He appeared much older than the other two.  In fact, he appeared to Chong to be in ill health.
“Thank you both,” he said to his two copies.  “I want to talk with the President alone in my office.”
He motioned for Chong to follow him over through the emptiness to a small office built along one wall. Ford said nothing until they were both sitting down inside.
“Can I get you a drink?”
He pulled a bottle of brown liquid out and set it on the desk between them. He popped it open and poured a couple fingers in a paper cup.
“Sure,” said Chong.  For some reason he just absolutely trusted this version of Ford.  That’s what must have made him such a strong negotiator.  He just oozed good feeling s and trust.  Chong was dying to find out what had happened.
Ford poured the other drink and slid the cup over to Chong.
“Well I guess you must be pretty confused and angry about now.  For that I apologize.  As the other mes probably told you, I couldn’t see any other way. After I explain more, I hope you’ll understand.”
Chong shifted in his seat and took a sip.  Hot fire burned his lips and throat as the liquid raged down into his stomach.  Now that was whiskey.
He snorted a bit. “I’ve never tasted anything like this.”
Ford chuckled. “Of course you haven’t.  Scoth this good is outlawed from trade with the Moon.  Maybe a bootle of 12-year-old MacAllen every once in awhile is the best they’ll let you get.  Most of the time you’re stuck with blends. This here is 21-year-old Oban.  Pre-war. It’s my favorite. Dry and smoky.”
“It’s good,” agreed Chong. “I’m not all that angry right now.  But I certainly am eager to hear what all this is about.”
Ford settled in for a long talk. “A group of the Fundys started experimenting towards the end of the war, after you all entered in. They could see the writing on the wall with the UMC forces in play raining hell ont hem from above. Experimenting on their prisoners was nothing new for them, but this group of scientists in Omaha started something unique.  Investigations into stem cells.  I assume you saw the body fields in Omaha?”
“Yes,” Chong shuddered a bit at the memory. “We flew over them on the way to our hotel.”
“You’ll find similar scenes at various Fundy installations, but nothing quite so vast. Fundy scientists, with some kind of twisted religious justification, were learning how to duplicate the humans int heir care. I believe their rationalization ran something along the lines that the sinners they had captured had lost their souls, so reproducing their bodies would not be a problem.  They would sen these clone armies out to defeat the heathens and win the war.”
“How did they get around the protien limitations?”
“Rather clever that.  They only clone the ovum.  Easy enough.  After that they clinched away of replicating the womb conditions exactly.  Then they figured out how to speed the whole thing up. The cells think they’re int he womb, so they have all the protiens they need.  The speeding up is the extremely brillinat part.  After that, all you ned is the right machines and a little knowledge of biology and everyone can do it.”
“So why haven’t we seen the clone army?”
“The machines are quite power intensive. In the end you were battering at the electircal capacity so bad, they could only produce a few clones. A few of the ones seen here were created by the Fundys.  I’ve liberated them.  The clone of my wife you met on the train in Avalon was another. They’re sending out the clones now as spies to attempt to find them a new base where they can receive enough power without drawing attention. They’ve tried Cana colony on the moon, but as sympathetic as the reliogious Canans may be, they reject cloning out of hand. Anywhere else on the Moon would suck up too much power and draw attention.”
“So why do you need me?”
“It’s tricky. You are who they want more than anything. The Ford I’ve sent to lure you in was one of them.  I’ve barely kept him on my side.  He was programmed to hate the UMC. These Fundys–  well they’re really not Fundys anymore.  They’re radical cloners.  They want the UMC gone more than anything so they can slip back under the radar. I needed them to think their rogue Ford clone was just at large doing their work. They won’t think so much about his not contacting them.  It’s how they work.  To keep secrecy.”
Chong felt the liquor hit him an decided not to finish the glass quite yet.  He rarely drank. “So that’s all very interesting, it really is. But what’s the short version? Why do youw ant me?  What is this place?”
“I need you because you’re the President of the Moon.  I need to keep you safe and out of their hands.  I also need you to help me finish them off. They’r erunning very scared right now, but if we do nothing they will find their niche, grow bold and unlease something far worse than the Fundy war. Those body fields in Omaha are littered with failed experiments.  But they’ve learned much.  That clone of my wife really thought she was my wife. They’ve learned how to do that. I have one of their machines here.  I’ve made a few John Fords on my own.  But nothing compared to where they’ve advanced to. If they find a willing protector with enough power, the world is doomed.”
“But why me?”
“Because you’re talented.  Your smart.  And they fear you.  They really do.  In their eyes, you rained down destruction from above.  And they’ve found it almost impossible to infiltrate the Moon colonies. Not in any numbers. My family did die in Omaha, but not in the bombing.  They died in the body fields.  I almost did too. I got away with one of their machines and hid here. If we united, nothing could stop us.”
“I see.” Chong rubbed his chin. “So what’s the plan?” He wasn’t convinced yet, but he was leaning that way.
“We start by giving you a look at the cloning machine to see what you can figur eout.  Then–”
An loud crash outside interrupted them.  Chong and a handful of Fords ran to the security monitors. Chong’s mouth gaped at what he saw.  Outside a UMC command craft and a battle fighter had landed in the street in front of the building. A cadre of UMC troops were being led by LAwrence to surround th ebuilding.  Chong suddenly realized he wasn’t sure he wanted to be rescued.
“Do you have something I can write on?”
One of the Fords handed him a tablet.  He scrawled down a quick message then said, “Let’s go” to the original Ford. “Just you and me.”
“This way,” Ford made for a set of stairs near the back of the building that went down into a cellar.
“I’m very glad you’ve decided.”
Chong follwoe dhim and they sealed the door shut above them.