Bounty

Summary: How much is kinship worth to those without it?

Stragos stepped out of the ship with the ease he shrugged off cryogenic status. It had taken almost a century to cross the interstellar gap between his prior residence and his mark. The fact his own genetics had been used on the seedship sent centuries before him was enough to pique his curiosity. After the Nuevo Vegas job, he needed a change of scenery.

The Martell's Hammer O'Neill cylinder was new scenery. He'd seen O'Neills before, even lived in one, but not to this scale. It had undoubtedly been improved over multiple iterations on the seedship's AI. If he was not in such a rush, he would have stopped to admire the scenery. Supposing he was not opposed by station security, then perhaps he would.

Stragos accessed the public mesh, taking note of its versions and changes. The taxonomy it used was not terribly different than those centuries prior, given the hard limits of conventional computing. He prepared a handful of different info-weapons to turn their security against itself. A series of ultraviolent LED pulses into a security camera allowed him to gain the data he needed. His ship AIs iterated on his own tools, as well.

Stragos found the mark in a small room near the maintenance sector. By baseline human standards, he was strong, smart, and attractive. By Stragos' standards, he was unaugmented and unprepared. A quick software glitch blinded the relevant sensors, and he sprayed aerosolized nanobots into his face. The mark's long nose, brown skin, and heavy glare seemed familiar, and the nanobots told him why.

Stragos saw the man's genetics were nearly identical to his own. That was not surprising, given his genes were on those commonly archived on seedships. The man, by baseline human conventional accounts, would be his identical twin brother. He coughed as the nanobots forced their way into his brain. The connectome, the neural connections that defined a man, were vastly different to his own.

Stragos was not there when the nanobots finished. A trickle of blood ran out the man's nostrils. He had a new "prisoner," a forcibly uploaded connectome of his mark. The original probably had some form of upload or mental backup, but that was not his concern. It was not his fault if the mark so trivially considered true death.

Stragos took the mind of his genetic twin brother, a man with his own genes, and sent it back over neutrino-broadcast to his old system. The transaction would take a couple years to clear due to relativistic lag, but it would be worth it. Technically, he had killed and captured himself.