Ben and Streek: Clone Saga Ch. 03


"Mostly to stop the Federation from getting it."

"What's your story old man?" asked Ben.

Dr. Arnott took a sip of his tea and then sat back in the couch making himself comfortable.

"Well I guess it could start sixty four years ago on a planet called Denascus. No doubt you know what happened there?"

Ben took a swig of beer and looked at him. "Could you be talking about 'the most profound discovery in the history of the human race'?"

"Indeed, when mining prospectors found a huge Alien Space Craft buried deep beneath the surface. After many centuries of searching we had finally found solid proof of an extra-terrestrial civilisation. The ship was millions of years old but the technology found within was many thousands of years more advanced than our own."

"But there were no aliens to be found." said Ben.

"The great mystery. There were many theories about what happened to them. Some say they migrated to another galaxy, or another dimension, that they ascended to a higher state of being, they were from another galaxy and were just passing through, they're still around, choosing to remain hidden from us. We still don't have any idea."

"...Anyway, the Federation, being the major power in the galaxy, claimed the Alien vessel. They set up the most secure facility in the history of the galaxy, right there on Denascus. They gathered the greatest scientific minds to work there, researching the Alien Technology."

"...I was a young research scientist who had distinguished myself in the field of scanning technology, and so I was selected to work at the Denascus facility."

"Whoa, hang on. So you do work for the Federation?" said Ben.

"Did. It was a scientists' dream to work with technology significantly more advance than anything we had seen before, and the facility itself was first class."

"...But understanding the technology proved to be very difficult. We were faced with puzzles of profound complexity every day, with the Federation pressuring us to come up with results, many of my fellow scientists cracked under the strain."

"...The decades passed, and slowly we made progress. The Feds told us we were going to create a better future, and we believed it. I worked on several projects, including the Cloning Pod, under the direction of Dr. Gascoyne."

"That name sounds familiar." said Streek "...I think I read his book."

"Direction for using the Pod, yes, we worked it out eventually. We had many disastrous field tests, the Federation supplied prisoners to use as lab rats. I had seen, and been a part of, some truly terrible things in that place." Dr. Arnott had a far off look in his eyes.

"...I couldn't tell you what it was like when I cracked the Alien scanning technology. It was like suddenly being able to see after being blind. With the help of my scanners, I knew everything that went on in that facility, and beyond. I had learned the details of the Federations' 'better future'. They called it 'Project Utopia'."

"...The Federation planned on using the Alien Technology to create a perfect society. One where war, crime, poverty, famine, disease and disability are all eliminated, and the people would want for nothing."

"Those bastards!" said Ben.

"The problem, Captain Anders, is the cost. It would cost every man, woman and child their freedom. They had tried it before. Experimental, closed-off societies, where the authorities have complete control over its' citizens. It always ended up in open rebellion and uprising. But with the help of the Alien Technology they would succeed."

"...The people could have no secrets. If a citizen had a thought of rebellion cross his mind, the authorities would know about it straight away and wipe the thought from his head. Generations of people will grow up never knowing what it is to question authority, or have the choice to smoke, or get drunk, or drive a swoop-bike at high speeds, or even swear."

"That's pretty fucked up." said Streek.

"Indeed, and that was the 'better future' I was helping them work toward. There was no getting out for me either. The Federation doesn't just let its' scientists leave, with all the secrets of the facility with them. We were all prisoners there. I did what I could, to slow development, I gathered information I may be able use against the Feds, and I worked on my secret side projects."

"...Then, fifteen years ago, the outer rim planets declared that they didn't want to be ruled by the Federation, and the Civil War began."

"My father served the Feds in that war." said Ben "...He was the Chief Engineer on a Battle Cruiser."

"Did he survive the war?"

"Oh yeah, he's still serving. A Lieutenant now. I haven't spoken to him for a while though, don't suppose I ever will again, he's my Sires' father anyway, not mine."

"Yes, well all that I'm telling you about, happened to my Sire. That past is still very much a part of me though, and my Sire lives on through me."

"How did he die?" asked Streek.

"I was just getting to that part. The war did not go as well for the Federation as they had hoped. The Rebels were fighting asymmetrical warfare straight from Sun Tzus' 'Art of War'. They were putting great pressure on us to come up with Xenoform weapons that could greatly tip the scales."

"When the Rebels made a bold attack on the Temscott ship yards, Commander Jon Paston made a decision to draw away half the ships that garrisoned the Denascus Facility. It was a huge mistake, you probably know what happened next."

"The Pirate raid." said Ben.

"Yes, the Pirate raid. Pirates are great opportunists by nature. The infamous Pirate Commander, Nexius Cley, brought many different Pirate factions together for a co-ordinated attack on the Denascus Facility, with the aim of looting the priceless Alien machines."

"...I remember the sirens wailing as the facility went into lock-down. But I had my ways of getting around the facility, and I saw that as my opportunity to escape. I got to the Cloning Pod and made a few clones to assist me, that's really where I come into the story."

"...I had gathered some of the Alien Tech, my scanners and other things and took them to the prototype stealth ship that was being developed in the facility."

"The Avatari?"

"Yes, and it had its own pilot too, Makita. ...I ran out of time though, Pirates breached the facility and began killing everyone, soldier and scientist. A couple of my clones were killed. My Sire and I were badly wounded as we tried to get the Cloning Pod on board the Avatari. We managed to get ourselves onto the ship and Makita got us out of there. My nanobots healed my wounds, but my Sire wasn't so lucky, may he rest in peace."

"...It was a bloodbath, the Pirates got away with many Alien machines that day. It didn't take the Federation very long to gather their forces and smash the Pirates in their stronghold, but by then the Alien Technology was out there in the galaxy. The Federation has been desperately hunting Alien Technology since then, knowing that in the wrong hands, it can be devastating."

"...I say that Federation hands are the wrong hands, and I have been tracking the machines down myself in tribute to my Sire. I've been looking for the Cloning Pod in particular, for a long time, and now I'm close. Hopefully the two of you can help me get hold of it."

Ben and Streek looked at each other, Ben gulped down the last of her beer. "Wow, that's quite a story, we'll do what we can to help, but I don't know how much use we will be."

"I'm sure you will be a tremendous help to me." said Dr. Arnott as he got up and moved over to a shelf. He picked up a silver machine that was roughly the size and shape of a swoop-bike helmet.

"What's that?" asked Ben.

"You would have been exposed to one of these before, there's one on the Cloning Pod. It's a Xenoform Deep Brain Scanner, or DBS. Truly a wonder. It can read everything about a mind, every memory, every thought, every dream and fear and fantasy, and it copies it all over as computer code."

"Yeah I remember that, getting scanned by it was the last thing I remember before..."

"Before you were created, yes. Your Sires' last memory. I would like you to be scanned again. It would provide every answer I wish to seek from you, and it's the only way I can be sure you're not ...Federation Spies."

"You think we're spies?" asked Streek.

"No, I don't. But I like to be sure of things."

Ben looked down at the machine and frowned. "We'll take the scan, but on one condition."

"What's that?"

"You teach us Kung fu."

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