Cogito Patris

Random Thoughts for Random People

The Story of J: Chapter 3 – Human Contact…and a mystery

=====Work of Fiction=====

Chapter 2 – Under Way
Table of Contents Next:
Chapter 4 – Introducing Kay

J’s sleep was not restful.  He kept having the same dream over and over again.  It wasn’t really a nightmare per se, but it was disconcerting.  It involved a man, but not quite a man, with a fake smile.  The non-man asked him how he was feeling.  J would say “fine”.  Then the non-man would place a helmet on his head. J would wake up at that point.  When he got back to sleep, the same dream would play again.

After one of this never-ending parade of dreams J decided to get out of bed.  “Computer, what is our ETA?”

“We are entering orbit of Dundalk-4 at this time.”

“Open communications” J Ordered the computer.  Then in a slightly louder voice that everyone seemed to use when speaking over communications (as if they needed to yell to be heard, but knew that would be overkill) “This is” he paused for a second, not knowing who he was, how could he tell someone else.  Then he continued. “This is XG-259 requesting permission to land.”

The response was almost immediate. “XG-259, you are cleared to land at 140 degrees 60 minutes west by 90 degrees 10 minutes south of the equator.”  The coordinates were meaningless to J.  But when the communications terminated he found them translated and loaded in to his navigation console.

J sat down at the controls.  But whenever he tried to lower his altitude, the ship’s engines would counteract his commands.  If he raised his orbit, the ship would respond without hesitation.  He could even enter a low orbit.  But the ship simply would not enter the atmosphere.

“Computer, why can’t I descend?”

“I am counteracting your controls.”

The honest response took J off guard.  He was expecting the problem to be with the ship’s systems.  Maybe he had not completed the repairs properly.  But this was as good as an admission of guilt from the computer.

“Why?” J asked.

“I can not allow you to put yourself in danger.”

“What danger?”

“Entering a planet’s atmosphere is a dangerous maneuver.  There is a chance that something could go wrong and result in harm.”

J still had a lot of holes in his memory.  He obviously retained some knowledge from before he woke up yesterday morning.  He could repair and fly this ship.  He knew how to talk and walk.  He even knew that there should only be Human beings in the Milky Way Galaxy (although the computer had contradicted that knowledge).  But he couldn’t remember a ship’s computer ever contradicting a command, even a dangerous command.

Not only that, but re-entry is not necessarily as dangerous as it once was.  Granted the ship had taken some damage, but the EM shields should protect the ship with little difficulty. 

Frustration was starting to set in.  He didn’t know who he was and although he could see the lights from a large colony directly below (he was approaching from the Night side.) his own ship’s computer would not allow him to approach the planet. 

“Open Communications”  Pause “This is XG-259.  I am having some trouble with my ship.  Can I dock with an orbiting space station?”

Yet again, a quick response “Space Station alpha-2 is available.  I am sending the coordinates now.”

Docking was not difficult. After only a few minutes he was safely attached to a small world with other humans.  But now where should he go.

As he exited the craft he was met by a member of the repair crew.

“What seems to be the problem?”  The woman asked.

“The computer was countermanding my commands.”  J said, then tried to ignore the surprised look on the technician’s face.

The surprise only lasted a short time.  Then the technician said “I’ll take a look” and started to walk away. 

J grabbed her arm and asked “How to I get to the medical bay?”

“The console on the wall with provide directions” she said indicating a section of wall next to the door.  Then she turned and entered XG-259.

J found the medical bay without difficulties.  The computer on this station seemed much more helpful than his own.  He had decided that amnesia was a medical problem and required a medical solution.

He found a doctor on duty…bored and staring at his computer monitor doing paper work.  When the doctor saw J enter he immediately perked up, stood and strolled over with an extended hand and a large grin. “Greetings, welcome.  Please come it.  How can i help you today?” The man asked in a voice that conveyed relief at being taken away from the doldrums of his work.

“I am suffering from amnesia.  I don’t remember who I am.  I didn’t even remember that there were Korlog.”

“Remember what?”  The doctor said.

“Not who, a different species called the Korlog.  My computer said that the human race was at war with them.”

“Well, that may be, but we haven’t heard of it here.  Granted we are also one of the smaller colonies.  Maybe it is just taking a little longer for the news to reach us.  Oh well.  For now, let’s take a look in that head of yours.”  The Doctor said, still obviously in a good mood…and with a mystery too.

After many tests where the doctor and two nurses prodded and probed him the doctor finally came in with a small rubber ball.

“Could you squeeze this with your right hand please?”

J complied and noticed that the numbers on the Doctor’s console increased as he did.  The numbers didn’t really mean anything to J, but it was obviously a strength test.  What does my grip strength have to do with my memory? J thought.

“OK, that’s good.  Now the same with the left hand please.” The doctor said.

Again, J complied.  Though he didn’t know what they meant, the numbers were nearly three times higher this time.

“What’s going on doc?” J asked.

“Let me show you.” The doctor turned on the room’s monitor.  With a little manipulation of the controls the image shifted to show J.  “This is you.” The doctor said unnecessarily. “And this is your insides.”  The image shifted to show that J’s skill, left arm and chest were all metallic.

The surprise obviously showed on J’s face.  “But that’s not all” the doctor continued.  “The alloy is something we haven’t seen before.  And the construction and complexity of the surgery required to accomplish this is beyond our level of technology.  Who did this?”

All J could do was stare at the image on the screen.  What had happened to him?

Chapter 2 – Under Way
Table of Contents Next:
Chapter 4 – Introducing Kay

October 26, 2007 - Posted by | Sci-Fi, Story of J, The

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