by A.F. Runyon
It looked like Phillip and it talked like Phillip. It made love and did the dishes just like Phillip. When it played with the kids, it laughed, joked, and reprimanded just like Phillip. After a time, I began to forget the funeral and that horrible night when I lost the real Phillip. He had been so young, and there was no way that any loving god would have cursed our family to be without him. Thatâ€™s why we had enlisted in the program in the first place.
We had gone over our finances and taken out the necessary loan before going into the Yamashita Cybernetics Lab to get the small neural recorders placed in our frontal lobes. The recorder would act as a sponge of perceptions and reactions throughout our daily lives, and if one of us should ever die in some untimely manner, a full-scale replica could be made with the information uploaded into it. It just so happened that it was Phillip who went first.
It was a simple thing that took him. He was leaving the office for some coffee and a muffin, and then a perfectly ordinary young woman in a hurry to reach some appointment or other had smashed into him at 40 miles per hour, and then he was gone.