“The Contingency Plan” by Eamonn Gosney

This is a story about someone who has two bodies: one on Earth and another on a different planet. He is attempting to run both bodies simultaneously, each with their own particular quirks and separate life, and most of the time all runs smoothly. Occasionally though, odd difficulties arise, and this person becomes somewhat confused and falls into momentary lapses of attention, being not quite sure which particular planet he is actually on, at that instant. How this person ended up in such a situation is that he became annoyed at losing bodies through various disasters which occurred (planets he’d resided on being destroyed–taken out by asteroids) and figured what was needed to deal with the matter was to have a contingency plan (run two bodies).The other planet that he has a body on is in some ways quite similar to Earth, but in other ways quite dis-similar. The similarity aspect is part of the reason for his strife, his confusion, and forgetfulness as to not always being sure where he actually is. For instance, the geography of both planets are virtually identical, and one is at loss really to discern any difference at all; both places pretty much look the same. Where the two places are different is with the inhabitants. The people living on this other planet are all wonderful in every possible way. They are always thoughtful to each other; care about each other; are helpful to each other; courteous to each other. They basically are all just lovely, kind and considerate folk. Now our guy will be on this planet, living a beautiful life there with these adorable people, and will be swept up in the moment and enjoying the serenity of it all, when all of a sudden, in an instant, he’ll find himself back on Earth in his other body. Now something else which is different is that on this other planet everything runs smoothly. It is all just so harmonious. Accidents never happen, there is no crime. The television news only ever consists of continuous streams of these pleasant stories of folks doing good deeds for each other. The newspapers the same, page after page of acts of kindness. Delightful articles about the splendid day-to-day life of the place, how it is all running seamlessly in frictionless-clockwork. Everything works; all the time. Nothing breaks down, people walk around beaming with happiness, in care-free outpourings of joy. Now this is where our guy really feels it, when he finds himself back on Earth, where it is a truly miraculous day indeed if there is not major upheaval, disruption, turbulence, trouble, pain, torment, distress of one kind or another. And this being continually reported on–incessantly. Folks utterly being swamped, drowned with it; horror story after horror story, in a never-ending deluge. Earlier I alluded to the reason our guy was in the situation he was in was that he chose for things to be this way (through his annoyance at losing bodies through asteroids impacts). This is only a partial explanation. What happened to him was he’d suffered a major head injury, a traumatic concussion so horrific that most people–in all reasonableness–would not have been expected to survive. But by some miracle of his own tenaciousness he somehow pulled through. When the impact occurred to his head he underwent what we will call TST (total soul transfer), meaning he (his soul, himself, his personality) underwent exteriorization from his injured body. For all intents and purposes, his spirit departed, he died. His transferred spirit thus ended up in a different body, on another planet. But just as the transfer–the upload–was about to reach 100 percent, something unexpected took place. His body back on Earth regained consciousness–with the outcome being that the TST link-up was severed (the upload never completed) the total transfer failed.  
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