Have you ever seen or met someone who looks surprising similar to your friend? How about one who looks remarkably similar to an actor or singer? These duplicates create an imbalance in the system. Think about it. A person with Tom Cruise’s or Brad Pitt’s appearance will no doubt find a career in the entertainment industry. A person with strength comparable to Paul Randall Wight, Jr. or Nathan Jones will ultimately compete in sports. If this trend continues, people in the same industry will all look alike, thus making each industry operating like a machine since there won’t be discussion and conflicting opinions.

That is where people like me come in. We call ourselves the Eradicators. Our job is to eradicate those duplicates who look similar and who are in or are about to become members of the same occupation. I don’t come up with the list of these duplicates. It’s up to the freelance mystery shoppers and scouts who record their expeditions with Google Glass. By the way, those glasses aren’t what they look like in the ads. They only exist to fool people when Google already perfected the implanted pinhole camcorders.

Back to my current mission. Today’s target is a William Gibson look-alike, real name Bill Gillian. He unfortunately chose to become a writer and was spotted by one of our scouts at Starbucks. Rule number 41 of the Eradicator’s Code is to kill the target when he or she is alone. If it weren’t for that rule, I would’ve slipped some pills in his coffee and have the rest of the day off. Instead, I’m sitting at this small circular table and witnessing how he clumsily tries to strike a conversation with a pretty lady. His laptop is only for show.

It has now become a waiting game, something that I’m not entirely good at. In the reflection of my black coffee, two scars materialize. I didn’t get them from my past encounters with unwilling victims. They were self-inflicted because I suspected myself resembling the person put at the head of our department. Rule number 18 states that the junior employee of the two look-alikes shall be eradicated. That was when I changed my hairstyle and put my trusty watermelon knife to work.

“How did it go with the cute guy?” a friend of the pretty lady asked as she walked over with her green tea latte.

“Why didn’t you come sit with me? He bored me for 10 full minutes.”

“I didn’t want to ruin your chances with the One.”

The conversation between the two ladies was irrelevant. What was relevant was that Bill Gillian was gone. I rushed out the coffee shop and looked right. Too many people. Left. Too many people. Across the street. Not there. I don’t need to worry. It isn’t the first time I encountered this situation. Judging by the previous conversation between the two ladies, the target must’ve left for less than a minute. At 2.5 miles an hour, that means he could’ve only traveled 73 yards. That’s less than halfway until he can cross the street regardless of whether he picked right or left.

I laid down my mini board on the concrete pavement. On this machine, I could cover 333 yards a minute. It doesn’t matter whether he turned right or left. Even if he picked right and I go left, I’ll circle the block and meet him before he can cross the street.

This time I choose right, but as I pass by the first alley, I float in midair. My mini board drives off on the ground and people stare at me shocked as my blood drips down to the ground.

“Your name is Rex Manning,” Bill Gillian whispered in my ear, while his machete held me up. “My mission in hunting down Eradicator #508 is now complete.”


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