In which the Archmagos digresses upon the challenges of cloning, and reviews his handiwork.
If you have the right tools, cloning isn’t difficult. You take some genetic material, use it to create a single cell, put that cell in the right environment, give it a little push and the rest more or less takes care of itself. Wait eighteen or so years, and you have an adult human body that is an exact genetic match for it’s source material.
The catch is thus; a basic clone is a useless sack of flesh, barely even fit for spare parts. No mind, no muscle tone, and the whole process is so dreadfully slow. The latter two issues are effectively solved problems – the technologies for stimulating muscle growth in lieu of exercise and speeding the growth of tissue have been mature for millennia. But the mind is trickier.
A clone that is…unformatted, for lack of a better term, has basic autonomic functions only. It’s heart will beat, it will breathe, etc, but naught else. The firmware of humanity comes pre-installed, but hardware with no controlling software cannot perform tasks. The installation of simple software leads to single purpose servitors, the likes of which the False Mechanicus of the Imperium of Man creates in dizzying numbers. But a sentient mind is infinitely more complex, and provides a challenge even for the greatest adepts of the Arts Biologica.
Biologica has never been an area of interest to me, but let me simply say that the process of implanting mind and memory did not prove a barrier to my work. The less I say about this the better, as there is one particular rogue Apothecary who would be very cross to learn that his methodology isn’t as secret as he believes.
I turned away from the tank containing my fully grown clone and consulted the cogitator standing beside it. Logging data from the implantation process scrolled down the display, which I scanned rapidly before reaching the end of the feed. Dated mere hours ago, the message I had been awaiting stood starkly in bright green text. I could practically feel the smugness of the cogitator’s Machine Spirit as I read it;
++++IMPLANTATION OF MEMORY ENGRAMS COMPLETE. ESTIMATED FIDELITY: 98.3%. ALL UNIT TESTS PASSED, WAKE-UP SIMULATIONS GREEN.++++
I smiled at the sight. Implanting memories is a slow process, and I have many thousands of years of memories, so this copy of my own mind and body had taken many weeks to create. It was in itself an achievement the likes of which very few men in the galaxy can boast. But it was merely a precursor, a lengthy preparation to provide optimal conditions for the final implementation of a thousand years of work.
It was time for me to make history.