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Project 134

23 February, 3024
Ironhold Science Ressearch and Education Center, Jade Falcon Occupation Zone

Kerensky cluster, Clan Homeworlds.


Scientist General Etienne Balzac leaned over the desk and motioned to his aide, most probably a high-ranking lackey hoping to one day win the coveted position for himself, but restrained by his own ambition, and retrieved a manilla envelope. Several of the other scientists were gathered around the table in the dimly lit room looked on with reserved interest as Etienne began speaking, "It has come to my attention that several of you gathered here are expressing some concern over the eventual deterioration of the genetic lineages."

Another one of the scientists, an older balding man, interlaced his fingers and expressed with indifference that the continual integration between lineages that are almost identicle can lead to a basic form of indbreeding. Another one countered that is the reason matrilineal lines are formed, such as the currently successful Mattlov-Pryde sibko.

"The point is that we might eventually run out of options. Modern practices can stay this for awhile.. but the matter remains that over the past two-hundred years we are slowly running out of options. We are churning warriors out by the hundreds so our choices are dwindling." The Scientist General leaned back in his chair, unsatisfied by the argument, although slightly bemused.

"You mean to tell me we run the risk of inbred freebirths?"
There was a moment's hesitation, "Well... yes."
"How long will this take?"
"It is hard to say, calculations indicate anything from two- to four-centuries."
"So why is this a concern?"

Etienne Balzac said that a hair's breadth before realizing that he had been set up to ask just that question, he silently berated himself despite the fact that the ploy had worked - his curiostiy had been aroused. He handled the manilla envelope while the balding scientist spoke on, "What I propose we do is toughen up the gene pool somewhat, introduce some new blood-" before he even got the sentence out Etienne slapped the envelope onto the desk, a not-too-subtle indication that the scientist was walking on thin ice, there was a slight pause before continuing, "genetically altered giftakes, from Jade Falcons.. and create a hybrid of sorts, all of this would be carefully manipulated, under your supervision, of course.."

"And this would differentiate from our normal practices..?"
"I am not suggesting we utilize giftakes from all trueborn pilots."
Silence fell over the room.

"You have gone over the line, Morrison." The balding scientist shrank somewhat against the forboding voice of the Scientist General, "I cannot condone or sanction anything other than reverant sanctity for these genetical lineages." Morrison looked around hesitantly, finding nothing but indifference from the assembly.

"Perhaps I has misphrased my intentions, sir."
"I should hope so."
Scientist Leonard Morrison shifted slightly, before continuing, "I mean to manipulate the genetics from existing trueborn pilots but in comparison with some freeborns, we will need some giftakes from notable such pilots, just to evaluate the pattern. We will overlay that pattern through a screening process, removing most - but not all - of those traits. This will be enough for us to 'randomize' certain aspects, enough to change it radically enough to almost guarantee that there never will be a future need to introduce stale genetics to each other."

An elderly scientist suggested, "Well, what would you think of using inter-clan genetics? We could get our hands on them easy enough, everything from isorla to.. other means."
"No, I want no part of that - at least not yet. We have enough on our hands with the project at hand, and keeping it under the lid will be difficult enough without inviting disaster."
"So this project is a go?" Morrison looked up hopefully.
Etienne Balzac placed the manilla envelope on the table and slid it to him.

4 April, 3024
Falcon Eyrie Research Station

Eastern Mountains, Huntress.

He strode down the hallways that made up this intricate labyrinth, none, not even Star Colonel Bren Roshak could deny him access to the darkest depths of the Brian Cache. In fact, he had access to things none of the Warrior Caste even knew existed, even the Khans. They shunned the scientists, usually Warrior washouts, as feeble. But he knew better.
Approaching one of the doors he slid an electronic card through the slot, and took the retina scan.
"Identity: Scientist General Etienne Balzac. Approved."

Several of the geneticists looked up from their work, he payed them no heed but marched on, to the door labeled "Genetic Repository" and without further adou entered. Walking down the long hallway with cases and vats and cylandrical containers either side. He paused at several and made notations, the one he wanted would not be found here.
He walked on for what seemed like hours, so many brave warriors had died to give their DNA to the Science Caste, in hopes of being remembered. In hopes that some part of them would remain immortal. He finally reached the end of the hallway, but instead of looking at another container he walked behind a pile of crates and pushed a stone, the wall turned and revealed a passageway that led to an elevator, that went straight down deep into the mountainside.

Once it came to a stop, he exited and walked over to a computer terminal, the moderate sized, dimly lit room was buzzing with a hush as other scientists were typing different genetic combinations out, they were just setting him up - he knew what had to be done, he had the key they all lacked. With slow deliberate movements he typed out:

Planet: Huntress
Sibko Identification: AHJ134
Sibko Matrilineal Data: (enter only two: -Overrode-)

Hazen Pryde Chistu Malthus Buhallin

He gave a slight pause before finishing as the weight of the operation set in, then typed the last name.

TurkinaX

Pressing enter the computer let out a loud beep and requested the codes for each genetic material listed. This was because it was not enough to just mix genetic lineages, but you had to specify each specific canister, from each specific warrior. He could select anyone from the founding of Jade Falcon to presently deceased. Usually the most recent ones were the most refined, but refinery was not the objective of this operation. He typed in the codes. He wanted the originals.

Operation Encoding..... Completed.
Finalized Date: February 1st, 3037.

With a few final keystrokes he entered it into the main Scientific Database, then deleted all of the information he maticulously compiled in the course of the last two months.

16 June, 3055
Outside Falcon Eyrie Research Station

Eastern Mountains, Huntress.

The Cadets were lined up, usually on Ironhold by now, their prelimenary and final training had taken place here. Some 'mechs were shuttled in for the final exams, but today they would be practicing in hand-to-hand combat. Already 83% of them had failed, that leaved little over a trinary left. What was worse, all those that failed so far had died in combat, exceedingly unusual.

Most of them had below-average scores, Morrison's heart sank everytime he looked at them. He had hoped this would be the saving grace in light of Tukayyid, a newer, faster breed of warriors - but as it turned out most of them were flunking in a rather fatal fashion. A few showed promise, like Cedric, Regnar and Gunther, who had above-average testing scores. He called their names and they stepped foward.

"Aff sir!" they bellowed in unision.

He looked them over, they did not look drastically different from most Clansmen. Strong. Robust. Something like the Jade Falcon incarnate. He called forward a few other names, Peter, Jonathan, Davies. Then ordered the first three to fight the latter three, abandoning Clan Rules of Engagement due to training purposes.

Gunther eyed up the closest to him, a slightly taller opponent, Peter. While the other four engaged in combat he moved closer, leaped into the air and jump kicked him. Never stood a chance, Peter was on the ground. Trying to change the tide of battle his opponent rolled under him and gave a furious open-palm punch to his leg, easily dodging it he set his foot on his throat and kicked.

Despite the lift of the Rules of Engagement he felt more content to watch the ensuing fight, by now Jonathan was disabled, Regnar and Cedric were attacking Davies who only barely managed to fend them off. Part of him wanted to engage his comrades for such dishonorable actions, but knew he had no place doing so. Sensing an opening Davies managed to land a kidney punch on Regnar after kicking his kneecap, and blocked Gunther's counterattack. It was no use, he was too exhausted, Davies slumped to the ground under the next barrage of attacks. Observing the damage, Gunther looked at his own opponent and marked another dead sibkin.

Several weeks later, Morrison observed their progress, again dissapointment flooded his emotions as he stamped "Closed" on the file contained within the manilla envelope, resealed it and placed it in his file cabinet. No use putting off the inevitable. He opened a comlink up with Etienne Balzac and reported. "Project abandoned, lack of progress. This is the third sibko, the first two were annihilated completely. We might be able to churn out two or three warriors from this one; if we are lucky. We should have known this would not work."
"Now Morrison, such an attitude is not acceptable. You did all you could, I am sure."
"Yessir," he felt somewhat dissapointed in it all, "I had just wished I could have reported a success in our time of need."
"Do not worry yourself, another project is already underway."

He gave a slight pause, "What would this be?" He already knew he lacked the need-to-know, but hoped that he could gleam at least some information. Balzac was one of the most secretive people he knew. "That is none of your concern, but it involves Clan Wolf."

"Really? Some say we will be at war soon."
"Perhaps. You never know. Afterall no one can predict the future."
"That is not what I have heard." There was a slight pause at the other end as Balzac looked curiously, "Is that so?"

Morrison smiled slowly, "Some say the best way of predicting the future is to make it, and that is what we do best."

 

- Galaxy Commander Dragonfly Chistu

 

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