Monday, July 23, 2018

Microstory 891: Trinity

You never really know how you’re going to react to a shocking situation until you’re actually faced with it. I’ve always thought of myself as a scaredy cat. I often wake up sharply from bed, already in fight or flight mode, having but a vague memory of hearing some random and innocuous sound outside. I’m afraid of spiders, heights, tight spaces, crowded rooms, flashing lights, and loud noises. Yet when I turned around and found a stranger in my house, having suddenly arrived through no apparent means, I was completely calm. She was smiling at me with her lips closed, as if I were an old friend she hadn’t seen in ten years, but we just ran into each other again at a different location of the same grocery store franchise where we first met as poor college students. I immediately felt comfortable with her too, like I knew she wasn’t there to hurt me. I simply asked if I could help her, but she said that she was there to help me. She told me that we weren’t meant to meet for another two hundred years. I asked her how it was possible we were still alive that far in the future, but she just said everyone is practically immortal by then. That didn’t surprise me at all, since I’m a science fiction writer, and I’ve been studying futurology as part of my research. She claimed that Future!Me had sent her back to change the course of history. Apparently he felt that things had not progressed fast enough, especially not on a personal level. That I did not believe. I write about time travel all the time, which means I’ve gone over dozens of thought experiments. And the conclusion from all of them is that time travel is too dangerous to even try. Anyone who discovers how it works has a moral responsibility to destroy all of their research, and keep it to themselves. Anyway, she told me that a lot had changed in the last two thousand years, and Future!Me felt it was necessary. She was obviously hiding something about it, but I chose not to press it at the time. One thing that was clear to me was that at no point did we engage in any sort of romantic relationship. Our friendship was purely platonic, but she refused to divulge any information about the future of my love life, which was probably the right call.

Evidently her main concern now was that I never got a chance to write as many of the stories as I should have, and the ones I did end up writing weren’t as good as they should have been. That’s all really important to me right now, but I can’t imagine a centuries old version of me maintains the same priorities. Her arrival actually put some things in perspective, and I was considering quitting being a writer altogether. She wouldn’t let me do it, though. Instead, she used cloning technology to create three new bodies for me. One was supposed to go out and travel the world, gaining new experiences, and meeting new people, while the other could stay home and write. I had complete control over both bodies at the same time, which took some getting used to, but eventually became natural. As boring as I may seem, I’m deep down an adventurous person, and the only thing that was keeping me from traveling this much before was my lack of money. She solved that problem by using my third clone as a worker bee. He had my basic personality traits, and many of my memories, but lacked the natural drive I have to be lazy and just not give a crap about what happens to the company. He also never gets tired, so he works two part time jobs in addition to my original full time position. Things were perfect, because now I only ever had to do what I wanted, and I had a lot more money lying around. We had to destroy my old body, because it was fragile and absurd now that the ones I was using were so technologically and biologically advanced, but I didn’t regret it. Not until yesterday. I started noticing that I was seeing her less and less as time went on. She was spending most of her time in a secret lab she only took me to blindfolded a couple times. One day, I decided to follow her, and snuck into the lab. I found it to hold a vast farm of clones, just like I was, but which looked like her. Thousands of them were sleeping—or rather inactive—in pods. She didn’t seem perturbed that I had found what she casually revealed was her personal army. When I questioned why she had to involve me at all, when she could have done this all on her own, she gave me that same gentle smile. “Your daughter was the one who stopped me from trying this before. Now that you’re sterile, I don’t have to worry about her. This planet will finally be mine.”

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