Trojan Horse #97-99 - "Cyberdyne Systems Inc."


[Dreamland, some time after getting a portion of knock-out drugs shot into your neck]

Ronald Evans was driving his Smart through the hills again, muddy twisty roads, 120 kilometers per hour, hitched up a 30 ton tanker of fuel, something cloaked on his back, and out of fuel... You know... The works... There was something different, though, this time, Kitty was with him, and she was doing all the repair- and patch-work for him, while he could concentrate on his driving... However, the darkgreen cloaked hummer with the bloodred headlights was still gaining on them... Yup, just like the last time, the hummer just pulled along beside them, and the window rolled open... And yes, there she was again, Petrova... Not as menacing as last time, and her threat was a bit more reasonable...

"Pull over, Nerdboy, we gotta talk about some compensation!" she yelled out. And on second look, the hummer was heavily damaged, with bodged repairs everywhere...

And Kitty was saying, "Look, there's only so much I can do with cello string! Maybe you'd better let her sleep in your bed tonight."

"I can't! That was the only string that made up bed-molecules... There are no more beds!" Evans said, as he looked around the hotel lobby, and there were only chairs left. All the beds were occupied by cellos.

"That's alright," Kitty said, now wearing a lovely silky nightgown and looking deep into his eyes. "You can share mine."

"Oh, that'll do..." Evans said, as he moved to embrace his loved one. However, as he took one step to get closer, Kitty seemed to be one step further away... He tried again, same result... And again, yet further away... And again... Again, again...

[USS Pegasus, Sickbay]

Russell scanned the injuries of his roommate. The scans reported a broken vertrebra in the lower back. Palmer had used a hypo to sedate Evans, but Russell decided to wake him up to check if he could still feel and move his legs. The scans were inconclusive about any neural damage. He injected a hypo in Evans' neck. "Wakey, wakey, lieutenant." he said with a friendly smile on his face.

[Half in dreamworld, half on the peggy]

Suddenly something changed... There was real gravity, the sensation of lying on your back, even though he still thought he was standing up... A friendly voice, telling him to wake up... The heavy feeling of muscles paralysing, but slowly regaining ther movement... He actually got closer to kitty, and puckered his lips to give her a nice kiss on her mouth...

[USS Pegasus, Sickbay]

"Whoa there Evans, take it easy." Russell said, taking a step back, startled by the sudden affection expressed by Ronald. "No need to get your girlfriend jealous." he added jokingly.

"...Mwah?... whazzyou zalging 'boud?..." Evans slurred, even when he saw his girlfriend change into his roommate, beard and all, in front of his eyes... "... Wah? Ah! No!..." And then the pain of the real world hit him with a vengeance... "OW! Argh! My back!"

He tried to lie as still as possible, but by doing that, he tensed his muscles, and shifted anyway, another shot of pain, coursing through his spine, not feeling anything down his lower back, strangely...

"Try not to make any sudden movements." Russell said. "I'll get you something for the pain." With a more serious look on his face he took another step back to stand next to Evans' legs. "Scans showed a broken vertebra in your lower back. Can you still wiggle your toes or move your feet?" he asked while pinching quite hard in both Evans' legs. He had a sneaking suspicion...

"No, I can't!" Evans said, even before he tried... He was right, though, no movement in his toes, and no feeling of being pinched...

"That makes it a tad more difficult then." Russell said. He got the nearest med kit and got the promised hypo with a painkiller in it. He walked back to Evans and put the hypo at his neck. "That should take care of your first problem." he said. "Just stay calm, and this will be fixed." he added, trying to comfort a slightly panicking Evans.

As the pain faded considerably, Evans calmed down a bit again. It was still very uncomfortable, but the pain was at least bearable... Evans was mightily worried, though... "What do you mean, a tad more difficult? Please tell me I AM going to walk out of this, right? You can fix it, right?" he asked, almost desperately...

"That's what I just said, didn't I?" Russell said reassuringly. "I just meant a tad more difficult because there is damage to your nervous system that prevents you from feeling your legs. It's not 'just a broken bone'." he heard himself say in a way that did not sound very reassuring. "I mean, you will be walking again soon. I promise." he added with a firm nod.

"...Good..." Evans said softly, not entirely, or entirely not convinced. "... Because, I promised Kitty... Eh, I mean... I want to drive my car some time..."

<I want to drive my car some time?... What kind of reason is that?!> Evans thought, as he frowned, and winced slightly... Even moving his brows hurt his back...

"Otherwise you have to modify it with manual controlled throttle and breaking." Russell said, teasing his roommate. "Sorry, just pulling your leg." he said. "Ehrm, no pun intended." he smirked. He looked up to Palmer and asked "Get me an osteogenic stimulator. I need to get that vertebra fixed before healing the nervous system." Russell scanned the fracture again with a medical Tricorder to see if the pieces lined up. "Your first stroke of luck, Evans. The bone split in just two pieces and is lined up perfectly for glueing them back together."

Palmer handed him the bone stimulator and Russell said "Now let's get crackin'." applying the stimulator.

"I hope you mean 'mending', dear doctor..." Evans whispered with enough sarcasm to fill an ocean, and a consideral amount of pain...

"Oh, yes, ofcourse." Russell said. "Just trying to make you feel better. But I'll just let my equipment do the talking then." he added smiling. He changed the setting on the osteogenic stimulator and applied it again to heal the fracture on the other side. "Palmer, would you get our dear patient some more painkiller? It looks like he needs it." Russell said seeing the painful look on Evans' face.

Evans relaxed again, as another dose of painkiller made his way to his nervous system. Then something else caught his eye... A sight for sore eyes, it was indeed...

Kitty entered Sickbay, having finished having her heartattack for the week, and practically accosted the first nurse she saw. "Where's Evans? Is he awake? Can I talk to him?"

Russell looked up when he heard the Sickbay doors opening. Before the nurse could say a word he said "You can come over here if you like. I think Evans had enough of my jokes. Maybe you can do a better job at cheering him up." he said with a smile, still applying the stimulator.

"Hello, dear..." Evans said softly, smiling, then wincing, and then carefully trying to smile again...

"Is he okay?" Kitty hurried over to the bed, looking very very worried! "Oh stay still... don't move, just rest..." She rested her hand on Evans', her own shaking just slightly as she looked up at the doctor.

"Well, at least the broken lower vertebra is healed." Russell answered while putting down the stimulator. "But so far he can't feel or move his legs. There's damage to the nervous system caused by the fracture." he explained. "But I'm confident he'll be on two feet before you know it." he added with a reassuring smile, looking at both Kitty and Evans.

"I sure hope you're right..." Evans sulked. He was not looking forward to spending his life in a wheelchair. And how was he supposed to take care of Kitty? Both military as... eh... romantically. His expression darkened at that thought...

"Hey, I promised, remember?" Russell said to his patient encouragingly. He walked over to the neural regenerator and placed it over the biobed. "That should get the job done." he mumbled to himself. The machine could take more detailed scans of the affected area and suggested a treatment accordingly. Russell approved the settings and before activating it he said "You have to keep real still while this machine is healing your nervous system. Try not to move when you regain contact with your lower half." he said with a faint smile. "And you'll be fine."

"Owie... Aaaah... Ow... Ouch..." could be heard from Evans' mouth, as he tried to completely relax, so he wouldn't have to strain to keep his posture. However, this meant that his back would have to settle a little. Pain was felt as it did. Finally he calmed down... "Ready when you are, doc..." he whispered, betraying that he was quite nervous about it...

"It'll all be ok..." Kitty said, trying to be soothing though her face was still white. "Do you want me to tell you a story, so that you can relax and stay still? Will it help?"

Evans looked a bit odd at that last sugestion, but when it sank into his mind, he could understand her reasoning... "...Eh... Sure..."

"Comfie?" Russell asked against better judgment and activated the machine. "This will take some time. I'll check back on you soon. I'll leave you two to your story." He then turned around and headed for his office.

"I'll be comfortable, when I *walk* out of here..." Evans whispered menacingly

Kitty glanced up at the doctor and smiled, then took hold of Evans' hand and started talking, her voice quiet and rhythmic. She was making up the story on the fly, a silly tale about an elephant escaping from a zoo and all his attempts to find his way back to Africa. "And he tried to hide on the cargo ship, but as soon as he crept aboard the ship leaned to one side, and everyone knew he was there..."

That was a bit of a mistake, as Evans snickered at that last sentence... Another shot of pain... "OW!" The regenerator detected the movement and immediately triggered the failsafe, emitting an incessent beeping warningtone. "Ow crap... What's wrong now?..." Evans said, wincingly

"Unless you know how to reset that thing, I think that would be a prudent course of action, yes." Evans said sarcasticly. He immediately apologised:"I'm sorry, It's not your fault... Don't worry about it... Just get Russel over here, please..."

The alarm was also audible in Russell's office. He rushed from behind his desk into the main sickbay towards Evans' biobed. Witha faint smile he said "I can't leave you alone for 10 seconds, now can I?"

Russell accessed the console of the neural regenerator. "Any sign of movement immediately stops the healing process. The machine has to be re-aligned now and start over." he said while changing the settings on the machine. "You'd better not be cracking jokes at the moment." Russell said on a friendly tone, looking at Kitty.

"It's my fault, Dr. Russell, the story was a little funny," Kitty admitted. "I'll stick to something more mundane, ok?"

"What if you just hold my hand? I'm just glad you're with me..." Evans said to Kitty... However, he didn't look at her, trying to be absolutely still, this time.

"If you can do that without moving, the sooner you'll be walking out of here." Russell smirked. "The machine is reset, starting... now." He activated the machine to start over the regeneration procedure.

"Ok, I can do this.. let me see if I can still do this." Kitty closed her eyes, then started telling another story. Chanting it, actually. Her voice settled into a rhythm as she started telling one of the oldest stories of Earth... Beowulf. She was telling it in the Old English, half the words nearly incomprehensible, so that it sounded really like a different language at times.

Evans was having a hard time following the story, but he loved to listen to the rythm of his girlfriend's voice. Slowly, the painkillers, his fatigue and the soothing chanting voice overrid the pain in his back, that was slowly fading, as his nerves were healing. A strange tingly feeling grew stronger in his lower body, as he slowly started drifting back into dreamland again. This time, there was no hurry, no cloaked klingon Hummer on his tail, just envelopment...

Kitty continued on as she saw he was starting to fall asleep. She was smiling softly again for the first time in hours, the familiar litany beginning to relax her mind.

"That did the trick." Russell said softly. "He fell in a nice healing sleep. The machine has a program to finish which has to run for a while. It wil automatically shut off when it's done."

"I have to leave him again," Kitty said worriedly, squeezing Evans' hand very gently before letting go. "I'm due to go board the Lantree."

"I'll keep an eye on him." Russell winked. "You'd better be careful. I would rather not have you in here as well, as a new patient, I mean. It's been busy enough lately."

"I.. couldn't promise anything," Kitty said, hoping her tone was low enough for Evans to not hear in his sleep. "I think it could be dangerous."

"Not your typical away mission then... Any idea what kind of danger you'll be facing?" Russell asked out of curiosity.

"Well, what killed the crew and fired on us was a damaged tactical AI program," Kitty said thoughtfully. "We don't know if it's still active. But even if it is, what can it do to us from inside the ship anyways? We'll be in full gear, there's no life support, it can't gas us, there aren't really any computer-controlled weapons INSIDE the ship and it can't manipulate anything, build anything, unless it's got holo-emitters somewhere that are robust enough to survive the damage we did."

"The sickbay, like mine, will probably be well protected somewhere in the middle of the ship and may have survided the attacks with minimal damage." Russell said thinking out loud." I'm sure the Lantree has an EMH as well. If it's such an inventive program, I'll bet it has made good use of that. Watch your back when you get near the sickbay."

Kitty blinked at that and her eyes widened. "Oh.........." She looked as if she would follow that up with a swear, if she was someone to swear. "The EMH. This is not good. This is... Look, if you had to stay in Sickbay, but any mobile device you created had the run of the entire ship, what kind of trouble do you think you could get up to in a matter of hours?"

"Look around you. Anything used for healing can be used for killing." Russell said with a frown. "But I'm not sure what could be used for letting a machine roam the ship. If it has access to a working replicator, it would be able to create guidance systems and such. I guess I'd try converting wheelchairs or something like that into driving killing machines. But I'm not an evil AI program."

"mm, hypozzprays as propulsion... Zero gravity, remember?" Evans added his two cents, as he semi-woke up, and was actually able to follow the conversation quite well...

Kitty frowned as she considered this. "What are the chances that there would be no working replicators in Sickbay?" She wasn't sure she wanted to follow that train of thought to its conclusion.

Russell looked surprised to Evans and looked back at Kitty. "Does he ever stop thinking about work?" he said and then quickly answered Kitty's question. "Without gravity hyposprays could pose a threat. They can be filled with any kind of medicine which can be lethal in high doses and be self propelled. Converted exoscalpels could pose a threat to EV-suits." Russell just rambled on out loud.

Kitty's face began to pale again as she considered all the possibilities... flying scalpels of doom and death-dealing hyposprays hurtling down corridors.

Evans was waking up again, as reality caught up to him... He was getting very worried, about his girlfriend. "I was thinking of scalpels propulsed with those hypos, yes... Please be *very* careful..."

"I hope it's just my vivid imagination." Russell tried to reassure Kitty a bit when he saw her turning pale. "It's probably running more wildly that any AI could imagine."

"I hope so too, because this is starting to sound like a horror movie written by a maniac!" Kitty burst out, then sighed. "I'm sorry. We'll... we'll be okay. I'm going over with the Security Chief and her team. They'll keep me safe."

"I don't know, Doc, that Trojan came up with some pretty nifty stuff on this ship... Things I never even considered..." Evans said, referring to the battery/plasma power convertors that were still boggling his mind.

"Let's hope it didn't invent a mobile emitter or something like that." Russell said., suddenly realizing he was adding to the possible horror instead of reassuring Kitty.

Kitty blinked and blinked again, correlating Evans' comment with Russell's comment, and turned so pale her face was nearly dead white. "We're dead."

"Please be *VERY very* careful, kitty... In fact, you might want to roast every miniature circuit there with a blast from our deflectorshield, before going there... If you can find the power somewhere..."

"We can't.." Kitty said faintly. "We need to be able to repair our engines from the salvage."

"...damn..." Evans said softly. "There must be something we can do. It's simply too dangerous, this way..."

"Would roaming objects on that ship even show up on scanners?" Russell suggested. "Provided our scanners work ofcourse. I haven't kept myself up to date with the damage reports." he smirked.

Kitty frowned and shook her head. "I don't know, but somehow I doubt it. That just isn't the way my luck runs. And I've got to go soon to join the others.. Look... Ronald... Don't worry, ok? It could hurt your recovery. Just.. uhm, relax.. and.. rest up.

"...Easier said than done..." he mumbled. "Just be extremely careful... Please..." he almost whimpered. His imagination augmented by his knowledge of science had come up with some gruelling scenarios... "Please..."

Now Russell tried to reassure Evans as well. "I'm sure the lady can take care of herself."

Kitty looked back at Evans for a moment, then smiled. She walked back over to him and, deliberately 'oblivious' to the watching doctor, gave Evans a loving kiss. "I'm sorry you got hurt..." she said softly. "I won't be caught frozen like that again. I'll get out of there and then I'll come visit you. Ok?"

"Yeah, you do that..."Evans said, not too sure of himself...


Imagining all kinds of bad stuff,

Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer USS Pegasus

Lt. (jg) Dr. Russell D. Floyd Chief Medical Officer USS Pegasus

Lt. (jg) Ronald Evans Chief Operations Officer USS Pegasus