“The process was…painful…I admit, and there were many failures. But such is the light of discovery, is it not? One cannot perfect a true immortality like this without some sacrifice.”

“I don’t understand,” said Mellin, dully.

“In all those souls I experimented upon that survived, I sowed a small portion of myself. My memories and my genetic code. I knew that eventually all the pieces would recombine in the form of a being with my exact genetic structure and encoded memories, experiences.”

“Why the long wait, then?” Mellin said.

The child laughed, an almost comical sound. “Ha! Imagine what those dolts would have done if they’d known that a child with the memories and genes of Aisha the Executioner had been born within their lifetime? No, I had to wait, enough time that the memories had faded and those that had known me in the flesh were dead.”

“And what of me, then, and my men?” Ellen gestured to what was left of his troop. “We were promised a reward.”

“And you shall have it! I am not selfish, these sacrifices have not been in vain. When the time is right, I will release my gift to the wider world.”

“You’ll forgive me,” said Mellin, drily, “if the notion of this sort of rebirth does not excite my men.”

“My dear Captain,” Aisha said. “Now that I am made whole there is no need for such subterfuge. My work will now allow me to pass on my genes and memories unchanged.”

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