I retreated to take a breath and analyzed the information from Project Enos.
I tried to rub the sleep out of my eyes. It was a long and restless night. The past events did not let me go. My body felt as if an Ursa Rover had run over me. It was time to take a breath, to recharge my batteries, to take a break. Slowly, I straightened up from my bunk, placing one foot after the other on the floor of my Star Runner’s sleeping area. With difficulty, I stood up and walked with heavy steps to the kitchen. In the refrigerator I found a wide selection of drinks and food. Not only whiskey-cola, but also smoothies and other healthy stuff. I had made myself comfortable aboard the White-Rabbit for an extended stay. Flying somewhat aimlessly through the Stanton system, I avoided the major landing zones and slept on board.
After fortifying myself, I went into the cockpit and looked out into space. A greenish fog covered the stars. I had spent the night in one of the gas clouds of the Lagrange Points. I started thinking about Enos. The veil around the project had lifted. Through the information from the cave on Daymar, we knew by now what Enos was. The different variants of Enos were stages of development. From a remedy over a combat agent against the Vanduul organism they had arrived in the meantime at the breeding of super soldiers. There was talk of shape-shifters, of a new species of human superior to the Vanduul. Organisms that were bred and programmable. I didn’t understand a word of what the information said. Only that it was crazy and threatening. It was inhuman.
At the desk, I looked at the information again on the screen. Dumbfounded, I stared at the entries in the recovered research log. The last entry caught my attention:
We have managed to design three imprints of Xedan Thormento with Ena_03.
Was that supposed to mean that an imprint of a human had been artificially created? Or an existing imprint was modified? Could even several imprints of a human exist in parallel? How was that possible? Until now, it was said that only one digital copy of a human could exist at a time. Were the maniacs on their way to creating clones?
Angrily, I jumped up from my desk chair and paced thoughtfully. Then I remembered another message we had intercepted:
U:What about Emhyr Thormento?
M: Should be implanted in his son. We also have DNA coding stored. A clone would be quite possible. The real body is more important!
U: Bring me the son! I’ll perform the experiment myself!
Emhyr was the father of Xedan. It looked like there was a specially created imprint of Xedan and his real body was needed for an experiment. Was that the reason why Xedan was to be abducted? Was a clone of Xedan to be created? Or of his father? But then why was Xedan left on the Hydra Thalis when Eris had him in custody there? Was Xedan not interrogated on the Hydra Thalis, but an experiment was performed on him and that’s why he was in a coma now?
In the meantime, I was back in the Star Runner lounge area, moving pieces around on the chessboard. There were still so many questions and open ends in the Enos story. So many players were involved. I had a fear it wasn’t over yet. Like a wet sack, I fell onto the red sofa that was next to the chessboard. Slowly I realized that I could not pull myself out. I was too deeply involved in the case. The last message from Ignotus even explicitly mentioned my White Rabbit and that we should find Ignotus. I was deeper in it than I would have liked.
But first I had to take a breath and gain some distance. There was another reason to stay under the radar. I had found a search request in the CommRelay. It was from the bodyguard of Eris we had left behind on the Cutlass Red. He seemed to be pretty upset and was looking for us because of the action on the Renaissance and on the Cutlass Red. The search request contained, among other things, a personal description of me. After all, he assumed that I was a technician. My real identity was not known to him. Nevertheless, I had to be careful.I started the Quantum drive and flew to my next destination.
The implications of Enos were not yet clear. There were groups that wanted to use Enos not only against the Vanduul, but against criminals and enemies of the UEE. We had to prepare for dangerous times. Especially those who were considered enemies of the UEE. This included the activists and the free peoples. No one was safe, anywhere. There was no safe place to retreat in the Stanton system. That’s why I started creating hidden storages with equipment. This way, in case of emergency, I had several ways to re-equip myself without leaving a trail when I went shopping.
In the meantime, I had arrived at one of the remote R&R stations. Here there was a dark hidden material storage. Who was still using it and why it was here I didn’t know. But it was ideal for me. I deposited weapons, ammunition, space suits and armor. Hopefully I never had to resort to the storage.
Merry Christmas and stay healthy. The stories will continue soon…
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)