Fiction Fragment Friday

One of the things that I enjoy about flash fiction is the opportunities it opens of for different writing styles. This is not something I frequently takea advantage of, but it is something I have enjoyed on the occasions I due venture out of my first person perspective comfort zone. Flash Fiction gives you the chance to explore small sections of a world from a completely different angle than typical fiction formats. Advertisements, emails, memos, or other typically non-prose formats can be opened up to tell a story in a different way. It can help you world build a larger setting that you are working on.

This weeks story is in the format of an excerpt from a sales training manual meant for the sales teams of a company that provides business continuity through cloning employees in key positions. It let me examine the idea from a completely different lens then a standard story would have.

***End excerpt from the Resilutech employee guide to cloning***    

  Please remember that when representing our services on sales calls that a clone of a person is not an exact copy of the person.  It is easy for confusion to develop around our services and from a legal standpoint you must ensure that every customer understands the strengths and limitations of our cloning process.  Since these calls are all recorded, they can be used as defense in any case of breach of contract litigation.  Please review the following talking points and make sure that each are addressed prior to signing the contract.

  1. A clone will not look exactly identical to the original source of the DNA.  Human appearance has many variables that are impacted by decisions.  Our clones are grown with accelerated growth to the current age of the client in a protected vat.  They have not experienced direct exposure to the sun so skin coloration is likely to vary.  They have not been exposed to the variables that come with natural growth such as injuries, daily routines, and imprecise nutrition.  Our clones will come out of the cloning pods at optimal health since all variables were meticulously controlled.  Thus, their weight, complexion, and height will likely vary from the original.  Biometric data will likely need to be updated.  If the client requests it upon their acceptance of the risk we can aim for a closer match to physical characteristics for an additional fee, but all warranty will be voided, and we will not be held liable for unanticipated consequences.
  2. Our clones are not legally people until they emerge from the pod.  They do not simply lack memories of life events they are complete blank slates with no ability to function in any capacity.  The memory imprint process is only as good as the clients most recent backup.  We will not be held liable if the clone is unable to perform the job or family functions required due to the client being behind on their regular backups. 
  3. While the clone may look like and have the memories of an adult lifetime their bodies have not experienced these events.  Our patented system uses electrical pulses to ensure muscle contraction and growth to fit required functionality, however any tolerances built up through day-to-day activity will not exist in the cloned body.  Skin and eyes will be sensitive, and the clone will likely encounter germs and viruses that their immune system does not have adequate antibodies to handle.  The first year of a clone’s life tends to bring frequent illness as the body acclimates to its new environment.  Additionally, muscle memory will not exist so activities that require extreme dexterity will need to be relearned. 
  4. Clones will experience a period of disorientation before they can return to the original client’s life.  This is due to the stated variations between the clone and original body.  Even simple tasks such as walking will require a level of adjustment as the body will feel different from the original.  Eyesight will potentially vary from the original due to outside factors such as extended time staring at a monitor not impacting the clone body.  The eyes will also be sensitive at first because they have not actually seen light before.  This transition period is minor for most clones as our process produces bodies that are in most ways in superior health to the original.
  5. This cannot be stated firmly enough.  The clone is not the original individual despite having their DNA and memories.  There is a strong psychological aspect to the realization that you are a clone.  Combine this with differences in the balance of chemicals in the brain due to the growth process eliminating random variables and the clone may develop a personality that varies from the original.  These changes tend to appear greater over time.
  6. We will not awaken a clone while the source body is still alive.  This is illegal, unethical, and against company policy.  Please be sure this is stated clearly on any recorded interactions.  There should never be paperwork that indicates otherwise.
  7. As this service is most commonly purchased by corporations to provide business continuity for key positions it must be noted that the signing entity is responsible for all costs associated with the process regardless of the clone’s decisions once they leave our facility and are legally recognized as people.  If the clone chooses to leave the company that is paying for the service, they are still required to pay any outstanding fees.  Per point 6 we will not provide them with a replacement clone as long as the current one is alive.  If the current clone however dies and the contract is still in good standing, we can then provide a replacement at a discounted rate. 
  8. Our company does not clone animals; however we do have multiple partnerships and can often arrange a discounted rate if bundling their service.  After the initial sale is completed all future interactions with these partner services are to be direct and not through our company.
  9. An individual’s status as naturally born, or clone is a protected classification.  It is now included under HIPA and cannot be disclosed without written consent of the individual.  Additionally, this status cannot be taken into account when offering or terminating employment. 
  10. We are required to always use the most current viable backup unless there is written consent from the individual.  A company cannot choose to restore an individual to a time prior to them choosing to leave, discovering incriminating evidence, or filing a complaint if there is a viable backup after that point.  If however an individual signs a release prior to death an older backup may be used.

  We have a disclosure document that you can provide to potential customers that cover these points.  While it is necessary that you discuss them, they do not need to be discussed all at one time.  As long as all are mentioned prior to signing the contract you can spread out the restrictions over multiple meetings.  This is the preferred method as each meeting should focus on the advantages of our services.  Please also ensure that the promotional video of our happy clients enjoying their second chance at life is shown.  We paid a marketing firm extensively to have that video created and our accounting team has shown a 34% increase in opportunities being realized into sales when the video is played. 

***End excerpt from the Resilutech employee guide to cloning***