MalcolmNormal. The night shift at BioTek, an offbrand manufacturer and purveyor of medical technologies, was best described as mind-numbingly normal. The woman on night watch in the cloning area was boredly scrolling through games on her holopad, hardly paying attention to the occasional activation of the machines that arguably brought people back to life. "Blank slate" clones were taken out of the nutrient baths, reconstructed in an exact copy of the client that died, and taken via conveyor belt to another section where their old mods would be fitted, the client's memories and personality matrix would be implanted, and they would be activated. Good as new. The modern fix for death. The woman was incredibly apathetic about the miracle happening before her. Her job, basically, was to make sure everything was working properly. Her job, basically, was handled by the thousands of fault checks and error flags in the software that ran the whole operation. She was only there as a confidence-inspiring measure, something BioTek could declare to the prospective client. "Our facilities are monitored around the clock by trained people!" they say, while she smiles prettily at the entitled asses and waits for them to leave so she can finish her fucking level on AlphaShoc. And, as a confidence-inspiring but unnecessary measure, she did nothing all night but sit and listen for alarms. When they went off, she just called one of the techs on shift and they'd do whatever and it was fixed. It was always memory corruption issues and stuff. Easy things. Nothing more serious ever happened, because the machines did their jobs near perfectly. Then a more serious thing happened. An alarm tone, one she'd never heard from the machines before, went off, blaring a loud signal like a fire alarm. She jumped out of her padded chair, her augmented eyes glaring yellow with surprise and alarm. Despite the shock, she pulled up the error reports on the console she worked at. Code: ERROR: METAL DETECTED. That couldn't happen. That wasn't how this worked. The clones were clean, just flesh and bone, and there was no way an enhancement could be replicated. Replication went off biometrics and went off DNA, allowing replication of things such as birthmarks, scars, and tattoos but ensuring parts had to be reattached. Parts can't be replicated. The woman took two deep breaths, trying to subdue the sickly green panic that was creeping into her eyes. She closed them. Took two more breaths, tried to relax herself. When she opened her eyes again, another error had popped up. Code: ERROR: MEMORY FILES CORRUPTED. That one. That one she knew how to fix. The tech she summoned could help with figuring out what the fuck to do with the other thing, too. "I'm seeing a memory loss error in the cloning area," she announced on the facility wide comm channel, a good enough actress to keep the alarm out of her voice and maintain a no-nonsense tone. She was speaking in Korean, but the channel had translation software built in. Convenient, when one hires engineers and techs from across the globe. "I need a tech. Immediately." That done, she set down the holopad and stood up fully, straightening out the company issue uniform before walking towards the sector that had issued the metal error. The pretty golden orange of curiosity tangled with the sick yellow of fear in her augmented eyes as she approached the conveyor belt that bore what had caused it. She was fucking scared. But she wanted - no, needed - to know what happened. The conveyor belt had stopped automatically, right in the middle of the area she sarcastically dubbed "quality assurance"; the area where the replicated and fitted clone would be tested and checked for flaws and imperfections. Numerous scans, tests, and other nonsense checked the clone for faults in the replication of the client, checked for gaps or errors in the memory banks and personality matrix, ensured the clone was as perfect as could be before it was activated. There was a body on the conveyor, of course. She wasn't exactly expecting an alien. Male. Caucasian. Naked, but that was no surprise. No point in bothering with clothes for clones. What was surprising was that all of his limbs were intact. Where were his augments? Then she saw it. Or, more accurately, them. Collections of lights and metal, on each of his cheeks, covering the entire distance between his eyes and ears. Deactivated and colorless, probably because the cloned body was inert. Deactivated or not, those were not supposed to be there. The woman sucked in a harsh breath, trying to think about what this could mean and failing to comprehend it. Was this augment in his DNA or something?