Better in the End – Okay, What If Challenge

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:

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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12 Responses to Better in the End – Okay, What If Challenge

  1. JulieMc says:

    Very clever!


  2. iamfunny2 says:

    I like the twist and the story. Made me start thinking, What if both are clones? Where is the original copy? And is this Dr. Ramakrishnan really what he says he is or is he a part of a weird experiment? Don’t know if you wanted to convey all that but I enjoyed it. Thanks for linking up to the challenge


    • EagleAye says:

      I believe if a story gets you thinking, it’s done it’s job. I’m happy for that. If you want to take it deeper, I like it.

      That said, he doctor is an unwitting dupe in my original concept. He’s just following the lab results, unknowing it was modified by the clone working as a lab tech.

      I wasn’t sure what the word limit was so I tried to keep this one short as possible. But with more space for twists and turns I could have made it even more complex. When a clone is you up to the second, it’s easy to lose track of who you really are. Something like that could be explored in depth.


  3. Indira says:

    Very clever but it confused me a lot. Original is always best or the clever one?


  4. Pingback: Update on the What if Challenge? Week eight | Okay, what if ?

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