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Disclaimer: the characters and concepts in Deepwater Black/Mission
Genesis are the copy- righted property of Sunbow Productions, Empire
Entertainment (I think!), YTV, the Sci-Fi Channel and are used here
without permission. This work is a piece of fan- fiction and is not
intended to infringe on said copyright. No profit has been made.

by Jacynthe Demorae

Reb watched in frozen horror as the damaged Deepwater accelerated
towards the alien ship. No. Oh, no. Muscles vibrated in sympathy.
He knew, knew what moves to make to direct the ship. Could feel his
heart race and gut clench. Except it wasn't him. It was his clone, watching the alien ship loom larger and larger on the screen. Reb braced himself against his console, strung taut as a bow string.

Light flared on the screen.

The damaged Deepwater plowed into the alien ship. Hull plates buckled,
a series of explosions lit up space. A nano-second of searing pain, then
Reb felt the tension--the odd connection between himself and his
clone--snap. He sank back into his seat.

He might never move again.

Why did you do it? he asked someone who could no longer hear him.

"Bren, scan for lifepods!" Yuna ordered.

Reb held up a hand. It took a great deal of effort, and even then, it shook.

"Don't." He paused, cleared his throat, tried again. "Don't bother.
He's dead."

They all sat frozen, watching the screen even after the last of the
explosions had died away.

Deepwater represented a dream, a last hope. And it hurt to watch it die.

"He's dead," he repeated, to no one in particular.

He stood, turned away from his station. Even Bren made no attempt to stop him. Reb made his way from the command deck, wandering aimlessly. Turn this way, and in time you'd end up at the Gene Bank.

Dark. Lifeless. Humanity's hope, gone. The mission, failed.

Reb blinked, and forced the vision away. Turn this way, and you'd be en
route to the shuttle bay and the lifepods.

"Both my shuttles are out of commission."

Trailing cables, shattered decks, lifeless panels. The Deepwater
herself, dying.

This turning led to the cryo chambers. Bren, Gret, Lise, and Zak, killed
in their frozen sleep. Yuna and his clone, struggling to keep the ship

Reb found himself in the Habitat, and stopped walking. As good a place as any, he supposed. Going to the dispenser, he called up a hot drink.

Bren, handing a mug to the other Reb. "Here's your tea."

Reb shuddered and sank into a chair, covering his face with his hands.
That was me but not me. I'm not dead. He is.


He looked up, startled.

Yuna hung back at the threshold, half in shadow. The hesitation was
unlike the vibrant young pilot/navigator. Reb sucked in a deep breath and
made a massive effort to pull himself together.

Yuna paced in and looked at the untouched tea. She picked up the mug and sat down next to him at the table.

"Are you all right?" she asked him.

"I will be. In time."

Yuna ran her fingertip along the rim of the mug. "How many of us do you
think are out there?"

"We're in the gene bank. There could be fifty, a hundred each."

Silence again. Some of the shocked numbness was wearing off. It wasn't me. I'm not dead. A macabre thought came to him. Were the memories of
their donor's deaths buried somewhere in the memory implants? Considering the high probability they had all died of Pandora, he hoped not.

"She looked a little different," Yuna said, reaching up to touch her
close-cropped hair.

Her clone, Reb realized.

"Maybe a little different. Tweak a few genes, add a few
lines to the memory implants. We don't know what went on in the
Deepwater Black Project. We didn't even know there was another

And another Yuna, another me...a Bren, a Gret, a Zak, and a Lise who
never had a chance...

"So what's really bothering you about this?"

Reb looked down and tried to gather his thoughts. "I feel like I should
understand him, but I don't," he admitted. " First, he's ready to
sacrifice our ship for his revenge. Next, he's telling me to take care of

Yuna went oddly still. "You mean the Deepwater."

"Well, yeah. That's what he said, right? "One day you'll see how
precious she is." She's a first-rate ship, but she's still just a
ship, she's nothing to get poetic about."

Lie number one. He knew the Deepwater, every deck, every fitting.
Her systems and design unfolded in his dreams at night. Every engineer
ran the risk of loving his creation--and he loved the Deepwater.
His creation? Where had he gotten that absurd idea? He hadn't built the Deepwater. The original Reb Anderson had done that, had taken a concept, put it on paper, sculpted it into a hologram, and-- He let out a long, slow breath. He could feel the warning shiver of a prex tickling at the back of his mind, and the last thing he wanted now was another memory.

Yuna raised the mug to her lips in an attempt to cover some emotion.
"Well, maybe in ten years time we'll feel different. Maybe we'll
see things then that we don't see now."

A lot unspoken in those words. A lot he couldn't quite decipher. Yet.

"I guess," he said with a gusty sigh. "I just wish I understood him,
that's all. I mean, he was me, right?

He got up and started to walk around the table, hesitating for just a moment behind Yuna's chair. He knew what his clone had really meant. And he had seen to what depths the loss of his Yuna had driven him.

A risk to the Mission. They couldn't be _sure_ there were any others Deepwaters. They had to complete the Mission.

They had no other choice. Later, they might have a chance to put the pieces back together. Later, but not now. Steeling himself, he walked away, leaving Yuna alone in the Habitat.


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