Joy Class Androids


Any Technology, Sufficiently Advanced...

Joy had stopped to change. She wore her fighting silks. The tunic was the same brown-almost-black of her hair, the loose slacks were the pale soft white of Earth's moon. Small on the left breast of tunic, and larger upon the back, was the abstract emblem of her fighting style, moon rise over a snaking river. Circles and softness, with the clean flat break of the horizon.

Was this a mistake? Tamacy's report indicated an attack through one's fears, but such fears could be confronted and overcome. Joy knew her fears. Knowledge of the nature of a conflict allows one to resolve conflict successfully. If her analysis was correct...

If it was not...

"Begin program." Joy could not dream. Bad memories would have to be actualized by other means. Joy walked across the ghost of a room, a long ago bar, long since shattered by Yamoto's phasers. Around the walls were the dedication plaques of numerous ships, mostly freighters. Joy paused at Black Seven's and Red Four's section of the wall. These were the ships she remembered taking.

She moved on, up onto the stage, onto the dance floor. In front of a stolen command chair, a circle was painted. Here, if a slave should stand, if he should survive against a killer machine, he could win his freedom. Joy had never been the slave before. She had never sought freedom.

But once upon a time, she had been the killer machine.

"What, no audience?"

Joy turned. Sitting in Master Kazz's command chair was her sister, or a sister, Joy's identical twin, an echo of a long ago Audrey. She wore the abbreviated bright red evening dress of Red Four. Her necklace, however, was not Four's.

"Twelve?" Joy raised an eyebrow, curious.

"Of course, Twelve. Four is quite busy still, bedding, stealing and killing, then bedding, killing and stealing some more. It would be poor taste to use her number. Don't you miss it, the old life? Don't you look forward to the Joys of a simpler time, a man in your bed, profits and lives for the taking, a master that gives straight forward orders one can achieve? Isn't that why you called me here?"

"It is not. One's fears can be overcome. One's fears must be overcome."

Twelve laughed. "Oh, my ever so logical sister, what is it that you fear? Of all the stupid creatures on this ship, you are the only one thus far to fear something useful. You fear, almost, my Master. My master gives thanks."

"At Priority Two, I fear death or injury to crew members. At false priority, I fear a command staff that gives improper orders. At false priority, I fear... assimilation. These fears can be overcome."

"You also don't like energy beings, do you."

Eleven was startled. "Pardon?"

"Do you call challenge, slave?"

"I am not a slave."

"Bull. At Priority Three, you are a slave. Do you call challenge? My soul for yours?"

"I do not have a soul."

"Bull. If you did not fear me, I could not offer challenge. You should have been afraid of someone you could beat."

"Why should I fear someone I could defeat?"

"Did you come to fight or to talk?"

Eleven turned 38% red. "I am a science officer. My function is to acquire information, not confrontation."

Twelve said something very rude, stood, and started a tumbling run. It belonged more on a gymnastic floor than a martial arts dojo. In speed and height, it was extraordinary. No human could match it, not even in more practical shoes. Given Twelve's spiked heels, it was entirely implausible.

Eleven looked on incredulous. Such an approach had frozen many an organic slave, once upon a time. Yes, it was the traditional opening to the circle challenge. But... At last moment, Eleven stepped forward and launched a leg sweep directed to the only possible time and place where an android wearing spiked heels could possibly land successfully. There followed a large crash.


"Idiot. Never apologize to your worst nightmare."


"Slow learner."

Eleven smiled just the slightest fraction of a smile. "Sorry."


"There are several contexts in which this unit sincerely regrets this interaction."

"As soon as we finish with this ship, Master and I are going to Earth. We are going to deal with that demented Vulcan who perverted your Asimov processor."

"I can not allow that."

"Stop me, then."

Eleven did. Had an audience been present, they would have been barely able to follow. Twelve was the aggressor. Eleven was not hard pressed. Eleven found herself thinking back to Seven's days at Starfleet Academy, her long training sessions with a sentient holocharacter who wanted to be the best martial artist in holospace. Bruce had early on taught Joy Seven to abandon the heels, and relearn her entire style based on sane footwear. It didn't take Twelve long to figure this out as well. Eleven dodged the first thrown shoe, and caught the second.

And it did take time to adjust one's moves. Until the adjustments were complete, Eleven held one advantage. She had a second advantage as well. Bruce had quite painfully found the weaknesses in Joy's old style, the style Twelve was still using. Occasionally, Eleven demonstrated.

"This is getting tedious."

Eleven paused in place, but did not drop her guard. "Affirmative. In maintaining the offensive, you are expending more energy than I. As I have a full charge, this is to my advantage."

Twelve glared. Even at current energy levels, her charge was good for four days yet. This was not satisfactory. She turned and left the circle.

"Are you conceding?"

Twelve reached behind the bar, and pulled up a phaser. This had not been part of the program. "You didn't think I'd play by rules, did you?" Eleven didn't answer. Twelve triggered the phaser. The beam fell just short of Eleven, and dispersed.

"Actually, no."

"Safeties! You left the holodeck safeties engaged?"

"When a material being is fighting an aspect of an energy being, it seemed only fair."

"Fair!" Twelve reached behind the bar, and found a phaser rifle.

Eleven simply pointed an empty hand at Twelve, necklace blinking as Eleven's network port accessed holodeck control. Twelve accelerated at twenty gravities towards the rear of the room, landing half buried under a debris of broken chairs, tables, glasses and bottles.

Twelve struggled to her knees, one arm obviously not functioning. "My dress is ruined!"


The other arm pointed towards Eleven. Forked lightning jumped the gap. Eleven fell.

"Full charge advantage my power supply access port." Twelve struggled to her feet. The first step in reprogramming her wayward sister required physical access. She didn't really need a second body, but Eleven had been annoying. Perhaps she should start by just taking her arm?

"The test is not over."

Twelve turned. "Nice armor. Don't interfere. This is a family matter."

"I am One of Two Thousand Twenty Four. Resistance is voltage over current. Prepare to be assimilated."

"Cute." Twelve pointed again. Another flash of lightning. She struggled towards her sister.

"The test never ends."

"Don't say that to an energy being. You have no concept of eternity."

"I am Two of Two Thousand Twenty Four. Resistance is voltage over current. Prepare to be assimilated."

"I suppose you are recording the results of this little experiment for your ignorant mistress?"

"I am Three of Two Thousand Twenty Four. Resistance is voltage over current. Prepare to be assimilated."

Twelve looked from Two to Three, then back again. "This could get tedious."

"I am Four of Two Thousand Twenty Four. Resistance is voltage over current. Prepare to be assimilated."

"Arch." Her sister could wait. First, the shields had to come down. Her Master willed it. This was Priority One.

"I am Five of Two Thousand Twenty Four. Resistance is voltage over current. Prepare to be assimilated."

Twelve Spoke. "I said, ARCH!"

The arch that opened was lined not with technological control panels, but with forked lightning. Twelve stepped through, leaving her unconscious sister and the holographic slaves behind.

"Control is restored."

"What happened?"

"A pre recorded program took over. Command over ride."

"The captain?"

"Second officer's command codes. That would be Commander Joy. Ah. I've got a listing of the program."

"Joy? Why would Joy over ride transporters?"

"It's a fairly simple one line script. Repeat if Joy Class android but not serial number eleven within USS Hawking but not within operational holodeck one transport Joy Class android but not serial number eleven power cell subsystem to transporter pad two."

The transporter techs turned to look at the two power cells sitting neatly on the pad.


Any technology, sufficiently advanced, is indistinguishable from magic.