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

It’s hard to say which Neil found more engaging, the sex act Mantis had engaged in with our friend in maintenance or the old footage he was watching now. 

He managed to tear his eyes away from the screen to look at me with his huge wet eyes “What’s wrong with it?”

I gestured magnanimously “There’s nothing wrong Neil, this is what media used to look like.  Flatscreen they called it.  It’s media in the form of two dimensional images with unidirectional sound.  That’s all they had.  You’re watching a movie, that’s what they used to call sims, they weren’t simulations yet, called Terminal Force Three.  I’m sure you recognize Ela, she’s playing the lead role.  She was an actresses before she was cryogenically frozen, which is what they used to call simsense objects, they were real people.  It’s hard to explain but it’s like we’re talking now only it was recorded to be watched for entertainment.”

His upper lip peeled back in a strange way as he watched “Is this good?  Did people like this?”

I shrugged “Probably, it was cutting edge tech back then.”

He looked at me with a hollow expression “And then they froze her so they could clone her?”

I stifled a sigh, it’s not Neil’s fault that he doesn’t know anything about anything “No, they didn’t know how to clone people when she was frozen Neil, we’re not even sure how they knew how to freeze her, nothing in the archives indicates they should have been able to do that.  This was all just was a happy accident.  A drone found her and others in an underground facility and some exec came up with the idea of using them for clones.”

His eyes were so wide I thought they would fall out of his head “For more employees?”

I shook my head “No Neil, the clones aren’t employees, they’re a commodity.  You and I and everyone else born in the last fifty years has genetic damage due to radiation exposure and a variety of other environmental factors.  Without various injections and nanos and aerosol medicines that we received in Alpha Complex we’d be riddled with malignant growths and a plethora of other health issues.  Even with all that treatment we can’t live forever.  We can’t, but the executives can if they want to, or at least for a long time, by replacing their organs and tissues with that from these clones.  They were frozen before the environment factors we deal with existed.  People had the idea a long time ago, they tried replacing their organs with those from animals and sometimes from other people, but they didn’t have the technology to make it work.  The only thing you can’t replace is the brain and the upper spinal cord, other than that the executives can swap in new parts whatever they need.”

He was surprisingly calm about it “So they kill the clones and harvest their organs?”

I nodded, trying to look somber “Yeah they do Neil.  Or they did, because we’re going to stop them.”

He gestured dubiously at the ridiculous thing playing on the screen “With this?”

I couldn’t help by laugh, a genuine laugh, because our plan is crazy “Yeah Neil, it’s strange I know.  The clone farmers feed information into the synapses of the clones as they sleep so their brains will develop but it’s random information, it doesn’t actually teach them anything, they can’t even speak.  We tried using targeted programs, linguasofts for instance, so we could train the clones in specific things but it never worked very well.  The human brain is a real beast to work with.  What we found is that what works best when you can feed them a datastream that actually has them in it.  We’ve had some success in making sims of the clones to use as teachingsofts but we don’t have the resources to make it viable.  That’s why this is a fucking planetary alignment Neil.  You found a clone farm made up of tissue from a woman who has fifty hours of old footage of her being heroic, or at least violent, or at least talking and understanding what’s going on.  This is our best chance to really break one of the places open.”

He gestured again “But this isn’t real?  It’s just pictures.”

“It’s real enough Neil.  Trust me, it’s going to work.  You’re right, this crap won’t teach her to actually be a rebel leader or how to splice or rig explosives anything you see her pretend to be doing, but it will make her a functional person with at least the idea of what those things are.  It’ll work Neil.  We just need the code.”

He looked around again, dubious “And you can slice in and implant this data from here?”

I tried my best not to grimace “No, we can’t do it from here, I don’t want to lie to you Neil, in order to do this we have to go outside, that’s why . . .”

He spun around and kind of moved into a corner with his arms crossed “No, no, take me back to Apartment now.  I want no part of this.”

I made eye contact with Ferret, she was the one who was supposed to smooth talk this moron “It’s not like you think Neil.  We’re going out in a mining pod, we’ll be completely safe.  You see that’s why we’re here.  This is a maintenance hatch that goes outside, because some people are supposed to go outside, they do it all the time.”  I turned to the man in the red jumpsuit. “Right?”

His look back told me that his ‘pep talk’ was going to cost us extra “Oh sure, I go out there all the time, it’s not a big deal.  As long as you stay in the pod it’s perfectly safe.”

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