|This article, Flash-cloning, was written by Matt-256. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
|This is a fanon expansion of a canon element. To see the original canon article, follow the link to Halopedia:.|
Flash-cloning is a medical process in use by humans for cloning body parts, though it can also be used for cloning of complete (but usually unstable) human beings. Its most widespread use is as a medical technology, having revolutionized organ transplants in particular.
Cloning of humans
Flash-cloning can be used for creating entire humans, but it's wrought with complications - the reason for the ban of unauthorized cloning. The most notable fault is that cloned humans have an extremely short lifespan (on average a period of one or two months, though both shorter and longer lifespans have been recorded), at the end of which they start to degenerate at alarming speed from metabolic instability - a process known as "metabolic cascade failure". The process is difficult to identify properly as the symptoms and effects are identical to many neurological and physiological diseases, something that in theory would make a clone ideal for covering a person's tracks - a theory which was proven true during the abduction of the SPARTAN-II candidates. Clones also usually suffer other defects over time due to the accelerated rate of their growth, which also means that they don't have the muscle memory or socialization of their hosts unless given intensive therapy.
The only known solution to prevent metabolic cascade failure and other defects in flash-clones is to stop all accelerated cell growth, meaning that a cloned embryo which is allowed to grow at a normal rate will avoid these issues. The solution was first coined by a young but brilliant physician assistant in 2482, but didn't receive much attention from the scientific community; largely because growing clones at normal rate wasn't seen as being worth the effort, the whole point of cloning being to quickly produce a full human being. It received some attention from the Office of Naval Intelligence however, especially when the physician assistant in question eventually joined the agency - after serving as a corpsman and with the ORION Project - and may have even been used by the SPARTAN-II and JAVELIN programs or the subsequent SPARTAN-III Project to produce more viable candidates for the respective projects.
The outbreak of the Human-Covenant War in 2525 marked the beggining of a resurgence in cloning research, in the hope of replenishing failing population numbers or reinforcing the UNSC Defense Force personnel. In these regards, the research failed, however, other advances were made; for example, the possibility to use cloning for Artificial Intelligence development was made evident. A top secret foray into cloning research - codenamed GENOME - even attempted to create a clone army of SPARTAN-grade supersoldiers. Though the project failed, many things were learned in the process - including new therapy procedures to counter some clones' defects and prolong their lifespans.
Strangely, flash-cloning saw a fair bit of use in the post-war period, as a side effect of Operation: VORAUSSICHT. In particular, the high-ranking ONI leader DRACULA made use of cloning during his efforts to shut down the operation; the most notable of these instances being when he used a clone of himself to distract the chief investigator, SHOGUN, long enough to cover most of his tracks and go into hiding.