Love In The Abstract

Love In The Abstract

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Fan Fiction

Summary

Picard rescues a young alien who bonds with him. Crusher admits to some interesting sexual tastes.

Summary

Picard rescues a young alien who bonds with him. Crusher admits to some interesting sexual tastes.

Chapter1 (v.1) - Love In The Abstract

Author Chapter Note

Picard rescues a young alien who bonds with him. Crusher admits to some interesting sexual tastes.

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 18, 2012

Reads: 445

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 18, 2012

A A A

A A A

 

 

Love In The Abstract.

 

 

The USS Enterprise D eased her way into the remote star system. On the Bridge, the crew worked with their usual calm efficiency, but throughout the ship there was a subtle tension, an almost surety that they would soon be in battle.

For over four months a group of well equipped mercenaries had been raiding ships, their methods were business-like and systematic, but what had spread horror through the crew of the mighty Starship was what the mercenaries had done to their unfortunate victims.

They were not just merciless, but deliberately cruel…sadistic even. There were never any survivors.

Ships had been found adrift, picked clean of any and every piece of salvageable equipment, but it was the mutilated bodies that sent such a shiver down the spines of the rescue teams. It was patently obvious that the mercenaries took pleasure in their atrocities, making some kind of statement in their brutality.

It was only two hours previous that the Enterprise had left yet another lifeless hulk of a ship adrift in space as she followed a quickly attenuating ion trail, the first of which had been thus found. It seems they had arrived only an hour or two since the pirates had left.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard was seated in the Command Chair, legs crossed and seemingly relaxed. To his right sat Commander William Riker, the ship’s First Officer. At Ops, the only android to serve in Starfleet, Lieutenant Commander Data, turned his head and said quietly,

“We are approaching a star system, Captain. The ion trail seems to be leading us to the third planet, an M class similar in size to Earth.”

In his deep baritone, Jean-Luc said softly,

“Helm, drop to one quarter impulse.”

Behind the Captain, at Tactical, stood the imposing figure of Lieutenant Commander Worf. A Klingon, he was tense, his warrior’s instincts finely tuned. His basso rumble only served to heighten the already tense atmosphere.

“Captain, I advise you to raise shields.”

Jean-Luc gave the suggestion a moment’s thought, then nodded.

“Agreed, Mr. Worf. Raise shields and go to yellow alert.”

Will Riker leaned to his left, saying sotto voce,

“Weapons?”

The Captain shook his head.

“Not yet, Number One. If this indeed is their lair, I would like to try and end this with as little violence as possible.”

Will didn’t agree with his CO, but would not argue with the man, at least not in front of the crew. Instead he sat back in his chair, the hairs on the back of his neck raised.

Still showing a relaxed posture and emanating calm, Jean-Luc said quietly,

“Are we picking up anything other than the ion trial?”
Data’s fingers danced over his console, then he tilted his head, a sure sign he was processing information. His voice showed his concern.

“I am picking up a faint energy signature, Captain, but I cannot isolate it, nor can I tell you what is causing it.”

Uncrossing his legs, Jean-Luc inched forward on his chair.

“Can you give us an approximation of its origin? Is it in space, or on the planet’s surface?”

The android frowned and checked his readings.

“It is emanating from the planet, Sir. I will try to narrow the location.”

Lifting his head slightly, Jean-Luc called,

“Picard to LaForge.”

The reply was instant.

“LaForge here, Captain.”

“Geordi we need more power to our sensors and scanners.”

“I’m on it, Captain; you should have at least twenty percent more for both about now.”

Jean-Luc smiled, replying,

“Thank you, Mr. LaForge. Picard out.”

Will smirked and ran his hand through his beard as he muttered,

“You’re not going to ask him where he stole the power from?”

Jean-Luc’s expression was unreadable, but his eyes twinkled.

“I have learned it’s better not to ask.”

The big First Officer was still grinning as Data said succinctly,

“I have a target, Captain. It is in the southern hemisphere, on a large island.”

He hesitated, then said softly,

“I believe we are receiving two sets of readings.”

Jean-Luc moved to the edge of his seat.

“Two bases?”

Data shook his head, frowning deeply.

“No, Sir. One is, I believe, their base and I think it is underground. The other may be their ship.”

That brought Jean-Luc to his feet.

“Helm, put us in a geosynchronous orbit over the coordinates.”

“Aye, Sir.”

“Data, put the area on the viewscreen.”

A distant image of lush vegetation and mountains emerged on the screen. With his hands akimbo, Jean-Luc said softly,

“Enhance and magnify.”

On closer inspection, a large clearing became evident and near it the mouth of a cave.

Almost thinking aloud, Jean-Luc muttered,

“I see no ship.”

Data shook his head.

“It may be cloaked, Captain, but I am definitely getting neutrino emissions.”

The Captain turned to face his Tactical Officer.

“Worf. Can we disable their ship from here?”

The burly Klingon tapped a few commands into his console and then looked at his Captain with satisfaction.

“Yes, Sir, I believe we can.”

Jean-Luc turned back to the viewscreen.

“Do it.”

From behind him he heard Worf say brusquely,

“Firing phasers.”

As they watched, a ship suddenly appeared. Smoke billowed from one of its nacelles, but it returned fire. The green bolt of energy arced up from the planet, striking the Enterprise’s shields, rocking the great ship. Jean-Luc kept his balance with feline grace and said firmly,

“Target their weapons and propulsion. Fire when ready.”

“Aye, Sir.”

More deadly phaser fire speared down from the Enterprise. The strikes were surgically accurate. The ship collapsed to starboard and figures were seen exiting and running into the cave entrance. Jean-Luc sensed Will standing by his side. He said to Data,

“Can you tell how many people are down there?”

Data shook his head.

“No, Sir, the geology of the area contains magnamite. It is interfering with our sensors.”

Jean-Luc sighed, knowing his next order may well cause the deaths of some of his crew.

“Number One, take five away teams of six per team and make sure they’re well armed.”

Will gave a curt nod and was about to issue his orders when he hesitated.

“Shall I take Doctor Crusher?”

When Jean-Luc looked at Will his face was inscrutable, but Will saw the distress in his eyes.

“Yes.”

As he moved to the aft turbolift, Will called,

“Security teams one through five, report to transporters rooms one, two and three. Doctor Crusher, report to transporter Room One.”

The lift doors closed on Will as the recipients called in their replies. Jean-Luc turned to the viewscreen and stared at the image, his expression stoic, but inside his artificial heart went into overdrive with worry.

Beverly Crusher, the only woman he had ever truly loved had only recently let him know that she too loved him. They had become intimate merely a week ago and, at the time, Jean-Luc had thought nothing could have made him happier. Now he was paying for his joy. Beverly was the Chief Medical Officer aboard his ship and he was her Commanding Officer. Over the many years they had served together he had always felt trepidation when she was sent on away missions, but now, now that they had finally put behind the baggage of years of stormy history to finally become lovers, sending her into danger was almost more than he could bear. But bear it he must. If they were to ever work out the dynamics of their relationship, it had to include the possibility that he might one day send her to her death. He could only pray that was not going to be today.

He stood motionless and, in a way, impotent as he listened to his crewmembers being transported down to the surface. He waited until they were assembled outside the cave before he tapped his comm. badge,

“Picard to Riker.”

“Riker here, Sir.”

“Keep your comm. badges open. We might be able to keep you in contact with the ship.”

“Aye, Captain.”

Tense moments passed before a relieved Captain heard,

“Riker to Picard.”

“Picard here, Will.”

“We have contact, but I don’t know if it will continue the deeper we get in these caves.”

Jean-Luc sighed.

“Just do the best you can, Number One. Picard out.”

Over the next twenty minutes the tension on the ship slowly grew as nothing but silence was heard from the away teams. Jean-Luc was well aware of their need for silence, but he fretted, nonetheless. Then came the static filled call from Will.

“We’ve engaged them, Captain!”

Staccato bursts of phaser and disruptor fire filled the speakers with the occasional yell of pain. It seemed to go on forever; until Jean-Luc heard the words he’d been dreading for years. An unknown voice, obviously stressed, called,

“Doctor Crusher is down!”

Jean-Luc reacted immediately.

“Transporter Room one, beam up the wounded!”

The Transporter Chief’s reply was laced with desperation.

“I can’t Captain! We cannot transport through the rock.”

His gut twisting, Jean-Luc turned to the aft turbolift.

“Data, you’re with me. Lieutenant Westacott, you have the Bridge.”

The young woman stood, her mouth agape, but she knew enough to gently protest.

“Captain, your place is here, Sir.”

His icy glare silenced the trembling woman. With deceptive softness, Jean-Luc said,

“As you were, Lieutenant.”

Knowing further words were useless; Westacott straightened her spine and gave a curt nod,

“Aye, Captain.”

Data entered the empty lift, but Jean-Luc hesitated. He speared Westacott with an intense look and said with clipped efficiency,

“Keep an eye out on the surrounding space. We don’t know how many ships the mercenaries have and I don’t want us caught with our pants down. Go to red alert if you feel it necessary.”

Swallowing to wet her suddenly dry mouth, Westacott nodded.

“Yes, Sir.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jean-Luc and Data rematerialised outside the caves. Drawing their phasers, the Captain led his Second Officer inside, their palm beacons lighting their way.

It took a long time to make the descent to the fighting, they had been hearing it as they got closer and closer, but it was a disruptor blast hitting the tunnel wall mere centimetres from Jean-Luc’s head that let them know they had reached the perimeter of the conflict.

Data and his Captain dived to each side of the tunnel and returned fire, There seemed to be many pockets of resistance, each having to be dealt with separately. In a lull, Jean-Luc tapped his comm. badge.

“Picard to Riker.”

Over the sound of a fire fight, the close proximity made communications easier. A harassed Riker responded,

“What are you doing down here, Captain?”

Jean-Luc scowled.

“Never mind that, where’s Beverly?”

A loud blast temporarily overwhelmed the comm. system. When it cleared, Jean-Luc heard Will shout,

“Last I knew she was with team two. They’re to the east, approximately fifty metres.”

Jean-Luc cast Data a look to see him consulting a tricorder. The android nodded and Jean-Luc said loudly,

“Understood, Commander. I’m on my way there now.”

“Acknowledged, Captain…keep your head down. Riker out.”

With a nod to his companion, Jean-Luc and Data broke cover and ran, zigzagging down the tunnel and firing at anything that moved. Green disruptor fire dogged them, but they made it past the mercenaries and into a tunnel Data indicated they needed to traverse. Still running, they found a lull, no one defending or firing until they blundered into a small cavern. A cross fire of orange and green blasts made the two officers dive headlong, before rolling and trying to find which way to go for cover.

Seeing where the orange fire was coming from, Jean-Luc yelled,

“Data! Over here!”

They scrabbled sideways, firing as they went. Finding cover with team two, Jean-Luc found the team leader, a young man, his face grimy with sweat and dust. Yelling to be heard over the blasts, Jean-Luc shouted,

“Where is Doctor Crusher?”

The Lieutenant jerked a thumb over his shoulder.

“Back there! We’ve been trying to spare some crew to get her out to beam up!”

The Captain looked over his shoulder but saw nothing but darkness. He dodged another disruptor blast, returned fire and grunted as a mercenary fell forward from his hiding place. In the ensuing lull, Jean-Luc said loudly,

“Mr. Data and I will take Doctor Crusher to the surface.”

The Lieutenant nodded.

“Understood, Sir, good luck.”

Gesturing to Data, the two retreated, flashing their lamps to and fro, trying to find Beverly. It was Data whose enhanced night vision picked up her prone form. With a curt,

“Captain!”

Jean-Luc swung his light, suppressing a gasp of anguish as he saw the halo of blood around her head. Kneeling beside her, Jean-Luc waited impatiently as Data scanned her with his tricorder. Snapping the device closed, Data reported to his Captain.

“Doctor Crusher has a severe concussion, a deep scalp laceration, two broken ribs and a contused liver. We will have to be very careful in how we carry her; in fact, I suggest you allow me to carry her as I can compensate for any jolting that may occur.”

Jean-Luc nodded.


“Agreed. Give me the tricorder, I’ll lead, you follow.”

Data nodded as Jean-Luc plotted their way out of the maze of caves and tunnels.

It was harrowing. With constant disruptor fire and the vagaries of the tunnels, it was over forty-five minutes until they broke free of the caves. Jean-Luc grabbed Data’s shoulder and looked into his golden eyes.

“I want you to stay with her, Data.”

The Second Officer frowned.

“But, Captain, what about you?”

Jean-Luc looked back into the black maw of the cave.

“I’m going back.”

“But…”

The Captain squeezed Data’s shoulder.

“I trust you; Data…stay with her until I return.”

Before Data could voice any more protests, Jean-Luc tapped his comm. badge and said firmly,

“Enterprise, two to beam directly to Sick Bay.”

His last sight of the woman he loved was that of her being cradled in his Second Officer’s arms as they dissolved in a sparkle of blue light. Not taking any time to reflect on his feelings, Jean-Luc turned and ran back into the cave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The battle raged for over an hour, but slowly the Enterprise personnel began to get the upper hand. Jean-Luc had taken command of team two as their leader had been killed. During a particularly intense fire fight he had become separated from his team, chasing a mercenary through a downward sloping tunnel. Coming to a bend, a tiring Jean-Luc didn’t exercise enough caution and was struck in the shoulder by a disruptor beam. His phaser flew from his hand as his entire arm went numb. The stench of his burnt flesh pervaded the tunnel. From the darkness he heard a derisive voice.

“Come on, you Starfleet scum, I’m waiting.”

Squinting his eyes, Jean-Luc saw his phaser, but to get it he would have to expose himself. Determined to take this enemy, Jean-Luc threw caution to the winds and dived forward, rolling end over end. Just as he was about to pick up his weapon, a well-aimed blast disintegrated it. Caught in the open, Jean-Luc squinted in the dim light, seeing for the first time that he had reached some kind of command centre. A tall, haggard-looking Cardassian stood, feet braced and a disruptor in his hand, but Jean-Luc could easily see the warning light of a depleted battery glowing on the weapon.

Trusting his luck, Jean-Luc scrabbled to his feet and launched himself at his larger opponent. He heard the click of a non-functioning weapon just as his injured shoulder crashed into the Cardassian’s chest. Driven backwards by the impact, both men fell to the ground. Jean-Luc was smaller and lighter and had a useless arm, but he was well versed in both martial arts and wrestling. He twisted in the Cardassian’s grasp and wrapped his legs around his adversary’s neck. He squeezed as hard as he could, but it wasn’t enough. The Cardassian got his hands between Jean-Luc’s legs and drove upwards, hitting the Captain in the testicles. Agony lanced through Jean-Luc’s body and his grip failed. Immediately the Cardassian rolled to his left, trying to regain his feet. Jean-Luc summoned all his strength and swept his legs, tripping the alien up. Once again on his side, the Cardassian punched Jean-Luc flush on his nose, breaking it. The next blow was a full bodied punch to his stomach. Jean-Luc curled up on his side, barely able to breathe. The Cardassian was quickly on his feet, repeatedly kicking his foe.

Knowing he was losing and not far from being killed, in desperation Jean-Luc grabbed the foot next time the Cardassian tried to kick him and twisted violently sideways. The Cardassian lost his balance and fell. Jean-Luc fell on him, driving him to the rock floor. With one hand on his chin and the other gripping his hair, Jean-Luc wrenched the Cardassian’s head around, snapping the man’s neck. The Cardassian’s body shivered briefly then laid still, his cruel eyes staring into nothingness.

Jean-Luc slowly got to his feet, his own body a cacophony of pain. He gave the Cardassian’s body one last look and was about to leave when he heard a small sound. Immediately on his guard again, Jean-Luc grew still, listening carefully. He was rewarded when he heard the small noise again. It was a quiet clinking sound and it came from the deepest recesses of the small cavern.

Taking the fact that no one was shooting at him, Jean-Luc picked up a small light from the wall and crept cautiously forward, holding the light up. Behind some debris he discovered the source of the sounds and what he found almost made him weep.

Chained to the wall was a little alien. It was cowering, shivering in terror and almost trying to meld into the rock wall itself. By his feeble light, Jean-Luc could see it had many wounds on its body, some new, some healing and some old. Its matted, filthy fur was missing in places and its large, oval, violet eyes had vertical pupils and nictitating membranes. It was bipedal and appeared to have six fingers and toes on each hand and foot, each digit terminating in a soft, round pad. There was no nose as such, just two small holes and a small mouth, framed by plump, purple lips.

Around one ankle was a cruel manacle which, over time, had resulted in an ulcerating, suppurating wound. The manacle was attached to a short heavy chain which in turn was connected to an eyebolt in the cave wall.

Appalled by what he saw, Jean-Luc went down on one knee and held out his hand, saying softly and gently,

“It’s all right; I’m here to help you. I won’t hurt you, I promise.”

It was clear the little alien was quite young. It looked up at Jean-Luc with limpid eyes and his heart squeezed in sympathy. He slowly stood, saying softly,

“Let me see if I can find something to set you free.”

Hating leaving the little creature in the dark, Jean-Luc set the light down near it and made his way back to the other wall where there was another light.

Strewn all over the floor were articles of contraband. After rummaging around for several minutes, Jean-Luc found a Starfleet issue phaser. It had little power left in its battery, but Jean-Luc thought there might be just enough.

He made his way back to the little alien and it cowered again, but when Jean-Luc knelt beside it, it seemed to calm. In his gentlest voice he softly said,

“I am going to cut the manacle off your leg. It will get a little hot, but it won’t burn you.”

It was the work of mere seconds to cut the fetter off. The little alien didn’t move, and its eyes never left Jean-Luc. Very slowly the Captain lifted his hand and gently stroked its head, saying quietly,

“Whatever you have endured, it’s over now, you’re safe.”

Just then he heard his First Officer call.

“Captain Picard? Are you there?”

Jean-Luc stood and stepped away from the little alien. He called out,

“In here, Will.”

He had taken only a few steps when the alien suddenly moved and with remarkable speed. Just as Will and three security staff entered the cavern, the alien wrapped its arms and legs around Jean-Luc’s left leg and hugged tightly. Will, on seeing Jean-Luc’s predicament, stifled a chuckle. Jean-Luc looked down at the little alien to see it staring intently up at him. He bent, trying to ease its grip of his leg, but the little alien refused to let go.

Rather than force the issue, Jean-Luc chose to momentarily ignore it. Straightening his aching back, he faced his First Officer with as much dignity and authority as he could muster under the circumstances and said,

“Report.”

Will let out a long breath.

“It’s over, Captain, we have control.”

“Casualties?”

With a scowl to mask his sorrow, Will ground out,

“Four dead, seven wounded.”

Jean-Luc remained stoic.

“And the mercenaries?”

Will shook his head in bewilderment.

“They committed suicide rather than be taken prisoner, Sir.”

Jean-Luc sighed.

“Very well. Contact the ship and have help sent down to get our wounded back to the ship. Then collect all the bodies and contraband.”

The big, bearded man nodded.

“Aye, Captain.”

As Will was sending his orders, a security staff member appeared at Jean-Luc’s side.

“Sir? You are in need of medical assistance. Will you come with me please, Captain?”

Jean-Luc again looked down into the almost liquid gaze of the little alien. He bent and tried again to gently prise the creature from his leg, but unless he used considerable force, it wasn’t going to let him go. Jean-Luc sighed in frustration and embarrassment as he had to walk all the way to the surface with the little alien attached to his leg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data was waiting for him as he rematerialised in Sick Bay. About to report, Data’s eyes fell to the little alien, still clinging to Jean-Luc’s leg, but now with its face pressed against his thigh. The android opened his mouth to ask the obvious question, but Jean-Luc’s no-nonsense tone cut him off.

“How is Doctor Crusher?”

With his attention once again on his duty, Data managed a small smile of encouragement.

“She has been treated and is well, Captain, in fact she is in her office, preparing to receive the casualties.”

Casting a quick look at the alien, Jean-Luc stifled a sigh and said softly,

“Would you go and get her please, Data…and do so quietly.”

The android nodded.

“Yes, Captain.”

He was gone only a minute or two and soon returned with Beverly. She saw the alien, but before she could say anything about it, Jean-Luc looked deeply into her eyes, silently sending her his love. She returned his gaze in kind and in the space of a few seconds they had re-established their equilibrium. Feeling immensely relieved that she was all right, Jean-Luc asked softly,

“How do you feel?”

He was well aware that, although she had been healed, there would be lingering aches and pains for days to come. Beverly smiled bravely and shrugged.

“I’m okay.”

Jean-Luc was about to ask more, but Beverly suddenly went down on one knee and studied the little alien. Without looking up at her lover she asked,

“What do we have here?”

Jean-Luc sighed.

“I rescued it from a Cardassian who I think was the leader. It was chained to a wall and once I freed it, it quickly reached me and has been clinging to my leg ever since.”

Beverly reached into her coat pocket and took out a medical tricorder. She did a perfunctory scan, then, as she slowly stood, she read the information. Her frown was a deep one.

“Well you both look like you’ve been doing one of Worf’s calisthenics programs and you, Jean-Luc need medical assistance, but this little one is a bit of a mystery. I can see it’s injured, but I’ll need to do some more scans before I can help it.”

She looked up from her tricorder to ask,

“Can you get it off your leg?”

Jean-Luc shook his head.

“No, not yet and I don’t want to use force. It’s been abused enough; I don’t want to make matters worse.”

Going down on one knee again, Beverly said quietly,

“I’ll give it a try.”

She gently placed her hands under the alien’s armpits and tried to ease it away from Jean-Luc’s leg, but all that did was make it grip tighter and look up into Jean-Luc’s eyes. The expression of panic and the silent plea to be left alone was enough for Jean-Luc to say quietly,

“Stop, Beverly.”

The Doctor stood and said softly,

“I’ll get a sedative.”

As she turned, Jean-Luc whispered,

“Make it something gentle.”

With a knowing smile, Beverly nodded and walked away. She was back in seconds with a hypospray in her hand. She knelt at Jean-Luc’s feet, talking softly to the little alien and, as she applied to nozzle to the alien’s arm, Jean-Luc gently stroked its head. There was a hiss of the hypospray and the alien opened its mouth in a silent scream before it went completely limp and slid down Jean-Luc’s leg and into Beverly’s hands. At a quiet call, help was summoned to take the alien to a biobed. Beverly stood, taking Jean-Luc’s elbow.

“Now you, come and lie down.”

Jean-Luc stood his ground and shook his head, surprising Beverly. She immediately thought he was going to refuse treatment and return to the Bridge. About to protest, Jean-Luc realised what she was thinking and raised a placating hand.

“It’s not what you think, Beverly. I’m only too happy to be treated, but I want you to treat the alien. I can be treated by Selar.”

He saw disappointment and confusion in her eyes. Wishing he could take her hands, he instead tried to explain.

“Beverly, that little alien has been through a horrible experience…who knows how long it has been imprisoned? I think it’s quite young and I can think of no one better qualified to deal with a young, traumatised little alien than you. You are kind and compassionate and I know you will do your best to heal it. Yes, I would prefer you treat me, but in this one instance, I think that little waif deserves your help more than me.”

Overcome with love for the man, Beverly smiled with suspiciously moist eyes and gave a silent nod. Jean-Luc was led away to a biobed by a nurse and treated by Selar, the Vulcan Second in Command of Sick Bay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His injuries were many, but none life threatening. Having been healed he was placed under regeneration beams and surprised himself by dozing off. In fact he was well asleep when Beverly appeared at his bedside. She was loath to wake him, but she desperately needed to talk to him. With a gentle shake of his shoulder he was immediately awake and alert. He began to sit up, saying brusquely,

“What is it?”

But Beverly gently pushed him back down. He looked up at her and immediately saw anger and sadness in her eyes. In a gentler voice he asked,

“Beverly, what is it?”

She sighed and hitched her backside on the edge of his bed.

“It’s the little alien, Jean-Luc. You were right she is very young, my bone scans put her age at between four and five.”

She sighed again,

“And the oldest injury I can find is about four years old. Jean-Luc…I think she’s been held captive for most of her short life.”

The Captain briefly closed his eyes, sympathy and anger permeating his being.

Beverly rubbed her eyes, saying with a voice laced with anger,

“She has been systematically abused, Jean-Luc. I found most of her bones have been broken more than once. She has soft tissue injuries…God, those bastards even forcibly removed most of her damn teeth!”

She held up her hand,

“Don’t worry, I’ve replaced them, but they’re deciduous anyway. In a couple of years she’ll grow new ones. But, Jean-Luc, there’s more, much worse.”

Knowing they were alone, Jean-Luc took Beverly’s hand in his and squeezed it.

“Tell me.”

With tears in her eyes, Beverly’s voice trembled.

“She has suffered terrible sexual abuse. Her genitalia and internal reproductive organs were horribly damaged, even her anus and rectum were brutally damaged and my scans showed some of the damage was years old! That poor little one has suffered for most of her life, Jean-Luc.”

Anger, sympathy and outrage swirled inside Jean-Luc, then the memory of the Cardassian’s neck breaking surfaced in his mind and he said grimly,

“Well at least her tormentor won’t hurt anyone ever again.”

Beverly sniffed softly, saying quietly,

“He’s dead?”

Jean-Luc nodded.

“Yes, I killed him.”

They were silent for a few minutes before Jean-Luc asked,

“Do you know what species she is?”

Beverly shook her head.

“I haven’t a clue and there’s nothing on record even remotely like her. She’s basically humanoid, there’s not too much difference internally, but her brain is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. I can tell you there are high levels of psilosynine in what I think is the hippocampus, leading me to hypothesise she may be telepathic.”

Jean-Luc gently rubbed his fingers over his lower lip.

“Hmm. So far I’ve not heard her make a sound.”

Beverly nodded.

“That would be consistent with what I’ve seen. She has no larynx.”

Jean-Luc sighed deeply.

“So what do we do with her?”

Beverly shrugged.

“To be honest, I don’t know. I have repaired all her physical damage, but she has been so traumatised…I’m not sure she will ever make a full psychological recovery and the thought of handing her off to someone else makes by blood run cold. Maybe she should stay here with us while we try and find where she comes from. Who knows, perhaps there’s some parents out there somewhere who are searching for their missing daughter?”

Jean-Luc gave that some thought, then nodded.


“I agree with you. If she is ever to learn to trust again it could be here on the Enterprise.”

He attempted to sit up again, but Beverly placed her hand on his chest and shook her head.

“Uh uh, not for another twenty minutes, and you’ll be having an analgesic shot before you’re discharged.”

He hid is irritation well, he knew what arguing with Beverly about medical matters would get him…nothing but grief. He smiled and said hopefully,

“So I can return to duty then?”

With a kind smile to ease his disappointment, Beverly shook her head.

“No, you’re in for three days rest in your quarters.”

That did not go down well.

“Beverly, that’s ludicrous! You were more badly injured than me and you’re on duty!”

Sighing at the inevitability of these arguments, Beverly adopted a more Doctor-like tone.

“For your information, I’m on restricted duty. I intended to spend most of my time off with you.”

Jean-Luc’s ears reddened as he lowered his eyes and said softly,

“Oh.”

Then Beverly bent to whisper in his ear,

“And believe me, when that hypo wears off, your balls are going to ache. You’re going to want me and my med kit around.”

The flush of red on his ears spread to his face. He cleared his throat and tried to gather his dignity around him.

“I see. Well in that case it would seem I have no choice.”

Beverly straightened and smiled widely.

“No, you don’t. Now I’ll be back in about twenty minutes, you just lie here and relax.”

She was gone before he could formulate a retort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As promised, Jean-Luc was discharged after he’d had his pain killing hypo. As usual, with time on his hands he soon found himself bored. He’d spoken to Will and knew that the mission was well in hand and so far no other ships had been detected. So, two and a half hours after he’d entered his quarters, he had little to do other than select a book and settle down to read. He’d only read the first two paragraphs when a call came from Beverly. Her voice was urgent.

“Crusher to Picard!”

On his feet immediately, the book forgotten, Jean-Luc replied,

“Picard here, go ahead.”

“Captain, I need you in Sick Bay immediately!”

He was striding to the door as he said curtly,

“I’m on my way, Picard out.”

On first entering Sick Bay, Jean-Luc saw straight away that a group of the staff had gathered at one of the laboratory’s open doors. He marched over, saying brusquely,

“Make a hole!”

Hearing their Captain’s voice brought an immediate response. The small crowd cleared and Jean-Luc entered to see Beverly and her head nurse, Alyssa Ogawa kneeling near a table. Jean-Luc bent and saw the little alien cowering under the table in a corner. He said quietly,

“Doctor?”

Turning her head, Jean-Luc saw distress in Beverly’s eyes.

“As soon as she regained consciousness she bolted in here. We can’t get her to come out.”

Jean-Luc moved closer and said softly,

“Perhaps you and the Lieutenant could move back.”

They did so and Jean-Luc sat down, just at the edge of the table. He held out his hand, saying softly,

“It’s all right, no one will hurt you.”

In his mind he distinctly heard his name. He frowned and turned to Beverly.

“Did you hear that?”

Beverly shook her head in confusion.

“Hear what?”

“My name. She said my name.”

Again Beverly shook her head.

“I didn’t hear anything.”

She turned to her nurse.

“Did you, Alyssa?”

The small Asian woman shook her head.

“No, Doctor, I heard nothing.”

Jean-Luc turned his attention back to the little alien, again holding out his hand.

“Come to me, it’s all right.”

Like a whisper in his mind he heard,

Jean-Luc, help me.”

He knew instinctively that no one else had heard what she’d said. Instead of talking out loud, he thought,

I will help you. Come to me.”

Slowly the little alien moved out of her hiding place and settled on Jean-Luc’s lap, her arms and legs encircling him and her head nestled in the crook of his neck. With his usual grace, despite his burden, Jean-Luc rose to his feet. The little alien hugged him tightly, her emaciated body trembling. He turned to the two waiting women and said quietly,

“She has spoken to me telepathically. She asked me to help her.”

Beverly turned to her nurse and smiled as she said,

“That will be all, thank you, Alyssa.”

Once she had gone, Beverly asked,

“What are you going to do?”

With a sigh, Jean-Luc shrugged.


“That depends. Do you need her to stay in Sick Bay?”

Beverly shook her head.

“No.”

As he gently stroked the matted hair on the alien’s back, Jean-Luc sighed again.

“Then I might as well take her back to my quarters. What are her medial requirements?”

Beverly retrieved a PADD from her pocket and inputted some information.

“This should tell you all you need to know. She should be hungry, but it’s possible she’s been starved so long she may need to be coaxed into eating. Start with something light, chicken soup and some soft bread and a glass of warm milk. Offer food as often as she’ll take it, she’s grossly underweight for her height. And she needs sleep, but you’ll probably have to stay with her in case she has nightmares. Other than that, just be with her; offer her affection and gentle care.”

Wrinkling his nose, Jean-Luc asked,

“Can I wash her?”

Beverly offered a rueful smile.

“If she’ll let you. You might find she won’t allow you to do much with her. Keep in mind the abuse she’s suffered. In all probability the only physical contact she’s had has been abusive, either sexual or physical.”

Jean-Luc nodded, his face grim. Still gently stroking the fur on the alien’s back, he slowly walked out of the lab and ignored the curious looks of the staff as he left Sick Bay.

As he walked through the corridors on his way to his quarters he also studiously ignored the gapes of surprise from the crewmembers he passed. It was with some heartfelt relief that he finally entered his quarters.

Still holding the PADD, he had both arms around the alien and she had kept her face buried in the crook of his neck, but she sensed his relaxing as the doors to his quarters closed and she slowly lifted her head and warily looked around.

Jean-Luc watched her carefully before saying softly,

“This is my home.”

Words whispered in his mind.

You live here?”

He nodded.

“Yes.”

Taking a little more interest in her surroundings, she silently asked,

Have you always lived here?”

With a smile, Jean-Luc shook his head.

“No. I was born on a planet called Earth and I grew up there, but I have spent many, many years in space and I have come to think of the ships I have lived on as home.”

Craning her neck to look over her shoulder, she said warily,

Where is the chain?”

Dismayed, Jean-Luc hugged her a little tighter.

“There are no chains, little one. No one will ever chain you again. No one will ever hurt you again.”

She looked into his eyes, silently asking,

How can you know that? There are others on this ship.”

Jean-Luc briefly closed his eyes, trying to keep his sorrow at bay.

“I am the Captain, the leader of all the people on this ship and they must obey me. I can order them to not hurt you, but I can tell you such behaviour is not our way. We are explorers, we seek only peace. No one on this ship will hurt you, I promise.”

Still staring into his eyes with an expression of utter guileless innocence, the little alien said silently,

And you will not hurt me.”

He had to blink away tears as he said quietly,

“No, I will never hurt you.”

They remained silent for a while before Jean-Luc said softly,

“Would you like to hop down and look around?”

Her response was to snuggle further into his embrace. Despite his sadness, Jean-Luc had to smile. He settled her light weight into his arms and asked,

“Would you like something to eat?”

She lifted her head, her eyes showing confusion.

Something to eat?”

Jean-Luc nodded.

“Yes. Although Doctor Crusher has given me only a small list of foods you can eat now, once you are stronger you will be able to eat anything you want.”

Why would I eat anything I want?”

Jean-Luc remembered Beverly’s warnings about the alien being starved.

“Because we eat when we’re hungry, we need food to survive, but even so, eating food can be a very nice experience.”

The little alien seemed to be confused, so Jean-Luc moved to the replicator, saying quietly,

“I will get us some food and we can eat it together. How about that?”

The alien stayed silent so Jean-Luc went ahead with his idea. He replicated the chicken soup, bread and warm milk for the alien and a light chicken salad for himself. It was a little difficult getting the dishes to the table with only one hand available, but soon enough he sat with the food in front of them. Picking up his fork, Jean-Luc speared some salad and meat and proceeded to eat it. When the alien had made no attempt to eat, Jean-Luc put down his fork and picked up the soup spoon. He filled it and lifted it to the alien’s mouth. She looked at the contents of the spoon, then at Jean-Luc. He demonstrated by opening his mouth. She copied him and he spoon fed her.

Her all ready large, oval eyes widened as she tasted the soup for the first time. She swallowed and Jean-Luc asked,

“Do you like it?”

Her reaction both surprised and saddened him.

It is not cold!”

The Captain summoned a smile.

“No. Although some soups are served cold, most are eaten hot. Here, try this.”

He tore off some of the soft bread and dipped it in the soup. The alien took it into her mouth and frowned. Jean-Luc recalled that until recently she’s had no teeth, so he pantomimed chewing. She copied him and again her eyes widened in surprise. Jean-Luc put the spoon in her hand and said,

“Would you like to try?”

Instead of answering him, she let go of him and turned on his lap, straddling his thigh. Jean-Luc kept one arm around her as she took her first attempts at feeding herself with a spoon. It took her a while and it made a mess, but she finished all the soup and bread. Next, Jean-Luc wrapped her hands around the glass and helped her guide it to her mouth. Again, it caused a mess, but most of the milk went down. Jean-Luc finished his salad, ignoring the fact that his left thigh was wet with soup and milk as was her fur.

Since he had first found her, Jean-Luc had been aware of her frightful odour. He’d assumed Beverly would clean her in Sick Bay, but obviously she had intended to do it when she regained consciousness. That, of course, proved impossible. Her dull brown fur was matted and soiled with faecal matter and urine.

Jean-Luc stood and went into the bathroom. The alien immediately turned in his grasp, wrapping herself around him again. He smiled and gently stroked her back.

“It’s all right, I just thought you might enjoy being clean.”

She lifted her head from his shoulder, again confused.

Clean?”

Jean-Luc smiled warmly.

“Part of keeping our bodies healthy is to keep it clean. To do that, we wash. Also, it stops us from developing what we call, body odour.”

With her large limpid eyes, she looked up into his eyes.

Body odour.”

Jean-Luc nodded.

“Yes. Smell me.”

The little alien moved her head closer to Jean-Luc and delicately sniffed. Jean-Luc then said, now smell you.”

She lowered her head and sniffed her chest. Looking back at Jean-Luc he could see she didn’t understand. With a sigh he realised he was going to have to shower with her. He reasoned a bath was out of the question…she would never let him go of him to do it.

It took some doing, but Jean-Luc managed to undress with her still clinging to him. Once he was naked she began to tremble and tears formed in her eyes, but Jean-Luc calmed her, saying softly,

“It’s all right, I won’t hurt you. Nothing bad is going to happen, I promise.”

She was startled when he turned on the shower, but as he stepped under the spray her nictitating membranes opened and closed rapidly as the water cascaded over both of them. Once they were both thoroughly wet, Jean-Luc told her,

“Hold on to me, I need both hands free.”

She tightened her hold and Jean-Luc reached for the soap. As he began to wash her fur, the water turned a muddy brown as it went down the drain.

Once her back and legs were clean, Jean-Luc considered how he was going to wash her front. In the end he sat down and turned her around so that she sat on his legs, leaving him free to wash her thoroughly.

Finally clean all over, Jean-Luc said to her,

“I am going to stand and wash myself now. You can hold onto my leg if you like.”

This she did and Jean-Luc made quick work of his ablutions. When he was finished he turned off the shower and opened the stall door. With the alien still attached to his leg, he exited the shower and picked up a super absorbent towel.

Utilising the same strategy as in the shower, he dried her head, back, arms and legs before turning her so that she was braced against his legs, allowing him to dry her front. She only just tolerated this and as soon as he was finished she turned to cling to his leg again.

Jean-Luc quickly dried himself and put on his robe. Hampered somewhat by the alien on his leg, Jean-Luc made it into his bedroom and managed to dress himself in clean clothes. He then picked up the little female and went to the replicator, ordering a soft brush.

He went to his favourite chair and sat, explaining quietly,

“I am going to brush your fur. I will be very gentle, I promise.”

Her day had been too long and much too much had happened to her. With her stomach full and sleepy from the warmth of the shower, as Jean-Luc gently brushed her, her eyes began to droop. Seeing that she was falling asleep, Jean-Luc stopped brushing and wrapped her in his arms.

She snuggled into his embrace and sighed. The Captain gently stroked her back and was pleasantly surprised when he heard a soft purr. It was lulling and soon after the alien had fallen asleep, Jean-Luc dozed off himself. And that’s where Beverly found them two hours later.

On entering Jean-Luc’s quarters, the first thing she noticed was the colour of the alien’s fur. No longer a dull brown, now it was a pleasant tan, each hair tipped in gold, making it shimmer in the light. Making her way quietly across the room, Beverly sat on the low table and gently touched Jean-Luc’s knee. His eyes opened and he immediately looked down at the little alien. Finding her still asleep, he smiled at Beverly, his love for her clear in his dark hazel eyes.

Whispering, Beverly asked,

“Did she eat anything?”

Jean-Luc nodded, whispering,

“Yes, a whole bowl of chicken soup, two slices of soft bread and most of a glass of warm milk.”

Beverly smiled widely, obviously pleased. She leaned forward and sniffed, her eyebrows raised.

“You gave her a bath.”

Still whispering, Jean-Luc shook his head slightly.

“No, a shower, actually. I doubted she’d let me go to have a bath and I wasn’t prepared to get in with her, so I thought a shower would be better and quicker.”

The urge to stroke the fine, shining fur was hard to suppress. Beverly marvelled at the change.

“My God, Jean-Luc, she looks gorgeous…and she smells nice.”

He smiled.
“I know. I was brushing her fur when she fell asleep; it was as if I couldn’t stop touching her. It feels as soft as it looks.”

Just then the little alien stirred and opened her eyes. She looked up at Jean-Luc, then turned and gazed solemnly at Beverly. The Doctor smiled, saying softly,

“Hello. How do you feel?”

In Jean-Luc’s mind her gentle voice appeared.

Why does she ask that?”

For Beverly’s benefit, Jean-Luc spoke out loud.

“This is my best friend, Doctor Beverly Crusher. She is the one who made you well again.”

The little female kept staring at Beverly.

What is a Doctor?”

“A Doctor is a person who heals the sick and injured.”

The alien turned and looked at Jean-Luc, her large clear eyes almost glowing.

She asked me how I felt.”

Jean-Luc nodded.

“Yes, she is concerned for you. She wants to know how you feel so if you’re not feeling well, she can make you better. How do you feel?”

The alien seemed to frown.
“I no longer hurt and inside I feel…different.”

Jean-Luc gently stroked her back.

“Different good, or different bad?”

The alien had to think about that. Eventually she said silently,

Different good.”

With a smile, Jean-Luc said softly,

“That’s probably because of two things. One is that Beverly has healed the damage you had inside your body and the other is that you have eaten a good meal. Would you like some more to eat?”

The little alien nodded, but before Jean-Luc could stand, she gripped his neck and silently said,

Why are you called Jean-Luc?”

“It is my name.”

What is a name?”

Jean-Luc frowned.

“It is the way by which we are known. Each person has their own name. Do you know your name?”

She thought about that for a minute or two, then said silently,

Filthy little whore.”

Anger and sadness surged through Jean-Luc. He repeated what she had said to Beverly and watched as tears welled in her eyes. Suppressing his emotions, Jean-Luc looked into the alien’s eyes and said firmly,

“That is not your name.”

She appeared confused.

It is the only thing I was called.”

Jean-Luc hugged her to him, struggling to keep his tears at bay.

“That is a bad thing, little one, and undeserved. Why don’t we give you a new name?”

She frowned.

A new name?”

Jean-Luc summoned a smile.

“Yes, a brand new name, any name you want.”

She seemed to think about that, then looked at him guilelessly.

If I can choose any name I want, I want to be called Jean-Luc.”

Jean-Luc stifled his surprise and amusement to say gently,

“Jean-Luc is a masculine name, a name given to a male. You are a female, you need a female name.”

The little alien frowned and looked at Beverly.

Beverly is female?”

Jean-Luc nodded.

“Yes.”

Then I will be called Beverly.”

Frowning, Jean-Luc explained to Beverly what she had said, then looked to Beverly for help. She smiled and said softly,

“Don’t you think it might be a little bit confusing if both of us are known by the same name?”

The alien just stared silently. Jean-Luc suddenly realised the alien knew no names. He looked at Beverly, saying,

“Why don’t we choose for her?”

Beverly shrugged diffidently, but there was doubt in her eyes.

“Well I suppose, but wouldn’t it be better if we gave her a few alternatives and let her choose?”

The Captain gave a thoughtful nod.

“That’s a good idea.”

Turning his attention back to the alien, Jean-Luc said,

“Would you like that? If we offered you some names and you chose the one you wanted?”

She sighed and rested her head on Jean-Luc’s shoulder. After a few seconds she said silently,

Yes.”

Several names were mentioned, but the alien didn’t seem overly impressed. She interrupted to ask Jean-Luc,

What female name do you like most of all?”

Jean-Luc sighed, saying quietly,

“This is to be your choice, not mine.”

She looked into his eyes and his heart melted.

Please tell me, Jean-Luc.”

He looked pleadingly at Beverly, but she hadn’t heard what the alien had said. Jean-Luc closed his eyes, his only option but to tell the truth.

“Yvette.”

And why do you like that name the most of all?”

He sighed.

“It was my mother’s name.”

Confusion clouded her perfectly clear eyes.

What is a mother?”

When Jean-Luc covered his eyes with his hand, Beverly asked gently,

“What is it, Jean-Luc? What did she say?”

He explained and Beverly lowered her head, saying softly,

“Dear God…”

The little alien saw the reaction her words had made, but unknown to Jean-Luc and Beverly, she also sensed their emotions. She began to tremble and when her voice subtly appeared in Jean-Luc’s mind, she was frightened.

I have done something wrong.”

Jean-Luc immediately hugged her, saying softly,

“No, no you haven’t.”

Then why are you sad?”

Jean-Luc closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He looked into the alien’s eyes and asked gently,

“How long were you imprisoned? How long were you kept?”

Confusion again clouded her eyes.

I have always been the property of my master.”

Jean-Luc’s eyes hardened.

“The Cardassian?”

The alien shrugged.

The large one, the one you killed.”

Struggling to keep his anger at bay, Jean-Luc said evenly,

“And you always belonged to him.”

The alien nodded.

Yes, but sometimes, if one of the others pleased him, he would give me to them. They kept me for a day or sometimes a day and a night. They hurt me.”

Jean-Luc told Beverly what the alien had said and she too struggled with her emotions. The little female’s trembling worsened.

Why are you so sad and angry? What have I done?”

Jean-Luc gently stroked her head, saying softly,

“You have done nothing wrong. We are sad because of what you have suffered. You asked me what a mother is. Most species are born with two parents, the people who created their offspring. The female parent is called a mother and the male a father. You don’t remember your mother and father?”

The alien shook her head.

No.”

Beverly sat forward, making the alien shrink back from her. Jean-Luc reassured her by stroking her back.

“May I ask how it is you speak Standard?”

Looking at Jean-Luc, the alien asked,
“The words we use?”

Jean-Luc nodded,

“Yes. It’s known as Federation Standard, but long ago it was called English.”

Oh. I know four different ways of talking. There were many in my master’s group, from many worlds. Standard was used often, but I mostly thought in my master’s tongue.”

Jean-Luc told Beverly what had been said. Beverly nodded, keeping a smile on her face.

“I see. And did you ever talk with your master?”

The alien shook her head, saying to Jean-Luc,

No, not like we are talking, he forbade it. The only times I spoke to him was to beg him to stop what he was doing to me, but that made him beat me, so I learned to stay silent.”

After taking a moment to compose himself, Jean-Luc told Beverly what he’d heard. Beverly fisted her hands, muttering darkly,

“Death was too good for that bastard.”

Calming a little, the alien asked Jean-Luc,

Why does what happened to me make you sad?”

Jean-Luc sighed. How do you explain compassion to someone who’s never experienced it?

“What happened to you was very, very wrong. No one should ever have been treated like you have been, especially one so young. We feel sad because we wish it had never happened and that we could have prevented it somehow.”

The little alien lowered her head onto Jean-Luc’s shoulder and sighed.

You said no one will hurt me now. That makes me feel…different. Like I have never felt before.”

Before Jean-Luc could ask, she said solemnly,

Good different.”

They sat in silence for a few minutes before Jean-Luc said softly,

“Come on, let’s get something to eat.”

He rose with the alien wrapped around his chest and waist. Beverly waved him to a seat, saying lightly,

“I’ll replicate, what would you like?”

He wasn’t really hungry, but he knew the little female wouldn’t eat unless he did, so he thought briefly and said,

“Beef vegetable soup, please…and a cup of Earl Grey.”

Beverly gave the order, then, after a moment’s thought turned and asked the alien,

“Would you like to try the same soup as Jean-Luc?”

She looked up at Jean-Luc and nodded. Beverly smiled, saying,

“And some soft bread too, I bet.”

She placed the order, then, having placed the bowls, plates and cups on the table, replicated herself a bowl of pasta. As Beverly ate, she quietly observed Jean-Luc encouraging the alien to eat with a spoon. She did better than before and this time Jean-Luc put a napkin on his leg, so when she was finished, there wasn’t too much mess. He wiped the few drips off the fur of her front and smiled.

“You did well. Now, would you like me to help you with the milk?”

The alien stared at the cup but seemed to work out how to hold the handle. Using two hands, she carefully picked it up and drank without spilling any. Jean-Luc stroked her head, making her purr again. Beverly raised her eyebrows in surprise.

“How long has she been doing that?”

Jean-Luc smiled down at the little female and sighed.

“She’s only done it once before. I’d like to think it means she feels contented.”

Noting the drooping eyes, Beverly said quietly,

“I think she needs to sleep.”

Jean-Luc nodded and rose, going to his chair. As soon as he’d sat, the alien snuggled into his embrace and quickly dozed off. Beverly took a seat opposite and said softly,

“You’ve taken quiet a shine to her, haven’t you. I know how you feel about children, Jean-Luc. Why is this one so different


© Copyright 2018 Heather Smyth. All rights reserved.

Chapters

Add Your Comments:

Other Content by Heather Smyth

More Great Reading

Popular Tags