“Where is my son?” Raymond said. Apparently, from reading the placard on his desk, his full name was Acen’tih Raymond.
“Kazak? Your son? I don’t know.” I said.
Then I started switching to my clone state. I sat in the chair like I was in stasis.
“I didn’t ask you.” Raymond snarled. “Pearl 1?
“Yes, father?” Pearl 1 answered.
“I told you never to call me that. Just because me and my research team created you does not make me your father, understood?” He replied. “Enable the implant.”
“Oh, I thought you were asking me.” She said, pettishly. “You always loved Kazak more than me, even though you barely saw him.”
“Enough, Pearl 1. You were created to be my slave, understood? To create a better, less human filled future. Enable the implant.” Raymond’s eyes narrowed.
Pearl 1 pulled a thin rectangular object out of her waistpack. It was her official InterTime issued sonic device disabler. She pressed it behind my ears. “Jabra n’oct Pearl ti.” I heard, and I started gasping.
“Good.” Raymond said. He sat in his chair, waiting.
Suddenly, my brain was no longer my own. There was a presence, and then I spoke, in a hard, cynical, rough voice that was not mine. “It’s been a long time, Ace.”
“Naren?” I heard Pearl 1’s voice sound with shock.
“Where’s my son?” Ace Raymond face got all mottled up, and he shouted.
“Oh, he’ll be along any minute now. You know, if you are hearing this, it is the beginning of the end. ”
He sat down. I spoke in Naren’s voice again. “You are learning my tricks. You knew the report of my death was false. I was hiding, right in plain sight. ”
“I knew where you were. Hiding in some hole. I have you surrounded. Just can’t get to you. Too much illegal tech from that cursed age.” Raymond’s voice shook with anger.
N: “I’ll cut to the chase. I’m here to claim my own. Thru her, Pearl 99, I have gained knowledge of how your empire works. Now, she’ll be off the system. Poof. She just has one more job to do. ”
R: “We won’t let you do that. I’ll have Pearl 1 kill her. She’s got a mark on her head. I’ll kill her where she stands, right now, this second.”
N: “You won’t. You’ll never see your son again. You probably wouldn’t anyway. I’ll tell him not to come.”
R: “How does he like, being your pawn? Doesn’t he want an assurance of a future, a choice, comfort?”
N: “Better than being told you love him and then used as a test subject.”
Kazak appeared in the room. He smirked and waved. “Hey, guys! I feel bad for you, being tricked like this. If you try to hurt Pearl 99, she’s gone. Whoosh.” He made motions with his hands.
R: “How much have you done? What has this all extended to?”
N: “Since you are in the losing, I’ll tell you. When she was in creation, I tampered her to have false memories of the ‘Outcasts’. I also gave her more of a choice, not blind servitude. Kazak went into contact with her, which was all according to a very loose plan. Pearl 1, your perfect non-human, succeeded in making her on the outside like your slaves. Kazak showed her her ‘destiny’ and said the magic words. He handed her the implants, the ones we had made from a contact. That’s about it. Kazak, you know what to do.”
R: “Kazak, if you do this I will have no more mercy on you. But if you tell me how to get to Naren and the watch, you can come back. Be my son. No more bending to a madwoman’s wills.”
K: “All you wanted was more Kronoium. Your precious experiments. Perhaps Naren never cared about me. You might of had a twisted sense of love for me. But at least she didn’t destroy my life like you did. ”
I regained my identity. “What happened?” I blinked.
Raymond bellowed. “Destroy her. Capture my son.”
“Understood.” Pearl 1 said. “Gladly.” She advanced on me, with a grin. Kazak grabbed my wrist, shouting, “Shut up, faker!” We both disappeared.