"To Be Or To Be Again", That is the Question.

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2 - "To Be Or To Be" Again, That is the Question.

Dr Weinster did not know where to begin. He decided to wait for Shelbourne to stop examining himself before starting. And examine himself he did, from head to toe. Finally it was Shelbourne who spoke first.

"Is this some kind of plastic surgery? I don't remember asking for any work to be done."

"Your new body is not the result of any surgery let me assure you.

"But doc I look at least 40 years younger."

"Actually you are 53 years younger. Are you familiar with the human cloning experiments carried out by Professor Igor Zinclung?

“Vaguely, did he not get a jail sentence for his experiments?”

“Yes he did. What about transference Mr Shelbourne, know anything about that?”

"Lets see, I remember reading something about a theoretical technique that would enable the transfer of someone's mind into another brain?"

"Quite right, I developed the transference technique but you see it is no longer an emerging science. I joined forces with Professor Zinclung and together we have created a process whereby we transfer the complete contents of your mind to your own clone.”(1)

John was stunned; “Are you saying that I'm a clone?”

“Yes, but let me continue, it will all make sense when I'm finished.”

Dr Weinster proceeded to explain to Shelbourne that the cloning-transference procedure had evolved considerably and that he and professor Zinclung, headed an institute that was created to commercialize it. But before they could sign up their first customer they needed government approval. This took a few years but finally specific guidelines and protocols were developed and finally legislated a year before Shelbourne's procedure. The primary government concerns, that delayed the availability of the procedure, was the protection of the public and also the protection of the individual undergoing the process. It included dealing with the legal status of the transferred individual when he took over a new body; transfer of dept, property, marital responsibilities, etc. It also included the disposal of the original body. Some of the more important rules that are part of the protocol include: only a clone of the individual who contracted for a transference can be used, the original body is to be terminated immediately after the transfer has been completed, and the minimum age for the receptacle body is eighteen physical years.

"You were sixty six when you contracted us to create an clone and transfer you. You see you were dying of an incurable disease and, as a result, we did not have sufficient time for your clone to be totally ready when you started to suffer from an accumulation of minor strokes. You death was imminent and we could no longer wait, so three days ago we began the procedure."

Dr Shelbourne continued his explanation as he took Shelbourne's blood pressure.

"The accelerated mitosis process we use to get the clones ready in a timely fashion, allows the ageing process to be of one year of physical ageing for approximately every week in the development capsule. The ageing is stopped right before a transfer is scheduled. We were targeting a body maturity of twenty one years in your case, as you requested, but we ran out of time due to your worsening condition. Your current body's physical age is approximately thirteen and half. Normally this would be illegal, as per protocol, however we were able to get a special permission from the courts in view of your impending death. We don't know at this time what all the legal ramifications are."

Shelbourne was dumfounded to say the least. He could not quite fathom all the consequences of his situation. But that was not all that shocked him as doctor Weinster continued his explanation.

"To complicate matters the successive micro strokes you were suffering rendered parts of your memory useless and the area most affected seems to be the more recent memories. In fact it is not likely you will remember much from the last six months to a year and the last ten years will be spotty at best."

"Whoa, slow down, doc. Did I hear you right? I've lost the last ten years of my life! What happened to my wife? Do I have children? How is my business doing?"

"Your wife is fine and you have no children. As to your business, you could not have afforded this procedure if it were not doing well. Your wife is waiting outside, I will ask the nurse to let her in."

"Wait a minute doc, is it Areana we are talking about or did I re-marry in the last ten years? I have a track record of divorces you know."

"It is Areana, you have been married for about fifteen years. A word of warning; she will be ten years older than your recollection of her. By the way, you probably don't remember this, but we added the extra two inches you requested."

"The what?"

"Part of the contract was for penile enlargement through gene manipulation. I am happy to report that it was successful.

John could vouch for that.

 (1) For more information on human cloning consult "Human Cloning For Imbeciles" by clicking on the external link found on the right side of this page.

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