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Irene Mincine


“We may have found our subject.”


“Preliminary testing shows 97.3%. We’ll have a more accurate number once she arrives.”

“97%? And you’re sure the originals didn’t come from…”

“No, no, of course not. No direct genetic relation.”

“Current status?”

“Being transported to Starbase 55 from where we found her in Chin'toka. Critical injuries, vacuum exposure, possible brain damage, the works. She’s a goner… unless our experiment works, of course.”



“You may proceed with the experiment. Have the equipment transported to Starbase 55. Hopefully this works better than last time, Commander.”

An emergency medical team was standing by in the main ward of Starbase 55. The chief medical officer, a gray-haired and round doctor, was briefing his team on a patient who was about to arrive. “ETA five minutes. We don’t know how long she was out there, exactly, but—”

A tall, red-shirted commander entered the ward. He looked to be in his 40s, very fit, and very intimidating. He waved his arm dismissively. “Everybody out except the CMO. Come on, let’s go, time is critical.”

“Excuse me! This is my ward, Commander, and I demand an explanation. We have our own critical patient coming here in five minutes!” The doctor was hopping mad at this intrusion. 

The commander went over some notes, not even looking at the CMO when he replied. “Actually, my team has a patient coming here in five minutes. I need these supplies delivered to the surgical ward immediately. And you can’t know what they’re for, so don’t ask… Pete, was it?”

This only enraged the CMO further. “You will address me as Doctor Singh, Commander…”

“Commander Felipe Martinez, and these orders come directly from Admiral Russell at Starfleet Command.” He shoved a padd in the CMO’s face. “Now get a move on, we have no time!”

Dr. Singh looked over the orders on the padd and was disappointed - Martinez did have orders from the admiral after all. “My ward is at your disposal, but that’s all you’ll get from me. This doesn’t say anything about my assistance.”

Martinez rallied his assistants, who were filling the ward, to gather up the supplies on the list. Singh continued reading the padd, which detailed some of the required equipment as well. It certainly wasn’t standard medical equipment. It seemed to do more to do with cybernetics than with any kind of medicine he’s done. 

Commander Martinez was otherwise occupied and spoke with his back turned. “Patterns are already uploaded to their replicators, lieutenant. Everything from this point on is classified level Sigma.” Other personnel were filing in and taking over the ward. A rolling cart with several secure cases (marked classified) was pushed in by an engineer.

Dr. Singh wandered off to his office to write a letter of protest.

Martinez’s combadge chirped. “The runabout with Subject 4 has arrived, Commander. Ready to transport on your command.”

He made sure that the room was empty except for his team, which by now consisted of several blue-shirted doctors and several yellow-shirted engineers, then replied. “OK, we’re ready.”

With a sparkle of blue light, a young human lieutenant appeared on the bed in the center of the ward. She was grievously injured, but alive.

“Update, Commander.”

“The installation of the implants was successful. Metabolic activity is slowly being increased to normal. Brain activity is near baseline.”

“Her memory engrams?”

“Unrecoverable. The damage was too severe.”

“I see. Maybe it’s for the best given her personal history with the Borg.”

“Agreed. Is that all, Admiral?”

“That’s it. I await your full report at 0730. Russell out.”

Edited by Irene Mincine

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A few weeks later…

A Starfleet officer was in a firefight with several heavily-armed Jem’Hadar. She was perched behind a cargo container, plasma bolts flying past her. She wore a suit of black form-fitting armor, rather than a uniform. Through a glass pane, several Starfleet brass looked on. 

Admiral Russell was narrating the action. “It is analyzing their firing pattern. In a few moments, Subject 4 will have a plan of attack that will take them out with as little personal risk as possible,” he said.

She waited for exactly the right moment, adjusting her phaser rifle’s sighting. Showing no emotion, she popped up from behind the container, taking out each of the three soldiers with rapid-fire phaser bursts. A buzzer sounded and Subject 4 stood down. The brass looked impressed.

Admiral Russell continued. “In our simulations with typical Starfleet personnel, the engagement took four times as long and resulted in casualties 86% of the time. Subject 4 has never been hit in this simulation.

“Admirals, this is a war for very existence of the Alpha Quadrant and Project Ares could be instrumental in making sure that existence continues.”

One of the admirals, a brown-haired stern-looking man spoke up. “This is… impressive, but raises all kinds of ethical and moral questions that I don’t think you have the answers to. To think that ATAG has been—”

Russell cut him off. “Our charter is to bring you advanced technologies and new weapons to win wars and that is exactly what we’ve done. I know the situation out there, just how bad it’s getting, and how many thousands of officers we lost in the last major engagement. But the Dominion is used to dealing with mass assaults, fleet actions. They are not used to infiltration by individuals. One or, perhaps, several of these Subjects could ensure victory in any ground action. What would you have me do, deactivate and destroy our first real chance at victory?”

Another admiral was shocked at this statement. “Deactivate her? She’s a human being for God’s sake, no matter what you did to her!”

Russell, of course, had a reply to that. “Admiral Ling, what you’re looking at is nothing more than an organic automaton. Subject 4 was, for all intents and purposes, dead when it came to us. Its memories and personality were nil - we didn’t do that part, the Dominion did. And It has no family, no ties to anyone else, nobody to miss. Its parents were—”

“Killed by the Borg! I’ve read the report,” yelled Admiral Ling. “And you’ve brought her back to something resembling life.” He let out a long sigh. “I can’t deny that your results are astounding. Research of the wreckage of the Borg ships that we’ve somehow managed to destroy has led to advances in cybernetics, biotechnology, and nanotechnology that we wouldn’t have dreamed possible 20 years ago. I… I just don’t know if I can approve of what you’re doing.”

It was a moot point anyway - for within weeks, the war had ended. Admiral Russell’s team and Subject 4 were left without a purpose, and effectively invisible from the public record.

Edited by Irene Mincine

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