Author : Dane Richmond

The media fanfare had died down after the first few months. It had been amazing at first but it gradually made the transfer to annoying and then overwhelming. Now years later the paparazzi were gone along with their fame. There was the occasional photographer when she and Marc went out. She could feel sympathy from Marc. He said he didn’t miss the attention but she knew he did. He was upset and distracted—he must not have gotten the promotion he had hoped for. She decided to make him a special dinner and wear that teddy he loved.

They made history when they had the empathy chips implanted nearly 5 years ago. It was revolutionary at the time, if they hadn’t had the public behind them they could have gone to prison for violating the Anti-Enhancement Laws, but they had been so in love then that they didn’t care; they wanted to be so much closer. The chip had worked, all of the emotions that the other felt were transmitted via a satellite uplink. They had proven all the critics wrong: knowing exactly what he was feeling had caused some arguments, if he was looking at another woman, but it had brought them so much closer, knowing that even when they were arguing he still loved her.

The chips were becoming available for widespread use. It was the new tattoo with your lovers name on it. An hour long surgery and you were closer to your spouse than you could ever hope to be naturally. Companies were advertising faster upload times and the newest one with a cell phone feature. It wouldn’t be long before the “Love Chip” was available right outside the churches in Vegas. She had thought it would always be a tool to enhance love but now it was just another money making tool for corporations. They didn’t mind that, like the tattoos, sometimes they had to be removed; they made more money taking out the chips than they did installing them.

Just as she was hoping that maybe there was a photographer outside their drive, like in old times, she felt a flash of fear and panic that lasted for a fraction of a second, it felt so entwined with her own thoughts that she didn’t have time to sort out her emotions before the flash of blinding pain.

The photographers crowded the small church, taking as many pictures of the twin caskets from every angle possible. One of the photographers approached the funeral director asking him to push the caskets together for a better photo, but was politely rebuffed. A reporter was interviewing both sets of parents, asking about the lovers lives over the last five years, post-love chip. “It’s breaking news, Marc Stevens, the first man with a love chip, gets hit by a bus and it kills his wife Jennifer! How can you not talk to me? This will halt the market on Love Chips, they killed that girl. How does it make you feel to know that because of this piece of technology your daughter dropped dead in her home?”

He was still shouting questions at the parents as he was forced out of the funeral home.

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