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[Fiction] Cloned Blood

Saul Elsyn
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#1 - 2013-03-21 18:23:57 UTC  |  Edited by: Saul Elsyn
Cloned Blood

Saskia Abelen sat in her quarters. Her head was bowed slightly, allowing her short red hair to hide her face as she stared down at the small altar before her. A single holo flickered at its center showing an older woman with long white hair clad in the white and gold robes of a priestess. Before the small altar was a single vial of congealed blood.

Most did not understand the Sani Sabik faith. They saw them as being the same as the Blood Raiders, a group of killers that stole children in the night for their bloody rituals.

At its most basic form, the Sani Sabik felt that blood was life. To use blood in a ritual was to anoint it in the very life of those that gave their blood. It was just that the Blood Raiders had perverted that, stealing the blood of children and clones for it's purity in their rituals.

Her mother had been an Amarrian Priestess for over thirty years, ten of which she studied the Sani Sabik faith which had captured Saskia, her daughter as a teen. Two weeks earlier, she had been executed by the Amarrian Priesthood for blasphemy. How her supporters had drawn the small vessel of blood from her lifeless body, Saskia did not know, but in those two weeks, it had become a prized and cherished possession.

She wasn't mortal, not in the same way that others were. In her small quarters was a scattered array of other possessions. A Viziam Laser Rifle sat in one corner, its inner workings sat atop a dirty rag for cleaning. In another corner her amarrian dropsuit sat, looking battered and worn.

The holoscreens that filled one whole wall showed a vast array of images, bounty listings, incursion warnings, advertisements. In irritation, she keyed it off and the room plummeted into darkness, leaving only the single light of her mother's holo and the candle beside it.

"What do I do? They killed you, it's all my fault... they can't even kill me anymore." She huffed before wiping her eyes. "I'm sorry mom."

The universe did not care, maybe there really wasn’t much out there beyond the flesh and this thing called life. Did she keep going? Even death really wasn’t an end anymore. Her neocom pinged and a message flooded her brain.

Leam Aconi: Blade? You okay? We haven't heard from you... Are you still on Angur III?

Maybe it was time to start working again. Life was too short. She sighed and walked over to her armor. Her thoughts suddenly switched to the neocom as she decided to answer.

Saskia Abelen: I'm still at the station, why?

Leam Aconi: A contract just popped up at the station, sounds big...

She frowned slightly at that and started to pull on the armor, piece by piece. Here? Why would there be a contract on a station?

Leam Aconi: It's a priority contract, Saskia... Some terrorists just seized control of the docking control room. The station manager is offering a lot to clear them out.

Saskia finished donning her armor and sighed as she began to reassemble her laser rifle. Her neocom scanned the contracts until it found it amongst the thousands of mercenary support requests all over New Eden. The weapon hummed as she finished snapping the last of the components into place and she checked it once more before grabbing her sidearm.
She picked up the small vial of blood, kissed it, and slipped it inside her armor.

Saskia Abelen: I'm on my way, did you sign up for this gig?
Leam Aconi: I'm in another system waiting for a shuttle, Blade. It could be awhile before I get there.

She frowned at that and checked the systems of her armor before stepping through the door and into the corridor. The dim lighting and bronzed metal of the amarrian station surrounded her as she pulled on the helmet and activated its systems.
Saskia Abelen: Guess I'm on my own then, unless someone else shows.

She walked down the corridor to a turbolift cluster and punched in the coordinates for the docking bay.

She checked the power on her laser rifle as the car accelerated. Through the composite polymer windows she could see the car leave the habitation ring of the station with it's three enormous statues. Then suddenly the car screeched to a stop, and the lights flickered and went out.

Saskia scowled before punching the controls with her fist and scowling. When nothing happened, she activated her neocom and keyed into the local channel.

Saskia Abelen: Does anyone know what’s going on at the top station? I'm stuck in a turbolift at the moment, and power went out.

There wasn't any response and she scowled. Was it possible her neocom had been jammed? She checked her helmet seals and ran a quick systems check. Everything was intact. Everything was functional, for the moment at least. She activated the emergency seals on the suit and lifted her laser rifle toward the composite glass.

Holding down the trigger she cut a meter wide hole with the rifle and braced herself as the atmosphere was torn from the car. As it cleared, she checked her suit and nodded, the vacuum seals were working. She swung the laser file over her shoulder and clambered through the hole just as a frigate shot by below her, its dark grey, almost blue, hull glinting in the distant light of the star.

She crouched low on the access walkway beside the turbolift and headed toward the central core of the station. Her helmet mounted display counted the meters to the access hatch.
Saul Elsyn
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#2 - 2013-03-21 18:26:57 UTC
The cold of space cut through her armor, unlike the heavier suits used by the Minmatar, it wasn't a conversion of a design used as a spacesuit in drydocks. She felt chills as she stumbled to the hatch and slammed her glove onto the activation stud, when the hatch didn't open she fumbled with the manual release beside it, her fingers shaking. Her whole body was quivering from the cold when it hissed open and a blast of air hit her. She fell into the airlock and gasped as it shut behind her. Warm air filled the room and she felt the cold begin to abate

She'd died a hundred different ways already, but never had it been from the cold of space... the thought of just how painful such an end would be sent shivers down her spine. She crouched beside the door and saw that it had power. Hopeful, she tapped in a key code and braced herself as the door hissed open.

"Alright, we've got this sector clear... set that charge." A gruff voice echoed in the corridor beyond and Saskia slid into the hall. She drew her scrambler pistol and slowly leaned out from behind the alcove of the access way.

Three figures stood in a loose guard around a backpack-sized device. Two more were crouched beside it tapping out something on a key pad. Each wore what looked like an amarrian assault suit, aside for the dull grey color and the blued metal highlights. In their hands, each carried what looked like a caldari made assault rifle.

"We've trampled on the field of God for too long, the destruction of this place shall pave the way toward our return through the Eve gate to the world of man, leaving God's domain of New Eden as it should be, bereft of mortals." A voice echoed from the group and Saskia guessed it was playing through their helmet speakers.

She scowled at those words and lifted her scrambler pistol toward the man working on the device. Whatever it was, it was probably the biggest threat.

"For the Equilibrium of Mankind we—"

The bang of her pistol echoed in the hall and the man standing over the device jerked and toppled over, his helmet shattering from the impact. Saskia charged out of cover as the two nearest soldiers spun toward him, lifting their rifles. Hypervelocity rounds ripped through the air, cracking as they sped past her. Saskia tumbled forward and dove under the volley of return fire before lifting her pistol again and firing twice.

The two soldiers tumbled to the ground, blood splatter and smoke rising from the pistol's impact points. The two remaining men stumbled back toward the device. One of them lifted a rifle and Saskia grimaced as rounds tore through her shield and hammered into her suit's armor. She felt the telltale tingle of nanites running across her skin as the armor repairer activated and began to fix the damage.

She snarled and grabbed for her laser rifle. The green beam lashed out, slicing across the two remaining foes leaving behind flames that licked through the gaps in their shattered armor as they fell. She tuned out their screams. She'd heard enough screams of pain already in her life.

She stalked toward the device and lowered her rifle. Her green-eyed gaze flicked across it, studying it in detail for the first time.

It was a bomb. A graviton-impulse bomb of the sort she'd heard of but never seen before. From its size, she guessed it would be powerful enough to do a great deal of damage to the station. Scowling she tapped the access panel and saw the holographic interface flare to life. The device’s systems looked unstable, and she was hesitant to mess with it.

She didn't have a hacking module on her either.

"****!" She howled as she dove forward and stared at the display. Maybe if she could get it out into space, shove it out an air lock. She heaved the device over her shoulder and scowled.

Then she heard the crackle of an old-fashioned com coming from the headset of one of the group. "Death twelve, report? Have you placed the device?"

"Sir, I'm getting no life signs from team twelve..."

"Damn! A non-believer must have interfered. Recover the device, in the name of our Lord!" The first voice declared and

Saskia rolled her eyes.

She stood and glanced around the surrounding area as an alarm began to wail in the background. Saskia's gaze swept the area before she scrambled through a closing hatch and stood atop a gantry for one of the docking bays.

"Security to docking control!" A speaker yelled out overhead and she swallowed.

Then a message appeared from the local channel, maybe her neo-com wasn't jammed after all.

Julius Valorum: Is anyone at the top station? I've been locked in the dock for the last twenty minutes? What is going on?

She scowled and her thoughts flowed into words, answering him as she scrambled along the gantry. I don't know, but there's terrorists on the station. I got a contract to clear them out of docking control.

Julius Valorum: Terrorists?

Saskia Abelen stumbled to a hatch and tapped the controls. Yeah, I need some information... you're a capsuleer right?
Below she could see dockworkers running in the opposite direction and diving behind crates as assault rifle rounds cracked through the air.

Julius Valorum: I am... you're a duster?

She rolled her eyes at that irritating nickname before forcing open the door and stumbling through. I am... I need you to look up some information on a device. This lot was planting a graviton-impulse bomb... She stopped and swung the device off her shoulder and read the identification information. An Ishukone QGI-37, could you tell me the yield and how to change the settings?

Julius Valorum: I'll look up the specs.
Saul Elsyn
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#3 - 2013-03-21 18:29:29 UTC
She nodded to herself, lifted the device back over her shoulder, and checked the laser rifle's charge. Then she opened the hatch and stopped. There was a small office filled with blinking blue holograms and various displays. At the center of the room was a desk which three men clad in amarrian security uniforms were huddled behind, their hands clasped around a variety of weapons. Further, another scattered selection of desks lined the way to an access hatch marked with the words: Docking Control.

Three of the terrorists were scattered around the room, popping up and firing assault rifle rounds toward the security team hiding behind the desk. Every few seconds one of them would lean around the desk and spray a hail of scrambler rifle shots at the enemy.

Amateurs, she scoffed as the laser rifle thrummed in her arms and she charged forward, screaming at the security team. "Keep down!" She yelled as a green beam lanced from the emitter of her rifle and speared one of the terrorists. A scream of pain filled the room as his two comrades stared at the flames that had shot from his armor at the laser's impact. The man went down and she swept her laser toward the second foe and caught him dead center in the chest. The laser shut off, it's charge exhausted.

The last terrorist ran for the hatch when she ripped out her scrambler pistol and fired, obliterating his head with the shot as the hatch opened.

Assault rifle rounds tore through the air and she slid into cover. She reloaded the laser rifle and flinched as one of the security team dropped from a round that ripped through the desk itself. "STAY DOWN!" She shouted as a second man stood and let loosed a volley of scrambler rounds, but rifle round found him and dropped him to the ground.

Saskia snarled. They were idiots. Surely, they hired people better than this for station security. She grabbed an M1 Locus Grenade from her hip and tossed it through the open hatch. When the blast echoed from the hatch, she leapt to her feet and charged toward the hatch. Her eyes went wide when a man stepped round the hatch in a scarred and battered set of heavy amarrian armor with the blued metal they seemed to favor and lifted a forge gun toward her, its tip glowing with malevolent heat.

She dove to the side and tumbled out of the way, as the shot tore overhead and hit the desk the security team had used as cover, blasting it apart and killing the last of them. Saskia slid across the bronzed deck platting and banged against the wall beside the hatch. She pulled out her scrambler pistol again and swung around to face the guard. A single shot blasted through the man's helmet and dropped him to the ground.

Then she rolled into the control room. Bodies were scattered all across the room as she stepped forward, her pistol at the ready. A moment later, she came up on the main control station and tapped its holographic interface just as a familiar name appeared in her mind.

Julius Valorum: I found the information you're looking for. Link follows...

As her mind accessed the link, her implants absorbed the information... essentially a basic operation manual for the device. It was a weapon that operated on the same principal as void ammunition for larger ships. When activated it would create a massive quantum singularity, tearing apart its surroundings before its generator was destroyed. At maximum yield, it could have evaporated half the docking ring from where it had been placed killing hundreds, maybe thousands.

She swung the device off her back and dialed back the yield to minimum, but even at that setting, it was powerful enough to destroy a ship or most of a docking bay. The device's timer was still counting down and couldn't be deactivated without a password, but a manual trigger and deadman's switch was included as well... making it a favorite of terrorists all across the cluster.

Saskia Abelen: Thanks for the info... the docking control room is secure. What bay are you at? I can release the tractor clamps so you can slow boat out.

Julius Valorum: Bay 231... Thanks for the help.

Saskia shrugged as she keyed the docking release. Then she froze as a blue-steel shape rose into view out the forward ports. It must have been about twice the size of a man, and it's two enormous railguns were swinging her direction. A scout drone, she swore and glanced around the room for a second before grabbing her laser rifle and slashing an X into the carbon glass. She ran toward it as the drone fired sending two shot smashing through the carbon glass and tearing through the control room just as she smashed through the weakened glass and sailed out into the void. She tumbled for a moment and stared down at a docking bay just as it seemed that the station's artificial gravity became aware of her.

She plummeted for a moment before activating the inertial compensators and slamming into the deck platting. Gasping for breath she looked up and swore as the drone backed away from the destroyed control room and started sweeping the area with it's guns, searching for her.

"Displace!" A commanding voice roared and she looked down just in time to see a security team operator scramble out of cover just before a grenade exploded from where he'd been. The man dove behind another crate as assault rifle rounds ripped through the air.

Damn. Saskia thought as she ran for the cover of the crates and dove down beside the security operator.

"Who the hell are you?" The man asked as he ducked down behind the crates to avoid a volley of rifle rounds.

"Does it matter...?” She glanced up over the crates and swore as a forge gun shot skimmed just over her shoulder. "Damn!"

"The control room is ******." The operator swore as he lifted his scrambler rifle and let loose with a volley that dropped another of the terrorist soldiers. "Are you our help?"
Saul Elsyn
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#4 - 2013-03-21 18:32:18 UTC  |  Edited by: Saul Elsyn
"Something like that." She muttered, and then glanced up as a whine filled the air. Saskia swallowed as the roar of a fusion engines filled the docking bay. Beside her, the security team operator cursed as the gleaming drone nearly as large as a dropship roared into the bay. Its two enormous cannons swung toward them.

"MOVE!" One of the operators yelled as Saskia ran out from behind the cover, half crouched as shots flashed past from the terrorists. A second later, the boom of the twin railguns filled the air and Saskia felt herself being thrown through the air from the shockwave. She struck the side of the wall and slid to the ground, her head throbbing.

Julius Valorum: Saskia, what's going on?

Saskia rolled onto her side as her mind answered him instantly. Kind of busy, they've got a ******* drone in the docking bay!

She glanced back over her shoulder and saw that the security team was gone, vaporized by the impact of the drone's railguns. With a whine, she saw the drone spin on its thrusters, its guns pointing down toward her.

"****!" She snapped before lifting up her laser rifle and firing on the drone. The beam of green light sputtered futilely against the drone's shields. Then a volley of missiles shot into the bay and struck the drone one after another. Saskia watched as electricity shot from each impact. Black smoke billowed from a wing joint on the drone as it spun to look out the bay.

A Vengeance-class Frigate rose into view, its rocket launchers tracking the drone and Saskia watched as another ragged volley shot into drone and tore it to pieces, sending blackened metal flying in all directions. For a split second, Saskia just stared before the crack of a hypervelocity round drew her attention to the troops remaining in the bay.

Julius Valorum: ****! They've got a cruiser docked and it's launching more drones... I can't help you much more!

Understood. Saskia thought back before lifting her laser rifle and sweeping its beam across two of the nearest foes, dropping them with a single hit. Her gaze moved to the rather battered looking hatch at the opposite side of the docking bay and scowled. Thanks for that. What bay number is that ship at?

Julius Valorum: Bay 97 I think.

Saskia nodded and glanced at the number over the hatch: 97. She was just a door away from the enemy's ship. The weight of the graviton-impulse bomb on her back reminded her of its presence, and a feral smile slid across her face as she bolted for the door, holding her laser rifle in one hand and sweeping its beam over the enemy forcing them into cover. As she slammed into the side of the door, she saw the beam flicker and die, its energy spent. Scowling, she dropped the rifle and drew her sidearm.

Then she hit the activation controls as assault rifle rounds shot overhead and tumbled through the hatch as it was just began to open.

She stumbled to her feet and found herself in a docking bay, a long 'space-bridge' extending to the side of a ship that looked vaguely like a Arbitrator-class Cruiser with blued steel for a hull and a rack full of railguns and missile launchers for armament. With a feral smile she ran, clambering across the bridge to the side of the ship and an open airlock. As she approached the inner door opened and she saw a trio of unarmored people, wearing blue and gold clothes of amarrian cut lift guns toward her. As pistol rounds cracked over her head, Saskia lifted her Scrambler pistol to the first of the group and fired.

The woman's head that had been in her sights exploded, and toppled back into the airlock as Saskia kept running, practice from hundreds of hours in combat keeping the pistol level in her hands as she snapped a second shot off, knocking one of them to the ground with a bloody shot to the hip. The third one ran for the hatch controls to shut her out when her third shot struck the crewman in the chest and toppled her to the deck platting.

Saskia smirked as she ran past and kicked the control for the interior door. With a hiss the hatch opened and Saskia ran inside, her pistol swinging to track other targets. The dull blue light overhead was unsettling, as most amarr ships and stations were lit with a yellow light much like that of the star amarr itself. The metal was blued and dark unlike the bronzed or golden hue of most amarrian made alloys.

"****... where the hell is the bridge on a ship like this?" She muttered as she crept forward to the next set of doors. Dozens of small alcoves lined the hall and she could see access hatches where crewmembers could clamber into the ship's guts to perform maintenance.

At the end of the hall, she found a hatch and activated it. A dull blue-green light filled the room beyond and she stumbled to a stop when she looked up and saw what looked like a seed pod around twice the size of a man hanging from the center of the room, connecting rods ran from it to various monitors and controls.

Saskia stopped there and smirked before lifting her pistol toward the pod. "Forget the bridge..."

"HEATHEN!" A voice boomed and Saskia spun on her heel toward a man clad in the flowing robes of an amarrian priest, dyed a dark blue instead of the traditional white or brown. On either side of the man were soldiers like those she'd fought, their rifles up and ready. "You desecrate the home of our pilot and captain with your presence!"

Scowling she pointed the scrambler pistol toward the pod. "I'll do it!"

"You think her unprotected?" The priest said in a mocking tone. "A mere pistol will not pierce her jovian shell."

"I have more than a pistol." Saskia snapped before switching her aim toward the priest once more and swinging the graviton-impulse device off her shoulder. Her gaze flicked between him and the activation stud.

"STOP HER!" The Priest yelled.
Saul Elsyn
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Caldari State
#5 - 2013-03-21 18:35:11 UTC
The bang of rifle rounds filled her ears and she felt pain fill her chest as the first round struck her. She gritted her teeth and growled as a second round struck her in the gut. Her hand slammed into the activation stud and she saw the device's systems wink to life. A dull blue light came from the center of the bomb and she looked up at the priest.

"Go to hell." She spat as she could feel the very space around her distorting and twisting from the device. Then there was a blast of brilliant light and then... nothing.

She opened her eyes and blinked. A single white light shone down from above her and she took a deep breath.
"You're awake?" A voice asked in the gloom and she glanced up to see a man clad in a caldari style suit with a couple amarrian cufflinks lean into her field of view.

"Yeah... I'm awake." She blinked her eyes and sighed. "What happened?" She asked as she felt her body. It was intact, unmarred... fresh.

New... Her clone must have activated the moment the bomb went off, but why had it taken so long to wake? Normally she'd be in combat again within seconds and she would have woke with a full combat loadout.

"It seems that blowing yourself up with a graviton-impulse bomb has a bit odd effects... It's been three hours since the bomb detonated. Apparently the subspace and temporal distortion of the warhead slowed the transfer of consciousness." The man said with a faint smile. "Instantaneous at the moment of death, but when did you die? You were at the epicenter of a tiny black hole's formation... You see the time dilation slowed the transfer as you died very slowly in the time dilation of that... device."

Saskia nodded. Then she tapped her chest and frowned, she'd forgotten... the small vial of blood from her mother, it was gone. Her eyes grew a bit clouded at that and she sighed. "I understand..." She said after a moment. "But who are you?"

"A friend..." He said with a faint smile and pulled a small chain from his pocket along with a vial of coagulated blood.
Saskia stared. "How..."

"Cloned tissue, if we can clone a human being why not an organ? Why not blood?" He chuckled faintly and handed it to her. "Maybe next time you won't carry it into battle."

Saskia flushed as she took hold of the vial and slipped the chain over her neck. "Thank you."

"Not a problem..." The man said with a faint smile before he stood. "We'll have to work together again sometime."
She blinked... "Did we… Who are you?"

"Oh... my name is Julius Valorum, I was a friend of your mother's." He grinned at her. "You saved a lot of lives today... if that bomb had gone off in the habitat section..." He shook his head and sighed.

"Are you... a follower?" She asked quietly.

He nodded slightly. "May your life and blood bless your future, Saskia Abelen." Then he was gone out the door leaving behind only a bit of contact information in her neocom.
Per Bastet
Obsidian Mining Coalition
#6 - 2013-03-21 21:41:36 UTC
Awesome Story - Good Pace and a Great Read

"Whether the paranoid conspiracy theory community has had a separate trial process and decided other crazy batshit insane garbage was true I can't attest to as I don't subscribe to that mailing list and instead deal in the realm of fact."  - CCP Sreegs, 2013

Eija-Riitta Veitonen
Ixian Machines
#7 - 2013-03-22 09:09:18 UTC
Great read indeed!