Author: Duncan Shields, Staff Writer
“It’s not that I hate being rich. I love it. It’s just that I feel undeserving. I wish my situation wasn’t so unique.” said Carl Whittaker 4 to his therapist.
“You mean being the first and likely only billionaire clone to exist?” asked the cellular-propagate therapist.
“Exactly. I’m in an unusual situation. I was given a law education as the indentured servant of the late Carl Whittaker Prime. I was made the executor of his will.” CW4 said.
“Yes, we’ve been over that. Business as usual. Plenty of cloned lawyers execute their owner’s last wills before mandatory destruction. But in your case…..” the therapist trailed, hoping to lead Carl 4 to his present problems.
“Well, I found a loophole. I had never been properly registered as a clone. Perhaps because Carl had a sentimental attachment to me as he had no children of his own. He had me proclaimed as a ward. In legal terms, it’s very much like adoption. There was no law against it because no one had thought to do it before. I never left the grounds of the estate. All of my education was online. I was like a pet.” rambled Carl.
“You didn’t have the standard organ harvest clause.” prompted the therapist.
“No. There were several cloned brainstem truncates in the basement chambers for any organs that were needed.” Carl said.
“So you were in many ways a quasi-person.”
“Indeed. And Carl Prime left his entire estate to me. Including the workforce of copyrighted gene imprints of himself.” finished Carl. Nervously, he took a sip of water.
“I remember the case. The people vs Carl Whittaker 4. It was a sad watershed moment for clone rights. You ended up being allowed to retain ownership of his estate, including the DNA replicates. But the loophole was closed thereafter in order stop the wealthy from passing their money down a line of clones instead of family.” said the therapist.
“Right. So I’m the only….one.” said CW4. He looked around the room nervously and took another sip of water.
“Correct. Which leads us to today. What seems to be the problem?” asked the therapist, slightly impatiently.
“Well, doctor. That’s just it. I’m not the only one. All of the workforce that I own and rent out to companies around the world are dying under the awful conditions that all clones work under. And they’re me. They’re all me. CWs. Numbering up to nearly two million. My eyes, my body type. My face. I can’t take it anymore.” Carl Whittaker 4 sobbed.
“I see. The guilt of a Prime and you have no fellow clones to talk to.” The therapist stroked his chin.
“Yes. That’s exactly it. I feel like a slave owner except all of my slaves are me.” said Carl, sniffling. He was managing to get himself under control.
“Well, Carl. You’re in a unique position so I’ll have to give you some unique advice,” said the therapist. “A lot of humans in your position turn to drugs, alcohol, or other means of shoring up their denial to blind themselves to the moral turpitude they’re mired in. If you won’t consider liquidating your entire workforce…..”
Carl Whittaker 4 blanched at the suggestion.
“….then I suggest you learn to be more human. Distract yourself from the clone plight and take up a hobby. Maybe an addiction as well. Do some research on what would suit you best. And you’ll need some sleeping pills. I’ll prescribe some. Good luck.” concluded the therapist.
Grimly, Carl Whittaker 4 nodded. He steeled himself for the future.
“Our time is up.” said the therapist.