Sorry to post this a little out of order, but I forgot to put it here the other month. So here is the July 2012 'Star Trek Ala another Genre' winning entry, Data Fragments, a story in the vein of the movie 'Memento'.
“Your shuttle out there, is it the same kind as the one Data crashed?” Dod asked as he welcomed Geordi La Forge to his small shack.
“Sure is.” Geordi replied.
“Warp drive and a transporter, you don’t see them that fancy around here, especially two in one day.” Dod said in disbelief.
“The Enterprise carries twenty-one type 6 shuttles. Where’s Data?” Geordi asked.
“I am here, Geordi. But I do not recall where here is.” Data said from the back to the shack.
Dod stepped aside so Geordi could enter. The shack was a single room that served as bedroom, kitchen, and dining area. Geordi had Data sit down by the table in the center of the room and opened the access panel in the back of the android’s head.
“Dod said you have some memory problems.” Geordi pulled a tricorder out of his engineering kit and began to scan Data’s head. “Do you remember how you got the suit?” Geordi was referring to the expensive looking linen suit Data was wearing.
“I do not. A self diagnostic indicates my memory compressor has been damaged. The compressor receives raw memory information from my memory buffer and then encodes it to my memory engrams in a more efficient file format.” Data explained. “I have not been able to form new memories since the shuttle crash, and my memory buffer holds only ten minutes of information before if pushes the information to the compressor.”
“So you don’t remember anything that occurred prior to the crash?” Geordi asked.
Data shook his head. “I am incapable of remembering anything that occurred before my last memory buffer reset.”
“You’re lucky that Dod found you.” Geordi said. “We were searching Coridan Prime. If Dod hadn’t contacted us, it would have been another day before we expanded the search to this moon.”
“Thank you, Dod. I apologize that I cannot remember your assistance.” Data said to the Coridan wearing a shirt with worn elbows and a faded pair of work pants.
“No need to thank me, Data.” Dod assured him.
Geordi completed his scans. “Good news, Data. Your memory compressor is still functioning. It’s the connection between the compressor and your memory engrams that has been damaged. I should be able to repair it.” Geordi stowed his tricorder and pulled out a hyperspanner. He carefully concentrated the device on a point at the back of Data’s head.
“That should do it.” Geordi closed the access panel and put away his tools.
Data’s eyes went wide. “Where is Dod?”
Suddenly two heavily armed men burst through the door of the small shack and leveled their weapons leveled at Data. “Coridan Security Forces.” One of the heavily armed men said. “You are under arrest for grand larceny and murder.”
Before Geordi could ask, “What is this all about?” Data had leapt up from his chair and knock the two armed men to the ground. He picked up one of their weapons and ran out the door.
It was dark. Where ever Data was, it was very dark. He could hear men yelling at each other, but did not know what the disagreement was about. He felt a hand tapping on his leg.
“Data, it’s me, Dod.” Whispered the person tapping Data’s leg. “Drop to the ground and follow me. I’ll get us out of here.”
Data did as Dod told him and they slipped out a door in the back of the bar. It was daytime outside. In the light Data saw he was wearing a linen suit and that the man calling himself Dod was a Coridan. Dod started to run away from the building. Data followed.
“Why are we running?” Data asked.
“Coridan Security Forces just raided that bar. The Orions they’re after won’t go quietly.” Dod hollered over his shoulder. Sounds of weapon fire erupted from the bar.
“What was I doing in a bar?” Data asked.
Dod stopped running when he reached a land vehicle. “I dropped you off there. Get in.”
Data walked around the back of the vehicle to the passenger seat on the other side. He noticed the rear of the vehicle had a large storage area and was filled with crates.
“You said you liked playing poker.” Dod explained as he started driving. “I dropped you off at the bar where they usually have a game going on so you could play while I tried to contact your ship.”
“You attempted to contact the Enterprise? Where you successful?” Data asked.
Dod nodded. “Yes. And I was able to get a hold of them quicker than expected. I was gone for less than ten minutes and you wandered into a heap of trouble. Anyway, I contacted your ship and they even have a shuttle already in the area. Some guy named La Forge will be here soon. I’m taking you to him.”
“You are taking me to Geordi La Forge? Thank you for your help, Dod. I appear to have damaged my memory compressor. I imagine I would be quite lost without your assistance.”
Dod chuckled. “Believe me, Data. I remember.”
Data looked around. He was in the passenger seat of a land vehicle. There was no driver. For some reason he was wearing a gold silk shirt and a linen suit. To the rear of the vehicle was a large storage area filled with crates. A Coridan was rooting trough one of the crates. He finished what he was doing and walked from the back of the vehicle to Data’s door. Data opened the door and stood up to greet him.
“Take this.” The Coridan shoved a stack of isiks into Data’s hand.
“Thank you, but I do not require currency.” Data said.
“You lost your memory again.” The Coridan sighed. “I’m Dod. I’m going to go contact your ship and let them know that you’re here and that you damaged your memory compressor. You are going to stay put in there.” Dod pointed to one story building a short distance away.
“If you are going to contact the Enterprise, I should accompany you.” Data said.
“Data, you have no idea what’s happened to you. We agreed on the ride over that I’d find a safe place for you to stay while I send the message. You already gave me the frequency and your identifier.”
Data looked at the building. “This is a safe place?”
Dod shrugged. “Safe as they come around here. It’s a bar. You said on the ride that you liked poker. They usually have a game going in there. I’ll pick you up as soon as I soon as I send the message.”
Dod jumped into the land vehicle and drove off. Data put his isiks in the pocket of his linen suit and walked towards the bar.
It was dark inside the bar, despite it being daytime. There were no windows and the lighting was kept dim. The low murmur of voices stopped when Data entered. The patrons at the bar and seated in the booths against the walls followed the android with their eyes as he walked to a round table in the center of the room where a group of three well dressed Orions played poker.
“Greetings, may I join your game? I possess ample currency.” Data pulled the stack of isiks out of his pocket and place it on the table.
The Orions looked at Data and then at the stack of isiks. The middle Orion pushed a pushed an empty out with his foot from under the table. “Your deal.” He said placing the deck of cards in front of Data’s seat. Data sat and began to shuffle the cards.
“Isiks are a rare kind of money around these parts.” The Orion to the left said as changed the isiks for poker chips. “Where did you come by these exactly?”
“They were given to me by an acquaintance.” Data replied. He began to deal the cards. “Five card draw, nothing wild.”
The Orions anted and picked up their cards. The one to the right tossed some chips into the pot and raised the stakes. “That’s a very nice suit. Where did you get a suit like that?”
“I do not remember.” Data said as a matter of fact. The bet was to him. “I call.”
The pot was good and Data dealt card to replace the ones the Orions discarded. The one to the right raised again. The one in the middle stared at Data, not even bothering to collect his replacement cards.
“The action is to you.” Data said.
The middle Orion smiled. “I like the way you put that. And what do you expect me to do?”
“There are only three actions you may take: call, raise, or fold.” Data replied. “I assumed you were familiar with the rules. Do you wish me to review them for you?”
“I know the rules.” The middle Orion said. “I know how the game is played around here. You don’t even remember where you got that suit. I think you are the one that needs to be reminded of the rules.”
The Orions to the left and right bolted up out of their seats and reached for the disruptor pistols tucked in the waists of their expensive suits.
“Perhaps we are both familiar with different versions of the rules for draw poker with me.” Data said, surprised at the Orions’ actions.
As suddenly as the Orions had pulled their weapons the front door to the bar was smashed open and five heavily armed men burst into the room.
“Coridan Security Force! Everyone on the ground now!” The leader of the men yelled.
The Orions took their weapons off of Data and turned them towards the Security Forces. Suddenly the lights went out.
Data woke up on the floor of well lit room. He looked down at his body. He was wearing a gold silk shirt and a linen suit. The room was filled with neatly stacked crates. He heard steps coming down a set of stairs from the only door in the room. A Coridan wearing a shirt with worn elbows and a faded pair of work pants emerged from the door.
“Oh good, you’re up.” The Coridan said. “I’m Dod.”
Data assessed his physical condition. “It appears an energy surge has overloaded my neural net.”
“Another injury from the shuttle crash? You said it damaged your memory buffer.” Dod picked up one of the crates and turned toward the stairs. “Help me with these.”
Data picked up a crate and followed Dod. “I do not remember a shuttle crash. Nor do I remember acquiring these clothes.”
“You never do.” Dod chuckled. “Your clothes were torn up pretty bad in the crash.”
Data and Dod loaded the crates into Dod’s land vehicle. Then set out over a dry brown plain, kicking up a plume of dusty behind the vehicle.
“What is our destination?” Data asked.
“Town. To contact your ship.” Dod answered. “You crashed out in the middle of nowhere. You’re lucky I was nearby.”
Data considered the Coridan’s modest clothing compared to the linen suit and silk shirt he awoke in. “How is it that I have come to be wearing such expensive clothing in such a remote location?”
Dod laughed as he pulled the vehicle onto a prepared road. “I don’t think you have enough time left in the memory buffer for that story. I’ll tell you once it resets, it’s a long way to town.”
Data looked around. He was seated, but moving at a considerable speed. His uniform was cover in soot. He was passenger in a land vehicle that had a two person cabin and a large storage area in the back. A Coridan was driving.
“Greetings, I am Lieutenant Commander Data.”
“I know, I know.” Dod said. “You were in a shuttle crash. You hurt your memory thing. You need to get to a subspace terminal.”
“Thank you for your help…”
“Dod, my name is Dod. And you promised to help me. My friend is locked in a vault buried in a field. You said you would help me get him out, and then we’ll get you to your terminal.”
Data looked out the window. The vehicle was traveling down a prepared road. A dusty plain and brown, wilted vegetation stretched out around them. Dod pulled the vehicle off the main road and drove out onto the plain. After a couple of minutes they stopped.
Data followed Dod out of the vehicle. Dod knelt down and wiped dust out of a latch on a small metal door in the ground. He turned the latch and opened the door to reveal a computer lock.
Dod stood up and beckoned Data to the computer lock. “That’s it. That’s the lock.”
“Dod, how did your friend become trapped in this remote location?” Data asked.
“Data, we don’t have time to go over this again. Your memory buffer will reset soon and you’ll forget everything. Please help my friend.”
Data knelt down and studied the computer lock. He entered a sequence in to the keypad, but the lock responded un-encouraging beep. He entered another sequence, this time his fingers moving faster. Another negative beep. He tried again, faster. Beep. Data’s finger began moving at superhuman speed. The beeps melded into a single tone. Suddenly there was a loud mechanical click. The ground nearby shifted as a door hinged open revealing a set of stairs.
Data followed Dod down the stairs into a well lit room full of neatly stacked crates. Sitting on one of the crates was an Orion in a gold silk shirt and a linen suit holding a disruptor rifle. The Orion quickly stood and raised the rifle.
“There is no need for alarm.” Data said. “I am Lieutenant Commander Data, your friend Dod and I are here to recue you.” Data looked towards Dod. “Dod, why are you holding a phase pistol?”
Dod fired. The blast hit the Orion in the face and vaporized his body. The gold shirt and linen suit dropped to a pile on the floor. Dod pointed his pistol at Data.
“Where am I?” Data wondered. He was seated before a console that had lost power. There was a large window in front of him. “I am in a shuttlecraft.” Data realized, unsure of how he got there. His uniform was covered in soot and all of the shuttle’s systems were unresponsive. “It appears I have been in a shuttle accident.”
Data turned when he heard movement in the back of the shuttle. There was a short balding being with pale brown skin searching through the shuttle’s storage compartments. It appeared to be a Coridan wearing a shirt with worn elbows and a faded pair of work pants. The Coridan tossed most of the items he found on the floor, but every so often would place one into a sack hung over his shoulder.
“Greetings.” Data said. “Those items you have taken are the property of Starfleet and must be returned.”
The Coridan jumped upon hearing Data’s voice. “I’m sorry.” He said breathlessly. “You didn’t have a pulse. This shuttle had a nasty crash. I was going to claim salvage rights on these items. I’m Dod. I didn’t mean any harm. I’ll put it back. I’ve just been down on my luck lately.”
“Your confusion is understandable. I am an android. I have no pulse.” Data turned his head to the side as he completed a self diagnostic. “However, it appears there is damage to my memory compressor. Without it, I cannot form new memories. That would explain why I have no memory of the crash.”
Dod walked to the other side of the shuttle and pointed to a piece of charred and mangled metal. “Bad plasma regulatory. You’re lucky to have survived.” Dod thought for a second. “How can you carry on a conversation without a memory? How do you remember what you just said?”
“My memory buffer holds approximately ten minutes of information before transferring the information to my memory compressor.” Data explained. “I will need to get to a subspace terminal to contact my ship. My injury will leave me a disadvantage. Could you help me?”
Dod rubbed his chin thoughtfully and studied data. “Yeah, I could. And you could help me.” He finally answered. “I did a job for these Orions awhile back. Helped them lift a small fortune in isiks. They stiffed me. Kept it all for themselves. You could help me get it back, and then I can take you to a subspace terminal.”
Data shook his head. “I cannot be party to a crime.”
“The Orions committed the crime. You’d be like, punishing them. They have the loot locked up in vault buried in a field. It’s unguarded except for lock with fractal encryption. I bet that android brain of yours could open it right up, memory or not.”
“I will not. Stealing from criminals does not make the act any less wrong. I cannot help you Dod. I would be against my moral and ethical programming.”
Dod angrily kicked the bulkhead of the shuttle and yelled. “I just can’t get a break!” He paced back and forth, an idea forming. “You’re not going to remember and of this, are you? In a few minutes we’ll be strangers again. I just have to convince you you’re doing something good. I could even make the Orions think it was all you.”
“I will not do anything against my moral or ethical programming.” Data insisted.
Dod smiled. “You won’t know you are, and you won’t remember.”
“Greetings.” Data said. “Those items you have taken are the property of Starfleet and must be returned.”
Data ran from the shack towards Geordi’s shuttle. He passed Dod’s land vehicle, the rear storage now empty except for a faint glow of light. The ramp on the back of the shuttle was beginning to close. Data leapt and hurdled the rising ramp into the back of the shuttle. A waist high stack of crates was just completing transport into the back of the shuttle.
“Computer, disable main power, voice authorization Lieutenant Commander Data.” The shuttle’s computer immediately responded to Data’s command. Data aimed the weapon over the crates at the Coridan in the pilot seat. “It is over Dod. The Coridan Security Forces are here to arrest you.”
“They’re here to arrest you!” Dod shrieked. He was on the brink of tears.
“They did come for me, but for crimes you committed.”
“You’re the one in the dead man’s suit! You’re the one who gambled with stolen isiks!”
“You put this suit on me and sent me to play poker with stolen isiks. You knew the Orions would recognize their friend’s suit and the isiks you helped them steal days earlier. And I suspect it was you that called the Security Forces at the bar and to your home.”
“I just can’t get a break!” Dod sobbed.
Data moved to the front of the shuttle and grabbed Dod by the arm. The defeated Coridan allowed himself to be escorted out of the shuttle and turned over to the Security Forces.
“You’re lucky you weren’t charged with assault, Data.” Geordi said. He and Data were back in the shuttle. Geordi tapped a few controls and transported the crates of isiks out of the shuttle and into a waiting Coridan Security Forces vehicle.
“Once I explained the nature of the damage I had experienced to the authorities, and that I had to act quickly to stop Dod from escaping, they forgave my indiscretion.”
“You never suspected Dod was manipulating you?” Geordi asked.
“It is difficult to judge a person’s motivations in the total absence of context. By the time I contemplated such thoughts, my memory buffer would reset.” Data explained. “It was not until you had repaired the connections to my memory compressor that the context of Dod’s actions fully formed in my mind.”
“He had the isiks and you were left in between the security forces and a group of angry Orions Why would Dod ever call the Enterprise to pick you up?” Geordi wondered.
“He needed a shuttlecraft to leave this moon.” Data replied.
Goerdi sighed. “I for one will be happy when we’re off this moon and back on the Enterprise.”
“I cannot remember a time I was more content to leave a place.” Data powered up the shuttle and set a course back to the Enterprise.