2789 A.D.

I settled easily into the archaic sofa and turned on some "rap" music with a plastic remote that used pathetic IR technology and giggled. So outdated. I was part of a study group being paid to live life as it had been about eight hundred years ago. No immersion-games, no marbleguide orbs, no galaxy-net connection, not even lumi-glow lights.

But I'd smuggled in one piece of technology I couldn't bare to do without. My Multitasker. Some decried the dangers of the device, but it was so useful, how could anyone ignore it? It was just a simple hood, easily disguised as a primitive "bicycle" helmet. The matter-transference box had been harder to smuggle, but I'd gotten into my new "house" with everything okay.

I glanced around before placing the Multitasker over my head. It fit snuggly and blotted out everything. There were cameras in each house that were required to run a certain amount every day, but to protect our privacy, we were allowed to choose when. I called out the password, followed by a category word, and felt a quick jolt, followed by a moment of light-headedness.

Within a few minutes, a tiny being crawled into the room. Just four simple limbs, a small body, and a big head with one glassy black eye. A clone. Sort of. A small portion of my brain was removed and implanted into the little body. Now it could do something I didn't want to while I watched the 9:00 news and Sienfeld. "Go cook me some potatoes, and umm...a cheesebooger." Wait. "Cheeseburger!" I corrected. That was close.

Most stopped at one clone. None ever went past three. A warning tone sounded in my head as I made two more clones. One to read a book, another to do the algebra "homework" my "school" had assigned. When I was done, the world seemed a little different. New, like there was so much to see and experience. I was curious. What would happen if I made a fourth clone?

In a few minutes, I was surrounded by clones. Colors ran together, and every sense brought fresh stimulation. As these senses began to black out, I wondered with no truly coherent thought if I should stop. But I'd lost control of my limbs, and my skull was sucked dry of all save my brain stem as I slumped into the sofa cushion.