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Dave Fragments

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THE CLONE WARRIORS

February 2000

Part One.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

David-942 started the mantra in his thoughts.

Hard not to be afraid of dying.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

Hard to be left with nothing but a mantra.

Nothing but death.

Nothing.

Nothing had gone right on this Mission.

From the start this mission had been a Mongolian cluster fuck.

And shortly, this mission would come to an end.

And so would David-942. And so David-942 awaited death.

Death. The end.

Simple as that. No more, no less.

And no one would sing his praises.

And no one would sing his fame.

No one on this god-forsaken planet would mourn the loss of a Clone.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

A mantra to calm his nerves.

A mantra to kill time.

Nothing could kill time.

MacBeth could kill sleep, but David-942 could not kill time.

Time passed slowly. Time passed inexorably.

And David-942 was helpless in its progress.

Chained, he watched for the alien.

The settlers had done this. Yes! The settlers had done this.

His reward from the settlers was to meet the alien.

Settlers, what a concept.

Criminals! misfits! Losers! Trash!

These earth-forsaken

(For as earth had cast them out as unworthy, a just god would never have any part of them. Let alone forsake him.)

David942 felt like a space-faring Job.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

Settlers had double-crossed him and his crew.

These settlers had lured a contingent of clone-warriors to their planet

With fake messages of fake disasters and fake calamities.

With lies.

These settlers had caused his space ship to crash land.

And then, captured or killed his fellow soldiers.

And now, they watched.

They watched to see his death.

They watched from up high on the bluff.

It was his turn to die.

He was their sacrificial lamb.

He would meet the creature they were afraid to face.

He would come face to face with death and then the settlers would be satisfied.

He would come face to face with death, and having faced death

He would die.

(For no mortal man can truly look on the face of death and still live.)

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

The mantra cluttered about in his head.

Once more he tried with all his strength against the chains and fetters that bound him to the rock.

Still he could not break them.

If he had been manacled only at the wrists, or at the ankles, or even both, he might had been able to break free. Such was the strength of the race of clones that bore the name David-warriors. But the Settlers had done their homework well. Nine rings formed his prison here on the stone slab. Nine rings of alien metal that bound him and the stone like an unwanted wife, till death do we part. And only at death, would they part. The alien would most definitely part him from the rings.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

Nine, a mystical number. Sometimes even a lucky number.

But not in this case. It was the base number of four. Two sets of four plus one. Four rings encircled his wrists and elbows. These alone sufficient for holding any mere human settler. Four more rings encircled his knees and ankles. The ninth and final ring girdled his hips and pelvis just below the waist.

David-942, the most powerful of the clone-warriors, could not break free.

He had served the Confederation, his exploits nearly legend.

Now, on this strange planet - tricked, beaten, bound, and exhausted - defeated.

He tried not to think of the death that was to come for him.

He had been waiting the better part of two day-night cycles now.

Waiting for death.

He returned to the mantra.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

Hard not to be afraid.

Hard not to be afraid when he had witnessed the death that awaited him.

His first lieutenant had been bound to this rock and made to face the alien.

An unfair fight, a shameful death. Death in the clutches of an alien. David-942 had watched as the aliens appeared. Silent, formidable, and horrific in every aspect, no one would have dared approach the alien.

Rising from the ocean, giant amoeba-shaped creatures.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

Held captive high above the stone platform David-942 could only watch helplessly.

Slowly, almost cautiously, the alien bulk flowed under the lieutenants' form. His lieutenant's arms and legs, broken and lying at impossible angles, floated on the alien cushion. Slowly, ever so slowly, the alien flesh oozed around the broken limbs and made them straight. Then slowly, almost imperceptibly, the flesh on the lieutenant's hands and feet dissolved revealing the bones and tendons. Then equally as slowly, the bones dissolved.

The lieutenant flailed helplessly with flipper-like limbs, trying to prevent the alien substance from moving up toward his torso. But, the alien stuck like glue. The more the lieutenant fought, the deeper he sank into the alien flesh. The stubs of the lieutenants' arms and legs slowly dissolved and all that was left was his torso.

David-942 heard the lieutenants' last scream as the creature flowed up his chest and covered him completely. Within moments, he was dissolved and nothing was left of the lieutenant.

This was the fate that awaited David-942.

This was his destiny.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

David-942 and the lieutenant had served many years and many missions together.

The lieutenant was one of the first clone-warriors. One of the best. One of the most decorated.

The clone-warriors, bred to be society's guardians, sentinels, soldiers, and policemen.

Beaten and despised.

Now David-942 waited for the alien's return.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

He remembered his first sighting of the aliens. Six of the giant jelly-like beings attacking a nuclear reactor and destroying it. They dissolved it. No man-made materials withstood the attack. Not even the plutonium core.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

Only the chains that bound David-942 could withstand their attack. The natives said the chains were timeless, that even time could not wear them. And beyond time the chains would still remain.

Noises interrupted his thoughts.

Clouds of fear entered David-942's mind.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

The fear took longer to dispel.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

How did we get here, he thought.

The survey teams found a warm tropical paradise, mostly water, one large land mass, pleasant climate, luxurious, green rain-forest, snow-capped mountains in the north and abundant fresh water.

They didn't check the ocean for life. The mistake was hidden from the confederation, the colonists, and the clone-warriors.

Soon he would get to meet their mistake. Time passed slowly waiting.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me".

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

Idle chatter from the settlers shook David-942 out of his thoughts. He imagined them praying to their god for his death. They worshipped the amoeba out of fear. It was this planet's god.

No religions on earth wanted to claim the clones as human.

Clones had no souls. Clones had no religion. Clones had no humanity. David-942 had no religion.

Even if he had a soul, even if he outlived death, even if some portion of him was immortal or transcendent, no religion on earth had yet claimed that portion for a heaven or a hell.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

The settlers made noise again. David-942 watched for the aliens in the water. But there was no sign of them.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

Hard not to be afraid of dying.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

Time passed slowly waiting for death.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

The natives were restless. They lit a bonfire on the bluff to burn through the night. And they stayed close to it, afraid of the dark. Like children.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

The sun was nearly gone. It would be a warm night, his last.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

Noises jolted him from his thoughts. But it was just the settlers arguing.

The mantra again returned and David-942 let his thoughts wander back into the past.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

The mantra was one of the mental techniques in his clone-warrior training.

David-942 was in the first group of clones ever created and trained.

He learned well.

The Confederation had discovered the secret to cloning whole beings rather than just individual organs. And with this knowledge, the Confederation had built an army of clones, David-warriors.

Stronger, more durable, and able to withstand extreme conditions far better than normal humans.

The name David-warrior came from their resemblance to the ancient statue by Michelangelo.

David-942 has seen the statue in person on a mission to Paris.

He was more muscular and better defined. He had stood next to the statue, disrobed and posed for the crowd to prove it. The attention aroused his manhood and the crowd demanded he shower them with "white rain" and satisfy their voyeuristic desires.

Such was the arrogance of youth pumped with testosterone.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

A stiff wind blew in from the sea and distracted his thoughts.

Quietly, he returned to the mantra.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

He used the mantra to slow his metabolic rate.

The night was warm and he was sleepy.

He stretched his arms and legs as far as the chains would permit.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Despicable and hateful!" A voice said to David-942.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me."

Startled by the voice, David-942's heart raced at the sound. He looked around but saw no one.

He sat there, all senses heightened, watching and listening.

The only sound was waves gently lapping the shoreline. Half the night passed.

He returned to the mantra, trying again to sleep.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

He drifted towards sleep. Sleep the mystery and dreams their paradox.

Even clones had to dream.

David-942 felt the real world turn gray and dull and move away from his mind. The dream world arose around him. In it, he stood whole and healthy, big, rough hands rubbing his firm body. He turned, saw a stranger in his dream.

He struggle to see the man but his shape moved and shimmered.

"Despicable and hateful!" The dream shape said to him. .

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

David struggled in his dream state.

"I am glad you finally came David-942. We have wanted to meet you ever since we became aware that you were leaving earth." said the other.

"Who are you? Why are you here?" Said David-942 in his dream.

"I am the representative of The Assembled. We inhabitant this planet."

"You're the creature that I saw eat the lieutenant!"

"Not ate, incorporated. Not dissolved, absorbed. I will show you."

In David-942's dream, the lieutenants' body appeared before him whole and unbroken.

"This is what we preserved of his physical mind and body as he died. There is a part of every living creature that transcends the physical and cannot be preserved. His mind held too much pain and suffering to remain with this body."

"How do I know that this is true? That I am not hallucinating." David-942 challenged.

"I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day." And with that, the alien flooded David-942's mind with memories from the lieutenant's life. Memories of missions, of travel, of shore leave and most of all, memories of the love between David-942 and the lieutenant filled David-942's mind. There was no doubt that the alien possessed the lieutenant's body, mind and memories.

"So now you will absorb me! And steal my memories. Is that what you want? You're nothing but a voyeur." Anger clouded David-942's thoughts.

"No, I am sorry, I overstepped myself. We can't handle anger. Emotions are foreign to us. I wish to save you, but time is short. We must act now. The others are planning to beat you to death. We can hear their thoughts of hate and anger."

He let David-942 hear the thoughts of the settlers.

"To save you, I must absorb you and we must become one. This is unique in our history. But you must willingly accept us." The alien sounded desperate and anxious.

"What choice do I have? Death by beating or death by dissolution? That's not a very good choice."

The alien was clearly pained by the anger and cynicism in these remarks. But time was now running out. And the alien thoughts flowed swiftly into David-942's sleeping mind.

"I am unique on this planet. I exist only for you. In all the history of The Assembled, we have never had the concept of "I" until the earthmen came here. I was created just to combine with you. The Assembled understood that new contacts demand new philosophical structures. And so, the Assembled made me. Together, we must recreate your body and mine. You and I can succeed at this task. But I must come to you when you are awake. You must willingly become a creature like me, formless and shapeless. And I must willingly become a creature like you, human and solid. We will share everything, our memories, our bodies and our wills. We will become one."

David-942 was stunned by the proposal. His mantra returned to occupy his mind.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

"Fear is the mind-killer, I will not let it conquer me.

Part Two

David-942 was startled awake by human voices coming towards him. When they were about 50 feet from him, they stopped and pointed at the water in fear. David-942 turned and saw the aliens coming towards him. This was his first look at an aliens close up. They were gigantic.

They flowed out of the water and onto the stone platform where he lay, towering nearly 25 feet into the air. They looked like thick water. Inside, he could see jelly-like structures with dark red bands moving through their gelatinous bodies. He stared, transfixed by the sight. Bullets whizzed around him, hitting the aliens and stopping inside their oozy forms. They surrounded the platform with a living wall of alien flesh. David-942 was protected from the settlers. One of the alien forms moved onto the platform.

David-942 watched as the alien began to flow towards him, covering the floor of the platform. He only had one choice, to step onto the platform, and as he stepped onto the alien, he shivered and so did the alien. Its touch was cool to his feet. He stood awkwardly in his chains for a few seconds while the alien changed shape and began to support him, eventually forcing him into a prone position. It warmed to match his body temperature. As he lay there, tendrils formed out of the surface of the alien and touched him. The touch felt familiar. It was the lieutenant's touch he recognized. The tendrils were caressing his body in the same way that the lieutenant had done. Unconsciously, David-942 returned the caress.

Other tendrils were forming and beginning to explore his body. They poked and touched and felt him gently, then turned soft and sponge-like and began to scrub the dirt from his body. Dirt and hair dissolved at their touch. The started on his arms and legs, scrubbing them smooth, then moved to his torso and his head. A pair held his head while others scrubbed his scalp. He was left more than clean. Hairless and pink, his body was like that of a child.

He felt a tendril gently press against his asshole and form itself into the familiar shape of the lieutenants cock. At first resisted, but finally he relaxed and let it enter his body. It began to warm him and clean him. He felt the deep pulsing action of the tendril propel the alien presence deep into his guts. It slithered through his intestines deeper and deeper.

His cock was stiff due to the pressure on his prostate. One of the tendrils crept under his foreskin, cleaned out the head cheese and was began to work its way down his urethra into his bladder. His cock felt hard as steel as this happened. The tendril filled his bladder, emptied it, and traveled down into his ball sack to engulf his testicles.

More tendrils attached themselves to his head, pushed it forward, pulled his eyes open and forced him to look at his body. David-942 saw his body partially engulfed in alien ooze. His cock was engorged with the ooze was 18 inches long and nearly 6 inches thick. He stared in amazement at now alien controlled cock. He looked for other parts of his body and saw his hands and feet embedded in the alien. The chains were still holding him to the ground. The alien slime heated up as David-942 watched the flesh and bone of his hands and feet slowly dissolve. The alien ooze rippled with the heat and his hands dissolved and the rings that had imprisoned him fell away.

The tendrils at his head began to fill his ears and cover his eyes. He became dizzy for a moment and then stabilized. He was aware of looking through the alien ooze. The tendrils entered his nose and mouth and began to fill his his chest and lungs. His breathing cut off like this, he began to struggle but the alien now held him securely. Slowly, when he realized that he was getting oxygen through his lungs and not suffocating, he quit struggling. He felt the alien presence filling his stomach and move through his intestine. It met the tendril from his large intestine.

David-942 was now completely engulfed in the alien, floating inside it.

He wanted to close his eyes and stop watching, but realized that the eyelids were gone. They had dissolved. Heat and pain again assaulted him and he watched helplessly what was left of his arms and legs slowly expanded and dissolved into the alien. All that was left was his muscular torso. It reminded him of a porpoise. Smooth sleek. His giant shoulders flowed smoothly to his legless hips. Small, stubby fin-like protrusions where his arms and legs used to be, a huge, alien-enlarged cock hanging like a rudder pole.

As he watched, he could see the flesh around the bones of his hips pull in as the last ring fell away from his body. He guessed that the alien had preferentially dissolved the bone in his hips that the ring had been screwed into in order to remove the ring. He wanted to close his eyes, but there was no lids.

David-942 felt warmth on his head and realized that the alien was about to enter his skull. He tried to move his eyes, but his vision blurred and faded to black as his eyes dissolved. The world became dark.

The voice he had heard earlier returned.

"We are glad you came David-942. We did not know if your would survive this far.

"Who are you?" thought David-942. "Where am I?" It was dark and confusing to David-942.

The Creature answered: "Be not afraid! David-942, the process is not complete. Reach out with your mind and find me."

Within the consciousness that was David-942, a struggle was going on between the physical and the mental. The physical had been taken away, but the mental was still there. Deep inside his thoughts, David-942 had come to realize that he could see without eyes and he could talk without a mouth and vocal cords. Slowly he built the mental image of his physical self in his mind. As he built it, he removed the damage and flaws that time, hardship and science had filled his body with over the years. He removed the scars, the poorly mended bones, the impotence, and the metallic implants from this mental image. When he had finished, he willed his mind to occupy and looked around the mental landscape.

He turned his attention from his inner being to the alien and again, this time knowing who he was:

"Who are you?" thought David-942. "Where am I?"

The answer came into his mind and his surroundings became brighter.

Formless entities of light filled the area around him. He looked around and saw a humanoid form standing near him. It was the entity who had spoken to him appearing in human form. It stood next to the still, lifeless form of his lieutenant. The entity had taken the appearance of what David-942 had imagined his father would have looked like.

"Do you really look like that or dod you only assume that form to fool me into trusting you?" asked David-942.

"There is no intent to deceive, David-942. I took this form from the lieutenants' mind. We felt that if my appearance was similar to yours, it would calm you and help with the joining-yet-to-come."

Studying the lieutenantís lifeless form, David-942 asked? "Why is the lieutenantís body here?"

"That is the telepathic extension of his memories, we would like you to merge with them and integrate them into your psyche before you merge with me. Without your understanding of strong emotions, we would be severely damaged by his memories." said the entity.

"Who are you and who are "we"? You referred to "we" several times. Explain that. Tell me what you mean."

Part Three

David-942 listened to the alien figure.

"We are the collective consciousness of the beings that inhabit this world. We are telepathically linked to each other and our collective consciousness sensed the coming of humans many days before their spaceships arrived. We awaited your arrival with high expectations. Here was another species of life in the universe. We were not alone. Life had not started by accident."

David-942 watched the figure intently. It was a smooth-skinned, nearly hairless humanoid, built like an older version of the lieutenant, complete with gray hair. However, it was not human. It had no navel and no pores. Its musculature lacked the hardness that exercise provided. It continued to speak:

"But, when we felt the hate and anger of the settlers, we were dismayed. We do not distinguish between our individual thought patterns and our collective thought patterns. Our individual thoughts and feelings are known to all. There is no strong emotion. Humans, you see, are alone in their thought patterns. We had no way to deal with those emotions, so we stayed away from the human settlements and avoided human contact. Only when the human settlers threatened to change the water did we take action to destroy the threat."

"So that was why you destroyed the nuclear plant." Commented David-942.

"Yes. There are other forms of energy available that would not harm our oceans." The alien quickly returned to his narrative.

"We decided that we had to contact the humans. We had to establish some relationship with humans. But, the settlers, as you call them, avoided all contact with us. We tried to contact humans telepathically, but that caused nightmares and hallucinations in both our species. The only alternative left to us was to create a being capable of communicating with humans. I was the first step in that process." The alien paused to let these thoughts sink into David-942.

"And absorbing the lieutenant and me was the second step. With our knowledge, you should be able to contact all the humans you want." said David-942.

"No! We could obtain sufficient knowledge of your species by telepathy. But, your individuality and emotions are patterns that have not been part of our race for thousands and thousands of years. So, I was created. I am a singular and unique entity in our race. I am the first individual since we developed telepathy to call myself I. I was created to bring our two species together. I must join with you and together, we must become one being. We will be unique in my world and yours. We will be able to understand each of our species and guide our rapprochement.

"But I thought we were one right now? You dissolved my body into your body. You dissolved the lieutenant. What more do you want." said David-942.

"Only your flesh and my flesh have joined. Your mind and my mind are still separate and unique. They must become one mind. I am maintaining the structures that you call DNA within my system. I have the body and mind your lieutenant within me also. But we must join minds before reintegration of the body. My race calls itself The Collective. Your race calls itself Human. We must create that which is both and not-both. Do you understand that?" asked the alien.

"You said that I would exist after the joining, what about you?" asked David-942.

"We will exist as one after the joining is completed." replied the alien.

The alien was silent for a moment. It became clear to David-942 that a debate between the alien entities was going on. Finally, the alien spoke.

"In every joining we make, one of the partners remains dominant and has control of the process. This alone has no importance when we merge in The Collective. We merely separate as appropriate. Our memory is common and shared. But you humans are a different. You only exist as individuals. Your minds and physical being are unique. Any joining with you, be it physical or mental, and this is the process we have begun, must acknowledge that individuality. Your mind could not exist as mine does in The Collective. My mind could not exist alone. Therefore, when we are completely integrated, if such a thing succeeds, one ego will be in control, neither yours nor mine. The new entity will speak with our voice and maintain our body. It will be of both species. Not one, or the other." finished the alien.

"But then wonít I become physically like you? Or will you reform your body into a human body?" asked David-942.

"We don't know. This inter-species joining has not been attempted since the dawn of life on this planet. The knowledge of it has been lost in antiquity. The Collective is not sure of what the final physical form will be. We are pioneers. Only time will tell." The alienís voice sounded sad to David-942.

"But what is the lieutenant doing here?" asked David-942.

" He was a very complex person. His memories extend back many years to his childhood. Unlike you, he was not a clone. We cannot deal with the anger and emotion that rages in his memories. You must tame that emotion. " Said the alien.

"He wasn't a clone. That doesn't seem possible. I don't know how to merge with the memories of the lieutenant." asked David-942. 

"I will help you. The process is merely one of experiencing those memories and calming the emotions in them. Start by listening to those memories and then work through understanding them." The alien's tone was reassuring.

Part Four

David-942 looked intently at the lieutenant's lifeless form. Even when he was sleeping with the lieutenant, he had not seen him this peaceful. The closer and closer he examined the body, the more he realized that it was a mental construct. It had no wounds, no scars, none of the little human deformities that distinguish our bodies. The lieutenant's sleep had always been disturbed. They had blamed it on the cloning process. But the last statement by the alien had surprised him. The Lieutenant was not a clone.

Amazing! Startling! No human had ever joined the space corps. Not even criminals joined the space corps. Only clones were spacemen. The clones were genetically enhanced and physically modified to pilot the spaceships and fight the wars. The lieutenant never hinted at a previous existence. Clones had no childhood memories. They were activated at a 16 year-old equivalence. Their first memories were of military personnel ordering them to physical training. Their knowledge was implanted through subliminal implants. No human even submitted to this treatment. At least no one admitted it.

David-942's reached out and touched the image of the lieutenant's body with his hand. As he did, he felt the mental energy of the memories begin to flood his mind. It was a glut of memory and emotion. Too much, too fast, too many strange and unfamiliar memories. Memories from childhood, from their missions together, of pain and anguish so vivid and painful, of events so foreign that David-942 quickly removed his hand.

David-942 had never experienced emotion that strong. The outpouring had been strong and fast, overwhelming, in fact. In that short contact, he already had a catalog of all the lieutenant's lifetime. Parts of the lieutenant's memories were tightly bound together. David-942 guessed that these memories had been suppressed.

He touched the lieutenant's body again and started to absorb memories into portions of his mind. Here was the lieutenant as a child and then a young man in high school. Memories spoiled by a drunken, abusive father and an overbearing, critical mother. Memories about college life, sexual experimentation, depravity, and dismemberment fogged by clouds of drug addiction. Then, clone-warrior memories, sudden and abrupt, like a new body had been created and stuck onto the old body. These memories were of the first interstellar space drive tests and its disastrous effects on mankind and predated David-942.

Another surprise, the lieutenant was older than David-942. David-942 had always assumed that he was older than the lieutenant. The memories continued with David-942's creation and the revelation that the lieutenant's was his genetic father. Something about the lieutenant's physical makeup made him cloneable. The exact reason was tightly buried in the lieutenant's memory. David-942 would wait until another time to decipher the riddles he was finding.

Then the memories were familiar and concerned their life together, how they meet, their missions, their love. The only memories that David-942 did not know were the lieutenant's most recent memories of his capture by the settlers. They took him as he slept, chained him, beat him, tortured, and interrogated him. When the lieutenant remained silent, they smashed his arms and legs with sledgehammers. Sexually abused him and finally chained him to the rock.

David-942 now discovered that what he perceived to be a cruelly slow dissolution of the lieutenant by this alien was, in reality, an attempt to resolve the emotional turmoil within the lieutenantís mind. Unable to accomplish this, the alien had let the lieutenant die. David-942 experienced that death as surely as the lieutenant had and more, he was able to understand the lieutenant's final thoughts and feelings.

Exhausted, David-942 closed the world around him and rested. When he opened his eyes, The lieutenant's form had disappeared and he was, once again, facing the alien's humanoid figure. After a time he spoke.

"You attempted to join with him when he was chained out here?"

"Yes." the alien replied.

"Do you understand why it failed?" asked David-942.

"We, The Collective, only understand that there was an emotional battle raging within him that prevented him from opening up to us completely. Maybe he could not face what his mind held. Maybe he lacked the emotional control. Maybe he did not want the union. I cannot say and neither can the Collective." The alien paused, then continued.

"The physical aspects, his broken and tortured body, was a hindrance. We don't process food or produce energy the same way humans do. It was very difficult for us to heal his body along with his mind. It was our inexperience that made us fail and all we could do was preserve his memories. We are truly sad." The alien seemed to sit. Finished with this speech.

"I think the lieutenant understood that. He seemed to accept death. He had many secrets in his life. Humans tend to hide their faults and failures. His father abused him. His mother was overly critical. He flunked out of college because he didn't study. He lost the use of his arms and legs and spent months as a drug-addicted sex slave. Then he joined the clones because that was the only way to regain the use of his body. Society doesn't value clones, so he could never tell anyone. He had lots of guilt over the failure of this mission."

"The Collective believed you to be his offspring and not his clone." said the alien.

"No, I was cloned from his cells and that is as close as he had to a family. I never knew that. We bunked together during space flight and he never told me. Our faster than light drive sexually arouses men and we spent most of that time in sexual union." David 942 then returned to his new memories and remained silent for a very long time. When he was done, he addressed the alien.

"How do we begin the process of our joining? How do we integrate your physical existence and mine?" asked David-942.

6300 words more or less


My Anthology

FUTURES YET UNKNOWN
Ten Stories by Dave Fragments
*A hunting expedition on an alien world.
*An Alien serial murderer and a furry detective with fleas.
*Murder on a world with altered humans.
*Disturbing apocalyptic visions *Monstrous dystopian societies.
*A man on trial for betraying the human race to robots.
*Devils, demons and ghosts.
*Survivors of a plague war.
*Cyborgs trying to be human.
*Six friends in a strange sinkhole.
*The truth about a world drowning in rain, without sun, without hope.

Available at:
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At Amazon (Kindle) -- Click Here



DISCLAIMER
Fragments is devoted to adult-themed transformation stories. In most of these stories, men are turned into statues, animals, mythological creatures, and other changes both physical and mental. In almost every story, the transformation involves sex and the situations are adult in nature. If that disturbs you, or you are underage -- please don't read these stories.