All this started at a small secondary space station orbiting an unimpressive brown dwarf near the edge of the Okposo Dark Cluster. If there’s a totally black spot in the galaxy, that is it. I transponded the information requests and waited amongst a variety of consentients in the applicant lounge of a brane puncturing satellite consortium. I figured I had a good chance since Balleeni have always been amongst the most sought after of supersymetrical filtering technicians, not to mention most of the others looked like Sfroga hybrids. We know what we’re doing, we’ve got a feel for it, and we don’t mind getting our hands soiled with dirty dark matter. Sfroga? With their magnetic sucker fingers. Not so much. What possessed them to apply I had no idea, but parts of their rubbery looking skin was mottled with what looked like some sort of a fungus.
I felt my chances were at least 50/50.
When my name was transmitted I went over to the grav lift and rose up to the level of the interviewer. When I got there, I was greeted by a being, but for a moment I was too stunned to speak.
“You?!” I almost screamed out loud.
All four quarters of my primary brain sphere were stunned. It appeared as though my interviewer was the War Fleet Emperor of the Gorasa. And if she wasn’t, she was an absolute dead ringer for the being whose space legions cut a bloody swath through the eastern spiral arm for millennia. I couldn’t keep any of my eyes off of her mandibles. My designated guardians had stories about how the War Fleet Emperor liked her Balleeni laser cut into slivers for handy snacks.
But it couldn’t be her. She and her whole war fleet were no more, had been destroyed thousands of years ago.
She led me into her office. I was still wondering at the resemblance was remarkable. She had the same multiclawed forelimbs, the same three antennae (with one slightly bent exactly the same way the Emperor had) and the same smirk on her vertically slit mouth that smirked exactly like I had seen in the 3d historials. But this smirk said I know you think I look like the War Fleet Emperor, and your dying to ask me about it, but your afraid to, because you think I’ll gut you right here if you do. But of course we both knew she had been vaporized along with his fleets when the Goma trapped them in their system and used a Star Trigger to turn their sun into a supernova. Not so good for the Goma, but good for the rest of the Galaxy. No, this couldn’t be her, I kept telling myself.
“Of course not,” my interviewer admitted with a friendly chitter.
What she was, apparently, was one of the many clones of the War Fleet Emperor who had betrayed their progenitor, for an easier existence than being a target for one of the scourge’s of the galaxies many enemies. Apparently they were now scattered all over the galaxy taking up many divergent pursuits.
Which included interviewing for supersymetrical residue filtering technicians. Go figure. I guess even a notorious monster’s clone needs a job. I relaxed. It looks like I wasn’t going to be laser sliced into tasty Balleeni slivers.
The Emperor clone glanced at her floating screen, then aimed those glowing compound eyes at me and said I left a few fields blank on my application transmission.
“What do you mean,” I asked.
“You don’t list the recency and any notable genetic and psychological variances of your latest clone.”
Of course I left that part blank.
“I… I don’t have a clone,” I told her.
“Why not?” She wanted to know, as if he was asking why I didn’t have three eyes. And I wasn’t about to explain that.
“I guess I just don’t need one.”
Can’t say I’ve never thought of it, but, you know how it is. I’ve known people with clones, and they always complain they are a handful to deal with. Don’t think so? Worse than having children, in my opinion, just look at what happened to the War Fleet Emperor.
<<Galactic New Flash: The Bakchamid Confederacy is advocating greater isolation of the Walthoon as the latest studies of blue super giants in their sector of the Galaxy show tampering which suggest the development of Startrigger weaponry. The Walthoon Galrep vigorously defended their interests, protesting that they are merely looking at developing supersymetrical absorption facilities, which wouldn’t be intended for interstellar war. At least not until they’ve figured out how to use the technology as a weapon, which could require many field tests. Such tests would understandably have to take place outside of Walthoon occupied space.>>