A Place on the Team by TransmuteJun
[Reviews - 10] - Table of Contents - [Report This]

Printer Chapter or Story
- Text Size +

For more than a week now, I have been closely monitoring Jason and his behavior. Whenever anyone else is around, he acts as if everything is fine, but when he is alone he appears to be increasingly plagued by headaches and vision problems. This, of course, is exacerbated by the alignment parameters I specified for his implant adjustment a few days ago.

The Spectrans have been especially active in this last week, with no fewer than three separate attacks against the Federation, including sending a plague of mechanical locusts to Earth, and an attempt to destroy Center Neptune itself.

While I don’t mind dying for the sake of my foster father, I was relieved when that last plan was foiled. I want to succeed before I cease to exist. I want Lord Zoltar to know that he was right to place his faith and trust in me. I want him to know that I have accomplished what mere humans could not, before I am rendered useless.

With each mission, Jason has had a more and more difficult time, hiding the extent of his illness from the other members of G-Force. I know that he has to break soon. It’s all he can do to stand straight whenever anyone else is around.

Each day brings with it the prospect that it will be the one where Jason’s illness is the cause of his demise.

I have a good feeling about today.

It gets even better when I hear that G-Force has been ordered to the Planet Spectra, to infiltrate one of Lord Zoltar’s bases.

The Phoenix departs Center Neptune, and I anxiously monitor as much as I can on the ship’s internal systems. Unfortunately, it isn’t much. The team arrives, and all five team members disembark to enter the base.

If I had any fingernails, I’d be chewing them about now.

Suddenly, I have a feeling that something is going to happen.

“1-Rover-1, why don’t you go charge your batteries?” I suggest. “I don’t think G-Force will need us anytime soon.”

He gives a metallic yip in response, and moves off to his charging station.

Anxiously, I await news.

It comes much sooner than I expect, and from the last person I’d expect.

“Zark…” comes a weak voice, “It’s Jason…”

“Jason!” I exclaim, injecting the right amount of concern into my tone, “What’s wrong?”

Jason has never contacted me. Ever. I think it’s against his personal code. This must be something serious.

“I… I need help, Zark…” I can tell that it is tearing him up inside to ask me for help. I revel in my moment of triumph.

“What do you need, Jason?” I ask, with baited breath.

“I… I need something to help with… dizziness… blurred vision…” he explains, slowly. “Is there… anything on the Phoenix?”

Quickly, I debate my options. Something terrible must have happened for Jason to be asking for help. He’s the medical officer, along with Princess, so he would generally know what’s available in the Phoenix Sickbay, and what uses it has. I could try to get him to take something damaging, but there’s a good chance he’d know what I was doing.

My other option is to do nothing. I choose this course of action.

“I’m sorry, Jason.” I apologize, “You know the Phoenix medical supplies better than I do. And I can’t think of anything for that onboard…”

“I need something, Zark…” Jason grunts, “Mark is counting on me…”

Despite myself, I am impressed at his dedication to his Commander, and to his team.

“I thought… maybe…” he continues, “some kind of command… to my implant…”

Now we’re in dangerous territory. He suspects that it’s something to do with the implant. Or at least, something that could be controlled by the implant. I am the Federation expert on implant technology, and I need to come up with a solution here.

But I don’t have much time to think. I had never anticipated this eventuality. Who knew that Jason would put his teammates’ welfare above his disdain for me?

“Jason,” I order, “link up with the Phoenix medical system.”

“Okay…” comes his response. His voice has a hint of relief in it. Unfortunately for him, relief is not what he is about to get.

“I’m linked.” he says, after a few moments.

“Now execute command 6539-F.2.” I tell him.

There is a poignant silence on the other end as Jason does what I ask.

“Thanks…” he mutters, after a couple of minutes. “That feels a bit better…”

“Glad to be of service, Jason!” I reply cheerily. “Over and out!” I terminate the communication as quickly as possible.

The command I had Jason execute gave him a brief surge of endorphins, which will make him feel better for a couple of minutes. But as soon as that wears off, he’ll feel worse than ever. It wasn’t the best thing I could have done, but it was the only thing I could think of, on the spur of the moment, that would help cover my tracks.

I spend the next two hours anxiously awaiting word of what is happening to the team. 1-Rover-1 finishes charging his batteries and keeps me company. He can tell that I am worried, but of course, he doesn’t know why.

“I just wish we would hear from the team!” I complain to Rover. He yips sympathetically in response.

Another hour later, I finally get word.

“Come in Zark!” Mark calls, “Do you read me?”

“Yes, Commander!” I respond, my antennae snapping. “How is everything?”

“Just fine… thanks to Jason.” Mark answers. “But he needs medical attention. Can you please have everything ready for our return to Center Neptune?”

“Yes, Commander!” I reply, “Right away, Sir!”

What happened? How could Jason have saved the day? He should have been ready to keel over from the dizziness and pain. He should barely have been able to see straight! I need to know what occurred on Spectra.

I don’t have long to wait. Once the Phoenix returns, Mark reports to Chief Anderson, and I hear everything that went on during this mission.

Apparently, Jason fell out of the Whirlwind Pyramid twice. For him to fall out once is incredible, but twice… he must have been almost completely disabled. I feel a surge of pride in my work.

It was at that point that Mark sent him back to the Phoenix, while the rest of the team continued with the mission. I guess Jason contacted me at this time.

However, after we had spoken, Mark contacted Jason again. He needed him to shoot one of the Phoenix’s TBX Nuclear Missiles at an exact spot underground, to prevent the rest of the team from falling to their deaths in the planet’s core.

What bothers me is that Jason shouldn’t have been able to do this. He should have been running out of endorphins, and his body should have completely broken down. But somehow, he managed to regain enough control of himself to shoot the missile just in time.

I have failed. Utterly, and completely failed. This is a disaster.

I was so close… but somehow, Jason was able to pull out a last reserve of strength to save the team.

I have to back off, now. If Jason’s medical issues aren’t resolved quickly, then everyone will look to me for answers. And I certainly don’t want them to start digging.

So I carefully monitor Jason’s vital signs, and send a new set of implant alignment specs to the technicians.

And after a few days, everything is just fine with Jason. It’s as if he had never had any problems in the first place.

But I am not fine.

I am plagued by self-doubt, tormented by the knowledge that I have failed my foster father. The one thing he asked of me, the one task that I, of all beings in the Federation, am best suited to accomplish, has not been completed.

I spend the next two weeks quietly performing my duties, outwardly cheerful, but inwardly miserable.

I need another plan.

~ Table of Contents ~
[Report This]
You must login (register) to review.