A rabbit morph enters his cabin. He is a short 165cm tall, white with small black spots running down his back hidden under a gold and black uniform. He walks up to his desk and sits down while reaching for a book. Taking a pen, and with a thoughtful look on his face, he starts to write.
Personal log Dennis Hopper, January 30, 2333
It has been an interesting couple of days since my last entry. With the events that I am about to record here, I don't know if I can accurately relay the events in the best way, but here goes nothing.
It started as any normal day...
"What are you going to do when you go down planet side?" says the foxmorph vixen named Mariel.
"I don't know about you, but I am going to find me a restaurant and have a real meal," I say.
"You always think with your stomach, Dennis."
"No, but there is something about having a hand crafted meal that is better than getting it from a replicator. There is the time to prepare the ingredients, the time to slowly cook the meal, it just better than the cold materialization of the meal."
"You got me there, I may just join you."
"Don't worry, we should be there tomorrow, but for now lets get back to repairing this equipment. The captain isn't paying us to talk."
Later in the mess hall.
I enter the mess hall and look around. There are few people at this hour, so I go the replicator and order a vegetarian lasagna (a recipe from my mother). I usually ask if I can have several recipes added to the replicators from my personal recipe index at each posting. The Captain and first officer agreed and wanted to know what they were so that they could try them. I got several comments on the recipes, and a few people even asked me for them. Of course, when they asked I happily obliged.
Then Mariel enters, she slowly comes up to me just before I notice her, we exchange some small talk and sit down at the same table after ordering something for herself. We are good friends, so we always try and get the same assignments during the shifts we work together. We also arrange to have leave together. But we have not taken it to the next level and I am happy with that.
"So," I ask while eating, "We are beaming down after we arrive at the beginning of the shift, right."
"Right, we were lucky that we could swing it so that we could have leave together."
"Very lucky, Our First Officer, Nate, told me later that we were the last two approved to leave the ship. I don't want to think what we would have done otherwise."
"The same thing we do every day, Repair and maintain ship systems."
"Silly vixen, I meant afterwards."
We finish our meal in silence. After returning the trays to the replicator, We walk towards our cabins. We reach mine first as hers is further down the deck.
We pause for a moment before she starts talking.
"Dennis, there is something that I want to ask you and I don't want to offend."
Pausing for a moment, I say, "Go ahead, nothing you could do would offend me."
"We have become very good friends, haven't we?"
"Yes, we have." I wasn't really sure where this line of questioning was going.
"You think that our relationship has grown more over the time on this ship?"
"I think so."
"How would you feel about becoming lovers?"
Well to say that I was shocked to hear this from her was an understatement. I thought that our relationship was good friends. But here she is, a lovely vixen in love with a rabbit, could such a relationship happen? I always wanted to find me a girlfriend of my species to relate to. Being lovers with Mariel would be different than with a rabbit doe. Not that it wouldn't be unpleasant, far from it. I make a snap decision, one that I hope that I don't regret.
"I'd be happy to, Mariel" I say, after a short pause. "Your place or mine?"
"Since we’re already here."
I palm the entry plate and we enter, kissing like lovers that have been apart for ages.
That night we made love for what seemed like hours, Feeling our bodies, learning what pleases each other, even learning some thing that I didn't know. Even the spirit wanted to last, but the body fails.
Later in bed, we cuddle and talk.
"This night has been wonderful," Mariel whispers, "I'm glad I made this choice."
"I agree, this is one decision that I don't regret."
"Oh, you!" and bops me with a stuffed animal that was within easy reach. We laugh quietly then she notices the item she is holding.
"What is this, a plush rabbit, why would you have this?"
"That is Binky, He has been everywhere I have been since I was a kitten. Every sleepover, every trip, and even through the Academy. Several people have tried to talk me out of having him along saying that it is childish to have him but no one has succeeded. He is the security blanket that keeps me from being lonely. Now that you are here I will have to rely on him less and less."
"I see, lets look into reducing your dependence on Binky, Ok?"
And we settle down to sleep, Our dreams of the future we hope to have.
We wake up entwined with each other, both of us not wanting this moment to end.
"We better get up, the sooner we get ready the sooner we can go on leave."
"I agree, Care to join me in the shower, Dennis?"
And we join each other in the shower. We playfully lather each other up and rinse each other off; then take turns in the fur dryer. Then we get dressed and walk into the mess hall. Several of our crewmates notice us walking hand in hand but do not say anything. We go to the replicator and order breakfast. Then sit down at a table with our supervisor, a Chakat named Blackpaw, so named for hir one black paw and gray body.
"So," says Blackpaw, "You finally asked him last night, I assume that e said yes."
We both stare at hir in shock, so shi continues.
"After noticing the emotions coming off both of you today and the feelings coming off Mariel after each time I put you together on a project, I just knew it was a matter of time before she asked. Why do you guys think I that put you together for tasks that require two people?"
After the shock wears off I say, "Our friend the matchmaker. We will have to get even with you when we get back from shore leave."
"I will be expecting it."
After breakfast we head for the transporter room, chatting about what we would do once planet side. Once at the transporter room there was a short line. The line shortens until it is our turn.
"What's the weather like down there, Chief?"
"Thunderstorms and lightning, not the best weather for leave."
We take our places on the pad, just the two of us since we are the last in line. The transport takes place normally but something isn't right. I feel a very strong electrical charge, strong enough to make me want to scream but I am restrained by the confinement beam. The beam collapses and so do I. I pass out from all the pain.
I wake up looking up at the tile ceiling. I move my hand to my head and moan. I also hear the same thing from the bed next to me. I turn my head to look and get a surprise, in the bed staring back at me is rabbit morph with the identical markings to me, even the same uniform. We sit up and stare at each other for several minutes until the doctor enters.
"I see that you two are awake, now do you think you can answer some questions from the base commander."
"Sure." We both answer, even our voices are identical.
The doctor leaves and a chakat enters.
"I am Commander Greysky. What can you tell me about your transport?"
We both start to talk at the same time, "Well, it starts off like this..."
"Hold it! It’s kind of hard to understand you if you both talk at the same time." Shi points to me and then says, "Why don't you go first."
So I tell the tale of what happened. When I finish, my double does the same, recalling the same story.
When we finish I ask the question that has been worrying me.
"What happened to Mariel?"
"Mariel, who is she?"
My twin pipes up with "Mariel Silvertail, she transported down with me."
"Sorry, but the two of you were the last to be transported down, we were expecting a rabbit morph and a ... " A short pause, then shi says, "I think that we have a problem, If what happened is what I think just happened, then I don't want to think what will happen next."
Greysky taps hir combadge and says, "Commander Greysky to transporter chief."
"Transporter chief here, commander."
"Chief, take all the transporters offline and run a full diagnostic on the pattern buffers and related systems."
"Anything that I should be looking for, Commander?"
"Keep on the lookout for damaged memory. Greysky out."
We both ask hir the same question at the same time, "What do you think just happened?"
"Well, Dennis" A short pause then the chakat continues. "I think you were accidentally cloned. We just can't be sure without some testing."
I go into shock, a clone. That is who is sitting in the next bed. I want to cry out because of the loss of a good friend and lover and the revelation of my twin, but I don't. I look at my clone and it looks like he wants to do the same thing. We get off the beds and embrace. We both have lost a good friend and need some comforting. It’s minutes later that we separate.
The Commander says, "We will begin testing immediately, physical and mental, a room has been prepared for you both to relax in, and don't worry about your Captain. He has been kept up to date since the beginning and will not leave orbit without you."
So the testing begins, a complete physical in which we both pass. Genetic test are done next, that only proved that we are twins. Then the mental tests, it shows that we are identical in every way, even doing the same things at the same time. We return to the room they provide for us very tired and we want to go to sleep but we find out there is only one bed, big enough for two but still one bed. We are tired enough to not argue and we both climb into bed. We fall asleep back to back.
We wake up the next morning finding out that we both rolled over in the night and we are face to face with an arm draped across each other. Forgetting what happened the previous day, I get a little startled and my twin has the same look on his face.
"It wasn't a dream, it really happened," we say.
We get up and get ready for the day, showering together since we couldn't convince the other to go first. Then breakfast, we both order the same thing from the mess hall. During breakfast, we get the call to go to the Commander’s office. We get directions and promptly showed up.
As we enter we salute and say, "Dennis Hopper, reporting as ordered."
"At ease, and sit down."
We do as we are ordered and shi begins.
"After all the tests, we have a preliminary report for both of you. Since you are engineers I will tell you as much as we know. Your Captain has already been briefed, you'll be glad to know. That should save you answering a load of questions later on. Now, I'll let you know the report, and I'd appreciate it if you'd hold any questions until the end. Due to a lightning strike to the antenna array during the transmission, the transporter requested an uncorrupted copy of the original mind matrix and physical patterns. Due to damage to the pattern buffer by the lightning strike, the corrupted pattern was not erased, which resulted in three patterns attempting to materialise. Sadly, there was only enough material for two, and we found remains in the transporter that equated to the difference in mass between you and Mariel Silvertail. The lightning strike was caused by a lightning rod, which had been previously struck and had overloaded, reducing its efficiency. It really was a freak accident that required a million-to-once chance to happen. Now, do you have any questions?
We both start to ask, "What?" before we shut up hoping the other would ask the question.
Greysky noted that we have both responded to the request and hir empathic sense told hir more.
Greysky then says, "It seems I may have to choose one of you to respond for the both of you, so I choose you," and points to me.
I respond by asking, "What is going to happen to both of us?"
"Since there is no precedent for this, we have contacted Star Fleet command and their response was to allow both of you return to work until a final decision is made."
"We don't know what our crewmates will think. Two rabbits named Dennis - it might get confusing after a while."
"Well, I think that you may have to change one of your names. Do you have a suggestion or do you need help."
"How about one of us changes his name to Alan? That's our middle name."
My twin says, "I agree, but which one of us will change our name."
Greysky says, "How about... a coin, I just happen to have a 1 credit coin." Looking for hir belt pouch, shi produces the coin and then hands it to me. I look at the coin, one side has a portrait of the first president of the Federation council, the other has a design and the words one credit.
I say, "Call it in the air," and flip the coin.
I let the coin fall to the floor and we both look. We both see the president.
I look at my twin and introduce myself, "Hello, my name is Dennis."
He does the same thing "Hello, my name is Alan."
Greysky giggles at our antics, then says, "Now that we have the introductions out of the way, there might be a problem with identifying the two of you because you both look and scent alike so we are going to make nametags for the both of you, Its not regulation but your captain thinks it might be a good idea just to keep you straight in the beginning. We also think that the both of you should see the ship counselor at least once a week, both to lessen the loss of your crewmate and to better know each other but I think that may not be the case."
We both agree to the last statement.
"Now that is over with, it is about time that you return to your ship. Due to the transporters still being offline, a shuttlecraft is waiting for both of you, your Captain said that they are leaving as soon as you are onboard. Your Captain has requested that you report to him as soon as you are on board. I'll update him while you return to the ship. Now go, time is a wasting."
We both salute then head out the door. Then take the fifteen minute walk to the embarkation area where a pilot was waiting at the rear hatch. Being briefed on the situation, he was still surprised to see two rabbit morphs with identical markings walk up to the shuttle. We sit down and prepare to take off. The ride up was less eventful than the transport down. We arrive on the ship, and wait for the bay to come back to pressure before we are allowed to disembark.
My twin goes up to a computer terminal, with me right behind him, and asks for the location of the Captain. We are informed that he is in his day room. We promptly show up and touch the announcer. There was a response of "Enter" and the door opening, followed by us entering.
We both salute and say, "Dennis and Alan Hopper reporting as ordered, sir."
"At ease, Ensigns. First, I want to say that I am sorry for your loss. Chakat Blackpaw told me that you had just gotten close just before the accident. There will be a memorial for Mariel Silvertail at 20:00 hours today, we would like you to attend."
"We'll be there," we both answer.
"Second, due to the limited space available onboard, we cannot give your twin a single officers cabin, but we do have a cabin built for families that you both can share if that is all right with you."
We both think on it a little, and then answer, "That would be all right, for now."
"All right then, then we have a little time before the package arrives."
A short wait ensues while we engage in small talk, then the door announcer chimes.
An ensign enters with three items and says, "Here is those nametags and commbadge that you wanted, sir."
"Thank you, Ensign" and hands me one of the nametags and my brother the other, mine saying Dennis Hopper, my brother’s, Alan Hopper. We place them on our right breast.
The captain speaks again, "Since coming aboard, there has been some confusion in the computer since both your comm badges are coded as Dennis Hopper, I took the liberty to have one reissued to your brother’s name, so all we need to do is exchange comm badges, Alan."
The exchange happens quickly and then the captain says.
"Now that's over with, I hope that you will get settled in your new room as the real work begins tomorrow. Just report to Chakat Blackpaw as usual. Also your appointment with the ships counselor is scheduled for after your shift. She thinks that if she sees you both together it might save time. Now get out of here, I just hope there will be no problems with you two and the rest of the crew."
We thank the captain and leave. We both head for my original quarters to pack and prepare for the rest of the day.
After the memorial, we decide to get a late supper. Neither of us is very hungry, but we need to keep up our strength for the next day, many thoughts going through my head while I eat. Why was it me to be cloned? What is going to happen to us? What are Mom and Dad going to think? MOM, DAD!!! They don't know what happened yet. How am I going to explain that they have two sons now? I look at Alan and he has the same look on his face as I do.
I start, "What are we going to tell Mom and Dad?"
"The truth, that there was a transporter accident and now there are two of us."
"Now, which one of us is going to write them?"
"I don't know, but we should decide when we get to the cabin."
We finish eating and return to the cabin. Alan reaches for the comm to write our message as I sit next to him to supervise.
Dear Mom And Dad,
Do you remember all the times that I asked you for a brother but all you could give me were little sisters? I think you may be surprised to hear that I think I got my wish. It happened yesterday while going on shore leave…
The next day finds us in bed together with Binky between us. Last night we had decided that having one of us in a separate room wouldn't be fair and since there is only one Binky, we quickly agree to bed together, I am somewhat comforted with Alan's presence and I know he is in mine. We shower together, since we still cannot convince the other to go first. Then we get dressed, our name and comm badges kept together but separate from each other to limit confusion. We then report to Blackpaw. Shi gives us a big hug, then says, "I'm sorry about Mariel, I know what your feeling. She will be remembered in our hearts."
We both say, "I hope so, I hope so."
After a minute we separate and shi begins. "Now for your first assignment, you two are going to work together on this one, Just to let you know we want to know how you both work with each other so someone will be checking up on you from time to time."
"I understand, I am interested in knowing too." We both say in unison.
"Good, Here are your assignments..."
After the briefing we get to work. One part of it has me crawling into the mech while my twin does a diagnostic from outside. Alan has the tools and parts ready before I even ask of them. Some may think that we have some form of telepathy after seeing us together but that isn't the case. We just think alike and know what the other needs sometimes before the other knows it.
We finish up work for the day and prepare to see the counselor. We arrive at her office, Nancy greatly calms us and we make great progress. She notes that there could be some kind of bond forming between us. She also notes our work habits and is very interested in the notion that we work together more often and sends it off to Blackpaw and the Captain as a recommendation. The session lasts for an hour and a half, after which we take our leave. We talk for a bit while heading for the mess hall. Half of the engineering staff on my shift is in there, some giving condolences, some say nothing, but the feeling is there, we are loved. There is the sorrow for our loss, but some joy for the gain. We get our dinner and sit down. The conversations continue around us as we eat until a question is asked of Alan.
"So what is going to happen to you guys? Are they going to separate you or keep you together? And what are you going to be doing?"
Alan replies, "We don't know, we are waiting for a response from Star Fleet command. Hopefully they will keep me on as an engineer. We can only hope."
Satisfied with the answer, they resume their conversation and leave us alone.
Later we walk to our cabin, and start to talk.
I begin, "This has been a very interesting few days, hasn't it Alan."
"Yes, It has been, Dennis."
"I hope that the future bodes well for the both of us."
"That I do, Dennis, that I do."
Again we find ourselves at our cabin as we prepare for bed. We shower and climb into bed, Binky safe between us as we sleep.
The next morning we go to work, sometimes together, sometimes apart. At times when I am not busy and together, I think on what my brother is doing. We are together when Alan gets a call to go to the captain's day room later that evening.
"I hope it is nothing to worry about, Alan."
"While you’re doing that I will write in our personal log."
I stop writing when I hear the door opening. I look up and see Alan with a piece of paper and a smile. He hands me the paper and I read it.
To: Alan Hopper
From: Star Fleet Command
It is the final decision of Command that you be place for active duty aboard the Essex for a term equal to the term of your brother's. Your rank of Ensign has been approved and your pay held until an account with the Federation Credit Network has been established. We hope that you and your brother have a long enlistment with Star Fleet. If you need anything all you have to do is ask. We have read the reports from the counselors and your superiors and believe that future assignments should be arranged so that both of you be at the same posting and has been entered into your records. Congratulations to you both.
I get up to hug Alan, overjoyed, tears flowing from both our eyes as we hug. We finally part and I say, "Let's have a party. But what will the Captain think."
"I don't know but if he complains, we should invite him."
We laugh and head for the mess hall.
Chakats are the creations of Bernard Doove and are used with his permission.
The character of Admiral Silvermane is the creation of Allen Fesler and is used with his permission.
I would like to thank Bernard Doove for the story "Transformations" as it was one of the inspirations for writing my story.
I would like to thank those that help me in the beginning, you know who you are, your comments help make the story better than if I was doing it alone.
Copyright © 2007 by Dennis Hurst (Twobunny).
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