Almost Like A Real Boy
Things That May Never Be
Location: Somewhere in the "Forgotten Frontier" Aboard the USS Don Quixote
Timeline: current (at last)
"Captain--we're about to decant Ensign Friday if you'd like to come down to examine the results..." Aboard the Miranda Class USS Don Quixote Lt. JG Cady vander Kellen acted as both Ship's Counselor and Chief Medical Officer. Getting young Mr. Friday back to a (mostly) human appearance had been a tedious and involved process which the young man had stoically endured while Cady "learned by doing" under the tutelage of the "Donkey's" Emergency Medical Hologram. Still, the cosmetic changes, at least, had proven effective and there was only the mystery of the unknown tech implants done by the Olbivians left to solve.
Captain Wanda Knox showed up in Sickbay a few minutes later. "Wake him up Mr. vander Kellen," she ordered. "Lets see what wonders you have wrought..."
Cady pulled back the sheet and removed the Anesthetic Device that had kept the patient asleep during the last, painful, portion of the surgery. "Wakey-wakey Mr. Friday!" he called. "The Captain would like to see how you turned out and say hello!"
Steve opened his strange silver eyes and sat up. Except for the solid, vaguely-luminous orbs he looked like a well muscled teenage gymnast. His hair was wavy and golden, his skin lightly tanned with a few freckles across his turned-up nose and sculpted cheeks and the boy had a remarkably infectious grin. "Hey all!" he piped. The voice was a light, youthful, tenor.
"Hello Mr. Friday," the Captain said. "Welcome aboard the Don Quixote." Then she turned her attention to the CMO/Counselor. "Did you HAVE to make him look like jail bait?" she asked.
"Except for the eyes--which I could do nothing about--it's pretty much what he looked like--according to Star Fleet records at least," Cady replied. "I asked Mr. Friday if he wanted any cosmetic changes made and he said the interior ones were quite enough!"
"Good enough then" the Captain said. Then, turning to the newly-awakened patient she said: "how do you feel Mr. Friday?"
"Considering most of my crew-mates died in a collision with a paradimensional ship and that I'm the only one who survived the medical 'attention' of the Oblivians--I guess I'm OK..." he replied. "Lucky for me I had a miserable upbringing with two parents neither of whom wanted me so I learned some coping mechanisms. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried about going back to Star Fleet. I've been scanning recent news and some of the things I've done have given me cause for concern..."
"I trust our Chief Counselor filled you in on what we plan to do with you?" the Captain said.
"If you mean 'dump me on my cousin Captain Kirk and make me her problem' yeah--I heard..." Friday didn't sugar coat it and both Cady and the Captain seemed suddenly uncomfortable. "Honestly though," he went on, "it's your best move. If I lay low and try not to attract too much attention maybe I can squeak by! I mean--that IS the best we can hope for--right?"
"Sadly, yes," the Captain told him. "I'm sorry I can't do more for you Mr. Friday but I am about to retire and am hardly anxious to have that boat rocked. I hope your new Captain will be understanding and grant you a modicum of protection. She seems to have done that for her Pacifican Doctor--maybe she will do the same for you."
"At this point all I can do is hope the blond boy told the Captain. He seemed resigned to his fate--whatever that might be.
"You have at least one good thing going for you," the Captain told Friday. "Mr. vander Kellen is a rarity in Star Fleet: he is a Counselor with a Medical Degree. He is 'uniquely qualified' to assist you in your transition so I have arranged for you to go with him aboard the Sovereign where he will manage your continuing care. Considering your new skill set I'm sure Captain Kirk will be happy to have someone like you aboard."
Friday nodded. "I hope so..." he replied. "Lt. vander Kellen and the people here have been doing everything they could to help me figure out what all the implants the Oblivans put in me actually DO--but we still don't have any idea of their function or how they work."
"With a larger, more experienced, staff we might be able to make some headway there," Cady volunteered. "Still--there's the possibility that we may never know what the Oblivians intended for those things..."
"Or it's possible the Federation will try to take me apart to see how I tick!" Friday said.
"The best thing about possibilities is that is simply what they are--possibilities!" the Captain told him. Captain Knox was, by nature, a motherly type. "I've done what I can to help you and Lt. vander Kellen will continue to do what he can to assist you. If you're lucky Captain Kirk will find you useful--or at least intriguing enough to keep around. That's the best we've got. Your only other alternative is to get back in that jury-rigged Escape Pod of yours and head for the Humanx Commonwealth: maybe they can provide you help we can't..."
Friday shook his head. "Given a choice between the Devil I know and the one I don't I'll take the known quantity," he finally said. "Thank you for rescuing me and giving me back my human appearance... And thank you Lt. vander Kellen for all you've done for me as well: it may not sound like it but I genuinely appreciate everything both of you have done for me!"
"We're happy to do it," Cady said. "So--how do you feel Ensign?"
"Almost like a real boy..."