Author : Townsend Wright
The young tech analyzed her monitor. Her blue uniform was worn loosely among her personal gothic choice of clothing which was oddly fitting of the dark, blue-lit, organic looking room they were in. “Download complete. Ready any time officers.”
Browner checked the watch on his eye-screen, 9:08 pm. “Ready, Owen?”
“Any time, Dom. Go ahead, flesher lady.”
The tech pushed the necessary buttons on her monitor and the gingerbread man-shaped vat of white goo in front of them began to bubble. “Genetic encoding: good. Cell differentiation: good. Cell formation, with cerebral encoding: good. And…wakey, wakey.”
The vat erupted in a jerky blob which after the runoff of goo reveal itself as a swarthy middle aged man frantically gasping for breath as he sat naked covered in ooze.
“Arthur Green?” asked Dom. The man nodded harshly in response, sending drops of goo flying out of his hair. “I’m detective Dominique Browner, this is my partner, Police Android unit O-N 17.”
“My friends call me Owen. Can you speak, buddy?”
“Where am I? What am I doing here?”
“That’s a yes,” Owen joked.
“Mr. Green, I’m sorry to inform you that you have been the victim of a homicide,” Dom said in accordance with protocol.
There was a pause, “Is this heaven?”
“No,” Dom continued, “this is a pod-cloning facility in Level 23 of Sub New York.”
“What am I doing here?”
“Legal maneuvering, mostly,” said Owen.
Dom brought to mind the by-the-book explanation. “You are aware that your standard neural implants record all your memories for easier personal access?” Green nodded. “According to the Brenshaw Privacy Act of 2101, it is illegal for the police to directly access any of these recorded memories, even in the case of a murder victim.”
“Now, here’s where things get good,” Owen interjected.
Dom continued, “However, it is legal for any person’s memory to be temporarily downloaded into a ‘printed’ pod clone. Such a copy can be used for questioning.”
“You mean I—”
“Was a bathtub full of stem cells two minutes ago?” Owen interrupted, “Yep.”
“What is the last thing you remember?” Dom continued.
“I—I was arguing with my wife, and then she pulled out a kitchen knife and—and—”
“Ha!” Owen exclaimed, pointing mockingly at his partner, “I told you it was the wife!”
“Alright, you don’t have to brag,” Dom said. He turned to the tech, “That’s all we need.” The tech pushed another button and the clone of Arthur Green reverted back into a mass of programmable white slop. “Let’s go find some evidence against her.”
The officers walked back to the elevators. “Hey, Owen?”
“Does it ever feel weird to you? Melting them like that?”
“Nah, court’s already adjourned, all we do is burn a copy of the transcript.”
“I guess you’re right. Just promise me something, Owen.”
“Don’t do that to me when I get murdered.”
“Heh heh. Don’t worry, Dom, I won’t,” the elevator doors opened and they stepped in. Owen added “Why would I kill ya’ just to make another one?”
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