Clone culture began with security for the President of the United
States. The President needed a look-alike to fill in for him during
public occasions in case he was assassinated. The existence of the
look-alike was kept secret for security reasons, and he was known only
to top officials at the White House. While he had no official status,
and no official identity and in effect did not exist as a person in
his own right, he carried a great amount of power. He was so close in
appearance to the President that it was possible for him to take some
of the Presidential responsibilities into his own hands.
Some of the chief security people for the White House had connections
with top business people and organized crime people around the world.
It became known that the President was really more than one person.
Extremely rich people with many responsibilities began to emulate the
President and hire clones for themselves. They did this for three
reasons: 1) One person could not do as much as several people. 2) If
the head of a corporation was assassinated another figurehead could
seamlessly step in and take his place. 3) It became a status symbol
among the top echelons of world power to have more than one self.
Plastic surgery was expensive, and a secret new breed of medical
people began to exist to create clones. Surgical techniques were
developed for making clones which far exceeded medical science
available to the normal population. There were a few gurus of plastic
surgery who were valued by the top echelons of world power in the
realms of business, organized crime, and politics who lived secretly
in Guelph. Guelph General Hospital was in fact a haven for the clone
Clone culture was not entirely legal. Clones would have one identity,
one driver's licence, and one social security number. Clone life was
dangerous. If a clone was murdered, there was no way of proving it
since clones had no official existence. Clone society was closed and
entirely secretive, because clones felt that they would never be
accepted nor understood by normal society. To live in Guelph one must
be either totally oblivious to clone culture, or one must be
sympathetic to it.
I asked the Lennys to confide in me. I wanted to know them as
individuals. But Lenny insisted that he was only one person. I could
never get him to admit that he was a clone. I began to be plagued by
jealousies. I wondered where some of him were while he was with me.
I was always with one of him, I was never alone. But what did the
rest of him do while I was with one of him? Did they truly love me?
I tried not to ask about his other selves because he seemed bothered
by my questions. I could see that his loyalty to his selves exceeded
his confidence in me.
I realized that Erin's murder was hushed up because Erin was involved
with clones. I had never known her to have other selves, but while I
was in boarding school with her I had not had the benefit of the
secret radio and television broadcasts to enlighten me as to clone
culture. If Erin was in fact a clone, then public knowledge of her
murder would endanger the existence of her clones. If she was known
to be dead, then they would have no image to live for.
What I now knew about clones made some distressing details about my
life make sense. I had noticed that my parents changed several times
as I was growing up. Sometimes my father had blue eyes, and sometimes
he had green eyes. The temperaments of both my parents seemed to
radically change at different points during my life. It was obvious
to me now that I had been raised by a series of clones.
But why had I been raised by clones? Who would go to such expense to
raise me? Surely my clone parents were security people, with rotating
assignments. I vaguely remembered being told that my parents had been
killed in a car crash while they were on holidays in Montreal. Then
identical parents were brought in to replace them. Perhaps someone
did not want me to be upset about losing my parents, so they were
replaced? But what was I doing with a set of clone parents in the
I began to remember being very small, and living in a different place.
My father was a spy. I had heard secrets that I was not supposed to
hear, so I had to be guarded to make sure I did not mention those
secrets to the wrong people. That must be why I had a series of clone
parents as I was growing up. Clones were a secret but well
established practice in the security industry.
Since I was living with clones and was in love with them, and my whole
life seemed to have gravitated around clones, I was very curious about
how they thought. It must be an unusual experience for there to be
several people who looked exactly like you who shared your
identity. Secrecy would become a second nature. All of Guelph seemed
to share in this secrecy, and its people seemed to have a tacit shared
I thought about clone love. The bond among clones seemed stronger
than anything I could imagine. It seemed an ultimate form of
narcissism. I wished to know what it was like. One day the television
told me to go to the store and get some milk. I believe that I was
hypnotized by the secret broadcasts, as a gift, to be able to
understand what it was like to love as a clone. As I was walking down
the street beside the river, I felt my stride change to become more
masculine. I felt my hair become short and brown, and my mouth become
wider. As I paused at the corner for a red light, I saw him. A man
in my image. I felt a joy that exceeded every pleasure I had ever
felt before. He was on the opposite corner, waiting to cross the
street. He had brown hair and a wide mouth. The light changed and we
began to cross the street. He smiled glowingly at me, and I knew that
he recognized himself in me as I recognized myself in him. As we
passed in the street we nodded at each other, and then the illusion
vanished. I was left with a new appreciation for what the Lennys must
feel for each other.
Another plane flew overhead as I was entering the store. I wondered
why I was being kept under such heavy surveillance. All of Guelph
seemed to be full of security people. I was learning to pick up their
subtle cues to each other. The store seemed full of quietly serious
people, all hyper-aware and wired for sound. I passed by them towards
the big refrigerators at the back of the store where I reached for the
milk, politely trying to avoid letting on that I knew they were
security people. I went to pay for the milk. The woman behind the
counter seemed strange. She was immensely corpulent, with beautiful
skin. So much beautiful skin. Then I realized something which scared
me. She was growing skin to be used by the plastic surgeons. She was
being fat farmed for the clones.