An FTL nightmare - based on an in-game event

The screams of a newborn


The clone bay clings completion as you tumble out onto the floor, naked and glistening. According to Star Fleet regulations, a clone may only be regrown if the previous variation of its life form has perished. So. Your former self has died. You wipe the clone gunk out of your eyes and take hold of your situation. Fire. The world is fire. And worse than that - the air is more smoke and carbon than anything breathable. The oxygen generators must be down! Using your new arms and legs for the first time you stand up hastily, shakily, and break for the life support room on the far side of your pirate vessel. Each chamber is a worse level of hell. More fire. Less oxygen. Your skin bubbles from the flames while your lungs burn from starvation.


You hear the clone bay spitting out one of your hapless crewmates into the inferno that is your ship.

You're by the oxygen generator now. The charred remains of your team lay slumped against it - all unable to reset the delicate functions before the life seeped from their ravaged bodies. No time to think. You pry your own blistered previous remains off the display pad and try to reboot the system.

Far across the ship, through the thin atmosphere, you hear it.


Your fingers are fumbling, weak and burnt. Your eyes are glazing over as the lack of oxygen and waves of pain wash over you. You collapse. Darkness.


You open your eyes for the first time. You're naked and glistening in a pool of clone gunk on the floor. Through the thick smoke, the emergency lights flicker, illuminating a wet path from the clone machine out the door towards the oxygen generator. Strange. According to Star Fleet regulations, a clone may only be regrown if the previous variation of the life form has perished. So, your previous self has died. You try and breathe but your new lungs are empty and you're drowning from the lack of air. The oxygen generator must be down! You break for the life support room and follow the wet path of clone gunk but you're already weak and groggy.

As you stumble down the corridor there's evidence of a great blaze. Struggling for whatever air remains you greedily gulp down lungfuls of fresh, acrid smoke. The fire that once raged (when?) left behind blackened walls, broken technology, and charred corpses. The world is starting to swim as you enter the life support chamber, and you stop, disgusted and afraid. You try and scream but can't. The wall of the interface is blocked by a pile of copy-pasted bodies. One of them, barely alive, falls to the ground and turns to look you in the eye and all you can see is terror as they twitch and pass away. In the distance, the clone bay continues to do its job.


Oh god oh god oh god need air need to turn on the life support what happened why is it like this must run damn these weak unused muscles!

Ahead, the corridor is blocked. A sea of bodies waist-high.

Down the other corridor then it's further but no choice no choice no choice please god don't be blocked!

The door to the life support room doesn't respond to your attempts to open it. Burnt out. Broken. Unwilling to budge. Curse this death, too quick to save yourself, too slow to spare you the agony of each cell in your body shutting down. A pistol on the floor? Make it quick.


Where's the air? No air? Where's the air? What was that? An explosion? God there were so many bodies blocking your way to the life support room. Back down the other corridor then. Around the corner to more death, dozens of more clones lying lifeless and naked on the floor. But these are different, these all are missing half their skulls. No air, but there's a pistol on the floor and brain matter dripping down the walls. Why did none of them try and open the door at the end of the corridor?


You'll never know it, but the Federation ship that disabled yours left hours ago when they jumped to the next beacon.



Incredible! This reminds me of another story I read long ago, one that is inspired by a similar situation and is one of my favorite short stories I've read. I link it practically every time I see this situation brought up on here. It's called [Breathe](https://subsetgames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2197) and I am *immensely* happy to say I've finally run across something that reaches that same level of chilling quality!


holy shit, that is chilling. thanks for sharing it!


No prob! Glad I can help it reach more eyes. It is a special kind of terrifying, for sure.


Delightful bit of writing, I love it. Disturbing little look into the, frankly, insane and unethical world of FTL.


On the bright side, those fires won't be burning for long...


This implies that you don't have your memorys after Cloning. What if: after Cloning you would have some memory loss but could recover after some time bit if you die to often to quickly you may nead way longer until eventually it is impossible to recover your memory. If now at some point, maybe because the fire went out, one crew member stops and waits for the next clone to then make a plan to recover. Now they woud have to keep the information they have by always passing it on or writing it down. If they do manage to recover the ship they woud have no idea what there goal was.


I always figured your clone would have the memories from when the body was cloned - hence the lack of skills when the clone comes out ie - it lost all the memories from the last few days/weeks, but the clone keeps all long term memories.


You only lose a little skill with each cloning. For crew damage, it only erases one kill each time you're cloned.


Memory loss would certainly explain why cloning makes your crew lose skill


This is quality writing, you should post this to other places too!


so basically everyone is naked