SPOILER WARNING: This is a Shadowed Stars short story that occurs at the same time as the Ubide Invasion of Earth in book one
The Earth sky went from the fire of Ubide saucer attacks and laser fire to a snowfall of large blue flakes that melted into the surface on contact. What these blue flakes would come to be was another question for another day. The Ubides were the invading gray aliens with skinny body frames and necks that supported human sized heads with shiny black eyes. There were a few five feet-tall Ubides but all were surrounded by two or more three-feet-tall Ubides that scuttled around them like personal drones. They had landed in cylindrical shaped shuttles and some were even accompanied by hovering robots. They were sentry bots made of a metal alloy. They hovered above the ground with jet booster propulsion. They utilized coiled metal arms that could extend and retract with three clawed metal hands at the end of each. Their robotic heads hosted laser wielding eyes that spun around the full head like a turret. The sentry bots had no shielding but had extremely strong armor.
There was a heavily guarded force in a small ten block radius of apartments and shops. It was a small society of genetically created clones. The cloning project had been to all public accounts, shut down rather quickly after its success showed concerns of possibly going too far. The cloned humans, unlike what you may think of clones being identical, had been designed with different looks. Aside from DNA samples and an insignia of a circle with wavy lines inside it and covering a black dot identification code, there was no way to tell the clones apart from regular humans. This was another fact that scared the Earth human society and led to the disbanding and banning of future clone projects. The clones that were created were allowed to live but were under strictly written laws, not allowed to conceal their clone brand markings. The men were marked on the left side of their neck and the women on the right. The clones of Earth tended to stay within their own society, out of their own resentment of being different and some hatred from regular humans. This day of the Ubide invasion seemed to target the small clone society.
Unlike the regular human denizens of Earth, the clones did not panic when the Ubide invasion began. They all knew that they were different and must have feared that they would be targeted for that difference. They all banded together like a close family.
The fear that many regular humans felt for the clones assembling to be a dangerous militant force was unknowingly what had been done in secret. Spencer Jommy was in his mid-twenties. He had a fantastically chiseled physique and curly brown hair. His handsomeness added with his oratory skills allowed his overflow of charisma. He had become the voice and natural but not elected leader of the clones. His best friend, Darron Glean was the exact opposite in appearance. He was a bald brawler with an extreme muscular physique of his own. He had a black imperial style mustache that connected to his sideburns. He had a dark red scar that ran from under his left eye and down along the side of his wide nostril nose. His body was covered in multiple tattoos, the most notable was the lightning bolt that ran down his entire left arm. He spoke with a thick German accent that he had developed from his multi-year stay in that country. The two of them had ran into the streets and rescued other clones from the Ubides before fleeing into the wilderness. They had shot laser and projectile weapons at the Ubides but after the Ubides had taken initial hits, their natural body shielding ability would adapt to the weapon fire. It was Darron that discovered the Ubides could not use their body shielding abilities against melee weapons. He had discovered this fact by dual wielding axes into the Ubide hides. Darron yelled for Spencer to get their fellow clones out of the city as he was slowly becoming surrounded and outnumbered by the Ubides. He picked up a chainsaw and began to wildly and violently swing it and quickly sliced himself a clear path.
The clone society had been put on the run except for a volunteer force of male clones that stayed back to allow their escape. A Native American female clone was involved with a secret and private firm called Arstar Mage. She had secretly infiltrated the regular society to gather intel on the mysterious projects. She had of course had her clone marking illegally covered by grafted skin to pass as a regular human. Her name of Kimi in Native American meant secret. It had apparently been a name she had taken to heart. She was also an on and off again lover of Darron.
With the clone society in hiding and unsure of where to go as the Ubides were destroying the planet as well as their abduction techniques. Darron had contacted Kimi Falcon and arranged a meeting with Spencer. She had the news that was greatly needed and much more appreciated. It had been a rumor for a long time that Arstar Mage had been secretly developing a private and unregistered starship. Kimi’s recently acquired high clearance allowed her to confirm that fact. She also stated that the regular humans were going to attempt a launch within days.
Spencer looked over the stats that Kimi had brought to their secret meeting. The starship was dubbed the Beacon. It would require a crew of one hundred and accommodate another three hundred passengers. There just so happened to be a little over three hundred registered clones now looking for a fresh start and a safe place to live. Darron echoed the words that Spencer was thinking. They could take the starship from the humans and look for a new world to live on. The clones in their society had many of the skills they would need to pull this task off. Kimi reported that she could divert security and get a squad of clones in the facility to take the starship.
The clones had started immediately to develop their plan and even hastened their learning of the Ubide tech and weaponry from many items they had managed to steel over the first few months of the Ubide invasion. Another clone that had become quite familiar with Ubide tech was a very shapely woman with short blond hair and an infatuation to please Spencer in any way she could. Her name was Samantha Diggs but she went by Mandy. She was able to use the communications equipment to send out Ubide code with the designation of the Arstar Mage secret facility.
There was some remorse among the clones for the oncoming Ubide attack on Arstar Mage. Some clones felt the humans had made them in their image and after becoming unsettled by the similarities had abandoned them to survive on their own. There were others with compassion and admitted that not all humans were bad. It was voted on though, and this was a matter of survival between humans or clones.
The Ubide assault occurred the morning of the launch. The bay doors had been opened and the starship Beacon was raised. The Ubides used their cylindrical assault shuttles for the initial and heavy attack. Waves of Sentry bots were delivered from other shuttles to form a perimeter around the battle zone and protect all escapes. A new force of beings had emerged from blue pod plants that had sprung up from the previously blue flake snowfall. They were dubbed, Seedlers. The Seedlers seemed to fall into the Ubide ranks as if mentally controlled. They moved in a lurched-over crawling form much like a large crawling insect. Their bodies were basic humanoid form only a bit longer and with a more flexible build. Their feet were more like flexible hooves. Their hands displayed three long fingers and an extended thumb much like the Ubides. Their heads rested on their bodies with no necks. They had a mouth with no lips and a solid one brow that rested around the entire head and over two large dark coal-colored eyes. Their skin matched the color of the pod plants they had crawled from, with splotches of light and dark blue. The seedlers pulled from staff-like weapons from inside their own bodies. The staffs at one end would shoot a stun wave, and the other end, which was more like a large ball, released capture nets on the straggling human finds
The clones had leaked the information to use the attack as a diversion. The clones had focused their efforts on keeping the starship Beacon safe from any direct or indirect damage. It had ended up in the middle of the attack and was protected by outer rings of human militants. As the Ubides softened and breached the defense lines, the clones moved in attacking with Ubide laser rifles and palm strapped blasters that they had secured from slain Ubides in former raids. They were able to add more to their stockpile as well with this assault. They indiscriminately against humans, Ubides, and now seedlers, laid down laser and blaster fire as well as grenade and missile assaults. Other issues in orbit of Earth seemed to be calling many Ubide forces away. It did not lessen the determination of the clones to retrieve the starship. As the starship had become secured Mandy led the clones with pilot and space work training aboard first.
The starship Beacon began its lift off under fire from Ubides and humans. The clones had successfully executed their theft of the starship under a Ubide attack on the former human owners. The hard part was still ahead. As the Beacon entered near orbit of Earth, the clone crew found that the Ubide saucers were engaged in a civil war against each other. There were also large humpbacked warships that seemed to spread laser fire with no concern of sides on any of the Ubide saucer shaped starships. The Beacon had moved into far orbit and used the internal Ubide conflict to stealthily slip away.
The clone society had lost some of their own in the battle and theft. There were now two hundred eighty clones left. They had collectively assumed the identity known as the Cloneship and selected Spencer Jommy as their official captain and leader. His command crew was Darron, Kimi and Mandy. Spencer had made the decision to take the Cloneship into space and hopefully find a place to settle peacefully. The journey would be long as the Beacon had no hyperdrive and they would have to go far to avoid the reach of the Ubides and the new aliens that had arrived on the humpbacked warships. The Cloneship society’s journey had just begun.
Not The End
The Cloneship will return in Shadowed Stars: Journey Toward Fate, book 7 in the series which will also cover the two-year gap of time in book one. The Cloneship may also appear in some short stories before that as all short stories are connected to the entire Shadowed Stars universe that continues to rapidly grow. Thank you to all of my fans of this series.