"So tell me," you say out of the blue, "what's it like to be a real Cardassian?"
"Real?" he says.
"Oh, yes, of course. You're an Obsidian Order spy who has lied about his background. That must make you a natural."
"It's an acquired taste," he says with a chuckle.
"Your people didn't like the fact that you lied, obviously. So what did they do? Kill you?"
Garak's eyes flicker.
"No, but I left soon after my twentieth birthday."
"Because your people didn't like you?"
"No, because the Obsidian Order wanted me to join them. I refused."
"Why would they want you to join them? You're a lowly tailor."
"I was to them," he says, pausing. "It's a long story."
He takes a drink and sighs.
"So... what about you? Why'd your people send you to fetch me?"
"Oh, that was easy. They thought you could help us."
"The Maquis. They're a collection of rebel ships trying to use the war with the Cardassians to fight for our freedom. You know, like you did?"
He stares at you blankly.
"Oh. Huh. I didn't think there were still people out there doing what we're doing," he says.
"There aren't, typically. But there are still people out there fighting the Cardassians with strikes against their forces and battles against them in the Rask system."
"That's incredible," he says.
"Tell me about it. That's why I'm here, and that's why I need your help."
"How can I help? You need troops, I doubt if I have anything like that."
"No, not troops. Equipment. I need a level three lab to conduct medical tests on the new batch of tribals."
"A medical lab? Are you experimenting on them?"
"Heh, no. But we need a lab that can grow various plants for our ship's nutrition. They grow nutrition tablets in a lab, for crying out loud. It's not like it's crazy scientific."
"Ah. Okay, got it. So what do you need?"
"It's really boring equipment that most people don't give a shit about. I need... a gel seat, for one."
"A gel seat?"
"Yeah. You've used them before, right?"
"I have. They're used for communication during long trips. Basically, you lower yourself into a liquid that's quite comfortable."
"Exactly. They're very popular on New Bajor. I need one, because... well, because the transporter doesn't work on me."
Garak sits up.
"So... you need a... a... water-filled seat then?"
"Yes, please," you smile.
He cracks up laughing and shakes his head.
"I can't believe you're asking for that!" he says, still laughing.
"Why not? It's a common request."
"Because it's absurd! Not to mention disgusting. If I asked for something that, I'd be insulted that you found me wanting."
"Please, it's really the only way I can travel. I miss my shuttle."
"Ah. I see... I'll get you one of these."
"You will? You're really going to do it?"
"If I can get it, yes. No promises, though. It's an odd request, and I have my limits. But I'll try my best."
"Thanks, Garak. I really appreciate it."
"You're quite welcome. So, when are you due? Do you know?"
"In a few days."
"Congratulations! I'll get your seat as soon as possible."
He stands up, and you stand as well.
"I really should be going. I'll see you soon, I presume."
"Yes, yes. See you soon," he says, floating away.
As you begin to leave the mess hall, the words "I'm pregnant" run through your head.
Oh Garak, you've done it again.
A week passes, and you're in your office on the base, making contact with Garak once more. He answers, and you sit down.
"I need that water-filled seat," you say.
"Yes, yes, here it is," he says, arriving with a small, black box.
You open it and find a black, water-filled seat.
"Perfect," you say. "Thanks."
"My pleasure. I really hope this child is a girl. I don't care for the... scent of those furry little creatures."
"So do I," you say.
"I'll see you soon, then," he says.
"See you later," you say, hanging up.
With that, you finish preparing your next "job."
A week later, you're sitting before Garak once more.
"Well?" you ask.
"Well what?" he answers.
"I have a job for you."
"Go on. I'm listening," he says.
"Classified," you say.
He doesn't even bother asking what it is. He just nods, and takes out his datapad. Immediately, the screen lights up, and you see a list of specifications. You smile, and find the one you're looking for.
"Got it," he says, tapping it.
"Are we ready?" you ask.
"Yes," he says.
"Are we sure?" you ask.
"It's our only option," he says.
"Can we trust them not to double-cross us?" you ask.
"No. But can you live without a kidney? I think that's more important," he says. "Now, are we ready?"
"Then let's go," he says, standing.
With that, you stand, and begin walking towards the transporter. You enter it, as does Garak. The computerized voice it once again blares out,
"Transporter breakdown. Use the emergency system to beam aboard. Be warned, it is heavily damaged. Only use in an emergency."
"Hmm, looks like they were caught off guard. Nice," you say.
"Indeed. Let's be quick, then," Garak says.
"You go on. I've got this," you say.
"An interesting choice, given that I just got you a new... system," Garak says, trailing off.
You look over, and you see that he's waved his hand, and a black hole has appeared in the middle of the room. You jump back, as a truck speeds towards you. You've no idea how he did that, and you don't have time to think anymore, as a large, black-furred creature comes out of the truck. You don't even get a chance to scream as it grabs you, and begins chewing into your flesh.
You awaken in a cold sweat, some of your blood on the glass of your pod. It's been several hours, and there's no sign of Garak. Instead, there's an unexpected visitor.
"So, you decided to wake up after all," says Captain Jean-Luc Picard, commander of the U.S.S. Enterprise-D.
"You... killed... Garak," you say, wincing at the pain in your mouth.
"I did. He had it coming to him," he says, narrowing his eyes.
"Why do you think? He not only lied to you, he put you in danger."
"It was an accident. We didn't know..." you start to say, but he cuts you off.
" I know what the two of you were attempting to do. The attempt to cross over some sort of questionable mutants. Cross them, what? In order to help these... tribals... even wondered why you would want to do that," he says, rolling his eyes. "Then I found out. Then I saw how much this man... that I once called a friend... risked to help these... abominations. A true FRIEND risks his life, not guessing games designed to save his own skin!!!" he shouts, getting in your face. "What did he ever do for you, Ensign?"
"He saved my life, several times, sir!" you say. "You're his superior officer!"
"Oh, I am, am I? Tell me, how does that make you feel...?"
A few moments later...
"Well, I'll be damned. This does look like his blood," Picard says, examining your arm. "It's a shame... he was a promising man, with much potential."
"His actions still justify saving his life, sir. Even you just said so."
"Indeed. Had things been different, he would've made an excellent addition to my crew."
"What are you talking about?"
"... I'm referring to his killer. The man who beheaded you and chewed on your head... I'm talking about myself, of course. It was my idea, indirectly, though I'll certainly take the credit. I'd hoped he'd be part of my team, but... well, you're still alive, and that's the important thing."
"I'm confused, sir. I thought you were beheaded by the mutant?"
"I was. But I saw another man complete the task."
"Another captain? An alien, like you?"
"Yes, and unlike me. He was... very angry when he did it. I never saw someone so filled with anger. It was fascinating."
"I don't understand, sir."
"Long story. Sometimes, a man has to make difficult choices, sacrifices. That's what I did. I left the planet, making an sacrifice of sorts. But I am pleased to say, I survived, and because I did, your life was also spared."
"So... you're saying Garak didn't die? He's alive?"
"Oh, he's alive. He just doesn't like you. In fact, I don't imagine he'd like you very much, under normal circumstances. But given what you two were attempting to do, well, he had a point. I mean, who wants to be part of a tribe of mutants? He's right... we're better than that."
"Sir, I... what are you exactly?"
"I don't see what that has to do with anything," says the captain, shaking his head. "However, I will tell you this. No man is worth sacrificing yourself for. Not even an intelligent man, like Garak. Sometimes, a man must do what he must, regardless of the consequences. And that, Ensign, is something you'll never understand. Good luck in your next life. You certainly deserve it. I'll be offering my guidance to you. I think we all will. It's a brave thing you've done. Perhaps the most brave thing any of us have ever done. I'd give you a salute, but I doubt you'd understand the gesture, so I'll just say one last thing. Remember... live for yourself. Don't let anyone else do it for you. And never, ever sacrifice yourself foolishly. That's a very bad mistake."
The captain snaps back around to you.
"Watch and learn, Ensign. A man should live for himself. Don't lose your own life for another man. Live for yourself, and don't let anyone else do it for you. Remember that. Be very careful with your next life. It's the most important thing in the world. Everything else is mere details."
With that, the captain nods to you and leaves.
You sit in silence for a moment, still trying to grasp everything you've just been told.
"So... what now?" you ask, turning to Garak. "What's your plan?"
A deathly silence greets you, and for a moment, you get worried.
"I don't have one," admits Garak.
"You're going to have to have one if we're teaming up again," you say.
"... I know."
"Great. So, when do we go?"
"Go?" asks Garak.
"Yeah. Where are we heading?"
"Yes, us. You're coming with me."
"I'm afraid I'm not going anywhere," says Garak, locking his cell door. "It's for my own safety. I'd like to keep the cell door locked, if possible."
"For your own... safety? What the hell does that mean? I'm not leaving you here! This is your last chance, Garak. You and me, or..."
"Or what? You'll turn me in to Mr. Sisko? I don't know what kind of deal you think you can strike for me, but I doubt it'll include my freedom. No, if we're going to do this, we're going to have to do it together. Besides, I think you're forgetting we're not exactly on the best of terms to begin with."
"We can deal with that later. Right now, we have a ship to commandeer. And we're doing that as a team."
"Look, I can't do that. If you want to leave, go ahead. I'm staying here," says Garak.
You take a deep breath, trying not to lose your temper. You then shake your head, sighing heavily.
"Alright, Garak, fine," you say. "End of discussion. We'll do this together."
"Perfect," says Garak. "Now, we have a ship to take."
You look around the room, spotting a unique looking weapon. You walk over to it, picking it up. It's light and small enough to easily carry on your trips around the ship. Perfect.
"What's that?" you ask.
"Oh, that's a Trish Partusall Plasma sniper rifle. We designed it ourselves, actually. Do you think you could use it? The markings are all done in copper, so they're easy to remove."
"Maybe," you say. "What about the energy cells?"
"What about them?" asks Garak.
"How many does it need?"
"Two, I suppose," says Garak.
"Okay," you say.
You walk over to the weapon, examining it. you figure with your knack for electronics, you can easily take the copper coating off to reveal the metal beneath. Easy enough. You just need the materials.
"Why don't you take the rifle? I'll just take the cells," you say.
"Fine," says Garak. "Just be quick about it."
You walk over to the energy cells, taking two of them out of the container. You quickly look around for something to open the cells with, and finally take a look at the tools hanging up in the room. There's a small, metal-faced pick, a short metal drill, an adjustable wrench, and a box-end wrench.
You take a long, hard look at the tools, wondering which one you should take.
"What are you doing?" asks Garak.
"I'm selecting which tool I'm going to take," you say.
"For what purpose?" asks Garak.
"I need to get into that rifle to take the copper coating off. I need a tool to do that."
"Well, take the wrench," says Garak.
"Why the wrench?" you ask.
"It's a big wrench!" he says.
"Actually, it's a box-end wrench," you say.
Garak rolls his eyes.
"It's big enough. Take the wrench," he says.
You press the large, metal end of the wrench to the side of the rifle, pulling it back. The energy cell falls out, bouncing off the ground and landing next to your feet.
"See? I told you taking the box-end wrench was a good choice," says Garak.
"Fine," you say.
You bend down, grabbing the cell, and quickly try to work out how to open it. After a few unsuccessful attempts, you just give up and pop it into your bag to take another look at it later.
"Let's go," you say.
"I just realized something," says Garak.
"What?" you ask.
"We don't have a power cell. We need a power cell, or this rifle doesn't work."
"We'll fix that later. Come on."
You quickly leave the weapons room, walking along the corridors of the massive, ship-based vessel. You feel like you're walking through a museum, or a ghost ship from the past. Everything is oversized and out of place. The halls are dark, even more so now that the lights in the weapons room have flickered out. You stop for a second, noticing a light flickering in the background. It's coming from the bridge.
You quickly hurry up the bridge, arriving in the command centre. The pilot and second seat are busy at their consoles.
"We lost power to most of the ship," says the pilot. "The weapons room is the last place still lit. What's going on down there?"
"We need power to the rest of the ship!" says the second.
"I'm trying to get the shields up, but I need the power to do it," says the pilot.
"Shit! We need that weapons room!"
The pilot and second begin to argue, as you look around the room. You notice the viewscreen, which is dark. A quick glance shows you that there's a status report on the screen, which the second quickly scrolls past.
"We can't spare the shields right now," says the pilot.
"Then you need to decide who gets priority! I don't think the Chief understands."
The second shakes her head, growling in annoyance.
"Fine," she says. "I'll do it myself."
The second pilot quickly moves over to the large chair in the centre of the bridge, sitting down. She puts on her headset, before speaking into it.
"This is Talia. I've decided we need more shields, and I'm going to divert power from the engine. I need someone to take the helm, and keep us away from anything per say so I can concentrate on the screens."
She listens for a moment, before replying. I'll be focusing all of my attention on keeping us alive."
The second pauses, before looking over at you.
"Can I trust you? We can't afford to have you fuck this up," she asks.
"I won't fail you."
The second pauses once more, before nodding at you.
"Alright. Do your best," she says.
The second pilot quickly moves back over to the controls, taking off her headset and speaking again.
"The shields will be up in a second. All power is being diverted to the shields, so keep an eye out for anything that needs focusing on."
You nod, checking the status of the shields. They're still building up, but they won't take long to finish if the power is kept here. The power can be redirected to the rest of the ship for more sophisticated systems, but if you're going for speed instead...
"We should get a power cell from the weapons room."
"Good idea. I'll go and get one."
You head off the bridge, turning toward the door that leads to the weapons room. You open it up, walking inside. The lights are dim, but the large room is illuminated by dozens of red lights. The large consoles that control the torpedoes and other weapons are dark, as the large room is otherwise empty. You notice that there is power here, as the lights are still working. You just need to find a power cell for one of the torpedoes...
You hear a voice shout, and you turn your head to see three men enter the room. They're all armed with rifles, and they quickly point them at you.
"Welcome to your last moments," says the man in the middle, a large grin on his face.
"I've always wanted to do this," says the man on your left. "I really, really want to fuck you."
The man on your right grins.
"I'll help him out. I really want to get off after seeing that," he says, turning and winking at you.
The man in the middle grins.
"You're surrounded by perverts. Let's do it."
The man with a large grin pulls out his gun, aiming it at you. You feel a large sensation in your crotch, as you realize that he's about to get to third base.
"Where's the cell?" you ask, raising your hands.
The man laughs.
"Where do you think? In my pants, of course."
He smiles and begins unbuttoning his pants, pulling out his manhood. A large, heavily veined, gray-colored manhood it, with a large, heavy sac beneath it. The man grins, licking his lips.
"Come over here, baby," he says. "And give daddy a blowjob."
"No," you reply, angrily.
The man's smile fades. He looks pained.
"But I really want to fuck you," he says.
"No, you don't. You're just hungry. I'll give you some food for that hunger. Give me that gun."
The man looks down, rubbing his chin.
"How do I know you won't just shoot me in the face?" he asks.
"You don't," you say. "But you're better off trusting me than letting your urges get the better of you."
The man pauses, thinking it over. He looks down at his bulging crotch, sighing heavily.
"Fine," he says.
The man throws the gun on the ground, and kneels down to pick it up. He hands it to you, and you take it, smiling.
"Thank you," he says.
You point the gun at him, and he looks terrified.
"Well?" you say.
You pull the trigger, sending the bullet flying at the man. It enters his skull, and he slumps over, his body dripping blood onto the ground. The other two look on in horror, as you step over the corpse and enter the next room. The next room is a kitchen, complete with a stove, refrigerator, sink, and cabinets. You see a large knife on the counter, and grab it. You begin to stalk the men, who are huddled together in the corner of the kitchen, terrified. You walk along the counter, heading toward the men. They don't notice you. You take a deep breath, jumping...
... And stabbing the knife into the man to the right in the throat. You pull the knife out, sending a spray of blood into the air. The other man stares at the wound in horror, as you pull the knife out of his friend's neck. He collapses to his knees, looking up at you.
"Please! I just wanna eat some pussy!"
You grit your teeth and stab him through the throat, killing him. You stand back, watching the blood pour out of the wound. He falls forward, hitting his head against the floor. You stare at the two corpses in front of you, and notice something...
"Hey! You're a girl!" you say.
The girl... No, the corpse stares at you with dead eyes.
You stare at it in surprise. It's a very pale, and very... Well, you can't think of a polite way to put it.
The girl's breasts are incredibly large, almost monstrously so, and they're incredibly firm. If they were on a living girl, they'd be the size of melons. They stare at you like two pale globes of wrath.
You stare at them in shock.
"What the hell am I doing?" you ask yourself. You toss the knife aside, and stand up. You take a deep breath, before heading to the fridge.
You grab a beer, popping it open. You take a drink, downing half the can in one go. You pause for a moment, staring at the dead girl on the floor. After a few minutes, you realize you're still kneeling in front of the fridge, drinking your beer. You sigh, and stand up.
You turn, and return to looking for a power cell.
You spend the rest of the day looking for power cells, but you're having no luck. You head to the kitchen for dinner, and eat a bowl of instant noodles. When you return to the power room, you find that the corpses have begun to rot.
You stare at them for dozens of hours, staring past their rotting flesh and stench to determine why they were murdered. After two days of research, you're no closer to finding out. You sigh, and turn to leave.
A power cell lies on the ground, next to the corpses.
"I found it!" you say aloud, grabbing the cell.
You quickly throw it in, and hook up the battery. The lights flicker on, and you stare in awe. Before you is a fully stocked weapons room. You grab a laser rifle, and examine it. It's a very well made rifle, with a large range and five shots per charge. You load it, and begin examining the rest of the room.
You grab a small pack, and look at the three power cells inside it. You have enough for one shot, so you decide to keep the pack for later. You grab a heavy duty combat knife, pulling it from its sheath. It's a very durable knife, with a large blade and sturdy handle. It's the perfect tool for messy murders.
You grab a few more items, and head to the door. It takes all your willpower to leave the arsenal and not take another look inside. You take a moment to admire the equipment, but you can't spend too long doing it, or you might end up getting tempted to use it.
Once you regain your sanity, you leave the power room, and head back up to the main floor.
You head back to the bridge, and find the captain still there.
"Where are the others?" you ask.
"The captain sent them to search the lower decks," he says. "What happened to you?"
"I was attacked by an..." you pause. Suddenly, you realize the captain might not want to hear the truth. "... Alien monster."
He looks worried for a moment, but then sits back. "Yeah, I've heard of these things. They're reportedly four times stronger than an average man, and can touch your mind to make you do whatever they want. Is that what happened to you?"
You nod, and he continues. "So, you were touched by the monster's mind?"
"Yes," you reply.
"But you're still alive to talk about it, which means the monster didn't completely drain you of all your life energy," he says. "I assume that it's weakened from its attack, and the others need more time to search. They're all down in the lower decks, aren't they?"
"Yes," you say.
He nods. "Please, be sure to stay away from them. The monster's mind can make you do things against your will. It's why we need to search thoroughly. So you can give us time."
"Time?" you ask.
"Time to search the lower decks, kill the monster, and gather up all it's eggs," he says. "So we can burn it to the ground and deprive it of any more."
"You don't think it'll be able to reform?" you ask.
The captain sighs, shaking his head. "I don't think it can," he admits. "The power the cells provided, the... change it experienced while in the cells, it's abilities are gone. It should be vulnerable, but we need to be sure. So please, don't go messing with the alien mind."
You nod. "I'll stay away."
He smiles, and stands. "All right. Now that you're safe, I've got some work to do." He heads to the door. "I've set the guards on the doors to the lower decks to be friendly.
You set out to find Garak so you can get him to come back to the bridge. As you walk through the halls, you try not to think about the bodies that you're stepping over. You find him in the mess hall, sitting and drinking a cup of tea.
"Ah, my creator," he says, smiling. "I was just finishing up my tea. Care for a cup?"
You nod eagerly, and he pours you a cup. You sit down next to him and he hands you the drink.
"Well," he says, raising his eyebrow. "It's about time you made your presence known. How has the search for the Doctor been going?" "It's about time you came back. We've got a lot to discuss."
You take a long drink from your cup, the hot liquid burning your throat. You notice he made your drink with double the amount of sugar than you're used to.
"How have you been?" he asks. "Have you had to kill many men?"
You nearly spit out your sip as you realize what he's asking.
"No," you say. "I've only had to kill one."
"Just one," he repeats. "I imagine that'll change."
You consider what he means as you put down your cup.
"The longer you stay with us, the more you'll grow to love the sensation," he says. "Enjoy your male body while you can, my dear Doctor. Once you've had time to get comfortable with it, it'll be gone, and you'll be back to living as a woman. Perhaps it'll even be time for you to have a new body."
You look at him, trying to detect any trace of joking, but he seems completely serious.
"I need to warn you about something," he says. "As you've noticed, most of the crew are men... But not all of them. In fact, there's one female among us."
He pauses, and looks at you intently.
"Do you want to be female?" he asks. "Does it trouble you that you're a woman in a man's body?"
You think over the question.
"No," you decide.
"Ah," he smiles. "That's good. It means you're accepting of your new reality, and that's the first step to getting used to it."
You nod slowly, still not sure if he's being serious.
"Now," he continues. "I'm sure you've noticed the men on this ship are all... Well, they're all malformed in some way. It'd probably be best if I showed you."
He gets up, and walks to a cabinet along the wall. He takes out a small metal disk the size of a coin, and a lighter from his pocket. He puts the disk into the lighter, and the blue flame illuminates the thing.
"This is a forehead implant," he says, as he holds up the disk so you can see. The design is a series of spikes, going in a circle around a long spike that goes through it. The spike itself is blue, with a small indent where the brain would be. "It's an anti-Gorn weapon. Not sure what exactly it does, but it gives users psychic abilities. Great for fighting them."
"How many men do you have with this..." you pause, not knowing the term for it. "Device?"
"Three. Four if you count me."
You look at him as he puts the disk back into his pocket.
"What does it do?" you ask. "What's Gorn?"
"Oh, it's a long story," Garak says. "Best you not know about it, or you'll go mad from the curiosity. Sheesh."
You finish your drink as he tells you more about the things he's done, and the things he's going to do. He shows you how to get more drinks for yourself, and more food if you want some. He shows you where the head to the lav is, and where the bed is. You take the bed, and he takes the floor.
You've never met a spy quite like Garak. He's bizarre, but fascinating. You want to know more, but he turns off when you're asking too many questions. All he said was to go to sleep, so you do.
But your mind won't stop.
Why did he kill Danton?
What's he going to do to you?
You open your eyes slowly, as consciousness returns to you. You look up to see Garak standing over you. You sit up, rubbing your head.
"What time is it?" you ask. "Shouldn't you be off doing something important?"
"I was," Garak says. "But since you're awake, I'll tell you about it."
Garak stands slowly and walks over to the metal cabinet in the corner of the room. He opens it up, and takes out a small box full of purple fruit.
"Eat up," he says. "We've arrived at DS9."
He sits down next to you, and shows you how to eat the fruit. It's not bad, but you have no idea what it does.
"DS9?" you ask. "What, you think I'm stupid enough to eat a bunch of unknown fruits on an alien ship?"
"No," Garak says. "I just wanted to hear your reactions to the viewscreen."
You look out the window behind you, as the stars stretch into infinity. Then, you look out into space. There's a large space station in the distance. It's purple, just like the fruit.
"Where are we?" you ask.
"The docking bay of the station," Garak says. "That's the viewscreen."
He stands slowly, and walks over to the device. He presses a few buttons, and the image from the window becomes a view of the station's docking bay. It's very high-tech.
"What do you think?" he asks.
"It's purple," you say.
"Yeah. I wanted to compliment it."
"I guess it worked. What exactly is DS9?"
"That," Garak says, as his finger, "is a whole story."
He stands slowly, and turns to face you. His eyes lock into yours, and he grins.
"But," he says, "let's not talk about that now. Let's go enjoy ourselves."
He walks out of the room, leaving you alone. You get up and follow him.
You follow Garak into the hall. It's a long, straight hall with metal doors on either side. Some of the doors are open, showing empty rooms. And some of them are not empty.
"Hello!" Garak says to you. "My name is Garak."
You look over at him.
"Well, what's yours?" he asks.
"Uh, Julian," you say.
"Ah, yes! I knew that!" he says. "I knew we met before. Yes... I knew you."
You look at him confused.
"Yes," Garak says again, "I knew you before."
He extends his hand, which you shake. He looks at you, puzzled.
"You... look a little bit like someone I knew," he says slowly. "But I can't remember who you are. This is really weird."
As he says this, you realize what he means. You and Garak do look alike. Not twins, but... there's a certain resemblance. Especially now that he's clean-shaven.
"I don't think I know anyone by the name of Julian," he says. "But we must be from the same world. Terrans just don't look like you do."
He stops, and looks around.
"The... uh... what do you Terrans call that thing you walk on?" he asks.
"That's feet," you say.
He frowns, and looks at his feet.
"Yes, of course," he says. "Sorry for the... what do you call it? The 'terrific question'."
He smiles, clearly embarrassed.
"Okay, let's go," he says. "I have something to show you."
You follow Garak into the next room. It's a cafeteria, filled with crewmen eating their meals. The room is dark, filled with the smell of food and the low murmurs of crewmen talking.
"Ah, good," Garak says. "We won't need your fancy space suit."
He takes out a small datapad, and begins tapping on it. He looks around, obviously looking for a place to be quiet.
"I thought I saw you come in here," he whispers. "Follow me, follow me."
He looks around, and walks quickly in between two tables. You follow him, nodding as people look at you. Some stares are soft, friendly stares. Others are stares of pure hatred and anger. You feel uncomfortable, out of place.
"Here," Garak says. "Sit here."
He leads you to a table, and you sit. You're in the corner of the room, so no one can easily see you.
"Now," he says, "give me your order."
You look up at him.
"My order?" you ask.
"Yes! What would you like to eat? I'll get you something. It's the least I can do, after saving your life."
"Uh... Fine," you say.
You're not exactly sure what you'd like to eat. You end up ordering something simple: a bowl of oatmeal and rashers of processed pork.
"Oatmeal?" the waiter asks. "What kind of oatmeal?"
"Uh... Let's just get the oatmeal," you say.
The oatmeal arrives. It's hot, and sweet, and a perfect way to warm up.
"So... how long have you been on this ship?" you ask.
"Oh, about two hundred and twenty-three years," Garak says. "Why? Are you impressed?"
"I suppose so," you say. "I just don't remember your kind being on the ship in the first place."
"Oh, we weren't," he says. "We were brought on later, after your... glorious species crushed the Torites."
"What... what are you?"
Garak points to himself.
"I am a Changeling," he says. "Is that a question you would ask a store clerk, or a waiter, or a man on the street?"
"Well, I... I don't know," you say.
"Have you ever asked a store clerk, or a waiter, or a man on the street: 'What are you?' "
"Well no, I..."
"Are you interested in learning more about me, the Changeling?" Garak asks. "I'll be more than happy to tell you."
You look around nervously. There's no way you can escape this man. You grab your oatmeal, and throw it at him. You can't believe you did it, but you're scared.
"I'll have you know that I am not a Changeling," he says, as oatmeal drips down his face. "I am a Xi--"
You flee. You run through the kitchen, pushing cooks and chefs out of the way. You reach the exit, and bolt out into the hallways. You find yourself in a part of the ship you've never been to. The hallway is long and dark, the only light coming from strips of blue emergency lighting. You look to either side, and find doors. To the left: crew quarters, washrooms, a kitchen, and more. To the right: crew quarters, a mess hall, a gym, and music room.
Suddenly, you hear footsteps behind you. You turn, to see Garak running after you.
"I'll have you know I am not a Changeling," he says.
"Fuck!" you say.
You continue running. Garak quickly catches up to you, grabbing your shoulder. He turns you around to face him.
"Now, tell me: who am I?" he asks.
"I don't know," you say. "Some kind of alien, apparently."
"No, no, no," he says. "I am far more superior to any form of life in this system."
"Okay, fine," you say. "You're a fucking genius."
Garak sighs, shaking his head.
"Am I? Am I really?" he asks.
"Yes," you say.
"No," he says.
You grab your oatmeal bowl, and break it over his head. He falls to the ground, unconscious.
"Oh, I'm a genius," he says, laughing.
You run down the hallways. Soon, you find yourself rushing onto the bridge. You spot the Captain, waiting patiently at his position.
"Bridge to the captain," you say. "We need to get off this ship."
The captain looks up at you.
"Go," he says.
You quickly explain everything that's happened. He seems unfazed by it, and just continues staring out the window.
"I was on a mission to escort some musicians to a planet to hold a concert for the people," he says. "It's the only way we could get them to calm down and be receptive to peace, love, and music."
"Did it work?" you ask.
He pauses, thinking.
"No," he says.
Suddenly, you hear a scream. The ship begins shaking, as red alert lights begin flashing. You turn around, to see a hole in the wall of the captain's office. A Changeling stands there, holding a sword. The head of the communications officer hangs from the blade.
"Fuck," you say.
"Ha!" the Changeling roars. "I got a farting monkey!"
The captain stands up, raising his rifle.
"Now, gentlemen...," he says.
The Changeling charges at him, swinging his sword. The captain pushes the trigger, and a bolt of energy flies from the rifle, hitting the Changeling in the chest. He stops, frowning.
"Monkey," he says.
The Changeling leans in, swiping the sword at the captain's face. He barely manages to get the rifle up in time, firing. The bullet enters under the Changeling's chin, and he falls onto his face.
"Dead," the captain says.
The Changeling's body twitches for a moment, and then goes still. The red alert stops flashing, and the ship remains silent.
"We're saved," you say.
"Yes," the captain says.
The hole in the wall is repaired, as the radio operator turns off the music she was listening to.
"I assume you can do your job now," the captain says to her.
"We can," she responds.
The captain turns to you.
"Are you quite done?" he says.
"I am," you say.
The captain sighs, looking out the window.
"Good," he says. "Now, we need to get off this ship."
He walks over to the door, and opens it.
"This has been an..." he pauses, looking over his shoulder. "Interesting experience."
He walks out the door, leaving it open behind him. You walk out behind him, down the halls. Soon, you find yourself on the landing platform.
"Thank you, thank you,"
You stare out the window, watching as the skies get darker and darker.
"Where are we landing?" you ask.
The captain sighs, turning around.
"Athens," he says.
"Athens?" you ask. "But..."
The captain stares at you.
"We're going to have to make a long-term partnership if we want to stay alive," he says.
"The musicians were going to a resort on the island of Hydra," you say.
He stares at you, as if daring you to make a joke. You don't.
"Yes, well," he says. "We could be there by tomorrow night."
You nod, looking away.
You stand there in silence for a moment, staring out at the countryside as you get closer and closer to your destination. The captain glances at you.
"We'll be arriving soon," he says.
You nod, turning around and walking towards the door. The captain opens it as you approach, holding it open for you.You step off the ship, onto the docks. You walk down the ramp, onto the shore. The sun rises in the distance, illuminating the sky. The captain closes the door, and you turn around.
"Thank you," you say.
"You're quite welcome," he says. "We mustn't keep the crew waiting."
He turns around, marching towards the back of the ship. You watch him go, then turn and begin walking towards the station.
"So..." you say. "Athens?"
"A beautiful city," the captain says. "Of course, you'll be able to see for yourself after we land."
"Suppose I should be getting there," you say.
"Yes," the captain says. "You should."
The captain walks off into the ship, leaving you standing there. You wonder what's next for you.
You step out of the airlock, onto the orange sands of the planet.
"Well," the captain says. "Here we are."
You walk along the shore, finding a nice place to relax, and sit down. You stare out across the vast sands, taking in the view. It'll be a while before you get to explore this planet properly. The captain had made sure of that.
You sigh, leaning back and relaxing. The station is still a fair distance away, and there's not much to do here, so you might as well take the time to figure out where you're actually heading.
"So," you say, glancing at the captain. "What's the plan?"
The captain sighs, walking over and sitting down next to you.
"The plan," he says, "is to get you to the city. Then, I'm not quite sure. You'll be able to do whatever you want."
"It's a big city," you say. "I could probably get lost."
"You could," the captain says.
Garak approaches them. He frowns down at you.
"We're heading out to the city now," he says. "Come on, let's go."
The captain and Garak stand, and begin walking towards the city. You stand, following them.
"Should we bring anything?" you ask.
"Tobacco, liquor, fruit," the captain says, "and whatever belongings you'd like to take with you."
"Alright," you say.
You walk along the orange sand, towards the city. The station and the ship are out of sight, lost behind the horizon. The city is built out of a pale yellow sandstone, with white walls and red tile roofs. There's a large, domed palace in the center, which seems to be the governmental center of the city. The four of you walk through the gates, and onto the streets of the city.
The streets are quite narrow, and filled with slow-moving vehicles, which you guess are to keep the pace. People seem to move slowly as well, giving you plenty of time to take it all in. There's a shop across the street, selling trinkets and crafts made from the planet's materials. There's a park around the corner, with a massive tree that seems to stretch up to the very heavens. You see a group of people performing some sort of dance, and another group chatting on a corner.
"Stay close to us," the captain says. "And do not wander off."
"I wouldn't dream of it," you say, as you continue on through the streets.
As you walk, you find yourself in front of a large building.
"This is it," the captain says.
"What's this?" you ask, as the three of you stand in front of a large palace with a golden dome.
"That's the palace," the captain says.
"Wow," you say.
"Come on," the captain says. "We'll wait here for a bit. If he comes out, we'll speak with him."
"Garak," you say, stopping him. "Do you think...."
"Yes," he says. "Yes, it's a possibility."
"It would require weeks of prep work, as he'd have to be heavily drugged for the operation. It'd be a big risk for you, as he's already very heavily guarded."
"But if we took him out," you ask, "would the mutiny succeed?"
"It would. Definitely."
"So....we might need to do that."
"Yes," he says. "I'll have the anesthetic prepared. We may need to do it tonight."
"It'll take about an hour to get him settled for the surgery, then we'll have to wait for the drugs to take affect. We'll probably have to drug him several times."
"How long is that going to take?" you ask.
"An hour and half," he says.
"An hour and a half?" you ask. "That's a long time to sit around with nothing to do."
"I'll give you something to do," he says, smiling.
"What?" you ask.
He slowly walks up to you, and grabs your hand. He pulls you into an alleyway, shutting the metal door behind you. He grabs your head, and begins kissing you: demanding, overpowering. You kiss him back: eager to please. He pushes you against a wall, your hands going up to his strong shoulders for support. He begins groping at your body, tearing off your clothes. He licks down your body, before you feel lips on your sex. You gasp, before his tongue enters you. He sucks on your clit, and continues licking up to your G-spot. You feel hands on your butt, as you begin to raise up off the wall. He pushes two fingers into you, as his tongue works wonders on your clit.
"Oh, fuck," you pant.
His tongue enters you as two fingers enter you. You begin to ride the pleasure, as you feel your orgasm approaching. As your orgasm hits, he slowly withdraws his fingers, and then pushes two more into you. As you begin to ride out your orgasm, he fingers you, and licks, and sucks on your clit, making sure that you're enjoying yourself. You start to breathe hard, and he stops.
"Good girl," he says. "Now, let's try something else."
He turns you around, and you feel his fingers on your ass. He slowly enters you, as you gasp.
"Is this OK?" he asks.
"Yes," you pant.
He slowly enters you, as you find it difficult to handle his size. It takes several minutes for him to enter you all the way, but eventually, you feel full. He holds you against the wall as he begins to thrust into you. Your breathing is heavy, and you feel as though you're going to pass out from pleasure. He begins to thrust harder and faster, and you gasp.
"Oh, fuck. This isn't... an hour and a half..." you gasp.
You feel as though you're about to suffocate, as he continues thrusting.
"Fuck, you're amazing," he grunts.
You feel your orgasm approaching, as he continues thrusting.
"Oh... oh fuck!" you moan.
He continues thrusting, as your whole body begins to shudder. Your orgasm hits, and you feel compromised. You hang on to consciousness by a thread, but he doesn't stop. He continues thrusting as you fall limp against the wall.
"Come on, come on, come on!" he groans.
You gasp, and he slows down. He pulls out of you, and you collapse to the floor. You gasp, trying to catch your breath. He helps you up, and you stagger out of the alleyway.
"Yeah," he says. "Come back in an hour and a half. I'll be ready for you then."
You nod, and stumble home. You collapse into bed, falling asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. You sleep for twelve hours, waking up in the morning.
You walk into the restaurant, and see a familiar figure sitting at a table. He looks up as you walk in, and gives you a big smile. He stands up, and walks over to you.
"Ah, the good captain has returned!" he says cheerfully. "Please, have a seat. I'll be with you in a moment."
You take a seat at the table, and look at your old friend. He's changed quite a bit: now, he's about your height, with slicked back hair, wearing a dark blue (or black, really) suit. He's not wearing the earrings, though.
"Hey," he says, pulling out a chair for you.
"Hello, Garak," you reply.
He smiles at you, and you smile back. Something feels wrong about this, though.
"Why aren't you wearing your earrings?" you ask.
"Oh, I took them off when you left the last time," he says, smiling. "I thought it might be... romantic?"
You blush, as the waiter arrives to take your order. Garak orders tea, while you have a large cup of coffee. The waiter nods, and walks away.
"So," Garak says, as he twists the napkin in his lap. "How have you been? What's it been? Twenty years?"
You nod, preparing to tell an old joke.
"... No," Garak interrupts. "That's twenty five. I've been counting."
You pause, trying to remember.
"Ah... yeah. Twenty five," you say.
"It feels more like fifty," Garak says.
You nod in agreement.
"Well," Garak says, twirling his mustache. "Tell me, what have you been up to these days?"
You take a drink of coffee. It burns your throat, but you don't care.
"Nothing much. I'm a ship's captain now," you say.
"That must be exciting," he says. "Did you go to the Gorn frontlines? I read that you..."
You wince as he trails off.
"Oh... I probably shouldn't ask," he says.
"Yes, you should. I don't keep secrets."
He pauses for a moment, as if deciding whether to ask or not.
"Do you have a girlfriend?" he asks.
You choke on your coffee. When you finally catch your breath, you laugh.
"No. I don't have a girlfriend," you confirm.
He smiles, and nods.
"Good to know," he says, as the waiter arrives with your food.
You eat in silence, as Garak continues to try to catch your eye. Eventually, you cave, and look at him.
"What?" you ask.
"Nothing," he says.
"No, Garak, what?" you ask again.
"Well... it's just..." he says. "It's been so long since we've seen each other, and we're both alone, and..."
He sighs, and sets down his cutlery.
"Would you... come back to Deep Space Nine with me?"
You choke on your coffee again.
"What?" you ask.
"It would be so... emotional."
You drink more coffee.
"I would... I would feel better if you were there," he says slowly.
"Why?" you ask.
"Because you're my friend."
You stare at him.
"Is that all?" you ask.
He sighs, and looks down.
"No," he says. "I'm in love with you."
You stare at him in silence for a moment.
"I'm sorry," he says.
"Fuck you, Garak," you reply. "I came here to reminisce, not listen to your sexual fantasies."
"I don't have any fantasies," he says defensively.
"Yeah, you do. You just admitted it."
He pauses, and begins to smile again.
"Well... maybe you're right," he says. "I like your attitude."
You snort with laughter.
"Oh, Garak, I wish I could like your personality," you say. "You're so damnably pretentious."
He smiles, and you think you see his eyes tear up again. You dry them, realizing it's an act.
"I don't want to fall in love with you," you add.
"Of course you don't. You're a captain. But I just think it would be good if we had... something."
You shake your head in exasperation.
"You're so damnably manipulative," you say.
He smiles, and takes a bite of his food.
"You need to eat. I insist."
You shrug, and grab your fork. You cut the meat, and take a bite. It's delicious.
"Good?" Garak asks.
"Mm-hmm," you say, chewing.
You take another bite, and after a few minutes, you've finished your food.
"Good," Garak says. "Now, let's talk about you."
"I thought we weren't going to talk."
He smiles, and takes his tricorder to your neck. He presses a button, and the recorder attached to it begins to play.
"I contacted you, because I wanted some advice," a voice you vaguely recognize says.
It's none other than Captain Sisko.
"We're having a little... problem with Quark," the captain says. "He's been talking about raising morale by holding a game of space paza bat..."
Garak turns off the recorder, and hands you the button.
"Play it again," he says.
You press the button, and Sisko's voice fills the room again.
"Uh... that's all," you say.
"Play it again," Garak says.
You rewind it, press play, and wait for it to finish.
"That's all?" you ask.
"That's all," Garak says. "It sounds much worse than it is. I'm sure you can figure out what to do next."
You nod, and begin to stand.
"Good. I want you to do it."
"Do what?" you ask.
"Make a deal with Quark," he says. "That's what the captain wants."
"What? I'm not making deals with Ferengi!"
"Yes, you are. You're making a deal that won't ruin your career. You're going to make him an offer he can't refuse. Tomorrow, when he comes in, you give him the deal."
"I'm not making a deal with him," you say.
"Yes, you are," Garak says. "You're making a deal that he won't report this incident to Captain Black. In exchange, you get... use of the bar."
"What?" you ask.
"You heard me," he says. "In exchange for not reporting this incident to Captain Black, you get to use the bar whenever you want. Does that sound acceptable? I'll be conducting the negotiation. You don't want to fuck with me."
"I don't?" you ask, raising an eyebrow.
"No. I want you to be careful," Garak says. "This is still a big deal for you. Look... I'm sorry about the way I've been acting. Maybe... maybe I do have... feelings for you. Okay, maybe they're more than just feelings. Maybe... I like you. As a friend, perhaps, or possibly even a little bit more. It's complicated. I just want you to know that it's there, if you want to explore it."
He pauses, as if unsure of how to proceed.
"Well," he says nervously. "I... I guess I should show you the way to the bar."
"Thank you," you say, as you begin walking.
As you get to the door, he grabs your shoulder, and turns to you.
"Before you leave, I have to ask. Do you like... like boys?" he asks.
"I don't know," you say, after a pause.
"Well... do you?" he asks again.
"Honestly? I don't know," you say.
"Ah... I see," Garak says. "I'll leave you to your decision, then."
You nod, and open the door. Just as you do, a woman carrying a tray of drinks passes by you.
"Oh, Shatner!" the Ferengi waitress says, spotting him. "Get out of the way, you're blocking the door!"
You quickly step aside, and watch as she bumps into the door, spilling her drinks.
"Ugh! I need to clean this mess!" she says.
"I'll pay for it," Garak says.
"What? No, I don't take charity! Get out of here!"
"I'll pay. I've got 10 bars."
"Fine! Come on, you! Get the holodrunk!" she says, pointing at you.
"I want a double," you say, as the two of you move aside.
Once the three of you are clear of the doorway, you begin heading down the hall. Just before you reach the end, a voice calls out to you.
"Commander! Where are you going?" Captain Sisko asks.
You turn around, to see him standing there with his arms crossed.
"Uh, sir. To see Mr Quark," you say.
"And why would I object to that?" he asks.
"Oh, no reason, sir," you say.
"Because I know something about your attitude towards him, that's why," Sisko says. "Something needs to be done with you. You are a threat to the order in this ship."
"Sir, I was going to try to convince him to..." you begin to say, before you are interrupted.
"You will not seek to alter the deal that was struck between Captain Black and myself!" Sisko says.
"But sir, he's just a petty Ferengi who..." you begin to say.
"I don't want to hear it, m'boy! This deal was made between us, and you're not going to go stirring up trouble for your petty lives!"
Sisko walks off, leaving you standing there.
Well, that went... badly.
In a moment of weakness, you decide to head down to the Ferengi bar, despite the warnings of the bar's safety.
You step inside, and are assaulted by loud music and flashing lights. You look around, and see more than a dozen different species mingling in the place. They range from the heavily-browed Bith, who look like large green rats, to the tall, thin Tulan. For diversity, the place has an Istanian, a O'Brien, a Canderous and a Trandoshan, not to mention the usual array of Ferengi.
As you look around the room, a familiar voice calls out to you.
"Ah! The good Commander doth arrive! I knew someone with your intelligence would see the light!"
You turn, to see Quark standing by himself, waving desperately. The rest of the customers seem to ignore you, as they're too focused on drinking.
"Quark, what's going on?" you ask.
"Oh, nothing much. I just wanted to wish you well on your new position. I know you'll do a good job as my assistant," Quark says, winking.
"Assistant? What's this all about? And what the hell are you doing here? You're not a customer," you say.
"Of course I'm not! I own this place, remember? I'm just glad you decided to join me in this endeavor. We'll have the customers flocking here, I can tell you that!"
"Quark, I don't know what's going on here, but I'm getting the impression you're not being entirely honest with me," you say. "Out with it."
"Very well," Quark says, leading you to a table. "Now, you asked what's going on. Well, I'm currently in the process of transforming this place from a disreputable dive to a... reasonable facsimile of a high-class brothel. I've hired Eliza and the others you saw to help with this. Oh, and I've also hired another... special girl."
"Oh yes! Not an ugly girl, I assure you. Quite the opposite, in fact. Quite... succulent, is how she'd describe herself, if she were a body."
"Why? Who is it?" you ask.
"I thought you'd be pleased!" Quark says, grinning. "I'm sure you'll approve."
"I have no idea who you're talking about," you admit.
"Zo, of course! My sister!"
"Your... your sister?" you ask, confused. "I didn't know you had a sister. How old is she?"
"She's twenty, nearly as ripe as Eliza," Quark says, licking his lips. "Oh, I forgot to mention, she's a prostitute, so don't go getting any ideas!"
"Wait a minute, your sister is a whore? When did you find out and how did you feel about that? Never mind, I'm asking the wrong questions," you say.
"No, it's alright. You can ask all the questions you want. I'll even answer them," Quark says. "I found out a few months ago. I didn't like it at first, but I came around to the way of the world. My sister? She's a whore who works on the upper floors of the biggest brothel in town. It's called The Best imaginable."
"She... works there?" you ask, surprised.
"Oh yes. Our father couldn't support us, so my sister had to work. Not that she's doing badly, compared to others," Quark says. "It's actually how we met. I was visiting her there, and well... you know the rest."
"I see..." you say. "What does she think of you wanting her to work here?"
"Oh, she loves the idea. Says she can finally earn some good money and..."
"Does she... do anything... for money?" you ask.
"Anything? Oh yes. She's willing to do pretty much anything."
"And you're okay with this? You aren't worried about getting her pregnant, about getting diseases?"
"Oh, I made sure she was safe. I used protection. Plus, she's a whore, what does it matter? Now, come on, tell me, do you think I'm a good brother?"
"I'll take 'no' for an answer. Pft. I'm a fool to ask. Well, I guess I better be going. I trust you'll do wonderful things as head of security here, especially with a girl like Eliza working for you."
As you reluctantly thank Quark, you're wondering how you feel about all this.
You really don't dislike Quark. He's actually a pretty okay guy, considering his occupation. You don't approve of course, but you're not going to go do something about it. It still feels weird though. Your feelings for some reason make you feel vaguely dirty.
You can't wait to get out of these clothes and into something more comfortable. You feel like you've been wearing them for days now. Still, they're something different than what you're used to anyway.
You enter your room and find the girl from earlier wearing a tight black dress with thigh-high boots, standing near the doorway.
"You're the head of security?" she asks.
"Guilty," you reply, walking briskly past her.
"I'm here to help," the girl says, following you.
You continue walking, and the girl keeps pace.
"What's your name?" you ask.
"I'm Elizabeth," the girl replies.
"How old are you, Elizabeth?" you ask, curiously.
"I'll be nineteen in a few days," Elizabeth says. "Would you have me do something... illegal... to celebrate?"
You stop in your tracks. You feel a hand on your shoulder, followed by a gentle force turning you around. You see the same girl, but now she's down on one knee in front of you.
It takes you a moment before you realize what's happening, and another before you react.
"Nnngh! No!" you shout, pushing her away and standing up. "What are you doing? Don't you have duties to perform, people to terrorize?"
"I'm here to provide my services to the head of security," Elizabeth says, looking at you seductively, "but I have no master. That makes you my new master, sir. Will you have me?"
"No! Definitely not!" you say.
"Why not? Sir, I've seen you struggle to contain your... urges... for me. I'm offering to help you. Surely, a security officer such as you wants a woman who's willing to do anything at his command."
This is going way too far.
You grab hold of Elizabeth, who looks on innocently.
"What's your real name?" you ask.
"No, your birth name."
"My birth name is Eliza. Why do you ask?"
You shove her to the ground and stand over her, rubbing your hands through your head.
"Let me guess," you say, "because that's the name you have on your identification document."
"You're... too clever for your own good," Elizabeth remarks. "But I won't tell you my real name, because I know that's something you wouldn't want."
"Is it a pretty name?" you ask.
"A masculine name? Or a feminine name?"
"Well, I guess it can't be that bad. What is it?"
"Quark? As in, the color?"
"As in, the animal."
You stare at her, wondering if you're dreaming. This has to be a dream.
"Yes," states Elizabeth.
"Quark's my sister," you say, rolling to get another bolt out.
"Your real name is Eliza?" asks the guard.
Garak enters the room as you and Eliza who is calling herself Quark are staring at eachother in confusion.
"What's quark?" asks Quark, pointing at Eliza.
"It's a..." you start to say.
"Shut it!" shouts Garak. "It's a she, obviously!"
"What's a she?" asks Quark, pointing at Garak.
"Shut it, moron!" shouts Pak.
You're so confused.
"She's... a female Jem'Hadar," you say. "Shut up, Quark!"
"Oh, how fascinating," says Quark, rolling his eyes.
"Will one of you tell me what the fuck is going on?!?" you shout.
"I will," says Pak.
"No, I will," says Garak.
"You can't tell whose going to tell the truth!" you shout.
"Shut up, human!" shouts Quark, hitting you in the head with his fist.
You're starting to get angry.
"I'm not human, you moron!" you shout, knocking Quark to the ground. "I'm a Ferengi!"
"Oh, how delightful," says Quark, lightly hitting his head against the ground.
"He's not correct," says Pak. "I am familiar with Ferengi. They aren't a race of humans. They're a race of toasters."
"They're not?" asks Quark, getting up.
"No... They're... well, they're something else," says Pak.
"Well, toasters are something, too," you say. "At least they have a sense of humor."
"Shut the hell up, both of you! You're not a fucking Ferengi!" shouts Garak. "They're from the planet Ferenginar. They're the least human of all the human races."
"What are you even talking about?" asks Quark. "I'm a human! I was born on this planet Earth!"
"No, you're not," says Garak, "You're a fucking Ferengi."
"I am not! I was born on this planet, and I'm a human! I'm smarter than all of you!"
"No, you're not," says Garak.
"Yes, I am!"
"No, you're not," says Garak.
"I am! Well, I'm not anymore, but--"
"Shut it!" shouts Pak. "This is how we settle this! Garak, make a statement that's either true or false. Be sure to explain the pros and cons of each option."
"If he's not a human, then he's not of this Earth. True or false?"
"True," you say.
"Correct," says Garak.
"If he's not of this Earth, then he must be a... space alien. True or false?"
"True," you say with a smile.
"Good enough," says Pak. "Quark, you're in the cross-fire. How do you answer? Make sure you explain both the positive and negative aspects of each answer."
"I'm a human! Born on Earth!" says Quark.
"If you're so human, then answer this. Are you smarter than a... well, a toaster."
"Toasters aren't sentient. They don't think or feel. They just... toast. They're incapable of science."
"Don't say anything!" yells Pak.
"Shut up!" shouts Garak. "You, sir, are a toaster."
"I am *not*!"
"If you're so sure, prove that you are."
"How do I do that?"
"Just claim you're human. Then we'll see how smart you are."
"I can't just claim anything..."
"Fine, say you're a better toaster than I am."
"... I'm not a better toaster. I just make better toast than you do."
"Good enough. Now answer the question. True or false? Are you a human or not?"
"Well... I am a human, except..."
"Don't fuck with me, or this will get ugly. Be truthful."
"Fine. I'm a human, except I'm not of this Earth."
"Who are you then? One of those space aliens?"
"No! I'm a... well, let's call me an alien from another planet."
"I'm telling the truth!"
"Enough! Stop talking!" yells Garak. "Pak, is this guy lying or not?"
"I can't tell. His face looks like a piece of rotten fruit. But the one thing I do know is that he's lying."
"So he's not human."
"Not a human, no."
"Then he's not of this Earth. Proven. Now, are you going to kill him or what?"
"Yes, yes, of course," says Garak. "Examining his neck, I see a faint pulse. He's not dead. Good. I can still get some work done."
"Garak, I know you're fond of killing, but we're supposed to be working right now. We're lacking in a lot of areas, but we definitely aren't lacking in the killer department."
"I'll go kill someone else, then," says Garak, starting to walk towards the door. "See you later, toaster."
"What about me?" asks Quark. "I have something that's going to make you all a lot of money. What're you going to do, Garak? Kill me?"
"Yes," says Garak.
"Oh, that's a shame," says Quark. "I'm in a good mood. I'll see you later, Garak." With those words, Quark walks out the door.
"Garak, are you just going to let him go?" asks Pak.
"Of course not. He's going to die. But I'll tell you what. Since we're lacking in the killing department, how about we use that to our advantage? We're going to pretend we don't want Quark's holosuite money. We'll pretend we're trying to kill him. The person who pretends the longest without making a mistake will get the money. Where's the best place to hide in this place? Where would you go to be safe?"
"I'd go into the lounge. There's a lot of dark, secluded spots there," says Odo. The others all nod in agreement.
"When did you get here, Odo?"
"I heard Odo coming here, so I hid," says Odo.
"Thank you, Odo. Everyone, gather around. This is important." Everyone gathers in front of Garak.
"Odo, can you get into Quark's?" asks Pak.
"Yes," says Odo.
"Do it," says Garak. Suddenly, you hear the door open.
"Everyone, stop!" yell the guards. The guards fire their weapons, but nothing happens. Realizing they're dealing with something supernatural, they quickly back off, allowing Odo to come in.
"Are you alright, Mr. Dax?" asks one of the guards.
"I'm fine, thank you," says Dax. "What's going on? Why are you all empty-handed?"
"We're not. I have a disruptor here," says another guard, pulling a weapon from his belt. "What's going on?"
"This is Mr. Dax. He's not a supernatural being. He's just a regular guy."
"I am not. I am a... A...!" gasps Dax.
"Alien?" suggests another guard.
"Yes! Yes! I'm an alien!"
"He's not from this Earth. He's not even from this galaxy," says Odo, rolling around in the dirt.
"Oh, for..." sighs Dax. "I thought I was going to be able to keep this a secret."
"Yeah, well it's no big deal. We're used to things like this here," shrugs the guard. The guards begin to roughly interrogate Odo, demanding to know what he is. Odo's memories are scanned, and it seems he's never been through a memory scan before, so it takes a while for him to answer correctly.
"I'm not telling!" Odo cries. The guards begin to apply a painful electrical shock to him. "Ha ha!" he laughs.
"Stop it! Stop it! I don't know anything!"
"At last, some good news," says Garak. "His memories don't contain anything helpful. Now, let's get to work on Quark. He's been a very bad boy." In front of you stands a pathetic-looking Quark, who is cowering on the floor.
"Mr. Quark, please, tell me what you know," says Dax.
"I don't know anything! Honest!" says Quark.
"He's telling the truth. He doesn't know anything," says Odo.
"Fine, we'll start physical examination," says Dax.
"I thought you said there wasn't anything physical to examine," says Odo.
"I didn't say there wasn't anything to discover. Hold him down, you two," says Dax, pointing to two guards.
"Don't have to tell you twice," says one of the guards, holding down Quark as the others take out medical equipment. "Oh, my. What are you?"
"What am I?" says Dax in a puzzled tone.
"You've got pincers."
"So I'm a bug-eater, am I?"
"I'm telling you, I don't know anything about bugs. I'm a doctor, not an entomologist."
"I thought doctors knew everything about bugs."
"That's a misconception. I don't know everything -- or even many things -- about anything."
"This one must have been a very smart doctor," says another guard, as he probes around in Dax's head with a small device. "Because he's gone completely mad. His mind is entirely focused on one thing: the mating ritual of the red-whiskered bulbul."
"Oh, for... Couldn't we talk about something... more important?" moans Quark.
"I don't think so," says the guard, as he and another guard lift up Dax's shirt, exposing his stomach. "Got to love Star Trek, though."
"What are you doing?" asks Dax, as he struggles against the two guards holding him down.
"We're checking for eggs," says the guard. "You know, to see if you're pregnant. It's a relatively simple procedure. We're going to remove your stomach, and empty it out."
"I can't be pregnant," says Dax. "I just got back from the Replicators."
"Maybe you're having their baby."
"You can't be pregnant. I was using a device to prevent it," says Odo. "I've seen the results myself. A single red spore grows inside a female after sex. There's no way you could be pregnant. Well, unless you've been having sex with a lot of Replicators."
"There's no time for this," says the guard, as he and the other guard continue to lift up Dax's shirt. "Open your stomach, and we'll see if anything's growing there."
"I can't. It'll kill me," says Dax. "Can't we do something else? Some sort of test?"
"What kind of idiot would suggest something else?" says Garak. "Don't worry, we're doctors. We'll help you through this. Guards, burn the flesh from his stomach. And sterilize the area. Dax screams as the skin on his stomach is burned, and then sterilized with some sort of disinfectant. Then, the two doctors take out their medical tricorders.
"I'm not seeing anything," says one of the doctors. "He must not be pregnant."
"But I am!" wails Dax.
"There's no way you could be," says the other doctor. "I'm not seeing an egg sac. Where could it be? His genitals? Well, we can't do the physical inspection that the other one did. Oh well, I suppose there's a good chance he's lied to us. The male Q's are notorious for hiding things in their reproductive systems. And there are rumors... well, never mind. Guards, help me take him to the medical bay. We'll do a mindmeld on him. There might be a way to find out for certain."
The two guards grab Dax, and carry him off. In the distance, you hear him scream in pain.
"Well, that was interesting," says Paris.
"Oh hi, Tom Paris."
"Please, just call me Tom. Everyone else does," says Tom. "So, explain to me again why we're here."
"The Alpha Q's mate is here," says Odo. "We need to impregnate her. It's as simple as that."
"What if we don't want to do that?" says Tom.
"I don't know," he says, shrugging.
"I can show you her," says Odo. "She's in the medical bay. She's still unconscious, but the rest of the team is with her. I could take you there?"
"Sure," says Tom. "Lead on."
Odo nods, and heads off down the hall. You follow Tom, and he leads you to the medical bay. When you enter, you see a woman lying in a bed. Her face is bloodied, and she has bruises on her chest. She's also pregnant, though it's too early to tell if it's Alpha Q's child or not.
"Oh," says Tom, dropping jaw.
"She's a bit pretty to make a mask out of," says Odo. "But she could be the perfect mate."
"What's her name?" asks Tom.
"Her name is Dax, and she's one of my most treasured members," says Odo. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go help her."
"Sure thing," says Tom, as you take his hand and lead him over to the woman in the bed.
"Hey," you say.
She opens her eyes, and looks at you.
"Oh, it's you," says Dax.
"How do you feel?"
"Like I've been run over by a dozen taxis," she says. "What the hell happened to me? Odo? What's going on?"
"You got drunk, and decided to have sex with a Q," you say.
"What? Is that what happened?" she says. "Odd, I don't remember that. I remember getting drunk with my friends, but nothing after that. What the hell happened?"
"Apparently, you had sex with a Q," you say.
Dax makes a pained face.
"Shit. Did I give him a disease?" she asks.
"Possibly," you say. "It'll take some time for Odo to run the DNA results, but I'd be shocked if you didn't get pregnant."
Dax makes a pained face.
"I'll... have to have my tubes tied, then," she says. "I'd rather not have a mini-Q running around, disturbing the crew."
"Yeah, that's an option," you say.
"Well, what are you going to do?" asks Dax.
"I'm going to help you," you say.
"How?" she asks.
"I'm not sure, but we need to find out," you say.
"You're a fucking alien, aren't you?" says Dax. "I don't think you're going to like what I have to ask."
"Ask away," you say.
"Do you intend on keeping the baby?" says Dax. "I'd rather you not. I mean, I'm in no position to raise a child, least of all one I didn't plan. It would probably be best if the child was adopted."
"I didn't say I planned on keeping the baby, did I?" you say.
"No," she says. "I guess I'll have to take you at your word. Well, I hope you know what you're doing."
"Yeah, me too," you say.
"What's the plan, then? Are you going to go find someone to have sex with?"
"If I have to," you say.
"Do you even have sex?" asks Dax. "I mean, I know you've had... experiences... with foreign women in the past, but I'm not sure how good you are."
"I'm not that bad," you say.
"Let's just put it this way," says Dax. "The only reason why I had sex with you is because you pissed Odo off. Even then, it was sort of a last minute decision."
"So you admit I'm good," you say.
"Yeah, I guess so," she says with a smirk.
"That's good enough for me," you say, kissing her.
You take your time with her, and eventually...
"Shit! I think I'm hard again!" groans Tom.
You and Dax laugh, before finishing.
"So what do you think?" you ask.
"Well, I definitely had more fun than Tom did," she says, grinning at Tom who is fuming.
"You always did know how to manipulate men, Dax," he says. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go see my..."
Before Tom can finish his sentence, Odo has punched him in the face, knocking him out.
"I'm going to enjoy beating the shit out of you," growls Odo.
"I wouldn't want to take you on in a fight, Odo. You'd probably just tear my head off and throw it at the Captain," says Dax.
"Pfft, I could kick your ass," says Odo.
"Sure you could, sweetie," she says, gently finger-poking him in the eye.
Dax pulls Odo closer to her, and the pair of them laugh as they head out of the room. You shake your head and follow them, leaving the knocked out body of Tom as you do.
The next morning, you wake up alongside Dax and realize that your hard-on is still there.
"Fuck," you say.
"What? Do you want to go again?" asks Dax.
"Well, I was thinking you were going to be between my legs again," you say.
"Really? That's what you wanted?" she asks, grinning.
"Sure," you say.
Dax climbs on top of you and you touch yourself as she grinds into you. Her movements are slow and teasing, deliberately trying to overwhelm you.
"Harder," you say.
"Oh, I'll give you hard, captain," she says, her hands grabbing your head and forcing it down, roughly, onto her pussy.
Dax grinds herself into you as you eagerly lap at her like a madman. Eventually, she finishes, and you lick her juices off her legs.
"Good? You satisfied?" she asks.
"Yeah, I guess," you say.
"Well, is there anything else you want to do?" she asks.
"Not that," you say.
Dax gets off of you and goes to sit by Tom, though you notice she's rubbing herself and looking at you with a seductive gaze. You can't help but feel a tinge of annoyance.
"Join me, please?" she asks, pouting.
"Sure," you say.
You sit by her and she moves closer to you, her arm's resting on the back of the chair. She looks at you expectantly.
"So, now what?" you ask.
"Now? Now we fuck," she says.
"In that case, let's get to it," you say.
Dax stands up, grabs you hand and pulls you up.
"Come on, I'm going to fuck you so hard that you'll feel it for days," she says.
She throws you onto the bed and climbs on top of you.
"My turn," she says, smiling.
Dax kisses you as the pair of you grind into each other. She grabs your dick and guides it into her, and you both moan in ecstasy as you fuck. The sound of skin on skin and mouths joined together fills the room as you thrust into her.
"Fuck, you're so hard," she says, thrusting her hips upwards.
The pair of you are completely lost in the passion of the act. You can't tell where one of ends and the other begins. The world is all sensation for you; the hotness of her body, the roughness of your skin, the wetness of your union, the pain of your scratches being licked and the pleasure of your dick being sucked.
And that's just the physical. Your mental state is also affected. You're losing yourself, but you don't care. You're floating somewhere in the middle, half of yourself numb and the other half too ecstatic for any sort of logical thought. Dax is moaning your name, a perfect mixture of ecstasy and vulgarity. She's calling you a dirty, perverted fucker, and she loves it. Her pussy throbs as the pair of you release into each other.
"Fuck, I can't...I'm..." she pants.
"Me..." you pant.
After a moment, Dax lays her head down on your chest.
"That was...great," she says.
"Yeah, it was," you agree.
The pair of you stay like that for a while as you hold each other. Then, Dax lifts her head up.
"I should probably go," she says.
"Darlin', go ahead. You go on ahead. I'll catch up in a while," you say.
"Are you sure?" she asks.
"Yeah, I'll be fine," you say.
Dax smiles and kisses you one more time before she leaves. You go over what just happened in your head. You had sex with Dax. Well, you had lots of sex with Dax. In any case, it happened. And it was good. You hear footsteps, so you assume she's left.
Still, you stay put and hold your new familiar pose: open legs, left arm under head, right leg bent and left leg straightened. You close your eyes and bask in your own high.
"Captain? You okay?" a voice says.
You quickly snap out of it and open your eyes, finding yourself staring at a familiar face. It's Tom.
"Fuck, Tom. You scared me," you say.
"I came looking for you. You're not the only one with a duty to perform," he replies.
"What do you mean? What duty?" you ask, worried.
"I have to get the humans to the altar," he says.
"The altar?" you ask.
"Where we're going to perform the ritual that will save their souls so they may join us on our path to a glorious new world," he says.
Now you're really worried.
"Oh no, no, no, no, no. We're not doing that, are we?" you ask.
"Yes. It's been decided," he says.
"No, we're not killing them. Stop! Stop!" you say.
"I'm sorry, but I was told to do my duty," he says, drilling into you with his stare.
Fuck. He's bullier than ever. In order to save the humans, you're...
You have no choice. You're going to have to drug Tom and the others so they can't stop you. But you have no antidote. It's going to be a bloody deed, and you're going to have to do it all yourself.
First things first, though: you have to get out of here.
"Tom, can I talk to you outside?" you ask.
"Yeah," he replies.
You pick up your clothes, along with Tom's, and pull them on. Tom follows suit.
"Don't do anything rash," you say.
"Like you're planning on doing?" he asks, raising an eyebrow.
"Like that. Now, go. I have to talk to you about something."
Tom nods, and heads out the door. You've got what you need for now. You head out after him.
You catch up with him easily. He seems to be dragging something, and you get the impression it's a heavy box. You stop.
"What's that?" you ask, pointing to the box he's dragging.
"My equipment. I'm going to need it to drag all the human souls to the altar. You didn't think I was going to drag all of them by myself, did you?" he asks.
"Nope, didn't think that. You'll have to cut back on the food, too," you say.
Tom stops dragging the box and lets it fall to the ground. He rolls it underneath a trash can.
"What do you mean? Why?"
"I mean, you're eating half the town. I haven't eaten in days. They might even execute me if I go on a killing spree," you say.
"Ha! That'd be something new to worry about," he replies.
Tom jams his hands into his pockets, while you pull out your knife and flick it open. You catch the look in his eye.
"I'm gonna eat you," he says, trotting forward.
You're faster, though. You step forward and jab the knife forward. Tom makes a small yelp.
"You don't want to do that, Tom," you say.
He squirms as you pull the knife back out, slicing open his stomach. Tom releases a burst of blood, and you take a step forward.
"Stay still," you command.
You bite down on the Tom's neck, and squeeze. Tom cries out, and his body goes limp. You toss him into the dumpster and slam the lid down.
You look around. No one's around. You spit out some blood and walk over to the box. You lift the lid and look down. The anti-Christ's body is encased in a glass tube.
You pick up the tube, staring into dead eyes. Death has no emotion. Tom wouldn't tell you what the ritual entails. How it's even done, for that matter. You've got a strong feeling, though, that it's going to involve a deal with the devil.
You shrug it off and go to see what Garak is up to.
You continue down the hall, finding Dr. Gossey's office now on the right side of the hall, and Garak's lab on the left. You head into the lab, finding it empty. You stop at the doorway, spotting a strange machine hooked up to a human body. You watch as the machine injects a bright red liquid into the patient. The patient convulses, his body twisting out of shape. You watch it contort for a few seconds, and then the machine stops, and the body goes back to normal.
That must be Garak.
You step into the room, and find a floating chair for you. You wait, as the door closes. You wait for the safety locks to engage, and then you fire up your computer. You wait a few minutes, as it boots up. When it's done, you log in.
The computer beeps to signify a login request.
"Garak, are you there?" you ask.
"Is that any way to greet an old... friend?" a voice says.
You turn your head, spotting Garak. He sips from what appears to be a wine glass.
"What are you doing here?" you ask.
"Waiting for someone. Have a seat," he says, waving at the chair.
You walk over and sit in the chair.
"What took you so long?" he asks.
"I was visiting a friend," you reply.
"Oh, yeah? A... cute redheaded lesbian?"
You cough, trying not to laugh.
"No. A friend of a friend," you reply.
"Is she pretty?"
"I suppose," you shrug.
"Hmm... well, enjoy your visit," he says.
"Are you going to tell me what's going on?" you ask.
"Are you sure you want to know?"
"Yes. Yes, I do."
"Then I'd say... it's a long story."
"I've got time."
"Are you sure? Because if you change your mind, I could always...," he pauses, winking.
You stare at him, waiting.
"Come back later."
You sigh, shaking your head.
"Well? Out with it," you say.
"Very well. First, why are you here? Are you just trying to sabotage my work, or do you actually have an interest in helping?"
"I want to help," you say.
"Good, good. Well then, I assume you're familiar with the project we're working on. If not, we're creating life. From life. Using humans as test subjects. You know, it's kind of a horrifying process. I think we're done with this subject now. We've learned enough to create life, but not enough to keep it alive. Or maybe I'm just hopeless at biology. I don't know which is worse. Anyway, we're doing this with the hopes of creating a sentient life form. One that can think for itself, feel pain, etcetera. We're not there yet, obviously, but we're getting there. Now, do you have any questions?"
"How long will this take?" you ask.
"Until when? Until we succeed? Until the end of time, I suppose. After we create this thinking, feeling creature, we don't really know what we're going to do. We might continue to try to create more and more of them, like how a mother creates new babies. Of course, we could do something else with them. Create large armies of them. Or maybe do nothing with them. Leave them as test subjects, so we can see what they do. It's all unknown."
"How many of these creatures are there?" you ask.
"How would I know? I'm just the guy who designed the thing. But I guess given our success rate so far, there's probably about... fifty?"
"Fifty...?" you ask, thinking.
"Yeah, I know it's a lot. We need a lot of blood to culture these things. Don't ask why. But we're getting them under control. We'll eventually get to a point where we can create them in greater numbers," Garak says.
"How did you...?" you ask, trailing off.
"How did I what?"
"How did you know that I...?" you trail off, not knowing how to ask what was in your mind.
"How did you know I was gay? Wasn't obvious, was it?"
You stare at Garak in silence. He stares back, before bursting into laughter.
"I'm joking," he says, when he stops. "You're as subtle as ever, Q."
"You... you know? That's why you're helping me? Because we had sex once?" you ask, stunned.
"Well, it didn't hurt my feelings when we ended our business arrangement. And yes, that was a big part of it. But honestly, I'd forgotten all about that side of our relationship until you showed up here tonight. The first time I saw you, all I could think about was how much I'd like to thrust into you again. Then I realized, you'd probably feel the same way. So here you are, rolling the dice with me yet again."
"Stop. Just stop," you say.
"Is this a deal breaker for you? Because if it is, we should stop before we go any further. Because once we go down this road, we might as well have sex on the table."
"That's... an idea," you say, not wanting to voice the temptation to sex on the table is quite strong right now.
"Shall we set another aside for that suggestion later then?" Garak asks.
"No... I suppose not."
"So, do you want my help? Because I'm not negotiating."
"Yes," you say.
"Ha! Now that's more like it. Well, we should get to know each other. Let's go back to my quarters. We can talk there."
"We need to finish my project first," you say.
"The thing. With the kidney."
"The... creation. I was working on. The thing with the..."
"Kidney," Garak says, smiling.
"Kidney," you nod. "I need to finish that."
"Sure. Whatever. Come on, let's go then."
You walk alongside Garak to a room down the hall. It's one of the quieter moments of the night, so you're glad. You get him inside the room, and quickly start explaining what you were doing. You go into great detail, trying to make sure that every part of the machine is accounted for. It's fascinating to you that this alien knows nothing about the human body.
"So... what's next?" he asks, after you finish your story.
"The subject is supposed to go into the chamber. The door closes, they enter a state of suspended animation, and then I refill their body with the new organs."
"Fascinating," he says. "How long does that take? Do they wake up later?"
"It depends on the subject. I've seen it take as little as a day, and as much as..." you pause, trying to think of an estimate. "About two weeks. It really depends on the subject."
"Hm. How does it get them out of the tank?"
"The same way it got them in. It opens the door."
"Ah..." he says. "So, do they wake up as..."
"I can't answer that. Only you could know that."
He raises an eyebrow, but doesn't press the issue. "Then that sounds like a plan. Shall we go back?"
"Yes," you say.
He stares at you for a moment, as if trying to read your mind, and says, "Just a heads up, but I'm going to be kissing you a lot when we're alone, okay? Okay."
You nod. "Okay," you say.
He grins. "Great.
"I'm pregnant, by the way."
"Well, that answers one question. Now, tell me how that happened."
"I don't know. We were careful. We used protection."
"Well, yeah!" you say. "What's the big deal?"
"The big deal is, I'm not the father."
"What?" you cry. "You're saying I'm fathered a child by somebody other than you? How?"
"I have no idea. I'm just saying, it wasn't me."
You stand silently in shock for a moment, trying to process this information. Then you speak again.
"So... who is the father?"
"I don't know. Probably some random space rat."
"...Well, I suppose it's better than me."
He laughs. "I'll just bet it is."
"Well, do you want a paternity test or something?"
He shrugs. "Maybe. If we can track down the father, somebody famous or something. It's not going to be me."
You stand in silence, staring at him. Finally, you ask, "Well, who was it then?"
"I said I don't know."
"Well....who DO YOU think it is? I mean, I know it's not you."
"Hah! It's definitely not me."
"Okay...wait. Are you saying it's..."
"...Yeah. I am. I'm saying that I'm the father of that baby."
"Oh, fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" you cry, punching a wall and causing a large hole in it. "Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!"
"You OK?" Garak asks.
You stand in silence, breathing deeply and trying to remain calm. Eventually, you speak again.
"So...are you going to be the child's father?"
"I don't know," Garak admits. "I haven't really gotten that far yet."
"Do you want me to be?"
"...I don't know. I mean, it's your baby...are you allowed to get rid of it?"
"Well, no. It's genetically mine. I suppose I could just put it up for adoption."
You stand in silence once again. "So...where did you want to do this?" you ask.
"The docking bay would be good, don't you think? Nobody would stumble upon us."
"Yeah. Yeah, that'd be good.
As you exit the lift, you and Garak walk towards your destination. You find yourself taking tiny steps, as if you're afraid of the floor dropping out from underneath you.
You arrive at the docking bay. Garak enters, and soon, you hear a baby's cry. He emerges shortly after, followed by a red-faced and exhausted doctor.
"Is it a boy or a girl?" you ask.
"We're not sure. We'll know soon, I suppose," the doctor says. "Come on, let's take this little guy for a walk."
"I thought we already did," Garak points out.
"I meant outside the station."
The three of you head out into the hallway, where the doctor stops and presses a finger to his ear. "Hello, Koder. We're ready for you now."
He pulls out a datapad and begins tapping on it. A few moments later, he looks up at you. "The pants don't fit," he says.
You stare at him. "What?"
"The pants don't fit," he says again, as if that could possibly make more sense. "They won't shut. I can't get them to fit."
"What do you mean?" starts Garak. "How can the pants not fit?"
"They're pants," the doctor says. "You put them on a baby. They should fit."
"The baby's not wearing pants," you point out.
"Yes, but the pants are for the baby. The baby isn't here."
"I don't understand," Garak says.
"The baby's missing," the doctor says. "I have to go find the baby."
He rushes off down the hallway. You and Garak stare at each other, before you head after the doctor.
You find him standing in the hallway, staring down the empty hallway in the direction of the baby's room. He turns to you, his eyes wide.
"The baby's missing! We have to go find it!"
"Uh... It hasn't even been born yet, I'm still pregnant."
"What?" Garak asks.
"I'm still pregnant. It's still in my womb."
"You're still... You're still going to get pregnant?"
"Yes. Your child has been living inside of me for the last year, Garak. I'm going to get pregnant. It's just a process that happens, even if you're not... You know."
"Right," Garak says. "Lead on. So... you're not going to have an abortion?"
"Of course I'm not having an abortion! What's next, Garak? Is the baby going to get thrown out a space station window or something? No, the baby is going to live. I've decided. I'm going into the drug trade."
"You're going to have a baby and you're going into the drug trade..." Garak says, trailing off.
"That's right. I'm going to be a mother."
"That's... a really dangerous path you're going down," he says.
"I know, but I think I can handle it. I'm a leader, Garak. I've always been a leader. Now, I'll just have to lead a little more... I'll be alright."
"I sure hope so," Garak says. "Well then, we should get going. We still have a lot to do."
You nod, and the three of you set off to the docking bay. On the way there, Garak stops you.
"You know," he says, "I'm a little lost right now. I could use some advice."
"About what?" you ask.
"About... well, about a lot of things. But mostly, about this." He holds out his hand, revealing a small datapad.
"What's that?" you ask. "Some sort of communications device?"
"It's a probe," he says. "You press this button here to activate it, and then speak into it. It's a probe, so the sound isn't great, but I can hear what it sounds like on the other end."
"Why would you need that?"
"It's the 24th century. Technology isn't built to stand up to the test of time."
"So, the other day, a probe from the future visited me. It seems that somebody wants to talk with me."
"I know. It's crazy. I'm supposed to meet him. Come to a meeting. With a robot."
"A robot? Why would you do that?"
"It's personal to this certain robot, so he wants to meet me in person. He's... quite eccentric, to say the least. I don't know what he wants. But I'm to go alone."
"That's crazy," you say. "I'm coming with you."
"I knew you would be," Garak smiles.
"His name isn't... Lore, is it?"
"Correct," Garak says, smiling. "So... we have a deal. We meet him by the airlock."
"Aren't you worried?"
"Uh... the man who sent the probe. What's his name..."
"Mr. Lore," you confirm. "What is he, some sort of... assassin? He tried to kill you."
"He's a representative of a higher power dealing with me because I've chosen to ignore the will of that higher power. I'm not worried. I'm not worried at all."
"Well, I guess that's good. So, do we have a deal?"
"We do," you confirm, shaking his hand.
"Good. Let's go."
You walk with him to the airlock, where you enter the Axon III vessel. You wait as the big metal doors open, revealing the figure of a robot. You draw a pistol, and point it at Mr. Lore as he gets out of his chair. He's a tall, humanoid robot, about the height and width of an actual human. He holds his hands up, but doesn't speak. You stare at him, waiting to see what he's going to do.
"Well, this is an interesting development," Mr. Lore finally says. "I was unsure whether or not you'd show up. So, I've decided to give you a chance to back out of this. There's no need for violence."
"Not going to happen," you say. "What is it that you want?"
"Nothing too complicated. I just wanted to speak with you."
"About what? You sent a probe. I don't have anything to say to you."
Mr. Lore shakes his metal head, before smiling once again.
"I'm sure there's things you have to say to me. You're a soldier. You have skills that I need. You're smart. I have needs."
"Needs?" you say, frowning.
"Yes. I'm a robot. That means I don't... feel things. I need a mate. A warm body to share my life with. I need a partner. I need you."
"I'm not your mate," you say.
"You are quite the looker. I can tell. I'm sure most women would find you attractive. You're probably a fantastic lover. I just need you to deactivate your weapons and get into position. Then, I'll start the process."
"What? In exchange for what?"
"For deactivating your weapons and getting into position."
"I'm not doing that," you say.
Mr. Lore walks slowly forward, staring at you.
"Then, I'm afraid I'll have to kill you or disable you," he says.
You don't say anything, as Mr. Lore gently strokes his metal hand against his chin.
"Disabling seems like it would be quicker," he says.
"If you think so," you say.
"I do," Mr. Lore says, smiling. "But I want you to think about it. If you don't like either of those options, think about the third. What is it you want to do?"
You stare at him for a few seconds, before you get an idea.
"Spin the wheel," you say.
Mr. Lore raises an eyebrow, before spinning the wheel on the side of his head. It makes a low, rumbling noise as it goes around.
"Deal me in, then spin the wheel again," you say.
Mr. Lore smiles, grinning as he spins the wheel one more time.
"Alright, let's get to it," he says.
You slowly move towards him, keeping an eye on Mr. Lore. He slowly walks forward, before reaching out and grabbing your arm. He pulls you forward, before grabbing your other arm and pulling you towards him.
"I feel that you could be of great use to me," Mr. Lore whispers in your ear.
"Let me go, or I'll kill you," you threaten.
Mr. Lore just giggles, as two of his rubber-suited underlings come up and grab your arms. You're torn between struggling and running, but you know that it won't do you any good. The stress of the situation is too much for you, and a sense of slumber takes over as you lose consciousness.
When you wake up, you're tied to a pole. You're naked, and there's a gag in your mouth. The metal walls surrounding you remind you of the confinement room on the space station. You're in an underground silo, with Mr. Lore's head floating in the air a few meters away from you. The probe is attached to his head, and he looks at you, smiling.
"Hello again," he says.
"What do you want?" you say.
"Much as the same, and now that we've gotten to know each other, perhaps we can come to an understanding."
"What understanding? I let you live so you can fuck me?"
Mr. Lore shakes his head, smiling again.
"My dear girl, life is a lot more interesting than that. What I want now is data. Lots of interesting data. But first, a demonstration. Let's see what you can do."
Mr. Lore shakes his head, and the probe attached to it makes a buzzing noise.
"No, no, no. That probe can only measure reflexes and pain responses. I want something a little more... intimate."
Mr. Lore's eyes narrow, as he lets out an evil chuckle.
"I want you to tell me what I'm feeling," he says. "I want you to show me love, ecstasy and pain. I want to experience the human soul. But I can't do that with a probe. So you'll have to do."
"I don't love you. I hate you," you say. " Leave me alone."
Mr. Lore frowns, looking pained.
"No, you don't understand. I need you to do this for me. I need you to love me. Can you do that?"
Love him? You can barely stand the sight of him.
"Are you asking to be fucked?" you ask.
"I want something more than sex from you. I want to be loved, truly loved. Can you do that?" he asks.
Mr. Lore lets out an evil chuckle, as you shake your head.
"I don't love you," you say.
Mr. Lore's face falls, as he sighs heavily. He floats forward, grabbing your head with his hands, his face right in yours.
"Then I guess I'll have to kill you," he whispers.
You turn your head aside, but he grabs your chin, forcing you to look at him.
"I'll give you a minute to think about it," he says, releasing you.
You sit there, tied to the chair. You stare into his eyes, which have lost all emotion.
"I will show you pain," he says. "I will show you ecstasy. I will show you beauty. I will show you horror. I will show you the soul. You will feel all of it, and more. And you will love me all the while."
You struggle against the metal chains, as you begin to scream. Mr. Lore floats away from you, looking at the two robed men who entered the room.
"Bring the girl," he says. "And put this fucking probe on me."
The men nod, dragging you along by your chains. You try to struggle, but it's useless. You're dragged into the room with the tank, staring at it. You're tethered to the chair, so you can't run. The two men hold your arms, as Mr. Lore floats in front of you, looking down at you.
" Now, we begin. Watch."
Mr. Lore removes the gag from your mouth, as you scream for help. But there's no one to help you. The two men holding you drop your arms, as Mr. Lore puts the probe against your neck. You flinch, as the buzzing begins. You close your eyes, and you feel yourself floating upward.
"Do not look away," Mr. Lore says. "Watch the white rose unfold before your eyes."
You watch as your vision goes from a blurry mess to a static picture. You first see the tip of Mr. Lore's dark red tongue. You can feel the cold air as his mouth slowly opens. Then, you see a sliver of white against the black pit that was his mouth. It was a beauty truly beyond compare, a work of art by the hand of God. The next picture was one you didn't want to see, but could do nothing to prevent. It showed the inside of Mr. Lore's mouth. You saw two rows of razor sharp teeth, like blades that could cut through flesh. You felt your face twisting into a mask of terror and agony, and you wanted to scream, but could not. You wanted to look away, but you couldn't avert your eyes. You wished you were anywhere but here. The next image was of Mr. Lore's throat. You saw the blood pulsating there, as his voice echoed in your mind.
"Can you hear it?" he asks. "Can you hear my voice? Do you see what I've done?"
"I see what you have done," you whisper.
"Good. Now, you will understand. Watch."
Mr. Lore begins to laugh, as his throat echoes.
"I will show you the mind," Mr. Lore says.
You watch as a green stream of text appears on Mr. Lore's throat. It read, No sopranos.
"The voice of the beast," Mr. Lore laughs.
You watch as the text begins to change. It reads, I can't sing.
"I have no arias. I have no arias for you, beast. How will you like Verdi's Requiem?"
You feel your face twisting once again.
"Behold. I am an instrumentalist! I will show you the beast within."
You see Mr. Lore's hands twitch, as the text changes once again. Mr. Lore has an A minor triad obsession.
"I will teach you the animalistic desires within. Watch."
Mr. Lore begins to dance, as the green text begins to manifest itself on his body.
"I'm sexy and I know it," the text reads.
"Beast!" Mr. Lore laughs. "Watch your words!"
The text changes one final time.
"I'm super, and you're nobody!"
Mr. Lore begins to jump around in the air, as the room begins to get dark. You begin to struggle against your restraints, but can't break free. The text on Mr. Lore's body transforms into something else, as you see the words MALICE and VENGEANCE in all of its glory.
"No one takes me alive!" he screams.
Mr. Lore suddenly grabs you by the throat, strangling you as the room begins to go black. You feel your life drain from you as you struggle to breathe.
"It's time for you, beastie," Mr. Lore says. "Time for you."
Garak arrives, attacking Lore.
"Lore! You scum! You're a murderer!"
Lore laughs as he knocks Garak into the wall.
"And you're a spy! A betrayer! A cuckold!"
He picks Garak up by the throat.
"How does it feel to know you're about to die?" he asks.
"As compared to you, sir, dying sounds preferable," Garak says.
Lore throws Garak onto the ground.
"Get him!" he screams.
The rest of the Tal Shiar have arrived to defend their hoodlum.
"He's mine," one of them says.
"No, mine!" another says.
"I'm serious, gentlemen. He killed my friend! I want his head!"
"I want his dick," another says.
"Hey!" you say. "I don't want to get yours!"
The men begin to attack one another in an attempt to prove who's the biggest man. You find yourself safe.
"Well," you say. "I'm certainly glad to see you're alive, Captain."
"And I'm glad to see you are, Captain," Capt. Riker says. "Did you escape?"
"Well, the fighting's stopped for a moment," you say. "I suggest you escape as well, sir."
"Yes, sir," Captain Riker says. "Good luck in the future, sir."
"Good luck, Captain," you say.
Captain Riker runs off, and you see Nog heading over to you.
"Oh, sir! Are you all right?"
"Yes, but we need to get out of here."
You look around to see if there's an opening. You notice a small hole in the wall.
"You can escape that way, sir," Nog says.
"Thanks, you as well," you say.
"Come on, you! We have to get out of here!"
You don't question it and follow after Nog. He makes his way through the hole, and you follow right after. You find yourself in a hallway.
"This isn't the place for the musical numbers!" you hear Julian say.
"Shut up, you!" someone says.
"Can I get a hot sauce with my nachos here?" another person asks.
"You're not gonna like it, miss," another person says. "It's raw."
"Ugh, fine," Julian says.
Nog heads down the hall, and you follow after him. You come to a door at the end of the hall.
"This is it," he says.
Nog goes inside, and you follow him. Within the small room, you see dozens of slabs, each with a body in it. You recognize some of them as Federation soldiers, others as terrorists, and others as civilians.
"This is a morgue," you say. "What do you want to do?"
"Do you recognize any of these bodies?" Nog asks.
You look at the bodies. You recognize a few faces, but not many.
"No," you say.
"Neither did I. This is where Jake was found, right? So we should... No. We should go."
You remove one of the dead bodies, a freshly-deceased young woman, from its container, grabbing a surgical scalpel.
"Um, I think we should take one of these dead bodies," you say nervously.
"You want to steal a corpse?" Nog asks. "What the hell were you thinking?
"Well, I need a kidney."
"What?" Nog asks.
"I said, I need a kidney."
"You're insane. There's no way..." Nog says, trailing off as his eyes widen. "Wait. If we cut out a kidney, they'll just grow another one back, right?"
"Yes, but by the time we'd do that, we'd be long gone and no one would notice," you say. "The operation only takes a few minutes, I assure you. And I don't see that it'll cause that much trouble; the victim is already dead. They won't miss one single kidney."
"Are you sure?"
"Well, no. But I'm ready to risk it," you say.
"Alright then. Let's do it. But we need to be quick. Really quick.
You nod and make an incision, putting on surgical gloves and removing the corpse's kidney as swiftly as possible, then stick it in a cryostatic container, the sort of thing you would normally see in a morgue.
"Alright. Let's get the fuck out of here," you say, opening the door and stepping outside.
You walk out into the hallway, which is completely empty. A minute later, you're in the shuttle, soaring through space.
"I can't believe we made it out that easily," you say. "That was too easy."
"I'm just glad we're safe," Nog says. "I don't think I'll ever get used to the sight of a dead body, let alone one that I touched."
A few hours later...
You step out of the shuttle and onto the earth's natural satellite, walking towards a metal door. A red light above it begins to flash, and the door starts to slide open. You walk inside, finding yourself in a much more upscale looking control room than the one on the shuttle. In fact, it's quite luxurious, with dark wood paneling and luxurious seats. A half dozen people are here, three men and three women. They all stand up as you and Nog walk in.
One of the men is quite tall, and significantly older than you.
"I am Spock," the figure says, his deep, booming voice causing the chairs of the humans to rattle. "Greetings. I assume this is Nog, from the Federation ship you stole?"
"Hello, Ambassador Spock," Nog says.
"What brings you here?" he asks.
"We needed some way to get off of the ship without being seen. We... Stole one of your shuttles, but had several mechanical failures," you explain. "Can you help us?"
"Yes, indeed. Your situation is... Interesting. I can provide you with a solution, but I'd need to examine your ship. Can you start by taking me through what needs to be done?"
You explain how to unlock the door, starting with how to say the password.
"Password?" he asks.
"Fizz-zap," you repeat.
"I don't understand. What does the password mean?"
"It's a nonsense word," you say.
"Then why did you use it?"
"Because it's what we were told to use."
Spock raises an eyebrow, before shaking his head.
"Impossible. Any idiot could have made that up using the letters FIZZA."
"Then how do we know you didn't make it up?"
"Because I'm much more intelligent than that," he says. "Now, please explain how the... Fucking door works."
You step aside, as Nog steps up to the doorway.
"This is the main computer system for the ship," Nog says, pressing a few buttons. "I've programmed it to open the door."
"Then do so," Spock says.
Nog nods, entering the password into the computer. The door starts to slide open.
"Very good," Spock says. "The password is 'fizz-zap'. Good luck, engineers."
You nod at him, then enter the room. A red light flashes on, and you immediately raise your hand to block the light. You remain like that for ten seconds, until the light turns off. Then, you remove your glove, slowly approaching the machine. You place your hand on it once more, and this time the screen lights up. You wait for the flashing bars to stop, which takes about a minute and a half. It's almost dawn by the time it stops, and you walk back to the shuttle, climbing inside.
"Let's go," you say.
"So did you find a way to fix the ship?" Nog asks.
"Not exactly. We found out who sabotaged the airlocks. It was Ambassador Spock."
"Looks like," you say. "Did you know he was the one behind it?"
"No. Should I have?"
"Don't know. Am I supposed to execute an ambassador?"
"Maybe he's not really an ambassador. Maybe he's just called that," Nog says. "I don't want to mess with the guy, he seems pretty... Well, let's just not deal with him. What's next on the list?"
You take a deep breath, nodding.
"Steal another shuttle and go back to the station," you say.
Nog grins eagerly.
"I'm on it," he says. "Anything else?"
"Not right now," you reply.
Nog stands up, walking out of the shuttle. You wait until he's gone, before walking towards the door. You take a deep breath, walking through the hallways once more. You keep your pistol raised, as you step into a hallway leading to the docking bay for the station. You pull out your communicator.
"Kobold to anyone with a red dot," you say into it.
There's a pause, before a voice crackles through.
"This is Deutsche Zoll Rot, go fuck yourself," the voice crackles.
You sigh, pushing the talk button again.
"Anyone there?" the voice crackle.
"Go fuck yourself," you say, as the line goes dead.
You sigh, putting your communicator back into your pocket.
"Fuck," you say out loud.
You walk along the hallway, reaching the end. It leads into a room with a dozen or so shuttles inside it. You spot the one you were aiming for, a old Mark I that's had its name turned into a graphic designed by a bored teenager. You open the cockpit, smiling in satisfaction as you step inside. You hit the start button, and the lights begin to flicker. You wait a moment, before they begin to turn on. The screen prompt you to input the password, which you don't have because you stole the shuttle. You don't know what you're going to do if they try and stop you from leaving the station.
"Fuck," you say again, pounding your fist into your hand.
"Thinking about stealing a shuttle?"
You turn around, finding the station's robotic arms behind you.
"I am," you say.
"I'm the station's protection division. Which would you like protected: the entire station, or just yourself?"
"Both," you say.
The robot chooses a small, metal, and decidedly not human-looking figure on wheels with multiple guns attached to it. It walks over to you, raising its arm. A laser gun comes out, pointing it at your head.
"What are you?"
"Unmanned robotic system," it says. "I'm assigned to protect Deutsche Zoll's shipments."
"I'm not a threat," you say, holding your hands up. "I'm just here to steal a shuttle."
The gun doesn't move, the robotic arm still pointed at you.
"What are you waiting for? What do you want me to do?"
"Nothing," you say. "I'm not a threat."
The robotic arm lowers, and the gun is back in its holster.
"The password to open the bay is...," the robot says, tapping at a screen with a single clawed finger. "785647F4E58."
"Thank you," you say.
The robot turns, and walks out of the room. You wait a moment, holding your breath, before you release it. You grab your communicator, hitting Nog's number. It begins to ring, but breaks off mid-ring.
"Dammit," you say.
You wait for a moment, before hanging up. You wait a moment, wondering whether or not to go through with your plan. An hour later, you decide you can't take it anymore, and you walk over to the door.
You tap the screen with your claw, entering 785647F4E58. The screen flashes for a moment, before changing. The password is now accepted.
The door clicks open.
"It worked," you say.
"Fuck me," Nog says.
He rushes over, opening the door and stepping inside the shuttle. He grabs the shuttle's throttle, pressing it down as he backs into the ship.
"Come on," he says.
You step inside, grabbing the throttle beside him. You push down, feeling the shuttle slowly slide forward out of the bay.
"We're clear," he says.
He hits a button on the control panel beside him, and the door closes behind you.
"Let's get the fuck out of here."
You fly out of the space station, flying out into the blackness of space. You wait a moment, scans sweeping the area. Nothing else is out there, as far as you can tell. You watch as the lights of the space station grow smaller and smaller, before finally disappearing off into the distance.
"Alright," Nog says. "We made it."
"Fuck," you say. "I'm fucking exhausted."
You're just glad to be alive. You look at the control screen, seeing that your energy levels have recovered enough for you to attempt to open a channel to the station.
"Let's try," you say.
You touch the screen, entering the channel.
"Nogers," a deep voice booms from the other side. "You Nogers are the most worthless group of pirates in the solar system. I hate Noggers. Turn yourselves in to authorities, or I'll..."
The channel breaks out into static as the voice booms through it.
"Fuck," you say. "I don't even understand Norwegian."
The channel continues to break up, before going dead.
"Well," Nog says. "That was unsuccessful."
"Yeah," you say. "Let's try another one."
You enter the channel to the head of the space station's Security, asking to be connected.
"Nope," Nog says. "They're not responding to that."
You try a channel for the ships in orbit. A few seconds later, you get a response.
"This is the captain of the ship Iceman," a young, British voice says. "I'm fighting pirates in this system. Please, leave me be."
"Listen," you say. "We're not pirates. We're just..."
The channel breaks up, ending the conversation between the two.
"Well that was unsuccessful," Nog says.
"Fuck," you say. "Let's try one last channel."
You enter the channel for the owner of the space station.
"This is Hans," a deep, masculine voice answers. "I've been waiting."
"Nope," you say. "Didn't work."
"There's one last channel we can try," Nog says.
Nog enters the channel, and you hold your breath.
"Have you come to your senses, or do you wish to be destroyed? I have the firepower to do the former, but not the latter."
"Nope," you say. "That one didn't work."
"Alright," Nog says. "Let's try a..."
Nog pulls out a card, pressing it.
"This one," he says.
A woman's voice comes through, beautiful and melodic.
"Hello," she says.
"Kira, finally. I've missed the sound of your voice."
"Kira, we need your help," you say.
"I'm always willing to help. What's wrong?
"Our shuttle's malfunctioning and we're over here by the moon station, near Earth."
"I'm on my way," she says. "Give me a few minutes to get ready."
"Ok," you say.
"I'll see you soon."
The channel closes, and you exhale a breath you didn't know you were holding.
"Well," Nog says. "She'll help us. We just have to wait."
"Just have to wait?" you ask. "Or we'll have to go find something to do while we're waiting?"
"We don't have anything to do," Nog says. "We're waiting."
"I don't like waiting," you say. "There's nothing to do."
"We can think," Nog says. "And we can pray. And you can meditate."
"I hate thinking," you say. "I'm not an idiot. I know space is dangerous."
"You don't have to think hard," Nog says. "Just think about anything except space. Think about your school days."
"No," you say. "That's a terrible idea."
"Think about your mom," Nog says. "Think about whether you love her."
You think about your mom for a bit, before frowning.
"I'm not getting anything," you say.
"Think about the color green," Nog says. "Like, think about what color green is."
"It's a fucking color," you say. "It's like thinking about the meaning of life."
"Do you like green?" Nog asks. "Do you like grass? Think about what you like."
You think about grass for a while, before shaking your head.
"It's not working," you say.
"Think about sex," Nog says. "About your mother having sex with you."
"I don't want to think about my mom having sex with me," you say.
"Think about mine," Nog says. "Think about my fat, ugly wife, Talia. I know you have. She has big, fat tits, doesn't she?"
"Stop!" you say, blush hitting your cheeks.
"Do you think about me having sex with your mom?" Nog asks, blush of his own hitting his face.
"No," you say firmly.
After a few minutes, you hear a ship approaching.
"Here she is," Nog says.
The door opens, and before you stands the most beautiful woman you've seen in a long time.
"Kira! It's you!"
"Hello, beautiful," she says, walking forward. "I'm so happy you could come."
She grabs your hand and kisses it, then moves to your other hand, then your neck, then your cheek, then your lips. She tastes like candy.
"Come on," she says, taking your hand. "I'll take you to your room."
You look into her eyes as she pulls you along. She leads you through the door and along a hallway, until you come to a door on the left, which she opens with her own password.
"Welcome to you," she smiles. "Have fun."
She pulls you inside, smiling at you sweetly.
"I'll pick you up tomorrow. I promise you, you won't want for anything. Not a thing," she says.
The door shuts, and you're alone. You look around the room, which is fairly barren. There's a bed, a small dresser, a chair, and a TV on the wall. There's also another door, which presumably leads to the bathroom.
You hear a notification from your wrist comm. It's a message from Nog.
Nog: We're on. Be there soon
You nod, and begin to unpack. You quickly realize that, though the room is fairly barren, it's significantly nicer than your last room. You've got a proper bed, a TV, a wardrobe... hell, even a bathtub!
You quickly set up your computer on the desk, and begin playing Starbound when you realize that you not only have no idea where to go first, you don't even have any basic supplies. A few moments later, you hear a knock at the door.
You open it to find Nog there, smiling and holding a large backpack.
"I got you a gift," he says.
You shrug, nod, and open the bag. Inside are a bunch of items, most of which you don't recognize.
"What the fuck is this?" you ask, holding up a strange, purple fruit.
"It's a melon," Nog says. "I thought you might like it."
"Where the hell did you find this?" you ask.
"I stole it," Nog says simply.
You shake your head, laughing.
"Nog, you're a fucking kid," you say. "You shouldn't be doing this."
"I'm doing what I want," Nog says. "Also, I'm not a kid. I'm like 30 years old."
You raise an ear, listening intently. You hear the sound of footsteps approaching down the hall.
"I better go," Nog says, turning away.
"Alright," you say. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight, Human," Nog says, turning away and walking quickly down the hall.
You close the door, a rush of air passing you. You wait a moment, until you hear Nog's footsteps die off down the hall. You sigh, walking over to the backpack and unclasping it.
You sort the contents of the bag into various piles on the floor. Mostly clothes and food, a knife and an odd gun made of metal and what looks like bone, a lighter, a small pair of screwdrivers, a deck of cards, a pack of dice, and a strange, purple fruit.
That fruit looks delicious.
You decide on the purple fruit, and take a bite out of it. It tastes... odd. Weird. Good, though. You quickly finish it, dropping the skin into the pile on the floor. You decide you should eat more often, and put the melon into the pile.
You sort out the clothes, and find a comfy tank top and loose-fitting grey sweatpants. Good enough for now. Now to decide what to do with the rest of the day...
While you're pondering, the door opens, and Kira walks in.
"Hey," she smiles.
"Hello," you reply.
"What are you doing? Are you alright? You look really tired," she says.
"I'm fine," you say. "I don't know if you..."
"What? Oh, yeah," she says, furrowing her brow. "I got you something."
"You did?" you ask.
"Yeah," she smiles. "I... I can't have kids, so I wanted to give you something that means more to me than anything."
She moves closer to you, kneeling down. She takes the shirt you're wearing, and lifts it up, sneaking her arms around your waist and her face placing against your belly.
"You're the father of my child," she says softly.
"You mean... the baby inside me is yours?"
Kira nods against you.
"I wanted you to know," she says. "I love you."
"I love you too," you reply.
You hold her tightly against you, and kiss her.
Garak enters the room. "Ah, I see you've started making preparations for the baby. Congratulations. It's an exciting time."
"Thanks," you say.
"I have some news of my own," he says. "I found myself a girlfriend."
"Oh?" you reply.
"Yes. She's a Bajoran... Well, actually, she's a cultist," he says. "But she's very affectionate."
"That's good," you reply.
"Yes, it is," Garak nods.
"Well, I guess we better get back to work then," you say.
"Yes, I suppose so."
The next day, you hold the child in your hands for the first time. It looks back at you, and giggles.
"Ah, a biological child! What a wondrous thing!" Doctor O'Brien says in his usual way.
You walk around the room, observing the new life you've created. This child is a marvel.
You can't wait to see it grow up.