Replacement. Flash Fiction.

“Have you got the replacement finished?”
“Almost just a few more tweaks and it’ll be ready.”
“Good, we need it done by tomorrow night at the latest.”
“We’ll have no problem having it done by then. Old one still holding up?”
“Well enough. No major glitches in the last day or two. Had a bit of a touch and go moment last night, but the wife just thinks he’s getting sick.”
“Want me to add a touch of the sniffles to this one?”
“If there’s time, if not don’t worry about it.”

Derek jotted a note down on his notepad, “should we get started on a back up?”
“No, no need, this one will fulfil its purpose in about a month or so. The one now lasted for what? Ten years?”
“Yeah, almost and with the advances we’ve made they last even longer now.”
“No back up is needed then.”
“Ok. Oh, about Project Sunshine, we’re ahead of the schedule on that one, will there be a chance of early deployment? I want to tweak things a little if there’s time, but it’s the kind of stuff that once I start it needs to be finished.”
“No, no plans to move up Sunshine, we’re dead set on that date.”
They chit chatted for a few minutes before Derek left. Everything was on schedule which was a pleasant change. He knew that something would happen to foul everything but for now he was content. The slabs were doing well too, with some remarkable improvements coming out of their facility in the last few years. They went from weak things with only a few months of life to strong, intelligent creatures that could live for decades. Derek was sure that in another few years the slabs would be able to live as long as humans, if not longer.

Derek walked into the room, beds lined each side. He went to Patient 9645, or as he would be known as once he woke, Jamie Franklin. The slab was breathing steadily without the machines. All the memories had been smoothly implanted and the body itself was identical to the old one, even down to the small nick he had gotten a few days back while cutting vegetables. He would go about his life, unaware of what he was, blending in with his friends and family until it was time for him to be activated. Derek didn’t know exactly what 9645 would do, sure he knew the general gist, but it was always interesting to see how it played out. It helped them move things around, reword commands to be better followed. This one was to murder his wife and then kill himself, how that happened would be up to 9645. There was no mention of the children, though Derek suspected it would be a murder-suicide involving the whole family.

The replacement happened with ease, they hit the homing beacon for 2673, he arrived within the hour. Once he was at their facility, he was brought down to the chair. He allowed himself to be strapped down and then, with the flick of a button, Jaime Franklin was gone leaving behind the husk of 2673. The body itself was taken away to be broken down for parts. The systems scanned the memory, searching out for ones the uplinks had missed. Once that was done 9645 was released into the world to complete his objective.

Jaime Franklin walked out of the building feeling great, the massage had really worked out the kinks that had been building in his back for a while. He hopped in his car and pulled out of the parking lot, not looking back at the drab, grey building behind him. He turned on the radio and sang along, loudly and off key, as he drove back to work. He still had a long day ahead of him, but soon he’d be home again and no doubt eating something amazing that Melissa had whipped up in the kitchen. He smiled to himself, his life really was perfect.



About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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