Before you get started: Thank you for considering this story, I hope you will like it as much as I do. Please be patient with me, since English is not my mother tongue I might make some mistakes along the way. But I'm always happy to improve myself.


Five years I had already waited and at this point in my timeline I did not yet know that my waiting would soon be over. At this day, a stormy Thursday morning - at least I thought it was Thursday - darkness surrounded me. The sun had not yet risen above the horizon and only the distant lightning strokes brought a short brightness into my small world.

I was ruling over about 30 square meters, that included my bed, my bathroom, my study and a small workshop. My world didn't have a door or anything like this, not even a window per se. It was open to one side and still not open at all. My room was sealed with a force field, that was designed to keep me inside. I couldn't open it. I couldn't remove it in any other way. Meaning, I was stuck there. I was a prisoner on a planet that did not necessarily need to keep prisoners in cells. There was no way of escape from this world. No starships, no beaming, no mode of transport in any way that would be useful to my cause and even worse: no possibility of threatening my captors. I had no weapons and by myself I wasn't able to harm them. They were strong, immortal, shiny bastards who decided that it wasn't my call whether I stayed or went away. Since I'm not the most cooperative type of person I wasn't too happy about that decision at all and I let them know my concrete feelings about it as soon as I heard their statement.

For a while we tried to get along. I tried to accept the fact that I was stranded on a planet that only had classical music, no TV, no bars, no fun, no humans. The alcohol tasted shitty, to be honest with you, but after a while I even accommodated to that. But - big BUT - I was never able to accept that I should spend the rest of my days with them. I had had a life before I came to this place, a man that I loved and a job I was good at. I wasn't going to give all of that up just because they told me to. After I tried to run and fought my way out of the city, they finally gave up on the thought I might one day become a peaceful peasant of their world. The consensus was to put me in this very cell. The force field kept me in, and I couldn't attempt another escape, but I was still alive and able to communicate, so they could study me. In their eyes a win win situation. In my eyes a freaking nightmare.

"Tell me again, Sutra, why can't I just leave? I know you told me probably a 1000 times why, but do it for me, will you?", I sat at my workshops desk, not even looking at my guests face. Instead I glanced through the eyepieces of my microscope and carefully proceeded in brazing two very fragile electrodes together.

"Your constant need for repetition gives me reason to doubt your intelligence, Mar.", her voice was emotionless as always, as were her eyes. The yellow that fascinated me in the beginning was now more off-putting than anything I could think of.

"Intelligence is by no means characterized as the absence of questions or rehearsal. I simply think it's time for me to hear it once more. Will you do me the favor or shall I continue asking?"

"You leaving would result in the revelation of our culture to a world that doesn't want us.", she said, "A world that has banned us, that will most likely be hostile against us. We will not risk our destruction for your freedom. As I already told you 563 times, we would be willing to set you free if you would be willing to let us erase your memory. Then you could not be a threat to our safety."

"And as I have answered you then probably 563 times: My memories are who I am. I will not let you erase my personality. That is not an option and as you won't trust me, when I say I won't say anything about you or your homeworld, we are at the very beginning of our problem again. We run around in circles. The snake bites its own tail. Einsteins definition of insanity."

"Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

"You nicely cited the textbook there.", I finally finished the brazing and looked up to the beautiful woman with the charcoal black hair and the golden shimmering skin. She stood there next to me, the only thing between us was the force field of my prison cell. "As I don't intend to be insane, I will quit asking and instead be a good girl."

"You have fooled us before with the very same technique."

"Good point.", I nodded, "So you can grow suspicious after all. Interesting."

"We learn and adapt and therefore I can see the difference between a good lie and the truth. You yourself have grown very good at lying. You barely show any physical reaction to it. I must confess, that I am impressed." She began walking up and down in front of my room.

"Too kind.", I had to admit that I hadn't even put the slightest of effort into lying this time. They didn't trust me and I would probably never trust them, at least not all of them. Sutra was one of those I would not want to piss off. She had always been a coldblooded soul. I early learned that she was a calculating and probably even backstabbing type of person, that would literally walk over dead bodies to achieve her goal. Thankfully on this planet there was no one standing in her way. So, everyone only saw her sunshine personality. Everyone but me, who was stupid enough to cross her.

"I wonder how long it will take you to finally accept that this is now your home.", she glanced at me with a thoughtful look, as if she wanted to look behind the curtain of human existence. I felt naked and unprotected, helpless even in the face of my captor.

"This will never be my home.", I answered in a cold voice.

"Then you shall always be our guest.", Sutra shrugged and left without another word. Sometimes I did wonder why she still came here to talk to me. Our conversations surely bored her to death same as me since they were always the same:

Will you let me go? No. Sure? Yes. Screw you.

Still, she came nearly every two to three days. Sometimes she only looked at me while I worked, read a book, or tried to sleep. Sometimes she started conversations about Earth, Starfleet, or my past in the Delta Quadrant. In the beginning of my imprisonment these visits were rather refreshing, but now after five years they lost their taste.

I watched here leave, while I thought about what to waste my time with now. There was nothing really to do for me here. Occasionally I build things for the citizens if they thought it would be nicer to have it manufactured rather than replicated. I mean I can rightfully say, I am the best engineer on this planet, but it's not quite the workload I was used to before. So, I spent the most of my day sitting on the floor, reading the only book I brought with me here: The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. The good old Mr. Darwin would have been massively impressed with these highly evolved beings. If they did not have yellowish eyes and shimmering skin, one could not differentiate between a human and them. They were so much like us and then again nothing like us at all. They were strong and fast, hyper-intelligent and incredibly childish. If it wasn't for Sutra, they would have just let me go. These synthetics didn't think ill of anything, they didn't know the feeling of suspicion, didn't have to be careful about who to talk to or go with. It took quite a while and a lot of effort to make them realize and understand, that I was pissed off, or angry, or - which is the most important - not to be trusted.

I'm a good liar, always have been. I grew up on the USS Voyager in the Delta Quadrant in the middle of Starfleet officers. If you don't learn lying there, then I can't help you. For the synths it was quite the shock. They had been taught by their „father" Dr. Soong Jr. that every humanoid shows a measurable physical reaction to a lie. He was wrong about the word 'every', which was neither the first nor the last thing he was wrong about.

While I sat down with Darwins masterpiece in my hand I drifted off into deep thought about who this book had been intended for, before I came to this planet. These brown eyes, the soft smile on his face when he saw me ... He had always been quite the existentialist and spent his free time reading Nietzsche, Machiavelli and Unamuno. All these desperate men writing about the existence of life and death, the meaning, or the lies in both and how to deal with the pain of existence were in his head. I thought about giving „The Origin of Species" to him simply because it would not only be a mind game. It was science, hard facts of a man's lifelong work with the deepest of meanings to the human existence. Probably it would have helped him reclaim his confidence in the world and the life he was living, ... we were living. But that was five years ago. Still, my irrational mind hoped that he was out there waiting for me, aboard his own ship now. He bought her shortly before I left to seek for this planet. I didn't even know the name of the ship, or if he really used his own image to create the emergency holographic programs. I'm quite certain he did. Anything else would be too much trouble.

"I really have to quit living in the past.", I said to myself once more and opened the book. After I spent several minutes just staring at the first page, I gave up. My mind drifted away in my treasured past, while at a very different spot in the galaxy the treasured past of somebody I would soon call friend collapsed at the sight of reality and broke into 1000 tiny pieces.

Still, both of us - even though we did not know yet - were in desperate need of intimacy and a very strong drink.