Recrudescense Chapter 4
current location: Dorm
current mood: nervous
I give you the results of 7 months of writing and rewriting.
Title: Recrudescence (Chapter 4)
Summary: Those on the station deal with the emotional and physical fallout of Julian's enhancements.
Author's Note: This chapter is unbetaed, though most of it has been edited 3-4 times. Get well soon, deeply_spaced, so that you can beta the next chapter!
Calen Sobecki waited patiently for the night shift to take over. He and the other freaks in the Institute were less heavily watched during the night hours, exhausted from whatever activities they saw fit to maintain active minds. It made it the perfect time for an escape attempt, and he did not plan to fail.
He waited until the first Vulcan night guard was by to activate his device. Carefully constructed over several months, it served its purpose well, deactivating the force field to his quarters with a short zap to overload it. Scanning the hall outside with enhanced eyes and ears, he quickly grabbed his bag and slipped out the hallway to the nearest maintenance shaft. After crawling inside and replacing the grating, he pulled a stolen PADD from his bag, and used it to access a layout of all maintenance tubes. Nodding and muttering to himself, and hustled down the shaft, determined to be out and before they realized he was missing.
It took close to an hour to navigate his way through the miscellaneous tubes and hallways of the Institute that he had never been able - been allowed - to access, but Calen eventually found himself outside. He quickly walked three blocks to the nearest shuttle stop, and then bought himself a seat to the nearest port using a fake identity he had spent months building and perfecting. It was only after he had booked passage on the next liner leaving the port that he allowed himself to relax. He was set to leave in 15 minutes, just as the Vulcan guard discovered he was gone. And by then, the artist formerly known as Calen Sobecki, now Franz Huygens, would be far beyond the Institute’s reach.
The great thing about being enhanced was that it made Calen capable of thinking far ahead of his pursuers. Shaving his beard and changing his hair was enough to throw off anyone looking for him based on picture, as he had never completely shaved his facial hair. By monitoring the back page new reports, he could tell that security from the institute was looking for him on less traveled planets in the federation. Places they thought someone like him would hide, planets with small populations and few foreigners. Which meant that after a few months of planet hopping from places like Rigel and Alpha Centauri, he was left to enjoy his newfound freedom in style, eventually settling on relaxing in the sun of Risa, with scantily clad women fawning over his genetically enhanced muscles most of the day.
Calen loved Risa. There was no structure to his day, few rules. He could be as active or lackadaisical as he wanted, a freedom he hadn’t felt even before his parents dragged him from Federation Space and had him altered. He did what he wanted, when he wanted, and he didn’t have to do it while competing with the other augments. He found the lack of Jack trying to outdo him at every twist and turn especially elating. Life outside the institute was glorious.
It was nearly four months after he arrived on Risa that Calen first saw the report on the Federation News Network. He was drawn to the vidscreen by the outraged whispers and exclamations of the ordinary humans surrounding it, and found himself unable to tear his eyes and ears from the story.
“Yesterday, one Lieutenant Julian Bashir, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of space station Deep Space Nine, was revealed to be genetically enhanced by Doctor Lewis Zimmerman, Director of Holographic Imaging and Programming for Starfleet. The discovery was made during a course of interviews conducted on Deep Space Nine with the intentions of basing a new holographic doctor on Doctor Bashir.
“Starfleet has reported that Richard and Amsha Bashir admitted to having their son genetically enhanced on Adigeon Prime in 2348, at the age of six, for unspecified severe mental disabilities. In a statement released by the office of Rear Admiral Patrick Bennett, it was said that Richard Bashir would serve a two year sentence at New Zealand Penal Settlement. In exchange, Doctor Bashir will be allowed to keep his rank and position in Starfleet, though a reprimand will be placed in his record. The statement is adamant in its proclamation that Bashir never lied about his genetic status, he was simply never asked. Starfleet academy confirms that in its admission interviews and paperwork, there are no questions about genetic status, only about inherited medical conditions.
“Doctor Bashir graduated second in his class from Starfleet Medical. He is best known for being the youngest nominee for the coveted Carrington Award for his work on Biomolecular Replication.”
And the report ended. Most of Calen’s fellow visitors to Risa returned to their previous activities, muttering darkly amongst themselves as they did so. It took him a bit longer to move, but eventually he did so as well, taking his leave of the pool and returning to rented room. He paced for hours before eventually collapsing on his bed, still fuming over the unfairness of it all.
They had been caught re-entering Federation Space when he was enhanced. His parents were each sentenced to 10 years in a much higher security prison, and he was carted away to the institute. He had been nine at the time. His parents had been free for eight years, but they had never come to see him. Never to tell them they loved him. Never to say they were sorry. He deserved that from them, there hadn’t been anything wrong with him. He just wasn’t good enough. And because they weren’t satisfied with the son they got, he spent 18 years languishing in a mental institute for being ‘genetically dangerous,’ while Julian Bashir was free to be himself and live a life, have a career. He even had a family and friends that cared, the bastard. He had to, there was no way Starfleet would have agreed to a plea bargain if Bashir’s crew hadn’t stood up for him.
Calen hated him. A burning, twisting hate born of resentment. If he couldn’t live freely, neither could any other augment.
Franz Huygens left Risa that morning, smuggled away into hiding in a cargo bay on the USS Something. He estimated they would arrive in the Bajoran sector and dock at Deep Space Nine in about three days.
Sneaking onto the space station was more difficult than Calen expected, likely from the recent Dominion attack, but he accepted the challenge readily. He saw it all as a maze, which he carefully threaded his way through until he was hiding in ransacked quarters on a deck that had been out of use since the Cardassian evacuation. It was better than requesting temporary quarters, as his name wasn’t on any outgoing transports from Risa. As good as his hacking skills were, even he would have difficulty retroactively altering transport records, credit records, and location records on another planet. It was better to maintain invisibility than make a mistake and set off lights.
Calen was quick to discover that it was late afternoon when he arrived on station. He was able to hack the main computer and memorize a basic layout of the station, before venturing out in search of food. He selected Quark’s Bar, where latinum could get him far. It also had a large clientele, catering to Bajorans and Starfleet alike. He found it an excellent place to overhear conversations most of which left him disgusted with their anti-augment overtones. It was a discussion between two of the stations senior staff that he found most informative. From them, he learned that Bashir was hiding in his quarters rather than listen to the station’s residents, and for that Calen couldn’t blame him, the words stinging his ears as much as the doctor’s. But it also frustrated him, because he knew from experience that anyone with an enhanced brain wouldn’t be able to sleep well with something on their mind until they exhausted themselves into it. He wouldn’t be able to move against the man until mid morning. It wasn’t that he wanted to kill him… but it wasn’t fair that Bashir was allowed to live consequence free. Not to him, not to those at the institute.
He pushed the doctor from his mind for awhile, and settled in for a few games of Dabo as his unwitting informants left the bar. It was not long before he suspected that the Ferengi owner had rigged the game, his computer-like mind naggingly noting that the outcomes of the spins since he joined the table were not matching with the laws of statistics and probability. Disgusted, he abandoned the game, making a mental note to do something about the blatant cheating before he left the station. He disappeared into the shadows of the promenade and back to his hideout, biding his time until the moment came to strike.
He listened carefully, ear pressed to the wall against Julian Bashir’s quarters. There was complete silence within, no sound of movement, no buzzing from any lights or computer consoles left running. The conditions were perfect, and Calen Sobecki allowed a cold smile to cross his face.
He withdrew from his boot a switchblade, and snapped it open with a practiced flick of his wrist. The silver of the blade shone bright in the dull lighting against black gloves, and he slid it between the door panel and its cover with ease. The panel popped open with a little strength and a lot of leverage, and Calen deftly caught the cover before it hit the ground, preventing any sound escaping. From there, he simply snapped a few wires here and crossed a few there before standing back to survey his dirty work. Something was still missing, and he twisted the top off a small jar of paint stashed in a back pocket for safe keeping. He dipped a brush in the liquid, and in moments the word ‘unnatural’ was written in angry red letters across the doctor’s door. Directing the search to obvious suspects was a must. Satisfied, he returned the jar and brush to their former resting place, and stepped up to the door with a pace sufficient to trigger the opening mechanism. As planned, the computer never bothered to ask his identity, him having rewired the door’s security completely away from computer control.
He thought he heard a stirring as the door shut, but there were no muffled grunts or questions from Bashir’s bedroom. He hesitated in the entry way, listening to the other mans breathing. It was slow, regular. He was asleep. Switchblade in hand, he cautiously approached the bed. He was gone from the quarters before Bashir could struggle up enough to attempt to summon help, let alone attempt to see his attacker.
Calen spent the next few days in a state which wavered between frustration and absolute glee. Frustration because no matter how furiously he hacked through Deep Space Nine’s computer mainframe, he couldn’t find information on Julian Bashir’s condition. Furthermore, even the maintenance tubes into the infirmary were under heavy guard, so he couldn’t investigate for himself. Glee, because the entire station was in an uproar and he was completely unsuspected amongst of the masses with anti-enhancement sentiments. He was quickly becoming a favorite customer to Quark, spending a lot of latinum and feigning ignorance of the residents around him. His eavesdropping went unnoticed, as did his covert reprogramming of Quark’s dabo tables, which would take a couple of weeks before they played heavily in favor of the players instead of the house.
It was four days after his initial attack on Bashir that the station learned he was awake, apparently against all odds. The number of guards in and around the infirmary didn’t decrease, however, and the incredibly slow, controlled flow of information went unaltered. No one was allowed to see Bashir without the authorization of the Bajoran doctor who was filling in (which she absolutely refused to give), and even the senior staff was subject to long, intense searches before they could enter the infirmary. The station crowds would gather anytime one of them went to visit the injured man, not caring for their dignity as they patiently waited for security scans and full body pat downs to be completed. Even other patients had to be scanned before they could enter, escorted in and out by their own personal security guards.
It was at this time that Calen decided to make his demands clear. He replicated a sheet of paper and an envelope, followed by an ink pen, and carefully wrote a letter, in long, flowing script. Included in it where his proclamations that Bashir should leave Starfleet immediately or face the consequences. That night, he stole carefully into Sisko’s office and left the letter on his desk. Judging by the looks on Major Kira and Commander Dax’s faces late the next morning, they were not pleased with its contents, and less so with Starfleet’s response.
Three mornings after the station was informed of Bashir’s consciousness, Calen arrived on the promenade, only to find a large number of Bajorans and Humans standing around staring at the infirmary, where security was no longer present. After a few minutes of casual conversation, he discovered that Bashir had been discharged the previous evening, though no one was sure when. It was assumed that it was done after Quark’s had shut down for the night, as the security detachment had still been in position at that time.
The next day, Bashir returned to duty, a security officer with him at all times. Calen carefully followed his movements from a distance, soon coming to the determination that he couldn’t move against the doctor during the day, as there were too many people watching, and to do anything at night, he would need to find a way to get the shapeshifter out of the way. The constable had taken to regenerating during the day, and trusted no one but himself to watch Bashir at night. Calen was certain he could deal with the enhanced human, but not the enhanced human and the founder at the same time.
He eventually settled for placing and detonating a bomb on the docking ring. It took him two days to gather the necessary materials and then assemble the device, before hiding it in a spot where there was a low chance of life threatening damage and little likelihood of injuring anyone. Watching from the shadows of a concealed alcove, Calen detonated the bomb, and then waited, desperately hoping it drew Odo from his station in Julian Bashir’s quarters. Luck was with him, and a couple of minutes later the constable ran past, accompanied by a fire suppression crew and several other security officers. Calen slipped from his hiding place and followed the same route Odo had come via to arrive at the doctor’s quarters.
He listened carefully, and again heard nothing but a light set of feet. It was late enough that he supposed it was the temporary guard, taking the constable’s place. Drawing a new switchblade, he flicked it open and popped the new cover off the doctor’s door controls. He rewired it with more speed than he had the first time and stepped through the door, feet going cold when he realized he had been wrong about the footsteps he had heard.
Calen quickly scanned the main room, but his instinct upon entering proved correct, the room was empty. This meant Bashir was probably awake and he and the guard had taken cover in his bedroom. He replaced the switchblade with a hand phaser, a much more useful weapon with multiple opponents, and headed for the door.
Not for the first time, Calen thanked his enhancements as his eyes immediately adapted to the blackness of Bashir’s bedroom. He saw the security officer coming at him – Odo’s deputy, he realized – and fired the phaser, letting the stunned Bajoran fall to the floor and instead turning to search out Bashir, firing again the instant they locked eyes. The doctor dodged though, and then again, his own enhancements putting them perfectly on par with each other. And then Bashir did something Calen did not expect – lunged forward, forcing him to drop the phaser and attempt to repel 180 pounds of augmented human with his bare hands.
They toiled for a short time span – less than a minute but more than a few seconds – their brawl progressing from the bedroom doorway to the main room due to Bashir’s momentum, and then Calen froze as he heard shouts in the distance, the door to the corridor still standing open. Panic set in, and with it, enough strength to temporarily best the doctor, allowing him to throw the other man across the room, slamming into a table as he hit the ground. Calen saw his head make hard contact with the surface, but didn’t wait to see if he was still conscious after the impact, launching himself out of the room and down the corridor before security found him. He didn’t cease running until he was two decks up and on the opposite side of the docking ring.
By this point, he had already heard Captain Sisko announce over the station wide communications system that Deep Space Nine was on lock down, no ships would be permitted to dock or leave. He was certain that security would be performing a deck by deck sweep to find him. He needed to find a computer terminal – the only way he could think of to save his own ass was to hack and hack quickly. Yet deep in his mind, Calen Sobecki found it hard to ignore a certain little voice. A little voice that was absolutely positive – he was screwed.