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Götterdämmerung (part 1)

 
Joe Spivey's picture
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There are problems with trying to keep a clone imprisoned. Not least of which is ‘escape by suicide’. Your prisoner dies and is then re-cloned at the nearest cloning facility. The solution, of course, is for the prison to have its own cloning facility so that even if a prisoner does suicide, they still never leave the prison. This system works well at Kingman Prison for example, where they have the structure in place to maintain an ‘off grid’ cloning facility for their recalcitrant clone inmates.

The problem, though, with not being part of the province-wide cloning system is mainly one of logistics. You see, the LifeNet network has the intricate underground infrastructure in place to deliver the necessary raw materials from its production factories to each of its cloning facilities as and when required. By ‘materials’ we mean viscous red soup from which the clone bodies are ‘built’. It takes an awful lot of this magical elixir to create a human body.

Therefore, if your cloning facility is not part of the grid you need to be able to store your own soup for when it is needed. Of course, being organic, the soup has a limited shelf life and so needs to be constantly replenished… and it also isn’t cheap to come by. But if your soup isn’t fresh then neither is what eventually comes out of the cloner. Again, places like Kingman Prison have the wherewithal to handle this little detail.

But what if you only have a single prisoner and only one cloner? Well, as long as there are sufficient funds to maintain the system then this shouldn’t be a problem right? But what if some of those people operating the system are, well, let’s say ‘less than honest’ and are skimping on the amount of soup they keep on standby so that they can line their own pockets? And what if the prisoner, who by this time has been locked away for a couple of years of lonely confinement, learns of this, what then?

Well, ‘what then’ depends on how smart your prisoner is. If they aren’t too smart then you might try repeatedly killing themself until the reserve of soup is depleted enough so that there just isn’t enough to be able to clone another. If that happens then your off the grid cloning setup no longer remains a viable option and your clone’s collar will link to the next nearest facility and ‘poof’ they are free. Except…

Except, if you are the clone in question then it takes time to kill yourself and after a couple of attempts it’s going to be pretty obvious to even the most yokel of local guards what you are trying to do and they will stop you from doing it, probably with a billy club. Now alerted the guards will take steps to prevent you from trying that particular trick again.

But if you are smarter than the average bear you will see this pitfall in advance and understand that you are only going to get one attempt at this. You will also know that, sure, you can make yourself a shiv from that small piece of steel door surround you spent days slowly bending back and forth until it snapped off. Then you can cut your throat with it. That is if you know just where to slice and have whatever it is you need in your psyche to allow you to be able to go through with it.

So let’s say you do. So what? Your shiv isn’t going to go through the cloner with you without all that extra expensive jiggery-pokery that the LifeNet network has but your simple setup doesn’t. You, are just going to appear naked, disoriented, covered in slime and spill out onto the cold metal floor of the cloning chamber. You are just going to have to hope that there is going to be something there for you to kill yourself with… before you are grabbed by the guards.

But let’s say that you are even smarter than that. Now you are going to know that you are, at the very least, going to have to find some way of killing yourself without you having to do anything to initiate it. Not easy. You might have to think about this for a while.

So you do. You already know that the only ‘none you’ thing that goes through the cloner with you is your irremovable collar. Maybe you could adjust it so that it kills you. Except that the safety conscious old-timey engineers had considered the possibility of some kind of malfunction that kills the wearer and had designed that possibility out of it. If only there was some way of creating an attachment to circumvent the collar’s protocols. Not that you would be able to build such an attachment from the Spartan and definitely electronics free contents of your cell.

Ah, but you wouldn’t have to, would you? Because it had already been done. The single shot ‘Return Home Hack’ was popular and freely available to those in the know. And you, our prisoner, have one. Actually you have more than one because you invested in the multiple use version and have used very few of its one hundred shot capacity. Oh, of course the guards think they have made your upgraded collar useless by programming its ‘home’ as being the cloner in the next room. But they didn’t stop it from being able to be used, why would they? The prisoner can only poof their way six metres away after all.

But that’s not the point is it? The point is that the upgraded collar allows our prisoner to die at will, no shiv necessary.

So, over the next few days you suicide once per day. Not a nice experience for you, it never has been. Cloning for you makes you sick. Nausea, stomach pains, the chills. But it’s worth it because each time you do you calculate how much clone juice is left in the system. When you are ready you choose the time, three in the morning. It’s always three in the morning for these kinds of things because very smart people long ago calculated that this is the optimal time for such activities.

You activate you collar one last time, and now lots of people’s lives are about to get a whole lot more complicated.

Comments

Hyle Troy's picture

Ooo. Popcorn.  And thinking hat.  Great title by the way 

I would rather die peacefully in my sleep, like Grandad, than screaming, like his passengers



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