Narang muttered snd groaned scracthing at the recently cauterized arm. He knew he could get a new one off a clone, but the circumstances and the pain still nettled him. He felt he’d almost lost everything.  None fo the bargaining chips were in his corner any longer.  The Colonial Governor of Cana was cooling on their arrangment given the damage at the shed. He needed a break and he needed it quick.
Carlos marched into the room with a look of purpose on his face.
“We’ve word from Armstrong,” he said.
“What is it?  Out with it,” Narang was in no mood to be civil.
“They’ve gone straight for the young clone.
Perfect, thought Narang.  Now they had a foorhold. The young clone had been implanted with a tracking device and his psyche specifically molded to win the original Ford’s affection. Originally it had been meant as agift after the completion of Ford’s mission, but after Ford had gone rogue, they changed the young Ford to be a capture device. Hopefully the original Ford wouldn’t be too suspicious of its origins. It was not one of the clones Ford had generated himself in his lab in Oakland.
“Benito brought new from Patel as well.”
“Well man, how many times do I have to say this.  Don’t beat around the bush.”
“It’s ready.”
Narang’s eyes lit up. This was good news indeed and well ahead of schedule.
“Let’s get over to the lab,” Narang ordered.
“Are you OK to move?”
“Quite, quite.”
Carlos drove the car and they made the circuitous route to the lab to ensure they weren’t followed. Narang still hadnt learned who had been digging underneath the shed, but he had his suspicions. You couldn’t be too careful, especially with the Canaan government starting to lean away from them again.
They arrived at a low slung dark black building nestled in an industrial area of the colony by the hydration and air plants. It had once been a suite of offices for the energy officers of Cana before they were moved into the main civic building. It was separated from the other buildings around it by a tall wire fence.  The windows were darkened, dating back to the paranoid times when Cana though the UMC might try to sabotage it’s energy works. It had sat derelict for severl years before Patel and Narang approached the Canaan government to lease it. It was perfect for their purposes. A guard let Narang and Carlos in at the fence gate and they walked up the cement path lined somewhat ironically with Moonflowers. They had almost withered out form lack of care when Narang took over the place and he ordered them restored. He didn’t know wy he just liked the look of them. He took this simple joy with him as raised his eyes expectantly to the dark black front door fo the lab.
Patel and Benito met them in the reception area.
Patel ushered them down a pastel blue hallway beyond reception. “My assistants are finishing the procedures. It should be ready to meet you as soon as they’re done.  We can wait in my office. ” He chose a yellow door with the number 300 on it and let them enter before him.
Patel’s office was bare.  A desk a few pieces of office equipment and a large picture of the first Earthrise from the Moon that had been hanging in the office before he occupied it. The only hint of Patel’s personality was a bust of Francis Crick he had carried with him since school.
“I took the liberty of accelerating the project.  I hope you don’t mind Leader.” Aptel said as ahe sat down.
“No, it is most necessary at this point. Will it damage the integrity of the specimen at all though?”
“I should think not.  I’ve discovered a way to cut out a large swath of incubation time,” Patel warmed to his subject. “The interpolation sequences we had been using were hiding an inefficency, churning through useless information.  By cutting these useless sequences out, we’re able to reduce production time by a third without any harm to the expressed qualities.”
“I see,” said Narang.  He got slightly annoyed when Patel talked over his head, and did not like to admit it. “So it’s guaranteed?”
“As much quality as ny of them.”
“Fantastic.  When can we have a look?”
“I should say it’s just about ready–”
At that moment a young woman in a lab coat opened the door and announced that the procedures were complete and a success.
Patel led the group down the hallway through a large set of grey steel doors into a wide open are where several offices had been merged by knocking walls down.  Bright lights lit a laboratory floor and several technicians were gathered around a gurney far to the right.
Thr group approached and Patel asked the technicians to remove themselves. A body lay on the gurney.  Patel poked and prodded it and shown a flashlight in its eyes. He then grabbed a hypospray from a side table and injected the body.
It woke and shakily sat up, shaking its head.
“Hello,” said Narang moving closer.  The body looked up skeptically at him.  Trying to place the voice. “I’m Minister Narang, and who might you be?”
The body looked as though it was trying to remember something long forgotten.  IT furrowed its brown and then muttered. “Chong.  I think I’m Richard Chong.”