Chapter 1 – Begin: Marcus

Wild West Science Fiction

SAP_Watson_Codop

In the year 2030 – the first computerized doppelganger (codop) was created.  In every way it matched the person that was copied (the inhu – individual human) in decision making – at least in the beginning.

Being proactive in politics is a rare attribute – and the existence of codops was easily predictable in the early years after the year 2000, nobody did anything.  It was something the future would have to deal.

In the year 2040 businesses would gain the ability to create codops.

_______________________________________________

Daniel McFadden, Vice President of Investigative Data Analysis sat at his desk as Marcus Sanders arrived.

Nodding to each other, shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries the two knew of each other, but did not know each other.  It wasn’t like it was a matter of not liking each other or anything like that – it was a simple fact that one was a Vice President of a 2,000 person department and the other was the best Data Analyst on that 2,000 person department.

Marcus was showing his discomfort at the meeting.  There was no indication why he was meeting Daniel McFadden.  After the pleasantries Marcus sat uncomfortably.

“Marcus”, Daniel began slowly looking intently at his subordinate, “We have a very special project that I want you to be a part.”

“Th-th-thanks, sir.”  Relief spread of Marcus’ mind.  Marcus’ mind had been going down the alley that he was here to be fired.  “I’m always ready and willing to participate in projects.

“This isn’t so much about participating in the project.  You are the project.”

“I do-don’t understand how you mean.  I’m always in the project.”  Nervousness spread through him again.  His neat suit and outwardly calm demeanor ruffled at the idea that something he didn’t understand was going to happen.  What was the difference,  Part of a project or being the project?

“Technology has improved enormously over the past two decades.  Have you heard about the codops?”

“I’m sorry, Mr. McFadden.  I’m really good at data analysis because it is my life.  I don’t have time to follow esoteric sciences.  I don’t even look at what the data is that I analyze.  I don’t like bringing any of my opinions in to the data.  I use anonymous field names and table names so I don’t know what anything actually represents.  I just perform my mathematic analysis and statistical models and let the data speak for itself.  Then I replace the aggregated field names and table names and return it to the business user.”

“And that!  And that is part of what makes you do your magic.  And only you.”

“Yes, sir.”  Marcus couldn’t come up with a better response.  Yes, sir – always seems to work even when you don’t know what is happening.  Marcus did not think his job was anything special.

“Codops are electronic or computerized copies of living humans.  We want to make a codop of you.  You are as efficient as any 5 of our analysts.”

“You want to make a copy of me?”

“Yes, and we will make it worth your time.”  Daniel McFadden studied Marcus

Marcus became uncomfortable.  It seemed to him that Daniel wasn’t done speaking and yet, there it was either noiseless words or the sound of silence from the VP.  “Yes, sir.” didn’t seem suitable for the moment.

Daniel decided as bravely as anything that the best path to choose here was silence.  He returned Daniel McFadden, VP’s gaze appearing to be brave when in fact Marcus had no idea what to do.

Daniel McFadden was surprised.  It was time to talk money and he was waiting from Marcus to break down and ask how much it would be worth his time.  The staring contest continued.  Marcus, with no real idea in his mildly autistic mind what he was supposed to do and Daniel McFadden waiting for Marcus to ask how much.

Sorry, as a narrator I have to apologize.  There just isn’t much going on at the moment.  Two adult men staring at each other, neither one knowing that the other doesn’t understand the situation at all.

McFadden decided this was going to get expensive if he wanted Marcus’ cooperation.  Marcus had a stone wall up that meant he could just walk away and be fine.  McFadden needed Marcus.

“We’ll pay you 10 times your annual salary to make two codops of yourself.”  McFadden was gasping internally, but not outwardly showing the trials of the negotiation.  Marcus was surprised at the announcement.  He would have done it for three times his salary as that would have made sense.

“Yes, sir.”  Marcus did not crack a smile or breath a sigh of relief.  The first he didn’t really feel like doing and the second wasn’t something a polite person did in front of a VP of the company.

There were documents that were signed.

“Marcus, you will be contacted by a firm called Codopolis shortly.  You are to drop everything and go directly to them when required.”

“Yes, sir.”

With that exchange the first corporate codop was signed in to existence and closely thereafter the second.

______________________________________________________________

A Codopolis executive walked in to the room shortly after Marcus left.

“Well, that went smoothly”, the Codopolis executive said.

“Yes, he’ll never know that we are making hundreds of copies of him 500 copies(!) – to replace the entire worldwide data analysis department.  He’ll have contact with the two and the rest will be our prisoners.”

“And you are willing to pay for all these codops?”
“Hell, yes”  McFadden broke in to the only genuine smile he’d had all day.  “I can’t wait to fire all of our data analysts and the savings – really just a portion of the ROI – will pay for the codops, computing time, and computing hardware.  This is an opportunity of a lifetime!”

The Codopolis executive nods and smiles.

Far more profit for him once this concept is proven than McFadden could ever dream to make.

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