Reconnection

This story begins on Day 16 NWO 310 or January 28th 2525 if converted to pre NWO dateline. It was 3am in the morning and I was tired, my watery eyes were barely able to see the screen. I knew that I must soon call it a day and turn in for the rest of the night. I was working on my thesis, and wishing at that moment that I had never started the bloody thing. What use is a masters in history these days anyway?

I was trying to locate the origin of bitcoin as part of my thesis on “The Emergence Of Digital Currency In The 21st Century”. My research had taken me from the well-known originator, Satoshi Nakamoto, to the far less known and controversial Brandon Silk. Silk had worked under cover, rarely ever being photographed and certainly working under many aliases. The book that I was trying to locate was never published in the true sense, but had been used in Dark Web circles as a guide to the new cryptocurrency, that is what I surmised from many spurious references that I had come across.

I was just about to give up for the night, when bingo, I found it. “A Guide To The Silk Road”, written by Paul Weaver. Silk had typically used a pseudonym, but I had no doubts that he had been the true author. I tried to download the book but was immediately met by a block. “Source no longer available”, was the only response I could achieve. I looked at my watch. It was 3.15am. I knew that it would take me at least an hour to go deep through the Dark Web archives to find the original, something I didn’t like doing too often for security reasons. I hesitated and then thought, “What the hell?” and told my computer to enter the sub proxy constellation, and get me into the archive.

It was just breaking daylight as “A Guide To The Silk Road” hit my screen. This was enough for tonight I decided. I could look at the book tomorrow. Then I remembered just one more thing before I left the Dark Web. Maybe I could find a picture of Brandon Silk, something that I felt would be impossible on the front web. Soon I had found a picture taken with Satoshi Nakamoto and six other men. Using the facial recognition system I could easily identify five of them, but one face remained unknown.

I clipped the unknown face into my rendering program and fired the full screen view onto my wall monitor. I stared for what seemed like hours, tiredness completely forgotten as I looked deep into the eyes of the metre sized face on my wall. I don’t know why I knew, but I knew, as certain as I was of anything, that I was staring at the hard, ruthless face of Brandon Silk. My hands began to shake, adrenalin racing through my whole body as I tried to take in the fact that this was my own face that was staring back at me. I was Brandon Silk.

I was frantic to understand more. How could a pre NWO face be appearing in a post NWO world? It was as though I had existed five hundred years before, yet we all knew that mankind was kick-started again a couple of hundred years after the great plague. The COVID-23 world plague, which followed the earlier COVID-19 less deadly virus, had wiped out the whole of mankind over the following two hundred years, barely allowing the time to establish a solution for the re-emergence of a virus immune successor. Before the last humans died out artificial intelligence was established, along with banks of human eggs, which could be automatically fertilised once the COVID-23 virus had died out. These new embryos would form the basis of the future of mankind. This was who we are. This, I had been taught since primary school. Eventually the tiredness began to get the better of me and I had to crawl into my bed. My last thoughts before I fell asleep were that Brandon Silk just happened to be my Doppelganger, and it must all simply be a strange coincidence.

******

I slept until late afternoon, a fitful sleep hounded by strange visions of a world dying slowly, while the elite forces panicked to come up with a solution which might protect them from a certain death. I saw the Earth, no longer blue, but a dark dead object spinning through nothingness, with just me trying to hang on to it, desperately wanting to understand. Brandon Silk, or was it really me, was laughing hysterically at my dilemma. I jumped awake with a start, the bed soaked in sweat. As I came to my senses I decided to put Brandon Silk out of my mind and concentrate to my thesis. I would read “A Guide To The Silk Road”
My first attention was drawn to the dedication, which seemed very uncharacteristic of Silk.

It read:                                      To my dearest wife, Barbara
                                   Without whom life would have little meaning

I began to read, with the intention of a long session, but found after some minutes my mind was wandering and constantly coming back to the face. It was uncanny. I brought it back up on the large screen. I studied the ear lobes. Since childhood I had been made fun of by my school friends because one of my ear lobes was slightly out of shape. There it was. The same slight deformity. I tried to continue reading, but it was useless. I needed to find out more.
I had a good friend from university, who, although also studying history, was far more into computer technology, virus software to be more precise. Dean Batch2394 had been our saviour many times when we enlisted his help with computer problems, especially virus infected hard drives. He had often said that he could hack into anything.
I called him. “Well, if it isn’t my old friend Ryan Batch2394. How are you? Still swotting I suppose?”
“Well, actually yes. I’m fighting my way through a masters. Listen, you couldn’t meet me later could you? Say about 2.30 in the Laser Bar? I need to discuss something with you.”
“Sure”, he replied. “Is your computer playing up again?” he asked, with a tiresome sigh.
“No, not at all. This is far more interesting.”
“Ok, but you’re paying.”
He was there when I arrived. We ordered two Laser Specials and relaxed back, studying each other’s faces for the first signs of age. We both still looked young and unblemished.
I explained the situation. I showed him the picture of Brandon Silk, not explaining who he was or what he had been involved in, only that he had cropped up in my research and the incredible likeness. I told Dean that I wanted to trace back to his circumstances of death and especially what happened to his mother.
“Why his mother”, Dean asked.
“Well, can’t you see? If we are all originating from female human eggs, and I am so genetically similar to this guy, I probably have arrived here from his mother’s eggs.”
Dean looked worried. “I see, but do you understand what you are asking me? You expect me to hack into pre NWO government archives. This is incredibly difficult to do, way outside my knowledge and expertise.”
Then he looked suddenly very thoughtful, almost frightened.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Well, there is a guy. I have never met him, only heard the name. It is all very hush hush. Apparently he is trying to prove some conspiracy theory about the post NWO human regeneration planning. He doesn’t believe that we came from human eggs.”
He promptly became very business-like. “Look, I’ve said too much already. Leave it with me. I’ll be in touch if I can help.”
With that he downed his cocktail in one and left. I sat alone, sipping my drink, wandering what had just happened.
The following morning I came across a piece of paper pushed under my door.

                                This afternoon same time same place.
                                      Tell no-one. Burn this paper.
                                                         D

******

I spent the next few hours trying to make some sense of the note. All I had asked, what I thought at the time, was a bit of naughty hacking to try to find out if I was related to Brandon Silk. Why the intrigue?
There were two men sitting together when I arrived. Dean was sitting with his back to me. The other guy I didn’t know. He was scruffy, unshaven and looked more like a street bum than any friend of Dean’s.
I walked right up to them, shook Dean’s hand and then held out my hand to the new guy. He didn’t take up the offer. Instead he told me very abruptly to show him the picture. I did as I was told. He said, “Good, print it off and leave it in the rubbish bin at the end of your street at 6 o’clock tonight. On the back I want you to write everything you know about this guy, birth date, death date, mother, sister, anything you know.”
“I don’t know much, but I can send you the picture now if you give me your nu….”
He cut me off. “No number”. He stood up and walked out.
I looked aghast at Dean. “What the f…”
Again, I was cut off. “He has already had two assassination attempts against him that failed. He is frightened and careful.”
We sat quietly while we finished our drinks. I was beginning to wish I had never heard the name Brandon Silk.
Back in my flat I did exactly as I was told. I printed the picture and wrote the name and birth date, which I had managed to find out. His date of death was a mystery. I was just about to fold it into an envelope when another thought came to me. I added ‘Barbara, probably Barbara Silk, probably wife.’
I went out, casually throwing the envelope into the bin as directed, trying very hard not to feel like some ridiculous amateur spy.

******

After a week had gone by I had almost forgotten about the subject. It all seemed a bit childish to me, talking about conspiracies, rubbish bins and burning notes. I had pretty much decided that the whole thing was just a silly joke, when one morning another paper appeared under my door. It was a repeat of a week ago.

                                         This afternoon same time same place.
                                                   Tell no-one. Burn this paper.
                                                                        D

There was no-one there when I arrived in the Laser Bar. In fact the place was almost deserted. I ordered a drink and waited, not knowing who would come, Dean or the strange guy. After half an hour I was about to leave when the waitress came up to me. “Your friend sends his apologies and asked me to give you this. He said to open it at home.”
I left and went straight to my flat. The curiosity, which had slowly petered out during the last week, was back in full force. I couldn’t wait to see what the envelope contained.
Inside was another paper.
                                                You were right. Brandon Silk
                                                         Born 17.06.1978
                                                         Died 16.06.2023
                                                 Cause of death unknown
                                                      Wife Barbara Silk
                                                       Born 15.03.1976
                                                       Died 16.06.2023
                                                Cause of death unknown
                                        Enclosed are DNA records of both
                                                   Destroy this paper.

Along with the paper, which I immediately burned after digesting the information, was a chip the size of a grain of rice. I scanned it immediately, double encrypted the data and put the chip in the microwave until it exploded. There were two files, one for each person. It was their DNA sequence.
I did the check with my DNA database. It was exact. I was an identical match to Brandon Silk. I sat back, trying to take in what this meant. The only explanation could be that I am a clone, created from a sample of Silk’s DNA. This meant that everything we had been told was a lie. I was not from a stored female egg, frozen during the plague. I was created directly from stored DNA and cloned. Did that mean that the whole of humanity today is also cloned from stored DNA? Do we now all exist in a world of people who are identical to that of 500 years ago?
Any thoughts of my thesis were forgotten, as I realised the implications of this, not least being the danger I was in for carrying such knowledge.
For three days I didn’t sleep. It took that long for me to digest the idea. My conclusions, after much analysis of everything I had learned was that it didn’t really matter. Why should I care about how or why I was created? I can’t change it. I can only make the best of it.
The one piece of information that I couldn’t stop from nagging at me was whether Barbara Silk was also cloned. If she had been, I felt compelled to find her. The problem was that I only had access to my own DNA. Government controls didn’t allow investigation of others, without the necessary clearance. I would never get that, so I called Dean once more.
“Now you are asking me something I can do. The current databases are a piece of cake.” He proudly told me.
After passing him the DNA of Barbara Silk, he came back to me within the hour. “Ryan, you were right, exact match. She is Emily Batch2382, just 12 batches earlier than us, which would make her about three months older. I’m sure I can leave the rest up to you.”
It didn’t take me long to locate her. There is only be one Emily Batch 2382, because that was the way we were constructed in NWO. She was born exactly three months before me and is studying microbiology at Wington University.

******

Wington is a day’s drive from where I live, and so I had to wait a few days until I could plan the trip. I decided to drive through the night, arriving early the following day. Wington is the world’s top university, hosting only the finest scientists. I thought it typical that any wife of Brandon Silk would be associating at such esteemed levels.
I found the university and went immediately to the reception. On asking for the whereabouts of Emily Batch 2382, I expected to be asked why I was looking for her, but they seemed to be very relaxed about giving out such information. They probably assumed I was a friend or lover, as we are of similar age.
“Yes, you will find her in House B4 room 32, if she is not somewhere on campus.”
I spent the rest of the day around the university campus. I had no idea what Barbara Silk had looked like, so had no way of spotting Emily. I waited until early evening and made my way to House B4.
It was a beautiful sunny evening. May people were outside on the lawns, chatting or playing games. I broke into a group of four girls,” Excuse me. I am looking for Emily 2382. Does anyone know her?”
“Sure. There she is,” said one of them, pointing towards a large oak tree. “That’s her, sitting by that big tree.”
I walked across the lawn, suddenly becoming very nervous. Of all the things I had planned to say to her, my head was completely blocked. I started to turn away but she had already seen me. I was too close.
“Hello, can I help you?” she asked.
I turned back and looked her in the eyes. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I blurted out some story about coming to look for my friend but somehow stumbled into the wrong house. We talked and I asked her what she was reading.
She said it is called ‘1984’ a rather silly book written before the plague, but it passes the time.”
“Ah, George Orwell”, I replied. “A man before his time.”
“You’ve heard of him?”
“Yes, I am studying history and old George was quite a famous author in his time.”
She invited me to sit down by her and we chatted for a while, until the moment was destroyed by one of the four girls from the group earlier.
“You found her then?” she asked as she waltzed past us.
“But you said you were looking for your friend”, Emily quizzed.
I was stunned and tongue-tied. “Er ..well”
She started laughing. “Well, I’ve had worse come-ons I suppose”.
We both laughed and ended up having dinner together.
On my way back home the next day, for the first time in my life, decided that I do believe in love at first sight, especially when aided by a genetic code.

******

Emily and I were to remain together and after our studies, we joined together to raise a family. Couples were no longer able to have children since NWO and children must be applied for from the next batch. The lucky parents would be awarded a new ready born baby of their own, however genetic resemblance was impossible. We decided to wait a few years.
One day in NWO318 Dean called me to say that his friend had been about to go public. He apparently had enough information and evidence regarding the way that the human race has been created that it would blow the government wide apart. A deal had been struck on the condition that he handed over all the evidence, the government would pass a new law, allowing couples to use their own DNA for production of any future offspring, and would be able to name them as they wished.
Two years later we collected our new baby twin boys, Ted and Arthur from the Reproduction clinic. We gave them the surname of Mileyrany, an anagram of our two names. Never again would our decedents be known by a batch number.
Thank you Brandon Silk.

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