Tales of the Ela-pocalypse – The Clone Saga : Neil


“What are they doing?” I was repulsed and horrified and disgusted and sickened and nauseated and I couldn’t look away.

“They’re having sex Neil, have you not seen it before?” It was the big one that said that, not the gross big one who murdered the nice pretty Human Resources woman but the other one who talks nice but I’m sure is also a murderer. 

“Of course I’ve seen sex” I asserted and then shook my head without even realizing I was doing it “I’ve never seen . . . that . . . it’s so . . . sweaty . . . so dry . . . at the same time.  It’s so . . . awkward.”

What it reminded me of is if two ground drones with the long spider-legs malfunctioned and ran into each other and their limbs got all tangled together and they got stuck like that.  It was like a nest of old network cables bundled together with the casing all stripped off and the fiber was rubbing off due to friction.  It didn’t look anything like in any sim I had ever seen, or anything I would want to see.  Yet I couldn’t look away. 

The other woman with the less dirty clothing rags and hair touched me lightly on the shoulder “Don’t stare at them Neil it’s impolite.”

As she was saying that the woman with the pointy face and angry eyes, who was being blasted in the Y zone by the new guy, the employee – the hairy guy in the red jumpsuit – locked eyes with me and smiled.  It was a smile that seemed to say “yeah, take it all in buddy, this is what life is now”.  She was gripping on to an ugly metal bar in front of her like she was clinging for dear life.  The muscles in her forearms looked like they were going to burst out of her skin.

“So they’re in love then?” I asked somewhat desperately.

I heard the other big guy, the murderer, laugh – just one little “heh” – and the less dirty woman smiled as she took her hand off my shoulder “No, they’re not in love Neil, this is transaction.  A trade.  We can’t exactly use credits can we?”

I finally managed to tear my eyes away from the obscene spectacle and look around “You live here?”

“No we don’t live here Neil, we’re just stopping for a minute.”

“Here” was somewhere underground in the tunnels the other one had been talking about.  No wonder they’re so disgustingly dirty if this is where they live or work or whatever they do when they’re not murdering nice and pretty and innocent Company Employees. 

The machine we had ridden in didn’t stop, it just slowed down and they told me to jump out a hole in the side.  I barely hesitated a second even, but that was too much for the woman who was now doing disgusting sticky awful things with some maintenance worker.  She grabbed me by the arm and the back of my clothes with hands like vice grips and threw me out.  She didn’t even give me a moment to think about it.  Just give me a second, that’s fair.

I scraped my hand on some kind of rough floor material when she threw me down.  I’ve never seen my own blood before, not in real life.  I hate it.  I hate even more that she threw me into all this muck and mire and dirt.  My company issued clothes are destroyed.  The second I get back to Apartment the scanners are going to pick up all this grime and I’m going to be docked enough credits that I’m going to have to work triple shifts for weeks to make up for it. 

She didn’t even look sorry about it, she looked mad at me!  I thought she might spit on me while I was getting up but instead she went over to the guy in the red jumpsuit.  He was waiting for her and they started to get off their clothes.  No one else reacted to this insane thing that was happening.  The guy from the front of the machine with all the crappy old loose datawires hanging off him like dreadlocks went and plugged himself into a random socket on the wall. 

The murderer helped me up and then started messing with some bulky old equipment.  It was huge.  I know that networking equipment used to be bigger in the past but it was so big I thought it was a joke.  He had to use two hands just to hold it up, and his hands were huge.  I was staring at him, he might as well have been trying to slice on a rock, when the other big one who I haven’t seen murder anyone started talking to me with his nice voice.

“Neil we need that code.  You remember what we talked about?  We’re going to help Ela.”

I felt like dirt was falling on me, I fought the urge to fold up and cover the parts of my suit that were still clean “What are you going to do?  Alert Security?  Is the farm shadow IT?  Some Executive’s Black Bag Project?”

“No Neil, we’re going to help Ela escape, all of them.  The farm isn’t against company policy, it’s not even illegal.” 

“Cloning is illegal.” 

He smiled patronizingly “Have you ever read the law on cloing Neil?  What it says is that it’s illegal to clone someone born after such and such date of such and such years of age and so on and so on.  Why do you think they wrote it like that Neil?  It makes no sense on the face of it.  They did like that because were creating a loophole so they could farm their clones in peace.  The government isn’t as toothless as the company would like you to believe.  The government controls the military Neil and there’s no corpsec in the world that can handle the real military in open conflict.  They’d be crushed.  If they were cloning against the law there would be serious consequences.  That’s why the government and the corps worked together to craft a law and make sure they could have their clones and everything would be legal.  Ela Fitzpatrick was born in the 1970s Neil and she’s not even thirty yet.  Pretty neat trick right?” 

“That’s impossible.” 

“Only literally.  Tell me Neil, what do you know about cryogenics?” 

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