April 1 2035
As muffled sounds slowly became a fuzzy semi-consciousness, I could see lighting strips overhead, out of focus and passing quickly by. I was moving down a starkly white hallway.
The last thing I remember was playing rook at the clubhouse...
When suddenly an Angel of Mercy appeared, her face shrouded in white.
“Mr. Scott,” spoke the Angel, “You had a massive cardio infarction. You are in the Rejuvenation Center at St. Mary’s hospital. You are in a Ttocs Mark IV stasis capsule. Blink if you can hear me, you are unable to speak.”
It is finally time to give up this old body and transfer into my syntho-clone I thought happily, tears of joy leaking from my eyes; I am going to be young again!
I blinked and my Angel smiled, “That’s great Mr. Scott. I see that your rejuvenation policy allows for an upgrade from the Marcus 23 artificial heart. I also see that you have been pre-approved by our credit department for an upgrade to a Jarvis model 2 sports heart using our easy payment plan. Would you like to approve the upgrade Mr. Scott? Blink 1 for yes and 2 for no.”
Stunned, I blinked one in reflex. They had the wrong Mr. Scott’s charts! I raged. I was to be transferred into a military combat clone with a lifespan of 200 years.
“I will take that as a yes,” my Angel said happily.
“Mr. Scott Would you like a body rejuvenation to go with that fancy new heart?” cooed my Angel. “I am sure with a social rating like yours I can get a credit approval and you will walk out of here tomorrow literally a new man.”
I heard alarms as rage flashed thru my mind; darkness encroached from the sides of my eyes. I felt a rush of relief as the Mark IV stepped in and brought everything back into focus.
“Welcome back Mr. Scott,” giggled my Angel, “that was a close call! April Fool! I really had you going didn’t I. Don’t be mad, we do that to all of today’s transfers, just a little hospital humour,” she said still giggling and red-faced from suppressed laughter.
“Your clone is ready,” said my Angel suddenly all business, “The transfer will begin once you and your clone are in sync. I will see you after the transfer to certify it is complete. The technicians will induce the synchronisation momentarily Mr. Scott,” said my Angel as she disappeared.
As I lay waiting for the synchronisation, I heard the door whoosh open, then two sets of human footsteps entering my room.
“Is that him, the big shot owner of Ttocs Industries?” a young male voice sneered. “Yeah that’s him,” growled an older male voice.
“Too bad. He is not going to like losing all that money the moment she wakes up,” said the younger voice, chuckling, “What kind of a man would give up all his money and privileges by transferring to some female clone.”
“Our client, that’s who, now get to work, we are behind schedule!” growled the older voice. “The client wants to make sure he is never found and returned to a man’s body.”
“Can you believe the President’s speech last night,” scoffed the younger voice, “He wants to give all women the right to own property, get a job besides taking care of the house and allow them to vote.”
I heard pneumatic tools and metallic thumps as they removed a wall panel behind me.
“No one can stop us now,” boasted the younger voice.
“Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Shut up and keep your eyes on those security feeds,” growled the older voice. ”This guy’s got a military spec Guardian mech.”
“It will never make it past Congress,” said the older voice, “Imagine women with the right to vote and own property, that’s a man’s job! What’s the world coming to?”
Hah hah hah! I’m not going to be the April Fool again, I thought, Bravo Brother, Bravo, well played indeed. This is your best April fool’s joke in years.
My Angel of Mercy came into my surgery suite, her white robes immaculate, flanked by two medi-mechs, who immediately began releasing me from the stasis pod. “You will be happy to know, your emergency transfer was a complete success Miss Mott,” she said softly beaming with happiness at her creation.
“Miss Mott? My name is Johnston Scott and I own Ttocs Medical Industries!” I screamed in a strange female voice.
“I have engaged several marriage brokers for you Miss Mott,” my Angel continued nonplussed. “However with the amount of medical debt you have incurred it will be extremely difficult to find you a reputable husband. We will try our best for you”
“My name is Johnston Scott! I demand to see the Administrator!” I screamed.
“No dear, your name is Lucretia Mott unmarried, indebted, female and Ttocs industries level one line worker,” snarled my Angel of Mercy with the suppressed rage of a fanatical man hater.
“Talk like that again and I will send you to social reeducation, where you will learn your place! Now sign these or I will do my duty and incinerated your unstable transfer in the name of Mercy!”
I kept my mouth shut and played along, signing the forms for my release and a guarantee of debt to Ttocs Industries to be imprinted on my new sub-dural identchip, expecting another April Fool exclamation at any second.
As I followed her out the door I was stunned to see my Guardian mech standing statue still in the hallway outside the door of the surgical suite and my reflection in its polished steel skin. This was no April Fool’s day prank! My only brother has sold me into economic slavery in a female’s body.
Todd Embry is a very talented writer and has an ambitious career ahead.