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This is the future: a world without war, without true conflict. One where those that seek medical attention get it, one where crime is low--but what did man have to sacrifice to get it? The answer is simple...freedom. In this ever shrinking world, shrinking because technology is not only being used for you, it is being used against you. The world has changed. No longer to satellite countries exist to govern their own provinces, in their place rules the Conglomerates.
There are three for the whole world; From the tips of Canada to the southernmost end of the Argentine peninsula the North and South American continents make up one of three powers that be. From the British Isles, to Estonia and Finland down covering the African continent, is the second and second largest of the Conglomerates ruling over the European Union and Africa while the third Conglomerate and the largest took all Asia and Australia as its own. But what of the powers that were in place before the Conglomerate? They were petty, failing systems obsolete in the way they were governed.
Once the nations banded together to form the Triad, resources weren't so stingily hoarded and technology surpassed expectations. But these three powers had an agenda of their own and soon began subjugating their citizens. At first it was quite shocking, and sometimes--brutal. Yet after a while, people...accepted it. They accepted what they could say, and what they couldn't. Accepted birth rate laws, accepted no choice AS a choice. So as the people face a sort of martial law, their government had been secretly funding clandestine operations.
Political figure heads working the way up through the corporate and executive ladder, who were wealthy and powerful enough to engage in a little in-fighting making people disappear or perish by seeming accident was almost like a past time. Those elite few started up a program from 2027 that had been banned by the three leaders of the world: cloning of whole individuals. It was true that cloning had come a very far way since its first acceptance; at first the capacity for cloning was primitive at best. Only a few cells at a time were able to be made, but would die within hours. Now they can draw blood from a recipient and in a matter of hours have the organ they need to transplant. But the idea of cloning an entire person was on a whole other scale of ethics and morals.
But what if some didn't listen to their higher ups or the other Conglomerates? What if a few, say, pushed an envelope to see how far they could take it? Turns out, pretty damn far. Their research led them to producing the first, fully functioning clone within a week of the military's mandatory blood tests. It was an identical match to the Corporal whose blood had been used in the experiment. His fingerprints, his toe prints--even the correlation with his eyes and tongue were exact matches. He was a bona fide clone, no different from the real thing with one exception--memory. Memories were the key to everything.
Once they had figured out to implant identities in their clones, they began to replace the actual soldier's they were cloned from. These clones were utterly obedient, and could be easily controlled--they also showed signs of super human conditioning due largely impart to genetic engineering. These were to be the perfect soldiers. However, with anything revolutionary there were debaters, naysayers—dissidents. These people naturally had to be suppressed, even eliminated if they persisted or knew too much…
Alex Jacobs was your everyday lab technician. Not a brave guy by any standard, but he understood wrong from right and what was generally acceptable--or dangerous. That was why when rummaging through a computers file dump as usual, he stopped when he found a file named Operation: Sparta. Now, he knew what happened to the proverbial cat when it got too curious. But something urged him to open it, to look at what he had come across. So, looking over his shoulder briefly, bespectacled eyes glanced around at the dark room lit only by the dull luminescence of various computer screens before returning his gaze to the screen in front of him.
Ordinarily, he was ordered to destroy any and all files in the dump and not to open them. But the tech felt something bad about this particular file. The Conglomerate was acting weird within the last few years or so, secretive, and highly guarded. As his hand hovered the cursor over the file name, his heart began beating a little harder as he swallowed. Alex clicked the file and opened its contents, spilling its secrets. What he saw in front of him made him wish he hadn't. It was way above a guy like him. But sitting in disbelief, maybe it was a lapse in his judgement that made him continue searching the files.
"Test subject Micheal Dorian shows markedly enhanced human capabilities," Alex read aloud in a whispered tone. "He is capable of stopping vehicles in head on collisions with just his bare hands. Subject can lift objects weighing as much as seven hundred pounds or more."
Alex sat backwards in his chair that usually brought him some comfort, but now did no such thing. His mouth was slightly gaping and his eyes peered at the screen but he thought he was hallucinating. No human being could survive impacts with cars or lift several hundred pounds. What the hell were these things? Machines he could get, the security bots could undoubtedly be this strong--at least the heavier models. But he was looking at what seemed very much like a human being.
He leaned forwards again and began reading once more, this time he didn't have to read the words aloud to register that they were real. These subjects were fully adapted clones and were already in the initiation stage of replacing the soldier's they were the doppelgangers to. This information swirling in his head was undoubtedly setting off every mental alert he could possibly have. What were they thinking? Cloning whole humans had been a process strictly forbidden since 2027--nearly thirty years ago when the subjects lost control.
"Holy Christ." Alex whispered to himself. "This...this is unbelievable." He ten noticed the details of the file were linked to another file: Operation: Vanguard.
It was in this file that Alex found something that truly terrified him. Clones had been genetically modified in their fetal stage to accept nanomachines. Normally nanomachines weren't a problem. They had been used since the early twenty-first century. They'd even been instrumental in exterminating some forms of cancers by programming them to eradicate tumors and extra cellular grow patterns. These nanomachines essentially made their host a biological weapon able to adapt, regenerate as well as making them elite hackers from the get go. Not to mention all the further enhancements they did to the physical body making them even more powerful than their predecessors the Spartans.
The Vanguard was few in number, but their technological enhancements more than made up for it. They also seemed to be identified by call signs rather than regular names which meant they were individually selected. Names were for soldiers and these weren't your average run of the mill super soldier. These elite few could do some serious damage. After having seen more than enough, Alex minimized the touch screen and slumped back in his chair. He now had information that could get him killed but also start a war between the three world leaders that would undoubtedly result in their leader’s destruction and the rapid takeover from outside forces.
So now Alex had two choices: he could certainly delete the information as his job demanded, and perhaps live a long and uneventful life, or and this was a crucial thing, he could get this information outside and hope that the people see it and fight to shut it down. However this lone act would no doubt constitute treason and he would be killed for his transgressions should they find out—and they more than likely would. Jacobs could make a secure channel, but it would only last a short while. So would he stake his life on just a few minutes, or pretend people weren’t being murdered and replaced?
For a while, Alex sat there shaking. He didn’t want to even think of the prospect of dying. It terrified him. Yet the idea that people were being manufactured like dolls to simply be replaced scared him as well. Technology was a tool to be used, but not in the way they were using it. They had effectively made human life meaningless and forfeit. Alex drew in a deep breath to calm himself and his thoughts. First of all, who would he send it to?
Alex was looking around when the T.V monitor caught his attention. A woman by the name of Abagail was advocating for the families that had been reporting strange behavior among those of them that were in service. Apparently they had been acting distant, and lacked memories that they should have had; births of their children, deaths of loved ones. It had Alex rubbing his stubble covered chin, if he could get this information to her and she could expose the truth about the clones there would no doubt be an up roar.
Gathering her name and credentials he began tracking her down. It wasn’t an easy task bypassing fire walls to contact the office of a woman being a nuisance to the Conglomerate. Especially when one stopped to consider that he was out performing a super computer. He felt he wasn’t doing too bad in his age. Still, it would only last a few moments. He began uploading the files to her email account which he hacked as part of his ploy to look innocent. Then there came clatter as the door to the otherwise empty room opened up and several soldiers stepped in.
Alex stood up, standing in front of the computer as he looked at the men who all had stoic expressions. There were four soldiers in total with a fifth marching through the door. A small screen was just behind him detailing the amount uploaded on the touch screen.
“There has been unauthorized access to some…delicate material.” The fifth soldier moved further in the room, coming around the metal console.
“O-oh, has there? I haven’t detected anything from my end.” Alex nervously spoke.
“I see…so the fact that it was traced to this very room was a fluke then, was it?” The man had approached Alex and stared down at his face arms held behind his back.
“W-well I guess so, I’ve been deleting the file dumps as I always do, maybe that might have tripped something?” Alex responded but the soldier wasn’t buying it. He could seem to smell his fear like an animal.
“Really? Might I remind you that the penalty for treason…is death?” The soldier’s words were severely intimidating but his sense of purpose had grown.
It was now…or never. Swallowing hard, Alex jolted; spinning around to hit the accept button on the screen ending the transaction as it had been completed. He then found a vice like grip in the from of a black gloved hand clenching his throat.
“Where did you send that file to Alex?” Alex gurgled and spat, clutching the hand that was choking him before it tightened its grip crushing his wind pipe effectively killing him…