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Greetings.I am a clone...
But not in the traditional sense.
I am a robot, a byproduct of years of top secret research and development.
Due to ethical considerations, the existence of the program that created me was kept a secret to the media and all but the highest government and military leaders.
I am but one of many prototypes.
We are made from a combination of organic and inorganic materials, but in such a way that we appear indistinguishable to normal human beings.
We were dubbed “clones” because not only can we be made to look exactly like a person, but we can also be made to “mimic” him or her.
“Mimic” is the term coined to describe the process by which we learn how to exhibit both physical and mental behaviors of our “target”.
For approximately 12 months, we are plugged directly into the brain of our “target”, that is, the human that we become.
The technology was originally conceived of in order to be an option for people with terminal illnesses, but then the military got involved.
Thus, the “target” need not be voluntary. Nor does the clone necessarily get to think for himself.
The following is a short story of how the program was almost exposed. The names have been omitted and the people digitally removed from all photographs.
Having seen good poll numbers, Senator X approaches his aides and advisors about running for reelection.
They immediately schedule appearances throughout the state.
What they didn’t plan on was the senator suffering a massive stroke on the way to a campaign appearance in a rural area of the state.
Seeing no way to spin that, his top aide decides she will try and solve the problem.
While the senator recovers in the hospital, she essentially takes over his office.
The senator was a widower and had a poor relationship with his step-children since the death of their mother.
So, the aide had no qualms about calling the Xclone program she had unofficially heard about from the senator without their input.
She toured the factory.
She informed them of the situation. When they started to express their condolences, she told them to get to work on a replacement for the senator.
She returned to the office and arranged to have the senator moved to the factory in secret.
She figured that if she could keep the media away from the senator after he skipped a campaign appearance, she could sneak him out of a hospital.
She was impressed with herself for accomplishing all this within 12 hours after learning that the senator was expected to recover. She made herself at home in his office.
The senator was plugged into the clone and within a week, the physical modifications to the clone were complete. He was able to campaign again.
The aide leaks to the media of the senator’s “full recovery”.
The senator, having been reluctant of the operation when his aide first told him, was pleased to be able to campaign around the state from the comfort of his Craftmatic Adjustable Bed.
The process had been in place for a month. It was April. By November, the “reinvigorated” senator was poised for a landslide victory over his frail looking opponent.
Then, the unexpected happened.
The senator was dead.
The process was incomplete.
The clone wasn’t done.
The senator’s aide plugged herself in. After 3 months, the clone was complete but...
He wasn’t totally a “he” but he was mostly a “he”.
Everything looked right to him.
But he had certain conflicts to deal with. He knew he was a clone but he also knew he had all the memories and tendencies of the late senator.
He also knew that he had the immoral tendencies of his aide, among other things.
He moved past his newfound love of showtunes and Prada to concentrate on why he was in office in the first place.
He convinced himself to serve out his term and retire, betting that he could suppress his aide’s personality with his own will.
After all, he was 3/4 him.
Everything goes smoothly for the next two years.
He is asked to be on the national ticket as a Vice-Presidential candidate.
His aide bullies him into accepting, saying that he wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for her and that he must listen to her…or else.
He accepts and begins campaigning.
Starting in his home state.
He knows what he is doing is wrong but he can’t do anything about it. She has the power to destroy him, thanks to the insistence of the military at the added “feature”.
He realizes that the only way to get out of this is to expose the whole program. It’s the hardest decision he’s ever had to make, as clone or as a human.
On the way to his interview with Larry King, he can’t help but wondering how that man is still alive. He had to keep himself amused so as to not deal with the gravity of the situation.
Learning of Senator X’s unscheduled (by her) appearance on Larry King, the aide becomes furious.
She makes a phone call. The one she never wanted to make. She can’t risk exposure of herself or the program. The men at the clone factory had made that clear.
While chatting with Larry King, the senator suddenly collapses.
The “medics” who just happened to be there pronounce him dead at the scene and have his body cremated, according to his will.
The ashes are mysteriously lost.
As are all documents and books in the senator’s office that are related to the incident.
The aide is offered a job at the clone factory as a reward for maintaining the integrity of the program at the cost of her own political ambitions.
However, she declines, saying that her actions gave her a wakeup call and that she wanted nothing to do with the project.
She declares that she has become a little bit like the late senator having been connected to him via the mimicking technology.
The men snicker and reply: “You have no idea.”
As a security risk, she is replaced with a newer model clone loyal to the project.