It's been so long since I've had a chance to sit down and recount the whirlwind of events going on around me...
I went back to Tau and visited again with the woman who was murdered, and she is still working with advanced fabrics and textiles. It's hard to imagine all that she went through, but it seems they have it sorted out now.
I've acquired a lot of new skills, which come in quite handy when Tau Syndicate takes on another contract to cut down on a station's supply of troublemakers. I still wonder about that, though, whether I am one as well . . . Really, think about it. Where is the difference? What is the line that separates us?
I held on to my Shipwright card for future use, but since I bought my second ship, I've come back to Sol to work on a career sabotaging the cloning industry.
It's meant a lot of creepy contacts. I even struck up a conversation with my old friend who tried to recruit me into his "peerage" among the Promethians. He occasionally supplies and funds my efforts to disrupt what I believe is a very evil place of business. Everybody can see the evil at Spirit of Tianjin, but each of the clones growing in those tanks is a human being, not a proprietary object to be bought and sold, stored, recycled, made and destroyed at a whim, and one day I intend to prove it. So long as I don't get caught, I can slow down their progress in manufacturing people to slaughter.
Some day, when I can afford to have a third career, I will go into law and fight in the courts for equal rights for all clones...
Occasionally, I do things I believe are wrong just to maintain a profile that will allow me to advance and do more damage to this hideous enemy. Just yesterday, I traveled to Daedalus to meet with my friend, and I'm not sure whether it was more to spite the murderous Prometheans or to build a false reputation among the cloners, but I recruited a new customer there for Anima.
That means one more clone who may be destroyed at the whim of his "owner" and will forever bear the thoughts and identity that are not his own while having his true personality buried somewhere beneath the brutal persona that has been imposed upon him.
I did that.
I will have to explain that to my son who hangs there like a goldfish in a bowl, just like every other clone, deprived of the enjoyment of life, imprisoned within a computerized replica of someone else's psyche.
At every opportunity, on every station, I sabotage their cloning tanks. Sadly, at best, it only costs them a few extra credits, but what is money (apart from being the only thing they care about)?
I have to wonder what their true agenda is. Whatever it is, I will oppose it with my last breath and to my last drop of blood.
Despite my devotion to that sad and secret battle, I won't allow misfortune to justify bad choices (perhaps not even my own). So long as these Ruins Rat multi-clones keep making trouble on every station, I will carry on in the hunt and work to rescue the good law-abiding citizens from their criminal enterprise.
One day, I will find the cloners responsible for this whole mess, but then what? I'm sure they are quite powerful. Besides, I need to learn from them how to activate the clone I purchased while I am still alive, so I can explain to him how sorry I am to have put him through all of this. I have come to grips with the fact that he is my son. Will he forgive me for what I have done to him? Will he understand? What if I die before he wakes up? Will he ever even know he is himself and not me?
The shipbuilders at Gadani didn't understand about the name of my new ship. I had to explain to them that if a short bus was special, then, as Ser Xierumeng told me, a Porsche would have to be even more special. I still think they are a bit confused about it, but that's acceptable, I guess.
I couldn't believe the speed of this thing. I had noodles at Taungoo with my friend at Seishu, and then in the same segment, I met with Elisa for a cup of her coffee. She would surely have been happier had I come bearing coffee beans from Amazon, as I promised her I would some day, but I told her I'm still working on that.
Actually, I've been avoiding Amazon for a while, hoping that the face-slapping cult would die down. I trust Tomas's aunt should be able to have some manner of influence with them, perhaps even enough to talk some common sense into them, but you never know.