The Diary of Alleelah:StarDate 12109987
Yesterday was my birthday. Sort of. It’s complicated. My mind was born 183,247 years ago, but this body is a clone. The latest in a very long line of bodies my mind has inhabited. This one is special, though, because it’s a clone of my original body. I haven’t used it for a very long time. It feels odd being back in my original form again. Almost like a homecoming. At once strange and familiar. The same long black hair, the same slightly crooked nose, the same eyes that were slightly too large in my face. The same hips and breasts of the female I was born to be, which is unnerving when you’ve spent the last few hundred years in a male body. Takes some adjusting to, in more ways than you’d imagine. Only two arms and two legs, which makes it easier to control than my last one, which had three arms. I even left the stub on the abdomen from the umbilical cord to make it feel exactly the way it did in the beginning. In my beginning.
I’ve inhabited many bodies in my life, some very different from the one I was born with. That is a perk of being a traveler among the stars and the possessor of advanced technology. This birthday is different, however, as I have decided that this will be my last one. That is why I returned to the body I was born with. I figured I arrived in it, I shall exit it in it also. Seems only fitting.
When my people discovered the technique to transfer our minds into new bodies, which were all clones of ourselves at first, we were ecstatic. The chance to live forever! I was only 68 years old at the time and I thought it a miracle. I had reached the age where my physical body was breaking down, things stopped working, joints hurt constantly, even eating had become a chore instead of a pleasure. Frankly, aging sucks. The ability to grow a clone and place what I thought, in my vanity, was my far more advanced mind into it well- it was a solid “Yes, please!” What could possibly be wrong with taking everything you’ve learned and placing it into a young, healthy body? Just imagine it for yourself for a moment. Everything you know now, every mistake you’ve made and learned from, all of it, but in a new body.
It was a wild idea that became manifest. Even better was that we’d figured how to make changes to our own DNA. Want to never have another pimple? Done! Correct nearsightedness? Done! We even made strides into correcting major problems, like cancer and genetic illnesses. Not all of them, of course, but every generation made new and impressive strides into making us illness free. We could change our eye color, hair color, how tall we were, everything was customizable as we tweaked away at our clones. Why have children, when you can live on and on? When you can change and perfect yourself over and over? Naturally, there were those that did still have the parental instinct but even they custom ordered their offspring. Generations of perfect children were born, though in decreasing numbers.
Of course, there were problems eventually. We found that repeatedly cloning the original sample was a bad idea because you eventally used up all of the original samples. That left making a clone of a clone, which leads to massive DNA errors. So we branched out. Started making clones of other species we encountered in our travels. Many we had far superior technology than they, so we could pop in, take samples and then pop off again without being caught. Some were advanced enough that we made contact with and then asked for samples. Sometimes it was given, sometimes it wasn’t. It’s actually quite useful to be able to clone your enemy and blend in with them like a native. But those are other stories.
I had just enough material left to make one last original clone, I saved it for when I was positive my time was done. I had lived long enough by then to know that the day would eventually arrive when I no longer felt the burning desire to continue. And here it is. This body will fail in only a year, it is already failing now. I suppose I could change my mind at the last moment, be transferred into yet another clone, but I doubt I will.
The short answer is easy. I am the last, you see. The last of my people. I have outlived them all by one means or another. Some died in accidents, some to war, some to assassination, some to illness caused by our repeated cloning, some chose to go like I have now. When you are young you think forever is wonderful, you think there is no way you could ever give life up. You learn. We learned.
It’s that learning that is the long answer.
So I decided that, as the last of my kind, I would take this last year of my life and record the long answer. The story, not just of my life, but the life of my people. It’s a long and complicated story, as are the histories of all people everywhere. Letting it all just disappear, leaving it all unknown to those who will come after seems a terrible waste. I don’t know if anyone will ever read it, but if they do and they learn from the things we did, it would be enough. I do plan to leave a copy in the largest library in the galaxy so that some day, someone might.
Ah, but where to begin? Not back to the very beginning, that would be far too boring. Our people didn’t really become interesting, in my opinion, until we discovered the stars were not just lights in the sky. That they were real physical objects, not disembodied gods or loved ones that had passed away. Even better was when we discovered some of them were planets like our own, and some of them contained life. Yes, that is as good a place to start as any.
Before I do, I shall pause this recording while I make myself something to eat. I have a year to record this, after all, why rush through the pleasures of life? I will continue tomorrow.