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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 20 page 15

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But if Jorry could make a replacement persona for the individual he had just dissected out, and if he could ultra quickly insert that replacement doppelganger into the hole he’d created in time, like if he could do it mega-efficiently, maybe the fabric of time would seal itself again and heal around the wound and accept the new place-holder individual? And then time could proceed without any interruption. Yeah, he needed a doppelganger.

The clock radio moved past midnight.

No. No way! Jorry had a new inspiration. “Of course!” he said into the darkness. He punched his pillow as if he were hitting the heavy bag at the drop-in gym at the recreation centre. He didn’t need to make a fake person at all! That would be doing things the hard way. It was, like, way more simple. All Jorry had to do was to make a duplicate! Like copying a file on a computer. He could copy one person and their entire identity. Then he’d take that duplicate and speed up time or slow it down for the duplicate. He could send the duplicate — or was it replicate? — yeah, that was what the person would be, a replicate, because he could make more than one single copy — so he could send the replicate anywhere, anytime, any speed. Brilliant!

Jorry would have to begin by studying genetics, 3-D printing, fabrication, cloning, engineering, electronics, high-speed technologies, laser cutting, additive manufacturing, fused depositioning....

It was a lot of science stuff to imagine, but nothing but a blip in the ruminations of Jorry’s eleven-year-old cognition. Genius! He’d have to be careful with the cloning thing. That was mere redundant biology and he didn’t want only a physical twin or a genetic identical, but an exact replica with the same experiences and memories and identical capabilities. The replicate could speed ahead or fall into any time that Jorry would then orchestrate. He was now ultra-sure that he himself didn’t want to be this sort of test subject, he’d be the director rather than the actor.

He fell asleep finally, with thoughts still morphing in front of his closed eyelids. It was shortly after 3:00 a.m.

The next few weeks progressed like time before. School was boring. Nothing to report. Uncle Sylvan was still visiting. That guy must read a lot, sleep a lot. He stayed alone a lot. His birthday was tomorrow.

At suppertime, Jorry’s mother called six times. He finally came to the dinner table to enjoy chicken and mashed potatoes and green beans — ultra starving because all this imagination he was using burned a ton of calories.

“What’s that noise coming from your room?” his mother said.

“I didn’t hear anything.”

“There it is again. Did you leave the radio on?”

“Nah. It must be one of my inventions.”

“Eat your green beans.”

Uncle Sylvan was there. He smiled and ate his own green beans.

Good thing Jorry’s mother was not overly inquisitive in these matters. She’d always been more worried about green beans and dinner times.

Besides, Jorry was not so sure what kind of punishment she’d consider doling out if she found an exact replicate of Uncle Sylvan scintering a compound of polymers onto a spinning time-accelerator, and another Uncle Sylvan fabricating components for the extrusion of thinner and more detailed digital slices while another Uncle Sylvan laser-blasted the impeller of a 3-D printer and another Uncle Sylvan measured thermoplastic powders.

Jorry’s bedroom seemed kind of crowded these days with all the replicates and none of them spoke very much. In fact they usually didn’t say a single word. Kind of shy, Jorry thought. No problemo.