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Chapter 2

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Samantha blinked at Frank, her mind preoccupied with what had happened to Ryan, finding it hard to concentrate on what the electrical engineer was saying.  He had been so adamant, waiting up in her office for her, that she had diligently decided to follow and now found herself down in the room that housed all the main computers, including the one Frank and his team had built the Project Utopia program on. 

Samantha watched as Frank panned in on the United States, stopping his mouse above Idaho.  “You move around like so,” he explained, “to view the section of the world that you want to see.  Eventually, everyone will have the biochip, but right now, only a few thousand have it here in Pendleton Hills and a few of the surrounding medical testing communities.”

Samantha leaned forward.  So Corporate really had been issuing the biochip ahead of schedule.  “And this program can control them?”

Frank smiled.  “Oh yes.”  He clicked with the mouse and pulled up a menu.  “See?  Give medication, quarantine, arrest, fall asleep, the list goes on.”  He scratched his chin.  “I felt a bit weird making these controls, because as you can see, you can literally control the implantees, but I had to make it to the specifications that Dr. Clements wanted.”

Samantha raised an eyebrow.  Dr. Mark Clements was an old friend of hers and was the right hand man to the Head of Corporate, Dr. Jones.  Mark and her husband had been friends since college, but she had met him later, after she and Charlie married.  A smile ghosted her lips as she recalled his playful banter and boyish nature when he detailed the intricacies of picking up women to a particularly interested Charlie.  But that was more than two years ago. 

Now, he came to dinner every few months to catch up, bringing a new girlfriend each time.  Though his stories were far from the vicarious thrillers he used to tell, she still marveled at his ability to date so many beautiful women. 

She never knew why Corporate always chose Mark’s girls as Originals, but invariably it happened.  Every one of them now graced the halls of Intelli Inc as lab assistants, or worked in the Pendleton Hills hospital as doctors, nurses, and receptionists. 

Part of the One World Order was to establish healthcare for everyone in every state, no matter their financial status.  Clones were able to provide excellent healthcare as they didn’t receive any sort of financial compensation, and they were not programmed to voice complaints. 

Though Samantha knew little about the actual cloning process, she knew that Originals were always frozen in the cryo-chamber for future use.  The Original’s families were always paid handsomely and because they had volunteered to live in the research community of Pendleton Hills, where clones were manufactured, law decreed that anyone could be cloned at anytime, to provide for the greater good.

“Mark defined the specifications for this program?” she asked.

Frank nodded.  “Of course.  Project Utopia was mostly his idea, though Dr. Jones has taken credit for everything.  Really, this One World Order has opened up new avenues for men like Mark and Dr. Jones to act like gods.”

“What?”  Samantha shook her head.  “Mark isn’t like that.”

Frank shrugged.  “Just my opinion.”  He saw that she was uneasy, so he went back to explaining the Project Utopia program.  “It’s simple to direct the implantees, but when you make a choice you must understand what it will mean.  Click arrest and they will lose control of their bodies and be forced to take the quickest route to jail and tried for their crimes.  Click fall asleep and they will literally drop to the ground in slumber.” 

Samantha watched him work, suddenly concerned.  “Frank, what if one of the implants went wrong?”

 His voice lowered and his eyes turned to hers.  “That’s why I built in a little Easter egg that no one in Corporate knows about.”

“What does it do?”

He clicked through a few screens with his mouse then pressed down several keys on the keyboard, bringing up a dialogue box.  “If something goes wrong, I mean really wrong, then typethis word into the dialogue box.”

Samantha eyed the word Frank had scrawled onto a pink sticky note.  “What happens then?”

Frank grinned wickedly.  “Everyone with the biochip dies immediately.”  

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