Project Maneki II: Twice the Charm
Laszlo beckoned his lord away from the cat.
Ryuuji shook his head.
"We get bombarded with reminders to spay our cats, my friend. Making a cat copier is not going to justify all your costs. And while the ASPCA might be ticked off, the cops won't be."
"Maybe you're right, my lord. But the animal rights people can get pretty crazy."
"I'll bet."
Ryuuji was about to head back upstairs when he heard a familiar voice cry out.
"Help me! Is there anyone out there? Please help!"
Laszlo froze. He then waved his hand silently. Soon, a second servant appeared with a handful of masks. They were all Guy Fowlkes masks.
"What are these for?" Ryuuji demanded.
"Plausible deniability, sir."
Laszlo put the mask on, and held it out for his employer. After all the scientists had donned their masks, Laszlo walked with his master toward a large cage. He opened the tarp and uncovered the bars of the cage.
Ryuuji knew the naked, red haired woman in the cage at a glance. He tried to play dumb.
"Who is she?"
"MY NAME IS AKAGE!" cried the figure in the cage.
"Help me!"
Laszlo quickly covered the tarp and removed his mask.
"She's a local courtesan, my lord. She ran afoul of both the law and the local ruffians. Apparently, she owed them both a bit of money, and would have been, well, terminated."
"Will your experiment harm her?"
"Hardly. In fact, we plan to release her quietly. All that has happened to her is that we had her swallow this blue pill."
"And then what will happen?"
"Just as there are now two cats, my lord, there will be two strumpets. But the copy that we're making of this red haired, green eyed woman, should have black hair and brown eyes."
Just then, a second servant approached. Only while Ryuuji had only seen her in her short, tight-fitting maid uniform, today, she was in a lab coat. Oddly enough, she still wore her uniform's black lingerie under it.
"Svetlana, what is it?"
"Unfortunate news, doctor. Maneki 21  compilation failed."
"Oh, no."
Laszlo ran to a holding tank on the other side. The figure lay prone, with a noticeable dent in her forehead.
Svetlana turned the figures face. Bone, veins and sinew lay in knotted random patterns where the face should have been.
"A transmission error."
Ryuuji thought he was going to be sick. Laszlo lay a hand on his employer's shoulder.
"There is a fortunate event in this failure, my lord."
He held up a strand of hair.
"Maneki 21 would have had long, black hair."