Lt. Gordon's Transformation Ch. 10byDMaster_14©
This will be the last chapter of this story posted on this website. I am currently re-writing it and adding additional details in the hopes of having it published commercially. Thank all who have left feedback and voted. Your ideas have helped me take this story into the best possible direction.
Jamie awoke the next morning to the sound of her alarm. Groaning she slapped it off. She was exhausted, sore and glowing with delight. She and Burton had made love and had sex long into the night. The only problem was that the beds on board the Trinity were designed for sleeping and not quite for one person at that. There was no way they were able to sleep together after they were finished. But at least neither had to sleep in the wet spot. There were bunks for a crew of five on the runabout.
A fast sonic shower and dressed in her uniform Jamie stepped out to the galley to find Burton eating a decent breakfast for a change. She waved and headed directly for the replicator. Her standard large breakfast was even larger than usual as she had worked up an appetite the night before. Neither spoke as they focused on their meals and reports for the Korvan.
"Good morning." Jamie finally said looking at Charlie.
"And a very good morning to you," he replied, smiling. "You look fabulous."
"Thank you must be the company I am keeping."
"I hope so. You should look like this all the time."
Jamie blushed, "Well, I will have to see what I can do for the future."
"Speaking of future, we have to get going if we are going to report to the Korvan on schedule."
"Thank goodness, this will be the last time. After today, we can hail them through the communication arrays when we need them."
"That will be a nice change." Burton agreed. "But now we will have to be in uniform whenever we are on board the Trinity."
"That is okay with me." Jamie replied, "as long as we can be in non standard clothing when we are exploring."
"Definitely, but only completely non standard when we go swimming," Charlie said.
Jamie blushed even deeper. She had started that last night with coming out of her quarters to go swimming completely naked, saying it was as non standard as she could get. She looked up and saw the grin on his face and she threw her napkin at him. Burton laughed and started to clean up from breakfast. Jamie joined him in both the laughter and cleaning and soon they were on the flight deck taking off to rendezvous with the Korvan.
The hovered just inside the hatch as they waited for the Korvan to access it from the outside, right on schedule the hatch opened and the Korvan hailed them.
"Parvin to Trinity, come in."
"Trinity here, go ahead Captain." Burton responded and nodded to Jaime.
"We are ready to receive your download Commander."
"Sending," Burton said as Jamie had already activated the download. "Captain we have included the protocols to access the communication arrays located on the exterior of the sphere and to access the hatch without the piloting beams. We now have the ability to communicate and exit and enter at will."
"Excellent commander, the hatch is closing. We will review the protocols and contact you again in thirty minutes via the array, Parvin out."
"Well, we have thirty minutes; let's review the scans we sent to see what the captain will want to talk about." Burton said.
"Aye sir, setting course to orbit the star," Jamie said.
"Good idea, let's see just what the distance to the hatch we have to be to reach the Korvan."
Jamie put the runabout into a safe orbit and they started to review the scans while waiting for the Korvan to contact them. Jamie had already adjusted the communication protocols onboard the Trinity to interface with the sphere.
"Look sir, there are no structures showing on these scans except for the building that contains sphere control."
"I see that." Burton replied. "How can that be, no structures anywhere. Where did the people live? There is no way that a race would build this sphere and not inhabit it."
"Agreed sir, maybe we can ask Central."
"Central on line Lieutenant, what is your inquiry?" A voice said from the comm.
"Central?" Jamie asked tentatively.
"Yes Lieutenant, what is your inquiry?"
"How did you get access to our comm system?" Burton asked.
"You have updated your protocols to access the communication arrays. I have had access to your system since that time. What is your inquiry?"
"Central, why are there no structures on the surface except the one that houses you?" Jamie asked.
"All structures were dismantled upon departure of the sphere's inhabitants. Materials reclaimed for future building requirements."
'Well that explains it." Burton said, "But it does not give us much to examine for clues as to the sphere's inhabitants and their habits."
"All data regarding sphere inhabitants, living habits and structures are on file with central. Download available upon request. Please note that file size exceeds your vessel's storage capacity by several orders of magnitude."
"Thank you Central." Jamie said. "Can you build a portable storage device and download those files for us so that we may make it available to our people to study."
"Construction has begun."
"We will be able to interface with this storage device with our equipment?" Burton asked.
"Yes Commander." Central replied. "However, the storage device will be somewhat larger than the cargo compartment aboard your ship."
"We have another ship on the exterior of the sphere." Burton told the computer. "Will we be able to store it aboard that ship?"
"Yes Commander." Central replied.
"Thank you Central. Can you add the schematics for the sphere and any construction data to that device as well?" Jamie asked hopefully.
"Yes Lieutenant, I have reviewed your application and have granted you and Commander Burton the necessary clearances to access such data."
"Thank you Central, Trinity out." Burton said with finality.
They looked at each other and both started to speak when the comm activated again.
"Parvin to Trinity, come in Trinity."
"Trinity here Captain. It is good to hear your voice without opening the hatch."
"Agreed Commander," Parvin replied. "What is your status?"
"The ship is functioning normally. We have access to the sphere central computer and a storage device is being constructed to hold all the relevant information about the inhabitants and the construction data for the sphere."
"Excellent work Commander. That is far and away more than we expected." Parvin said, sounding quite pleased. "How goes the interior survey?"
"We have not had a lot of time to start exploring yet Captain." Burton said. "We spent all of yesterday with the Central computer. It only just informed us that the information is now available. By the way, this is a party line."
"Understood Commander," Parvin said softly. "We have new orders from Starfleet. The USS Crazy Horse has reported that there is a temporal inversion field in sector two eight four. We have to rendezvous with the Crazy Horse immediately."
"Captain, we can't leave the sphere survey unfinished." Jamie protested.
"No choice Lieutenant." Parvin replied. "Those are our orders."
"Captain," Jamie replied. "We could remain here in the Trinity to complete the survey."
"That is a possibility Lieutenant, but do you and Commander Burton feel capable of completing the survey on your own?"
"Well, if the data device containing the structural and inhabitants information is ready before you leave, then you can take it with you and have the engineering and anthropology departments can do their work while the rest of the science sections study the inversion field." Burton said. "We should be able to handle the rest Captain."
"Actually Captain, we could use the Councilor on board." Jamie said. "The sphere central computer may qualify as a sentient being. It has been alone a long time. It may need some counseling."
"If you are sure Commander, Lieutenant, then we can proceed with both missions." The Captain said. "The runabout has the ability to join us when you are finished. And with just the three of you on board, you won't be taxing its systems. I will have the councilor beam over in fifteen minutes."
"We will check with central to see if the device will be ready before you warp out of the system, Trinity out." Burton closed communications.
"Commander, the device is ready." Central said over the comm. "I have prepared the device to allow it to survive both vacuum and your tractor beam. It is located in front of the central control structure."
"Thank you Central, we will be there shortly to pick it up for transport to our other ship."
Jamie altered course and headed for the structure to pick up the storage device. Fifteen minutes later the device was beamed directly into the Korvan's cargo bay #2. Jamie held station as Carol was beamed aboard the Trinity.
"The hatch is closing Commander. The Minotaur will be here in another few days. Complete your survey and join us in sector two eight four, Parvin out."
"Welcome aboard Councilor." Burton said officially to Carol.
"Thank you for inviting me." Carol replied. "I have wanted a closer look at this ship since it was delivered."
Jamie turned sharply. "You mean you did not get a close enough look when you locked me out of the replicator?"
"Oh dear, you are not still upset about that are you?" Carol asked innocently.
"I am going to kick your butt into next week for that." Jamie snarled.
"Take it easy Lieutenant." Burton said, "I don't see the harm in what she did. Besides, we are in non standard clothing for this trip anyway."
"Yes sir." Jamie said, with such an obvious pout that all three laughed.
"Jamie, set us down at the landing field and we will take Carol over and introduce her to Central." Burton ordered.
"Aye aye Charlie," Jamie responded crisply and set the course.
"I see you two are getting along well." Carol commented.
"I am simply following your advice Councilor." Jamie replied, "And getting to know my fellow officers better."
"Yes, I know. I played your log entry." Carol stated. Jamie blushed and Burton looked confused.
Ten minutes later Jamie set the Trinity down on their landing pad and Carol looking out the window said, "What is that?"
Everyone looked out the viewport to see a large building at the edge of the lake. It looked like a large cottage or small house. Jamie shutdown the ship as Burton showed Carol to her quarters. They met at the hatch a few minutes later and Jamie saw that Charlie had briefed Carol on the clothing requirements for the mission. Carol had changed into a white bikini top, red shorts and running shoes. The shorts rode high on her thighs showing off a lot of leg. Jamie wore a blue tank top and shorts, her hiking boots and what was still called a baseball hat. Charlie stood by the door in a T-shirt and shorts and his running shoes as well.
Burton led the way to the building and they found that their automatic cart transportation was parked beside the building, with two more beside it. They proceeded up the steps and into the building to find a complete house for the three of them. Each had a bedroom with a large bed, a full bathroom attached and there was a complete kitchen, with replicator, a living room with fire place and video screen.
"Where did all this come from?" Carol asked. "I thought there were no structures on the surface."
"There weren't yesterday." Burton replied.
"That is correct Commander." Central's voice came out of mid air. "This structure was completed during the night for you and Lieutenant Gordon. I have added additional space for Councilor Webster."
"Thank you Central," Jamie said. "That was very kind of you."
"You are welcome Lieutenant. Your ship while serviceable does not appear to have many creature comforts. I have taken the liberty of programming the replicators in each of your rooms to match the replicators aboard your vessel. Also, the food replicators have the same programs as your ship, along with several items from the previous inhabitants of the sphere."
"Thank you central, that was very thoughtful of you."
"You are welcome Councilor Webster. I have also included additional transports should you wish to explore separately."
"Well then, why don't you two go to see Central while I take another survey of the sphere in the Trinity?" Burton suggested.
"That sounds like a good idea Commander." Carol said quickly. "I would like to see what you have found so far, and knowing Jamie she will want to get deeper into the computer."
"Good, I can handle the Trinity on my own and I will meet you here at eighteen thirty for dinner." Burton said as he left the house for the runabout.
The ride to Central was filled with Carol quizzing Jamie on everything that had happened since she and Burton were alone on the runabout. Jamie deflected as many questions as she could, but still told Carol a lot about what happened. Laughing as the arrived, Carol told Jamie that they still had to work on her blushing.
Carol was properly impressed with the structure containing Central. Jamie led her directly to the control room. There on the desk was the same female hologram standing on the desk.
"Central, I would like you to meet Councilor Carol Webster. Carol, this is the sphere central computer, Central." Jamie formally introduced the two, feeling a little silly, but there was a good chance that Central was sentient and should be treated as a person.
"I am pleased to meet you Councilor." Central replied.
"Thank you Central." Carol said, "I am pleased to meet you. That is a very interesting hologram of you. Did you program it or was it the builders of the sphere?"
"My appearance is based upon the data found in Lieutenant Gordon's tricorder. My body is based upon her dimensions, but my face is a composite of several hundred images from her tricorder."
"Well, allow me to say that you have made a very attractive selection." Carol said. "I hope you don't mind, but I need to ask you several questions and would like to record our conversation on my tricorder for my records and further study later. I assure you that nothing personal will be shared with anyone else."
"I have no problem with that." Central replied. "You may share any information I give you with whomever you wish. I am programmed not to lie or withhold any information."
"Thank you Central." Carol replied. "Jamie, if you could give us some privacy please."
Jamie realized that Carol was treating Central as she would any other patient, and this confirmed her belief that Central was sentient.
"Certainly," Jamie said quickly. "Central, can you please set me up with another office with a holographic interface? I would like to review the construction files and data on you."
"The office next door has everything you need Lieutenant." Central replied.
"Then I will leave you two to it."
Jamie stepped into the next office and a hologram of Central was waiting on the desk. Jamie sat down and requested the sphere's construction data. Central vanished and an itemized listing of the materials used to construct the sphere appeared and slowly started to scroll down before her. Jamie started reading and got lost in the data after about two hours. The sheer volume of information was staggering. There was literally now way that any one person could digest that amount of data.
After closing her eyes for a few minutes, Jamie asked central for any visual records of the sphere's construction and a different hologram appeared. At first only a star appeared, but then Jamie could make out small metallic objects orbiting it. Increasing magnification Jamie noted that they were construction ships and they were fabricating the sphere. She watched the construction for the next several hours until Carol poked her head in the door and said it was almost time for dinner.
Jamie shut down the hologram, thanked Central for all of its help and followed Carol out to the waiting transport. On the way back to the house, they compared notes on what they had learned that day. Carol agreed that Central was quite probably a sentient being and agreed that Jamie had made the correct decision in asking for her help. Central would need several more sessions with Carol before she was certain that the computer was sentient and sane.
Jamie told her of the construction hologram and was expounding on the details when she looked over at Carol and saw a look of polite interest on her face.
"Sorry, I am boring you." Jamie said finally.
"Not really, but construction details are not really my cup of tea and most of what you said went over my head anyway," Carol said. "I am just happy to see you so excited about something. You have really come a long way in a very short time."
Jamie blushed and the compliment but was saved having to respond by their arrival at the house. Burton was standing on the deck surrounding the house waving a frost covered drink and the smell of grilling meat was drifting down to greet them.
"Come on up." He called down to them. "Dinner is almost ready and the replicator has quite a list of cool drinks on file."
"Do we have enough time to clean up before dinner," Jamie asked.
"Of course," Charlie replied. "I figured you would want to and so dinner will be in about fifteen minutes, plenty of time for you two to shower and change. I will have the steaks on the table by the time you are done."
Jamie went into her room and peeled off her sweaty shorts and jumped into the shower. The water felt delightful against her skin. She only rinsed quickly and then stepped out. The temperature in the cabin was the same as the Trinity, but she still only pulled on a T-shirt and shorts, she did not bother with underwear. She had a feeling about the after dinner swim and wanted to be ready.
Stepping out onto the deck Jamie found Carol and Charlie already at the railing, sipping the frosted drinks and watching the serene wilderness about them. The both turned and Charlie handed her a glass and directed both of them to the table. Dinner was fantastic, but there were several dishes that Jamie could not identify. Charlie told them both that they were suggestions by Central and that he had tested them all and found them delicious.
Over dinner they discussed their discoveries of the day. Charlie had explored the area around the house after his orbit in the Trinity and found only well kept lawns, trees and lakes. There were no birds, insects or animals of any kind. Central confirmed, at his question, that all life forms had abandoned the sphere at the same time. No one had been left behind.
Carol informed them that the sphere had been abandoned for over five hundred years. The star had gone through a very active stage and had only just returned to its natural state. Central predicted only another five thousand years before the star went nova and destroyed the sphere all together.
Jamie chimed in and told them both that the sphere had been construction more than forty thousand years ago. There was no information on the race that built it; she did not recognize them from the Starfleet database. It was entirely possible that they had died out over the passage of time.
With dinner finished, Charlie stated that it was time to end the shop talk and take their evening exercise. Jamie agreed gathered up the glasses and turned into the house to fetch the towels. Charlie followed her with an arm full of dishes and Carol brought up the rear with the cooking utensils.
Jamie was standing naked except for heels by the door with Charlie when Carol stepped out of her room in her bikini. She stopped and looked shocked at the lack of attire the other two were not wearing.
"Did someone forget something," she questioned.