Tuesday, August 08, 2006


The latest, most ethically challenging yet undeniably exciting extreme sport ever has arrived and it truly is a killer.

Mark looks up and sees an image of man with a gun. The man is staring into a mirror, his reflection stares back.

Hey you! Bored of jumping off things? Tired of racing things? Sick of trying to look death in the eye and seeing nothing?

Then KillClone™ is for you.

With cloning technology, now a 24-hour hassle free procedure the time is has come for you to create the perfect nemesis for an urban-based game of kill or be killed.

It’s you against you and you alone.

The ultimate match, the ultimate challenge, the ultimate thrill.

The part of the poster which tells you where to apply, the cost, the usual legal crap; you know the kind of thing, ‘the makers of KillClone™ are not liable in the event of your death’ and such like is torn away.

He didn’t think it was odd that the poster was in the alley way, hell, in the past few months these things had popped up just about everywhere. He was surprised however, that someone had made such a bad job of putting it up in the first place.

‘Shoddy workmanship’ he thought to himself.

Mark waited in the dark, out of sight. He had been here hours, but it felt like days. He tightly gripped the Maxi-DEATH™ pistol in both hands, he tried desperately to stay as silent and as still as he possibly could, it wasn’t easy, not when you’re soaked to the skin, starving hungry and scared.

He knew that this was the fight of his life, the fight for his life. Did he have a chance? It was no longer 50/50; apparently, they always won… or rather his kind always won… that is if he was one or the other. He just did not know anymore, he thought he was real, but then so did they.

Sure it had been exciting at the beginning, virtually broadcast across the entire world the first contests had become instant celebrities, more important than Popstars, Soapstars, Geneticists or even High Def Presenters.

Predictably, the liberal marginal media were outraged; the morality of it sickened them. ‘Murder for sport’, the flyers declared, and ‘Slaughter for personnel pleasure’ they chanted outside the gates of the company. ‘Surely, someone was accountable?’ the campaigns cried on the HD bulletins, ‘It was cold bloodied murder’ they screamed, ‘plain and simple’.

Except it was not that simple. How can you prosecute someone for killing you when you are still alive? And if you are prosecuted then you could not use the argument that it was self-defence; not when it is you that has attacked you. What rights did you have and what rights did a copy of you have?

The courts got themselves into knots over the legal ramification of the sport.

The makers of KillClone™ further complicated matters by never publicly revealed whether it was the original or the copy that had triumphed at the conclusion of a contest. Questions were asked of course, but the company just brushed it off with clever PR logic;

“If you knew it was a clone of your husband, brother, father that had been the winner of the contest could you accept them into your homes and your lives knowing they’d killed your loved one despite the fact they are exactly the same?”

The thing was though, not knowing was worse. Marriages broke up, families were torn apart, but still they signed up.

Eight days after Mark signed up to take part in KillClone™ the horrific truth was revealed. An anonymous source had come forward, a disgruntled employee of the company, or maybe an ex-contestant with a conscience. No one knew, and frankly, no one cared, because the truth he revealed had already sent shockwaves around the globe.

The outcome had been the same in every single one of the thousands of battles between clone and original that had taken place since the games commenced barely 12 months earlier. Without exception.

Why was it? Again, no one really knew although a popular consensus was quickly formed; they just wanted to win more.

‘What was that?’ Mark fumbled with the surprisingly lightweight hunk of death dealing metal in his hands. Clicking off the safety he slowly rose to his feet to look over the small wooden fence that separated him from his family home which stood bathed in spotlights no farther that 100 metres from his position.

‘I wonder if the kids are in bed?’ thought Mark before BLAMMO!

The force of a sledgehammer hit him squarely in the chest. He was thrown backwards against the aging trunk of rotten tree he had long meant to cut down.

There was no pain, just shock, was he hit? He must have been.

‘Get up, get going’, he told himself, but as he tried for his feet he realised there was nothing there, in fact there was nothing below his chest.

He looked up and saw himself stand before him with a Maxi-DEATH™ rifle. He saw himself kneel down and felt himself gently place his hand on his face.

“I wasn’t sure” Mark said, “I wasn’t sure if I was real or not”.

His doppelganger leant in close and tenderly kissed him on the forehead.

“You’re about to die Mark, so I guess that means you are”.

With that a Mark died.

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