Tales of the Ela-pocalypse – The Clone Saga : Employee # {REDACTED security level orange}

With certain obvious exceptions most people would tell you that their job is the worst in the Company.  Their quotas are too high.  When they make quote they don’t get enough credits to eat every day or get a break to sleep.  Human Resources steals their genetic material to make new Employees.   Their simsense glitches out in mid-stream and causes them to have mini-strokes.  Mutant rats have taken over most of their Apartment and ate their foot in their sleep and now they’re bleeding to death and Maintenance can’t send an Extermination squad until Q3.  Bitch, bitch, bitch.     

This pisses me off because I actually do have the worst job in the Company.  I’m an Exterior Supply Specialist.  I receive, inspect, inventory, load and unload, store, issue, and deliver supplies and equipment from Scrappers.  My co-worker calls then Scrapers because he’s an idiot.  They’re called Scrappers because they pick up SCRAP and bring it to us.  Not Scrapers because they scrape things up and bring them to us.  Moron.   

Scrappers are LAMOEs if that’s wasn’t clear.  Outsiders.  Wastlanders.  Zoners.  Whatever you want to call them.  My job is dealing with those savages.  So yeah, I have the worse job in the Company.

The old timer that trained me said that drones used to shoot the LAMOEs that came near Alpha Complex at a thousand yards.  Then at some point new Policy came down from on high.  The drones stopped shooting them and they were lured in like feral rats.  Bit by bit the LAMOEs that weren’t AS violent and crazy were allowed to come closer.  Eventually my job was created to deal with them.

My trainer told me about the old days before a LAMOE stabbed him in the throat and killed him dead. The salvage they bring in isn’t worthless, matter of fact, sometimes a Scrapper crew will bring in something from the old world that R&E can turn into valuable new IP, but the program isn’t meant for that, that’s just a bonus.   

The goal of the program is for LAMOEs to establish themselves as Scrappers, outsiders that can be trusted, in as much as the word applies to those animals.  You bring in enough scrap without causing problems, problems like stabbing me or my idiot co-worker to death, then you can be trusted.  And once you’re trusted the door is open to other trades.   

What kind of trades?

A some point in the past an Executive got the bright idea to start only creating new employees from the genetic material of the top performers only.    The Algorithm must have warned them it was a bad idea but they did it anyway.  They do that you know.  Sometimes they ignore the Algorithm.  Most people don’t know that but I do.  The people making the decisions don’t always listen to the Algorithm.  They make their own minds up.  Terrifying isn’t it?   

Problem is there’s this thing called genetic diversity and turns out that it’s pretty important to life.  I may only be blue-security level assigned to a job where I’ll probably be stabbed to death by a barbarian but even I know that much.  When they realized that the Algorithm was right the diversity problem wasn’t advanced enough that they strictly speaking needed to bring in outsider DNA to fix it, but they did anyway.  Likely on some Executive’s whim.   

What they found was interesting.  Despite having a pathetically short natural life expectancy  and being small and weak and stupid because of their reduced bone-density and muscle mass, the outsiders have some interesting mutations as well, specifically in the areas of disease resistance and metabolism, which happen to be two areas that are becoming a problem for us real people inside Alpha Complex.   

Mutations by and large are dangerous if not fatal to the host organism, but without them you risk genetic stagnation and regression.  Which makes you wonder if the outsiders were actually left out there intentionally for this very purpose.  A self-managing human skunkworks.  A safety valve of sorts.  The best mutants outside survive and come to us and we take their DNA and use it to fix our issues.  It works out well as long as you’re not the one who has to interact with them.

There’s some lurid blacksims making the rounds in the upper levels that imply that the way this trade works is that Executives have the outsiders brought inside and harvest their DNA the old fashioned way.  I’m here to tell you that this is asinine.  There’s no way anyone, let alone an Executive, would want to have antiquated analog sexual intercourse with these walking slime molds.  There is nothing attractive about any of them.  Nothing. 

Point being that’s why I get to deal with these lunatic cannibals and probably will be killed by them one day.  I should be getting a lot more credits for doing something violet security clearance and highly dangerous.  Maybe I’ll bring it up in my next performance review.   

Just kidding, that would a terrible idea. 

Now.  I have the worst job in the Company.  But there is one benefit. 

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