Featured Review on this writing by hullabaloo22

To kill: to die and live again

Reads: 221  | Likes: 3  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A warrior for the faith. On eating your cake and still having it.

Submitted: February 01, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: February 01, 2019



“Did you have any qualms?”

“About my mission or the backup plan?”

“Both, really. But let's start with the attack.”

“Look, I had tried everything. If I had gone public .. well, I knew what they did with whistle-blowers.”

“I get that you would have broken your confidentiality agreement. You would certainly have ended up in court. But you would have got the message out. The project could well have been stopped.”

He laughs.

“It would never have got to court. You have no idea. The stakes were the highest possible. The clients were the military, for God's sake. I would have been disappeared!”

“So how did you carry out the operation?”

“There was an away day. An internal conference. They’d all be there, the technical guys and the managers. These days it’s not that hard to build a device. I was down to attend and .. well, it was not so hard.”

“And you had no qualms?”

“You’ve got to be joking. I talked it over after Church with my Minister. Obviously in the most general possible terms …”

(Sardonically) “.. Yes, you mentioned you had a confidentiality agreement .. .”

“Right. So he counselled me. What they were doing, it was an abomination. A sin. Some things are more important than one individual’s life.”

“Yet you had your doubts. In your faith, I mean. And that’s where your insurance policy came in?”

“Well who doesn’t? Have the odd crisis of faith, I mean. Yes, I came across the place on the Internet and was sufficiently intrigued to visit.”

“So it seemed like an insurance policy?”

He laughs.

“That would be cynical. It was a thought, though. The office was next to the usual Catholic tourist shops. The title fitted well enough, Reincarnation Ltd. Inside it was more like a private doctor’s suite.”

“And you were lucky enough to see the founder himself, I believe?”

“Yes, those were the early days, before it all took off. I remember thinking he looked like Dr Freud. The big black beard and glasses. He explained the schedule and administered psychometric and intelligence tests. Then we booked the biographical sessions. It was expensive of course but I could afford it. After all, what else was I going to spend my savings on, heh heh.”

“So you completed the course, they captured the major events of your life in the most exquisite detail, along with photos, videos and your social media trail .. and most importantly the DNA sample for cloning. So then you knew you were - in some sense - safe.”

“I didn’t exactly think of it like that. I am, after all, a believer. I was doing the work of the faith. I had every expectation of the afterlife. And yet …”

“So boom.”

“Yes, boom. A very big one. And then I’m waking up again. As I grow up I do the regular VR immersions in my reconstructed past life. The company has really perfected that. My past life memories are as real - as rooted - as any of my current ones. I’m in no doubt at all as to who I am.”

“And you have no doubts about what you did in your previous life, no qualms? Don’t worry, the law does not hold you to account for any of that.”

“No. I would do it all again. It was an abomination.”


So the techniques were well-known and reliable. The project was well founded technically, if ethically controversial. Your company was not an industry leader, in fact it was rather mediocre but it was prepared to do a project which higher-minded companies had turned down.

The explosion wiped out the key personnel but not the records, which contractually were backed-up in real time with the client. The military simply took the project to another company, this time with better screening and more success.

And the military had good reasons to be concerned. The country’s strategic competitors in the East had better engineers, better scientists and abler leaders. There was a competency gap. The tailored virus would simply correct cumulative genetic load and tweak alleles to the versions which were known to increase IQ. It was not compulsory; it would be offered as an option. Free for the most deprived.

And in the years following your little act of sabotage, it caught on. Parents as always wanted the best for their kids and the treatment combatted disease and increased IQ by around 15 points on average. We have today the smartest, most successful, the healthiest, most long-lived and happiest population ever, and we avoided national eclipse.


“Well, given the circumstances the authorities obviously weren’t going to alter your genome. So you have ended up as one of the more challenged members of our society, living off state support. What do you make of us?”

“It’s fun - of course, I don’t really get most of it.”

© Copyright 2019 AdamCarlton. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:




More Science Fiction Short Stories