[FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I-VI

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[FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I-VI

Post by ThePrivateer » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:22 am

Burning Stars
A Transcendence Fan Fiction Story by ThePrivateer

Volume I

"Come on kid, just talk to me. You can't stay quiet forever".

The Commonwealth officer sighed and slouched back in his chair, gazing across the aluminum table to the young man sitting opposite, shackled to the table with electric handcuffs. A dim, flickering light illuminated the cramped interrogation room; a double-sided mirror overlooked both of them.

"I told you," the man said, "You shall get nothing out of me."

"I wouldn't be so sure," the officer replied, looking down at a data sheet in his hand. "...Ryan, is it? Looks like you've had quite the past. In and out of juvie in the Saint Katherine's Archcolony...three counts of theft, you got off twice on charges of manslaughter...From where I'm sitting, it looks like you need to co-operate all you can, or else we put in you the big-boy's slammer for a long time. You didn't really think that trying to sabotage a CSC was a good idea, did you?"

Ryan said nothing - instead, he gazed into the distance with his jet black eyes, his gaunt face giving away no expression, over which hung his dirty brown hair.

The officer shook his head and said,
"Back to your cell, it is. You have three days to spill the beans, or else we'll lock you away for treason - if you're lucky."

The officer stood up and made to grab Ryan's arm to steer him away, but the boy remained unmoving.
"C'mon kid," the officer grunted, "up you get."

Ryan swiveled his head around and, looking directly into the officer's eyes, he said,
"You know nothing, puny man. I have seen terrors beyond what you can comprehend. You sit here, in your privileged position, but you know nothing of what lays outside, in the stars - the stars that glow red with the fire of burning wreckages, and the spilled blood of the men you send to fight an un-winnable war. I shall be imprisoned, but I shall die happy, for I attempted to bring down the corrupted Commonwealth."

Ryan stood without another word and allowed the perplexed officer to lead him back to his cell. The officer sighed as he looked at the boy and said,
"Believe what you want kid, but I tell you, we're doing this for the right cause. This War with the Ares will cost many lives, but it will save many more. Think of that before you try to be the rebellious hero."

Volume II

"Officer Jovius! Hey!"

Jovius woke up with a start and banged his head on the bunk above him; massaging his head, he looked around in the dim light and saw a more senior officer standing by, gun by his side -- he could hear wailing sirens in the background and could see flashing red lights through the doorway.

"I'm up, I'm up," Jovius said, grabbing his gear and following his colleague out the door and into one of the many long passageways of the CSC Dawnstar, lit by the fluro's overhead and the flame-red sun out the windows. "What the hell is going on Saben?"

Officer Saben grimaced and said,
"You know that kid we detained last night, the one we found trying to plant bombs in the reactor room?"

"Ryan? What about him?"

"He's escaped."

Saben stopped outside the cell that had up until last night, held the young rebel. The electromagnetic repulsion bars were deactivated and the mangled corpse of a dead Commonwealth guard lay in a pool of blood.

"How did this happen?" Jovius exclaimed, "He was just a goddamned kid!"

Saben began to say something, but then there was an explosion from somewhere deep inside the CSC, rocking the ship and hurling the two onto the floor. On the PA came the Captain's voice:

"This is Captain Lorian, we have an escaped prisoner in the reactor room; repeat, we have an escaped prisoner in the reactor room..."

"That's near hear," Jovius said, getting to his feet, "Come on!"

The pair moved quickly through the corridors, following a trail of general destruction. Wall panels had been ripped off, equipment smashed everywhere - anything that wasn't entirely destroyed had splashes of gore upon it, most often belonging to dead Commonwealth personnel. Saben and Jovius stopped outside the broken reactor-room door -- a three meter thick slab of metal alloy; it was torn in two pieces and the pure heat of the 5-gigawatt reactor poured out over the two officers.

Jovius swallowed, drew his gun and crossed the threshold. Inside the room, things were no better -- only the actual reactor remained intact; everything else had been destroyed as if by some kind of wild animal. Suddenly a figure dropped from the ceiling above and latched onto Jovius' head; he screamed out, thrashing and punching his attacker until Saben shot it in the head and the figure fell onto the ground.

"Ares," Saben swore, looking at the dead humanoid; it looked close to human status, but was altered in more ways than one.

"Ryan," Jovius kicked the corpse, "Look, the facial structure is the same...for the love of the Gods, how the hell did he do this? He looked like a regular kid -- he must be some kind of...shapeshifter."

Captain Lorian - a slim women of about thirty years, looked over the two as they gave their report on the bridge.

"You did a very brave thing, gentlemen," Lorian gave them a rare smile, "that...infiltrator...was attempting once more to take down our reactor. We can't afford to lose ground in this system, or else the Ares will sweep through and penetrate into Jiang's Star system...since we lost Point Juno, we're losing ground ever day."

"Ma'am," Jovius said, "Ryan fooled us all - as far as we can tell, he had lived a completely human-like life for eighteen years. Somewhere along the line, he must have been abducted by the Ares, but how they got him and how they impersonated him is beyond by knowledge."

"Don't worry about that," Lorian said, "We've got the best biological teams examining his body now. I want you two to get some rest -- something tells me we'll need all the strength we can before long."


Volume III

Jovius rolled over in his bunk and tried to get to sleep, but rest eluded him. As he lay, he heard the voice of his colleague Saben floating through the doorway; from the sounds of it, he was on a phonecall - but all CSC calls were supposed to be made in a special comm room. Intrigued, he got up and crept over to the door and peaked out. He saw Saben standing, looking out the window with a strange device on his ear - it looked like a regular comm link, but this one was definitely not of Commonwealth origin.

"Yes, I did my part," Saben said angrily on his comm link. "I sprung him out of the prison and cleared the way for him, but there was some...complications, and he, uh, well he was killed. The mission was unsuccessful and they are cracking down on our new technology."

Jovius froze, not believing what he was hearing. Saben was Ares too...? That explained the device he was using to communicate - it must have been designed to circumvent the CSC communication monitoring.

"I'll be awaiting your next orders," Saben said, ending his call. Jovius quickly hurried back to his bunk as Saben walked past the door. For a long time, he lay in his bed, eyes wide open and his mind racing.

**

"This is your moment, Officer," Captain Lorien told Jovius as sirens wailed around the CSC Dawnstar, "The Ares are attacking us and we need you out there in a ship - can you handle it?"

"Yes Ma'am!" Jovius saluted, his heart racing. In the early hours of the new shift, the Ares had begun a fresh attack - mostly Sandstorms, but there was reports of a Tundra squadron coming in fast. Jovius hurried down to the hangar with other pilots and quickly got into a Centurion. He had, a few years back, been a pilot in the Militia, but he had taken up a role as a mere Officer when his wife had left him to go to the Core. The memories of that day still shook him, but he squashed those feelings down as he strapped on his visor and booted up the ship.

Turning on the thrusters, he blasted out of the hangar with a dozen other ships and quickly checked the stats on his ship -- TeV9 Blasters and an Invincible-class shield protected him, and a Targeting ROM quickly locked down the nearest target. With two quick pulses, a Sandstorm exploded into space junk.

Wheeling around to face the blood-red star and the ring of volcanic asteroids, Jovius took down another three Sandstorms with ease as ion bolts flew past him. Suddenly, he felt the ship shudder and he was slammed forward in his seat. Wheeling around, he saw the residual explosion of an Ares micronuke - the Tundras had arrived.

Swearing, Jovius fired his blasters - but the bolts dissipated on the enemies' shields. A warning siren informed him his shields were down - suddenly he lost control of his ship and he was struck with two more nukes, each slamming into his ship with unbridled force. Cursing the Invincible-class shields, Jovius took control of his ship once more, ignoring the warnings of a damaged hull and opened the blasters wide, succeeding in destroying one Tundra - but then out of the corner of his vision, he saw a dozen Sandstorms approached, firing their Ion cannons furiously.

Abandoning his chair, Jovius hurried into an escape pod and slammed the eject button - the pod was propelled away from his ship just as one final Nuke tore through the hull, exploding it in the silence of space. The shockwave pummeled the pod and sent it careering away towards the sun.

Jovius settled down and looked out the window, powerless to control where he floated in the emptiness of space.


Volume IV

"The last ration."

Jovius's stomach growled fiercely as he unwrapped the meager food ration and discarded the foil packaging. He had been afloat in space for at least three standard days now -- with no friction to slow down the brick-shaped escape pod, he was simply drifting away. He had sailed right past the sun, the gravity of which had seemingly flung him outwards with increased vigour. Now, all his rations were gone and he was facing the prospect of slow starvation - or else, if he caved to the madness of hunger and opened the hatch, he would asphyxiate within minutes and die.

Wolfing down the protein bar and taking the last sip of water, Jovius flopped back down on his bed, his hunger unsatisified and his thirst unquenched. He wasn't used to these kinds of hardships - the CSC Dawnstar had provision for almost forty years at a time, thus he and the other personnel were used to three square meals a day.

Closing his eyes, he fell into a restless sleep, filled with blood drenched skies and shape-shifting beings...until he was jolted awake. The short-range communications system was buzzing - Jovius switched it on and said hoarsely,

"Hello?"

There was silence for a minute, then came the reply:

"This is Chad Raven, Sandstorm A-13S of the Ares Orthodoxy, come in, over."

Jovius froze for a second - he had been found by the enemies. But at this stage, the real enemy was going to be Death.

"This is...is Anthony Saben."

Silence again claimed the comm channel, until there was loud suctioning noise and the escape hatch of the pod swung open to reveal the cargo hold of an Ares Sandstorm that had latched onto the pod. A young Ares warrior poked his head through - he looked human enough, but with the distinct, altered features that gene-changing had given the Ares race. Chad grabbed onto Jovius' arm and hauled him up into the craft.

"What happened, Tony?" Chad asked, disconnecting the pod and allowing it to float away into space as the Sandstorm thrusted off, "I thought your mission was going to continue for a few years more?"

Jovius hesitated and then said,

"I hit a problem - I was called to fight and my ship was destroyed..."

Chad nodded slowly and then strapped himself in to the cockpit.

"Well, in any case, I'll take you make to the Outpost - the General will want to debrief you."

And so, the Sandstorm kicked into gear and burst off through the solar system, angling for a planetary body far out in the system and towards an Ares Outpost, taking Jovius deep behind enemy lines.

Volume V

"Ah, just like home, eh?" Chad said as they left the confines of the ship for the wide corridors of the outpost. Jovius could have easily mistaken the interior for that of a Commonwealth station -- the lighting, the hallways, the pictures and the overall feeling was just the same as the Commonwealth, something that greatly disturbed him.

"So," Chad continued, "You've been away for what? Three years now? I'll bring you up to speed." Chad led Jovius through the complex, passing several Ares women and children who eyed Jovius nervously.

"Don't worry about them," Chad whispered to Jovius, "We're all trained to be...well, y'know, we don't like the sight of Commonwealth folk around here. Most of us still have trouble getting used to the whole shape-shifting...you guys are doing a tough job you know."

Chad came out into a large common room and the center of the outpost - here, off-duty pilots were having lunch with their family, sharing hugs with their wives and marveling at how big their children were getting. Eveything appeared normal and it made Jovius feel sick. From across the room a little girl came running and wrapped her arms around Chad's legs; he picked her up and said,

"Elizabeth! Look at my little girl!" The girl squealed with delight and hugged her father. Her mother smiled and pecked Chad on the cheek, then looked quizzically at Jovius, as were most of the Ares around him.

"It's okay," Chad said loudly, putting his daughter down, "This is Anthony Saben - he's from Sector Nine."

This apparently meant alot to the other people gathered; most nodded and continued their work, but some pilots actually came up and shook Jovius' hand, saying things like:

"You're doing a great job for us all, keep it up!"
"We may put our lives on the line, but we do so behind an armored ship - you risk much, much more."

Jovius brushed off most of the comments and slowly edged out of the throng and towards the edge of the common room -- he felt like he was going to throw up. How many times had he fought against an outpost just like this one? How many times had he fired that final missile silo, that one last shot that destroyed the outpost in a ball of fire? How many thousands of innocent women and children been killed? Chad suddenly came over and said,

"I think the Major General will want to see you now."

Chad led the silent Jovius through the station, up several flights and through thick doors until they arrived at a War Room. Many generals and lieutenants milled around the many maps and charts. Standing over a large, central hologram of the solar system was a grey-haired general with many stars upon his vest.

"Major General Fox, sir!" Chad saluted, "I present to you Anthony Saben of Sector Nine, sir!"

Jovius saluted and stood before the General, sweating slightly. The Major General frowned,

"Saben eh? Funny, I saw you a few years back - you looked like a different human then."

"Humans age unlike ourselves, sir," Jovius said quickly. The General said nothing for a second, then he grunted and continued, saying,

"Your last mission was to assist Ryan Prolic in sabotaging the reactor of the CSC Dawnstar, where you were stationed. How come you were found, as Officer Chad Raven told me, in an escape pod?"

"When the Ar-- when we attacked the Dawnstar three days ago, I was involved in the firefight and my ship was destroyed, sir," Jovius said, "if not for Officer Raven's actions, I would have died in empty space."

General Fox nodded and said,

"I'll make sure Officer Raven is duly rewarded for his actions. It was a pity, that last attack - it was supposed to happen after the sabotage, but when that failed, we couldn't call off the attack in time and many of our men were lost..."

The general was lost in silence for a moment; Jovius took the opportunity to ask what he had always wanted to know from his enemy.

"Sir, do you think y-we are doing the right thing?

The general took a long time in replying, but when he finally did, he said:

"Officer Saben, every time I order an attack, I ask the name of every soldier I send out that hangar. And every night before I go to bed, I recount the names of those who never made it back. I think about this War, and it's cost every day. It has been so long since the War began that we have lost sight of our original goals and now we just fight for the sake of fighting. Does that answer you question?"

"Yes sir," Jovius said.

"Good, you're dismissed then."


Volume VI

Jovius spent the next few weeks with the Ares. He slept alongside Chad, and lived alongside the soldiers.

His initial presuppositions regarding the Syrtians were quickly compromised. Everything he had been brought up to believe was being proven wrong before his eyes. The Ares had always been portrayed as an evil race, an blight that ought to be extinguished by the allmighty, righteous Commonwealth. But Jovius saw it differently. He saw Chad playing with his daughter; he saw the women and children go about their daily lives; saw the grim-faced soldiers go off to War and saw the grief on the faces of their comrades when they failed to return.

Jovius lived a lie though - and it was taking it's toll. He did everything he could to learn about Anthony Saben, to try and portray him as best as possible and for the most part it worked. The Ares looked highly upon the Shape shifters, yet Jovius couldn't find out much information about them, until one day, he raised the issue with a senior Lieutenant whom was dining with the soldiers.

"I can't really tell you too much," Lieutenant Omrad said thoughtfully, "I'm surprised you say you don't know much about your job...surely you go briefed before you took the role?"

"I wasn't told much," Jovius said quickly, putting down his fork and taking a gamble, he added, "We weren't expected to live very long, and it was feared we would compromise the Ares Orthodoxy if we were found out and interrogated."

"Well," Omrad said slowly, "Well it can't hurt I 'spose to brief you a bit. I mean, we started this what, ten years ago now? Well, as it was, - you should know this - we where getting kicked hard by the Commonwealth. I mean, really hard - we where getting are asses handed to us. So, we - the Generals that is - decided that in order to defeat the enemy, we had to learn more about him; or at least, get some spies on the inside. So, we looked about for a new technology, a new plan and we found it in the hands of some Aliens we found in the Outer Regions. Teratons - you may have heard of 'em? Creepy as all hell they are, but we gave them cash and loads of spare equipment we had - idiots loved it. Anyway, the agreed to give us a new technology they had been testing for a while at their laboratories. When taken over a period of ten weeks, the serum could be used to un-do the gene alteration the Ares had performed. The result - an Ares goes in and comes out looking like a Commonwealth guy. Only trouble is the serum is reliant on energy from the body - don't ask me about it, only the Teratons know how it works - but when you die, the effect wears off."

Jovius realised after this speech why the Ares looked up to Shape Shifters and called them brave - not only were they going behind enemy lines, so to speak, but they were also undoing the gene changing effects that meant so much to the Ares. So, Jovius continued living with the Ares until one day, he and Chad were walking around the compound and they came into the common room, where there was big flurry of excitement. Chad went to inquire about it -- he came back a moment later and dragged Jovius out of the room, down a dark hallway and then slammed him up against a wall.

"What the hell Chad?" Jovius spluttered, choking under the Ares' strength.

"There's someone here," Chad whispered, his face an inch from Jovius', "He says his name is Anthony Saben. Care to explain what the hell is going on?"

Chad let go of Jovius, who fell to the floor, gasping for air.

"I can explain..." Jovius said, "I can!"

"Explain what?" Chad yelled, kicking Jovius in the chest brutally, "Explain that you're a damned spy for the Commonwealth?"

Jovius clutched at his chest and tried to stand up, but Chad smacked him in the head and sent him headfirst into the wall. Suddenly from around the corner came both Saben and Omrad; the latter looked between the two and swore under his breath.

"Jovius?" Saben asked incredulously, "What happened to you? I thought you died!"

"Don't talk to this bastard!" Chad shouted, "He's a spy! He's Commonwealth!" Chad pulled out his gun and levelled it at Jovius head.
Saben suddenly leaped forward and seized the weapon.

"Stop it Chad!" Saben shouted, pushing him aside, "How about we let Jovius explain himself?"

Jovius crawled into a sitting position and took several deep breaths, then he said:

"My name is Benjamin Jovius, and I am an Officer for the Commonwealth. Anthony Saben was my colleague on the CSC Dawnstar...but I learned he was a shapeshifter, like Ryan the kid you sent weeks back...one day I got in a firefight with the Ares and my ship was destroyed...I was picked up by Chad - he saved my life. I took Saben's name so I wouldn't get killed."

"And now what?" Omrad said quietly after Jovius had finished, "Now what happens? Do you go back to the Commonwealth and sell us all out?"

"No!" Jovius cried, "I don't want to fight you anymore! I've lived with you - and you're humans - what you did years ago, with Earth and Mars - it doesn't matter! That's not what you're fighting for now...you're just fighting for the sake of fighting."

Saben was about to say something when alarms sounded throughout the Outpost and a loud voice said:

"All soldiers are to report to the hangar immediately - all civilians must go to the escape pod area. We are in danger of attack by an C.S.C."

Saben sighed and hung his head in his hands.

"They followed me. The Dawnstar is here."
Last edited by ThePrivateer on Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:10 am, edited 9 times in total.

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Re: [FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I

Post by Drako Slyith » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:19 am

Nice story!
I've actually had a similar idea, only it takes place at the early 2300's. I have a prologue all typed out, but is seems you beat me to it :D
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Re: [FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I

Post by ThePrivateer » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:25 am

Drako Slyith wrote:Nice story!
I've actually had a similar idea, only it takes place at the early 2300's. I have a prologue all typed out, but is seems you beat me to it :D
:lol: lol. Sorry 'bout that! ;)

I figured I was better off getting it posted first, because then I can slowly work on it - rather than typing it all first.

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Re: [FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I

Post by Drako Slyith » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:28 am

True. The problem I have is that posts have a 60000 character limit. I'm worried that a long story will exceed that. And multiple posts might just max out PHP. :?
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Re: [FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I

Post by ThePrivateer » Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:44 am

Volume II has now been added. I hope you like it -- you might be able to see where this is going now. Tell me anything thats' wrong (Sdw195...you're advice on timelines is good...but please break it to me gently if I have forgotten something. ;) )

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Re: [FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I-II

Post by Drako Slyith » Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:01 am

Great plot developments. I can't wait to read more!
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Re: [FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I-II

Post by ThePrivateer » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:33 am

Drako Slyith wrote:Great plot developments. I can't wait to read more!
Thanks Drako!

Chapter III is up now! :D

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Re: [FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I-III

Post by Drako Slyith » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:43 am

Awesome :D :D :D
I do have just a few things to point out; CSC's typically would either maintain comm silence or monitor all the calls coming in and out.

Also
blood-red red
are you meaning blood-red star?
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Re: [FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I-III

Post by ThePrivateer » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:51 am

Drako Slyith wrote:Awesome :D :D :D
I do have just a few things to point out; CSC's typically would either maintain comm silence or monitor all the calls coming in and out.

Also
blood-red red
are you meaning blood-red star?
Ahh. Thanks for that - I'll fix it up as soon as possible! :D

Glad to see you like it -- I got the idea to put some battles in from your Heretic story 'cos I like the way you described the battles. :)

Edit: All fixed up!

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Re: [FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I-III

Post by ThePrivateer » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:49 am

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand Volume IV is now up and running! Hope y'all like it! :D

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Re: [FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I-IV

Post by Drako Slyith » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:55 am

Brilliant story, as usual. Keep up the good work :D
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Re: [FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I-IV

Post by ThePrivateer » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:58 am

Drako Slyith wrote:Brilliant story, as usual. Keep up the good work :D
Thanks! I like doing conspiracy-type things like this...I'm sure you can see where this is going -- the question of, "Who's side is the right side in the War?"

I just need to go gather some more info on the Ares/Syrtians....

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Re: [FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I-V

Post by ThePrivateer » Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:31 am

Volume Five is now up!

As usual, comment and praise please post here! :D

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Re: [FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I-V

Post by Drako Slyith » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:21 am

Great. I can't wait to read more! :D

I do have to point out though, that Ares are cloned. They would all be very similar in appearance. I don't know if they clone descendant (I.E Generation 1 --> Generation 2) or using database cloning (I.E. Tissue --> Generation 1, Generation 2, Generation 3, ect.). If they cloned descendant, they might consider their clones from themselves as children. Also, I with clones, marriage would be not very important.
You could take the lack of information to write your own (as I do quite often in my story :wink: )

Other than that, really great story.
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Re: [FanFic] Burning Stars - Volume I-V

Post by ThePrivateer » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:30 am

Drako Slyith wrote:Great. I can't wait to read more! :D

I do have to point out though, that Ares are cloned. They would all be very similar in appearance. I don't know if they clone descendant (I.E Generation 1 --> Generation 2) or using database cloning (I.E. Tissue --> Generation 1, Generation 2, Generation 3, ect.). If they cloned descendant, they might consider their clones from themselves as children. Also, I with clones, marriage would be not very important.
You could take the lack of information to write your own (as I do quite often in my story :wink: )

Other than that, really great story.
I am attempting to show that the Ares too, are humans - though thanks for pointing out the cloning issues. On the other hand, I would assume that there is a wide variety of clones to choose from, and if they have technology to clone, they may even have technology to alter clones to provide a result they want (similar to the idea of an Aryan Race or other things like Designed Babies etc).

And as for marriage, even if they are clones, they are still human. They still deserve the love and affection of another being and they should have the right to raise their own child. (If you are a Star Wars guy, you'd know that Jango Fett chose to have one clone of himself (Bobba) not fast-grown up, so he could have a son).

The Ares would, I think, be more likely to clone warriors as they are likely to die - so I may end up editing this in. But otherwise, women and children, though altered to be better, should still have no reason to all be exact clones of eachother. And again, as I said, I am angling at this to show that the Ares are still humans, not that different from the Commonwealth.

Thanks alot for your help and your excitement! You're words of encouragement are speeding along my story (and thus wasting much productive time during the day! xD )

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