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Chapter 4

-Wesley Scott – 16 – Earth Star Port 1.1 – 11.7.2125


The boy shivered in the back alley of the Star Port.  Clinging to the edge of life, Wesley Scott was struggling to survive, even though he knew it was pointless.  The teen didn’t see his life flash before his eyes like he had read in books.  No, all he saw was the darkness clouding in around his vision as he began to lose feeling in his legs and arms.  All he could look at was the closed dome of the ceiling that protected the citizens of the Star Port from the vastness of space.  All Wesley could do was lie there in the alley and try to remember what had happened as he slowly bled out.

‘What happened?’  Wesley asked himself.  ‘Why can’t I move?’

He saw the smiling face of his mother as his vision began to slowly fade to darkness.  Then, he saw the angry face of his father when he had come out to the man only two months prior.  The man that had kicked the boy out with no place to go without even a second glance at the boy he had disowned.

Wesley had spent the time hustling and trying to find odd jobs just so he could feed himself.  It wasn’t a life he wanted to live any longer.  He was on the verge of going to the local recruiting office for ACE when the teen was attacked from behind.  All he remembered was walking towards the office when he was suddenly yanked into an alley.  Then, two men pushed him around as he cried out for help.  His young voice was cut short when he felt a sharp pain in the back of his head before he was thrown into darkness.

Wesley woke up not knowing how much time had passed, nor did he know how much time he had left.  All he could do was lie there and wait for the end to come.  He doubted that anybody would find him in this alley.  There was no hope for rescue.  There were only the open arms of Death that awaited the teenager.  His blue eyes, that had once shown with excitement, were fading; soon to be nothing but a memory.

He tried to think about the people he had met while living on the street, but none of them stood out to him.  All he had was the angry face of his father, and the shame filled expression of his mother as she escorted him through the front door of the place that had once been his home.

Wesley was on the brink of Death when a shadow fell over him, causing the boy to open his eyes and see another boy with bright green eyes looking down at him.  The boy had dark blue hair and there seemed to be a dullish orange glow about the boy.

“Are you okay?”  The other boy asked Wesley in concern.

Wesley couldn’t answer though.  All he could do was lie there and watch as the other boy’s expression turned to one of anger as he checked Wesley over with his hands.  The boy pulled out a handheld device and passed it close to Wesley’s body before his frown deepened and he started putting off a red glow. Wesley’s blue eyes shot open in disbelief as it finally started to dawn on him that the other boy was glowing.

“Relax,” the boy said when he noticed Wesley’s look of confusion and disbelief.  “I’m a Fandrian.  Our skin glows with our emotions, and we appear to be much younger than what we really are.”

Wesley listened to the boy’s words as he continued to check over Wesley’s injuries.

“Dinrak to Medical Team-4,” the boy called out after he tapped a communicator located on the chest of his uniform.  “I need a response team to my location.  Sending coordinates, now.”

‘This is Medical Team-4, we are in route to your location; ETA two minutes.’  Wesley heard the response and couldn’t help but frown.

‘Will I even last another two minutes?’  He asked himself as he fought harder and harder for each breath.

“Just hang on, child!”  The Fandrian said desperately.  “Help is coming.”

Wesley smiled for a moment before he felt suddenly tired, and he finally gave into the pressure that was surrounding him.

Wesley was in a strange white room when he drifted back to consciousness.  His head was throbbing, but there was a strange feeling of being disconnected from his body.  Wesley couldn’t feel anything besides the throbbing sensation coming from the back of his skull.  The lights from the ceiling were blinding to the teenager and he squinted his eyes to try to keep the light from making his headache any worse than it already was.  He wasn’t alone for long before he saw motion out of the corner of his eye.  Wesley wanted to cry out for anybody that would listen to him, but his voice wouldn’t make any sound.  Wesley was a prisoner in his own body and mind.

The teenager began to panic as fear settled into his being.  Would he be like this forever?  Is this what it meant to die?  Did you just get stuck in your own mind for eternity while your body rotted away around you?  Or was this what happened when you were paralyzed?

Wesley had no idea how he had gotten to the place he was in.  The last thing he knew, he had been walking along through the Star Port when he was attacked by the two men.  Wesley had no idea what the two men even looked like as he fought pointlessly to defend himself.

Then, the shiny green eyes were in his direct vision again, with a look of worry filling them.  Wesley felt a momentary pang of fear as the strange boy glanced at him in silence before the boy stepped away again. The teen could barely make out what the boy was saying as he spoke to someone nearby.

“He won’t recover from this, Renly.”  The light voice of the boy said sadly.  “It’s not physically possible.”

“Is he a candidate for the Lazarus Program?”  A deeper voice asked.

“No,” the boy said almost disappointedly.  “But there is a program he over-qualifies for. . . ”

“Let me guess,” the man named Renly said.  “You want him for the AH-57 program?”

Wesley heard a light giggle before he heard the boy reply in his soprano sounding voice.

“Is it that obvious?”

“Dinrak, you’re glowing pink.”  Renly said with a chuckle.  “Your intentions are clearly obvious.”

Wesley heard a sigh before the conversation continued.

“Do you really think he would be a good fit for the AH-57 program?”

“Yes, Colonel.”  Dinrak replied.  “I do believe that this young man would be the perfect candidate.”

“Fine,” Renly said with a tone of finality.  “He’s yours, but if anything goes wrong it will be on your head.”

“Aye, Colonel.”  Wesley heard the boy reply crisply.  Wesley was certain that the boy had saluted the officer.  “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I believe that my patient needs some assistance in adjusting to this current situation.”

“Don’t be late for the meeting, Dinrak.”  Renly stated as Wesley heard a door slide open.  “I expect a full report.”

“Of course, Colonel.”  Dinrak replied before he turned his attention back to his patient.  Wesley’s vision was filled with the green eyes of his savior again.  “Relax, Wesley.  You’re safe now.”

The boy’s words had the desired effect of calming Wesley almost instantly.  He didn’t know why, but he trusted this young-looking boy that hovered in his field of vision.

“Now,” the boy continued with a brief smile as he stayed next to Wesley.  “There’s something you and I need to talk about, Wesley.”

Wesley looked confused for a moment as the boy smiled reassuringly.

“It’s not all bad news, Wesley.”  Dinrak stated calmly.  “Do you give me permission to step into your mind so we can talk?”

Wesley suddenly felt even more confused.

‘Step into my mind?’  Wesley asked himself as he frowned.  ‘This is getting weirder by the minute.’

“Just relax, Wesley, and you will see exactly what I mean.”

Then, Dinrak reached out and touched one of his fingers to Wesley’s temple.  Almost instantly, Wesley felt a wave of nausea wash over him before he found himself sitting in a small conference room.  There was an oval shaped table with chairs surrounding it, but what drew Wesley’s attention was the blue-haired boy sitting at the far end of the table wearing a white lab coat.

“What is this?”  Wesley asked, suddenly surprised by the sound of his own voice.

“This is just a projection that I put into your mind, Wesley.”  The boy stated with a grin.  “We haven’t left the hospital room, and there is someone sitting next to us there in order to keep anybody else from trying to break this connection.”

“We’re in my mind?”  Wesley asked curiously.

Dinrak laughed and motioned towards one of the empty chairs.

“Sit with me, Wesley.”  Dinrak stated.  “We have a few things that we need to discuss.”

Wesley took the seat furthest from the strange boy at the other end of the table.

“What happened to me?”  Wesley asked once he was situated.  He couldn’t handle not knowing any longer.

Dinrak frowned.

“You were attacked by a couple ACE cadets that thought you were someone else,” the alien replied, his frown deepening into a scowl.  “Luckily for them, it was Colonel Tesik that got ahold of them before I could.”

“How did you figure out who did it?”  Wesley pressed on.

“Colonel Tesik has had his intelligence team reviewing the security footage for the area where you were found for the past week and a half.”

“I’ve been out for over a week?”  Wesley asked in horror.  “My mom. . . ”

Dinrak held up his hand, effectively ending Wesley’s questioning.

“Relax, Wesley.”  Dinrak said calmly.  “I will tell you everything.”

Wesley leaned back in his seat and waited for the boy to give him the answers he wanted.

No, Wesley didn’t want the answers.  He needed them.

“I was on my way back to my dorm room when I saw the two guys run out of the alley,” Dinrak began slowly.  “At first, I was just going to keep going, but there was something about the way they were acting that had me worried.  I could almost feel your pain as I entered that dark alley and found you lying in a puddle of your own blood.”  Dinrak paused for a moment as his eyes seemed to go distant.  “I didn’t think you were still alive, at first.  But then I saw the pulse in your neck still going, and I knew that I had to save you.  I had to keep you alive.”  The boy paused again and smiled tiredly at Wesley.  “We worked for four hours to save your life when we first brought you in, last week.  My colleagues all told me it was pointless; that you would never recover, and I should stop wasting my own time and resources on your case.  I had an idea, though.  An idea that will change both of our lives, Wesley.”

Wesley listened, enthralled by the words coming from the boy sitting across from him.  Dinrak told Wesley the story of how his laboratory had come into fruition, handed down from family member to family member until there was nobody remaining in the Harris Family for the Avatar company to pass on too.  That was when ACE stepped in and purchased the company.  After several months of getting the technology company situated, Dinrak was invited by Renly Tesik to work in the lab operated by ACE.  Dinrak’s only bosses would be Renly Tesik and Fleet Master Jasro Nolrig, the Fandrian that assigned him to working with ACE.  Wesley continued to listen as Dinrak told him how he had combed through all of the files from Avatar until he found one particular file from 2018 that drew his attention.  It was this file that helped Dinrak come up with the program that would be used to keep Wesley alive without a working human body.  It was near the end of Dinrak’s story that Wesley finally figured out what Dinrak wanted Wesley’s help with.

“You want me to be the first, don’t you?”  Wesley demanded once Dinrak paused again to gather his thoughts.  “I mean, you want me to allow you to put my brain inside of an android. . . ”

Dinrak nodded solemnly.

“Yes, Wesley.”  The alien stated.  “You’re exactly correct.  It’s the only way that I can think of to save your life.”

“Am I going to die, then?”

“No, but you’ll be paralyzed for the remainder of the years you have left.”  Dinrak stated.  “It’s not the best way to live.”

Wesley looked down at the table, the sadness he felt was evident on his face.

“There’s no other way?”  He asked quietly.

“No,” Dinrak said.  “The only other option is to take a sample of your DNA and have a clone made of you.”

“That wouldn’t be ‘me’, though.”

“That’s right,” Dinrak acknowledged.  “It would not be ‘you’, Wesley.  All it would be is a person that looks like you.  You wouldn’t share your memories or your personality.”

“No,” Wesley stated firmly.  “I would rather do it this way.”

Dinrak smiled happily.

“That’s great news, Wesley.”  The alien stated as his grin continued to grow wider.  “You won’t regret this.”

“If you say so,” Wesley commented.

“Now,” Dinrak said calmly.  “Just relax, Wesley, and I will make sure that everything goes smoothly.  The next time we speak to each other, you will be able to actually hold a conversation with me without us having to resort to. . . ”  Dinrak motioned towards the windowless conference room.  “This.”

The alien smiled patiently at Wesley.

“Do you have any questions?”

“When will this happen?”  The teenager asked nervously.

“I’ll begin the procedure as soon as we’re done here,” the alien stated.

“How long will it take?”

“Honestly,” Dinrak replied with a shrug.  “I’m not completely certain.  The transfer process should only take about an hour, but then we have to integrate your personality into the android’s core, so that may take longer than the hour or two that we expect.”

Wesley nodded contemplatively.

“Fine.” He said after a moment.  “Let’s get started.  I’d rather live as a robot than be paralyzed for the rest of my life.”

Dinrak smiled.

“Stay here, Wesley.”  The boy stated calmly.  “It will be safer for everyone involved if you do.”

“Okay,” Wesley agreed nervously.  “Whatever you say. . . ”

“I am Lieutenant Colonel Dinrak Soren of Fandra, Wesley.”  The alien informed the teenager.  “You’re in good hands with me.”

Then, Wesley was alone in the conference room, and several books appeared in the center of the table.  Wesley reached over and read the title off of the first book he grabbed.

“Being an Android for Dummies,” Wesley stated as he broke into a huge grin.  Then, the teenager sat down at the table and attempted to fill his mind with the different information that Dinrak had left for him, but his thoughts became intrusive, forcing the teenager to focus on them without any control.

The lights in the conference room flickered, and Wesley was suddenly watching himself as a seven-year-old eating dinner with his mom and dad.

“You have to eat your vegetables if you want to grow up big and strong, Wes.”  The boy’s mother said as she pushed the boy’s plate back towards him.

“But, mom. . . ”  The boy tried to whine his way out of it, but his father quickly made the boy change his mind.

“Eat your food, or go to bed, Wesley.”  The older version of Wesley stated gruffly.  “There are no other options.”

“Yes, sir.”  The boy replied meekly before he set to work cleaning his plate.  He waited until he had finished everything before he spoke again.  “May, I be excused, please?”

“Go do your homework,” Wesley’s father commanded without looking up from the newspaper he was reading.

“Yes, sir.”  Wesley replied without another word.

He went to his room and pulled out his Ancient History book and began studying a random page.  The boy was surprised to find himself reading about androids and how they were originally designed back in the early years of the twenty-first century.  The chapter consisted of heavy debates about the moral ramifications of creating androids and their different uses.  Wesley’s teacher was adamant that androids were useless, but the boy was firm in his debate about the pros of having an android.

‘I must be seeing this because of what’s going on,’ Wesley thought to himself as the memory slowly faded away and was soon replaced by another one.

Wesley was walking through the streets, hoping to find someone to give him a piece of food; anything that would give him enough nourishment to make it another day.  That’s all he wanted.  That was all he was desperate for, a sense of security.  Wesley had already spent two weeks wandering through the shady streets of the Star Port, and the teenager was done with it.  He had tried sneaking back into his parent’s apartment, but his mother refused to let him have any of his belongings.  Even his jacket was forfeit in the eyes of his parents.  Wesley was nothing to them but a vagabond that ruined their lives.

The teen wanted to cry, yell, do anything that would help him lose the frustration that was building within him, but all he could do was tremble in fear as he slumped against the cool brick wall of one of the apartment buildings on the Star Port.  Wesley glanced around and saw a sign that read ‘ACE Recruitment Office – We can make ALL of your dreams come true!’.  The teen felt a momentary wave of hope as he struggled to his feet; his legs were shakier than a newborn calf as Wesley fought against gravity to remain upright.

‘I just have to make it until tomorrow,’ he told himself.  ‘Then, I’ll have a proper meal in my belly, again.’

“There he is,” Wesley heard someone say darkly as he swayed slightly.  “Are you sure that you want to do this?”

“It needs to happen, tonight!”  Another man said.  “We’re being paid good money for this!”

“I hope you’re right,” the first man said.  “I don’t think the Captain will let us off the hook again, Carlson.”

“Don’t use my name, you jackass!”  The second man practically hissed.  “You know that the Association has cameras everywhere!”

“What makes you think they won’t find out about this?”  The first man asked.

The second man let out a weary sigh.

“Do I have to explain everything to you, Kelton?”  The man asked with an edge to his voice.  “I don’t see why Captain Scott even assigned you to this detail with me.  I could have handled this myself without any issues.”

“He said it was a personal problem that he needed taken care of,” the man named Kelton stated.  “He wants it done right.”

“I always do it right,” the man named Carlson said with a grunt.  “Just because there’s usually a mess. . . ”

“And that is exactly why I’m here, dick head!”  Kelton reminded the other man.  “Somebody has to keep you from making a mess.”

The man named Carlson gave a snort as Wesley staggered past the alleyway that the two men were hiding in.  Then, his memory faded as the two men yanked him into the alley, and Wesley’s life changed forever.

“Initiating system sub-scan,” a female voice said dryly in Wesley’s mind.

“What?”  Wesley asked as he found himself sitting in the conference room again.  The stack of books was sitting on the table in front of him, but his hands were empty.  “Hello?  Is somebody there?”

“System anomalies detected,” the voice stated.  “Repairs initiated.”

The lights flickered around Wesley, making him gasp in fear as he was plunged into sudden darkness.

The next memory was one of the worst for Wesley.  The boy was only eleven or twelve when he had been attacked by his father and beaten to the point that he thought that he was going to die.  The entire time, Captain Scott just continued to yell and berate his son until the boy fell unconscious.  Wesley didn’t wake up until several hours later, only to find himself locked in a small chest.  The boy kicked and screamed inside the chest until he heard the latch pop open and his father lifted the lid open long enough to strike his son again.

“Shut up, Wesley!”  The man demanded angrily.  “I will remove you from existence if you don’t.”

Wesley remembered how his heart had started beating faster as the man that he called ‘father’ closed the lid of the chest; effectively sealing the boy back in the darkness.  The boy sniffled lightly as tears sprung to his eyes.

“Shut up in there!”  The man howled angrily before he kicked the side of the chest, splintering the wood enough to give the boy inside fresh air to breathe.  “If I hear one more sound from you, Wesley, you’ll be in that fucking box all week until your mother gets back!  Do you understand me?”

Wesley remained silent and held his breath to stop the next frightened sniffle from escaping his throat.  He had already pissed the man off enough to beat him, and he wasn’t certain how far the man was willing to go to release his anger.  Wesley did not want to find out.

The android felt his body twitch slightly as a small electrical pulse trickled through the connection in the back of his neck.

‘Why am I seeing these things?’  The light voice asked in the back of his mind.  ‘Why would I ever want to see these memories, again?  I was told that my human side would be completely wiped from existence once I was an android.  Did something go wrong?’

“System Power Core rebooting,” the voice stated.

The android relaxed and let his own body begin to search for injuries sustained from the wormhole.  He didn’t last for long before his own systems slipped into hibernation mode.

Wesley was lying on his back again, but this time he felt tiny pinpricks of electrical current running through his arms and legs.  Appendages that he didn’t even know still existed only a short time ago, were now alive with a medley of sensations that Wesley had never felt before in the sixteen years he had lived his life.  Even when being beaten to the brink of Death by his father, Wesley had never felt the things he was feeling.  One moment, his big toe was tingling like it had fallen asleep, only to feel like it was on fire the next moment.

“Patient is holding steady, Doctor.”  Wesley recognized the voice and wanted to look at Dinrak, but he still could not get his body to obey him.

Wesley sniffled slightly, and suddenly his vision was filled with the green eyes of Dinrak.  The boy’s expression was filled with concern, and Wesley noticed a light yellowish glow to the boy’s skin.

“Relax, Wesley.”  Dinrak said with a calm smile.  “You’ll be able to move shortly.  We just need to run a few tests before we declare the procedure a success.”

Wesley felt himself relax at the boy’s words, but he couldn’t get over the fact that Dinrak appeared older than he had the last time Wesley had saw him.

‘This isn’t right,’ Wesley told himself.  ‘Something is off. . . ‘

“Relax, Wesley.”  Dinrak reassured the teenager again.  “Please, trust me.”

Wesley felt himself frown but he did as Dinrak suggested.

‘I have no choice but to trust him,’ Wesley told himself.  ‘Would it have been better for me to just die instead?’

Wesley was pulled into a different memory then.  One that he wasn’t even sure belonged to him.  It seemed to him as if he was watching the entire thing through someone standing in the corner of the rectangular shaped room.  There were seven people sitting around a conference table.  Six of the people were wearing white lab coats, while one person wore a military uniform.  On the wall behind the head of the table Wesley could see a blown-up portrait of himself.  The man in the uniform looked uneasy as he listened to the different doctors.

“Your son has been missing for three months, and yet you refused to write up a missing person’s report?”  One of the doctor’s asked harshly.

Wesley immediately knew who the man in the uniform was.  It was his father, Captain Justin Scott.  Wesley’s father just grinned smugly, thinking that he knew what had happened to his son.

“If he wanted to come home, he would have by now.”  Justin stated dismissively.  “His mother has been worried sick.”

Several of the doctors frowned.

“Then, why didn’t she file the report?”  Another doctor asked.

“Who can really say they know how a woman thinks?”  The Captain asked with a shrug.

One of the doctors gasped in disbelief at the man’s words.  Justin just shrugged at the doctor’s exclamation.

“Don’t ask the questions if you can’t handle the answers,” he said with another shrug.

“We know where your son is, Captain Scott.”  One of the other doctor’s stated with a smug grin.  The man that had been Wesley’s father looked shocked for a moment.

“That’s impossible,” he stated with a growl.

Then, Dinrak stood from his seat at the far end of the table.

“Why do you say that, Justin Scott?”  Dinrak asked in his light tone of voice.  Wesley’s father just scoffed at him.  Dinrak frowned.  “I was afraid that you were going to act like this.”

“Go fuck yourself, kid.”  Captain Scott stated in defiance.  “I don’t have to answer to a little brat like you.”

“Unfortunately, Captain Scott,” one of the other doctor’s interjected.  “You do have to answer to Lieutenant Colonel Dinrak Soren.  He is much older than he appears.”

“He’s glowing!”  Justin Scott taunted Dinrak as he had started to glow red in anger.  “You guys at ACE are really starting to cook up some weird shit, lately.”

“You haven’t seen the half of it, Captain Scott.”  Dinrak said smugly.  Then, he took on a business-like tone as he addressed the other people at the table.  “Does the Council agree that it’s time to end this farce and press on with our charges?”

“Agreed,” one of the men stated with a scowl as he stared at Wesley’s father in a look filled with hatred.

“I second that,” another voice stated.  “Let’s get this over with.”

Three members at the table that sat on either side of Dinrak stood and removed their lab coats, revealing their military uniforms beneath.  Justin gasped audibly.

“I take it that you recognize who we are, Captain Justin Scott?”  Colonel Renly Tesik asked as he turned on the data pad in front of him with a touch of his finger.  All the man could do was nod in disbelief.  “Good.  That will save me from wasting time with introductions.  We did find Wesley, just in case you wanted to know, but I doubt that you care.  Well, you did care that you were going to get caught by the authorities when you kicked your son to the curb.”

“I don’t have to listen to this,” Captain Scott said as he started to stand.

“Sit down, Captain.”  Colonel Fort stated harshly, making the younger man freeze.  He immediately returned to his seat.  “You will remain seated until you are either dismissed, or you are escorted out in handcuffs.”

“Yes, sir.”  Justin replied meekly as he began to realize the gravity of the situation.

“Go ahead and continue, Colonel Tesik.”

“Thank you, Colonel Fort.”  Renly said without taking his eyes off of Wesley’s father.  “You must have paid those two guys who beat up your son a lot of money.”  Justin flinched slightly.  “They took everything we threw at them until we told them the name of their victim.  That’s when they realized the type of monster they were working for.”  Renly grinned smugly.  “The best part was the written statement from your own son about the amount of abuse he’s suffered at your hands since he was seven-years-old.  Is that correct, Admiral West?”  Renly asked the man seated on the other side of Dinrak.

“You are correct, Colonel.”  The gray-haired man confirmed with a brief nod.  “The statement from the two hitmen should be enough to put you away for life, Captain Scott.  That’s not my decision alone, though.  That is why there are four members of the High Council present, today.”

Justin Scott’s face drained of color as the words he was hearing began to sink in.

“That’s impossible,” he mumbled.  “They told me they killed that little shit. . .”

“They almost did, Mister Scott.”  Dinrak stated, his hatred for the man was evident in his voice.  “Luckily for Wesley, I found him in time to save his life.  That’s not very lucky for you, though, is it?”

Justin remained silent as Colonel Tesik began to list the charges against the man.  He flinched several times as he heard the different recounts of child abuse as told by his own son.

“Do you have any questions?”  Renly Tesik finally asked as he finished reading the charges against the man.

“Is Wesley still alive?”  Justin mumbled out, barely loud enough for anybody to hear him.

“Yes,” Renly stated.

“Is he happy?”

“No thanks to you,” Dinrak replied angrily.  “You’re fortunate that we’re not on Fandra right now, Mister Scott. You would be slowly beaten to death for the pain you caused that child.”

“The Council will reconvene in the morning to discuss the charges against the defendant,” Colonel Tesik said.  “Captain Scott, you will be remanded to the brig until the Council has reached a verdict.  You will be permitted one phone call when you reach ‘Haro Quarter’.  Other than that, you will be kept on full security watch until we reconvene.”

“Guards!”  Colonel Fort called out as Renly gave him a brief nod.

Two uniformed service members entered the room and forced Justin Scott to his feet.

Wesley was sitting on the edge of the gurney studying the skin of his hands.  He could see every minute detail, every flaw of his skin as it stretched over the metallic parts beneath.

‘This is so strange,’ he told himself in amazement.  Then, he smiled up at Dinrak.  Wesley’s eyes zoomed in tightly on Dinrak’s own face, causing the green-eyed boy to blush.  Wesley couldn’t help but grin even more when Dinrak’s skin began to give off a pink color.  ‘He’s blushing.’

“Are you okay, Wesley?”  Dinrak asked nervously.

“I’m not sure,” the teenager replied.  “I feel like a puppet in my own body.”

“It’s not really your body anymore,” Dinrak said with a giggle.

“It’s my skin, isn’t it?”  Wesley asked in confusion.

“No,” Dinrak said with a sigh.  “Didn’t you study any of the material I gave you?”

Wesley rolled his eyes with a groan.

“Fine!”  He said dramatically.  “You’d think this thing came with an owner’s manual. . .”

Dinrak just shook his head in disbelief as the android walked away.

‘External power cells restored,’ Wesley heard in the back of his mind.

‘What?’  Wesley heard a voice that sounded like his ask in response.

‘All life support systems are offline,’ the feminine voice continued.  ‘Standby for diagnosis.’

Wesley was running around a track, his leg muscles felt like they were burning as he moved faster and faster with each lap.

“That’s enough, Wes!”  Dinrak called him over on his last lap.  “We don’t want to overwork your new body parts just yet.”

“Pity,” Wesley replied without so much as losing his breath.  “I feel like I was just getting started.”

Dinrak just laughed and shook his head.

“Come on, Wes.”  The young-looking man said.  “Let’s go take a break.”

“I don’t feel like I need to, Dinny.”  Wesley said with a laugh.

“I do, though.”  Dinrak stated with a grin.  “Let’s go inside so we can hook you up to the monitors and see if this workout affected you at all.”

“Ugh, fine.”  Wesley said with a sigh before he laughed and started running towards the building with Dinrak chasing after him.

Wesley heard Dinrak groan from behind him which only spurred the android to run faster towards the laboratory.  Wesley was nearly to the doors of the tan brick building when he felt a sharp pain race up through his leg and into his side, causing the android to immediately fall to the ground in agony.  Dinrak quickly caught up to his friend and began checking him over with a medical scanner that he held in his hand.

“It hurts so fucking bad, Dinny!”  Wesley cried out.  “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know yet, Wes.”  Dinrak stated in a calm tone.  “Just let me check.  I told you to take it easy.”

“I’m sorry, Dinrak.”  Wesley said barely loud enough for boy-looking alien to hear him.  “I’ll do what you say from now on.”

Dinrak smiled at Wesley before he checked his scanner again.

‘Failed circuit found in auxiliary power unit for Life Support,’ the android heard as he slowly felt his mind activating.  ‘Attempting bypass.’

Then, Wesley found himself sitting on the gurney again as Dinrak stood in front of him with a bright smile on his face.

“How do you feel, Wesley?”  The blue-haired boy asked.

“Umm, I feel weird.”  Wesley admitted meekly.

“How so?”

“It feels like there are electrical currents running through my legs and arms, Dinrak.”  Wesley replied as he watched Dinrak taking notes on his clipboard.  “I also feel like my thoughts don’t belong to me.  It’s like I’m on the outside looking in, and there’s a strange voice in the back of my head.”

“The voice and the electrical impulses are normal, Wesley.”  Dinrak explained calmly.  “if you ever stop feeling those electrical currents, then that means something is wrong within your operating systems.  The voice is just a default program that helps you know what your internal systems are doing.  If there are any malfunctions, you should be notified almost immediately.  Then, your body will give you the option of when to repair said systems if an error is discovered.”

“Oh,” Wesley said in sad voice.  “I think I understand.”

Dinrak smiled patiently.

“I have the afternoon off, Wesley.”  The alien informed Wesley.  “We’ll go to the other side of the property so you can ask me whatever questions you want about your new body.  Does that work for you?”

“I guess,” Wesley said.

Dinrak patted Wesley on the knee and started to turn away.

“Can I ask you something now?”

“Of course, you can ask me anything, Wesley.”  Dinrak said with a grin as he turned back towards the android.

“Why do you look older than you did when I was still Human?”  Wesley asked nervously.

Dinrak frowned.

“It took us nearly seven months to get your new body ready, Wesley.”  The alien stated honestly.  “I’m actually surprised that you even noticed the change.”


“Most androids are too focused on their own internal systems to worry about what’s going on around them,” Dinrak stated with a grin.  “The fact that you’re able to be ‘aware’ proves that you were the perfect person for this project.”

Wesley grinned at the compliment before the memory faded to darkness.

“Auxiliary power units are operational,” the female voice said in the back of the android’s head.  “All Life Support systems are rebooting.”

The voice didn’t sound like the normal one the android always heard in the back of his mind.  This one sounded different, and he couldn’t figure out where he had heard it before.  Wesley tried to push his mind towards the voice; he wanted to know who was talking to him.

“Who are you?”  Wesley heard himself ask.

“I am Destiny, AH-57.”  The voice replied calmly.  “Hyper sleep chambers are discharging.  All lifeform readings are nominal.  Would you like to begin repairs at this time to personal systems?”

“Perform system repairs, Destiny.”  The AH-57 stated before he let the darkness surround him; still not certain why he had been seeing his human memories.  Memories that were supposed to have been wiped away when he was transferred to Fandra along with Dinrak.

‘I wish I could be that boy again, but it’s not meant to be – ever.’  The android thought before his own systems began to shutdown.  ‘I love you, Dinny.’

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