Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer
“No, Mister Reynolds, we will not reconsider our position.”
Datten winces at the shouted reply.
“No, sir, we are not regulated by that organisation, nor do we answer to the authority your brother chairs.”
The reply to that is loud enough to make people sitting nearby look his way. He shakes his head as he replies.
“It’s clear we’re not going to agree, so I’m going to stop here. Then you can call all the people you’ve mentioned, and be told the same things I’ve told you. Good day, sir.”
He ends the call.
Toliva pushes a tankard across to him: “Was that the chap from Barcelona Cinematics again?”
Datten nods, then drinks, then talks.
“He’s convinced stunt clones will give his film ‘veracity’ and allow him ‘visceral close ups’.”
Toliva shakes his head: “Do none of these maniacal directors read our exclusions before contacting us?”
“Most are convinced we added the ‘no lingering deaths’ clauses to cover ourselves, and don’t bother to enforce them if enough money is offered.”
Toliva’s bracer chimes. He taps it to flip the call to his headware.
“Livewire Clones plc. How can we help your action today?”
He listens, then nods.
“We can certainly help you with that, madam. Please remember that pitched battles and suchlike will still have to be handled by digital effects. Medieval battlefields were brutal environments, and we cannot allow our creations to suffer unduly.”
After pausing to listen to the reply, he gives a wide smile.
“In that case, I think we can fully provision your productions, madam. One moment please.”
He double taps his bracer to hold the call, then leans across to Datten.
“It’s Hammerwood Studios. They’ve got a heroic retelling of three Greek myth cycles updated to be set during the secession wars on Charne and Plurit. They want our kids for a much as possible, and are prepared to offer guarantees backed by independent clone cruelty monitoring. They’ve already got someone from CloneFair involved.”
Datten claps his hands in triumph.
“Finally! A major studio making an action epic with clone stunters.” He stops, then points to Toliva’s bracer: “Make sure they’ve budgeted for a legally compliant cadaver furnace.”
Toliva taps the bracer.
“I have received provisional approval, subject to paperwork review. There is one query, though: what clone disposal measures have you considered?”
He waits for a reply.
“No, madam, it’s just that there are several cheaper units that won’t handle extended burn periods or daily use. We’ve also had cases where local geographic features such as lava flows have been proposed as safe disposal methods. So we have to make sure.”
Toliva listens, then puts the call on hold.
“They’re set on using Sunstar Eighteens with Cressen ash compactors. At least one installation per filming site.”
Datten grins: “That’s what I would have asked for as the number one option, but expected them to bargain us down to something less heinously expensive.”
Toliva looks impressed. He restarts the call.
“That’s what we’d have suggested, so I think we can move on to a face-to-face meeting, site inspection, and discussions of initial logistics. When and where?”
The reply is lengthy, and accompanied by a download.
Toliva raises a fist to Datten.
“Pack your bags, brother. We’re off to the Zygymas System. They’re looking to shoot on Vision, Clarity, and Hope. With multiple sites on each planet.”
Datten whoops and bumps the offered fist.
“May the human fascination with watching bloody death never die.”