Legacy's Oath Cloak
"How would one such as myself commit Human error when I am no longer Human?" —Hari-5
"Do you know why we're here?"
"Of course. You invited me to this interview… Oh, no tea, thank you. I don't drink."
"You're aware of why—"
"Why you're interested? Of course. I've been doing a lot of research since I awoke. You're from something called the Future War Cult. Odd name for what seems to be sensible precaution."
"And so your interest in my case must have something to do with the Cult's 'sensible precaution.' I gather that our kind were made as some sort of super soldiers long ago, for a war no one seems to know much about. And now, we live much like other people in a universe that has gone to war with itself. Although, I think we Exos might also be immortal. Isn't it odd?"
"Much of this conversation is odd."
"I'm not talking about us. I mean that given a whole universe seemingly at war, with invading aliens of all sorts, there's a people specifically designed to be super soldiers. And yet, we Exos just do as we like?"
"Take me, for example. I'm a researcher—a scientist. And I'm a damn good scientist, from all that I've read. And when I woke up, there was nothing more natural for me to do than simply carry on doing that. Super soldier? More like super scientist. I'd hardly know which end of a gun to point at them. But here? In my lab? I touch a machine or just look at it, and I know how to use it. It's like… like…"
"Riding a bicycle."
"Never mind. Tell me more about what happened when you woke up."
"Well. Suddenly I was here, in my lab, but lying on the floor over there. I looked around, and it was like I said. I just knew how everything worked. But I couldn't remember anything."
"Nothing at all? Not even your name?"
"No. Nothing. Well, language and motor skills and so on, obviously. But it was the oddest sensation. I've since looked up how I might describe it, and I never found anything better than déjà vu. Everything was familiar but foreign. Even my own body. It was… unsettling. But then I found files of some of my research. And I knew it was mine. It was like reading something I'd forgotten I'd written. I didn't remember where or when or even why I'd written it, but they were clearly my thoughts. It was clearly me. And that's how I found my old name."
"Yes, let's talk about your old name. The number. Why did you change it?"
"It… it wasn't… it didn't… A new designation was necessary."
"Are you all right?"
"Yes. I'm fine. Why?"
"Something happened to you there. Your eyes. Nothing moved."
"Well, excuse me. I don't know what you mean. So… do you have a theory?"
"Several. What were you researching before you… before you changed your name?"
"Ah, a project with my colleagues, Gonzalez and Mwangi. Delightful people. Have you met?"
"Briefly. Your research?"
"Yes, well, I won't bore you with the technical details, but we're engaged in a study of dark matter and dark energy. It seems to be my main area of interest. I awoke when I'd been in the midst of looking into…"
"Yes. The data we've collected has peculiar… anomalies. Between you and me, I think it stems from human error. But I'm going back over all of my previous work to see if I missed something."
"And have you? Found anything amiss?"
"No. If anything, it's been quite therapeutic. It turns out that I'm a damn good scientist."
"Um… you know, it's odd. I find myself quite parched. Would you mind pouring me some of that tea?"