Disclaimer: I own nothing related to or part of Star Trek. This fan fiction was written purely for fun.
Welcome readers old and new to The Adventures of Augment Gothic! This story represents a continuation of "Augment Gothic" a story I started and co-wrote with GothicJedi666 back in 2016 that ran 40 chapters, which is still up on his profile. Unfortunately, his desire to continue the story ran its full course, but he graciously agreed to let me carry the baton on my own for however long my muse lasts. I want to thank him once again for years of amazing storytelling and collaboration. I only hope I can continue to do this story justice on my own.
Now, with that out of the way, I will be revising and re-posting all 40 chapters of the original story. These will mostly be revisions and improvements as I've evolved and improved as a writer over the years. So, to my new readers, if you're truly impatient for more, feel free to go over there and read, but I think you'll get more out of this journey if you read here. Hopefully our faithful and loyal readers will go on that journey with us again and re-read the story. As for you new readers, welcome! It's going to be an amazing journey.
July 2020 Author's Note:
I've been amazed by the number of new readers who have found this story and started to really get into it. One such reader is at16908, who was inspired by the story. He reorganized a lot of the story and has written some really interesting new stuff fleshing out parts of the story that didn't get as much time and attention as it really should have the first time around. He's been given co-author credit on these updated chapters 1-4. While our collaboration didn't work out in the end, I think these early chapters have been greatly improved by his help. Thank you, Alan!
The Adventures of Augment Gothic
Prologue – The Long Sleep
I remembered having a conversation… or rather that I had had a conversation with someone. They were thanking me for something? Or rewarding me for something? I don't recall the exact words or even who the conversation was with, only that I had agreed… to something…something life changing.
Then there was nothing… nothing for what I think was a long, long time… and suddenly there was sound! And light! Too much though!
I think I was awakened by a scream. A terrible scream that echoed in what felt like an upright coffin. I was trapped! Adrenaline pumped in my veins and I felt like I was on fire within. I began pounding on the coffin with my fists and knees, desperately trying to get out… Amazingly, the metal and plastic was actually warping from my blows!
The coffin lid began to move, while something with a monotone voice was saying something, but I couldn't understand it. Too loud, too disorienting! I need to be free!
Something gave way, metal screeching, something breaking, a sound which echoed in the small upright coffin, and suddenly, whatever was holding the lid in place exploded away, and I heard what sounded like the lid hitting someone who let out a groan of agony. I fell to my knees and could only crawl my way out of the coffin – but there was too much sound, and light, and my body just wasn't working right – being naked and cold certainly didn't help. I could only whisper, "freedom" as I began to pass out, and I thought I glimpsed a gray statue, dressed in a purple unisuit of all things, walk towards me as if to offer its help, before I finally lost consciousness.
(Line Break)Chapter 1 – An Introduction to Dimensional Mechanics or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the New Me
My mind felt fuzzy and I struggled to get my bearings. In fact, my body felt pain in a way that it hadn't ever before - it wasn't 'hurt' like I knew it, it was too dulled, like the distant half-remembered memory of pain, only even that wasn't quite what it was. Thankfully this aching echo was already starting to fade away.
"He's waking up," a woman's soft voice called out, but the voice was incredibly strange. It sounded far richer, more layered, more nuanced, if I had to put a word to it, than I had ever heard before. If I had to describe it, it was like you had listened to your favorite song on a pair of cheap drug store headphones all your life, a thousand times over, and then suddenly you listened to that same song on a pair of extremely high-end noise canceling, studio grade headphones. Suddenly you were hearing depths and nuances in your favorite song that you never even knew were there!
I struggled to open my eyes as the dull pain completely vanished all of a sudden, like it had never been there at all. I tried to move, but my muscles just wouldn't obey the orders my brain was sending to my body. However, like the pain, my body's temporary paralysis soon ended and my body started to move the way I wished it to. Thankfully, whatever was wrong with me didn't appear to be permanent.
"Where am I?" I asked. Who said that?! Was that my voice?! Again, why did a voice sound like it was coming from concert grade speakers?!
My vision was still a bit blurry so I had to wait for it to clear up before I could see what was going on around me. As my vision improved it went way beyond what I remembered as normal. It was clarity like I had never experienced before. Just like with the sounds in the room, suddenly the world seemed brighter, colors richer and more vibrant. Focusing on any one spot felt like someone had put high grade binoculars over my eyes and auto adjusted the focus near instantly. I was seeing subtle color gradations in the carpet and a single strand of red hair lying on the ground 30 feet away. Shadowed corners and an unlit office that I was certain was too dark and too far away to see into were lit up to my eyes like someone had shone a spotlight on them.
What the fuck was happening to me?!
As my awareness of the people in the room returned, I realized a man and a woman were standing over me. They both wore ridiculous looking full body, skintight jumpsuits, under some sort of lab coat. Yet as silly as it seemed, there was something oddly familiar about the woman. I just couldn't remember why. I was also no longer naked, dressed in something like a hospital gown.
More people were speaking now, but I was unable to make it out as my ears seemed to be far more interested in their subvocal harmonics, or the way the room infinitesimally echoed, or the different electronic hums of the various bits of technology in the room. There was definitely something wrong with my hearing, or something so different as to feel wrong. It was as if all my senses couldn't stay in focus for very long, or were focusing on all the wrong things, instead of the person actually speaking to me. Yet I knew this clarity and range was so much greater than it should have been.
The lights were too bright, my eyes stinging from the intensity of them, and the sounds were simply overwhelming. Then there were the smells – the room had the sterile scent of a hospital, but I could also smell the faint whiff of the woman's perfume in the air, along with the unique scent markers that I would later classify as belonging to humans. I had to be suffering from some sort of sensory overload.
Was I on a boat? The room felt like it was subtly moving in a way that I had never felt before.
I was still trying to get my bearings when I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. The man in front of me reached towards my neck and I saw that he had some sort of device in his hand. It didn't take a genius, or my new enhanced senses, to figure out that he was going to inject me with something. Since I didn't want that to happen my hand reached out faster than a snake striking and I gripped the man's wrist tightly, then with surprising strength I tightened my grip and forced the limb away from me. The man in the lab coat screamed as I felt bones breaking beneath the skin from the sheer strength of my new grip. Why did his bones break so easily?! I didn't mean to do that!
Now my heart was beating like crazy, adrenaline flowing, and I still had no idea where the fuck I was. All I knew was that I had to escape from here because these doctors were obviously doing something to me. Had they changed me? Had they experimented on me? Where they the ones who had put me in that metal coffin?
With those frightening thoughts in mind I got up off the strange bed in one fast flowing movement, as if the rest of them were moving in slow motion, the people in the silly jumpsuits and lab coats all backing away from me like someone had hit slow motion on their video player. They were speaking again! I couldn't understand them!
Now I had an intense ringing in my ears. Only it wasn't a ringing noise, it was more like everything I was hearing had all become one loud, senseless din.
At this point I truly panicked and the only lucid thought in my mind was focused on escape. I headed for what looked like a door, but found no handle or doorknob or button that I recognized, like on an elevator. Figuring out these controls proved unnecessary as the door opened automatically as I approached, so I was able to race out into the empty, weirdly designed corridor. Things were still a little too bright here as well, but thankfully the noise was far more bearable now that no one was talking. This meant that I could finally hear the beating of my own heart and my frantic breathing, which I tried to steady with great effort.
"rIQ SoH!" Someone yelled, my ears now ringing again from the volume.
I looked towards the source of the voice to see three honest-to-God Klingon cosplayers, which gave me pause at the sheer absurdity of the sight. Was I being experimented on by scientists or was I at a Comic-Con? They were wearing what looked like authentic armor and weapon designs from the shows, but they weren't holding their swords and guns at the moment. Somehow, though, they looked ready to instantly make use of them, like they genuinely knew how to handle weapons. They must be quite passionate about their in-costume acting or were former military like I was.
"No way," I whispered, as my vision allowed me to see that these guys were not wearing any make up or face prosthetics, nor were the materials they were wearing the cheap imitation stuff you'd see in most sci-fi costumes. The level of detail and the quality of the material was just too extreme. But that couldn't possibly be right. They even somehow gave off the scent of predators, like they couldn't wait to hunt worthy prey. How did I even know that?
Either I had gone totally crazy or I'd been abducted by some really, really, really hardcore cosplayers who had cut no corners and spent a shit ton of money on their cosplay… and plastic surgery? That last bit was a little crazy, highly unlikely, but not totally impossible. A less likely explanation was that I'd somehow been brought onboard the U.S.S Enterprise, straight out of Star Trek: The Next Generation tv show for the amusement of some Random Omnipotent Being and had just escaped the ship's sickbay and these fuckers were genuine Klingons. That was batshit crazy, though, right? Full disclosure, I had a small nerdgasm at the thought. Kind of like how you can get a burst of excitement at the idea of winning the big jackpot after you bought a lottery ticket; no one really thinks it likely they'll win, though. I was a huge fan of all the Star Trek television series, well, mostly. I had never quite gotten into the Original - I was born in the 80's, so TNG was my introduction to the universe.
"ghob'e' bImatlhba' jISaHchugh," another said.
I had no idea what the hell they were saying. While I was, admittedly, a big fan of Star Trek, I was not so big a fan that I had taken the time to learn a made-up fictional language like some did. Not that it really mattered, if these were real Klingons, then they most likely wanted to fight. If they were just guys in makeup, yeah, then I still didn't want them anywhere near me.
"maHvaD ghu'vam SoH QaH," the third said.
One of the real(?) Klingons stepped forward and out of shock or surprise or terror at the implications that this was all real, I punched the alien right in his face! It was hard to tell who had been hurt more by the punch given the dude's hard cranial ridges, so I decided then and there not to hit any more of them in the face barehanded. With their cranial ridges these guys had very thick skulls and very sharp teeth.
Kicking the next one in the gut though, well, that worked much better. The next crinkle headed fucker to come near me flew back, bounced off a bulkhead(?) and landed on his stomach after falling hard to the floor.
"Bunch of weaklings," I snorted. These space Viking rejects were what were hyped-up as some of the most dangerous enemies the Federation ever faced?
The smallest of the three so called warriors came at me far more cautiously than the others, now that I had proven to somehow be much stronger and faster than I looked. He (assuming it was a man under all that make up, or whatever he was - I was still struggling with the idea) used some sort of fancy fighting move, not that it mattered as his movements looked painfully slow to me and speed was king. I just took hold of one his arms that he had tried to strike me with, pulled down hard and his hairy chin met my rising knee. Then I pushed him back with what I thought was only medium strength.
That alien, assuming he actually was one, left the ground like he had been shot from a cannon and hit the wall with the back of its head, before landing hard on the floor. Then the first one, who I had only punched earlier, tried to tackle me. That was a mistake as these guys were not as fast on their feet as me and he just ended up meeting the wall after I sidestepped rather neatly. How was I doing this?!
Now the second cosplayer/alien was picking himself up off the ground, but he didn't get very far as I kicked him in the stomach while he was still on his hands and knees. To my amazement he didn't just collapse to the ground. My move actually lifted him up several feet in the air, and when he landed again he was on his back. How on Earth was I so strong now?!
"ghaHvaD bach!" one of them then shouted in anger, though it didn't seem directed at me.
I didn't understand that one either, however I figured it out when I turned to see a couple of gold uniformed Starfleet officers with what looked like phasers straight from the Star Trek: The Next Generation props department. Which turned out to be very real phasers because a second later a crimson ruby beam of directed energy hit me and the whole universe faded away into nothingness.
The beam and its path, while faster than the Klingons, had still been discernable to me and was something I probably could have gotten out of the way of. I think I was mostly just shocked at the realization that this was seriously all real that I froze up like I did. The other stuff you could maybe explain away. It'd be hard, but it was possible. A working energy weapon, though? Yeah, that one convinced me.
While the beams made me feel sleepy, I think I could have powered through the stun effect. Ultimately, I think it was the sensory overload, coupled with several more shots, that finally sent me into the blissful silence of unconsciousness…
Sick Bay. U.S.S. Enterprise.
I regained consciousness slowly, once again lying on some kind of advanced diagnostic bed. I kept my eyes shut and listened closely to my surroundings. I could tell that I wasn't alone in the room, the sound of people breathing in mostly static positions indicated that I was being guarded. Both were human, I think, men, judging by the smell of their cologne and anti-perspirant deodorant. This whole increased sense of smell thing was still new to me. The faint smell of a flowery perfume indicated that at least one woman was around here somewhere, assuming that held true to this time. If I was in the TNG universe then that woman was probably Dr. Beverly Crusher, the ship's Chief Medical Officer.
The sound of voices in a nearby room (Dr. Crusher's office I later learned) were just discernable and coming from the screen on one of the walls as the good doctor was telecommunicating into the Enterprise's conference room. There was apparently an infamous meeting of the ship's senior officers in progress:
"I have spoken to our Klingon passengers," Lieutenant Worf, the Enterprise's Chief of Security, informed everyone gathered in the room. "They claim that they saw our 'guest' leaving sickbay at a run, half-naked, looking panicked, and were attempting to return him to Doctor Crusher's care only for him to attack them mercilessly. They were unprepared for such a savage and powerful foe."
"How was he able to defeat the Klingons?" Lt. Commander Deanna Troi, the ship's counselor, asked the room, sounding confused. "I know that humans from the 20th and 21st century were more accepting of violence then we are, but he had only just woken up after spending centuries in cryostasis according to the records found on Kivas Fajo's ship. He shouldn't have been able to get up from his biobed, much less start and win a fight with three Klingon warriors," Troi continued.
"Given that Klingons are both stronger and far more durable than human beings, Counselor, your confusion is justified. It does seem unlikely that any human could defeat three Klingons, yet that is exactly what happened. Humans have defeated Klingon warriors in battle, of course, but three-to-one, unarmed, after a long period of cryostasis, were very heavy odds to overcome. Even more so for someone who had just stumbled out of sickbay, though the man had broken one of the nurse's wrists moments after waking up," Worf said.
"I can answer your question, Deanna. He's an Augment, or at least that's the best term available to describe him, even if it doesn't fit exactly," Commander Beverly Crusher and Chief Medical Officer, informed the senior officers to the shock of them all and causing a deafening silence to descend on the room.
"An Augment, Doctor? Are you certain?" Picard asked quietly, his eyes focused intently on the Doctor. A bit of fear detectable in his voice.
"The tests I ran have confirmed it. Our guest has undergone a rather amazing amount of successful genetic resequencing, even what might be considered genetic sculpting. Of course, such things are illegal today, but from a purely medical perspective, you can't help but be in awe of it. It's a work of art, the masterwork of a geneticist far more skilled than anyone alive today, or perhaps using technology and techniques beyond our current understanding," the Doctor answered quietly, obviously deep in thought, a level of awe in her voice.
"I don't understand, Doctor. While exceedingly rare, there are known Augments today, many of which have been institutionalized and their parents imprisoned for their crimes," Picard said.
"Those Augments are nothing like the man in my sickbay. In each of those cases, there were a few specific genetic enhancements made. You'd have to go back to the era of Khan, during the Eugenics Wars on Earth, to find genetic enhancements this comprehensive. Everything has been enhanced, making him as different from regular humans as we are from monkeys, yet he's still human! He's not so different that he would be unable to have children with humans. In fact, his physiology and DNA are so robust I genuinely don't think he'd struggle with impregnating virtually any but the most extreme outlier examples of the humanoid races the Federation has encountered," the Doctor explained.
"If he's as different from us as monkeys are to humans, then how can he even be considered human any longer, Doctor?" Picard asked.
"Captain, our guest in sickbay might be the future of the human form, if we were extraordinarily lucky as a race, after hundreds of thousands of years of hard evolution perhaps. What's very strange is that as far as I can tell he was already an adult when the alterations were made, which makes him quite different from the Augments of Khan's era, as they were born as Augments, or in some very rare cases, modified as extremely young children after careful selective breeding from the strongest of parents."
"That is indeed strange, but it at least explains how this centuries-old human could have defeated three Klingon warriors," Worf intoned, seemingly satisfied that Klingon physical supremacy wasn't at threat in the face of some human mutant.
"Do we have his DNA on file?" Captain Jean-Luc Picard asked the room. "Or any other way to confirm his identity?"
"No, sir," Lt. Commander Data, the Android and Operations Officer, replied. "I took the liberty of checking the records that remain from that era," the android answered. "There was no match with the databases that survived the wars of that time. Unfortunately, the nuclear strikes during World War III destroyed many of the archives from that time. As such we have no way of ascertaining his identity, or confirming that he was even on Earth during the Eugenics Wars. Given Doctor Crusher's unusual findings with regards to the genetic engineering he's had, it is entirely possible that he is the result of later experimentation or more advanced genetic engineering, possibly by a more advanced alien race."
Captain Picard reflected on that for several long moments. "Without proof that our 'guest' was one of the Augment tyrants who had been involved in the Eugenics Wars, I am not willing to confine the man to the brig. Augments can be extremely dangerous, as this one had handily proven already, but his actions can be excused due to extreme disorientation rather than any sort of malice, after all, he's been 'asleep' for more than three hundred years and then was woken up in a completely unknown and alien environment. That was more than enough justification for someone to react with violence. Our 'guest' may have truly believed that he was in mortal peril. That should not be held against him, Augment or not."
"Dr. Crusher, is he ready to be released from sickbay?" Captain Picard asked.
"Yes, Captain, he is already fully recovered. His rate of recovery is simply miraculous. I'd have said that it was impossible for a human to have recovered so quickly from 300 years in cryostasis if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, but a full Augment's enhanced physiology is a very poorly understood thing, especially this one. I would study it further, if he'd let me, but I'd still prefer to get him out of sickbay as soon as possible," Beverly answered honestly. "My staff are afraid of him."
"Not surprising, I suppose, given the circumstances," said Commander William "Will" T. Riker, First Officer. "What should we do?"
There was a pause as Picard gave it some thought for several silent moments.
"Confine him to quarters for now," the Captain decided. "And keep a guard on his door at all times. If he's anything like Khan then he will soon make a move to take over the ship, so we must be prepared. If he is different, then I hope he will cooperate once he has had time to adjust to our time and we can take things from there. Perhaps if we can build some sort of trust between us, he will simply tell us what we wish to know."
At this point Riker had something to add.
"There are historical accounts that state that Khan-era Augments can have close to five times normal human strength and speed," the second in command related. "If that's even remotely true, then I am concerned our normal security personnel might not be up to the task of securing him."
"We should assign Vulcan security officers to the detail," advised Worf. "They are about three times stronger than baseline humans on average. While they still wouldn't be a match for a Khan-era Augment, they might be strong enough to slow him down long enough for someone else to stun him with a phaser, or for force fields to trap him. Our guest can be stunned, that much we've seen, but now that he has had time to recover from stasis, at least physically, a single officer with a phaser might not be enough."
"Using forcefields, even on standby, will require power to be diverted to a lot of emitters. I suggest keeping him moving upon a set path, that way we can make sure he will get to his quarters without escaping," said Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge, the Chief Engineer. "I would also recommend keeping a transporter-lock on his life signs as a backup measure. If necessary, we can beam him directly to the brig."
"Agreed," said Captain Picard. "Once our guest is inside his assigned quarters I want at least two security personnel outside his door at all times, and they are to have two more with them nearby. Ensure force fields on that deck are ready to be activated at a moment's notice to contain him if necessary."
"Commander Data, I'd like you to escort our 'guest' from sick bay to his quarters," Picard ordered. "Should he react badly while being moved from sick bay you should be able to restrain him without causing any harm. Answer any of his questions, within reason; try to build a relationship with the man if you can."
"I think it would be best for me to speak with him as soon as possible," Deanna Troi advised her commanding officer. "He might not be talking yet, but I should still be able to sense his emotions, so I might be able to learn something about him and his intentions."
"I agree, Counselor," said Picard reluctantly. "But please, proceed with the utmost caution – you may be walking right into a lion's den. That said, your empathic abilities might be the edge needed to get through to him and find his measure."
"Now let's move on to other matters."
While the crew of the Enterprise got the most interesting missions in the fleet, the flagship was still part of Starfleet, which meant that they ended up doing plenty of routine mission types, just like every other ship. There were also always other onboard issues to deal with, especially on a ship carrying over a thousand souls, many of which were civilians, so the meeting carried on like normal. It was a little boring to listen to, something that obviously would never have been seen or heard on TV due to its dull nature… but also somehow strangely fascinating, like taking a peek behind the curtain. It was a stark reminder that this was a fully-fledged universe, with all that that entails. I couldn't help wondering where I was going from here, but one thing I knew for certain: one day I would have a starship of my own, getting into adventures and discovering new places and people in the final frontier.
Eventually, the meeting ended and I could hear Dr. Crusher leave her office. As she turned the corner into the main room, I quickly sat up, which was apparently too quickly for my guards' tastes as they instantly tensed up and put their hands on their phasers, obviously a bit jumpy and ready to use their sidearms.
Dr. Crusher appeared from her office and approached me, giving me my first good look at her. What I saw had me momentarily shocked - I had looked up fully expecting to see the actress Gates McFadden, just as I'd seen on the show, instead I found a woman that looked more like a green-eyed Christina Hendricks. At least they both had red hair… That extraordinary set of tits certainly hadn't been there on Gates McFadden, though. If someone had searched for what a MILF was in the dictionary, her picture would be right next to it. I don't know how a woman could look incredibly sexy in the TNG-era doctor's uniform (full body pajamas with a coat), but damn if she didn't pull it off.
This new mind of mine meant I had quite a bit of relative time to think on what the fuck was going on - it was like time dilation for thoughts. Instead of looking like Gates McFadden, why did she look like an actress from Mad Men fame, one that I had always thought was stupidly sexy and had once had a sex dream about? This wreaked of shenanigans, manipulation of some sort, but who the fuck had that kind of power? The answer came surprisingly fast - possibly the same being who could transplant me into the dimension of one of my favorite science fiction franchises.
"Good, you're awake."
"What's up, Doc?" I managed to say, trying to pass off my surprise at her appearance as someone in shock.
"How did you…? Oh, the coat." She unconsciously smoothed down the aforementioned coat, which worked to accidentally emphasize her extremely generous bust, and what a set of breasts they were. I felt my mouth water and had a vivid image of me sucking on her milky-white tits while I was balls deep inside her.
"May I ask your name?" She said, getting my attention back.
Oh, right, nobody here knew who I was. For a moment I was tempted to use my birth name, but something held me back. I just didn't feel like that person anymore and the thought occurred to me that perhaps some things should remain firmly in the past.
"I'm… not sure," I said, pausing for a moment. "I'm having some memory trouble at the moment and I can't really remember much at all from before I woke up here."
"That's alright," Dr. Crusher said in a soothing tone. "Please brace yourself, but I have some news that you may find both disturbing and hard to accept. You've been asleep in a cryopod for a very long time – three centuries. It is very common for people who spend a long time in cryosleep to have some lapses in memory – they usually return in time though. My name is Beverly Crusher. I am a doctor and the Chief Medical Officer on the starship Enterprise of the United Federation of Planets."
She paused to give me a moment to accept this information, not knowing that my visible shock was partly because of the confirmation, confirmation of what had already started to become painfully obvious to me, though still something I didn't know what to think about or understand was even in possible.
I was in Star Trek.
Seeing the shock she had expected, she then proceeded to give me the speech about how mankind had grown to be more civilized and now worked to better themselves. It was a good speech, probably better and more comprehensive than the one I'd seen in the show when some humans from the past showed up in the 24th century. I took it with a grain of salt considering I had seen every episode of four different Star Trek series. As much as I loved Star Trek, the one thing I've learned about humanity is that it's easy to be civilized when you're living in a post scarcity utopia, where most basic wants are freely provided for. From the various wars and battles I'd seen in those series, modern humanity could still descend into savagery if they were forced into a corner, the lizard part of the brain taking over.
Dr. Crusher continued, taking my shocked and thoughtful silence as expected given the circumstances, "Medical technology has come a long way since the 21st century and it allows us to do thorough diagnostic scans of your body without any harm to you. These scans revealed that you have had extensive genetic enhancements to every part of your body. You're what we call an Augment. You are lucky in that these changes appear to have been done successfully – you are not just in excellent health, you are far beyond that."
She once again paused to give me a moment to absorb this information, then walked over to pick up the 24th century equivalent of a tablet computer and handed it to me.
"I know this is a lot of information to take in, and you may need time to come to terms with all that's happened. On this computer device, called a PADD, is a list of all the changes that have been detected, including my impressions of the techniques used and the implications for you in the short- to mid- to long-term. If you have any questions, I will help to the best of my ability. In the meantime, you have been assigned some quarters while onboard and will be given a chance to get some rest after your trying day. The ship's counselor, Deanna Troi, has asked to see you later to make sure you have an easier transition into life in the 24th century. While not strictly required, I highly recommend you do so. Do you have any questions for me?"
"I'm not even sure where to begin, Doctor. I think I need more time to take this all in and review the information on this device. Will I have access to something like an encyclopedia later…?" I asked with a pained expression of my face. I wasn't entirely pretending – I was in a state of shock, but my new body wasn't letting me sink into it, which I was appreciating.
"Of course, that's perfectly understandable, take all the time you need," Dr. Crusher offered, trying to comfort someone she saw was possibly in distress. "Lt. Commander Data has volunteered to bring you to your quarters and explain how to use some of these things that may be strange to you, as well as give you limited computer access. He'll answer any of your questions. I'll call him in a moment – in the meantime, why don't you change out of that gown and into some normal clothing. I've replicated some basic items and left them folded on the shelf. Let me activate the privacy curtain and…"
While she spoke, I had stood up and turned toward the shelf. Like all hospital gowns, the thing, of course, opened up in the back, resulting in me mooning the famously stoic doctor when I turned. I didn't really think much of it at first, but as soon as I slipped off the gown, I detected a new scent in the room, something that hadn't been there before. If I had to describe it, I'd say…sweet and tangy. From her heightened heartbeat and the flush on her cheeks when I glanced behind me, I was relatively sure now that this smell was arousal. I hadn't had much of a chance to take a hard look at my improved body, but whatever it looked like now apparently got Crusher's juices flowing. I certainly hadn't been a cave troll before, but the ladies weren't exactly throwing themselves at me.
I decided to have a little fun and made sure to turn just enough while dressing to give her a better view. Unfortunately, the clothing was a unitard jumpsuit, which I thought made people look like adults wearing onesie pajamas – but I think I somehow made it work. While getting dressed, I almost ripped the fabric of the pants part in half, which was strange since I wasn't really pulling all that hard. It was then that I realized how and why I had injured that nurse when I first woke up in sick bay. From what the Doctor had said, I was much stronger and faster than I had been before and lacked the motor control one gradually learns during life to control their strength. My mind still hadn't gotten used to this new body, though thankfully that hadn't meant I was tripping over my own feet or was unable to stand at all. With extreme care, I finished pulling on the shirt part.
Now fully dressed, I turned around to see a blushing Dr. Crusher with a slightly glazed look on her face, her tongue darting out to subtly lick her lips. I was a bit tempted to see what I could get away with, but I needed a little time to get used to this new world and to this new body.
"Okay, Doc, I'm good to go."
Dr. Crusher had a little trouble meeting my eyes, with them being alternately focused on how my defined chest and crotch looked in this skintight bullshit clothing. For a fleeting moment I wondered if this was what large-breasted women often had to deal with when meeting men who couldn't keep their eyes on their faces. Fortunately, the doc snapped out of it pretty quick.
"Ye… yes. Of course. Please wait a moment while I contact Commander Data."
Dr. Crusher stepped away and then almost ran to her office. The two Vulcan guards looked a bit surprised at the doctor's behavior, if their raised eyebrow was any indication, but their demeanor remained stoic. We stood around looking at one another until Data appeared.
The first thing you notice about Androids is that no matter how life-like they appear on the outside, they are somehow missing certain things, or do things or don't do things that make them stand out from biological people. For example, most biological organisms are incapable of standing perfectly still, they fidget, they shift their weight, their attention wanders, they have nervous ticks of some sort - Androids do not. They are like statues, and even their simulated breathing, eye blinks, and feigned body ticks have a machine-like rhythm and precision to them that can be subconsciously noticed.
My enhanced senses could also detect no heartbeat from it (simulated or otherwise) or unique natural scent, which I've found could be useful in identifying species and emotional state. This all made sense, yet I was left with an impression of "the uncanny valley." Even though Data was modeled on a real human being, his creator, Dr. Noonien Soong (who in this universe did look almost exactly like Brent Spiner) it still made the subtle differences stand out, as did the gray skin and yellow eyes.
Data dismissed the guards and turned toward me.
"Hello, sir. I am Lt. Commander Data," he introduced. "I am here to escort you to the quarters you've been assigned while onboard. Please follow me."
Without waiting for a reply, he turned and began to leave sick bay. I picked up the PADD and started following him, but stopped by the door.
"One moment, please," I said, and turned back towards the doctor's office. As I approached the standard split door, they opened automatically and revealed Dr. Crusher sitting at her desk. She looked up when I entered.
"Well, I'm off," I said, putting on my most charming smile. "Thank you for all your help during my recovery. Before I go, could you also please give the guy I hurt my sincere apologies. I really didn't mean to hurt him. I was scared and I didn't know that I was stronger than before. I couldn't even put on my clothes just now without damaging it."
"Yes, of course," Crusher said, a surprised look on her face. I guess she thought an Augment wouldn't care about the little people, but I always made it a point to take responsibility for my fuck-ups. "I'll be sure to let him know."
"See you around, Doc."
I turned around with a backwards wave, and left to join the waiting Data. We soon stepped out into the corridor. "Ok, I'm ready."
Data and I began to walk through the Enterprise's corridors, which were identical to the ones on the show, a mix of gray panels, lights, and pastel colors. I remembered reading an article once that said the colors had been specifically chosen by the set designers, that they were supposed to have a positive effect on the crew's emotional well-being, which was important considering the galaxy-class (which the Enterprise was) had been designed for deep space missions where it would be 5-10 years away from Federation space at maximum warp. That, of course, had never really happened – possibly because Starfleet wanted its flagship close by, the ship was a potent show of force and the Federation's power, etc. I'm not sure how the color scheme could possibly work in the 'real-world', on a ship with dozens of different species and sensibilities, and not just humans, but it wasn't really worth looking into.
We walked in silence; apparently Data wasn't one for small talk and honestly, I wasn't really in the mood – I was too busy taking everything in and trying to spot differences. While Crusher was obviously different, the ship itself looked exactly like it did on the show. Of course, the scale felt different, as these weren't the sets of a television show where they had only built a few dozen feet of corridor to save money. I did notice that every time I passed a crewmember or civilian, especially if they were human (of which there were a lot), they avoided me like I had the plague or something. I guess the story of my escape from sick bay and possibly the fact that I was considered an Augment, had spread throughout the ship and I would be getting the cold shoulder for a while. Ah well.
I followed Data to a turbolift (essentially an advanced elevator that moves up, down, forward, back, etc.) and we entered. Data spoke aloud, "Deck 7" and the turbolift moved accordingly, just like in the show. The turbolift must have had some sort of inertial compensator built in since I only felt the smallest amount of movement and I was sure that without my enhanced senses I probably wouldn't have even felt that. We arrived on the correct deck, the doors opened and we stepped out. After another few minutes of walking, we finally arrived at the place I would be calling home for the near future…
Guest Quarters. U.S.S. Enterprise.
"These will be your quarters while onboard," Data said. "If they are not to your liking then alternative accommodations can be found," he offered, misinterpreting my awe at such nice quarters being given to me.
Either these were the VIP quarters meant for visiting ambassadors or the standard of living had greatly improved since the 21st century. However, I didn't dwell on that for long as that was when I noticed the windows and the startling view of space that they offered.
"Wow, I really am in space," I muttered.
And since we weren't orbiting the Earth that meant I was further out into the universe than anyone from my world and time had ever been.
"Were you not told this earlier?" Data asked me, in a confused tone.
I'd not been, not really, but I had figured it out once I realized I was on the Enterprise. It was just that being told something and seeing something were two very different things.
"In fact, you were discovered in space," I was told. "By a Kivas Fajo. He was a Zibalian trader."
In addition to all my senses being super charged, I seemed to be thinking very fast and cleverly these days as well. I picked up on the implications of the word 'was' instantly.
"What happened to him?" I asked.
The name sounded very familiar, and I could almost feel my brain kick into high gear trying to place it. My new thoughts just felt faster, I could remember everything that had happened to me since I had woken up on the Enterprise in exquisite detail, ideas constantly coming to me now, connections quickly made and analyzed and cross referenced, which I guess meant that I was more creative and intuitive now. But, the memories from my past, before waking up in this time and place, somehow lacked that clarity and it was taking me some time to place who Kivas Fajo was. The difference between my old and new thought process was incredibly strange and would take time to integrate.
"When you broke out of your cryopod, the heavy lid to your pod was launched at an extreme velocity and struck him," Data informed me without emotion or accusation, practically in a monotone voice - like he was talking about the weather. "His death was very quick and he did not suffer. Please do not feel any guilt over the matter - your actions assisted me in escaping from imprisonment and preventing the harm of other innocents. I thank you."
I'd never killed anyone before, at least not as far as I knew. Oddly enough, I wasn't really bothered by Fajo's death. At first, a part of me had begun screaming that I should feel guilty, that I had caused the death of someone, but it was more like an ingrained response, like a memory of what was a normal reaction. I didn't feel any guilt for his death or even much sadness. It was surprisingly hard to put into words. [JO1] The more I thought about it, though, the more the name started to sound familiar and I began to recall an episode of TNG where something like these events had occurred.
In the events of that episode, 'The Most Toys', a trader, Kivas Fajo, had poisoned a colony so that he could arrange what looked like the death of Data in order to add him to his collection of rare items and beings, which I and my cryopod was apparently a part of. Data had decided to rebel in a passive-aggressive way, acting like a statue or mannequin, which greatly embarrassed Fajo before a fellow collector of his when he tried to showcase the crown jewel of his collection, the only known sentient android in existence. Without any leverage, as he couldn't really hurt Data directly, Fajo threatened to kill his longtime aide Varria (she and Data has become friendly during his captivity) if Data didn't cooperate. Varria, quite rightly, had been furious at this and had decided to help Data escape, and had arranged for my cryopod to revive me in an effort to cause a distraction. While Data had managed to activate the escape shuttle, Varria had been caught just before she could join him – the distraction not working as my cryopod had malfunctioned and didn't open at the right moment. Fajo decided to use one of his rare weapons, the Varon-T disrupter to kill her (a weapon banned in the Federation as it was 'a particularly vicious way to die'), by disintegrating her from the inside out. It was Varria's horrible screams that I mostly heard when I first awoke. The groan I had heard when the shell of the cryopod had hit something was Fajo's last gasp of life.
Obviously, the canon episode hadn't ended that way originally. Fajo's death was a big change to its ending. Originally, Fajo had killed Varria and dropped the disruptor. Data had picked up the weapon and pointed it at Fajo, who while trying to regain control of the situation, threatened to continue harming innocents until Data obeyed. It was then that Data had chosen to fire the weapon upon someone who was unarmed, but still dangerous – a pretty important evolution for the character. Data's conscience was luckily spared, because at the last minute (as was so often the case in TNG), the Enterprise had appeared and transported Data mid-shot, preventing the disruptor beam from hitting Fajo. Fajo would later be imprisoned for his crimes and lose all of his many treasures, but I'm not sure that was really enough punishment for someone like him. While I somewhat regretted Data's loss of character growth, I think letting him keep some of his innocence for a bit longer wasn't a terrible trade in the end.
Why should I feel any guilt about inadvertently killing a loathsome piece of shit who, if he hadn't been caught, would have continued to hurt innocents to get the rare and unique things he wanted? My sympathies would be better spent on Varria and the ill colonists whose lives had been terribly disrupted by all this.
Though I still didn't feel guilty, part of me recognized how strange these thoughts were for me. Being an Augment obviously came with far more profound changes than increased strength, agility, and being generally smarter.
"Am I in any sort of legal trouble for that?" I asked, after deciding to reflect more later on how I was different, once Data was actually gone.
Data shook his head.
"Given the effects of your time in stasis and the trajectory of the cryopod shell that struck Kivas Fajo was inadvertent, the captain has ruled that it was an accident, caused by extreme duress," the robot guy answered me.
That was a weight off my shoulders. While I was not bothered by my role in Fajo's death, I had been unsure whether or not the Federation would use this opportunity to imprison a newly appeared Augment before they could become truly dangerous. I was glad they hadn't. There was a wide-open galaxy full of adventure out there just waiting for me, allowing me to live out the dreams of millions and millions of Star Trek fans. My new mind was racing, thinking about the many possibilities and opportunities my future knowledge presented.
"Okay, so you better show me what's what in this place," I said.
Data moved towards a door and gestured.
"This is the bathroom," he informed me, "and there is a bedroom through this other door."
Hopefully, operating a toilet hadn't changed all that much in my time in cryosleep, otherwise I might end up truly humiliating myself. Thankfully, physiology still influenced design and function and the basics of the human body hadn't really changed in 300 years.
"This is the replicator," Data then said, pointing to an open cavity along one wall.
Of course, I knew exactly what one of those was, all fans of the show did and wished they had access to one, but since I didn't want anyone else to know how much I knew about this time I feigned total ignorance on the matter.
"What is a replicator?" I needlessly asked.
Data soon gave me an answer, after a momentary pause.
"In very simple terms, it creates things, by converting energy into matter," I was informed after a brief pause, Data obviously choosing to seriously dumb it down so that I had any hope of understanding his answer. "In-quarter replicators are normally used to provide food and clothing only. There are safeguards to prevent the replication of any dangerous materials, weapons or devices."
Well, there were safeguards on this replicator, a replicator on a Starfleet vessel, but if I bought one of my own, there likely wouldn't be any such safeguards, or at least any that couldn't be overridden. Fans of the shows had long geeked out on how useful replicators were and how horribly underutilized they were in the shows. No, I wouldn't be able to make weapons on this replicator. I imagined that with some effort and creativity on my part I could replicate bits and pieces to assemble some sort of killing tool. However, I also figured that someone on the ship, likely Mr. Worf, would be keeping a very close eye on everything I replicated. A steak knife would likely be the upper limit of what I could replicate.
"How does it work?" I asked next.
The layout looked very confusing, with seemingly no labeling on the buttons themselves. This actually matched the shows, but most fans just assumed the props department was trying to keep from having to actually create computer displays specific to what was going on in the episode to save money, but here it was. In the 80s and 90s when most of the series were on the air computer technology was not advanced enough to actually have real, working displays like seen on the shows, at least without the bulky monitors to go with it. Humans weren't using computers as I knew them any longer, it all looked like fancy touch screen tech, and the symbols ultimately meant nothing to me. I suppose you just got used to it and figured it out after a while.
"It uses transporter technology to reconfigure matter on the quantum level-" Data started to explain.
With a gesture I stopped him.
"I mean how do I use it or tell it what I want?" I clarified.
The android was not offended by my interruption. That'd be useful to exploit as I figured out this new time.
"Simply tell it what you want, verbally, as specifically as possible. If the replicator pattern is in our database, it can be made. Unless specified, some Starfleet default selections will be used for ease of ordering, like the size and style of a cup, if a beverage is ordered," Data explained. "Would you care for something to drink?"
I thought about that for a moment.
"Sure, I'll have some tea, earl grey, hot," I ordered with a small smirk. My inner geek was having a laugh at using Picard's standard order from the show!
It seemed appropriate, and the robot man didn't find it odd that I had ordered exactly what the captain drank so often.
"Excellent. Computer," Data said, "one cup of Earl Grey Tea, hot."
As if by magic a steaming cup appeared in the replicator.
"Since you did not specify sugar or cream to be added, the computer did not add any to the tea. The modifier 'hot', to denote the temperature of the tea replicated, was selected from a range pre-designated as normal and safe for human consumption, which the computer considers you to be," Data explained. "When you are done with your tea, simply return it to the replicator and tell the computer to 'recycle' or 'reclaim' or similar language to that effect. Any matter produced by the replicator can be recycled in order to minimize energy usage."
"Do you still have TV?" Was my next question. "Or even just a library? I have some catching up to do."
The machine man then directed me to a screen set up on a desk in the room that could be used to display both video and the written word, it could also be used for internal and external communication. It looked kind of like a thick laptop in form, which rather surprised me. In 2016 we had laptops that were smaller than this. I knew that they had hologram technology, where were the holographic screens and controls? This was something to think about. There might be opportunities there, but it would require more thought and a whole lot more resources than I currently had.
Luckily, this computer could be controlled verbally, because I really did not know how to use it at the moment. Until I became a lot more familiar with this time's technology, verbal commands to the computer would be a lifesaver.
"Television, as you knew it, does not strictly exist in this time, though news broadcasts do exist as well as recordings of live artistic performances. You have access to the entire Federation public database and infonet from here," I was told. "The only information off limits to you is that which is protected by our security programs, due to restriction or classification."
While it might be cool to find out how to fire the ship's photon torpedoes, I doubted that I'd even understand the public technical files that would explain their workings due to all the technobabble involved. Besides, I had a few centuries of history and innovation to catch up on before I got to today's sciences.
"Thank you, Data," I said. "I can take it from here."
"Of course," said Data. "Before I leave, the captain has requested that you stay in your quarters while your status is being investigated. You are not a prisoner, but for your safety and that of others, you will be escorted to and from your quarters at all times, should you need to leave them. If you encounter any difficulty, there are several security personnel outside your door who will assist you. I hope your stay on the Enterprise will be a pleasant one."
"Thank you, Data. You've been extremely helpful."
Once the android had gone, I wondered for a moment if I should have acted offended or surprised by the news that I was essentially being confined to quarters, but considering how negatively the crew had reacted to me just walking by them, it might be a good idea to keep a low profile until things had calmed down a bit. In the meantime, I was feeling a bit funky and decided to take a shower – after all, I hadn't had one in more than 300 years.
I stripped down and stepped into the sonic shower booth. Sonic showers were the 24th century answer to how to get clean on a starship where using water for anything other than drinking was seen as wasteful. Sonic pulse vibrations were used to remove dirt and dead skin, etc., without requiring a drop of water or any of the plumbing a traditional stall or bathtub needed. While the sonic shower did leave me feeling pretty clean, it just didn't give the same sense of freshness that a real shower would have. Still, it was pretty cool to experience it for myself; the skin tingling was rather pleasant once you got used to it.
Standing in front of the full-length mirror after my shower caused my mind to still out of sheer shock. This was the first real chance I had gotten to see the new me and I couldn't stop staring. It was like someone had paid a lot of money for an artist or a photographer with epic Photoshop skills to create an overidealized depiction of myself that only bore a passing resemblance to reality. I still looked like me, but yet not me at the same time.
Starting from the top, I still had brownish black hair cut in a buzzcut style (something I kept from my time in the army for the utility) and emerald green eyes (although they now seemed to almost glow), but that was where the similarities ended. For one thing, I was now five inches taller than I had been, and now stood to just over 6 feet 6 inches (a little over 2 meters) tall. For another, most people have some imperfections – eyes a little too close together, ears sticking out a bit too far, skin a bit splotchy, etc. My face was now completely symmetrical, which I had read was one of the things that made people attractive to others. My cheekbones, jaw, and chin were also more defined, giving me a rugged look I had wanted to have since I started going through puberty, but never actually achieved. Someone from my time would think I now looked like Jensen Ackles' more handsome brother.
Looking down, it was even more obvious that I wasn't the original me. I now had the body of a fitness/underwear model - a defined musculature without the over-bulging of weight lifters – the kind of body type that only movie stars who are basically paid to get professionally sculpted could achieve. I was sporting rock hard pecs, wide shoulders, jacked arms and biceps, and 8 pack abs, with that distinctive V-shape leading to my pelvis, and sculpted legs that looked as strong and thick as tree trunks – I could make Captain America envious with this bod.
And, wow, that was not my penis... No, that was the penis of a very successful porn star from my time, in length, girth, and shape, with that distinctive arch to hit the g-spot just right. I wasn't exactly lacking in the dong department before, but I had certainly gotten a fucking upgrade.
What was even odder was that my skin was missing any moles or other blemishes, in fact a couple of small scars I got as a kid, and a pretty big one across my right thigh, had completely disappeared – I wasn't fond of them or anything, but I had gotten used to them… their absence made this already strange day feel even more surreal. I also noticed that the hair on the top of my head and eyebrows were the only place I still had hair – either my ROB patron believed in extreme manscaping, or part of the Augment process left me as smooth as a baby. I hadn't bothered with body hair removal in the past (with the one exception of an ex-girlfriend who wanted to try hot wax play without telling me first), but damn did it look good with this new physique.
All in all, it was the body of a man blessed at birth with extraordinarily good genes and with a dedicated lifestyle to both achieve and maintain it – like someone who was at the height of their training for the Olympics that was to take place next week. I was what humanity might become in the future, after tens or hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, and a whole lot of luck.
After doing a couple of body builder poses (don't hate, you'd do it too!), I got dressed and decided to learn about my internal upgrades by reading the report Doctor Crusher had written after her examination of me. The short story – someone had gone to a lot of trouble to make my insides as perfect as my outsides. On a genetic level, a bunch of junk DNA left over from the evolutionary process got removed or repurposed entirely. Every organ had been enhanced to superhuman levels. I literally now had cat-like reflexes and an incredible sense of balance, making my reaction time and agility off the charts.
My muscle fibers were incredibly dense now too, but also supple – I could probably wrestle a silverback gorilla without much effort, which explained how I had steamrolled three Klingons without breaking a sweat. Of course, that would seriously increase the effort needed for swimming. In addition to increased density, my muscles were also far more efficient than they should be – lactic acid would now take much longer to build up and leave them faster.
My kidneys, which were responsible for maintaining overall fluid balance in the human body, regulating and filtering minerals from blood, filtering waste materials from food, medications, and toxic substances, had been seriously enhanced. The Doctor had speculated that I could probably drink salt water and still be fine, even contaminated water. She had also speculated that my enhanced kidneys, working in conjunction with my enhanced gastrointestinal tract and digestive system, which were extremely efficient, might mean I would either pee or poop far less than a normal human, or not at all, depending on what I ate. Well, that was fucking weird to think about!
My lungs worked perfectly now, pushing air in deep, regular breaths and were enhanced with increased overall capacity and defenses against airborne toxins and contagions (I could run like a cheetah for miles without needing to take a rest now).
My stomach could digest most organic matter and would work in tandem with my super-liver and kidneys to prevent most poisons and toxins from affecting me.
My heart, arteries, and veins were more elastic, durable, and muscular, which would prevent me from bleeding out if I was wounded. That had added benefits, like preventing my arteries from getting clogged.
Stem cell production was off the charts, allowing for quick cellular regeneration (with enough time, I could even regrow a limb!) and my immune system was like a jealous lover, destroying every foreign contaminant without mercy.
The list went on, but some of the highlights was that my skeleton, joints, and every organ was laced with a network of apparently naturally produced carbon nanotubes - I could now withstand some pretty extreme punishment without organ damage or rupture. My skin had also been enhanced by them, making it surprisingly resilient – I could probably shrug off most cutting slashes with little to no damage and the nanotubes would work like organic clamps, keeping the skin together long enough for the cellular regeneration to heal with no scarring. The denser skin structure also helped with reducing radiation damage, but this meant I also wouldn't tan well. The skin upgrade didn't make me invulnerable, of course, but it could help keep me alive until help arrived. What was interesting about the skin nanotubes was the side benefit of being able to divert energy weapon beams throughout the nanotube network, allowing it to weaken or even dissipate the energy of a stun shot. Augments could already withstand a stun beam without any effort, but I might actually be able to take on a beam set to kill. I had no desire to test that.
I looked and felt strong… powerful… like an apex predator. I would also be a long-lived one - my regeneration affected my chromosome's telomeres so that they remained long. I wasn't immortal, the Doctor had no idea what my expected lifespan actually was due to lack of data, meaning I was unique, but I was as close as you could get and still be human.
The one drawback to this demigod-like body was that I needed to eat… a lot. My body burned energy like a racing Bugatti Chiron with the air conditioner on. As long as I ate enough of the proper foods, my body would keep itself in tip-top shape with little effort (not much exercising required, yes!). Thankfully, the food replicators of this time could be used to alter food to make them extremely energy rich (or the opposite), even in small sizes. That meant being overweight in the future was pretty much a conscious choice at this point. Walking the halls with Data I had been struck by just how attractive everyone was. Few had had the defined musculature that I did, that still required a great deal of time and effort to achieve and maintain, but none were fat. Sure, this was a semi-military vessel, but even the civilians I saw were fit and trim.
All this information brought me back to the big question: why me? Why had someone gone through all this trouble of not just enhancing, but basically rewriting my entire body to become this seemingly perfect lethal weapon? For that matter, the few Augments featured in the Star Trek series and movies painted an interesting combination of incredible physical abilities and intellect, with a not so healthy dose of megalomania. Why wasn't I cackling while making evil plans to make myself Emperor of the Galaxy? I had no interest in conquest, nor did I have an unyielding belief in my superiority over everyone and the need to prove that superiority. I did have a surprising lack of empathy at the death I had caused, though. After all these changes to my body and mind, was I even still me?
No! Fuck that kind of thinking. There was nothing to be done about it, and even if I could, would I? Would I really give all this up? Would I want to go back to my old life? Nah, this new body was a blessing. It would allow me to better adjust to this new time and universe, give me a much better chance at survival, and damn if it wouldn't make me a hit with the ladies. I'd much rather be a rich playboy adventurer with galactic influence and respect, certainly, and tons of hot women by my side. That sounded like way more fun. If I ended up ruling a moon or small planet, it wasn't going to be because of conquest. Why play the conqueror when you could simply buy one?
I sent one final smile at my new reflection, a real one this time. The acceptance of my new circumstances and situation made me feel lighter than fucking air. I went back to the replicators and discovered a problem with them, well, not so much a problem as a pretty big limitation. They could only create objects whose patterns had already been scanned into memory, and this rather limited my choices in clothing. Since there was no way in hell I was putting a skintight unitard jumpsuit back on, even if I could pull it off, I looked through the historical records on my quarter's screen so that I could find something suitable to wear, something that was from 'my time.'
What I discovered was that next to nothing familiar was stored in the computer's memory that would have come into existence between the 1990's and 2020. Which meant that while I was able to blast Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' through the speakers that were hidden somewhere in the room, I couldn't do the same with something from my time. It also was a pain to program the replicator to give me any kind of clothing with which I was truly comfortable with as these were far from normal selections and my familiarity with the computer was practically non-existent.
[JO2] Thankfully, after some serious effort, I was able to get my hands on some basic boots, socks, boxer briefs, jeans, and a nice polo shirt, with some changes to accommodate superior modern cloth materials that hadn't been invented yet in my time. They all came in an assortment of colors and that made me feel much better than before. If nothing else, I knew at least knew where I could put my hands. Why did these people wear skin tight everything with no freaking pockets? Pockets were useful!
At this point I was pretty much starving and decided to replicate some food and adjusted the calorie count to maximum. That took some effort though. The Federation/Starfleet was all about the health and fitness of its citizens so it took a few minutes of arguing with and then finally overriding the computer (which I thankfully was able to do) to provide the replicated food that did not meet the standard nutritional guidelines and restrictions for a human. I would have to ask Doctor Crusher to make a notation in my file that I was exempt from these nutritional guidelines and restrictions.
Maybe I was feeling a little homesick, but I decided to get some old-fashioned mac and cheese (that, thankfully, had survived to the modern day) with some Korean BBQ and topped it off with a fizzy grape soda. It wasn't as good as when I was a kid, but it hit the comfort food button hard – maybe I would play around with the settings later for a more authentic taste.
In any case, it was time to get serious and hit the proverbial books. I decided to start with a history lesson and go from there.
Guest Quarters. U.S.S. Enterprise.
The history of this dimension was fascinating… and I was certain that this was not just an altered timeline; this wasn't my dimension. There were too many differences from before I was even born. For example, according to the archives of this place, in 1968 the United States of America had launched an orbital nuclear weapons platform from 'McKinley Rocket Base'. Following the launch, the platform developed a severe malfunction and began to re-enter the atmosphere in an uncontrolled manner. Attempts to initiate the self-destruct initially failed, but the platform eventually detonated 104 miles above Asia.
This incident couldn't have happened in my timeline – first off, there was no such place as the McKinley Rocket Base, but even if there had been, the technology necessary to create, build, and launch orbital nuclear weapons platform was still in its infancy at that time. We had barely gotten astronauts safely into space, and they weighed a heck of a lot less than a nuke, or rather, multiple nukes. Also, even if all of that wasn't a factor, this kind of incident couldn't have been kept quiet – the Soviets would have noticed something like this happening and would have told the world, or it would have leaked out by my time, many decades later. Finally, while a non-proliferation treaty against the spread of nuclear weapons and their technology had been signed in my timeline, this version had been far more restrictive, with actual teeth, compared to basically the gentleman's agreement that was my world's version.
There were loads of examples that had similar deviations from my version of history. For example, the company Chronowerx Industries (which didn't exist in my timeline) dominated in the field of micro-computers, which seriously impacted IBM, Microsoft, Apple, and Google, and had obviously kept them from ever reaching the lofty heights they would have otherwise, which in turn had knock-down effects on other technologies, but had others show up earlier than they had in my time. Another example is the invention of safe cryosleep – now that definitely wasn't around before I got transported here, and yet the technology was stable enough to be put on a starship in the 1990's! We were still freezing the heads of dead rich people in the hope they would be revived one day in my time, not putting living people safely in cryostatic suspension. Of course, one of the biggest differences from my world was the creation of the Augments.
I wasn't a big fan of the original Star Trek, so the only information I knew about Augments was from Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan and a three-episode arc on Star Trek: Enterprise. I knew some of the basics, but since I was now an Augment, I thought it prudent to dig much further into their history. Their existence was a major deviation from my timeline that began in the 1950's, where apparently everyone and their uncle was a mad scientist who began playing around with genetic engineering. Unfortunately, some of those groups succeeded, and the results of their programs would later be called Augments.
I don't know how much of the Augment mindset was taught or innate, but they all seemed to have a contempt for all non-Augments and considered themselves to be superior to everyone else… so when they began to think themselves better than their leaders, well, there was only one way that story was going to end. By the early 1990's, the Augments had seized power over most of the world before turning on each other and causing a massive war. Entire populations were bombed out of existence, ferocious battles were fought and the Earth was, for a while, on the verge of a new Dark Age. In some macabre bonus trivia, I found out that this universe's version of me had died in a bombing arranged by an Augment in 1991. That me wasn't alone, of course, Augments had killed more people than Hitler and Stalin combined and had almost ended our species. No wonder they were so hated and feared even centuries later by humanity. I kind of understood why the people I saw while walking to my quarters were avoiding me – I'm lucky they didn't make a lynch mob to stop me.
Even after they were beaten, it wasn't the end of the Augments. Like bed bugs, they kept showing up even after it seemed like they were finally defeated. For example, a group of about a hundred managed to escape on a spaceship (the S.S. Botany Bay) and were picked up by the Enterprise-A. The leader of that group, Khan Noonien Singh, was a conqueror tyrant during the Eugenics Wars and became the poster child for why Augments were such a threat as not long after waking, he tried to take over that vessel along with a group of his followers but ultimately failed. Khan and his people agreed to be exiled on a garden world - happy ending, right? It would be, except that not long after they started their life there, a nearby planet blew up and decimated the Augment colony. Irrationally blaming Captain James T. Kirk for everything, he tried to get revenge for what he saw as a betrayal of him and his people, which eventually led to the destruction of the U.S.S. Reliant and the remaining Augments from the S.S. Botany Bay.
There were even more deviations in this universe's history. For example, there were manned missions all over the solar system in the early parts of the 21st century and some were even before 2016. Apparently the USA had mostly stayed out of the Eugenics War, and had invested a heck of a lot more money and resources into their space program than they ever had in my world/time which was strange since I would have imagined that the USA would have been freaking out over the genocidal Übermensch running around trying to take over the world. Something just didn't add up, but that might have been my own universe's history coloring my thoughts.
In any case, it was time to try and figure out how I got into the hands of Kivas Fajo.
"Computer," I called aloud to the room, an answering chime indicating it was listening for my commands. "Tell me about the cryostasis pod I was found in."
A copious amount of technical data quickly filled the screen and I was informed that the pod had the word/name 'Gothic' printed on the side in English. For some reason, that just felt right, so I figured that that was as good a name as any to use now since I didn't feel right using my original name. It was a new name for a new life.
I once again felt this was the work of some God-like being, and judging by the feeling of rightness with that choice, that's what it obviously wanted me to call myself. I had the distinct feeling they were going to be mostly hands off, so why not accommodate them?
Unfortunately, I never did figure out how Fajo found me, but however I got here, it was starting to be ok by me.
Guest Quarters. U.S.S. Enterprise.
The next several hours were spent reading, analyzing, cross-referencing, and synthesizing a truly massive amount of information, so much so in fact that I wasn't sure how I was doing it without metaphorical steam coming out of my ears. While I genuinely loved the Star Trek franchise, it had never been a 'hard science show.' That had allowed it to get away with fictional things like faster-than-light (FTL) travel, energy shields, and how somehow changing the polarity on a device could save the day at the last minute without really needing to explain why... which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. The technobabble on the shows usually didn't mean much, often just a bunch of word salad to excuse the plot's MacGuffin, and I had always taken it as such… but now, that fictional stuff was somehow tangible and real, which was giving me a bit of an existential crisis along with a massive headache. I needed to merge concepts like 'warp field theory' and 'multi-phase discrimination' with the same fundamental truths like 'Don't spit in the wind if you don't want it to land on your face.' and 'If you date a crazy girl, the sex is gonna be amazing, but you're probably gonna get stabbed at some point or your dick chopped off.'
The main reason I was driven to figure this stuff out was I wanted to be the captain of my own ship, and I suppose my own destiny as well, which in my mind, went hand-in-hand. Right now, I was on the Enterprise, but eventually we would return to Earth, where I would be dropped off – I'm not a member of Starfleet, a family member of the crew, or even a civilian contractor. While seeing Earth in the 24th century was something I was looking forward to, I couldn't help but feel like it would be like when I came back from the army after my deployment in Afghanistan and saw my old room – everything would probably still be there, but different. It wouldn't really be home anymore. Also, being an Augment on Earth, was going to be a big headache, I could feel it already. Hopefully Starfleet would keep my status under wraps. I just couldn't see the benefit of advertising that.
It would take time to get my hands on a ship, but once I did, I would need to know how to take care of all the various problems that crop up when a ship's machinery is in regular use and not running off to a shipyard for every little thing. I've also seen enough Trek to know that I may one day end up crashed somewhere and knowing how something fundamentally works, what parts make it up, and how to build or find replacements, might be the difference between my life and death. That meant first learning the basics that underpinned all Federation technology, not the least of which were whole new branches of math, physics, metallurgy, programming, etc., the list went on and on. Fortunately, my mental enhancements did give me a boost in comprehension and a memory with perfect recall, but apparently even a genetic superman has his limits… because when someone requested entry to my quarters, I literally threw myself out of the chair like my ass was on fire. Any distraction at this moment was a welcome one.
I couldn't resist giving the Picard special 'Come!' command to allow entry.
"Is this a good time to talk?" A woman asked as she entered the room, a friendly and disarming smile on her face. "I can come back later, if you prefer." She paused for a moment. "My name is Deanna Troi," my visitor introduced unnecessarily. "I'm the ship's counsellor. I was never given your name."
The first thing I noticed about this universe's version of Deanna Troi was that she looked pretty damn close to Marina Sirtis, just with softer features and a slightly more pointed chin – giving her a more heart-shaped face than the version I was expecting. I had always thought she was a fine-looking woman on the show. Betazoids (her race, plural) on the shows, typically had dark hair and eyes, but this version was more purple than black, giving her a slightly otherworldly appearance. The next thing was that she was apparently really into elaborate styling because her hair was in this kind of tight ponytail cone mixed with braids and the whole thing must have taken forever, unless there was some advanced tool that helped her.
Troi was also wearing an outfit that was definitely not Starfleet standard, and would have been daring even for a night out at a club – something like you would expect a model to wear at a fashion show, but few people would actually wear day-to-day. Whoever had designed that uniform must have really had a thing for strategic cut outs, because a lot of Troi's skin was tastefully on display – not that I particularly minded. The cutouts also made it pretty clear she wasn't wearing a bra, but maybe in the 24the century bras weren't needed? Some sections of her clothing were nearly transparent and she had on a knee-length skirt that had slits on the sides running up almost to her belt. Fortunately, Troi had an athletic-but-curvy body and the confidence to work something like that, giving her this aura of sensuality that I would imagine made working as a counselor a lot harder than it needed to be. But, again, maybe such things were normal in the 24th. I hadn't been here long enough to learn if that were true. That she seemed to be successful enough to be posted on the flagship of the fleet was a testament to her skill, and meant I needed to be on my guard around her.
For a moment, I did wonder how Troi got away with wearing something like that on what was purportedly a military vessel - granted, science and exploration were Starfleet's main purpose, but still, it seemed oddly unprofessional and there were families onboard. I had to once again remind myself, for probably the 20th time, that I was viewing this all through 21st century human sensibilities, and what was once taboo or considered scandalous might not be so at this time, and possibly not for Betazoids.
Since the Federation was a combination of many races and cultures, I doubt there was a single cultural taboo shared throughout the whole alliance. The people of Betazed were almost physiologically mandated to value honesty, openness, and candor - to the point where even their weddings were performed in the nude, guests and all, so as to show the two getting married did so fully knowing who each other was, without any barriers or hidden layers. It made a strange kind of sense, they were a race of telepaths after all. I had even read a Star Trek novel where it was suggested that on Betazed, important information could be passed mind-to-mind, and would be disseminated across the entire planet in 15 minutes. That kind of connection and closeness, even with strangers, shared amongst an entire species, had likely prevented the violent wars and constant conflict that had nearly destroyed humanity.
I suppose one might wonder why I seemed fixated on Troi's outfit (beyond the obvious) – the problem was that it was the latest in a long list of differences that seemed to be cropping up between my current reality and the ST:TNG TV show that I was intimately familiar with. That had profound implications on a myriad number of levels.
Waking up on the Enterprise, I hadn't been sure if I really was somehow transported into the TV show or an alternate Star Trek reality– but Dr. Crusher's different appearance had started to point toward an alternate reality, as did the minor differences in Data, and now Troi. I might have excused those inconsistencies, except that Troi's dress spoke not just of a different clothing style than the TV version's, but also potentially of a different character and personality. The Troi in front of me was confident, competent, and was able to wield her sexuality and intelligence like a weapon – something the Troi from the show was not able to do (at least not as well).
That raised another question, was this truly a Troi of an alternate Star Trek reality? Or was she the same, but things been toned down for television or altered to conform with the attitudes of the writers? It was possible that some of the differences in this Troi and the one portrayed by the actress, Marina Sirtis, could be the result of cultural attitudes at work in a 90's era television show. The actress had certainly complained enough publicly in the years after the show had ended about how underutilized she was for the first several seasons, saying she felt like a living decoration on the bridge with only a handful of lines to call her own. If one were to go further down this particular rabbit hole, one might wonder what other unexpected differences there were ahead, for whatever reason, and that freaked me the fuck out. Did the reason why even matter?!
No… I had to stop this train of thought before it ran me over and left me catatonic with indecision. Bottom line, this place wasn't an exact copy of TNG or Star Trek in general. There were significant differences, but enough commonalities to qualify as foreknowledge, and that was useful, that was valuable, that was something I could turn to my advantage. For the sake of my sanity I would view this reality as an alternate universe take on the Star Trek I was familiar with.
From what I'd seen of the Enterprise so far, it was pretty similar to how the sets looked on TNG, and the events leading to my awakening were close enough to the episode 'The Most Toys' to allow me to recognize what had happened, at least generally. As to how I had watched episodes based on what appeared to be actual events, at least in this dimension, I suspect that there had been some sort of dimensional bleed-through - where the show's writers from my reality had gotten glimpses of some parallel reality's (or even multiple realities') events and used that to create the various Star Trek incarnations. The possibility that the writer's themselves had created this universe through the power of their thoughts, by writing that story down, like several episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 had suggested, was beyond my comprehension and best left to the philosophers. It was irrelevant for my purposes anyway.
All this went through my head in a split-second. Quick enough for me to be able to process it all and then turn my focus back on the lovely woman in front of me with little delay. Being an Augment is really something I'm coming to love! I'm sure Troi, as an empath, might have felt some momentary emotional turbulence from me, but it was likely so quick she couldn't make sense of it, or if she did, she didn't give any indication or say anything, so I appeared to be in the clear.
I didn't need to be empathic or trained in psychology or even be an Augment to know that she hadn't come here just for a causal chat.
"You can call me Gothic, Counselor. Please feel free to take a seat," I told her.
Troi didn't say anything in response, just taking a seat and looking me in the eyes as we soon settled into a period of silence. I figured she was attempting to use an interrogation technique where the person being questioned begins to talk to fill the awkward silence and perhaps reveal more than they meant to. I couldn't help fidgeting and decided to get the conversation moving along – which meant that it had worked, fuck!
"What would you like to talk about, Counselor?" I wondered as I too took a seat, signaling my willingness to engage. "My relationship with my mother? My slight case of evil megalomania?"
Counselor Troi seemed more amused than anything else at my snark, my comments likely being interpreted as common gripes about psychologists from my era.
"Gonna dope me up with happy pills?" I only half-jokingly asked. The whole day had likely made me seem bipolar – going from one emotional extreme to another. Everything I had known about the world and how it worked was irrelevant and now in question, even the knowledge from the TV shows couldn't be viewed as entirely certain or completely reliable anymore. I guess something about being an Augment prevented outright panic attacks, otherwise I think I might have had a psychotic break by now.
"You don't need any medication," Troi assured me. "Your body chemistry is perfectly normal according to Doctor Crusher; it's your emotional state that concerns me. Your whole life has been turned upside down."
I really didn't want to talk about that, but since she was an empath, she already knew how I felt. I had tried to deflect and she had completely ignored my remarks, looking amused at my rather ham-handed attempt to rile her up.
"If it helps, I don't think you are insane," Troi commented. "But I would like to confirm you are not a threat to the ship or its crew. Humanity's desire to quicken its evolution via genetic manipulation nearly resulted in its extinction."
I'd once heard that if you worried that you were insane then you most likely weren't, because insane people don't worry about their mental health. If that was true then I found it rather comforting, because my sanity did concern me quite a lot at the moment – suddenly being superhuman in the freaking Star Trek universe was more than a bit crazy sounding.
"But you guys think I'm evil, don't you?" I asked her bluntly. "I've read the historical archives; Augments were somehow worse than the Nazis and I didn't think that that was possible."
"At the moment Gothic, we're not sure," she said, after a slight sigh. "Dr. Crusher is currently running tests to determine whether you are native to this reality or not. If you are from another reality, then we will work to either send you back to where you came from, or if that's not possible, to integrate you into this new universe and time. If you are not from an alternate reality, then the situation becomes far more complex. Even though the Eugenics Wars was centuries ago now, I suspect you will be tried for those crimes and imprisoned for the terrible deeds the Augments are infamous for."
"Which do you think I am?" I asked curiously. While I had suspected that that might be the case, still, it's not every day you find out you may be tried for a centuries' old genocide and war crimes that you didn't commit. Would I even get a fair shot?
"I have interviewed criminals and murderers in my training as a counselor," Troi said. "While I will, of course, wait for the official results from Dr. Crusher," she paused, and smiled, "I don't think you were one of the Augment tyrants of Earth. I wouldn't have come here alone if I truly believed that."
I let out a breath I hadn't known I'd been holding. An overwhelming feeling of relief filled me. Troi let out a groan and clutched her head, as if in pain, or was it pleasure? I moved towards her, but she waved me away, though not unkindly.
"Most humans of this time don't feel things as intensely as you do," Troi told me, looking a little uncomfortable. "As an empath, it's a little overwhelming for me."
"Sorry," I said. "I'll try and have the emotional range of a frozen meat popsicle."
Troi laughed, now over her momentary disorientation. Her laughter made certain parts of her body jiggle enticingly, which told me: a) apparently bras were either in disfavor at the moment or were an anachronism in the 24th century, or b) Troi's tits were so full and perky she simply didn't need to wear them, which suited me just fine. The amazing thing was that while her outfit was certainly enticing, it was still pretty tasteful overall. If she had designed it herself, in an age of replicators that wouldn't be crazy, she had some serious skills.
Apparently Troi felt my sudden surge of lust because she gave me a playful wink and took a step back, taking a breath that allowed her to regain her professional demeanor. Troi didn't seem disgusted by what she had felt from me – on the contrary, I could smell the beginning of her own arousal, that same sweet and tangy scent I had detected coming from Dr. Crusher, but her step back was pretty definitive. It clearly said that while I was under her care, there would be no hanky-panky… and pushing the issue now would end any chance for something between us in the future when I was no longer her 'patient'.
"I don't believe it necessary to go to that extreme. Federation citizens aren't robots, we have just tried to better ourselves so that we are more emotionally stable, with an ideal towards maintaining an equilibrium as much as possible. Medicine has also allowed us to cure or control most known mental disorders, and we've taught people how to reduce conflict and instead focus on working together towards a common goal," Troi explained with a smile. "I'm sure that our society will take time to adapt to, but we're also not that different from the people of your time – with all the good and bad that comes with it."
Troi paused for a moment, then continued, "While I hope that adaption will be easy for you, I don't want you to worry if you have bad moments – you can take comfort in the fact that even in the 24th century, people still need help. That help could be gotten through medical treatment or counseling, but sometimes just talking with someone else can help a great deal."
Honestly, that put me a bit at ease, which confirmed just how effective a counselor she was and why she was onboard Starfleet's flagship. It had been a real rollercoaster of a day and I was feeling a bit emotionally drained. I sat down on a nearby couch and gestured for Troi to join me in sitting. I couldn't help tilting my head back on the cushion and just looking at the ceiling for several long moments. I heard her sit down on a nearby chair and felt her eyes on me.
"Tell me, counselor," I asked. "Is there a big need for your profession in this bright and peaceful future, especially on a military ship?"
"Unfortunately, yes. People can react to different stimulus in random ways – what would break one person, another one might not even notice. For example, Starfleet's primary role is based on exploring the galaxy, but unfortunately, not everyone shares that view and sometimes there is conflict. Not everyone who goes through that type of experience can handle it as well as they hope and thus can come to need assistance from people like me."
"It sounds like you have a fulltime job running around dealing with stuff like this," I said tiredly. "How do you find time to do your other duties?"
"Other duties?" she queried, apparently surprised I knew she was more than a counselor.
"Yeah, I read that you're a part of the command crew and senior staff on the ship," I said, hopefully covering my slip-up. "Why does a counselor need to be on the bridge? If someone shoots at the Enterprise, do you turn to the captain and tell him 'I think they're angry'?"
I sat up to look at Troi, honestly curious about her answer. On the show, she felt a bit superfluous on the bridge - although I wasn't sure if that was more about the scripts in a 90's era television show then the character herself, who could change from competent to annoyingly useless from one episode to the next.
She smiled at me and answered, "Sometimes things really are that simple, but there have also been cases where we've been fired on, to use your example, out of fear, rather than true animus. Or were forced to by circumstance. Or maybe it was meant only as a warning shot. I can also help the Captain by telling him if someone is lying or might be hiding something important from us."
That actually sounded pretty useful and effective. When I get a ship of my own, having an empath onboard might not be a bad idea.
"So, Counselor," I asked. "What happens now?"
"For now, please continue learning about this time. You should also consider where you might want to live and what you will want to do once we return to Earth. It is one of the most beautiful and safe planets in the entire Federation."
Safe… no, it wasn't safe and I couldn't help but let out a bitter snort. The barbarians were almost at the gates and the Federation was in no shape to defend against them, lacking both the will and the means to fight them. As Troi had said, Starfleet considered itself explorers first, and a military second. In their arrogance or naivety (or stupidity, depending on who you asked), they had decided that since they played by the rules, that everyone would.
I became filled with a sense of terrible frustration. Even if I wanted to, which I wasn't sure I did, I couldn't tell anyone about what was to come because I couldn't be sure that I wouldn't disappear into a deep dark hole somewhere with all my memories extracted and my body dissected. I also couldn't do anything about the situation because I had no resources to work with, and even if I did, they wouldn't trust me because I'm an Augment. What a fucking mess. This might not be my universe or my time, but I was still human, born on Earth, and that affinity would always be there. For all its faults, the Federation was something to be proud of.
Troi must have felt my sudden unease, and spike of anger and frustration, because she immediately sat up straight in her chair. "Is something wrong?" she asked.
"Not at all counselor," I said, getting a handle on myself. "Just a little tired."
I tried to cover it, but the easy rapport that I had had with Troi was broken.
"Well then, Gothic, it appears that our first unofficial session is over," she said with a small grin.
"If you should need my assistance, you may make use the ship's comm system to contact me. For now, try to make yourself at home, settle in and learn about this time. I hope you enjoy your time on the Enterprise. Good night, Gothic."
"Goodnight, counselor," I said, and as much as I hated for her to leave, I loved to watch her go.
Troi stopped in the doorway, seemingly hesitated, and then asked me, "Before I go, I have one more question to ask you. Are you a danger to the ship or its crew?" she asked sharply, in a tone she had not used before. I noticed that she had waited until she was in earshot of the guards outside – this was one smart cookie.
Her question and the tone it had been asked in had caught me off guard, which I imagine was the whole point. I strongly suspected that my actual answer was far less important than the emotions I had had when she asked the question that way. I thought for a moment before answering, trying to be as honest as I could under the circumstances. "It depends on how I'm treated," I answered her truthfully. "I know the crew fears me, that's clear as day. That's fine, as long as it stays only that. But if they act on that fear, if they try to harm me, I will defend myself. An Augment now or not, all sentients have the right to defend themselves, don't they?"
Troi nodded slowly and responded, "I suppose that will have to be acceptable for now. Until our next meeting, Gothic."
I couldn't let out a sarcastic, "Don't worry counselor, I'll be on my best behavior – I won't even destroy the furniture in an explosion of rage and uncontrolled emotion."
Troi shook her head, and walked out with a small smile back on her lips.
Except for the ending, Troi's visit was a pleasant diversion - they definitely didn't make counselors like her in my time… or if they did, I never found them. It was actually a bit comforting to know that even in the future people sometimes didn't have their head on straight and needed help. For the most part, I think I was dealing with the whole situation rather well, probably due to the enhanced body and intellect, but having a sympathetic ear in such an attractive package was surprisingly nice. What soured me the most is how distracted I had been - Troi had managed to trip me up a couple of times in ways I should have seen coming. If she had been an enemy, or worse, a true telepath, that could have ended badly for me… I needed to be far more careful in the future.
It had been a long day so I decided to get some rest. I took off my clothes and chucked them on the floor. I slipped under the covers and damn if it wasn't the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in, with silk-like sheets and some sort of self-adjusting mattress that cradled my body just right.
"Computer, lights," I said and the room fell into darkness, but only after a moment or two of hesitation while the computer determined that my command had been meant to tell the computer to deactivate the lights in preparation for sleep. It might have even noticed that I was in bed already and that conformed to human sleep patterns. Who knows how smart it was.
I noticed that even with the lights off, I could still see pretty well. Apparently, I had the ability to see clearly in even very low-light as part of the Augment enhancement package. Who knew?
I wondered what other secrets my body had that I hadn't yet discovered before finally falling asleep, knowing that my adventure in this time was just beginning.