What is expected of Adom in the Zones?
'As an elder and a fusion, you should have known better. You're in big trouble. I'm not sure I can get you out of it.'
Preceptor Doric was shaking his head. He had trained Adom himself and had taken great pride in her burgeoning career as one of the only fusions to have survived the savage aging process that the human DNA was predisposed to.
'Well, what can I do? We all make mistakes.' Adom exclaimed with some indignation and a sigh.
'You killed a guy.' said the Preceptor.
'Well, we don't know he's dead, strictly speaking, he could still be alive.'
The Preceptor raised a brow.
'There's one thing.....One thing that you could do to get out of this mess. Otherwise, you're looking at a long prison sentence. Internment could go on for years. And they will probably fiddle around with your P.O.S to try to 'improve' your function.
Either that or they totally lobotomize you. Do you want either of those things to happen?'
'No, I don't. Of course I don't. I'm very committed to my life, and my character, thanks.' answered Adom.
'You're one of our best fusions. You've had a long and glittering career. It's a shame to end it now,' said the Preceptor.
Adom looked at the floor in an attempt to show humility and said 'I know, and I loved being a human rights enforcer. So, what exactly is it you have in mind?'
'Well, we need somebody to go back.'
'Yes, go back.'
'But I'm not trained in 'going back' I am more of your 'going forward' kind of fusion.
And anyway, I thought it was forbidden, even to us.'
'Well, it would be a secret undercover job, very hush-hush and for the good of fusionkind.'
Adom was intrigued. An adventure would be just what she needed at this point in time.
'Where would you send me?' She asked.
'We need you to go back to when the first fusion models were being made. To infiltrate and destroy a rogue fusion and its operators. The android was programmed to destroy and hurt humans by somebody very clever, they knew their stuff.'
Everyone knew about the Domino Mark 1. She was an android built to exactly mimic a real human in every way and would be the first female O.S. to be fused with a human being in 2099 by Redact. Redact was an underground utility for the enlightenment of mankind. It was run by women and founded after the Russia-China wars and the almost universal annihilation of the planet.
'But that was hundreds of years ago.'
'Yes,' said the Preceptor, 'but there was an issue with the first female fusions.
Their gender made total fusion difficult because the female brain refused to accept android nuclei into their DNA. Consequently, early fusions were male. I am sure you recall all this from your lessons. The Domino Mark 1 Functioned reasonably well for many years. She ran Redact very successfully. We owe everything to her.
But, in fact, unbeknown to most of us, there were two Mark 1s made.'
'OK,' said Adom, frowning. 'Well, they didn't tell me that at the academy.'
'No. We didn't want to cause unnecessary anxiety to prospective parents. The threat of any sort of armageddon or future wars is not great for our reproductive incentives propaganda. We need all the minors we can get and this business with sterility.....well it has been a terrible situation.
Anyway, the other Mark 1 disappeared and it was assumed that she had been stolen by an insider and that she had probably stopped working as the internal GPS and other signals were not evident. They would have been able to find her otherwise, or so they assumed.'
Adom looked even more perplexed.
'Please continue, Preceptor, I am literally enthralled by this far-fetched tale.'
The preceptor, noting Adomo's sarcasm, chose to ignore it and continued.
'Intelligence has revealed the possibility that the duplicate may reappear, here, in a matter of days or months. She needs to be annihilated otherwise humanity, and thus fusionkind as we know it, will end. There was a virus she created, a virtual reality scenario where she took hold of real-reality. (We are unsure of the exact timing).
Humans stupidly submitted to the virus, almost voluntarily, and it took control of their lives. Eventually, they all killed themselves. All that remained was a society of droids with her at the helm.
This scenario, if enabled, would drastically affect the way things are. You and I would not be here. But worse still is the prospect that she has been stored for future release into the planets to cause havoc. We have picked up signals that suggest our time constants have been ruptured. There is a chance that her release from time coma is imminent.'
'Does she have a name?' asks Adom.
'Mystique', answered the Preceptor.
'More like Mistake!' Adom laughs at her own joke to cover a wave of doubt about her future.
'So.......' says Adom, slowly, 'you want me to go back in time to protect my predecessor, the Domino Mark 1, then to kill her evil twin who looks and acts the same. Have I got this fantasy right so far?'
'I'm afraid so.' said Doric.
'But that's outrageous,' exclaims Adom, 'humans are gross. They have disgusting habits.'
'I know. I know......it will be the hardest thing you ever did. But think of your career, and think of the possible internment as your alternative.' The Preceptor raised his brow again.
'There is something else,' continued the Preceptor.
'Oh good,' said Adom with even more sarcasm.
'The thing is, you are working undercover as a human so you have to pretend that you have no droid element. So no fancy skillset. And you will have to fuck up a lot, like a real human.
Humans were very primitive at the time. Mostly organized in gangs, sects, tribes, etc., with opposing views and avarice and personal satisfaction as their main raison d'etre.
'Oh, for goodness sake.' cries Adom, 'this is a terrible idea. Who is approving it? What authority am I going with? And what meager powers would I have when I'm there?'
Adom becomes agitated and is having second thoughts about killing the rapist last week.
'You will have meetings with me as and when required. The Assembly Panel of Enlightenment 10 will monitor you and we will intervene whenever possible. We will be restricted for reasons beyond your remit.'
'I might have known APEX were involved.....' said Adom.
Domino looks out of the window and contemplates her swashbuckling adventure in time. The glistening mirrored skyscrapers reflected pretty clouds and blue dreamy skies. Air-taxis darted like dandelion seeds on a breeze.
'I'll have my P.O.S of course, and I'll be guided?' She asks, finally.
'Yes. Ah, well, about that, here's the catch.... limited P.O.S?
We can't risk tech intervention. It was rife at this time.....it would be just the meetings and your internal tools like compass and warnings etc. But you will be issued with a data shield which means it is Ok to access the P.O.S, but only when the shield is active. It is a power drain, use it sparingly. We can help in other ways, sending hardware, tools, etc., and creating fate lines.'
'Pray, tell me what a fate line is Preceptor?'
'We can create a scenario for logical projected occurrences,' explains Doric, 'humans are incredibly predictable, ordinarily. We can't exactly stop things happening if someone is hurting you for example, but we can change the inevitable by adding a variable, thus causing a different outcome with a distraction.'
'And we're going to give you some other things that will help you. You'll have great strength, for example, because of your android self, and you'll have great emotional wisdom of course, because of your human self.'
The Preceptor was sounding jolly and upbeat and it was irritating.
He rambled on....
'But it's imperative that nobody finds out that you're a fusion. Because if that happens, then the humans will definitely put you in some sort of cage and just chop you up and experiment on you. They were barbarians at the time, especially in the Zones.
'The Zones?' queries Adom?
'Where we are despatching you,' answers Doric, smiling to lessen the severity of the situation.
As requested, Adom arrives at APEX HQ early on a spring day.
She has completed an intensive training course and was injected with regenerative and cutting-edge cell renewal gene therapies.
Her muscle development has changed her almost beyond recognition and her face has been injected in order to disguise her should there be any chance of recognition.
She wears her army uniform as directed and is escorted by armed guards into a series of passageways and downward lifts, seemingly many hundreds of flights down.
She is addressed by a panel of mixed-gendered authorities.
The first to speak is the Minister for Equality, an ancient who was hard of hearing and begins to shout whilst trying to adjust his ear speakers.
'We are most glad,' he yelled, 'that you have volunteered......'
A woman to his right tapped his arm and motioned that she would do the talking instead.
'I am Historian Rebecca, and we would all pass on similar sentiment to your good self for volunteering for this highly dangerous operation.................
At this point, Adom shut off her mind and attempted to self-meditate. The APEX Panel was annoying her and causing her feelings of trepidation to worsen.
Before she knew it she was naked and encapsulated in a pod, encircled by people in white lab suits holding measuring devices and tech-pads.
After that, there were a million dreams, a million sounds, a million feelings of sorrow and rage, of life and death, of tragedy and desperation. A swirling vacuum of menacing horrors that sucked her into a never-ending spiral of doom.
And then she wakes.
Does Adom wake as a
policewoman in the Midcast Zones
dominatrix in the Urch Zones