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Rod, Rex and Rhoda

by Bob Brill

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Humpty Dumpty Restored?

A surprise phone call. It’s Jared Pumphrey with an amazing offer. “Would you like to get disentangled from Rhoda Vane? It can be done.”

“Well, yes. I certainly would. But how can that be?”

“It’s quite simple. When we pushed the two of you into the transporter and messed you up, we saved the pre-jump dissociated image in an offline storage container. All we have to do is load that image back into the source buffer and transport you. The two of you will come out just as you went in, separate and whole.”

A charge of excitement courses through my body. Wow! Has anyone studied the biochemistry of hope? Neurotransmitters, hormones, enzymes, careening through my system, spreading the good news, what a high. When my tingling skin begins to quiet down, I ask, “Why would you do this, Pumphrey? Why would Rumex reverse its policy toward me?”

“You are in very good odor now at Rumex since you published your paper showing that everyone has trace amounts of metafallazine. That put Rumex in the clear. When we discovered that all our subjects showed metafallazine, we were stymied. We thought Fallow’s Syndrome was going to crash our project. But now we know that the one case of Fallow’s Syndrome was just an unlucky fluke. DOPAD has okayed further human trials and it’s looking good for full approval of our anti-aging drug. We didn’t treat you and Miss Vane very nicely, so this is by way of thanks and to undo the damage we did to you both.”

Coming from Rumex this explanation was just too goody-goody to be true. And I didn’t feel comfortable stepping into a Rumex transporter. I told Pumphrey so.

He replied, “We can reconstitute your stored image without your being there. However, there are a couple of things you should know. After you are successfully restored to your original condition, the present mixed up versions of Rodney Blass and Rhoda Vane will have to enter the transporter for final dissolution.”

“You mean you’re going to kill us?”

“Of course not. Whenever someone is transported successfully, the source buffer is erased to avoid the creation of a clone. Nobody thinks of this as murder. You will go on living as before.”

“But this me, the one you are now addressing, will be snuffed out.”

“Well, yes, but there will be no loss. You will continue in better shape than you are now. Oh, except for one thing. You will have no memory of anything that happened after we pushed the pair of you into the transporter. You will emerge just as you were at that moment. So we will brief you and bring you up to date. You will not remember writing your paper for the New England Journal of Medicine, but you will be given a copy.”

“I’ll have to talk this over with Rhoda. This is a very tempting offer, and yet there are some disquieting aspects to it.”

“Of course, Dr. Blass. Please consider it carefully. We will not, of course, act without both your permissions. I’ll leave you with this thought. The pre-jump dissociated image will remain in storage against any possible future mishaps. If one of you should die, you can be resurrected.”

Proceed to Chapter 15...

Copyright © 2010 by Bob Brill

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