THE HUMAN SUBSTITUTE
“TENCH-HUT,” Belvedere shouted.
“At Ease,” Lt. Quinn said as he rolled his eyes. He spotted and moved immediately to Dr. Schenckler. “Major Stewart, what happened to him?”
“He looks in good shape.”
“Very good, and Sadia Mirza?”
Sadia who was on the other side of the partition felt surprisingly strange about the question. Dr. Schenckler walked over. “So far they both are being evaluated. Nothing conclusive yet.” She smiled at Quinn, “I mean it’s good to see the captain has more than the ship on his mind.”
After they left only Major Matt Stewart and the doctor remained. Schenckler was really at a lost as to what they were seeing projected of the holographic image of his brain. The subject of their interest was the strange object located at the frontal lobe of his brain.
The implant was in an area of the brain that made it impossible to remove without inflicting critical brain damage. And The implant was alive. “Are his numbers way off again?” She asked her assistant Dr. White scanning Stewart.
“His readings indicated he has somehow lost thirty pounds of fat since joining the crew at Alpha Centari Station. All the while, he is gaining muscle. His metabolism is at a rapid speed. He looked twenty years younger than his chronological age.”
“Well it’s not the implant.” She said to Dr. White showing concern. “Let’s run them again,” she smiled. “You don’t mind do you Major?”
Matt looked at the doctor. “Didn’t we just do that?”
“Third time’s the charm.” Dr. White added.
“Whatever.” Matt stretched out his back and rested his head on a pillow. “So, can you tell me just how that got there?”
“I’m surprised we even found it. The damn thing has the ability to camouflage itself to avoid detection.”
“Thank your girlfriend Sadia Mirza for that.”
Matt frowned. “She’s not my girlfriend.”
“Sure. Anyway, Sadia found a way to destabilize it,” The monitor flashed red and read gross error again. “Mind explaining this to us Major?”
Matt looked on bewildered. “Scientology,”
Neither Doctor got the joke. “Please Major?”
Matt sat up. “This has to stay between me and you.”
Schenckler nodded to Dr. White and she stepped around the partition and it closed behind her. “Don’t worry Major I’ll keep your confidence.”
“I was genetically altered during the war.” He rolled up his sleeve and showed her his branded tattoo on his right forearm, “I was a Black Knight.”
Dr. Schenckler waved her scanner over his wrist and her monitor filled with data. “An interface, only I’ve never seen one this sophisticated.”
“I have a complete neural connection and those are all the legitimate implants in my brain linking to the interface in my right wrist.”
“You’re a super soldier. I’ve never met one before.”
“I get that a lot. By the way, I hate that, anything but super soldier.”
“Does Sadia know?”
“Why should I care if Sadia knows?”
“Don’t you think you’d better tell her?”
“What exactly are you trying to say doctor?”
“She has feelings for you.”
“She’s just a kid.”
“No Matt she’s a woman.”
“I have to warn you doc, I’ve got a long history of failed relationships.”
The metallic voice of MOTHER boomed through the room;
WARNING, WARNING WE HAVE INCOMING
The light in the room turned red,
RED ALERT THIS IS NOT A DRILL
The intercom signaled and the “we need Major Stewart in the control room ASAP.”
“You’d better get going.” She conceded.
“Saved by the bell,” Matt jumped off the exam table.
“I’m not done with you yet.” She warned. “You’re going to have to face her and if you don’t tell her the truth I will.”