civil suit." "What about the fees for your services?" "Considering our history, and the circumstances, I won't bill you until after we settle or go to trial. As part of the judgment,