Standing outside the chapel Arc wasn’t so sure he liked the spiritual advice he’d been given and tried to figure out if his species scriptures still might still offer him a way out that won’t require his or his clone brother’s death, roasting and cannibalization as the p’Tang t’Iki t’Iki priest claimed.
He thought about his priest’s advice before he had been unceremoniously kicked out of the church and reminded to broil his brother in the proscribed manner to avoid the unremovable stain of shame that would somehow destroy his species.
“Now. Please, this isn’t really so different from how we are naturally reproduced, right? He had argued further. “We all come from the eggs of the Queens. We’re all come from the same seed. We're all practically clones anyway. No matter how we are made, what does it make a difference?
“Are you a Queen?” the priest had asked. “You don’t look like one to me.”
“Well no, of course I’m not a Queen. I’m of the brood.”
“And again by religious law the brood cannot reproduce itself,” the priest reminded him. “Only Queens are allowed to choose the holy DNA recombination. Again if both you and your clone exist you will destroy who we are, what we always have been and who we always will be and therefore you must roast your brother or roast yourself. Those are the only choices. Am I clear!”
“Yes.” Arc was forced to nod and do his penance and leave the chapel and go on his way back to his brother and try to figure out what he was going to do with the fact he might have made a big mistake in revealing to his species his clone/brother existed.
“King me,” he moped. “King me...”
On the way back to where he was sure Arl was still gorging his face, Arc found himself in new mental territory. He’d never really thought about the whole situation much and now he was forced to look back, ponder think about the fact pondering did not come naturally to members of his species. They just did what they were told most of the time when among their own kind, and while riding along the slidewalk, he thought about his brother.
Arc remembered being awoken on the Transient Void and being all alone well not all alone. There were others on the ship at that time, and among those was a pair of human dimwits who were constantly making those raucous noises they claimed was music. But the fact they were brothers and acted so much like he and his kind did with their boodmates, Arc found himself becoming jealous. And so after they had left the ship and he had discovered the duplication device down on one of the unmonitored decks, he went about making himself a brother.
This had been kind of confusing at first, since once created, even though Arl was kind of stupid, he insisted he was Arc and Arc was the duplicate, so there was a lot of fighting and scratching and all sorts of Kiklik things between them, but Arc still loved it because that was what brood brothers did. Eventually his brother had agreed to take the name Arl all and begin the process of becoming a separate brother, forgetting eventually how he had come into existence.
There were so many the good times Arc remembered having with his brother since he made him, even though he became increasingly bothered by the religious crime he’d committed. Arl had arrived missing some things, so he didn’t know about their religion much, except for the roasting side of things, which he had been strangely fascinated for a really long time, but otherwise had never had to worry about his fate.
What was he going to do with Arl now, now the universe might become aware that such an abomination existed? Would the p’Tang t’Iki t’Iki truly come after him as the Priest had said they would, or just leave them alone, not willing to take the effort, since he hadn’t told the priest what ship they were on? But might mean he could never again risk leaving the ship again, even if it was a place like this. The only other option Arc could think of would be to having them dropped on a stupid planet of a stupid pre-space species so no one would care about and wouldn’t know or care they were duplicates instead of naturally hatched brothers.
So, yes, Arc found himself in a quandary of epic proportions.
None of the other options he tried to figure out however were good either, so instead of thinking any further he decides to do what came most naturally and lose himself stuffing his face alongside his brother with whatever he could find was being served.