Kayla shook the One's hand and that was that. An alliance has been established. Time will tell if the One took the right side in the war.
" We learned that it's better in situations like this to act in haste. The sooner we get the transfer on, the sooner we can save your people.
Please follow us, we shall make sure that Hanson and the protector will be locked up and safe
" they said as they guided Kayla to the original Vault as others led the prisoners to a safe place
Soon the original Vault appeared, just a few kilometers away from the Library. It was the most imposing building in the city or it would've been if it wasn't fully demolished. Before the extinction, it probably would've towered over the whole city. Hundreds of meters tall.
Now, only a small door leading down a stairwell remained and debris which was cleared as much as possible by the One.
“ We are very sorry for what we are about to do Ambassador Kayla. But, it’s for your safety...as well as ours
” muttered the lead Grant under his breath.
Kayla looked at them confused but before she could reach or say anything the butt of a spear knocked her out.
Multiple Ones approached and lifted her body up, two on each side and carefully brought her down in the vault. A vast underground place, many kilometers wide in every direction with doors leading to long-collapsed tunnels. Before them stood the cloning vats. They looked small in comparison to the Vault, 3 meters tall and 4 wide. The Ones were all over the Vault, moving constantly from those that would redirect the clone as soon as they were made, to guards, to Williams which were ready to sacrifice themselves at a moment’s notice if a cloning machine would require a boost of power until the next power core would be brought in.
The lead Grant moved forward with Kayla’s unconscious body and her carriers behind them.
“ It’s time! We are not going to make a long speech my brethren. We have known from the moment we made ourselves that this time will come. Today, we will allow a new mind to join us. We have been alone for a long time, more than any human is entitled to. Today marks the first time in our history, in which One becomes Two.
Soon, we will be Three and then Four. We know no limits. The Immortalis have shown us this. The Immortalis have given us the greatest gift which humanity has ever received…WHO ARE WE?
” addressed the lead Grant towards all of the present One. At the next update, the whole One will know about what has transpired in their place of birth.
All of the present One stopped in their tracks, listening to the lead Grant speak and at the end gave a loud but solemn shout. “ We are ONE.
Shortly afterwards, Kayla was put inside a cloning machine. Her unknown body was scanned, pickled by needles as they drew her blood. Scanning it, making it One then her brain was scanned. All her knowledge, all her memories and everything that made Kayla, Kayla.
And as James William Grant in ages past, Kayla screamed for as long as she could. The pain was unbearable. She was deconstructed to her DNA and then rebuilt. Piece by piece. DNA strand by DNA strand. The One memories flooding Kayla’s brain. They’d come and go, in flashes. Seeing everything that the One lived, from the first moment until the present.
Earth. London. Trees. Life. Struggle on the streets. First time he
stole to survive, the first time he spent days without food. Hustling on the streets. A one way ticket to America. A new life, a new James. Earth was slowly becoming uninhabitable. Opportunity arises, a job on the colony ships. Another one-way trip. Explosions. Death. A foreign planet. An unknown city. Confusion. Murder and more death. Survival at the price of everything. Kill, eat, hide and kill again. Loneliness. Alone. Hope and then no longer alone. He became them. One purpose. One person. 4 billion times. Same as before. Kill, eat, work, survive. Kill, eat, work, survive.
These last words would be printed in Kayla’s mind like a mantra. Kill, eat, work, survive.
Repeated again and again and after what felt like hours but in fact were mere minutes, the cloning machine stopped.
Kayla fell from the cloning machine, a new bruise on her forehead where the One implant was put, deep inside her brain. Giving her the ability to update her information as the One and to send her information as well to the others.
A freshly created One jumped straight towards Kayla and caught her. Nodding to the lead Grant, they brought her outside and put her on some pelts. Ones brought her food and tea for when she’ll wake up.
Stage one completed, stage two was about to commence. The update of the One with Kayla’s brain. The lead Grant would be the first to update their knowledge. The first in billions to become Two. They went inside the cloning vats, a look of fear but also resolve on their face. The process that became as normal as breathing for the One was unusual this time. Memories flew in their head. At first their own, then more. Someone else’s. Alien. Foreign.
Memories of childhood. Years spent studying believing in the ECU propaganda. A family striving to do whatever is needed to see their daughter succeed. Love and hatred for the ECU. Her anger towards the Oligarchy. Every thought or feeling she ever had, forgotten or not. First kiss, first love, first betrayal. Looked down upon by the others. Seen as less for not being born in the right
family. First words she ever said. The loving figure of her mother. Thoughts of rebellion. Everything and anything that made Kayla. All joining the mind of the One. Everything joining the memories of One. Expanding their mind, making them more.
And as Kayla, the lead Grant fell from the cloning machine. Their mind trying to make sense of the new knowledge. In comparison to Kayla, the lead Grant was still conscious. Their mind was more attuned to the transfer process, unusual as it was.
In only a day, 100000 Ones had their knowledge updated. Each going through the same confusion as the lead Grant but still maintaining their One mind. As they assembled in front of the Behemoth, the biggest and only ship that the One had, the lead Grant walked in front of the others.
“ Everyone! Listen. We understand Kayla’s motives better than anyone can. We know what we have to do. New Beijing will be our first target. Our homeci-- Her home city. Her knowledge of the city’s inner workings will help us secure a foothold on their planet.
We will be bringing Kayla’s unconscious body with us, hoping that she will wake up and 4 of our cloning vats. We know how dangerous that is but they will be required to make sure we will not lose.
” as they shouted the words, they One boarded the Behemoth. All of them armed with spears, swords, bows and dressed in hardened bones. Enough to withstand a few bullets before eventually breaking.
The ship felt smaller than before, as it was filled to the brink with the One. Never meant to house this many James at once and Williams to provide power.
And on they went. A chant of war on their lips. Remembering the days of Old Earth and Kayla’s childhood.
The Behemoth went through the Gateway with no issues. The black pyramids inert as always, only allowing ships to go out of the system.
The ECU homeword, New Hollywood laid before them. Shining lights and the occasional explosion marred the surface of the beautiful planet. Memories of Kayla’s first ascent into space came to mind but were quickly suppressed by the One. As they prepared for descent, warnings came on screen as they were hailed by an ECU spaceship orbiting the planet.
“Unknown vessel. You are not cleared to approach New Hollywood. Identify yourself”
“ This is Oligarch Kayla’s allies. Security code 124-521CB. She has purchased our services and we are ready to descend on New Beijing in order to overthrow the insurgency which has taken place. Do you want us to wake her up to prove this? You might well know how quick the Oligarchs are to anger...if they’re woken up for small nothings like this.
” answered the lead Grant on the Behemoth. Mimicking the speech of protectors to the best of their ability, using the same voice tonality and words as Kayla.
“There’s no need for that. Code went through with no issues. Happy hunting.”
After the initial chat, the Behemoth descended upon Beijing. The lights and loud sounds of the ECU’s psychological attacks could be seen/heard as soon as the ship approached the closest abandoned spaceport.
“ You hear that? They’ve prepared music for us and a nice light show. These people are surely happy to see us
” joked the lead Grant which made the Ones on the bridge laugh out loud.
As soon as the ship touched ground, the Ones stepped out in a blur. Hundreds of One started securing the spaceport. Makeshift barricades were raised and anything that remotely looked like a security camera or loudspeaker was destroyed.
Accessing Hanson’s infopad, which they brought over, they sent out a message to the White Flowers.
“We are here to help. We need to speak.“