“Tell me again why I have this silly device on my head, Professor…”
“Well, Amy, what I’m trying to do is map your personality. The computer will divide all of your characteristics up into good and bad. The ‘A‘ list notes the more pleasant characteristics of your personality…the ‘B‘ list makes up the more undesirable parts of who you are.”
“Why do you always come to me when you want to do some crazy experiment?”
“Well, you’re getting paid, aren’t you?”
“At least it doesn’t hurt,” Amy replied, “at least not yet.”
The Professor hit a few buttons on his panel. “Madeline, will you show the results of Amy’s brain on the screen please…”
“Yes, Professor,” replied a synthesized female voice from a speaker on the wall. Amy shot Farnsworth an annoyed look.
“Professor, that thing gives me the creeps.”
“Oh, Madeline is a special gal. She is an artificial intelligence computer that enables me to multi-task several experiments at once. And I modeled the voice after that nice lady down at the Starbugs coffee shop.”
“You mean you recorded her? So you’re a stalker now…”
“Nonsense. Can you stay here a few minutes while I check on the cloning experiments?”
“You’re still at that? You are a creep.”
Amy patiently sat there with that large, clunky metal device on her head as the Professor left the lab; she felt rather silly with it on. One minute turned into several. Before she knew it, 20 minutes had gone by. Amy got bored. She found a nail clipper in her pocket, and started trimming her nails just to kill time. As more time went by, she even worked on some toenails. After 45 minutes had gone by, she let out a sigh and pulled the device off of her head. As she left the room, Madeline’s unblinking electronic eyes watched her leave. A tiny robot squealed like a toy as it cleaned up the nail clippings on the floor.
When Farnsworth returned to the testing lab, he realized that he had forgotten all about Amy…it didn’t matter anyway, as he had basically finished his experiment. “Madeline,” he said, “I’ve got to close up shop and head off to my dentist appointment.”
“May I finish up the experiments, Professor?”
“I don’t know why not. I‘ll just check the results with you when I get back.” The cold electronic eyes noted Farnsworth leaving. Lettering began to flash on the Professor’s computer screen after he walked out the door; “Genetic Sampling Complete,” it read. Over in the cloning lab a large machine began to come to life. The door on a coffin like chamber opened up to reveal a thick layer of pink goo. A human hand popped out of the goo and felt around clumsily for the edge of the chamber. A female head then came up from the goopy pink mixture…the eyes popped open, and looked around the room…
“Kiffy,” Amy said on her tiny cell phone, “of course I’ll be there on time. I’ve just got a few errands to run first.” Traffic was a bear over in Little Mars this time of the day, and Amy had to split her focus between the conversation and driving. “I love the idea of the new Venusian Bistro…hey, look - traffic is really getting dicey out here. I’ll see you at noon.”
Amy always hated how nasty the drivers were on the Larry Niven Parkway; this was evidenced by the little Nakajima 4500 that quickly cut in front of her. She dropped her tiny little cell phone. Fumbling around the passenger seat for it, she held it up in triumph when she found it. Amy didn’t notice the Slurm truck that tried to slide in front of her - her shiny new sports sedan crunched right into the dock bumper of the truck. As they stopped on the side of the road, Chinese curse words came up from the car. Amy inspected the damage, but it really wasn’t all that bad. She would just call her insurance agent…it was then that she realized that her tiny cell phone was gone, probably smashed to atoms on the surface of the roadway. She couldn’t even call Kif to tell him what had happened. She would have sent a message on her wrist computer, but that was down at the shop being repaired. A police officer on a hover bike soon made his way over to the two vehicles. Now she wouldn’t be going anywhere for a while.
A naked Chinese-Martian woman stepped out of the industrial shower in the lab, drying herself off with a towel. Again, she looked around in confusion at her suroundings. “Who am I?” she asked in an audible voice. “I remember scraping my knee on the playground in the third grade. I remember my first date. I remember that awful 14th birthday party…I’m Amy Wrong…no, Wong – I am Amy Wong.” She glanced back at the cloning chamber and cocked her head in confusion. “What was I doing in there? Maybe I had another terrible ship crash…wait a minute - another crash?” She knew that she needed clothes, so she left the lab. Amy’s programmed memories were taking a few minutes to come to life in the clone’s brain…another problem the Professor hadn’t had time to rectify. It was like trying to kick-start a stubborn motorcycle. She did remember having a change of clothes in her locker, so she left the lab to get them.
Fry was enjoying another mid-day of television in the lounge when the naked clone came walking through. His eyes got huge. “Amy?” he asked.
“Gah, that’s right…Amy. Why don’t you take a picture…it’ll last longer.” She walked over to him and leaned across the back of the couch. “Hey, you are kinda cute. You are…Friedman, Freyberg, Fry -that’s right…you are Fry. Nice Fry. Kind, gullible, lovable Fry. If I‘m not mistaken, we had a thing for each other once.” She patted his head awkwardly like a dog, and then started to leave the room. “If you want to see more of this, just let me know,” she said, smacking her behind. Fry dropped his can of Slurm, soaking his shirt and pants in the soft drink.
The clone found her way into the locker room, and soon found “her” locker. She got frustrated that it wouldn’t open, until she spotted the retina scanner on the door. She peered into it. “Wong, Amy,” the locker said in a computer voice, and the door popped open. “Aw, hell,” the clone spat, “is this what I wear? Pink and purple? Yuck!”
Fry was still wiping the slurm off of his shirt and pants when Leela came walking into the lounge. “Fry, what did you do?”
“Uh, Leela, is Amy on any new medication lately?”
“She’s taking a new allergy medication that she says makes her light-headed, but what else is new? Why do you ask?”
Fry gave Leela all the gory details about what just happened. She stomped out of the room in anger.
The clone was dressed in Amy’s familiar pink outfit in the locker room when Leela came clomping in. “Amy Wong,” she shouted, “have you totally wigged out?”
“What is your problem, wheel-eye?”
“What did you just do to Fry?”
The clone got a mean look on her face and squinted at Leela. “I rubbed his hair, and I didn’t see your name on his forehead!”
Leela couldn’t contain her rage anymore - she balled up her fist and punched the clone hard in her left upper arm. The woman yelped and pulled her arm back.
“What the hell is going on?” yelled Hermes as he stomped into the room. “There will be no fighting on these work premises!”
The clone started to leave the room while rubbing her arm. She turned to Leela before she left. “You had just better sleep with that eye open, monster-woman.”
The clone found herself out on the street, and she got another strange look on her face. “I’m supposed to meet my husband for lunch. A husband? I have a husband? I have a husband. At the Venusian Bistro…”
Professor Farnsworth came back to the Planet Express building rubbing his mouth. He detested that particular dental assistant, and had often secretly referred to her as the “tooth Nazi.” He was just glad to get back to his lab.
“Professor, your experiment is complete,” said Madeline’s smooth computer voice.
The Professor glanced up with a puzzled look on his face. “Complete? Uh, which experiment is that?”
“The cloning experiment. Genetic material received. Experiment complete.”
Now he had a really confused look on his face. “Madeline, I wasn’t planning on cloning anything or anyone for several weeks at least. What genetic material did you receive?”
“Subject Wong, Amy.” Farnsworth got a lump in his throat when he watched the video of Amy trimming her nails and the little robot sweeping them up after she left.
“Madeline, fast-forward video to 45876.9” His jaw dropped as he watched the Amy clone leaving the lab, sans clothing. “Oh my…”
Kif had an understandably upset look on his face as the clone Amy came up to the Bistro. “Amy…you’re a half an hour late…”
The clone looked at his face and began to chuckle. “You? You are my husband? I’m married to a toad? Ni zài kāiwánxiào? Are you kidding? Hey! I speak Chinese too!” The clone cocked her head back and laughed all the way out of the Bistro. Kif dropped the flowers he was holding for her.
A tired Amy finally made her way into the Planet Express building. She opened up her locker. “Where the hell are my fresh clothes?”
Leela came in to speak with her. “Hey, Leela…boy am I glad to be back to the building; you‘ll never guess what happened to me.”
This drew a puzzled look from Leela. “Back? Well, anyway, I’m not very good with apologies, but I will try.”
“Apologize for what?”
“For what I said, and for punching you earlier.”
“Punching me? I wasn’t here…you never punched me.”
“What…after all you did, and you’re lying now?” Leela grabbed Amy’s wrist and pulled her sleeve up. “Holy crap…there’s no bruise! I hit you hard - how can you not be bruised?”
“Leela,“ she said as she pulled her arm back, “I had a car wreck out near Little Mars this morning…I just got back. And who took the clothes out of my locker? And what did I do?”
“You don’t remember flirting with Fry? Naked?”
“What?! I wasn’t even here!”
“Amy, it’s on the video cameras…”
“Leela, go out there and look at my car!”
As the clone made her way down the busy street, she spotted a rube with a cowboy hat and expensive space boots on. Wasting no time, she plowed right into him.
“Oh, a thousand pardons, sir,” the clone said in a phony Chinese brogue.
“That’s okay, little lady,” the man said, “are you okay?”
“I am most lost being new here. Could you tell me where Costington’s might be?”
“Why sure, ma’am…it’s just down the street over there.”
“Oh, many thanks, kind sir…you are most kind.” She gave a deep humble bow to the cowboy and the two parted ways. “Xie xie, kind sir, thank you!” The clone held up the leather wallet that she got from the man; she couldn’t believe it was so easy to pickpocket somebody. She then began to examine the wallet, and pulled out a big wad of Nixon Funbucks. She smiled from ear to ear as she started counting the money. “Xie xie indeed…thank you, Mr. Billy Masterson. That was easy enough. Now, to replace this crapped up pink clown outfit with some real clothes.” The clone strolled into the entrance of Costington’s.
Amy’s explanation for her activities of the morning were going nowhere with Leela. Then, as if things couldn’t get more complicated, an angry Kif came walking up to the two.
“Kiffy…I’m so sorry I couldn’t meet you for lunch…I had a car wreck.”
“Oh you wrecked something alright - my heart. I can believe you just strolled in late and made fun of me…and then laughed at me as you left.”
“Kif…I wasn’t there…I got tied up on the parkway in a car wreck after helping Farnsworth with an experiment. I never made it to the restaurant.”
Then Fry made his way up into the mess. Amy looked at him with a pleading gesture. “Fry, will you tell these people where I was?”
“Now, Amy…my late uncle was a psychiatrist up in Rochester…he told me a little about how to deal with an agitated individual. These people here are your friends…”
“You…you stole my wallet!” The Cowboy had now entered the building, and was in the middle of the argument. “I knew I’d seen you on this block before!”
“Who are you?” asked Leela.
“I’m Billy Masterson of Masterson, Masterson, Masterson and Katsukawa legal offices down the street. And I happen to use your delivery service.”
“Amy…did you steal this man’s wallet?” asked Leela sternly. By this time the fighting and yelling had started anew, until it sounded like a blur of human voices. No one had noticed Amy’s clone enter the locker room. She let out a yell that made everyone stop and look at her.
“Who in the world is this?” she cried, pointing to Amy.
Everyone looked at the second Amy, and then back at the first. Jaws dropped. The two were an exact match, except the clone was now wearing a black leather jacket, boots, and red spandex pants. She also had lots of make-up on. “Who is this imposter?”
A quick thinking Leela focused her eye on the clone. “Let me see your arm, sister.”
“Take a hike, one-eye!”
“It’s bruised, isn’t it?”
“None of your business…you’ve got a lot of nerve!”
“Show me your damn arm, or I’ll bruise your face!”
An elderly Professor Farnsworth cleared his throat in the corner of the room. “Ladies, gentlemen, I think I’ve got some explaining to do.”
Farnsworth’s explanation seemed to make sense. He had built an artificial intelligence computer that mirrored the human brain. It was so close to human that it made an assumption - it assumed that Farnsworth wanted to combine the personality experiment into his cloning project, and that he wanted this done in a timely manner. While it was proficient at multi-tasking, it also had a tendency to throw several things together and try to blend them. Sadly, the professor had to shut Madeline down until he could work the bugs out of the system.
As for Masterson, he threatened to call the police until Farnsworth promised him a month of free shipping anywhere in the galaxy. He did get his wallet back from the clone, and got properly introduced to the real Amy. The clone was stunned when she found out that she was merely a replication of another person. She agreed to take the name of Jamie Wong, which was a name that Amy’s mother had once considered for Amy. After the ruckus died down, Jamie Wong said her good-byes and got ready to leave. Leela looked at her with concern. “Are you going to be okay, kid?”
“Oh, I’ll be fine,” she responded. “I’ve got some prospects.”
Amy came up to talk with her. “Hey,” she said, “don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”
Jamie chuckled. “I wouldn’t do anything you would do, Amy.” With that, Jamie left out into the streets and disappeared. Amy got a sad look on her face.
The next night found the entire group finally seated at the Venusian Bistro. Amy and Kif were together again, as were Fry and Leela. The Professor was there, and even agreed to pick up the bill.
“You guys don’t mind if my parents swing by, do you?” asked Amy.
“Not a bit,” said Leela, “there’s plenty of room here. I think I see them coming in now.”
Inez and Leo Wong strolled up to Amy with an angry look on their faces. “You in some bu hao ma fan, young lady,” Leo quipped.
“What do you mean, bad trouble…what did I do now?
“If you needed money,” Inez chimed in, “why didn’t you just ask us? You gonna go to jail for a long time!”
“What are you guys talking about?”
“Look at the TV,” replied Leo, pointing. Morbo was covering breaking news about a heinous crime spree.
“The human, now known as the ‘Black Jacket Bandit,’ has been terrorizing the citizens of New New York with her brazen daylight robberies. She is a shining example of the depths to which these humans can sink. We even have a video of the bandit shot during a robbery of a jewelry store.” The group watched as Jamie noticed the camera; she walked right up to it and even gave a mock salute with a big grin on her face. “If you see this thug of a human, you need to call your local police agency immediately. May she rot forever in a jail cell!”
Amy slumped in her seat with a sigh as she covered her face with the menu, hoping that none of the other restaurant patrons were watching the broadcast…