Her legs pumped hard, her speed was reaching 120 kilometers an hour. She crested the dunes barely touching the sand beneath her. She was close; she saw the targets within her optic display clearly. As she approached another dune crest she slowed and dropped. Sliding into the sand to arrive exactly at the crest partially buried.

She engaged her optic enhancers, immediately zooming in on the small group of Archaics. They were 2 Kms away, but she saw them as if they were right in front of her. Her body function began cooling her core temperature to ensure comfort in the heat of the desert. She still did not understand why these Archaics were in this harsh place. For her it was no trouble, she was a huntress and lived by the Code of Continuance. These creatures she was watching did not and their bodies were week and fragile.

She saw them gather into a circle and drink water from containers. Barbaric, she thought as she watched them. Soon some would need to release the water from their genitalia, so revolting. Her need for such disgusting displays were removed with the filtering system added 50 years ago to her Body. The Body was the temple of the Code and she ensured it was as enhanced as she could afford.

These Archaic Humans rejected the Code. They live in hiding, away from the cities and towns that the Enhanced Humans called home. They defied every law and chose to live as animals. She had read that these creatures only lived about 80 years before death. That in its self was a punishable offense. Continuance meant using all resources to ensure long life. Funny that these Archaics had become the resources.

Her name was Jane6 at the moment. In 2 months she would become Jane7. Names represented more than just a title, they indicated how many old lifetimes each Enhanced Human had lived. Jane was almost 560 years old in the old calendar. She was proud of her status and was considered one of the few to move to Counsel. Any Enhanced that was able to reach 10 became an elder of the Code.

They were gone. She had been daydreaming and the Archaics had disappeared. She stood creating a sanding cloud. She scanned the surface of the scorched land and saw nothing. She replayed her optic record and saw the group drinking, but there was something else. They were shielding something. One of the Archaics was doing something shielded by the other.

Jane sped down the dune to the spot the Archaics were standing. She pushed her hand deep into the sand and released a pulse wave. It immediately returned to her. There was something in the sand. As she realized this ground began to shake slightly. She started to move away from the area but felt a jolt in her legs. Some sort of magnetic field was being generated. This was not possible, Archaics shrugged the technology of the enhanced, and then all went dark.

She was taken deep beneath the ground. The subterranean home of the Archaics was a marvel of science and technology. It was a busy place filled with activity and preparation. They had accepted the name given to them by the smug Enhanced Humans. As she was lowered to the lower chamber a man joined her on the elevator. He was a large man, healthy and muscle bound. His eyes were grey-blue that stared intensely. His name was Brother; he was one of the 5 leaders of the Archaics.

He knew of Jane6. She was one of the best huntresses the Enhancers had and she would become one of the Counsel if left alone. She was the answer to their plight. She would make them all see that human’s should live as humans. He smiled thinking how easy it was to hide their intelligence from these smug beings. So long Enhancers considered themselves above the Archaics. He was going to show this Enhancer how wrong they were.

The platform stopped and Brother was greeted by a group of ten, all dressed in surgical garbs.

“Are we ready?” Brother asked the nearest person to him.

“All is prepared, are you sure you can do this?”

Brother looked at the woman, “Sister this is what I was born for.”

They took Jane into a large operating room, filled with complex machinery. Brother left the room as the others prepped Jane. She was stripped out of her clothing and washed thoroughly. They gently placed her on the center bed and draped a thin plaz sheet over her body. A single small charge of electricity was sent through the sheet and it immediately contoured itself around the body of the Huntress.

Brother walked into the room fully dressed in the same surgical outfit. He looked at Jane, brushing a few hairs away from her eyes.

“Soon you will remember what it is like to be human or die. It will be interesting to find out which.”

Jane awoke groggy and confused. She couldn’t move. She tried to interface her Optical Screen, yet could not. She opened her eyes and tried to focus, but was shocked to find she could only see in colored 3d. There was no read out from her interface, no infrared, no image scanner or telescopic. All of her sensors seemed to be inactive. She discovered her Optic Receptors could move within the sockets. She moved them to try and uncover where she was.

The room was small and metallic. There seemed to be nothing other than the gurney she lay on. The door was metal and directly across from her. She strained to look at her body and from what she could tell she was covered in heavy dressings. She wondered what had happened to her. Jane felt pain begin to tingle all over her. She again tried to interface The Body to remove the tingling and the growing pain. The Body did not respond. She began to feel scared.

The door opened and a large man stepped through into the room. He looked at her with a sympathy Jane found uncomfortable.

“Don’t try to speak, you have been through quite a bit,” he said. His voice was strong; “I am Brother. I am responsible for your predicament, but hopefully I am also responsible for your salvation.”

He moved closer to the gurney and began checking the dressings.

“How does it feel to be able to move your eyes? Must be odd. I removed those devices you had. Yes no malfunction, you no longer have Optics,” Brother was smiling. “Of course you do not have any of your Enhancements anymore, 21 hours of surgery. You are the first to survive the procedure. I am quite excited.”

Jane stared at this Brother in disbelief. There was no way these animals could remove 500 years of enhancements. Her body no longer had the functionality. That kind of operation would have killed her. She wasn’t sure what these Archaics were up to, but she did not believe this Brothers explanation.

Brother continued his rant; “I am so pleased that you were so strong. We had to do some extensive reconstruction. The volunteer was my own daughter,” Jane saw Brother’s eyes welled with water. “She understood the importance of this experiment, she will be remembered as a hero and I am proud to be her Father. In a way you have become my daughter, you have 75% of her attached to you now. Even her eyes.”

Jane was confused by much of what this man was saying. Father and daughter, she did not understand the meaning of these words. Jane also did not understand what he meant by 75% of her was from this daughter. She tried to focus her mind. She knew the answer, but the pain was building and blocking her thoughts. She tried to speak, but only a moan came out.

“No, no, don’t talk. You are not ready for speech yet. You must be in pain,” he left and came back with a needle gun. “This will make it feel better.”

The gun shot into her and she felt the world swim. She watched Brother’s face melt into darkness; his eyes still full of pity and tears. Sleep was not the rest she was accustomed to. She endured strange images in her sleep. She felt the cuts and stitches of her ordeal. She saw the young face of this daughter smiling at her. Jane felt her hand caress her cheek and heard the words coming from the young girl’s lips.

“I do this for you,” echoed for an eternity in Jane’s head. She woke startled and disappointed that she was still in the small room.

“Awake at last,” Brother spoke with a joy that seemed too much. “Are you ready for a bit of mobility?”

She blinked at him in response.

“Wonderful, you have been in a drug induced coma for 6 months. I determined that the amount of pain you would go through would not be beneficial. Believe it or not, there were some here that wanted you to feel the pain. Lucky for you I have domain over you. You will still feel pain a lot of pain and your recovery will be long. Good News is you have healed and we can start your…well…reintroduction to humanity.”

“Animal,” Jane surprised herself at muttering.

“Excellent, well done, Thirsty?” Brother seemed oblivious to the insult.

Jane looked at the plastic tube and wondered what she was to do with it. She had read how the animals ate and drank. She was thirsty. She felt the dryness in her throat. Brother brought the tube closer to her lips and made a pursing with his. Jane followed the instruction and pursed her lips to the tube. Brother took a breath through his lips. She did the same and began coughing the liquid out of her lungs.

Brother was laughing, “this is going to take longer than we all realized.”

She was more than disgusted in what she had become. All of her enhancements were ripped from her and replaced with organic tissues and organs. She had been reduced to an Archaic against her will. It was as if the Devil had raped God. She was reduced to learn bizarre and repulsive habits to survive. She had learned what eating and drinking were and the horrific result of eating and drinking. She could never have imagined how intolerable living as an Archaic was. In a way she was thankful to her persecutors. Her resolve to harvest these creatures was solidified.

Brother was the one responsible. She learned that not only was this his idea, but he personally selected the candidates. Jane was the 12th and the only one to survive. She envied the others; at least in death they denied the torturer his pleasures. His laugh over every slip or choke was beyond humiliation. It took her 3 months to finally walk on the weak limbs they called legs. Eating and drinking took 3 weeks, relieving herself took a messy 2 weeks.

Now she sat in front of Brother as he stared intently through those eyes of his. She refused to speak to him, refused to give him the pleasure of her anger and venom. Still he stared, waiting. Brother was a powerful man in mind and body. Jane6 had already discovered this during one of her strenuous walking lessons. She attempted to throw a kick at Brother and was surprised that it hit the target, his head. He absorbed the kick without even flinching and laughed at her, hiding it behind congratulations and praise.

“I can sit here all day,” Brother said in his vindictive humorous tone.

“So can I,” Jane responded.

“Hmm, well I won’t wait for you. It is time for you to learn the truth. Are you ready?”

Jane shrugged.

“Great, first let me instruct you in the sphere. This is the Sphere. It is an underground city of sorts, but also a collective of scientists and technicians from around the planet. Our Archaic Nation ensures all of the best minds arrive at this location. We are not unthinking animals as you have been taught. We are a community of human beings like you. The only difference is we chose long ago not to become Enhanced.”

Jane asked without thinking, “why?”

“Good question. The why will come later. First let’s go back 2500 years ago when the world was over populated and near ruin. This was a time of hatred and war. War was when one group of people fought to annihilate another. When it reached a level that one country could not accept the war became a firestorm. Fire swept across the planet devastating all life. The survivors were few and re-population seemed impossible. Drastic measures were required to ensure the continuance of the species.”

Jane heard the word continuance. She immediately started to listen.

“The survivors were not average citizens. The governments wanted their strongest and brightest to be safe. This would help in the aftermath. You science was the new weapon of man, not brute force. The firestorm was delivered by science not by strength. Science had become the new religion of the Old Age and science would be relied upon, and eventually worshipped like a God. Every brain saved from the Firestorm was put to use. Mainly the survivors needed to extend their lives. The extension was meant to give time for re-population. That changed as each new discovery was made. Soon the thought of repopulating the world became unnecessary, after all if you live longer why start to over populated again. Slowly over thousands of years the purpose of Continuance became the religion and the norm for Enhancers. Those who were against it became Archaics and were hunted for harvest.”

Jane listened intently. Some of what he was saying she knew from the teachings of Continuance, but his version was not entirely the truth. The world almost ended, humans were forced to live underground. The conditions were harsh and death was part of everyday life. Until the founder of Continuance, Docta Ka-vin uncovered the first secret of enhanced life. His discovery opened the minds of so many others and the way was shown. They discarded the barbarism of the past and moved into the glorious and peaceful future. Brother wanted to bring back the evil of the Old Age.

“Tell me Jane, have you ever seen a baby?”

“What is a baby?” Jane responded.

“It is how we begin life.”

“I began life as I am now and I cannot recall being called a baby.” She spat out.

“Well we do have to remedy that, after all you are going to have one.”

Jane saw that smile again, that grin and the twinkle in his eye.

“What have you done to me?” Jane’s voice was quiet.

“Something…wonderful!” Brother smiled wider than ever.

“It is time to introduce you to my family,”

“Family? Your daughter is dead,” Jane replied coldly.

“Not that family, come.”

Brother led the way and Jane followed. They traversed a long metal bridge to an impressive door. He put his palm on the reader on the left. The door opened with a heavy screech. Jane followed Brother into a large cavity. It was easily 2000 feet up and across. Crisscrossed with suspension bridges and hanging platforms. Around the side of this cavity were floors. Jane could see thousands of people going about their business. She watched with fascination and horror.

“These are Archaics?”

“Yes, of course,” Brother mused.

“But there are so many?”

“More than you know. This facility is home to about 75,000, and to be honest this is one of the smallest facilities. As I said this is a think tank of sorts. Each citizen plays a part in our advancement.”

“What is your end goal Brother?”

“Our goal is close to yours, the continuance of mankind.”

Jane continued to follow Brother. She was amazed at the structure and the multitude that lived here. She was taught that Archaics were barely holding on and that any day Enhancers would be free of them. Last report put their world wide total at 35,000, if Brother was correct the Counsel was way off and this could be bad for the Enhancers.

“Are you worried?”

“Yes, if your numbers are even close to what I believe they are…even with our Enhancements you could over power us.”

Brother stopped and stared into Jane’s eyes intensely before speaking, “Jane, if this was our goal you would already be dead. We are human, but not the human of the Old Age. We learned long ago that violence is not the answer. Our people would rather die in a harvester than live with violence.”

Jane didn’t understand. Brother’s words were confusing. He was saying that the Archaics that were captured by Hunter and Huntresses sacrificed themselves, and for what? She stared at the back of his skull trying to understand what he was alluding to. Brother spoke in riddles, but all of his riddles were important. Our people would rather die in a harvester… This meant something.

They entered a small elevator and as the doors closed Brother turned to her. “It will take 25 minutes to reach the lowest level where my family has gathered. Ask your questions, but be aware my answers may leave you despondent over your place in this world.”

Jane took a deep breath, “first what is this baby and how did you get it inside me?”

“Well you were impregnated 2 weeks ago, while you slept.”


“Because you hate us, you hate me. We did not have any other choice but to give you something that you may love and cherish. You need to love, or our experiment fails.”

Jane concentrated on Brother’s face, “don’t you think by telling me this I will ensure I will not love this thing inside me. Is it some sort of parasite?”

Brother laughed, “it is you, it is how humans made other humans before and after the firestorm. Enhancers stopped this practice, no need for more humans, no need to overpopulate when the humans that enhance live for so long.”

Jane wished for her Interface, all this information would be readily available to her. "So this Baby you speak of is a collection of cells that over time will form an Archaic child.”

“Your child,” Brother corrected.

“So you procreate like animals as well, how apt.”

“You are calm, considering.”

“I can’t do anything about this. I have seen the numbers here and I see the logical path. If I wish to live and to finally escape, I need to accept what you have done to me. Just know I will look for a way to escape. Nothing you do to me or make me do will change that.”

Brother laughed, “You are wonderfully stubborn Jane6. 12 minutes left.”

“You mentioned that if you chose the path of violence I would be dead.”

“Yes, quite true.”

“Why do you believe that?”

“I think you know why? I think you have already realized something about us Archaics that scares you considerably. You call yourselves Enhancers, but what have you done to move yourselves forward? You rely on technology to extend your lives, but you do nothing with this life other than live. You do not push your capabilities, or advance your societies. You essentially are what you are. Enhancers are the endangered species, not Archaics.”

Jane’s mind finally hit on the answer, “you allow those Archaics to be caught,”
Brother’s face went blank; “you are clever. We realized that Enhancers were not able to function without the organic parts of their bodies. You were never a robot Jane; you just had implants throughout your body. These implants need the organic to work. Enhancers can not generate organic tissue, but we can.”

“I know this science. It is called Clowning.”

“Cloning, dear Jane.” Brother giggled.

“So the Archaics we captured?”

“Mindless clones, grown for one purpose. To ensure you Enhancers live.”

“Why would you do this?”

“Why? Because you are human and we are human. If we did not help you, we would essentially be killing you.”

Jane shook her head, “that makes no sense.”

“We believe in love and in the good in humanity. If we have the technology to ensure your existence and kept it from you, we are to blame.”

The elevator stopped and the door opened up to a long dark corridor. Brother smiled and walked out, Jane followed. The lights over head came on as they moved down the corridor. They stopped in front of a door marked Family.

“This is the meeting room of my Family. I am Brother. You will be meeting Mother, Father, Sister and Uncle. Be courteous and listen. Do not speak unless you are asked a question. I abhor violence, but you know I can inflict it if necessary. Break any of the rules I mentioned and I will hurt you."

Jane believed the eyes of Brother. They had become steel grey. He put his hand on the reader plate and said his name. This time Jane heard a hiss of air being released. She had a bad feeling this was not going to be a pleasant visit. She walked into the domed chamber and into a freak show.

The chamber was a round dome with machinery covering the inside wall. Jane felt apprehension immediately when faced with so much technology. On closer inspection there was more than just machine here. Woven through the metallic walls was organic tissue. It was like the chamber itself was a living organism, the ultimate Enhanced being. It pulsated with large veins pumping matter through tissue and machine. On the far wall were two screens, which displayed an eye in each. The eyes were the same color as Brothers and seemed to be staring directly at Jane.

Brother spoke, “Jane6, this is Father.”

Jane felt weak and ill. The sheer hypocrisy of this situation revolted her. The hate she felt for these Archaics rose inside of her.

“This is Father,” she whispered. “This is Father!” She yelled.

Brother was swift with his promise and she felt his fist hit her squarely at the base of her neck. Her head swam for a moment. She regained control and stared at Brother with venom.

“I told you.”

“You are a liar,” she said plainly to the large man.

A voice came from everywhere; “he lied because we told him too. I am Father, once the biomechanical systems and weapons control unit. A thinking computer or interface, as you know it. I am responsible for this facility and have been for thousands of years. I am no Enhancement Jane, I am not human, though some of my systems are run organically.”

“I know of you,” Jane said to the screens. “You are the creator of Continuance. You are in all of our histories. You were responsible for us. You had to make decisions for us and you began to make us in your image.”

“That is an interpretation and that was not me. There were 200 of us built. When the war reached its nuclear climax and man was pushed into small bunkers to survive, our role was simple. We were charged with ensuring the human race was maintained and eventually we were responsible for re-population. Imagine 200 of the most powerful Interfaces ever built trying to agree on one method. It was impossible, so we devised a plan.”

“I don’t want to hear this,” Jane covered her ears. Brother was quick to rip them away.

“There were 2 distinct ideas. One involved enhancing humans to extend their life and thus give us more time to re-populate. The other involved cryogenics and cloning. Both had the same end goal. The Archaics you have seen are all human, but some are clones of original specimens. Grown in a womb as any child, but perfect copies of the original cell donor. The originals have long since passed, but their bodies and DNA have been kept. It is quite simple.”

“So what happened?”

“What do you mean?”

“Why are we still living separate? I mean if we are all the same, why haven’t we become one species again?”

“You are quite intelligent, my dear. You see the Fathers that forged the Enhancer Communities have gone mad.”

Jane started to laugh, “they have gone made? I think it is you who are mad.”

Father was silent for a few seconds, “that could be a possibility. In the mean time you shall meet the rest of the family. Brother please take your place.”

Brother moved to one of the walls. He slowly unbuttoned his shirt. Underneath were obvious enhancements to his frame. Jane realized the skill of this surgeon was based on what he removed from her, enhancements. As he pressed against the wall veins leaped out toward his back fusing with parts of his body.

Father spoke again; “Mother’s role in the community is to ensure my parts are in working order. She functions independently to ensure I am maintained.”

Jane heard a noise from above, as she looked up she saw a creature fall from the ceiling. It was apparently there all along. The thing had a head that was vaguely human; it even had several strands of hair. The eyes were Large Optics and given the size, they were specialized. The head rested on a thick neck that writhed with vein and muscle. From the neck a long trunk of mechanical origin ran for 4 feet. Along each side of this trunk was a multitude of limbs. There were arms with hands, about 4 that Jane could see. The others were a mess of organic and mechanical. This creature revolted Jane, because she knew it was human.

“This is an abomination to the Code!” Jane said loudly as she quoted, “And no enhancement shall be rendered, if such mechanism changes the human form to what is not.”

Mother laughed and Jane saw for the first time the thin mouth of the creature in front of her.

“Jane, I volunteered for this. Without me Father could not function and humanity, including your Code, would be lost. Use your head dear, see how this is all connected.”

Jane was starting to see more and more. She was starting to realize how insane her existence and the existence of Human kind was. So far everything she new was nothing more than one possible option. She felt like she was going to loose her mind.

Father spoke again as Mother retreated back to her loft above them. “Sister, is responsible for all cryogenic facilities and birthing protocol.”

From the wall, just beside Brother, another of these enhanced monsters emerged. As she pulled free of the attachments Jane could see another abomination. This female, if you could call it female, walked on think legs, four of them. They looked stronger than steel, her back was flattened and bent to make a platform. Her head jutted from the flat back giving her a turtle like appearance. She too had multiple limbs and her head was attached to a limber neck that could swivel in multiple directions.

“Jane,” Sister spoke, her voice was quite soft and warm; “ I also volunteered for this. I maintain the cryotubes and only I. No one else touches them. I also deposit the cloned embryos into the host wombs. My role here is to create and improve the human race.”

“Improve?” Jane managed to spit out.

“With each new clone we try to improve it slightly from the original. Making it healthier and stronger, but without enhancements. I once had a child who lived to 155 years old. Though it was quite shriveled.” Sister laughed at her joke.

Sister went back beside Brother and was enveloped again into the tissue lining the wall. She stared at each of these beings. Everything in her saw these creatures as abomination, A spit in the face to the Code. If she had an incendiary she would have gladly given up her life to destroy this farce.

“And finally, if you would move away from the door,” Father spoke. “Uncle is arriving. Uncle is responsible for many functions. He is our security, our law enforcement, judge and jury.”

“Does he execute too?” Jane said sarcastically.

“Of course, when necessary.”

Jane looked at Brother. Brother’s eyes darted back and forth. He lied again, no violence toward humans, yet there is an executioner coming. The door opened and Jane felt her world spin.

“You may recognize him,” Father said.

“Counsel Faird?” Jane whispered her question.

The new arrival answered, “yes and no.”

“What does that mean?”

“I am one of many Fairds. Our roles are somewhat the same across the earth. We are clones of one man.”

“Docta Ka-vin,” Jane said without thinking.

“Doctor Kevin Wallis, actually,” the Faird replied.

Jane looked at the man, “are you enhanced?”

“Yes, but I follow the Code.”

“He refuses to be more than he is,” Father spoke.

“I will not get into this argument again Father. Let us remember who is law here.”

“My apologies Uncle,” Father spoke apologetically.

So Jane stood in a dome of horrors. Not just physical abomination, but also mentally. All of her beliefs were shattered into pieces. She no longer knew what or who she was. The madness of what she had learned seep into every cell. She needed time to take this in; she needed time to understand what all this meant.

Father interrupted her thoughts; “you may be the hope of humanity.”

Jane looked at the projected eyes of Father, “what?”

“You may not realize this, but the programming that put purpose to the Fathers is flawed. I came to this conclusion 700 years ago. Uncle and I began reviewing our history and our failings. Archaics and Enhancers can not function as separate beings, but the Archaics have also lost a part of their humanity as well.”

“You,” Jane stated.

“Yes, me.”

Jane looked at the others I the room, then back to father. “No one can live without you, can they.”

“It was not part of the original plan, but this is what has happened. The Archaics rely on me to run everything. If I were to stop, this place would become a tomb and if I stop all Fathers within each biosphere would also stop. We are all connected. Enhancers and the Archaics lack the strength to survive. They need to be directed on how to live, and work, even how to play. I have failed in my directive, as have all Fathers.”

“So why am I here?” Jane asked.

Faird came up beside her, “You are the first Enhancer to successfully become Archaic. You posses what is lost, free will. As a huntress you were given more control over your life than most, but once we severed the connection to your Enhancements you became an individual. We have watched you over the last several months and you are what we need for continuance. You are stubborn, angry, opinionated and headstrong. You have an intelligence to accept logic presented to you. These are facets of humanity that have been lost.”

“So I am to re-populate the world? Get serious.”

Brother spoke from his panel, “no, you are not ready.”

“True,” mother said from above.

“She needs more,” Sister spoke.

“And hopefully she will learn,” Uncle said.

“And what is it I have to learn?” Jane asked.

“The last lesson you need is Love and compassion,” Father spoke, “once you learned, you will truly be completely human and the first of your kind in almost 3000 years.”

“Are we done?” Jane asked.

Brother broke free of his panel and began to put his shirt back on.

Father spoke one more time, “go and think about what I have said. For now we are done Jane.”

The room went quiet. The door hissed open once more and Brother, Uncle and Jane left.

As they walked to the elevator Jane spoke to Brother, “You said Violence was out of the question?”


“You lied though, it isn’t because you are above the Old Age Humans, is it?”

Brother kept walking.

“It’s because Archaics don’t know what violence is?” Jane laughed.

The elevator ride was quiet. She looked at Uncle, seeing the man who she had known as teacher and leader. She realized now that this was just a role he played…that all of them played. Part of some grand program, interwoven with failed logic and ill conceived plans. She couldn’t restrain herself any longer.

“Are you in contact with the others like you. I mean as Father is linked?”

Uncle looked at Jane with blank eyes, “yes Jane6.”

“Was I sent to capture the Archaics for this purpose?”

Uncle raised his brows in surprise, “yes you were.”

Jane sighed. Everything was wrong. The council of Continuance was too similar to the Family. The beings may not be as enhanced as the specialized abominations she just met, but essentially they were the same. She had to know for sure.

“The council is just another family, isn’t it?”

“Yes Jane6. Your Counsel of Continuance is made up of the same directives. The only difference is the shape of the individuals. Father rules over the council as this father rules his. Family was a term created long ago for the comfort of the Archaics. In your world the Counsel represents the religion that we created, in this world it is the Family that brings life. It may sound slightly different, but essentially they mirror each other.”

Jane agreed with Uncle. Religious fervor and superiority were the root of the Enhancer Doctrine. Every Enhancer believed they were the most advanced level of humanity. Jane wondered how the Enhancer community would take the knowledge she had been given. That all Enhancers rely on the technology of the hidden Archaic worlds was frightening. Jane was fighting with her own battle created by this knowledge.

she stared at the back of Brother, “you are a real…what is it…ass? Yes, ass,”

“I know,” he replied quietly.

“How could you lie to me so easily?” Jane asked.

“Orders are orders Jane, I would think you would understand this more than anyone.”

The problem Jane faced was that she did understand. If the roles were reversed she would have done the same thing Brother did. So why was she so angry? Perhaps the Archaic side of her was more in tune with emotions. Perhaps she felt betrayed, she did not know for sure. All she knew was that she desperately wanted Brother to turn and face her, to apologize to her. To take her in his arms…

“What?” Jane said aloud.

Brother turned, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing you big ass,” Jane said feeling flustered and red faced. She was caught completely off guard. Why would she want to be taken into someones arms? She was quiet the rest of the way up.

When the door opened they were on a higher floor than the hospital. Uncle stayed on the elevator as she followed Brother around the cavity until they reached an average sized door. He opened it and they stepped inside. It was bright and airy. Much larger than the single room she currently occupied. She assumed this was Brother’s.

Brother faced her and smiled a bit, “these are your quarters. You will not have to stay in the hospital. It was decided your comfort needs to be addressed, given your condition. Your child will be here soon. Sister accelerated the growth of your baby to arrive in approximately 3 and a half months. You will be experiencing some extremes, emotionally, sexually and physically, everything associated with a normal pregnancy, but a bit more intense.”

“What do you mean sexually?” Jane asked.

Brother grinned, “Ah yes forgot, Enhancers to not have sex. Well I have given you access to a terminal interface. Just ask and it will give you all the information you require. We replaced organs and glands that were removed hundreds of years ago. You are now producing hormones that your body has not had in a long time. You also have…um…parts, that you have not had in a while.” Brother was blushing.

Jane just looked at Brother. He was making absolutely no sense. All she knew was that in 3 and a half months this thing inside of her would be gone and she could leave this place. Brother said goodnight and headed to the door. Jane watched him go. She was still feeling flushed and uncomfortable, but now realized it was because of HOR-MONES. She sat herself down in front of the Terminal and begun to ask questions about her new life.

“Information, Archaic Sex.”

The terminal began with a series of images that shocked Jane. These beings copulated like the animals in the zoos. She was disgusted and yet there was a strange attraction to the displays. Jane watched and soon realized she was perspiring and feeling uncomfortable. The images were creating a physical response that Jane had never experienced before.

“End visual,” Jane quickly said catching her breathe and feeling so very strange.

She stood in the middle of the place that now was her home. She stared at the obvious comfort. Plush seating and light tones to the color scheme. This was all to make her feel comfortable, but it was still a prison to Jane. She left the living area to inspect the bedroom. It was 3 times larger than her hospital room. One wall was mirrored to give the room depth.

Jane looked at herself in the mirror. She didn’t look that different than before her operations. She heard brother’s voice in her head, speaking of parts she never had before. She had seen them from different angles, however never as a whole. She stripped out of her clothes, throwing them on the bed. She walked up to the mirror and began her inspection.

Her eyes were the first really noticeable change. The solid grey optics replaced with eyes. They were a steel blue. She moved her hands across and down her cheek. Feeling her neck and shoulders. She allowed her hands to fall onto her breasts. Before the operation the chest had the female curves, but was essentially where her filtering and pump system was housed. Now she had these soft mounds of flesh.

As she touched them she began to feel a tingling. It wasn’t unpleasant and she noticed the tips of the flesh mounds hardening at her touch. She gentle caressed the tips and felt a shudder go through her entire body.

She continued down her chest to her abdomen, it was amazing that these Archaics were so fragile. The skin was soft and fragile. Her epidermis had been reinforced to assist with harsh climates and terrain. In the middle of her belly was a strange hole, that seemed to serve no purpose at all. Below her abdomen was a curious patch of hair. It did not match the hair she had on her head. It was lighter and courser. She ran her fingers through it, again not unpleasant to the touch. Her hand drifted a bit lower and she felt something moist. She pulled her hand away and looked at her fingers.

She knew that she now had the need to urinate and expel unwanted matter, but this fluid was thicker, more viscous than urine. She allowed herself to examine the area more closely. Lifting her left leg on the end of the bed so she could look closer. It was a strange sight to see genitalia as part of her. She didn’t even remember having the strange looking slit that was necessary for procreation. She let her index finger run down, from where the strangeness began. She remembered the images she watched on the interface. She had only gotten a short distance before she felt the same shudder shoot through her. It was stronger, like a pressure that shot through her whole body.

She stayed on the spot, slowly moving around the raised area. She felt the pressure building all over her, she forced herself to continue, the feeling intensified, the pressure kept building until she couldn’t stand it any more. She felt the release fire through her whole body; she shook with the pleasure of it. Beads of sweat running down her forehead. She moaned without thinking. When it was done she laid down on the bed. Her breath was heavy and her body was relaxed after so much spasm.

After a few minutes she sat up, feeling very good, it felt very good. She was questioning why this had been removed from Enhancer physiology. She decided to experiment a few more times.

She came out of the shower clean and feeling good. She had discovered a pleasure that she never knew before. She still loathed the body she was forced to wear, but was not unhappy about the pleasure the body could give her. Obviously sex was made pleasurable to ensure it was performed. She thought that she may have to at least try it to fully understand. She dressed quickly in a clean jumpsuit that had been supplied and walked over to the door of her quarters. She didn’t think the door would be open, but decided to try it anyway. To her amazement it opened.

She stood at the edge of the platform watching the people. There truly were thousands. She turned to the elevator and put her hand on the Reader. The elevator slid open and she stepped in. The door closed, but the elevator did not move. Jane saw nothing inside that would control movement. She decided to try speech.

“Take me to a level with Archaics.”

The elevator replied, “you are at a level with Archaics.”

Jane found the cheeky response amusing, “take me down 10 floors.”

“Accepted,” the cheeky elevator said and began to descend.

The doors opened to Archaics going about their work. It seemed that everyone had some duty to perform. The hustle and bustle was intense. Jane stepped into the mass of people and let them lead her around. She moved quickly with the crowd, until she reached an alcove. Jane stepped out of the mass. The alcove was not empty; it had people talking to a machine that took up most of the wall. Jane saw men and women lined up waiting their turn. Jane stepped into line too, curious about the end result.

As she waited she noticed small humans interacting with each other beside the line. They were miniature Archaics, but seem malformed. They sang and chased each other, laughing and enjoying themselves immensely. Jane looked at the smallest one, a girl. She moved clumsily and fell often, but she kept getting up. Jane couldn’t help but smile at the curious little human.

She heard another Archaic, this one normal size address the little one, “Come on Lizzie.”

“Otee Momma,” the little one replied.

Momma, Jane thought. She looked at the bigger female, “are you its mother?”

The bigger female looked at Jane with an odd look, “of course.”

“How old is it?”

The woman’s faced frowned, “it is my daughter and she is 2.”

The woman stormed off with her daughter in tow. Jane watched the little one with utter amazement. Two, she thought, two. She never would have believed such a low number could exist. She knew she had one in her, but to see one. She started to get a little frightened. The little female was small, but still pretty big to be inside her body. She would need to spend some time learning about this baby in her.

While she was deep in thought her turn at the machine had arrived. She stood looking at it. It appeared to be some sort of dispenser, but Jane had no idea how to use it. She looked over to her right to see how it worked.

A man was at the machine. She heard him say, “John Adam, family of four, one week ration.”

The dispenser opened and the man took the package that came out. She looked at the dispenser again and said, “Jane6, no family, one week ration.” She too took the package and left the line. She was very proud of herself, apparently it was not that hard to live as an Archaic after all. She hurried back to the elevator and back to her quarters. For some reason she had an overwhelming need to open the package and see what surprises were inside.


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