The human race was all but done. Sterility had hit the 98% mark a decade before.
We were all growing older and all medical science could do was prolong the inevitable. Genetically grown replacement organs worked well and the acceptance rate was pretty high, but, the one organ we couldn’t fix, the human mind, was quite literally giving up the ghost. While everybody once craved immortality, 120 years in, suicide and euthanasia were making a huge comeback.
So we turned to the clones. We had had some success in human subjects, but in scrubbing the dna clean of disease and abnormalities we had somehow managed to remove the human element – the soul, if you like.
Our new master race were dull and lifeless as children’s dolls.
That’s when they asked my department to get involved. On these blank slates we were asked to inscribe our own ten commandments. The stuff that made us human.
“Gentlemen….and Ladies. I’m here, as you all know, to report on the results of the Endclone project.
We have been working on the problem now for some years from a base in orbit over Neptune’s terraformed moon Triton.”
Using a form of reprogramming derived from reverse engineering all of our established psychotherapy and chemical adjustment techniques, we had been trying to reintroduce into the infant subjects the “human” values we had intentionally removed from ourselves generations ago.
From our research station in orbit we accelerated the clones through childhood and then began transplanting them into a walled settlement on the moon’s surface.
At first the results were promising, and as we watched from space the “new breed” started to create bonds with each other. Relationships formed and even the beginnings of a new society.
However, as the experiment progressed we could see something was amiss.
We had taken great pains to leave out our long since quelled aggressive instincts so there could be no chance of our heirs extinguishing themselves through dispute, and yet, conversely they were in fact laying down to die.
We knew they were all sexually compatible and fertile, but for some reason when they reached adolescence and should have been starting to seek out the warmth and sexual companionship of a partner, they were instead isolating themselves from each other and becoming hermits.
In fact they all seemed to be developing a range of anti-social neuroses which we can only surmise were a result of some latent link within the borrowed memories being triggered by the hormonal changes.
Essentially as they reached the borders of adulthood and started to become self aware they all became fearful and distrustful of those they had previously seemed closest to.
Their self imposed exiles lead to their not eating or taking care of themselves and in some cases even self harming.
Eventually the other, pre-adolescent subjects would step in to look after their elders but before too long they also fell victim to the same malaise.
I’m sorry to have to report that at this point project Endclone is a failure and I recommend transferring the surviving subjects back to the centre for reprogramming.
I think we still have some work to do on solving our human condition.”