Thursday, May 04, 2006

Chapter 14: Sticks and Stones may break my Clones

The concept of cloning a human first met with disapproval. This is a result of many complex motivations involving disagreements on respect of life, existence of a soul, and worth of individuality. An often uncited motivation would be people's general dislike of themselves. Most people wouldn't trust themselves and would not like to compete with themselves because they know that they don't play fair. Also, once you have been wronged by an exact duplicate of yourself the usually satisfying practice of blaming takes on an uncomfortable subtext.

Thus cloning was only slowly advanced by the people who instead of merely disliking themselves really and truly hated themselves. Their motivation being the idea that now, finally somebody would see how truly wretched it is to be them. When this was accomplished the first clone maddeningly replied to the expectant experimenter: "You think you've got it bad?"

The rest of the conversation consisted of each version of the person trying to explain to the other why they were due the sympathy and should not have to comfort the other. They strangled each other to the point of unconsciousness repeatedly. It would have been to the death but that each one went out exactly while the other did and thus relaxed their grips on each others throats. After a week of this futility they made peace and started the difficult process of getting to know each other. Conversations were awkward. "I know." was said a lot, but eventually the remarkable amount of things they had in common led to activities they enjoyed doing together. They grew to like each other a great deal and once they realized what that truly meant they lost interest in cloning altogether. Tragically they both died self-sacrificially trying to protect the other from an onrushing wedding.

The first clone was unique in that somehow the personality of the donor was carried over. All subsequent attempts produced a person genetically identical, yet still to all respects a distinct person from the donor, possessing differing likes and proficiencies. The clones viewed these differences with a remarkable amount of relief owing to the secret motivations of the only people advancing the cause of cloning. They shook off the moniker of clone altogether preferring the much less offensive Chronologically Challenged Twin which was later shortened to Chron. If someone offended another when using the term clone it became an easy excuse to say that you had said chron, but that because of dialect you could not say r's plopelly. This was viewed as but another step in the gradual process of Japan and America completely trading their cultures (In one future each nation was/is/will be a duplicate of the other in their respective isolationist phases.)

The Chrones, as nice as they were, were not the intended purpose and so other technologies were sought out to produce perfect duplicates. This necessitated the McGuffin Mental Mapper, which could scan the brain for the soul and make a copy. This was a dismal failure as the soul was not to be found. Professor Kradley triumphed with his research in scanning the entire body and found that the soul was in fact located in the kidney. He invented Kradley's Kidney Krapper and the soul was xeroxed. The copy could then be flash-baked into the brain of the clone thereby reproducing a reputable copy of the original. After the first week strangle-cycle adjustment period the clones would be good to go.

Professor Kradley's device was more of a market success than the cloning industry turned out to be. It became a practical joke at parties to remap the souls of two guests who were in some ways opposites and watch them try to adjust, particularly if they were of a differing gender. Egomaniacs would drive down the street broadcasting their personalities from the tops of their cars trying to make as many copies of themselves as possible. This accounts for the current fashion trend on Ventosus Island of wearing reflective clothing over one's kidneys. With the money that came in from the success of his invention Professor Kradley paid for an extravagant wedding to his Circus performing girlfriend. The entire wedding party including the bride groom and minister as well as the groomsmen and the bridesmaids were shot out of a cannon in Greenwich Village. Unfortunately due to a miscalculation of wind drag on taffeta the entire ceremony decelerated during the homily and struck a man and his clone valiently trying to shove each other out of the way in Battery Park, landing just shy of their target landing zone - a gentle splashdown in front of the Statten Island Ferry at sunset with the Statue of Liberty in the background. Suffice it to say the photographer was most put out at the wasted opportunity, but could not find any of the wedding party conscious to complain to.

The cloning industry found that the market reception was cool indeed, for the amount of technology that went into making a clone produced a cost prohibitive unit price. Only the very wealthy could afford a clone. One strategy was to take a loss on the units and hope to make it up on selling peripherals, until it was pointed out that the peripheral lines they could come up with were already vastly available to the public, such as food, clothing, shelter and the like. The idea of branding the merchandise: Clone Food, Clone Clothes, and Clone Shelter was considered but the market research found that the word clone still callied some negative connotations amongst the politically collect. Eventually they decided on a line of products priced per quality.

The Turbo Clone Six Thousand was the flagship. It could take over any area of your life and pass as you, even outperforming you in some cases.

The Six Hundred was priced more for the upper middle class. It could do most of the things you could, but tended towards laziness and told all of your old jokes and stories.

The Sixty was affordable and ideal for menial labor. In speech it tended to describe its own actions or comment on things before its face. Examples of dialog include: "That man has blue pants." "Milk is good." or "I'm sweeping the porch, I'm sweeping the porch."

The Six was sold per pound at a cost comparable to ground chuck and functioned as a basic organ donor clone.

1 comment:

David Sagus said...

I've personally been considering getting a Six and utilizing it for short term time travel experiments.