I wondered briefly why she brought up the topic of disintegration.

“Oh,” I replied, “in that case, I have a clone.”

My interviewer nodded her antennae in instant acceptance.

“What’s his registration RNA.”

“I don’t know,” I told her.

“You don’t know your own clone’s RNA registration?”

“I’d have to go and contact him,” I said off the top of my forebrains. “He’s independent that way. You understand?”

She was, not really surprisingly, accommodating.

“You go do that then.”

“Is there a risk I’ll get disintegrated if I get this job?” I asked before I left.

“Not it you don’t get me your clone’s numbers.”

Of course, as a writer of satire and absurdity, you want to look for moments where you can exploit opportunities.  Of course it’s mildly amusing that the interviewer immediately accepts Phil’s sudden claim of having a clone.  But one wants to push for a higher level of absurdity, as if disintegration just happens to be one of the potential perks of the job.

I stepped outside and contacted the nearest cloning facility.  I cursed my luck. It was half a parsec away. But my luck wasn’t all bad. They didn’t actually need me to visit in being to be clones. They took a reading of my genetics and a telempathic scan for my personality matrix.  They told me they’d have a clone duplicate grown for me in the next cycles, faster if I chose the slightly riskier express cloning and artificial aging promotion.  Seemed a small risk.  I took down the RNA registration number and went back to the War Emperor Clone.  Shortly thereafter I was issued a field reduction suit, sensitive region force field generator and induction tubes for my antennae.  I was officially on call.

Of course, this being a science fiction satire, some hand-waving is required to elevate what we know of cloning to something more useful than an extra supply of body parts, or the odd morale argument against it.  And again, the convenience of interstellar based technologies can’t be understated.  Well, they can be, and are.  After all, even we lowly humans acclimatize to convenience pretty rapidly (even if other beings find that convenience rather unpleasant – just talk to a few chickens.)

Go To The Commentary On Chapter 02

Go To The Commentary On Chapter 04

Go To Chapter 03

Go To Synopsis Of Chapter 03

Go To The Dispatches From The Intergalactic Compendium

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Dispatches From The Inter-Galactic – Stories