Rating: PG-13 for non-consensual sensuality, both hetero and slash. I rated it this way simply because I wouldn’t want my 13 year old daughter to read this without discussing it with me first. To be honest… I’d rather her not watch the EPISODE without discussing it with me first. : )
Humans are a very physically appealing species… very much like my own people. The biological coincidences of the universe never cease to surprise me. How two species which developed on planets on opposite sides of known space could be so outwardly physically compatible is a mystery which defies explanation. There are differences, of course… differences readily and enthusiastically exploited by my current owners. My people found the ability to telepathically control the hostile predators on my planet… and to immobilize food animals… to be an evolutionary necessity. This ability, when combined with the imaging technology incorporated into my body, has made me an espionage tool beyond compare.
I am proud of my abilities. They have given me the opportunity to interact with many different species… admittedly sometimes with greater intimacy than I would have preferred. Not every species responds to telepathic influence. There have been times when I have been forced to resort to more… primal… means of persuasion. The Orion slave markets have taught me quite a lot about this most ancient of skills. I have seduced Rigellians, Nausicans… even Ferenghi. I have never failed to obtain the information that my owners require, but I don’t always find the experience pleasant.
This captain reminds me of my childhood… before the Orions slaughtered everyone and took my freedom. I have no memory of my parents’ physical appearance, but I can distantly remember being surrounded by guileless minds whose only concern was for my well-being. It was a very long time ago.
As soon as I sensed this human’s mind in the marketplace, I knew that he was the one I’d been sent to find. I decided to appeal to his protective nature. It was a risk. Males of most species respond more readily to seduction, but I sensed a difference in him. I was right. This mission has been too easy. These people are so trusting that I should be contemptuous of them. Instead, I am struggling to resist being overwhelmed by guilt. I discovered long ago that I cannot afford to feel guilty. Guilt is a very dangerous emotion.
Silass, the reptilian Xindi who purchased me less than a year ago, does not tolerate failure. I am valuable to him, but there are many ways to inflict pain without impairing function. I have experienced all of them, and I am not eager to do so again. I am tempted, nevertheless, by the obvious sincerity of these people, to abort this mission. I can’t risk it, though. The last time I challenged Silass’ commands and tried to refuse his advances, he nearly killed me. There’s no predicting what he might do if I fail to obtain his information.
I have succeeded in two of my objectives. Archer and Sato will never remember my hands stroking warm, bare skin to obtain the images I require, nor will they recall my mind entering each of theirs in turn to avail myself of the information that my owner demands. The success of my mission thus far should be a source of satisfaction. Instead, I keep thinking about the beautiful symmetry of their bodies, the captivated expressions on their faces, and the sweet innocence of their minds… at least, in comparison to the mental cesspools of my usual victims. I found myself wondering, in the moments when I had each of them in my embrace, what it would be like to have such innocence presented to me voluntarily. In my career, I have been gifted with jewels and adornments of every possible description. I am beginning to realize that I would gladly give all of them away in exchange for a single moment of honest affection. This realization is a distraction that I can ill afford at present. I set it aside as I enter the Vulcan’s quarters, using the security override codes that I have gleaned from the captain’s mind.
She looks up at me, wide-eyed… as if she’s expecting someone. I approach her, spouting soothing nonsense while my mind takes hold of hers. She trembles before me, effectively immobilized by my skills. I have never been this close to a Vulcan before, but I have been thoroughly briefed. My handler described them as emotionless and immune to seduction. He warned me that, although Vulcan strength approaches my own, I would very likely have to risk the use of physical force to obtain information from one should my telepathic skills prove inadequate. I nearly smile when I discover how wrong he was.
The Vulcan… her name, apparently, is T’Pol… gives token protest to my presence in her quarters. I can sense her desperate struggle for emotional control. She’s terrified by the sensation of my mind touching hers. Someone has traumatized her badly in the past. I can feel the residual effects of a clumsily performed mental link creating weaknesses in her mental shields which leave her vulnerable to my telepathic influence. Whoever did this to her did it without regard for her well-being. I could never be so destructive to such an ethereally lovely creature.
I try to reassure her… to encourage her to voluntarily lower her barriers, but she resists my efforts to obtain the information I need. I have no wish to force her and do further damage, but I must complete my mission. I am convinced now that my handler was completely wrong about Vulcans. As I attempt to soothe the terrified woman with a touch… it’s amazing how a gentle stroke of the ear gives pleasure to so many different species in the galaxy… it occurs to me that humans are not the only physically appealing species on board this ship.
She stills… her eyes locked with mine like a trapped animal as I softly stroke the smooth, surprisingly hot skin of her back beneath the brief, silky shirt she wears. My implanted imaging sensors tell me that the quality of the images I have obtained are acceptable. I linger for a second more, gazing into her frightened eyes… wishing that I could somehow calm her fears before I do what I must do. The door chime sounds.
T’Pol’s eyes remain locked with mine because I refuse to release her, but I sense her frantic need to call out to the person behind the door. She i had /i been waiting for someone… while dressed in decidedly abbreviated and intimate clothing. In her mind, I see a picture of him. The one called Tucker. I hadn’t really noticed him before, but I am certain that the picture of him in her mind’s eye must be exaggerated. No being could be as beautiful… or as desirable and comforting. The sight intrigues me, and I wonder whether he actually resembles the picture she paints of him, or whether her affection for him defies reality. As I debate the safety of discovering the answer to this question myself, my captive rebels.
As the door chime sounds again, a burst of anger, protectiveness, and sudden panic breaks my control over the Vulcan. Her need to protect her insistent visitor… to neutralize me before he enters the room… has given her the strength to resist my influence. She pulls away from my grip with a wild cry. I have no choice but to use force.
I don’t think she expects my physical strength. They never do. In seconds, I have her pinned to the carpeted decking. I regain control of her mind and summarily rip the necessary information from her. There is no time for regret as she loses consciousness. The door is opening. I grab the nearest object to use as a weapon, in this case, a ceramic vase on a small table, and duck into the bathroom as a human male enters the room in a rush. For a moment, I consider attempting to influence him, but I have sufficient information about human males from my encounter with Archer, and the fury that I sense from him when he sees the Vulcan stretched out on the floor frightens me.
Taking control of my victims generally requires several seconds of intense concentration. I can usually gain this time by appealing to my victim’s sensuality, or occasionally, by evoking his pity. Tucker is ready to kill the Vulcan’s attacker. I doubt that he will allow me sufficient time for either. I decide not to take the chance. The vase shatters over his head as I use it to make my escape.
My mission is complete. As I make my way rapidly toward my quarters to trigger the homing beacon which will call my owner’s troops to collect me, it occurs to me that, although I have been in pain and injured innumerable times in my lifetime, and have been in many exquisitely dangerous situations during the course of my duties, I have never had the experience of sensing another being’s sincere concern for my welfare. My owners wish to preserve their investment… my handlers wish to preserve their lives by assuring my safety… but no one is made angry if I am injured. No one is protective of me for myself alone, and not for the services I provide.
I contemplate the Vulcan and her human, and I envy them.
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