Part 9 – A New Life (AKA ‘Frank’)
Wow, where does the time go? I’ve been spending at least ten hours every day going through the mountains of work Dr. F has given me and spend the rest of my waking moments studying. The doctor said he forgot that I’d started with a clean slate and so created a curriculum that began at a preschool level. I’ve been flying through everything and am up to undergraduate courses in most subjects. The doctor says I’m the first person in history to go from the rudiments of counting to differential equations in a little over two months.
Our little school helps with the monotony of my work. If you remember… oh, wait, I never told you about my work, did I?
It’s actually quite simple. I get into a computer system and download any documents Dr. F wants. Typically the systems are universities, hospitals, research facilities, government sites and such.
Sometimes the doctor makes changes to the documents and I have to put them back. That’s the hard part because I have to make it look like the documents haven’t been touched. That means file size, date-stamp, profile on the remote drive and other such things have to exactly match the original file. Not a big deal, computers are stupid and easy to fool.
This morning Dr. F took a little time to talk to me. He’s been spending more time with me lately. He once said, “Now that you’re no longer babbling like cretin I can actually stand being around you.” He laughed when I pointed out that I no longer see such remarks as compliments.
As I was saying, the doctor and I had a bit of a conversation this morning. He was reviewing my work and asked, “Do you ever read any of the files that go through your hands?”
“Of course not,” I answered. “On the first day of this job you told me not to look because of confidentiality issues. And even if I wanted to look I wouldn’t have time.”
He nodded and then asked, “Are you ever curious?”
“Sometimes,” I said. “I know most of it is for your research into genetics and microbiology. You’ve been looking into work on tissue repair and the reanimation of cells. I know your work is far in advance of most of these papers. For the most part, though, I find that the less I think about what I’m doing the easier it is for me to perform my duties. I try to save my curiosity for school.”
The doctor pulled out a few envelopes and handed them to me. They were all addressed to a Victor Francis F. While Dr. F’s first name is Victor, I know for a fact he doesn’t have a middle name.
I opened the first envelop, which was from County Hospital. A form on the inside informed me that the request for the Certificate of Live Birth for Victor Francis F. was enclosed. The birth was dated exactly 19 years before today. Victor Francis is exactly 19 today.
The next envelop was from the Social Security Administration and was a copy of Victor Francis’ Social Security card.
The third was a high school diploma for the home schooled student Victor Francis F. Graduation was this May.
I looked at the doctor and he just smiled and pointed to the last envelope. This one was from the local newspaper. There were copies of two articles.
The first article, dated a little over eight years ago, had the following headline, “Two Killed in Tragic Auto Accident”. I read the first two sentences, “The wife and son of a local geneticist were killed in an automobile accident yesterday on Rte. 35. Elizabeth F., 42, and Victor Jr., 11, were announced dead on the scene after a tractor-trailer crossed the center line and hit their car.”
The second article was dated three days later. It wasn’t an actual article but a correction. It stated that the article of the 14th was incorrect and the boy, Victor Francis F., had survived the accident and was in serious condition.
“The first article is unedited and reads exactly as printed all of those years ago,” the doctor said.
“What’s this all mean?” I asked.
“It means you are now legal,” the doctor answered. “No more hiding. You’re a real person. Happy birthday!”
Tears welled up in my eyes. “Happy birthday,” I repeated.