Monday, June 29, 2009
A break from TOS and a little about my other favorite captain of the Enterprise.
Disclaimer: Paramount owns the characters. Creative content, plot and original characters belong to me.
Archiving: Ask permission, please.
Lily Sloan NC-17
Summary: Picard needs the kind of vacation that perhaps only Q can give him.
Lily Sloan sighed, scrubbed a hand over her face and dragged her fingers through her hair. She’d been growing her hair out over the past year in an effort to look a little younger but its length only served to highlight the thick streak of silver that was coming in on the left side. She glanced at her reflection in the monitor. She sat so long without action, her screen went dark.
She sighed again and tapped the monitor with her stylus. Her screen winked on. A rusted iron butterfly bounced slowly from one edge to the other. She frowned, irritated that she’d let Cochrane load the program. The butterfly looked stiff and heavy and archaic—the way she felt.
It was a dozen years since First Contact, and the Vulcans were slowly insinuating their influence on Terran society. There was still some resistance to their presence but despite that she sometimes thought them pedantic, Lily found their calm soothing and their intense intellect refreshing. The Vulcans had taken as a temporary embassy the battered Palace of Fine Arts and Exploratorium. Lily would sometimes sit on a stone bench by the rotunda and watch them go about their quiet business. They were also quite beautiful. Of the hundred or so that lived at the embassy, she had yet to meet an unattractive Vulcan.
She admired the Vulcans. And she shared their reluctance to move Earth too quickly into warp technology and all that it implied. She and Cochrane had fought about it. As usual, he was the visionary and she the voice of reason. Their last argument was bitter. He accused her of turning the Vulcans against him and she fired back that his alcoholism and his growing xenophobia had done that job for her. She instantly regretted her words and tried to take them back but he refused to speak to her for weeks. It was a good thing in its way. It gave her the perspective she needed. She was weary of defending Cochrane and making excuses for him. He was a genius but he got nowhere without her dogged determination, discipline and practicality. Warp drive was chicken scratchings on a chalkboard when she became his student and would have remained there if Lily had not wrapped it in a warp core. She practically mined the titanium for the Phoenix’s nacelles herself.
She was convinced—admittedly irrationally—that her gray patch of hair was a result of her radiation poisoning from her defense of the Phoenix during the Borg attack. Where was Cochrane then? She didn’t know and he changed the subject when asked the one time.
For the last two nights, he had drunkenly serenaded her from the street in front of her flat. She was tired of him. Perhaps it was time to move on. That Archer kid was brilliant and level-headed. Let him deal with Zefram Cochrane.
She gazed at a dusty wine bottle that sat on a sideboard. It was a 2045 cabernet sauvignon that Soval found on one of his diplomatic missions to Europe. “Picard” was written in small plain calligraphy beneath a simple sketch of a French countryside. The simplicity of the label belied what was expensive before the war, and what was priceless now. Wealth was another thing that Vulcans did not discuss--and certainly not their own. She kept the bottle hidden here in her office at Stanford, away from Cochran.
The new world government was building a space academy at the Presidio and at at Soval’s insistence, was naming a building for her. Everything else was named after Cochrane. Lily didn’t mind. She detested publicity and was content to work behind the scenes as head engineer, building the space fleet.
Lily walked to her sideboard and stroked her fingers across the label of the wine bottle. The dedication of her building was this evening.
“I need to get out of here,” she muttered.
Picard raised his arms and pressed his palms against the warm wall of the shower stall.
He was tired.
More and more he found himself like this after missions, exhausted from the top of his head to the soles of his feet, every muscle, tendon and joint sore, tender, hot. Just a few days of sitting around a conference table during diplomatic negotiations and he sometimes ached this way.
He leaned forward and rested his forehead against the wall. The low hum of the sonic wave generator lulled him. The hair on his body rose and his skin tingled; he fancied that he could see it ripple with tiny waves in time with the cleansing sonic pulse as each hair was stripped of its mites, dirt and oil. His testicles grew warm and heavy and his penis thickened from the ghostly stimulation. He could come this way—intense, shuddering orgasms that left his knees weak.
But he thought that he was too tired for even that.
“Computer. End sonic, begin hydro, 25 degrees, massage pressure, level four,” he said quietly.
Hot streams burst from three holes in the wall in front of him and one from the ceiling. He lowered his head to let the water pound his shoulders. He bent one knee and shifted his hips to avoid the direct contact of a stream to his genitals. The water beat against his flank.
"Computer. 30 degrees," he said.
The water cascaded down his body and he relaxed into the luxury of the heat on his aching bones.
“Old bones”, he muttered, regretting his rejection of an analgesic hypospray.
A hot shower, a bowl of soup and then to bed, he thought. He rolled his shoulders and turned to face away from the wall. The jet at his hip shot a bull’s-eye of steaming, pressurized water right to his anus. Picard let out a yelp and reflexively turned back toward the stream, only to have it unerringly blast the head of his penis.
“Aahh! Computer, hydro off!”
He stood for a moment, eyes closed and jaws clenched, with one hand pressed flat against the center of his buttocks and the other cupping his sex.
“Fuck!” he said through his teeth.
This was not going well. He would have laughed, were it not so painful.
He carefully inspected his foreskin for tears but other than a tender redness, the head of his penis seemed undamaged. He stepped from the shower, dried himself and walked naked into his sleeping area. He removed a pair of gray, loose-fitting pajama pants from a drawer and pulled them on, gingerly maneuvering the elastic waistband over his penis. He strode to the replicator.
“Riker’s Mulligatawny soup, hot, medium-spicy. Tea, earl grey, hot—decaffeinated,” he added with some regret. “Computer, lights 40 percent. Play any Mozart and Berlioz, shuffle. 20% volume.”
Picard took the tray from the replicator and went to his desk to eat. He caught sight of his reflection in the glass of the viewport and stopped. He was scowling; his jaw was clenched, the muscles in his arms bulging. He made a detour and sat at his small dining table instead.
Q taunted him about his inability to just enjoy life’s simplest pleasures, telling him that he lived a life of planned deprivation, almost obsessively isolated and monastic. Picard had to admit that the life was getting to him. This ship and the ones before were his life. That was not good.
“I’m getting too old for this,” he murmured into his bowl of soup.
He’d just returned from a debriefing and ceremony at Starfleet Headquarters. There were speeches and medals and more speeches--and a quiet sidebar from Janeway with a futile plea for him to join the Admiralty. He’d slipped out of the auditorium and took a long walk around the Presidio. He stood in the dark of a tree with his head down for nearly half an hour before breaking regulation and beaming up to the ship from where he stood in front of the Sloan building.
In their brief, intense interaction, they forged a connection that he thought wasn’t just his wishful thinking. They seemed to share a kind telepathic link from almost the first moment they met. He had looked into her huge, frightened eyes and said, “Jean-Luc. My name is Jean-Luc Picard.”
And even before that, she stood, terrified and swaying with radiation sickness, still defiant, protecting the Phoenix with her body and an empty machine gun. Cochrane did the math but Lily built the ship, loved it and risked her life to protect it. She had the brave heart of a true explorer; her intense curiosity even transcended her fear of the Borg. She and Picard were kindred spirits and she flayed him to the bone with her dead-on assessment of his motives. He had others in his history who claimed to give him their honest opinion when he asked, but he often wondered if they held back because he was the Captain. Guinan was probably the most honest with him but she was often too enigmatic in her analysis. And he had to admit that he wasn’t always completely forthcoming with counselor Troi.
Picard was tired of talking. He was tired of this life, this ship and he was tired of being alone.
“Oh, Lily,” he sighed.
“Your wish is my command, Mon Capitan.”
Jean-Luc didn’t blink. He sipped from his tea and swallowed.
“Q,” he said.
“You rang, Baba Sadhu?” said Q. “Finally tired of the self-flagellation, the barren, ascetic--.”
“How rude. You called me!”
“I did no such thing.”
“Didn’t you, Jean Luc? You finally make a wish and it is for the impossible? A wish that only I can grant?” Q fell onto the chaise with the back of his wrist pressed against his forehead. “Some foolish, hopeless romance?” He propped himself up on his elbows. “I can bring her to you, you know.”
“Get out, Q.”
Q gazed at him with narrowed eyes. “Or, I can take you to her.”
Picard glanced at him sharply.
“Aha!” said Q, pointing a finger at Picard. “That’s it, isn’t it? You want to go there.”
Q clapped his hands and rubbed them together. “Nothing like a little time travel to take your mind off things. Better than taking your only pleasure from a sonic shower, eh?”
“I don’t need you for that,” snapped Picard.
“Perhaps not. To be or not to be? That is the question.”
“What the hell are you talking about, Q?”
Q swung his legs over the side of the chaise and stood. “Going back in time would be breaking the rules. And you do need me for that,” he said.
End Chapter 2
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Sunday, June 07, 2009
The Obsidian Mirror
I entered what I hoped was the relative safety of my quarters to wait for word from Scotty and Bones. McCoy was frightened and angry but I wasn’t worried about him. Scotty, however was a deeply honest man and the mere thought of deception blared from his body like a red alert klaxon. Alone, Scotty was caught the moment he turned down the corridor towards engineering. Bones, on the other hand, would make the best secret agent in the universe. Barring getting shot in the back, McCoy could con their way out of any encounter.
Unfortunately, I had no choice but to leave Uhura on the bridge. I could feel her absence like a knot in my chest.
Bones asked me, what kind of people are we in this Universe. Humans, unfortunately, are essentially the same–vicious and debauched, but recognizable. The Halkans are exponentially more passive. Vulcans in this universe are…logical. But how does a Vulcan reconcile such brutality with logic?
I feel warm attachment from “my” Spock—and he even has a bit of a temper. I see humor in Golan’s eyes. Sarek’s logic is balanced by empathy.
This Spock’s logic is implacable. Terror must be maintained or the Empire is doomed, he said. Terror within and without--a coldly logical justification for the agony booth. It is a most effective means of discipline. But logic and history also dictate that despotism and tyranny is not sustainable. Surely, Spock knew this.
And good men must exist, even here. The real question is, is Spock a good man or not? I believe him when he says he does not want to command the Enterprise. In this universe, this ship is a fool’s gold. It is not logical to desire the instrument of one’s own--
There was a woman stretched out on my bunk. She rolled her head toward me.
“I fell asleep,” she said.
My eyes searched the room for assassins. I folded my arms loosely about my waist, resting the fingertips of one hand lightly on my phaser. I took a casual but quick step towards her when she swung her legs off the bunk, and I watched carefully as she removed two glasses from the dispenser by the bed. I wanted to be close enough to strike her if I had to but not within her reach should she decide to gut me with her dagger.
“We had quite a time in the chem lab, picking up after the storm,” she said.
I glanced at her as I finished surveying the quarters. She was small and beautiful and from the softness of the muscles in her arms, this woman hadn’t worked a day in quite some time. Whatever her assignment was in the lab, I doubted that she lifted a finger.
I caught scent of her as she stood and offered me a glass. Her perfume was faint but still cloying, under lit with the odor of a woman’s body—a smell I usually enjoy. But hers was the musk of a body gone too long between washings. I’ve noticed that about this crew. They smelled bad. It was understandable, given that the act of bathing, even a sonic shower, left you more vulnerable to attack. But it wasn’t just body odor--in itself, not necessarily offensive. Klingons had a deep, heavy odor but as much as I disliked and distrusted them, theirs was the smell of bodies primed for battle.
Greed and malice had a scent too; and despite her carefully constructed façade, this woman was also rank with desperation.
“Nothing compared to your day, I gather,” she continued.
After a moment’s hesitation, I took the glass she held out to me. She took a sip from her drink. Her throat trembled as she swallowed and her lashes dropped seductively. That’s not a show for me, I thought. She’s an alcoholic.
I felt the first stirrings of pity but kept my face empty.
“I heard about Chekov,” she said.
“He gambled, I won,” I said.
“No.” She shook her head. “You got lucky. I’m surprised that you could be caught off guard that way.”
My mind raced. I already gathered that our relationship was intimate. She was the captain’s woman, unafraid to offend me—Kirk—the other Kirk, free to access to his quarters, trusted enough to serve his drinks. One misstep and she’d call Sulu or likely slit my throat herself.
I decided to use what always served me well with women—the truth.
“I was…preoccupied,” I murmured, dropping my gaze to her mouth. Adding a bit of charm to the truth was usually helpful.
She either did not recognize my overture or was unaffected by it.
“Ah,” she said. “You’re still in trouble with Starfleet Command.”
I covered my gaffe by pretending to drink from my glass. She regarded me with narrowed eyes.
“What you’ve got in mind this time is beyond me. You’re scheming, of course,” she said sweetly. “The Halkans have something you want. Or is it all some clever means to advance you to the Admiralty?”
I turned my back to hide my expression. She was finally giving me information I could use. I waited for her to go on.
“Kirk? The Cabinet, itself?”
I glanced arrogantly over my shoulder. “Further than that, if I’m successful,” I said. I was beginning to appreciate the irony of telling a lie by using the truth.
“Really?” she said, finally impressed. “Well.”
I turned to her. Her eyes sparkled with greed and lust and I understood why she was unaffected by my charm.
“You must know what you’re doing. You always do.” She draped her arms around my neck. “If I’m to be the woman,” she paused and planted a kiss on my lips. “Of a Caesar, can’t I know what you’re up to?”
This was the show of seduction, I thought. Her pander to Kirk’s power. She was smart enough to know that her Kirk would rapidly discard a woman only interested in him sexually, as his lust was fired by his gain of power. She fanned those flames alternately with flattery and ridicule; at each step up, praising and goading and belittling him, feeding him information about his enemies, fucking him until she bled and then procuring ever more tender yeomen when she was too raw to satisfy him, pushing him to the top, covering for excesses that were shocking even in this brutal Empire, happily suffering his abuse, waiting for that moment when she could watch his body slump from his throne then roll limply down the Senate steps, her blade in his back.
I saw all of this in her eyes as she stretched up to kiss me again.
Her lips were cold and I could smell on her breath the metabolized alcohol consumed earlier in the day--the real cause of her nap in my cabin. I forced myself not to recoil as she deepened the kiss. Fortunately, I was saved by the trill of the com.
It was Spock.
“I received a private communication from Starfleet Command…”
I had four hours until my execution.
The woman seemed unconcerned by this news. I propped my feet on the desk. There was a holostill of Kirk, Uhura and Spock in a small frame next to the com. It was an interesting keepsake for a man like Kirk. I had a nearly identical one—a gift from Uhura after our shore leave on Aeon V--except I kept mine in a drawer by my bunk. I had to remember to move it to my desk when we got …home.
The woman chuckled and raised her glass.
“A toast to Spock”, she said. “The only man aboard with the decency to warn you—and he’ll die for it. You’ll never find another man like him.”
I nodded. Of course. Kill the messenger. I thought about Spock’s rather elegant warning at the end of our conversation in the corridor.
“I don’t intend to kill him,” I said. “I’ll get out of his way.”
She frowned. She was suspicious for the first time.
“Should I activate the Tantalus field?” she asked.
I tried to keep my expression neutral.
“You’ll at least want to monitor him, won’t you?”
“Yes,” I said.
I followed slowly behind and watched as she unlocked a safe in the bulkhead. In my universe, Tantalus was a state of the art rehabilitation facility. Either the Tantalu used their highly advanced technological knowledge for killing or Kirk took a device meant to heal and used it his way. And Marlena—who finally revealed her name--was too eager to use it. I barely restrained myself from reaching out and snapping her neck. I realized, however that I needed her on my side.
There were three hours left until Spock’s deadline to kill me.
I didn’t have time for this.
“How does Marlena want to fit in,” I asked.
She barely restrained a flinch when I raised my hand and stroked it down her hair. She laughed softly and turned away, downing her drink and she walked into the next room.
I checked in with Scotty and discovered that I had even less time than I thought. I could hear Marlena moving and I thought I could slip away but as I headed for the door, she emerged from the next room. She swayed a bit but caught herself with a hand on the door jamb. Her pupils were fully dilated with more than alcohol. Her perfume was so thick that it stung my eyes. I breathed shallowly through my mouth to keep from sneezing.
Marlena mistook it for something else.
“Oiling my traps, darling,” she said.
It was another act and I really, really didn’t have time for it. I had to get to the transporter room. And Uhura was on the bridge, alone.
“I’ve got to go,” I said.
Marlena glared at the photo. As much as she hated Kirk, she was still jealous of Uhura.
“Ship’s business? An important task on the crew deck?” she snapped.
I could almost feel the seconds ticking by.
I was tempted to stun her with my phaser but Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned—especially a woman who knew how to use the Tantalus device.
“I simply meant that you could be anything that you want to be,” I said.
I had to be convincing. I dug deep. The exercises to control breathing and blood flow that Spock was teaching me back home paid off. I summoned an erection. I rolled my hips against her body. When she felt my hardness against her belly, a tremor went through her and her tongue stilled for an instant in my mouth.
She was disgusted. She had to be drunk for this. Drugged .
The pity I felt earlier returned. I pulled my hips back and broke the kiss. For the first time, there was a genuine emotion in her eyes.
“You’re the captain’s woman,” I said. “Until he says you’re not.”
Out in the corridor, I paused and drew in deep breaths. Her perfume clung to my clothes. I peered behind me and then up ahead. I headed for the transporter room.
End Chapter 3
Thursday, June 04, 2009
"She was very old and small and she walked slowly in the dark pine shadows, moving a little from side to side in her steps, with the balanced heaviness and lightness of a pendulum in a grandfather clock."
Monday, June 01, 2009
He is Corgi-ish. He is sweet and flatulent, has a potbelly, short crooked legs and an overbite. He potty-trained Spot, taught him how to walk on a leash and how to wait his turn. He makes funny noises and refuses to lose weight. When he walks, one ear flaps up and down and the other ear flaps down and up. He has a deep, sing-song bark that he rarely uses and he is utterly loyal.
Happy birthday, Odie Old Man Tubby Mookieface Bump Bumpity! I love you so much.
*This is a picture of him all dirty, 2 hours after the groomers. So happy.