Serve the Servants ~ Chapter 11

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by Doug Humphrey

Chapter 11


News from the Post-Tyrell World


C-Span recording 3/28/22

Logged as evidence through FBI team #12831, 3/31/27

Former FCA (Io Branch) Department Head, Stephen Wauldron

Testimony before the Tyrell estate dispersal committee


  "Let me be clear on this: It wasn't an accident." Cameras flashed without remorse.


  Wauldron looked in the eyes of every senator that was appointed to the investigation.


  "Zhora had as much potential for good as any other Replicant on that base. What happened to her was an absolute disgrace to both the FCA, and the Tyrell Corporation, but it wasn't an accident. Zhora was sexually abused, re-modified with new programming as a means of covering it up, and then sent back out into circulation with another batch of Replicants."


  " are saying that the Tyrell Corporation is responsible for the incident that involved the little girl." The senator leaned back into his chair, looking skeptically over his glasses at Wauldron.


  "Among other things...Yes." A lot of grumbling began to go back and forth between the senators. Tyrell's involvement with Io had become a polarizing issue with many politicians. Some felt that the Tyrell estate should be held for every penny lost after the mutiny, while others strongly believed that the government failed itself, and that the committee was nothing more than an IRS sponsored witch hunt, trying to extract money it didn't earn. It had been a source of controversy for quite some time now.


  By this point, it was nothing new to Wauldron. The public's view of himself, or the FCA altogether, was nothing to envy, either. What did irk him, though, was using the memory of co-worker's daughter, a patient which he did like as a person, despite the occasional trouble she caused. Wauldron found it both appalling and haunting all at once. Years of being questioned by committee after committee, and interview after interview, all of which asked him the same questions over and over, to which he gave the same answer, over and over, finally got to him. If you’re going to blow up, Stephen, he mused to himself, might as well do it while the cameras are rolling.


  Leaning back in his chair, Wauldron scanned their faces to remember this moment for years to come. This one’s for you, Sarah Baker.


“This committee is worthless.”


A couple of senators slowly stood up in their chairs. One of the more conservative female senators began tapping her water glass, making one of the senators begin to sit down. 


“Mr. Wauldron, I must remind you that this committee is NOT being investigated for -”


“Maybe it should. What I am telling you, and everyone watching this circus, is that some of the same senators on this committee signed off on the creation of Replicants, and some of them signed off onto the idea of dissolving the FCA before it had a chance to properly do its job. A lot of people here had their hands in the pot, and didn’t care about the results, or the consequences of those decisions.”




“Worthless. Completely worthless. Not worth a nickel in Chinese money.” He began to point to individuals on the committee. “Senator Janklow, you know what I am talking about it. Your signature was on those orders. How about you, Miss Noem? Or you, Senator Barbatos? How much did you guys get in return? How much did you payoff to keep everyone else happy, or at least quiet?”


“The committee is requesting that Mr. Wauldron’s comments be stricken from the testimonial records-”


  Wauldron chuckled a bit. “I’ll bet it would. But I have a feeling a lot of taxpayers will be interested in hearing those answers. A lot of Replicants wouldn’t mind hearing the truth behind what happened on Io as well. What are you going to tell them when they ask? Will you sponsor another committee, fund another project, and tell your voters at re-election time that only your way will solve the problem ?!?” The cameras caught jaws dropping, or frustrated glances from politicians.


  Wauldron knew the cork was off the bottle now. “Sorry. Guess I was asking questions this committee can’t answer. But even the simplest minded person has the capacity for truth, at some level. Maybe someone here would have the courage to answer one question honestly, seeing as how the news media has gone to all the effort.


Who authorized the mission on Orion’s belt?”


The cameras began to focus more on the panel. Some senators kicked back in their chairs and smiled, with a look of We can't wait to hear THIS on their faces, while others began to scoff and complain to their aides. Wauldron remained very resolved in getting an answer.




Then senators began to rise from their chairs, some leaving the panel. Security began to come down the hallway behind Wauldron. The head of the committee got up and started talking in a loud voice. "Professor Wauldron, this panel finds you in CONTEMPT.  Security, remove him, and remove his comments from the record."


There were some activists in the room that began to cheer for Wauldron. He kept yelling about Orion's belt and about how Replicants were being treated on Io, but noticed that they were yelling, holding up signs, and some were applauding the things Wauldron was trying to point out. As the security detail dragged him out, he turned and looked over to see a face that he hadn't seen in a long time.


Instructor Foster. One of the civilian instructors that he'd worked with off and on, on Io.


Foster looked directly into Wauldron's eyes. Like Wauldron's, Foster's hair showed gray streaks, and his skin looked a lot thinner, as well. The years after Io had not been kind.  Wauldron tried to say something, but the noise covered up any attempt to talk, and the security detail was not letting up for a moment as they dragged him along.


Foster gave a slow nod at Wauldron, then turned back to the panel, yelling and screaming louder, stomping his sign into the floor to make more noise. The camera made an attempt to focus on Foster, but then snapped back towards the panel as they tried to hold onto control of the floor.




Sarah lay glumly in the base hospital bed. She glanced over at the clock, which emitted a message of 23:07, well past any visiting hours. Her father had been over earlier, and the nurses had let him stay well past the deadline, but as Jupiter’s huge nighttime outline filled the window, they politely got him to leave. There was really nothing he could do anyway–outside of keeping her company. And he definitely wasn’t patient enough to learn how to play chess.


  She cursed herself for being so stupid, for not listening to her father, or to Roy. Roy.  She thought. How am I going to apologize to him for all of this ?!? How am I going to apologize to the blonde Replicant, or the Redheaded one that defended her ?!? Or Professor Wauldron? Or Dad? The shame of it all was more painful than being in the hospital, as far as Sarah was concerned. It was beginning to sink in, all the times that the FCA therapists had been warned her about being very careful around the Replicants.


  She turned the television, which was showing a game show with a host dressed up a huge costume. A rather obese woman jumped up and down over winning a new car,  while the other contestants, a man dressed up in a funny hat, and a rather conservatively dressed woman clapped half-heartedly for her. Sarah wiggled her finger on the remote control of the hospital bed frame, which was about the limits of her physical motion at this point, shutting it off while the lady thanked Jesus and everyone else on the planet.


“This sucks. Homework is more exciting.” She quietly muttered to herself.


  She hit the controls on her hospital bed which moved her closer to the clothes drawer which held her schoolbooks. She hit a lever which extended a small metal arm and began reaching for her books. It clumsily grabbed a book, and then as it dragged on some papers underneath, dropping it on the floor.


  “Crap.” Sarah looked out of the dimly lit room, where she could see the nurse, a rather staunch, mean looking woman that Sarah did not want to bother. The nurse looked towards the direction of the noise coming from Sarah’s room, then looked back towards her console as a light flashed, indicating a problem in another room. She looked back towards Sarah’s room.


  “Are you okay, Sarah.?”


  “Yeah. I just can’t sleep, that’s all.”


  “Well, try. I need to check on another patient. I will be right back.”


  “Okay.” Sarah briefly began to hope that the nurse would take her time, or at least long enough for her to find a loud music channel on the television. Bring some life into this museum, Sarah mused to herself.


  Sarah’s attention went back to her fallen schoolbook. She tried to manipulate the arm to recover the book, but wasn’t having any luck. It picked up the book, but would drop it after reaching a certain height. Then her back pain kicked in ... and for a second Sarah thought to hell with the book.


  As she looked back down towards the book, she noticed a shadow of a person coming down the hallways. The footsteps were much quieter than the nurse’s, and the shadow seemed much bigger. Sarah quietly watched, thinking to herself, It must be a doctor.  Visitors at this time?!? She’d gotten used to the hospital routine by this point, and this certainly wasn’t part of it.


  All of a sudden, Roy darted around the door and into Sarah’s room.


  “Roy ?!? What are you doing here?!?” She glanced down the hall towards the nurse's desk. Roy slipped around the edge of the door, hiding in the darkness of Sarah's room. He looked up at Sarah's and put his finger to his lips, trying to get Sarah to lower her voice.


  "Now I'm really in trouble..." Sarah quietly declared to herself, trying to look down the hallway. She could hear the footsteps of the nurse coming back down the hall. Sarah began to panic a little, but instantly went into her self-natured mode of skirting trouble. If you can sneak out to the vidgame park at one a.m.... Sarah told herself, you can keep Roy out of sight for ten minutes. She quickly hit the remote for the TV, with the game show's credits rolling on the screen.


  "How are you feeling?" Roy asked, looking very excited. Sarah looked down the hall at the Nurse who was now stomping towards her room. Sarah waved two fingers at Roy, who cocked an ear towards the hallway and quietly slipped behind the door, his tall figure disappearing in its shadow. The Nurse walked hurriedly into the room and walked right past the door without even noticing Roy, who kept his eyes intently on her back. Sarah's face was beginning to pale a bit.


  "Sarah, how many times do I have to tell you about the volume of the TV?" She crammed on the button to crank it down. "We've got people that are trying to sleep, and need their peace and quiet."


  "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake anyone up." Peace and quiet. Yeah, right. Like you clomping around like one of my teachers is quiet. "But if it's okay, can I turn it to a music station? I'll keep the volume down." Roy knew instantly what Sarah was doing; She was using the noise from the TV as cover so they could talk. He patiently watched for the Nurse's reaction.


  "Well, okay. But just for a little while." The Nurse walked right out of the room, almost kicking the book on the floor. Sarah waited until she was down the hall, then turned on the channel to a random music station, and cranked the volume down.


  Sarah hit a button on the bed's remote, dimming the lights down, and then turned the TV to a music channel. She began to speak in a low whisper. "Roy...what are you doing here? You could get in big trouble for just being here! I'm gonna get it for you being here!!"


  Roy looked confused for a second, but then excited. "I had to know if you would recover. They wouldn't tell me anything. I am sorry if this bothers you."


  "Bother me? No, Roy... it's good to see you. But, I just don't want to get into any more trouble." Sarah's guilt sank in from not listening to Roy. "I hope I didn't get you into trouble, I tried telling my Dad and the police that it wasn't your fault. What did they do?"


  "They questioned me for a little while, and told me that they were taking you to the hospital. Then they sent me back to the base. Instructor Frey had me pull some light duty, washing dishes and restocking the pantry. But, after that told me to return back to my quarters for the night, I just couldn’t get to sleep."


  "Washing dishes...Roy, I'm sorry. I am so sorry. What happened to the Replicant that kicked me?"


  "I'm not sure. They got all of the other Replicants away from her, and then sent her over to the FCA. Instructor Frey was really upset when he heard. But he told me he thought that Professor Wauldron might be able to help her, and find out why she kicked you. I overheard the doctors at the FCA say that they believe something is wrong with her."


  Sarah, feeling both guilty and back pain medication, began to look a little glum.

"No. I was the one who messed up, not her."






  "Zhora. Her name is Zhora. Instructor Frey told me. I hope you're not upset with her."


  "Oh, no. Wish I could tell her it was my fault. I am so sorry, Roy."


  "Maybe I can tell her for you."


  Sarah double checked down the hall at the Nurse, who would occasionally look away from her desk towards Sarah's room.


  Roy looked down at the floor at Sarah's schoolbook. He quietly and gracefully picked it up and put in on the tray beside her bed. "She might understand it better coming from another Replicant."


  This put Sarah at ease for the moment. Her attention turned elsewhere. "What else is going on?"


  Roy looked a little confused, as if he was going to say something he shouldn't, but decided to say it anyway. "There have been a lot of new shuttles arriving at the landing docks. They look like large transports, but they are heavily armed. They say that we might be using them for some kind of Off-world training mission very soon. They made us run drills today getting on and off of them, wearing full gear." Sarah tried to keep up with what Roy was saying, but something else was still on the back of her mind.


  "Did you get to meet the lady Replicant, the blonde one that you like?"


  Roy's eyes began to glow. It was a little eerie at first, but Sarah could tell it was just Roy's way of being happy.


  "Yes. Her name is Pris. That was why I had to see you, so that I could tell you. I thought you would like to know." 


  Hearing this did make Sarah smile a little. Roy, in all the confusion, had managed to overcome his shyness enough to learn her name. Sarah felt proud of herself for at least getting that much accomplished.


  "How badly have you been injured? How long will it take you to recover?" Roy inquired. To Sarah, Roy's speech felt a little computer-ish at times, but she could tell he was becoming more human all the time. But here he was, taking a risk, just so he could check on her and tell her he'd gotten Pris's name! As goofy as Roy could be sometimes, she just didn't want to let him down.


  "I shouldn't be in the hospital too long. The doctor said I'll have to wear a brace for a while, maybe a year. They are still making me do my homework, can you believe that ?!?" Sarah was lying. Her back had taken a huge hit, and the doctors were very unsure if it would completely recover.


  Down the hall, she began to hear the clomp-clomp-clomp of the Nurse's footsteps coming down briskly towards her room. Sarah turned back to Roy, who quietly ducked into the closet on the other side of the room.


  The Nurse charged into the room. "I think it's time you take your medication, and try and get some more sleep, Miss Baker." The nurse began to stomp out of the room, and then stopped by the door. She looked at Sarah, then quickly opened and looked behind the entrance door, expecting to find hospital contraband, or maybe one of Sarah's friends from school, trying to pull some prank. She swung it open only to find nothing.


  The Nurse stared at the wall behind the door for a second, looked over at the closet door on the other side, then slowly turned to walk away from the room and noticed that Sarah's book was no longer on the floor. She looked up and noticed it on Sarah's tray, and then back to Sarah as if to demand an explanation. Sarah quickly waved the arm of the bed with the remote. The Nurse shook her head a little, dismissing the mystery of how the book got from the floor to Sarah's tray. 


  As the Nurse marched back out of the room, Sarah articulated the metal hand of the arm into one middle finger, aiming it at the Nurse's back. She then turned to closet that Roy was hiding himself in, only to find the door was open and the closet was empty.  He'd managed to slip out as quietly as he had arrived.




As Roy snuck back into the Replicants' barracks, he patiently waited for the security cameras to turn away just enough for him to slip through. He'd been testing the outer perimeters for some time, like a lot of Replicants, but many often turned back rather than go anywhere off base without permission.


  He then winced as he heard a familiar squawking sound. Jacob. He turned to see Daniel sitting there holding Jacob on his shoulder.


  "Instructor Frey..."


  Daniel waved his arm, which Roy could see was holding a half empty bottle that had the words Jack Daniel across it. "It's okay, Roy." His speech was a little slurred. Daniel wasn't completely drunk yet, but was working on it.


  "You went to see her, didn't you?"


  "She is my friend." Roy had never seen Daniel in this condition before. This was something new.


  Daniel nodded understandingly. "It's good to have friends." He looked back to Jacob, and gave him a treat.


  "I had to see her. They would not tell me anything after they had sent me back to base.  They said I didn't need to know, because..."


  "Because you was a Replicant.." Daniel finished, his speech slurring a little more. He took another small drink, then offered the tip of the bottle to Jacob, who turned his head away, as if disgusted by the notion.


  "I do apologize for my behavior. I know I have broken several codes, and will submit–"


  Daniel waved him off mid sentence. "Don't worry about it. I'll tell them I had you run some extra drills or something. Go check in, get some rack time. You'll need it, before tomorrow."


  "Instructor Frey, why are you out here? You never exercise Jacob at night."


  Daniel smiled. "Who told you never? You guys must be sneaking out here a lot. Good thing I decided to take a nighttime stroll."  He looked back to the landing strip. "I wanted to get a better look at those." He pointed towards the landing field, where combat shuttles were being lined up side by side, with Replicants working like crazy to get them loaded with gear. He looked back to Roy.


  "Listen, you need to get back to your bunk." Daniel looked back towards the landing field. "But I need you to promise me that you won't sneak out again."


  "Yes sir." Roy headed back to the barracks."Thank you."


  Daniel took another drink as he watched the shuttles. He extended his arm, letting Jacob fly around some more. His thoughts went back and forth from the shuttles, and then back towards Roy. He cares for this little girl. He (It?) honestly cares. And to think they told us Replicants would be heartless, unsympathetic machines that would just follow orders. So much for that little theory. Jacob came flying back with a resounding yelp, quite proud of himself for making such a graceful landing on his owner's arm. Daniel looked back towards the shuttles. He looked at the boxes, and noticed live ammunition being loaded up. This was a little unusual, as far as military training exercises went, but not completely uncommon. But then another load showed up, which he recognized as boxes of mining gear. Why are they loading the mining gear? The mining operations were just an exercise for the Replicants. Most of the material they extracted was simply used as landfill around the base.






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