Turning Over A New Leaf
“Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again...They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that.”
And in their own twisted way, they did. It has been 17 years since “The signal incident”. More than ever, those with power were finding it more difficult to tame those without it. In the past, efforts had been focused on changing people to fit the system. Nice little cogs in a tidy machine. This has proven to be unsustainable. Inefficient.
After The Signal was revealed to the population, everyone was focused on what had been done in the past, and no one was paying attention to the present, much less the future. Leave it to the alliance to take crushing defeat and twist it to their advantage. While everyone raged against the atrocities on Miranda, a new idea was being bred in the shadows. How beautifully ironic it was that the “hero of the people”, that cocky son of a bitch Malcom Reynolds, gave them the idea in the first place. From their own rallying cry, even! “They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that.”
It was the pause. It is so interesting how little details can change everything. An idea was born in that pause. Indoctrination, mind control, military suppression, all roads would continue leading to one thing. One recurring failure. You cannot control the human race. They will always fight back. You cannot make people…better. ….better. What if they could just make….people. That would solve everything, wouldn’t it? The alliance doesn’t need your hopes or dreams, it needs your sweat and loyalty. A cog doesn’t need a personality, after all. But where to begin? Tests had to be done. Lots of testing requires lots of test subjects. Breeding a race of slaves is no small endeavor, and they had to work quickly before the public eye lost interest in the current crisis.
Fortunately, a large sampling of the population’s DNA already existed. When the war of independence was over, all Independence bases were seized. Most of these bases were of little use, and were immediately discarded. One medical base, however, held a DNA sample of every person who enlisted in the rebellion. They had taken a DNA sample from enlistees for several reasons; medical history, checking for possible future health complications, and most commonly, cross referencing unidentifiable remains to identify the corpses that the war seemed to keep sending their way.
At the time, the Alliance kept this base with the idea that they might some day develop a virus that targeted specific people, rather than the entire human race. They even considered research that might identify DNA markers that would screen out people inclined to rebel against authority. The true purpose turned out to be much, much more sinister. If they could clone an obedient slave race from the DNA of the most rebellious sampling of the human populous in recent history, then replacing everyone else would be a piece of cake.
It was decided to start off small, taking the 3 major races and 2 genders, and seeing how the process affected each one. A control group, if you will. One man and one woman from the groups of Mongoloid, Negroid, and Caucasian; 6 total in the control group. This would fix everything. No longer would they need to control the population; it would control itself. They would design it that way.
The DNA samples were moved to a more controlled environment. The vacuum of space provided all the isolation needed to keep this under control, and out of the public eye. The facility could always move if needed, and no one could go in or out without permission and the proper clearance.
Creation over control seemed like a new concept, but as with any new concept, it was still based in something fundamental. The science was solid, but something was still not accounted for. Though they tried engineering out troublesome emotions like ambition and independence, the human spirit always seemed to resurface eventually. This was not always the case, but after repeating the cloning process for these 6 individuals hundreds of times, a stray variable would emerge resulting in a very human, very troublesome clone. Most days were vey routine. Whenever this variable presented itself, it was easy enough to discard the entire batch and start again. It wasn’t much trouble, since it turned out that DNA kept track of the aging process. The clones always grew to be whatever age the donor was at the time of donation in just a few short weeks, so losing a batch from time to time was not a huge loss.
Unfortunately for the Alliance, things were anything but routine today. This was the day number 5 escaped. It isn’t clear how he did it, but it seems that Clone 5 had retained too much of his former self this time around. He was smart, unable to conform, and perhaps most importantly, somehow knew how to fly a spaceship. After checking the records for this sample, it was confirmed that this man, or at least the man that this sample came from, had been a pilot in the war. Recollection of a past skillset was unprecedented in this process, but that didn’t change anything. They had let Clone 5 slip right through there fingers, and that put everything they were working towards at great risk.
The guard on duty couldn’t say exactly how it had happened, only that he got distracted by a jerry-rigged walky-talky down the hall that had tricked him into thinking someone was hurt. Upon investigation, he found the hand radio had the words “cry baby” written on it. When he returned to his post, one of the transport ships had gone missing somehow.
They pursued the stolen ship with every ounce of vigor at their disposal. The problem was, that they were at best a station full of scientists, chasing what appeared to be one of the best pilots that had ever lived. Firing missiles failed, Clone 5 dodged them with ease. They tried docking, but every time they came close, he pulled some impossibly complex and quite dangerous maneuver to stay just out of reach. Their best hope at retrieving him was to wait for him to run out of fuel. So they played the long game for a while, pursuing him at every turn. It was only when they went to refuel their own reserves that they realized the reserves were not there. They had just gotten in a whole shipment, surely they could not be out of fuel at a time like this! Unfortunately for them, that shipment had just arrived…on a transport ship....a certain transport ship that had recently been stolen…a certain transport ship that had recently been stolen which may have had cargo that had not yet been processed for storage.
Despair and fear swept over the space station as they watched Clone 5, and all of their fuel, fly further and further away. This would be very hard to explain…