Written for the ‘Okay, What If’ challenge. Story begins after the image.
Genre: Science Fiction
Better in the End
I never got along with my clone. I suppose that’s my fault. I have two qualities that can be annoying: I’m very competitive, and I’m always right.
One day, I let him know he could never equal me, because he’s only a copy. I’m right about this (of course) because I always do my research. For example: I talked extensively with Dr. Ramakrishnan. He told me, “When the clone body is ready, we’ll make an image of your mind. Then we download that image into the clone. You will be asleep through the whole process. You and the clone will be awake at the same time with perfectly identical memories.”
“He’ll be a perfect copy, then?”
“Not quite perfect. No copy is, but fundamentally he’ll be you.”
So a copy is never quite as good as the original. My clone refused to accept this. He said, “I’ll be better than you in the end.”
The friendship I had hoped to create with my clone never formed. Instead, we became competitors in life, each trying to outdo the other. I won this battle (of course), having opened a successful restaurant and marrying my beautiful wife. He ended up making cruddy wages as a lab tech. The original is always best.
Everything changed when my rich uncle passed on and left me his $16 million estate. My clone, the fiend, tried to claim it in my name. The only proof I had of my originality was Dr. Ramakrishnan’s clinic, but his records had, curiously, been lost. But the good doctor had an ace up his sleeve. He had a blood test that could identify genetic drift, and thus who the clone was. Within a week the results came back from the lab.
I was the clone.
“You couldn’t have known,” explained Dr. Ramakrishnan. “Your memories are identical to his. Even the part about choosing to be cloned and experiencing the procedure.”
In the end, I had to face facts. I wasn’t who I thought I was.
My clone tried to cheer me up one day as we ate lunch. “You haven’t lost anything have you? You’re still successful, right?”
“True, but now you have the mansion on the hill and the Jaguar and fawning starlets. You won.”
“It must be tough being right all the time,” he smiled.
“I got it from you,” I sighed.
“This time, you’re wrong.” He grinned wolfishly. “I told you I’d be better in the end!”
The original prompt comes from the ‘Okay, What If’ page with some fascinating story ideas. This week’s prompt may be found here: http://okaywhatif.com/2013/10/20/10202013-weekly-writing-challenge-what-if-you-could-clone-yourself/