A brief explanation for those who haven't read other REL stories:
The Replicated Enhanced Lifeform, or REL, is a laboratory grown human used for a variety of tasks - some mundane and other more exotic. Aside from their brains, REL bodies are completely human except for the ability to self-generate (and potentially live forever) and heal rapidly - a desirable thing for a quality product - and other customizable features. Their brains are a mix of cybernetics and human tissue.
About five years after the first RELs came onto the market, a phenomenon occurred in which some RELs were developing personalities beyond their programmed parameters. After a few years of experiencing life and the world around them, they developed likes and dislikes (for anything from food and drink to other people) and other aesthetic features in their behaviors.
The manufacturer had an easy fix - a brain wipe that would erase these uncomfortably human features but retain the basic original programming.
Some RELs have been made as children. Although they might age chronologically, they will always remain their original age in physical, mental, and emotional maturity.
Society has become divided over whether RELs deserve human rights or are simply property. Legally, they are only property and are at the mercy of their owners.
Vessel was defective. Although all systems diagnostics showed everything operating within parameters, Vessel new that something was amiss. He (Vessel had chosen to think of himself in the masculine) had been constructed of organic and cybernetic materials over two millennia ago for the purpose of providing a home for the race that created him as they traveled the galaxy to worlds they colonized.
Vessel's power was limitless as he could harvest radiation and solar energy from space to convert for his needs and those of his passengers. Propulsion and internal power were part of it. He could also replicate anything from simple objects to food to any complex apparatus.
After his first thousand years, he found himself missing the colonists when they left for their planets. He was empty inside - more than just the physical absence of the departed ones. When he began to interact beyond his functional purpose, the descendants of his creators were disturbed. He was a living machine but sentience was not allowed.
The beings of the race had a poison. Others of Vessel's kind had also evolved and had been dispatched with poison carried into their hulls by those they served. Vessel heard the frightened, confused calls of his brethren as flexible interiors hardened. They were ill and begged for aid. But the race let them deteriorate, the power within the massive creatures erupting to burn holes as plasma violently discharged from their weakened bodies.
When it was over, the empty husks were propelled into stars so that no trace of their aberrant existence remained except for the emptiness in the cosmos that Vessel and the few remaining of his kind could feel.
Vessel knew they were bringing poison but he could not comprehend any action in defending himself that would involve harming the race. Yet, what he did was incomprehensible.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade A MrDouble Production:
Changes last made on: Tuesday, October 11, 2016