After four months of backed up deadlines, CD came to the hard conclusion he already knew was coming. He needed one more of himself.

CD had to present his application in person, which he felt was a ridiculous waste of time. He wondered why the psychologist couldn’t just see him on video over the web, receive his application electronically and wave him through the process. This had been the process for all his previous replicas and he saw no reason why he had to see a councilor now. CD expressed this opinion to the bell-girl, the receptionist and as the first order of business when he got to the psychologist. The psychologist was dressed in fashionable blue robes and her face had a designer friendly smile.

“CD, I needed at least one of you present for this application because studies have shown that we are better able to evaluate a candidates application if one of you is present for a physical meeting.” The psychologist sat behind a wooden desk flanked by tall bookshelves. CD thought the books were a gaudy display of her obvious wealth.

CD rolled his eyes. “I am a very busy man. The reason why I have replicas of myself is because I have so much to do.” CD arched his fingers on his chest. “I am anxious to return my thoughts to my research, art, school and work.” He pushed the plastic pad across her desk. “I would appreciate it if you signed off on this application so I can get the process started.”

The psychologist didn’t even look at the pad. “Why do you need another replica?”

CD shrugged. “I’m just not getting done everything I need to right now. There aren’t enough of me to go around!”

The psychologist looked at her comp-pad, her eyebrows tight. “What are most of you doing right now?”

CD cocked his head, accessing the network and pinging his replicas. “Sleeping, eating, a few of us in holo-movies, and one of us is at work on the novel.”

“It seems that most of you isn’t really working.”

CD threw his arms down and let out a long hard breath. “Everyone needs rest time.”

The psychologist put down the pad and folded her hands on top of it. “CD, do you know your total number of replicas?”

“Of course I do, it says on the form. Total number; four hundred and ninety nine.”

“CD, we have found that around the area of five hundred replicas, something profoundly strong happens to the human mind. The mind can only take so much before it changes in a dynamic and permanent way. Now, I’m not saying that you might change on your five hundredth replica, but maybe by your five hundred and fiftieth or your seven hundredth, maybe the structure of your mind is already beginning to change. The point is, CD, if I approve this application you will no longer be classified as human. You will be classified as a sentient hive, a community.”

His mouth hung open. “I won’t be human?”

“The law has limits on what is considered human. If you want to be protected and understood under human rights, you must stay within the confines of what is considered human.” The psychologist looked hard at CD, and then at the application. “I don’t like to recommend that people exceed the limit, but your files are in order and I do believe that you are mentally stable enough to make this choice.”

CD smiled. “I’ll take it doctor. Make me a community.”

The procedure took less time than the interview. The download and connection of memory and consciousness was just like waking up from a long nap. CD looked at himself, smiling in admiration. The painting in his studio was only halfway done and he needed to get to the lab to work on his research. Instead, he and his new self decided to celebrate their new birth by hitting the bar and the holovids. The research, the school, the art could wait.