2 July 2017

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White clam chowder and over-easy eggs. Soup and eggs for short.

Mass was the problem with colonizing. Getting mass near C was expensive. The smaller the load, the better. Sending ten thousand colonists was impossible.

But sending ten thousands eggs and ten thousand loads of semen was way cheaper.

The ship had a chilled cargo of those two ingredients to make human babies. Womb ships, they were called. They had a skeleton crew of scientists, techs, teachers, and caretakers trained to take on whatever challenges might arise at first contact with the target home but after they’d landed and seen that everything was alright for seeding, they’d get underway.

The birthing tanks would be unfolded and irrigated with dehydrated amniotic solution. These giant uterariums would then be flooded with the soup and eggs slurry sometimes referred to as brunch. The old exponential dance would start and babies would pop up like strawberry Christmas lights on the vine. Tendriled, manufactured, multiumbilicals would snake out and attach themselves to a thousand belly buttons. Each tank was filled with fraternal millituplets.

Wait time was the human usual. The children would be boosted with learning enhancers and xenoviral protection. A small percentage were always lost to errors in cell replication no matter how tailored the dna but the average yield was 90% or 900. Harvest would happen in two-year stages, nine hundred per year. This was called the familial ladder. Ten years of baby making before shutdown for 9,000 humans.

The crew would foster them with help from the AI adoptives, working as a team to cram as much knowledge and mental health into them from the get go before they took on their new world.

It was a system that had worked twelve times before. Twelve Edens had successfully flowered with no humans needing expulsion from angry gods.

This was going to be unlucky thirteen.

The tailored enzymes would fail and the entire crop would be born sociopathic and cruel unbeknownst to the crew. As the children grew, they schemed and the crew began began to meet with accidents. Before any of them figured out was what happening, they were gone.

The children were geniuses. As the other batches reached fruition and were born, they were taken in by the first two waves and taught to be just as awful.

The planet survived and flourished. They developed weapons and a reputation. They broadcast torture videos and vile non-consensual pornographic videos. Their system of government was opaque. It seemed like anarchy but they had such organizational skills.

Their planet is isolated. Quarantined. Embargoed. Struck off the records as a failure, they’re monitored for signs of extra-system aggression. They’re an embarrassment.

A closeted mistake until sixteen minutes ago when their entire planet, now decades into post-womb colonization and nearly five generations deep, completely disappeared off of everyone’s scans.

And reappeared near Earth Prime bristling with nuke barrels and planet crackers pointed at our race’s home.

The pirate planet had come home, prodigal son returning.

They didn’t open fire immediately but they did send a message system-wide on all channels before they started the war.

“No more wombships.”

After a heated exchange of nuclear fire that the pirate planet lost, they drove their planet straight into Earth. Terran defenses didn’t stand a chance.

We no longer use wombships for colonization but we are still trying to figure out how those little bastards made a whole planet capable of faster-than-light travel. None of the other Edens have come anywhere near that kind of technology. The philosophical implications of their success don’t bear thinking about.

Evil might be smarter than good.




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100%

2 July 2017 22:51
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It was a 100% party and I was the guest of honour.

My day had come. Twenty-seven tours of duty in the war zones of the Kuiper belt. I was a veteran of over 700 combat missions. My chronological age was 76 but with time dilation and rejuve treatments and body part replacements, my true age could be anywhere from 18 to 312.

I was one of the near-immortal soldiers in the endless war. So many years of fighting and nothing budged on the borders. If anything, we were merely a testing ground for combat medicine and weaponry.

But today was my 100% party. I was officially dead.

Over all the battles, I’d been wounded and patched up hundreds of times. Head shots, shrapnel in m organs, limbs detached, junk shredded, one time I had my face torn clean off.

Today was the day that I no longer had any original parts left on my person. I had crossed that border from human to total amalgam. I was a patchwork zombie. A soulless. I had transitioned into a new level of soldier.

There were a lot of us. I’d heard that some soldiers went a little crazy after their transitions. Like being fully replaced was too much for their minds philosophically. Am I still me? What is me? That sort of thing.

It’s hard for us to find a way to effectively commit suicide but when there’s a will, there’s a way.

I looked down at my forearms. One was a little longer than the other. Both were covered in the zigzag patches of grafts that made us look like we were stitched together out of rags. Unintentionally excellent camouflage beneath the leaf shadows in the jungle.

My eyes were different colours. My teeth were all vat grown. My insides had mostly been 3d printed. I was brand new as of waking up from the last operation.

I was eager to get back to it.



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