Prologue

Creative Commons License
Waking up after a loss by Manasi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Prologue

Manasi awoke with a start; how long had he been out?  Clone jumping normally lasted a very short amount of time, always wrapped in blackness.  But this was different blackness.  Thoughts flooded his mind; his old CEO, CFO, and COO had all perished unexpectedly, with no clones, and pain enveloped him.  Then a thought, he leaned over to a technician in the clone bay.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” tears for his fallen members at the corners of his eyes.

“Yes?”  she replied.

He said, “Sorry for the nature of this question, but what year is it?”

A wonderful smile greeted him and she laughed, “You silly, the year is 1107.”

“1107?”  His mind reeled.  Three and a half years in the clone vat lay before him, lost.  Despondent, he asked the technician her name.

“My name is Marisa and if there isn’t anything else I have to help someone else.  There are large battles happening and several more clones were just activated.”  She winked.  “Don’t worry about the tears.  I cannot imagine facing death so many times.”

Manasi laughed.  “Worry about the tears?”  Laughter flowed out continuously.  “That’s how I know I am alive, Marisa.  That’s how I know I am alive.”

Just as he was finished getting dressed, he asked, “It is still legal to ask someone out for coffee?”

She stammered.  “Well, we normally we see so many rookies we are told to avoid social situations…”

Manasi laughed, “Do I look like a rookie to you?”

“No, no…  You don’t.  Meet me down the promenade when you’re done checking your ships out.”

He wondered and then realized that most people she met ran down to the hangar bay.  He pulled his jacket on and tapped his wrist.  “23:00 is good for you?”

She replied, “Sure thing, but you’re paying.”

“No problem,” he said.  “See you then.”

Manasi realized he had to check on his possessions.  As he walked to the lift to go down to his ship he wondered what he would have available.  He stopped on the medical bay floor without realizing it.  He walked over to the machine and checked his clone; a Lambda clone?  Weird, he wondered if he would need to upgrade it soon and realized that while he was out lots had changed.

He toggled the help and asked a picture on the screen, “I was wondering what happened to me and why I was out for so long?”

The computer responded, “There was an incredibly high degree of serotonin in your clone the last time you jumped, so we placed you in stasis until it dissipated.”

“How long ago did it dissipate?” Manasi asked.

The computer responded, “Three years, five months and twelve hours.”

“So why was I out so long then?” he asked, his temper staring to flare.

“There was a glitch in the system and your clone remained in stasis.  We only fixed the error yesterday so we reactivated your clone,” responded the computer.  “We upgraded your clone to Lambda as a way of repayment.”

“Fine,” he growled under his breath.  He toggled the switch off.  This was not the way he wanted to come back: three years gone; old friends gone; all he knew, fast forwarded without him.  A thought crossed his mind and he toggled the communicator.

“Jeffrey, are you there, bro?”  He waited.  Jeffrey had been his last crew chief and a better mechanic he didn’t know.  He hoped he was still alive.

The communicator at his wrist chirped.  ”Well, well, thought you’d been dead and gone these last few years.”

“Might as well have been” he replied.  “If you’re near Tash-Murkon, Paye System, The Imperial Academy School at 23:00 maybe I can find out what all has changed.”

Jeffrey replied, “Hell yes, I’m there…umm, you buying?”


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