My fiction entry into Darth Skorpius' Write My Bio contest.
The room is rectangular, perhaps three-by-two metres, two-and-a-half metres in height. Stainless steel cladding covers all walls. There is a door, but no latch or handle visible. A camera in the top corner of the room, crosswise from the door, a small green LED glowing faintly. Opposite the head of the table, just above floor level, a data outlet from which five thin yellow cables run. They snake along the white tiled flooring, to the underside of the table where the patient lies prone. They run up through a central perforation and plug into capsuleer sockets.
In another room, warm, lighting far less harsh, but still impassive, two men, in white lab coats, study several monitors. One screen displays the naked body on the gray table, from a position consistent with the corner-mounted camera. The other monitors display life signs, statistical feeds, technical data, user-interface elements.
One man, younger than other, regarding the video monitor, a look of concern. “It’s hard to believe. Doesn’t look like much, laying there like that.”
“They never do.” The older man does not look up, he adjusts a slider on one of the monitors. “Raise the temp by a quarter degree, will you?”
“That safe? Getting dangerously close to the upper limit if we do that. A ynsling can’t survive the process above three Celsius. Just barely above zero is preferable.”
“I know, but I think we have too. Never performed such a large data dump before and I’m getting some circulatory fluctuations here. Every last exabyte needs to transfer. You’re the ynsling expert. I have every faith you’ll manage it, keep its vitals uncompromised while I upload the reconstruction.”
“Regulating temp now. I’ll do my best.” The younger man turns, stands facing the back of the older man. “Another few hours at most and this’ll be over. Been going stir-crazy cooped up in this damned medical array. Can’t wait to get out of wherever-the-hell-this-is and back to my life.”
The older man nods, barely, the slight shiver of his thick grey hair the only perceptible sign of agreement.
The younger man turns back to the video monitor. “You do know who that is, right?”
“Of course, I do.“ Irritated. “You’ve been here for, what, two months? I’ve been on this project for nearly three years. Who do you think performed all the neuro-memetic extractions? The memory indexing? The phrenological reconsolidation? The ...” Interrupted.
“But he’s Band of Brothers.” Pointing at the monitor. “He was supposed to have been executed. I watched the Khanid Trials. Each and every one of them were executed. Why is this one alive?”
“Why are you bringing this up now?” The older man straightens, turns to face the younger man. Annoyance replaced with a cautious look.
The younger man is agitated. “He was responsible for the Tenerifis Jāvee Clone Fire. The massacre at Paragon-GQ. The P-Soul Drone Interdiction. I could rattle off another twenty. Of every Bob at the Khanid Trials, this guy was the most dangerous they had, the one who caused us the most damage.”
“You answered your own question.” The cautious look turns a little unforgiving.
“A weapon? We’re reprogramming him as our own? What the …? Ynslings are still unproven, especially one with this level of reprogramming. He could regain his past, it’s still buried under all the new code. Turn on us again. Holy hell if that happens.” Incredulous.
“Just do your job. Let the Directorate worry about the outcomes.” Resigned. Sadness.
“Yeah yeah.” Hurriedly returns to his monitors. Aware that he just crossed a boundary. “You’re right. None of our business. You’re right. Why waste a weapon like this.”
The next hour passes in near silence, communication only when necessary, keeping the patient’s vitals in operating bounds to withstand the data barrage.
“Only ten exab …” A deep, metallic rumble reverberates throughout the medical array. A ship has docked.
“Shit. He’s here. A day early. Finish stabilizing the patient for the final data burst, then get up there to meet him at the undock.” The older man, slightly perturbed, nervous.
“He?” The younger man, puzzled.
“What? The CEO? Here? What? Why?” Flustered. Adjusting slider and dials on the displays with more urgency.
“This is his project. Just hurry. You have ten minutes, then get the hell up there.”
The next ten minutes pass uneasily. The younger man finishes his work, hangs his lab coat on a hook near the door, and exits.
The older man continues to monitor and adjust the data flow. He hears a short thump from somewhere outside the lab, starts. Turns toward the door, just at it opens.
He enters. Tucking something into an inside pocket of his black, thigh length House of Ranai Esquire coat. He looks up at the older man, lines of irritation on his forehead softening as he tempers into an unsettling smile, the crows feet at the corner of his eyes creasing further. He extends a hand.
The older man accepts, shakes as firmly as he dare, not making any eye contact, bows his head slightly. “Mittani. Sir. Welcome.”
The Mittani approaches the video monitor, gestures slightly towards it, his eyes linger upon the patient. “He’s a fine human specimen, isn’t he?” He does not wait for a response. “So. Is he complete?”
“Just a few more hours, sir. The phrenological reconsolidation is uploaded, just the final indexing is underway. I think the Directorate will be pleased with the results.”
“You only have to worry about whether I’m pleased or not.”
“This is my pet project. He is supposed to have been executed, after all.” A hint of a grin. “Over involvement leads to intelligence leaks.”
Fidgeting. “Oh.” Recalling that thump.
“The patient. Did you get everything you needed from the subjects you were supplied?”
“Yes. We had so much to work with. We were able to completely reconstruct a plausible childhood. We ensured he had no political motivations. Ego kept in check. His drive for self-improvement minimised. Pacifist nature, beyond that of self-interest in keeping himself alive. He shouldn’t attract any attention at all. Unfortunately …”
“What?” Perturbed. The grin to something featureless, inscrutable.
“His middle life. There was too much data to reconstruct. We’ve never constructed a ynsling this complex. There would be a danger of his Band of Brothers memories re-emerging. We created an amnesia scenario for the patient.”
“Will this be a problem?”
“It shouldn’t be. We did tests on some of the subjects you supplied. The amnesia held under a suite of stresses.”
“So, his previous allegiances. They are not gone?”
“No, sir. That is impossible. In any ynsling. We bury them deep though. Many layers deep. To remove them, would be to remove all value from the patient.”
“And his skills, as an assassin and saboteur?”
“Accessible by the patient upon reactivation. It required months of testing, but we were able to separate most of them from his origins and his original training. He won’t be nearly as skilled as he once was. We estimate that he’ll retain about 93.5% of his professional knowledge.”
One of the displays starts to flash, and a thin metallic voice, female, speaks, “Indexing complete.”
The Mittani bends down to look closer at the video display, again eyes lingering. “So, he’s ready to be awoken? When can he be brought to my ship?”
“He can be brought within the hour, sir. I’ll transmit all the directions for awakening him to his new life, as well as directions for awakening him as a weapon when needed. He’ll be a new man, soon.”
“That he will be. I’ll still need to set up his corporation, so that he has something to fall back on during his readjustment. What names did you decide upon?”
“Ah. That took some time. We needed just the right amount of non-descriptness in both his personal name and his corporate name.”
“Go on.” Impatient.
“Well, after heuristic analysis of several trillion Caldari citizens, the algorithm settled on Darth Skorpius. For his corporation, 352 Industries.”
“That should do. Neither should attract any particular attention. He’ll be the weapon I need when I require it.”
Three hours later, a Nemesis bomber undocks from the medical array. In it, two occupants -- a slumbering future-weapon and the CEO of Goonswarm Federation. As the Nemesis jumps to warp, the self-destruct countdown on the medical array ends and the outpost is ripped asunder from the inside. The already dead scientists, one with a slug to the face, the other a slug to the back of the head, are incinerated.