Chapter 1 Bobby

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He had lived through some seriously disturbing events before, but becoming conscious after only his head had completely formed deeply disturbed Bobby

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He had lived through some seriously disturbing events before, but becoming conscious after only his head had completely formed deeply disturbed Bobby. It gave him the opportunity to watch science's best attempt at time travel in action. Bright white energy zig zagged down under his chin, the width of his broad shoulders. As it worked lower, a tingling sensation formed and fleshed out on his newly assembled limbs. No wonder he had been chosen for this duplication, any of the colonists who were fully human would bleed to death while their body was being laser printed.

Before the tingling reached his legs, the fact he pondered after accepting the mission settled into a cold, unavoidable, stark reality. His wife Wooril and their children would continue living their lives without him. In fact, they had never even met him. The man they knew, and would continue to know, was his original. His life continued 70,000 years in the future, on Nibiru, a human colony light years away from Earth. Their lives would continue if his mission succeeded, anyhow.

Bobby experimentally wiggled his toes. The beam of light had completed his new body, a perfect replica of the first, right down to the scars and patches of metallic skin that marked where he and Nabu had fused, saving both their lives and becoming something both organic and mechanical.

"Let's get dressed, gear up, and get this over with," Nabu said, inaudibly, from deep within their shared mind.

"At least we've still got one another," Bobby said aloud. Might as well test the vocal cords, he mused.

"I know she's your mate, and they are your kids, but I miss them too. They are the only life I've known since you gave my kind free will."

"I guess we lost something that we never truly had. Our original body will take care of them." Even as Bobby made the statement, he felt its hollow effect. Before the duplication, his original self rationalized that there would be the pain of loss, but deep down, knew that it wouldn't be him feeling these emotions. Now there was no escape from the pain. Except in his task. If he were successful, at least he could be assured that they would all exist in the future.

Bobby rose when the tingling faded. His sensations were not entirely normal, but he figured his nervous system simply needed time to adjust. He donned the blue cargo pants and black tee shirt with LARC CSF printed in bold yellow letters across the chest. He strapped on his combat boots, and slid his slate into a large cargo pocket on the leg of his pants. Finally he donned a silver pack, a shugarra, the only weapon he would need. He spoke the command and his shugarra sprang into life, masking his face in silver. His normally friendly features took on a fierce expression. Arms became the first two joints of massive wings, he unfurled them fifteen feet in both directions.

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