Do What? Remind Me Of A Boy...
Posted on Wed May 8th, 2019 @ 8:58am by Lieutenant Junior Grade Cady van der Kellen MD,
Edited on on Wed May 8th, 2019 @ 11:47am
Things That May Never Be
Location: Somewhere in the "Forgotten Frontier" Aboard the USS Don Quixote
Timeline: Present (at last!)
"Have a seat Mr. vander Kellen," Captain Wanda Knox instructed as the Ship's Counselor of the Don Quixote entered her Ready Room, "and tell me--how is our--rescue?"
"As well as can be expected, I guess..." the Ship's Counselor admitted. "We were able to 'mostly' return his appearance to that of a normal human--although he's always going to have those odd silver eyes... We haven't been able to figure out what a good many of Ensign Friday's implants actually DO but we know he's far stronger, faster and more resilient than your average human being. His senses are much keener than ours--I'm pretty sure he can see farther up and down the spectrum than a human and I know his ears are quite keen..."
"I suppose you don't want to tell me how you found that out?" the Captain offered.
"I'd--rather not..." Cady admitted. "Suffice it to say he overheard some gossip through a closed door--WHILE he was being tested! It made for an awkward moment..."
"And that ability of his to link with computers?" Knox asked. "Has he been using it?"
"Mostly--no..." the Counselor told her. "Frankly, Ensign Friday has almost as much data packed into the modules in his brain as our whole computer! He can read, write and speak at least forty languages--some of which aren't in the Federation Data Base. As far as we know he's the first human who can speak the Bre'en language without a voder. He can compute like the legendary Cdr. Data and Friday seems to be able to directly link to any device we've give him but mostly he's just watching videos and listening to music."
"And what is your opinion of Ensign Friday's mental condition, Counselor?" the Captain wanted to know.
"Honestly Ma'am it's a wonder he's not curled up on the floor of his cabin with his thumb in his mouth crying," Cady replied. "Ensign Friday is concerned about how people will react to the changes that have occurred in him and what Star Fleet is going to do to him once he gets back to civilization--and, frankly Captain, so am I. You saw the Transporter Chief's reaction when we beamed him aboard: how do you think Star Fleet will react when they find one of their junior officers has been turned into an extra-dimensional cyborg? I don't see that ending well for him--or who knows--maybe us!"
Captain Knox gave him a sidelong look. "You're faith in Star Fleet is touching Mr. vander Kellen..."
Cady didn't miss the sarcasm. "Captain--you've always said you value me for my insight and honesty," he said plainly. "Star Fleet has made some serious mistakes of late--you remember the scandal with the kidnapped Pacificans a while back?" Captain Knox flinched ever so slightly: despite Star Fleet's best efforts to keep the incident quiet word had gotten out and spread like wildfire. "Frankly I'm afraid of what they'll do to young Mr. Friday should certain parties get hold of him..."
"And there's another possibility...." the Counselor went on. "Steven Friday could be part of an elaborate test set up by the Oblivians." Now he had the Captain's full attention. "Think of it Ma'am--the Oblivians had human models to examine but they failed to give him a human appearance! Why would they DO that? Also--we have to face the fact that a good portion of the tech implanted in that boy's body is a mystery to us. We don't have the ability or the personnel aboard to identify it: all things considered I believe these 'Oblivians' know more about us than Mr. Friday believes and I think they sent him here to test us."
"And you're sure Friday isn't in on this?"
"Yes Ma'am," Cady replied. "Either he's as clueless as we are or he should have been an Actor because he's giving an award-winning performance. I've used every Counselor trick I know on him and he's never broken character--not even in the least little bit."
The Captain came to a decision: Cady could read his superior like a book. "Whatever he is, that's way above my pay grade," she said. "Mr. vander Kellen--you may be right--or you could be dead wrong! Either way, I'm too close to retirement to want to involve myself with a mess like this."
"So--what are we going to do?" Cady wanted to know. The man was 100% sure he wasn't going to like the answer.
"Take advantage of the fact that Star Fleet is a vast organization," Knox told him. "Ships get lost all the time--and we'll report the Merriweather Lewis as one of those--but we'll leave out certain key details. The computers at Headquarters won't flag the report for deeper investigation and we'll be off the hook. At least long enough for my to retire in sail away on my space yacht!"
"And what about Friday?"
"I'll send him with you to the Sovereign," she told him. "Captain Kirk handled that Pacifican mess and came out clean--she can handle this mess as well! I will recommend ongoing 'post traumatic care'--which you will continue to provide. That will satisfy the bureaucrats at Star Fleet."
For his part Cady wasn't sure he liked this solution at all: Captain Knox would get herself off the hook but he would be squarely on it should things go sour. Still, the Counselor was convinced of Friday's innocence and he knew how badly things could go. Yes, it might mean his career but Cady knew he had no choice but to act as protector to young Mr. Friday.