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Void Runners VRGF-1 Lore Contest

Lore by mescalito

YOU ARE ALIVE
“Here comes another one.”
“About time, I could go for a wager about now.”
The two men playing cards on the stainless steel table got up from their chairs and walked over to the row of hibernation chambers stacked against the bulkhead. One of the chambers was emitting a high-pitched beeping sound and had lights on the sides flashing in red and blue.
“Well, Gene, how you reckon this fella died?”
“My money’s on decontamination blast. We ain’t had one of them in a while, ain’t we, Remy?”
“I’m thinkin’ defenbot again,” said Remy. “They really should decommission those”.
“Twenty thousand?”
“You’re on.”
The two men shook hands as the fluid drained from the chamber as the man inside was flushed out onto the cold, metal floor. Instantly he began coughing and spitting, ridding the fluid from his nose and lungs. He propped himself up on one elbow as he looked around in shock at the room he now found himself in.
“What in the f—”, started the man.
“So what got ya?” asked Remy, his face full of excitement.
“Excuse me?” said the man.
“What killed you, friend?” asked Gene, as he squatted down to get a closer look.
“You get spaced? Electrocuted? Vaporized from the inside out?” asked Remy, unable to control himself.
“What? Uh, I don’t know. There was this captain…I bought him a drink…and then this tiny little metallic bee whizzed past my head and…I don’t remember the rest.”
“Dang it! I was so close!” cried Remy.
“Organotitanium murderdrone. Now that’s a good one”, laughed Gene.
“Leave ‘em alone you two, give him a minute to recuperate,” said a voice that came from the doorway.
“Sorry Adeline”, said Remy as he looked down guiltily at the floor.
“Apologies Boss, we were just havin’ a little fun”, said Gene.
“If ya’ll want some fun, we got a new shipment that needs unloadin’ in Bay 6. Or maybe you could suit up and fix the panels that got hit by the debris the other day. We could place bets on who doesn’t make it back in”, said Adeline.
“Bay 6, got it Boss,” said Remy as he nervously slipped past Adeline on his way out the door.
“Good as done,” said Gene, following close behind.
“Sorry ‘bout that”, said Adeline as she turned toward the man on the floor. “What’s yer name now, buddy?”
“Anton”.
“Well, Anton, sorry to break it to ya, but you died. Good news though, you’re alive!”
“I…what?” said Anton, absolutely dumbfounded.
“Lemme ask you somethin’. Before you stopped at that bar and had a drink with that captain, did you attempt a salvage at VS-102?”
“Yeah, yes I did. Got one of them GALTRUTH codes too from an old terminal inside.”
“Thought so. Well, the thing is, when you activated that old terminal, the station scanned your whole body and saved your brainstate in its database. All that info got sent here and voila—created another version of you. A backup, so to speak.”
“I’m a clone?!” cried Anton.
“Relax—would you rather be dead right now?” said Adeline.
“I…I guess not”, said Anton, thinking to himself.
“That’s what I thought. Now, would you like to know who cloned you?” asked Adeline.
“Yes! Who!?” exclaimed Anton.
“Great! I would also like to know, so maybe you can help us”, said Adeline.
“Hey now, that wasn’t very nice”, said Anton.
“You know just as well as anyone else that there ain’t much out there in the Void that’s nice, now don’t ya, Anton?” said Adeline.
“I guess you’re right”, admitted Anton.
“Excellent. Now, if you wanna help us find out how you, me and everyone else on this godforsaken station got here, I got an errand for ya. Comes with a free ship too”, said Adeline as she extended her hand and smiled.

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