"Miss Tennyson, I need your assistance in the laboratory right away," Doctor Korgon's voice blared over the intercom. Miss Tennyson -- Doctor Korgon's long-suffering personal secretary -- jumped to, heading down the winding stone stairs into the basement lab. And there in the lab, was a slab; and on the slab was a human form, under a sheet.

"Behold, Miss Tennyson, I have created life!!" Doctor Korgon whipped away the sheet.

"Why, Doctor Korgon, it -- it looks like -- like you!!" Miss Tennyson exclaimed. She did not mention that it looked like a somewhat younger and more muscular version of him; surely he already knew that much.

"Indeed it ought to, Miss Tennyson, for this is my clone!! It is an exact replica of myself. More or less. Naturally, it is imperfect, in that I had to make it slightly less intelligent than I"-- the doctor's eyes darted up for a moment beneath his bushy, unkempt eyebrows-- "so that it would not think to eclipse me. But if this clone performs as I anticipate, then soon I shall construct a veritable army of clones to carry out the bulk of my inventive work. Now if you would be so kind as to wash his face, to wake him...."

Ms. Tennyson complied with a handy sponge, and soon the clone's eyes drifted open. Slowly, unsurely, the clone sat up. Doctor Korgon probed its limbs, shined a light in its eyes, and then, slowly spoke to it. "Your name," he began, "is Korg. Do you understand me?" The clone sat silent with a confused look on its face. Doctor Korgon bit his lip and furrowed his brow. "Korg!! Do you understand me? Your name is Korg!!"

The clone turned slowly toward Doctor Korgon, still bearing a childlike look of confusion on his face. And then it began to speak. "K-- Ko.... Korg," it finally sputtered.

Turning briskly to Miss Tennyson, Doctor Korgon muttered, "I may have further work to do to arrive at a workable process." He then returned his attentions to Korg. "Korg. I am your master. You are in a probationary period. If you do not perform well, you will not be able to assist me with my work. Do you understand?" Doctor Korgon pointed briskly at himself, "Master," and again at Korg, "probation. Do you understand?"

Korg again made an effort at a response. Pointing to Doctor Korgon, he stuttered, "M-- M-- Mas.... Mas-- ter." Then, pointing to himself, "Mbuh-- buh-- bation." Doctor Korgon frowned intently as Korg attempted to restate his words. "Master.... bation."

"No, no, no Korg, not 'masturbation!!' 'master,' and 'probation.'" Doctor Korgon pointed at himself agitatedly, "Master!!" Then to Korg. "Probation!!"

Korg grinned broadly, proud of his seemingly newfound powers of comprehension. "Mastur-- bation. Masturbation!!"

Doctor Korgon shook his head in frustration, standing abruptly. "Clearly this experiment has been a failure. Korg is-- he is useless-- for serious scientific work." As he walked briskly out of the lab, he continued, "perhaps, Miss Tennyson, you can find some use for this, this imbecile, as a household servant."

The Doctor having exited, Miss Tennyson and Korg were left staring awkwardly at one another. Finally, Korg breathed out heavily, then shrugged and declared, "well, I thought that officious know-it-all would never leave. Now then, Miss Tennyson, what shall we have for dinner?"



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