Tales of the Ela-pocalypse – The Clone Saga : Senior Administrator Gene Reginald

“Sharon isn’t moving, we need to . . .”

“They’ve got a customer as a hostage!  How did they . . .”

“You need to approve the override before we can . . .”

“We should be on lockdown, the protocols clearly state . . .”

“What the hell is wrong with the drones, they . . .”

I can’t remember the last time I was in the main control room.  I’ve never been in the main control room with this many people before.  There should only be three people in here at a time.  That’s protocol.  It’s too small space for this many people.  Especially this many people all speaking at once.

Who even are all these people?  I’m the Administrator, I should know everyone who works here by name.  Where did these people all come from?  It’s a small facility, not counting the clones of course, how is it possible that I don’t know every that works here by sight?  I need to get down to each floor more often.  I can’t remember the last time I talked to anyone down in the growth vats. 

I did know the guy grabbing at me like my son does when he wants a new toy, his name is Angus “We have to help Sharon, I think she’s really hurt!”

I pushed his hand away in annoyance “Don’t grab me Angus, show some workplace decorum.”

He gawked at me like I do sometimes when looking at wasteland mutants on the viewscreen “How can you be so calm, we need to do something, we need to get Sharon . . .”

I silenced him with a hand “Everyone, everyone, please stop speaking all at once.  I need your attention, I have some news that you need to hear.”  I waited for a moment for everyone to quiet down “We lost connection to Alpha Complex.”

A woman I think is named Vala spoke up “solar flare?”

Another man I didn’t know from Adam followed up with “Is that why the drones aren’t responding?”

I shook my head “No, I put the drones in standby, we’re going to need . . .”

Angus’s face twisted in anger “Why would you do that?!  Sharon . . .”

“Shut up!  Just shut up!”  His face turned to shock at being yelled at, and then petulance, like I had hurt his feelings “It’s not a solar flare, Alpha Complex is under attack.”

For a moment it was quiet as they all stared me with confused faces.  Another woman who seemed vaguely familiar, her name is on the tip of my tongue, spoke up first “Another terrorist attack you mean?”

I shook my head “No, outsiders, wastelanders.”

One man with an unkempt beard laughed “Is this a joke?”

Vala has the decency to look a little worried “They can’t actually do any harm can they?”

“They’re inside the complex.” I told them “The last thing I heard before we lost the link to Alpha Complex is that there were massive casualties in corporate security . . . and in other departments as well.  They don’t know how, but somehow the wastelanders were able to blow a hole in the defensive wall and get inside the facility.”

Angus shook his head back at me “That’s . . . you’re joking . . . it’s impossible” he looked to one of his fellow employees “He’s joking right?”

I held up my hands for attention again “This is not a joke, this is not a mistake, this is not a glitch.  Alpha Complex is under attack and we’ve lost our connection.  You all know how many redundancies there are in place that that would have to fail for that connection to go down, so you all know that for the link to be down like this means the situation in Alpha is very serious.”

The man asking about the drones stepped forward, for a second I thought he was going to attack me “We need to get back there, my family . . .”

I stared him down “What we need to do is stay right here.  This facility is secure.  There may be people from Alpha coming here in the next couple of hours.  We don’t know how long it’s going to take them to get the link back online, it may be a few days, even a few weeks.  We need to be prepared to ride things out until Alpha is able to get back in touch with us.  There’s no protocol for this, but we’re in a good position here.  We’re safe here.  We have enough nutrient paste to feed hundreds of clones for months, that will probably be enough for the twenty four of us for a few weeks don’t you think?”

“Thirty” said Vala flatly.


“You said twenty-four, there’s thirty people that work in his facility Gene.”

“Of course” I said coolly “I just meant that . . .”

“What about the clones?” I couldn’t see who asked that.

“Just to be on the safe side I’m going to suggest that we cashier a quarter of them and put the rest on half rations until we get back in touch with Alpha.  We could be on our own for a while and I want to make sure that we don’t run out of food.”

“What about them?” Angus pointed to the screen where the rogue clones were holding the snooty old bitch who was there to pick out her new liver and shouting randomly. 

I shrugged “They want to go outside so badly?  Open the door.  They won’t last five minutes out there.”

Someone gasped “What about the customer?”

I looked at the screen for a moment “If we’re lucky they’ll take her outside with them.  We don’t need her leaving us a review.”

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