avatarDeborah Walker is Writing Science Fiction


In "Captain Clone: The Third," a science fiction story told in episodes, First Officer Mikaa faces the ethical dilemma of disposing of infected clone sisters who failed to overcome an alien entity known as Grey Cut, while dealing with her own guilt and the captain's cold pragmatism.


"Captain Clone: The Third" is a serialized science fiction narrative that unfolds aboard a spacecraft crewed entirely by clones of the captain. The story centers on First Officer Mikaa, who is grappling with the consequences of her clone sisters' failure to defeat an alien entity, Grey Cut, which has left them terminally infected. After a night of drinking to cope with her failure to find a cure, Mikaa must report to the captain, who decides to visit the sick room where the clones lie in stasis. The captain's dismissive attitude towards the clones' lives is evident, considering the effort to treat them as 'hardly worth it.' Mikaa, who has secretly named each of her sisters, feels the weight of the captain's cruelty and the clones' blind loyalty. The captain orders Mikaa to terminate the infected clones and create a new batch, showing no remorse as she prepares to confront Grey Cut herself. The clones, bred for obedience, accept their fate without protest, with one expressing a wish to have served the captain better, highlighting the tragic reality of their existence.


  • The captain views the clones as expendable resources, emphasizing the stark contrast between her humanity and their engineered existence.
  • Mikaa exhibits a sense of compassion and individuality by naming the clones, suggesting a deeper connection and empathy towards them.
  • The clones display unwavering loyalty to the captain, indicative of their programming and the absence of personal identity or autonomy.
  • The story explores themes of identity, the value of life, and the ethics of cloning within a retro space adventure setting.
  • The captain's decision to confront Grey Cut after ordering the disposal of the infected clones hints at a potential plot development where her own invulnerability is tested.

A Science Fiction Adventure Told in Episodes

Captain Clone: The Third: A Science Fiction Story

I’m Sorry for Being Sick, Captain.

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First officer, Mikaa, wakes with a headache after drinking too much wine the night before. She’d turned to the bottle after failing to find a cure for her infected clone sisters.

Reluctantly, she has told the Captain about her failure. The Captain immediately decides to visit the sick room.

This is a serial retro space adventure. Find the first episode here, and the next part will be published soon.

Disposable Bodies

We entered sick room together, with me still a few paces behind the captain. The captain looked at the rows of women lying in the beds.

“What a waste. How long did you say that it take to treat them?”

“A week, maybe five days.”

“Hardly worth it, is it?”

I looked at the rows of identical faces in the sick room — the captain’s face — my face. Only the captain was real. The rest of us were copies, ship-bred and ship-raised. All the crew were clones of the captain. Only the captain was real, had attained citizenship, was born from a woman and not brought to life in the green, glazed cloning tubules filled with simple, sucking nutrients.

“Didn’t you fight back, eh?” said the captain to Verna.

“We tried, Captain.”

Verna’s face was webbed with grey micro-tentacles which pulsed to the beat of her blood. They wove through the capillaries of her body, using her own network against her.

“What’s your report?”

“I’m sorry, Captain.” Verna winced as she eased herself higher in the bed. “It just kind of happened. One minute we were walking, cutting our way through the jungle, and the next thing, the entity jumped us. We only caught a glimpse of it, before the tentacles engulfed us.”

“The entity? Can’t you even give it a name? Names are important. That’s why you haven’t got names.”

I shuddered. The captain was so cruel. The crew didn’t seem to mind. They were too young, only two years old, though they wore the bodies of adult women. They didn’t know any better. Names were important, that’s why I’d named every one of my sisters.

“We’re allocating it the name of Grey Cut, Captain,” I said.

“That’s better.” The captain moved along the sick room to another bed. To Saleen’s bed. I recognised her by a small scar in her eyebrow, still visible below the grey web. Saleen looked at the captain with a look of devotion on her disfigured face. “Describe Grey Cut to me,” said the captain.

“A spherical body, maybe ten metres in diameter. It was covered in tentacles which narrowed to a small spike. If you get cut by one of the spikes, you become infected. The infection spreads quickly. We all became infected.”

“I can see that,” said the captain. She turned to me and said, “Delete them all, and clone up a new batch.” Without a backward glance at the crew, the captain walked out of the sick room. “We’ll meet Grey Cut ourselves this afternoon, Mikar.”

There wasn’t even a murmur of protest from the crew. They’d been taught to live and die at the captain’s command. They accepted their fate, in fact, one or two of the crew members tried to struggle out of bed, to assist me.

“No, that’s all right. Go back to bed, rest awhile.”

“I wish . . .” said Saleen.


“I wish that we could have done a better job for the captain.”

“Rest now,” I said.

This is a serial retro space adventure. Find the first episode here, and the next part will be published soon.

Space Opera
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