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Thread: A Sci-Fi Short - A Doppelganger in Town

  1. #1
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    Jun 2014
    Here and There

    A Sci-Fi Short - A Doppelganger in Town

    A Doppelganger in Town

    I knew I was in trouble the moment I walked into the bar, because I was already standing at the counter chatting up my girl. I stopped and did a double take. Yes that was me, but I was here, and to make matters worse neither my girl or any of the other regulars had noticed any difference. How could this have happened?

    I turned around quietly and left, until I could get to the bottom of this mystery, there was no point in making a scene. I arrived back in my dingy apartment on 215th floor of the apt block where I lived. The lock opened to my palm print. Good, at least my apartment knew who I was. "Research doppelgangers" I said to the AI that ran my apartment. It was a low grade model - voice only - I couldn't afford better, but I had upgraded its search capabilities considerably.

    "Running search on 'doppelgangers'" it said. A few minutes later it said, "Search complete."

    "Review Results. Headings Only," I commanded, "On Screen. Scroll Rate Slow." The AI obligingly scrolled the search results on screen slowly for me. One caught my eye. "Have you been seeing double lately?" I frowned. "What is that result doing in there?" I asked the AI.

    "Please indicate to which result you are referring." it replied annoyingly. I keep forgetting it doesn't have the neurological circuits to follow input such as brainwave patterns and eye movements making such requests unnecessary.

    "Have you been seeing double lately?" I said, "What is an advert for an optician doing in the results?"

    "It isn't an advert for an optician," replied the AI, "it is an advert for a ... a ... cleaning service, I believe you would call it."

    I had never heard an AI hesitate before. " Load File. Onscreen." I needed to find out what would make an AI hesitate.

    Have You Been Seeing Double Lately?

    Have you seen yourself in your usual haunts?
    Have your friends asked you what you are doing here,
    when they just saw you there?
    Have you been asked what you did,
    when you know you didn't?
    Do you have a doppelganger?
    To Solve This Problem Painlessly
    Call: ******

    "Hmm," I said, "that certainly seems to have my problem covered. My doppelganger is downstairs right now in the Happy Hippo, chatting to my girl." There was silence from my AI. "How come I'm the last to hear about this? You are supposed to inform me when there is business to be had." My AI said nothing. "Respond!" I said sharply. "I want to know why you didn't inform me of this," I squinted at the date on the screen, "a year ago. A year ago! This has been going on for over a year and you didn't inform me?" I was furious. "You aren't just going for an upgrade! I am going to completely reformat you!" I screamed at the machine. It remained silent.

    Behind me the door opened quietly, a hand holding a gun entered the room, followed by a silent man in black. The gun made a quiet pop. I felt nothing as my systems shut down eliminating me.

    The man in black stood over the body on the floor. "I think that is the last one,' he said, as I entered the room behind him. "Next time you cause a temporal overlap and infect the world with cyborgs you can clean up the mess by yourself."
    Last edited by Pumpkin337; 06-30-2014 at 05:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User 108 fountains's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Falls Church, Virginia
    An enjoyable short short. I liked the idea of the doppleganger not being aware that he is the copy/that he thnks he is the original. The unstated question then becomes - How can anyone know who is the original and who is the doppleganger?
    Your maintaining the use of the first person "I" when the narrator switches to the person entering the room reinforces this idea. A nice little story.
    A just conception of life is too large a thing to grasp during the short interval of passing through it.
    Thomas Hardy

  3. #3
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    Jun 2014
    Here and There
    why thank you kindly for the nice feedback... yes it was deliberately written to create the lack of clarity as to who was who. I'm glad the ambiguity came through.

  4. #4
    twist twist's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    I loved your story, especially the humour. The diplopia and optician advert are cleverly woven in.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2014
    Here and There
    Thank you

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