Author : Joshua Reynolds
“Are you sure this will work?” the President asked. He was broad, clumsy and permanently flustered. These were his only defining qualities, and his election was still regarded as something of a fluke.
“Of course, Mr. President.” The GENErevolution representative said confidently, clone-bank teeth blisteringly white in the finest smile medical science could provide. He gestured and the corporate doctor leaned over the President, gloved fingers clipping, fastening and generally making the President exceedingly uncomfortable. The last was not part of the doctorâ€™s job, merely a benefit given his current circumstances.
â€œThe procedure has become a staple of the GENErevolution services packet. We use only the finest cloned neural webs from our celebrity DNAbanks. Great men, Mr. President, great men.â€ The representative continued, watching the doctor work. The doctor tapped the Presidentâ€™s skull-implant harder than he should have, causing him to jump.
â€œStop moving please.â€ The doctorâ€™s hands gently rotated the Presidentâ€™s head back into position with calm precision. Inside of course, he was seething as only a man of high education can. Six weeks earlier, the President had railroaded a bill through Congress that allowed corporations, like GENErevolution for instance, to clone and brain-bump valuable employees as part and parcel of company insurance programs. Since the clones were the property of the creating body a cunning corporate body, again GENErevolution for instance, could in fact lay-off the original employee and use his clone at cut-rate cost instead.
The doctor, a graduate of the New Bethesda surgery program and worth six-figures, had received his pink slip in the mail that morning. He had also received a gold watch because GENErevolution was like a family and all about tradition.
The watch, having been designed by a disgruntled former employee in the souvenir division and newly cloned himself, did not work.
Thus, the doctor poked the President again.
â€œOw! Youâ€™re doing that on purpose!â€
â€œPlease donâ€™t move.â€ The doctor said, unsmiling. The GENErevolution representative, who had not been cloned as the new practice was waived for management-level employees, leaned forward, hands behind his back.
â€œDonâ€™t worry Mr. President, a complete neural overlay is nothing to fret over. Itâ€™s quite old hat these days, ha-ha-ha.â€ The representativeâ€™s laugh was as artificial as the rest of him. It was borrowed from a popular comedian, royalties pending, of course.
â€œHa-ha?â€ the President said. â€œAnd Iâ€™ll still be me, right? I mean, Iâ€™ll have all the moves and such, but Iâ€™ll still be me?â€
â€œYouâ€™ll be fine. Completely unchanged, save for the mesmerizing skills of Gene Kelly implanted into your cortex. All weâ€™re really doing is giving your neural network a good shoring up to prevent any synaptic burn and maybe give you a few smooth moves, ha-ha-ha.â€
â€œGood. Good. The Sin-Lu Treaty Annual Ball is tonight at the Chinese embassy and Iâ€™d like to make a good impression.â€
â€œOh you will, you will. Right doctor?â€
â€œOf course.â€ The doctor said. He glanced at the neural tray, containing a cloned neural web tattooed with the letters â€™G-Kâ€™.
These letters did not stand for Gene Kelly.
That night, at the ball, the President pulled a ceremonial Shou Dao sword, dating from the Song Dynasty, off of the wall and attempted to behead the Chinese Prime Minister while shouting â€œThis is for building that bloody great wall, you bastard!â€ in ancient Mongolian.
The Board of Directors for GENErevolution could not be reached for comment.