There was an article in the paper that morning, about the man who killed his double. He got off: you don’t prosecute people for removing a faulty body part, even if the body part is shaped like a human.
I read it while I waited for the bus. Front page.
Daria would read it, too, when she and her hangover finally woke up, but she wouldn’t pay much attention until they told her I left. Then she’d load her gun and start looking.
New York was on the horizon and coming closer. I pressed my face to the bus window and watched the streets, where blank-faced doubles trailed behind their confident firsts. Clones, photocopies, doppelgangers. People.
Once off the bus, I pushed my way down the crowded sidewalks. Everywhere we went, Daria always had a driver.
There was a busker on a street near Central Park, strumming his guitar, enjoying his music whether the crowd did or not. I stopped nearby and watched, though nobody else did.
He noticed me first, my guitar case second, and smiled. “Want to join me?” he called when the song ended.
I walked over. “Sure. But I don’t have a permit.”
I looked closer, the guy's face was blank now that he wasn't singing. So . . . he was a double. His first was lounging, foot cocked against the rail fence, grinning.
Crap, here came Daria, her driver skidding to a halt as she tucked and rolled in drama queen style to a flat body pose on the cement, aiming her gun back and forth at the first and the double.
I froze her in a bubble and the first and I jammed for about an hour while the double went limp to recharge. These doubles and double bubbles with their street begging and busking were seriously starting to interfere with life on planet Earth. Ah well, a volcanic ash cloud, earthquakes, asteroids . . . Earth was toast anyway. Figured I might as well speed up the process, prevent riots at Wal-mart. I freeze-shrank the Earth, shoved it my pocket and went home to Mirvbal. Now that's a planet.
Opening: Rachel.....Continuation: Bibi