"You will have to use clingfilm or nobody in their right mind is going to believe it." She said.
I had never even heard of clingfilm but I wasn't going to tell her that. It soon became apparent.
"Cryogenics was in it's infancy back then and totally unsuccessful. If people are going to buy it we need a hook. Something a bit quirky. So we go old tech, not new. We will send you back to the twentieth century and you can wrap him in clingfilm and bring him here. I know that primitive food wrapping is no substitute for the protein membranes we use these days, but I spent hours researching it. I'm surprised you even knew what clingfilm is. I heard you were the best and now I know why! Anyhow that's the hook. We just give him a bit of frostbite, stick him in a deep freeze with a good make up job and we're on."
"Nobody in their right mind will believe it." I said. "Fortunately we are not dealing with people in their right minds so we're o.k" An oldie but a goldy. I was the only one who laughed but I didn't care. In fact it made it even more fun. Someone has to enjoy this life so it may as well be me. I laughed again. This time she laughed too but at me, not with me.
"That's the beauty of the mesh. So much information and no time to check it. Why would anyone bother. As long as the hook is good and it makes you laugh. I've got reams of Roy orbison jokes ready to go on the day. We can flood the mesh with them. Start with the really sick ones first and get more mainstream over a few days. The advertising revenue could be huge."
Sure it would be huge, but not that huge. "What's the real payoff ? No way would you beak the clone laws for that kind of credit !"
Now it was her turn to laugh. I knew it wouldn't be for the last time because she didn't laugh for as long as I had earlier. The thought of it made me laugh again.
"The beauty of it is we don't break the clone laws. We bring back the real Roy Orbison."
I didn't get it and I told her so. Once she explained, I was in. For better or worse.
Since the pandemic the population has been capped at 3.5 billion. It was the only way to save the planet.
Not that many people want to breed these days but they don't want to die either. That's why they have the clone laws. The only laws held in more esteem are the cryogenic laws. It was to do with power and paranoia.
Along with power comes wealth and also a strong desire to keep that wealth. To keep the power too. Forever.
The first attempts at cryogenics were crude. Very crude. Very expensive too. So expensive in fact that few could afford the procedure. What could they do. Some enterprising businessman came up with the idea of just keeping the head. Much more affordable. Dollars and heads flooded in. Then someone got paranoid. What if nobody revived them? What if the world were too overpopulated and nobody wanted them. What good their wealth and power now? Deals were done. Wealth changed hands. The balance of power shifted slightly. The United World States made an irrevocable change to it's constitution. All persons discovered in a state of cryogenic suspension are to be cared for until such a time as the can be revived and cured.
The money and the heads flowed in. If you were rich enough you still went for the whole body. If you were in the know. After a while as cloning gained acceptance people started keeping smaller and smaller body parts hoping it would be enough. A testicle or an ovary were very popular choices. Good choices too as far as the science goes.
There were worldwide celebrations when the first revivals started. The pandemic had taken almost everyone and left most of the rest sterile. Testicles and ovaries were a good choice. So was almost everything else. Then the rioting started. People all wanted to choose who to clone next. The population exploded. The only way they could stop it was to invoke the constitution.
All persons discovered in a state of cryogenic suspension are to be cared for until such a time as the can be revived and cured. Persons. Not testicles. Not fingers arseholes or eyeballs. The madness stopped thanks to the clone laws. It was planned that way. What is the point of being rich and powerful. What is the point of living again if your butler can do it too. That is why the rich and powerful and those in the know still went for the whole body.
All I had to do was go back to 1988 and wrap Roy Orbison in clingfilm. Of course I had to murder him too. This didn't bother me too much because he was going to die on that day anyhow. Of a heart attack.
The trick was to go back to 1987 and drop a time bomb in his drink 240 day time release so that on that fateful day he would fall down dead and the doctor would soon make his verdict known. The world of music would mourn. Some of it anyway. I didn't have the time. It seemed like they would never put his corpse in the 'Ambulance' or so they thought. I had to work quickly. First I gave him the antidote. It seemed to take forever. By the time he started to revive I had already wrapped all but an arm and his head. "What is happening? Why are you wrapping me in clingfilm? Where is Jetta? The last remark made no sense so I ignored it. "I am from the future" I said. You just died" (almost true) "It is important that you trust me. In the future we have the technology to revive you. We revere you as a genius of your time and we would like to have you in our society" An appeal to vanity is always a good ploy. " We could make you young again." Another lie. "All you have to do is sign the document Roy. A secret will. Handing your body over to my laboratory. He signed of course. The cocktail of drugs I gave him left him no choice. No free will. It seemed ironic. He struggled feebly as I wrapped his head and face and he died in my arms. Not from suffocation but from a heart attack
Back to the present. First the bogus discovery of an old cryogenic facility. Shame the power supplies have all failed. All but one. Wrapped in cling film. Then imagine our surprise to find that it was Roy Orbison!
Even better the clingfilm had somehow acted like protein membranes we have today. The will that he signed
handed over not just his body but all publishing rights and royalties for anything published after 1989. Of course no-one contested the will.
Why didn't we consider Roy's part in all this. Sure he was grateful at first. He thought I was an angel when he was first revived and he didn't know why. Until the memories started coming back. "Your the man from the future. Where's Jetta? "
Jetta? The crowds were huge at the first few concerts but the public soon grew tired of him. But not of the Roy Orbison in clingfilm jokes. The mesh was awash. We had started some kind of cult thing. Then He remembered it all. He realized that I had tricked him out of his wealth. It didn't take long for him to work out that I had murdered him too. The trouble was that he had enjoyed it. Said it reminded him of Jetta but he never explained what he meant by that. He said he would expose me unless I wrapped me in clingfilm again. So I did. Reluctantly at first but I must admit that after a while I started to get a kick out of it myself. Watching him squirm. Watching him die. Of course I would have to revive him again for next time.
It was during the squirming that she walked in. This time she laughed the longest. "What the hell is going on here?" she barely squeezed out between cackles. "Life imitating art?"
"No. It is art" I improvised. How could I explain? "If they like the clingfilm jokes better than the music, why not give them a show?" This time she was really impressed. Again. I was backed into a corner. Of course Roy would never let me off the hook. He loved the idea. So that is the truth about how it all started. We have been touring none stop ever since. I wrap Roy in clingfilm 6 nights a week. (Plus our private sessions.) Life has never been so good. I Don't even care about the credits anymore. The only thing that bothers me is that every now and then he gets a faraway look, sometimes a tear and he says "Jetta."
He refuses to say anymore.