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SCUDDAR
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SCUDDAR Chapters 001 & 002
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SCUDDAR 

Chapter Eleven.

 

Trevor had requested Losin to take him back to his temporary home. He had thought he would have no hesitation in wanting to return to Earth at the point of time he was taken by the Neumites. Now that Meehun and Losin had explained what was involved, he had his doubts whether that point of time was the ideal one. Losin had requested that he think very carefully before making a decision.

He went to one of the circular windows and looked out. The mushroom shaped houses opposite were unoccupied as were thousands of other houses. The road below curved away to the right and left. The concentric circles of roads that served little purpose other than separating the houses were empty. This was just one of many cities that were thriving with millions of people. Now there were just a few hundred Neumites left. They were the few hundred that were fortunate enough to escape the Scuddar. Will this city ever be fully populated again? Trevor wondered. He doubted that it would. It would most likely fall into decay before that happened.

Losin had told him Neumite women carried their unborn for only four months. That would halve the time it would take humans to populate such a city.

Turning away from the window, Trevor lay down on the couch and stared at the ceiling. In four months he would be the father of a boy. A boy that would be part Neumite and part human. If Baheen conceives, he would be the father of two such children. Going back to Earth would mean he probably would never see them. He probably would never know if either child had the powers that he himself had.

If he returned to the point of time when he was abducted, he would never know he had made love to two Neumite women. He would be with his beautiful Gina again and nothing would need explaining to anyone. He would feel no guilt about being unfaithful to her. That option suited him fine as his guilt had not left him since he made had love to Losin. He knew Losin sensed that guilt. But there was a downside.

The Neumites had their means of space travel. They could go anywhere in the universe. That was something humans had been desperate to achieve. They needed to find a planet that they could live on. Earth was already overcrowded to the extent that food had to be supplemented with synthetic substitutes. Married couples were not permitted to have children without the permission of The World Government; permission that was more often refused than granted. The couples had to undergo tests to ensure that any child they had would be of the accepted quality. That included intelligence tests, medical tests and background checks as far back as four generations. A failure in any one of these resulted in a denial. Children that were conceived without permission were taken away. Only the World Government knew what exactly happened to them once they were taken. Rumours implied they are "humanely put to sleep". Repeat offenders were sterilised.

Seventy-five per cent of Earth’s population were unemployed which led to a breakdown of proper education for the majority. That was why there were clones like himself. Clones that had all the skills that other humans did not have to perform certain necessary jobs for the survival of the human race. Skills that were fed into their brains. The World Government and the World Population Control Center ensured that nothing was fed into clones brains that would be a danger to them. Clones did not have the same bad traits as other humans.

If he went back with full knowledge of his experiences since he left Earth, he could possibly help his fellow humans by being the negotiator between humans and the Neumites. The World Government would trust him and learn about the way Neumites had saved the Earth’s population from being consumed by the Scuddar. They would learn new technological ways to advance to space travel and finding a new home for the human race.

So far the Neumites had found three Scuddar seeds that were in the infant stage. Meehun, Neegon and others were studying and monitoring them. But what if there were others far more advanced than the ones they found? Would his offspring be capable of destroying them? Would they be able to do so in time?

Trevor was still deep in thought when Neegon arrived to take him to the dining room for the midday meal. Meehun, Losin and now Baheen were already there when they arrived. They greeted him with smiles and the usual forehead touching. They selected their meals and sat down to eat.

"Have you decided yet, Trevor?" he asked. He looked deep into Trevor’s eyes, anxiously trying to see the answer in them. Trevor glanced at Losin.

Have you been in my mind? he asked her.

No, she replied. I didn’t want to know your decision until you told us yourself.

Trevor gave her a smile.

"It was a hard decision," he said. "But I think I should return with all my memories." He was careful to say "should" and not "like".

"Wonderful! A wise decision, Trevor," said Meehun. "Just let us know when you wish to leave us."

I am glad you made that decision, Trevor. Losin’s thought came to him. You will remember your son that I carry.

She looked at him with bright and happy eyes. She had wanted him to make that decision and deliberately kept out of his mind in case she was tempted to try to persuade him. She didn’t like the thought of bearing a child of a man that wouldn’t even remember her or the child.

"As my mission is finished here I would like to return as soon as possible," Trevor informed them. Although he had grown fond of these people and especially fond of Losin, he still loved Gina and wanted to be with her without further delay. By now, she must be frantic with worry.

"You will be returned when this meal is finished," said Meehun. "But before you leave, please give us permission to enter your mind so we can contact you again if you are needed."

"Yes, that is important," said Neegon. "Losin told us you didn’t want us knowing your thoughts and we have respected your wishes, but when you return we will have no other way to contact you unless we go to you physically."

"When you begin the negotiations we will need to be able to converse with you," added Meehun.

Trevor nodded his head. Obviously communication was essential if he was to be the ambassador for humans and Neumites.

"You have my permission," he told them.

"Thank you," replied Meehun. "We will not enter your mind unless we have the need to."

"You just have to concentrate on one of us and think your thoughts to contact us," said Neegon. "We have given you that ability."

 

*           *           *           *           *

 

Trevor slowly opened his eyes and looked around him. He was lying on his bed in his apartment. The room was colder than he liked. Glancing out of the window, he saw the sun was setting.

What a dream! He thought. But was it a dream? It was too vivid to be a dream. His mind was a little confused and he felt a bit giddy. I’d better get a glass of water. He thought.

"Heating 20 degrees." He commanded. The air conditioner began blowing warm air into the apartment.

"Time and date" said Trevor as he walked into the dining area.

"The time eighteen hundred hours and twenty-two minutes. The date is March 15 two thousand and forty one." The speaking clock answered.

Trevor stopped dead. Two weeks had passed since he last knew the date. It hadn’t been a dream.

"Gina!" Trevor’s one thought now was to call Gina. He hurried to the communicator in the lounge and spoke the code for Gina’s home. Gina’s mother appeared on the screen.

"Trevor! Where have you been? We have been worried," she exclaimed.

"Long story, Maria. Is Gina there?" Even as he asked, Gina appeared behind her mother. Her face was full of concern and Trevor thought she looked a bit haggard.

"Trevor, what happened to you? I have been trying to find you," she said. "Why didn’t you call me?"

"We have to talk," Trevor said. "Can you come here right away?"

"Why don’t you come here?" Maria asked. Trevor knew she would want to hear any explanation Trevor might have.

"I want to talk to Gina alone, Maria." Maria’s expression changed and he knew she was not pleased. Although he got on well with his future in-laws, the old jokes about in-laws still had an element of truth in them.

"Very well if that is what you want," Maria said tersely and moved away from the screen. Trevor, knowing her as he did, knew she would not move out of earshot.

"Why are you being so secretive, Trevor?" asked Gina. "Where have you been?"

"My love, I’ll tell you everything when you get here," promised Trevor.

"All right! But this is ridiculous," said Gina. "I will be there right away." She cut the connection and Trevor closed the communicator down with a sigh of relief.

Now he had to think how to tell his story about the experiences he had been through. Being abducted by aliens, taken to another planet, perhaps even another galaxy for all he knew and having super powers was not going to go down too well. He was sure of that.

 

*          *          *          *          *

 

Trevor greeted Gina at the door when she arrived fifteen minutes later. He could tell by her expression that she was not pleased at having to come to him to hear his explanation. He embraced her and kissed her.

"I have missed you so much," he said as he invited her into his apartment.

"Have you? Then why didn’t you call me?" Trevor knew her mood was not going to make things any easier for him.

"Couldn’t call you, Gina. If I could have done, I would have." How could he begin to explain? He took her hands into his and led her to the couch.

"Sit down, Gina." he asked her. "This is going to be hard to believe but I swear it is the truth."

He told her how he had heard the voice in his head and how he had been taken against his will by the Neumites. The more he told her, the more incredulous became her expression. Gina continually interrupted him throughout his story with negative remarks and he could tell she did not believe a word of what he said. He deliberately avoided mentioning Losin and Baheen.

"That’s it," he said. "I will have to see the World Government and tell them."

"Trevor! Why are you doing this?" Gina looked at him as if he was mad. "They are not going to believe this ridiculous story anymore than I do." She stood up and walked away. Trevor followed her and tried to put his arms around her but she pushed him away. Then she swung around and faced him.

"You’re clone! If you try to make them believe this story they will erase your mind." She looked pleadingly at him.

"Tell me it was a dream, Trevor. Anything but stop lying to me. I don’t care where you’ve been but just don’t lie to me." Her face changed as something dawned on her.

"You’ve been to the drug dens, haven’t you?" she accused him. Her face changed again, this time to one of disgust. Drug dens were illegal and very difficult to find. Those that ran the dens constantly moved from place to place to avoid discovery by the World Police Organisation. Usually only those that had given up all hope went to them to escape reality. The synthetic drugs they could obtain were said to make people live their dreams but at the same time shortened their lives drastically. Most only lived a few months, a year at most, once hooked on the drugs.

"No! No, no, no!" said Trevor, vehemently. "I have not had any drugs! I wouldn’t even know where to get them. I have told you the truth."

"But the drugs make you believe it was reality, Trevor," Gina insisted. "Don’t you see? You need help."

Trevor ran his hands through his hair in exasperation. He had known it was going to be difficult but not as hard as it was turning out. How could he make her believe? What could he say without pushing her further from him? The more he denied he was lying, the more she believed he was. She was almost making him believe he had dreamed the whole thing. He thought about Losin, Baheen, Neegon and Meehun and the spires. If only he had pictures of these people and the planet Neum. If only he could show Gina. He looked up suddenly.

That’s it! Show her! he thought. He turned back to Gina. She was now sitting with her head in her hands and crying.

"Gina. What if I took you there? I think I can arrange it." He smiled, excited at the idea.

"Take me to a drug den?" she looked at him in disbelief. "Are you mad? I don’t think so. I would rather die than go to one of them."

"No, not a drug den. To Neum, the planet! So you can see for yourself that I am telling you the truth."

"Oh. So now we can just fly off to another planet for an hour or so!" Gina said, sarcastically. She stood up and going to the communicator, she called a hovercab.

Trevor began to explain that the Neumites method of space travel was not by spacecraft but she interrupted him.

"Trevor, I love you. I want to marry you. Now I’m not sure if that is a good thing. I need time to think." A beep indicated the hovercab had arrived. "I’ll call you tomorrow after my work shift."

Gina brushed aside Trevor’s attempts to persuade her to stay and left.

 

 

Chapter Twelve

 

Trevor watched the hovercab whisk Gina away and join the eastbound traffic lanes, then slowly closed the door. He had been certain that Gina, who loved him as he loved her, would have believed him. He had no doubt in his mind he would have believed her if their situations were reversed.

He went into his bedroom and lay on the bed thinking. Why wouldn’t she agree to go to Neum to see for herself? After thinking about that one question, he began to see possibilities why she would refuse to cooperate. One possibility was that she would think he had drugged her and she had not really experienced it. The most obvious possibility was that space travel to another planet in minutes or even an hour sounded so ridiculous. It still took humans weeks just to go to Mars.

If he couldn’t convince Gina, how could he possibly convince The World Government? She was right when she said they might erase his memory and replace it with another personality and identity if they didn’t believe him. The process was simple enough. It was the work he did himself at The World Population Control Center. It was his job to feed data into clones minds, giving them identities and knowledge to perform the work they were made to do.

Cloning had advanced far since the early days of using cells implanted in females wombs. These days the clones were created as fully grown and men and women like himself.

Trevor thought long and hard well into the night before finally falling asleep.

 

*          *          *          *          *

 

Trevor entered the laboratory acknowledging the other clones that were preparing to commence their days work. To those that asked where he had been, he simply told them he had had something important to do that took him longer than he expected.

Gordon Ellis, his assistant and next in charge of the brain programming process came up to him.

"Mr. Gardner was called away last week," he said. "It has been a lot more peaceful here without him." Gardner was the only scientist in the lab that was not a clone. He was the one that was in charge of the whole laboratory. He was one of the few humans that looked down on clones as inferior and made it quite clear that his own superiority as a born human should be recognised.

"When is he due back?" asked Trevor.

"Not for another week at least," grinned Gordon.

"Have any clones been given identities since I was last here?" he asked.

"Six urgent ones were completed. There are eighteen left that have just had the preliminary data fed in. We are going to start on them today."

Trevor nodded thoughtfully.

"Before you start let me know what fields of work they are destined for," he said. "And Gordon. Do it now." Gordon looked at Trevor, frowning then shrugged.

"Will do." He replied. Trevor knew it was a strange thing for him to ask of Gordon. He had never asked such a thing before.

Gordon returned with the list in less than ten minutes and began reading them off to Trevor. Trevor took the list out of his hand and read it himself.

"Begin processing numbers three, four, eleven, fourteen, fifteen and nineteen. Don’t touch the others."

"Trev. What’s going on?" asked Gordon. Trevor patted Gordon’s arm.

"Don’t you worry about it, Gordon. Just do as I say," he smiled. "There’s another thing I want you to do," he added as Gordon turned away from him. Gordon stopped and turned back to face him.

"What’s that?"

"I want you to make a copy of the data in my subconscious lobes."

"What??" Gordon looked at him as if he had taken leave of his senses. "What for?"

"You’ll see. Now go get them working on those six clones and come back to me."

When Gordon returned, they went into the room where the tubes containing the living but mindless clones stood. The mass of coloured wires inserted into their skulls made them look as though their hair had grown into thick pony-tails that joined consoles set before each of the tubes. All they needed was data to be fed into them. Six of the consoles were already humming and lights flashed on and off as data was transferred.

Trevor chose an empty tube at the far end away from the others.

"Wire me up, Gordon," he said. "It shouldn’t take more than four hours to copy the data."

"Are you sure you know what you are doing, Trev?" Gordon was dubious. "It might have some adverse result."

"I know what I am doing, Gordon. I’ve had my mind erased before," replied Trevor. "It can’t be any worse than that!"

Trevor stripped and lay down on the preparation bench and helped to put on the harness that would hoist him into the tube once he had been wired.

"Just the subconscious lobes, Gordon," he said. Gordon just nodded assuring him he understood..

Gordon administered the anaesthetic that put Trevor to sleep. The electrodes had to penetrate the skull to make contact. Using computerised scanners he searched Trevor’s brain to pinpoint the exact places where the scores of electrodes should be inserted. An error of just .05 of a millimeter, whether to one side or too deep, would result in failure.

Three hours and eight minutes later the process was completed. Gordon hoisted Trevor’s body, placed it in the tube and sealed it. He flicked a switch and the tube filled with the blue adron gas that would hold Trevor’s life in suspension for the copying. During this time, only Trevor’s subconscious brain cells would be active. Downloading the copy, removing the electrodes and reviving Trevor took an hour and two minutes. Trevor had made a close estimate of the total time.

Gordon administered a local anaesthetic to numb the pain where the electrodes had pieced Trevor’s skull. Although they were microscopically thin they still left a tiny hole that would take at least a day to close and heal.

"Now what?" asked Gordon as he waited while Trevor drank a glass of medicated juice that would help him to recover.

"Now we feed the data into those six clones," he said.

"You mean the data I just downloaded from your brain?" Gordon expression showed he didn’t understand. "Is that legal, Trev?"

"Do you know of a law or rule that says it is not legal?" asked Trevor. "We can put it down as an experiment. It is an experiment, really."

"Listen, Trev. Why are you doing this?" Gordon was obviously concerned for his friend. Of course there would be no law or regulation that banned such an experiment. It had never been attempted as far as he knew. What he did know was that experiments were normally carried out on clones that were created for experimental purposes.

"Gordon, trust me. If I told you what I know, you wouldn’t believe me," said Trevor in all seriousness. "And no, I won’t try you," he added, anticipating what his friend was about to say.

"Let’s get started. I want these clones completed as soon as possible." Trevor led the way to the consoles before each of the six clones he had chosen. He transferred the data from the console Gordon had used to download to the first of the six and began uploading it into the clones brain. Gordon reluctantly began the second one. Soon, all six were being fed the data.