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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The Other Man

The authorities and a woman named Mira are confounded when Scotty -a trusted member of the Security Police- is arrested for killing a man in Cairo. Worse, in the days leading up to the arrest, he seems to have engaged in some very suspicious activities. The problem is, when Scott comes home to Mira, his wife, he has no idea about any of this, and this is because

there's another Scotty and he's the one in custody. Interestingly, neither one seems to be a man disguised as Scotty; by all the tests available they are both the real thing.

Once they find out about the two Scotts, the Security Police quickly work out that the two Scottys have the same memories up to about four days ago and they diverge after the day Scotty met with a mysterious man using the name Eikner (sp?). Scotty blacked out during the meeting; one version of him woke up a couple of hours later but the other one is very vague about what happened until he was arrested.

A check of the location where Scotty blacked out allows the cops to grab a talkative minion of the dead man who explains in broken English that his boss, the dead man in Cairo, invented a matter duplicator. The extra Scotty is a duplicate and worse than that, a doomed one: living duplicates fall apart after a short time. Although this prevents the question of who gets to live with Mira, neither Scotty seems pleased by this revelation because they have no idea which one is the duplicate.

Really, a guy invents a matter duplicator and this scheme is where he goes with it? Also, I cannot help but notice a lot of important questions like how the dead man controlled his copy of Scotty, don't even get asked.

"Metropolitan City", "Security Police"... This is not a society into interesting names.
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