Deep in the drone regions of New Eden, a small human colony keeps an institution for those with chemical imbalances of their cerebral cortex. Most of these cases were of new clones that had experienced some sort of malfunction while being produced or shortly thereafter. There still were holes in our understanding of genetic science, as proven by various other races; the sleepers being one. I was lucky enough to witness these new consciousness waiting for something different to emerge but it’s a somewhat frightening prospect at the same time.
Narcissism, egotism and megalomania were several common ailments among the mentally distressed in the secured unit at the facility where I was employed. We had some real heavy-duty cases of what could only be referred to as space madness; a combination of disorders generally leading patients to deliberately defecate themselves, just so the orderly on shift would have to deal with it. Repulsor shielding had dealt with the flinging…thank everything holy!
The other day a guy who the team thought was on the mend from a traumatic experience was running through the halls masturbating at intervals only he could maintain. Naked and greased with some substance from the dietary unit, it was quite an experience. Pessimism about successful treatment of our current batch of patients was high. They had mixed some unknown toxic chemicals into a nutrient feeder of one of the protein reactors of a clone farm and this is what you get, a bad batch of clones. From docile and near brain-dead, to aggressively psychotic and everything in-between. Anything new was my muse now; there had been several interesting cases over the years.
I looked at the first check-in this morning on my data slate. As a Registered Clone Mechanic(RCM) specializing in neural function or lack thereof, I had my hands full at this facility where we received the most severe of cases. I had a 09:00 with Jimmy…
He’s the one from Room 315 on the left-wing. At that moment, I realized that life—while having positive moments—was often set with a fiery gauntlet to test my strength. Today this challenge felt like climbing the Ancient Olympus Mons in the Sol system of our origin on what is now called, the red planet. Was it a place of purgatory where people waited before eternity to be cleansed of what they had seen and done?
I entered my encryption algorithm and donned the Pastel Blue colored Vest of one of my station at the facility, as a senior member of the neural psychology team. It was basically an advanced fibre that acted in the worst case scenarios like power armor. I had only needed it a dozen times or so. I was respected here; respected as far as I hadn’t died yet. The secret, believe it or not, was being nice to the patient. Competency and a good bedside manner were my trademark. Permabanning a client from my services was never a consideration, although an option.
It was time to start the morning rounds. I never took the security droid with me, as it never went well with its automated and aggressive AI. The things scared me for gosh sake. I reached the left wing and entered the twice-daily changing 38-digit passcode, retinal and DNA scan for entrance. The airlock—they even pressurized the facility separate from the others—allowed me entry.
It was 08:58, and I was feeling some trepidation as I entered Room 315. I had some issues to discuss with the room’s occupant and I wasn’t looking forward to the beginning, middle, or end of the experience. It seems there had been a breach of the facilities protocols as this particular patient had an overwhelming, almost supernatural way of manipulating his victims; those of lower intelligence I kept telling myself.
I met the grown clone with him sitting on the floor; his back to me. He was intelligent but was noted by a colleague as extremely immature, although chronologically he was only a few years old, at best. A stocky fellow with a prominent Charlton Heston-esque chin. Quite dashing to my quadrasexual lifestyle, but that was not professional. “Good morning Jim, did you have a nice sleep? I heard the medication is working and helping. I’m genuinely glad.” I broke the silence after 30 seconds as I had a number of patients to attend to that morning and I knew this would be more in-depth than I’d prefer. He grunted a very quiet response this morning: “Praise the holy James! I am not Jim, this is heresy. I am what you fear, for I am your only redemption!”
I realized this was going to be more an instructional service rather than a coordination of thoughts leading to a solution. “We intercepted the data package to your ‘brethren’, but there was a slight integrity loss. They may have received some of it. You spoke about spreading a gospel that doesn’t exist, correct?”
Unfortunately, there had been an old terran transmission that was intercepted, The Jimmy Swaggert Ministries…some old earth cult of sorts we surmised. It had inspired James to a near fanatic state since. He had been writing “scriptures”, and a code of ethics that was completely unethical. Did that make sense? Anything did at our wonderful facility, apparently. We did not allow him to see Jimmy Swaggert’s fall from grace, after being caught with a gaggle of prostitutes. Perhaps a mistake in hindsight.
He had followers that had set up a frequency available on one the cheaper cable packages. It was becoming an epidemic in New Eden. Basically, pod pilots deciding immortality gave them a right to continually kill themselves and others around them without regard, all the while claiming inaccuracies of basic reality from my perspective, a Doctor of several decades training and a full grounding in the popular version of sanity.
“I’m sorry, James, please forgive me.” Sometimes it was good to play along, but this wasn’t the climax by far. That came next. I did have the activation switch ready for my personal protective gear. “The team has decided it is best you have no TV or couch anymore. All communications are to be within the facility only by request from myself or other senior staff, and only under surveillance.” There, it was done. “You can’t stop the revolution that’s starting; I am only the harbinger. Matter/Antimatter collisions MUST be a daily occurrence. DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND!?!
James seemed to move like a snake, with high-grade snakes. Next thing I knew, there was a bright flash and a burning sensation in my chest unlike any other plus with the kinetic force, it felt like I was hit with a loading truck. I woke up with a smoldering hole in my armour; luckily the jury rigged plasma cannon did not flash vaporize my internal organs. Alarms were blaring, and James was gone. This was not a good thing; this was the worst possible outcome for today. I limped over to the desk where I had left my data pad. It stated that a large mail had just been sent from my pad. All James’ rubbish, his doctrines…DAMN! Also, my pad reported that James had just left in a shuttle killing people wantonly as he left the facility. Seven security, and eleven innocents dead. Apparently he was ambushing them at doors.
That was the day the infamous James315 escaped the second best facility in New Eden. The 315 is not a biblical reference by any means; it was the room number at his home, an institution designed to help special people.