My Children Swarm the Cosmos – Chapter 28.1

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟐𝟖: 𝐅𝐮𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐬 (3)

October 28, 2620.

Apoptology, a Darwin Foundation facility.

In a solitary isolation room within the A11 laboratory, thirteen artificial human pods reside.

The pods are filled with purified water and contain artificial humans who fitfully breathe, sending bubbles from their respiratory systems into the air.

Observing this through the various terminals is a researcher, with Haber standing behind him.

“What do you think, Mr. Haber? It’s a pretty good setup, isn’t it?”

“Are they test subjects for combat?”

“That hasn’t been decided yet. We’ve created artificial human test subjects who have the chimeraz genome but not the parent test subject, as per your orders. The real ruler is being raised in a different laboratory.”

“That white-haired girl?”

“Yes. She’s a test subject who is the exact opposite of Kreion. She was originally a human being who died in an unexpected accident. We’ve implanted the memory of her being reborn as a chimeraz here.”

Haber’s expression darkens.

“. . . I wonder if what we’re doing is actually the right thing.”

The researcher placates him.

“The failure of the last project wasn’t Mr. Haber’s fault. That’s why the chief wants to ask you to be the next ruler’s secretary.”

“I can’t do it twice. I’m not the right man for that.”

“You still haven’t accepted? You can’t resign anyway. Not until the project is finished.”

“There must be a better secretary than me.”

“Well. . . I suppose.”

The researcher’s attention returns to the terminals.

The thirteen test subjects in the pods are being implanted with memories.

They are being implanted with memories of each of them living their own miserable lives in a virtual world identical to reality, then dying, and then being reborn in this facility and receiving training together as weapons. Some of these memories span more than 50 years, while others are as short as 15 years.

These implanted memories give each of the test subjects their own personalities and unique abilities.

“Anyway, Mr. Haber, come with me to see the ruler test subject in a little while.”

“How is her condition?”

“She’s still scared because of the aftereffects of being implanted with such depressing memories. She’s terrified of people, deep down.”

“Can someone who’s scared of people become a ruler?”

“It’s better than her hating them like Kreion does. That’s why you need to talk to her and bring out her strengths, Mr. Haber. Just like you did with Kreion.”

𝘚𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘤𝘩.

Foundation staff enter the isolation room.

“We’re here to retrieve the human resources.”

“You’re early. There are six here.”

Haber glances at the researcher to ask what this means.

“Ah, these artificial humans are test subjects and weapons. High-quality ones. . . That’s why we’re going to sell six of them to New Ark.”

One of the humanoids steps forward from among the staff and hoists one of the heavy pods over his shoulder.

“The six we’re selling are just ordinary high-quality artificial human weapons. We’re going to combine the remaining seven with the chimeraz genome and make fully-fledged test subjects. We still don’t know whether they’ll be competitors or loyal subjects to the new ruler.”

“The chimeraz project needs to be terminated. It’s too dangerous for us to control.”

“We won’t have any problems this time, since the problematic parent test subject is gone. We’ve implanted them with human memories, so they believe they used to be human. That means they won’t become monsters like Kreion.”

“Kreion isn’t a monster.”

“He’s a Medusa-class being who attacks humans. Did you see how horribly people were dying from that strange virus? The very idea of unleashing something like that in a confined place like Apoptology is evil.”

“He made that choice because he wanted to escape the Foundation’s clutches alive.”

“Yes. He decided to become a monster because his mother died. Who in the world would slaughter hundreds of people so cruelly just because their mother died?”

“It’s not an issue that can be discussed so simply.”

“I can be as angry as I want. He killed non-combatants, too. Some of them were my colleagues who had nothing to do with the chimeraz project.”

“. . .”

“He shut them all up in one place and killed everyone, even people with no intention of fighting. If that doesn’t make him a monster, what does?”

‘𝘋𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘶𝘴?’

Those words rose up in Haber’s throat, only to be swallowed back down. That’s because he couldn’t help but understand the researcher’s feelings.

Kreion’s escape and the resulting spread of the virus had led the Darwin Foundation personnel to feel animosity towards Kreion.

As a result, Kreion and the Darwin Foundation now hated each other beyond the point of reconciliation.

It is now meaningless to ask who was right or who committed the greater sin. It is impossible even to say who should be supported. That’s because it is impossible to know how this situation, which has gone so badly wrong, will unfold.

Kreion must be preparing to take revenge by raising an army, while the Foundation is preparing to kill him and restart the entire project.

Things have come to such a pass that it seems neither side will stop until the other is destroyed.

The researcher lets out a short sigh and collects his thoughts.

“They’re just failures. They were made poorly. On the other hand, this new ruler is a very rational and reasonable person without any aggressive tendencies, so she’s bound to be a success.”

He says this as though it were nothing.

He created a test subject with the ability to speak, think, feel emotions, and dream, and yet he talks about it like a mere object, using terms like “failure” and “success.”

He never knew there could be such a group of people.

He shouldn’t have gotten involved in this from the start.

Both sides are wrong. Both the Darwin Foundation and Kreion have deviated terribly from the right path.

‘𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 . . . 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨. 𝘌𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦’𝘴 𝘨𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘴 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. . . ‘

Haber felt a wave of helplessness and doubt washing over him, leaving him unable to argue even with himself.

“Mr. Haber? Where are you going? Mr. Haber!”

In the end, Haber couldn’t bear to watch the test subjects in the pods any longer and fled the isolation room as if he were escaping.

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