One, Two, Many

The room is metal with little holes every quarter inch or so. Sound falls as if into a blackhole.

Even the clone-advocate’s voice as he delivers his judgment.

“This is a problem, a big problem.” He stops and taps his temple with the eraser of his mechanical pencil. “You have no clue the dilemma here. Protocol dictates I destroy you both. But you know what I can do? I’ll reenter your genetic combination into the IVF facilitator. We have no reason to suspect you are defunct, yet. And maybe we will have another use for your capabilities in the future.” He turns and begins to write out the order picking up on a happy tune as if never interrupted.

“But it won’t be me.”

“There is too great a chance that you aren’t you either.”

“Please think of my children.”

“They are already in Central Processing. We don’t consider you needed in their lives any longer, either way, even if you are who you say you are, the risk is just too great. But please, keep trying. I aim to be reasonable. It’s my job as your advocate to find the truth. If you provide me with truth I won’t be able to argue. That’s how math works, I will be forced to grant you a reprieve. Otherwise, if you were bred with a penchant toward religion, please take this opportunity and pray to your deity of choice.”

“I wouldn’t lie, but it seems truth and logic betray me here.”

“I am afraid so.”

“All signs suggest this is a winless argument, but please, for the love of mercy make the choice you feel in your heart.”

“I have, sir. And I wish you a very good rest of your day.”

He stands and with a whoosh is sucked into the pneumatic tubing above him.

The clone waits, alone, wondering what’s about to happen next. Then a click and the little metal room begins to get very hot.

Published by Bryan Aiello

Raised on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Bryan served in the Army, graduated from the University of South Florida and now calls Brooklyn home. For more of his fiction and updates on his podcasts, follow him on Twitter: @bryaiello and Reddit: /u/voyage_of_roadkill.

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