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Mortification

LJ Idol, Week 14
Prompt: Mortification


CIC Emergency Alert
March 3, 2021

For Immediate Distribution

The Center for Identity Control announced today the discovery of the 200th Mortimer Wilson, in Anchorage, Alaska. According to the CIC, Mortimer Wilsons have now been discovered in every state. Growing fear of the outbreak has caused many countries to institute severe travel restrictions on flights emanating from the United States to prevent a world-wide catastrophe. United States officials admit that no solution exists for the epidemic of duplicates.

Dr. Mortimer Wilson, Ph.D., M.D., is cooperating with the CIC, pledging his full support for any “necessary, but humane” measures. “But really, what’s the problem with more of me?” he added.

Dr. Mortimer Wilson is identity zero for the spreading crisis. Dr. Wilson, a brilliant but unstable researcher from Stanford University, merged the fields of cloning, DNA splicing, and 3D printers to create a process he named “Mortification,” which allows the unlimited creation of duplicate life forms, including humans. “I wasn’t just duplicating identities,” Dr. Wilson stated in an interview. “Any fool with a computer and a printer can create false identities. Each of these is the real me!”

Mortification creates genetically identical duplicates of the original source material, in this case, Mortimer Wilson. After creating the original prototype, identified as Mortimer 1, Dr. Wilson left his lab for lunch. Unfortunately, he accidentally left the copier running, and in his absence, ten more Mortimers were produced.

The first batch also left for lunch. Fortunately, the 3D printer reproduced Dr. Wilson’s clothes, including his “Elvis Lives!” t-shirt and tie-dyed lab coat. The Mortimers easily blended in with nearby Silicon Valley inhabitants, and then spread rapidly from Ground Zero.

Mortimers possess brains identical to Dr. Wilson’s, including his memories and ethics. Each Mortimer is therefore fully capable of duplicating Dr. Wilson’s work, and creating an endless supply of other Mortimers, each one an exact replica of Dr. Wilson. With the Mortification technology, asexual reproduction of adult Mortimers is expected. “I was never exactly a lady’s man,” Dr. Wilson admitted.

So far, the FBI has raided twelve new Mortification facilities, ranging from California to the East Coast. Accounting for variations in the 3D printers, the CIC estimates that a duplicate Mortimer can be produced every hour. Mortification will expand quickly as new Mortimers set up their own underground labs. In the worst-case scenario, the United States will be completely Mortified in less than fifty years.

Manufacturers and retailers are being urged to destroy all existing 3D printers in an effort to slow the rate of Mortification. Opposition is expected. “Look, people can use our printers to make guns, so why not use them to make people?” asked Veronica Tubish, head of the 3D Printers Manufacturing Association. “After all, at least Mortimers don’t kill people,” added her identical twin sister.

Under current plans, Mortimer Centers are being established in sparsely inhabited areas of the United States, including Nevada and Arizona. As each Mortimer is found, he will be transported to the nearest Center for processing. When asked for details about the program, Col. Roberts, head of the project, refused, stating “It’s just ‘processing’, O.K.? Let’s leave it at that.” Non-essential personnel have been barred from the Centers.

Currently, the legal status of Mortimers is uncertain. Legal scholars contend that, as human beings, they are entitled to all rights and protections afforded to Dr. Wilson. The President has urged Congress to pass legislation dealing with the crisis, but gridlock continues. “The President doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” said Representative Arbuckle. “Yeah,” added his twin brother.

In the meantime, the CIC is asking all Mortimers to report to law enforcement agencies for voluntary relocation. Given the limited social skills exhibited by Dr. Wilson, however, authorities are not hopeful of complete compliance. “If you see any Mortimers, please notify the local police,” advised Dr. Gibson of the CIC. “Do not contact them yourselves, and do not assist them in any way, especially by giving them money. It only encourages them.”

Identity profilers are meeting with Dr. Wilson to create a psychological analysis of the Mortimers to aid in locating them. The initial profile is for a pudgy white male, age 47, balding, with awkward social skills and a fondness for puns. He will appear intelligent and “nice,” but do not let anyone matching this description near a computer or medical lab. Photographs of Dr. Wilson are expected to be in wide circulation.

The FBI predicts increased crime in areas of heavy Mortification due to Dr. Wilson’s juvenile brushes with law enforcement (“Little misunderstandings” – Dr. Wilson; “Hah!” – Officer Watkins). The inability of witnesses to tell the difference between Mortimers is critical, according to the FBI. “Current technology cannot distinguish between the DNA or fingerprints of Mortimers,” said Special Agent Hank Maursky of the Mortimer Joint Task Force. “It’s the ‘evil twin’ defense run amok,” stated criminal defense attorney Laura Stanley. “Any Mortimer charged with a crime should immediately contact me for high quality representation at rock bottom prices. You can do the crime without doing the time!”

Authorities expect these stop-gap measures to slow the rate of Mortification, and they are confident that a solution will be found. Some analysts predict that without strong government action, there will soon be herds of Mortimers roaming the country.

In a recent interview, Dr. Wilson questioned the need for any action. “Sure, that’s a lot of Mortimers, but it could just as easily be a lot of you. Anyone can be Mortified. Besides, would anyone be complaining about more George Clooneys in the world?” Mr. Clooney could not be reached for comment, but his agent stated that Mr. Clooney would be meeting soon with Dr. Wilson to discuss “upcoming projects.”

According to the CIC, there are early indications that the problem may no longer be limited to Mortimers, due to a sudden increase in adult twins. The CIC asks that everyone remain calm, cooperate with authorities, and quit Mortimizing themselves. “You’re not helping!” said Dr. Ruiz, head of the CIC Mortimer Crisis Team.

Additional information will be released as necessary.
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