One Shot by Justina Robson

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Короткий фантастический рассказ Джастины Робсон, который NewScientist зачем-то спрятал за paywall.

One Shot by Justina Robson

Letter from J. Yolanda Baron to The Crystal Corporation

Dear Sirs,

I am Janet Yolanda Baron, of the Riverside Barons, number eight in
line. As the sole owner and keeper of the Baron germline deeds I am
writing to formally request that you return all records and frozen
clone materials to myself at your earliest convenience as I do not
require further clones to extend the lifetime passage of our
particular iteration of The Code.

My lawyer informs me that you will require a witnessed authorisation
of reasons for this decision before you consign the germline to me
because our contracts specifically state that you may not release
materials which might be subject to future lawsuits based upon their
viability and the size of the estate to which any unliving
individuals might have been entitled. I therefore enclose a legal
document which confirms my intention to destroy the Yolanda Baron
germline for reproductive and all other purposes.

This indemnifies you against the so-called "death angel" action by
which my surviving relatives might require you to create yet another
monozygotic twin of the late Yolanda Baron. The laws governing
"unfulfilled individual temporally extended clone experiences" are
notoriously difficult, I understand. (I refer to Dwayne vs Crystal
Corporation in which you were sued successfully for 'unpropagated
actualisation leading to a permanent cessation of experience and
evolutionary progress for the Dwayne Cortez germline'). I don't want
that crap to follow another Yolanda Baron around like poor Dwayne
Cortez. Look what happened to him.

Whilst I myself have been protected by the law I must remark that my
decision has been taken precisely because I have no faith that
anything of my experience could be of use to any future "iterations"
of the Baron line. Previous Barons: P. Yolanda, M. Yolanda, A.
Yolanda and Z. Yolanda have all left exhaustively detailed records
of their lifetime experiences and although I find some interesting
notes and entertainment within them I have yet to discern anything
that looks to me like a forward step of personal growth beyond the
ordinary changes of a human span. Whilst they might have been
sisters to me, I feel no sense of identity with them, despite our
obvious and extensive physical resemblances and a few preferences
for salty foods and hot climates.

M. Yolanda Baron herself contemplated a similar action although she
did not carry it out and passed it on for another four generations.
I am grateful to her, but at the same time being a clone with so
much expected of me has been a great burden. As I am shortly to
succumb to the inevitable failures of the body that are the Baron
lot (bronchitis, pneumonia, some kind of heart seizure no doubt) I
feel that it is time to call it a day for the Yolanda Barons. It
isn't as if there aren't plenty of one-shotters around to make up
the numbers.


J. Yolanda Baron (8)