Stardate 52796.4: A survey team, led by Harry Kim, is abducted by aliens and experimented on. A response to a challenge posted on the Resistance is Futile mailing list.
Harry Kim looked dubiously at the platter of dead or mostly-dead reptiles that had been thrown down in front of him by his captors—reptilian creatures similar to Terran iguanas. Nearly three meters tall and bipedal, they had apparently achieved warp travel only recently.
The alien that had dropped the platter into the pen Kim currently resised in looked at him and the other two captives. He hissed and spat something in his won language, gesturing pointedly at the platter. After a moment, the universal translator was able to decipher only one word from the alien tongue, and a synthesized voice emerged from the prisoners’ comm badges. “Eat,” it said, simply.
Kim looked at the others he was penned in with—Crewman Jill Hendersen and Seven of Nine. They’d been on a survey mission to a nearby planetoid, looking for food and necessary raw materials, when the reptiloids’ ship converged on their shuttle, forcing them into a rough crash landing on the surface. They tried to evade capture, but were quickly overwhelmed. The reptiloids managed to knock them all out with some kind of gas, and when they awoke, they found themselves here, in this cavernous setting—wherever here actually was.
Finally, once they had started eating the alien food, albeit hesitantly, their reptiloid observer stepped back and rejoined his companions, who had been observing them from the other side of the cavern, a few meters away.
“Interesting how they react to the taste of raw Calesthh,” one said.
“Indeed, researcher,” the first reptiloid agreed. “I am curious as to what their typical nourishment consists of. If only our languages weren’t so different! If only their translation devices could make better sense of—”
The first reptiloid was interrupted by the researcher. “The world is full of ‘if onlys,’ junior research trainee,” he said. “However, I concur. Nevertheless, we must work with what we have, and observe all.” He paused, swiveling his eyestalks to look at one of the reptiloids standing beside him. “Tell me, junior researcher, what do you know of this species, based upon our observations of the past two cycles?”
“They seem to have a hierarchy,” the junior researcher said. “The genders appear equal, as the females debate with the male—though about what, we are as yet unclear—yet the male is obviously their superior, and the taller, light-headed female is apparently superior to the dark-headed one. It is also possible that this pair is all or part of the male’s brood, and the light-headed female is the dominant of the two, perhaps even the male’s favorite, as he seems to give preference to her.”
“Very good,” the researcher said. “You will also note how they react when one of them is harmed. In particular, the male becomes even more agitated than usual if it is the light-headed female who is harmed.”
Captain’s Log, Stardate 52796.4
It’s been two days since we last heard from Ensign Kim’s survey team, and Voyager has arrived at the planet they were scanning to try and determine what happened to them.
Janeway sat at the head of the Briefing Room table, her senior staff seated around the table as well, with the obvious exceptions of Harry Kim and Seven of Nine.
“The wreckage of the survey team’s shuttlecraft,” the dark-skinned Vulcan chief of security, Lieutenant Commander Tuvok, began, “has been located on the planet’s surface. However, extensive searches of the surrounding area have failed to determine the whereabouts of the missing crew members.”
“Have you determined the cause of the crash?” Janeway asked.
“They were forced down,” Tuvok said, “by unknown assailants for reasons unknown. We have detected hull ionization on the shuttle’s debris consistent with impacts of energy weapons fire.”
“So what happened to whoever it was that took them?” asked Ensign Tom Paris, Voyager‘s helmsman.
“That remains unclear at this point,” Tuvok said. “It is possible that they were transported by their captors to another location, as our scans have failed to detect any habitation or technology on this world.”
“Captain,” Paris said, “I’d like to try and find any sign of whoever it was that took Harry.”
“We all would, Tom,” Janeway said. “You and B’Elanna can scan this area of space for their warp signatures, while Tuvok’s team continues searching the planet’s surface and salvaging the shuttle’s debris.”
“We must learn more about them,” the researcher said. “Our scans and observations have told us a great deal about their anatomy and behavior, but that is not enough.”
“Indeed, researcher,” the junior researcher said. “We must learn about their mating habits.”
“Perhaps we could try a new approach to our information-gathering techniques,” the junior research trainee suggested. “What if we asked them to describe their mating practices?”
“But their translation devices work sporadically, at best,” the senior research trainee interjected. “There’s no guarantee they’ll understand us, and even less we’ll understand their response. Our language relies heavily on our movements, while theirs is apparently speech-based. As a result, their translators focus only on auditory language, and not on the subtleties of body language.”
“Your point is well-made, senior research trainee,” the researcher said. “Still, the suggestion is not without merit. I will speak with the senior researcher before we proceed.”
Kim looked up as the reptiloid approached them. It was apparently The least senior of the group, as its clothing and body decorations were less elaborate than those who waited in reserve at the far side of the cavern. The reptiloid began gesturing, hissing and clicking, but Kim couldn’t understand what was being said. After a short pause, the group’s comm badges began speaking again in the synthesized voice of the computer aboard Voyager.
“You,” the voice began, then the badges beeped to signal words they couldn’t translate, “mate.” Kim’s jaw dropped. Seven stared harshly at the reptiloid. The color drained from Hendersen’s face.
“We,” Kim began, trying to regain his composure as he stood to face their reptiloid captor, “we don’t understand. What do you want of us?”
After listening to the comm badge’s attempt at translation, the reptiloid turned and walked back to his companions.
“We must escape,” Seven said.
“They’re going to beat us again,” Hendersen said, fear in her voice.
“We don’t know that,” Kim said, trying to reassure her.
“Maybe we should just do as they say,” Hendersen suggested. “Maybe then they won’t beat us.”
“We don’t even know what they’re saying,” Kim countered.
“Captain,” Paris began, “we’ve detected a faint warp trail leading away from the system. Another couple of days, and it would have dissipated entirely.”
“Plot a course, Tom,” Janeway ordered. “Tuvok, any luck with the debris?”
“Based on our observations,” Tuvok said, “I have been able to extrapolate computer models of the aggressor’s weapons systems. However, it is entirely possible this was simply a low-level setting. We should anticipate a worst-case scenario.”
Kim, Hendersen and Seven fell silent as a group of their reptiloid captors approached them, fully armed. One stayed back, hissing orders as the other six handled the captives. One reptiloid would grab a human while the other would tear the clothing from their body, leaving them completely naked. The reptiloids gathered the tattered remains of their clothing and returned to their work stations at the far side of the cavern.
After the aliens left, Hendersen huddled into a dank corner, holding her legs tightly against her breasts as she began to sob. Seven stood, staring defiantly at their captors, unconcerned by her nudity.
Kim sat on the ground, where he was before the aliens came a moment before. He couldn’t stop looking over at Seven. His eyes were drawn to her breasts, which moved up and down gently with each breath she took, her nipples hardening in the damp chill of the cavern. Her smooth, creamy skin flowed over her body, as if poured by some godlike sculptor. Light curls poked from her pubic mound, her legs spread slightly in her fearless, angry stance. At her sides, her hands began to clench in fury.
Kim forced himself to take his eyes off of her, to ignore the growing erection caused by seeing the reality of that which he had fantasized over for months. He made his way to where Hendersen was huddled, placing a comforting hand gently on her shoulder, telling her they would be all right.
“This is intolerable!” the researcher exclaimed. “All of our evidence to this point indicated that, by removing their clothing, we would drive them into a mating frenzy!”
“Agreed,” the junior researcher said. “Drastic measures must be taken, researcher.”
“We have observed the protective nature of the male,” noted the senior research trainee. “Perhaps if we threatened the life of one of the females if he did not mate with the other?”
“But which one?” the junior research trainee asked. “If we threaten the life of the dark-headed female, perhaps he would mate with the light-headed female, whom he seems to prefer.”
“On the other hand,” the junior researcher said, “that same preference could give him more cause to be protective of the light-headed female. If we were to threaten her life…” He trailed off, letting his point sink in with his colleagues.
“Heads up, everybody,” Kim said. “Here they come again.”
The reptiloids took hold of them, training their rifles to the sides of Seven’s head. The seventh alien, obviously the leader, as he gave the orders and had the most elaborate decoration on his body and clothing, approached Kim.
“You,” the voice said, pointing to Kim. Then he pointed to Hendersen, saying one other word as he held a comm badge, “Her.” He looked back to Kim. “Mate.”
Kim struggled against the guards’ grip, but they were simply too strong, and he was at a severe tactical disadvantage. He looked to Hendersen. Their eyes locked, both knowing there was only one way out of this situation—acquiescing.
Kim nodded to the aliens holding him, letting his body relax, hoping they would recognize his signal. One of his team—Seven—was in danger, and her life was his responsibility. He’d deal with the consequences later, when Voyager showed up and rescued them. He shook his head, trying to excise the sudden, unbidden thought that Voyager might not even know where to look.
Kim and Hendersen approached one another, hesitantly. “I’m sorry,” Kim said. “I don’t see any other way out of this.”
“I understand, sir,” Hendersen said as the reptiloids, still holding Seven hostage, backed away to give them extra space in which to mate. “I was hoping I’d be able to wait until my wedding night to do this, though.” She paused as Kim put his hands on her shoulders, then continued, “It’s a small sacrifice to save Seven, though.”
Voyager dropped out of warp, then held steady near a small, airless asteroid.
“This is it, captain,” Paris said from the helm. “The warp trail leads here, but there doesn’t seem to be much here.”
“Tuvok,” Janeway ordered, “start scanning the asteroid. Tom, B’Elanna, start looking for evidence that whoever was here may have left.”
The reptiloids came again, and Kim sighed. They’d forced him to have sex with Hendersen a dozen times now, and they obviously weren’t letting up. Then he noticed something unusual. This time, the aliens were holding Hendersen as their captive. They wanted him to have sex with Seven of Nine.
Kim walked over to Seven, who was refusing to stand.
“We must resist,” Seven said.
“How?” he asked. “In case you hadn’t noticed, they’re holding all the cards.”
“We must find a way,” she said.
“If you’ve got any bright ideas, let me know,” he said, “’cause I’m fresh out, an unless you either think of something or comply, Hendersen’s going to die, and it’ll be on our hands. I don’t know if you can live with that, but I sure as hell can’t.”
“I,” Seven said, uncertainty causing her to stumble over her words, “I will comply.”
Seven approached Kim hesitantly, a hint of fear in her eyes that she was desperately trying to supress. He met her gaze, a soft, calm, reassuring look in his eyes.
“Captain,” Tuvok said from his post at the Tactical station on Voyager‘s Bridge, “I have detected a network of caves within the asteroid. There is a Class-M atmosphere within, and a concealed landing bay carved into the rock.”
“Is the survey team down there?” Janeway asked.
“Unknown,” Tuvok said. “I am unable to determine any life-form readings due to unknown interference, which may or may not be naturally-occurring. That interference also made it difficult to determine the existence of the caves in the first place.”
“Sounds like someone doesn’t want to be found,” Paris said.
“Good work, Tuvok,” Janeway said. “Prepare a security team for beam-down.”
Kim despised himself.
Forced though they were to perform these carnal acts for their alien captors, Kim was beginning to enjoy himself on a very primal level, and he hated himself for that weakness in his morality.
He didn’t hear the whine of the transporter on the opposite side of the cavern, his attention drawn instead to the single tear rolling from Seven’s unenhanced right eye.
“God, Seven,” Kim whispered in here ear. “I’m so sorry.”
Kim’s attention shifted as he heard phaser fire behind him. He turned, and saw Tuvok and a half-dozen security officers, phasers drawn, standing over the unconscious bodies of their reptiloid former captors. One of the security officers—McKinley, Kim thought—was helping a shaking Hendersen to her feet.
“Ensign, Seven of Nine,” Tuvok began as he knelt beside the pair, still entwined in their erotic position, “are you all right?”
Kim crawled off of Seven of Nine’s body, feeling very shameful. “I—I’ll get back to you on that, sir,” he said. He glanced at Seven, who was drawing her legs to her chest in a fetal position.
Tuvok tapped his comm badge. “Tuvok to Voyager,” he said. “We have located the survey team. Beam us directly to Sickbay.”
As he began to dematerialize, Kim silently hoped that Tom Paris wasn’t on Sickbay duty at that moment.
“How are they, Doctor?” Janeway asked, Voyager’s Emergency Medical Hologram standing in her Ready Room, the Twenty-Ninth Century mobile holoemitter appearing as though clipped to his upper arm. “How soon can I have them back on duty?”
“They’re doing about as well as can be expected,” the Doctor said. “As for their return to duty… Well, that could take a while. They’ve suffered severe emotional and physical trauma. And it’s not something that can go away with the wave of a magic tricorder.”
“How bad is it, Doctor?” Janeway asked.
The Doctor cleared his throat, then began to explain the situation. “Crewman Hendersen is severely traumatized. According to Ensign Kim, they were forced to engage in sexual intercourse on a dozen occasions. What happened to all of them is tantamount to rape. She has post-traumatic stress symptoms; she goes into hysterics whenever she comes in proximity to Mr. Kim, and is extremely agitated when in the presence of any other male, myself included. It could take months, even years, to undo that kind of damage.
“Seven of Nine is refusing to admit any psychological trauma, but that in itself is indication of the severity of her injuries.
“Ensign Kim has absolutely no self-confidence whatsoever any longer. He blames himself for the survey team’s capture, for the atrocities committed upon them, and for the consequences of those events. In short, all three of them are now certifiable ‘basket cases,’ as I’m sure Mr. Paris would say, were he not a close friend of one of the afflicted.”
“You implied earlier there’s more to it than just that,” Janeway said. “What else aren’t you telling me?”
“Crewman Hendersen and Seven of Nine,” the Doctor began, pausing uncertainly, “are pregnant.”
Janeway’s eyes widened. It took a great deal of her self-control to keep her jaw from dropping open. “Pregnant?” she echoed, her voice catching in her throat.
“Hendersen and Seven were both virgins before this… incident,” the Doctor said. “Obviously, they were not sexually active and had no desire to become so in the near future. Mr. Kim, likewise, was not sexually active and has not been since the Varro incident. As a result, none were taking any form of birth control.”
“I—I see,” Janeway said.
“God damn it, it’s my fault!” Kim yelled from his seat opposite Janeway in her Ready Room.
“Mr. Kim,” Janeway said, then amended, “Harry. No, it’s not. There wasn’t a damn thing you could have done in that situation. From this report, it seems you did everything you could, but these ‘reptiloids,’ as you described them, simply had overwhelming force.”
“Captain,” Kim said, trying to regain his composure. “Permission to speak freely and off the official record?”
“Go ahead, Harry,” Janeway said.
“I didn’t want this going into the official report,” Kim began, “because some things are just too damned personal for that.”
“Continue,” Janeway said when he had paused a moment too long for her taste.
“Be-before the first time, with Hendersen,” Kim said, “she told me that she’d been saving herself for when she got married. And Seven—she cried when we were forced to… to—”
“I know,” Janeway interupted, “you don’t have to say it.”
“But that’s not the worst of it!” Kim exclaimed. “Everybody knows how I’d pined after Seven for the first year she was aboard. Hell, I was obvious enough about it. Tom knows I’d fantasize and dream about her often enough—”
“That’s perfectly natural,” Janeway interrupted.
Kim glared at her for interrupting. “But when we were forced to… Well, I found myself fucking enjoying myself! I was goddamned raping her and I was enjoying it! What the hell kind of a sick—”
“Harry,” Janeway interrupted again, ignoring the daggers his glare was projecting, “you’ve been traumatized. You all have been traumatized.”
“And Seven and Jill Hendersen are pregnant!”
Janeway leaned back in her chair and sighed. She knew now that it Was going to be a very long time—if ever—before she would have Dependable, unflappable old Harry Kim on her Bridge again.
Kim stood outside of Seven of Nine’s new quarters, which she had just moved into at the Doctor’s insistence. For twenty minutes, he just stood there, his hand occasionally wavering near the chime button. But he wasn’t able to draw up the courage to actually press the damned button.
His courage left him, but he was too emotionally drained to walk back to his own quarters, which now felt so hollow and empty to him. He collapsed to the deck with a thud, sitting with his back propped up against the bulkhead.
Anger over his newfound lack of courage welled up inside of him, and he began pounding the back of his head against the bulkhead behind him. A few minutes later, Seven’s door opened, and she stepped into the corridor to investigate the cause of the noise.
“Ensign,” she said, trying to hide the apprehension in her voice. Kim looked up to see her standing over him. He was suddenly overcome with fear. He wanted to run, but his body wouldn’t respond. He wanted to pass out, just to get out of this situation, but his body wouldn’t do that, either.
“S-S-Seven,” he stuttered.
“You wish to speak with me,” she said.
“I-I-I,” he began, but couldn’t even complete the thought, let alone the sentence. How could he even begin to try to explain the shame, sorrow, rage, grief and fear he was feeling, all exploding in him at once?
“You are at a loss for words,” she said, hoping he didn’t notice the waver in her voice. She couldn’t allow anyone to see weakness in her. She was Borg.
The two just stared at one another for a while, until Seven finally broke the silence.
“I love you,” she said. “I did not realize what I felt until I saw our captors force you to copulate with Crewman Hendersen. Even then, I did not realize what I was feeling at first. Rage. Jealousy. I wanted to possess you.” Tears began to well up in her eyes. Damn. Weakness. “I love you.” A tear began to roll down her cheek.
She ran back into her quarters.
Here are some comments I’ve received on this story:
Summer (21 Aug 2000)
Hmm…I don’t know what to say…"Research" is definitely out there….your take on this challenge is something I wasn’t expecting. Raw. That’s the word I’m looking for. …
I was cringing at some of these scenes, Jeffrey.
Their prison scene reminded me of lab rats…monkeys…that scientists perform experiments on….absolutely no regard to their rights or feelings.
That said…your story is definitely an eye opener….
Thomas Lee (21 Aug 2000)
Just finished reading your challenge response.
You did a horrifically thorough job at exploring the ugly aspects of such a scenario – and, even more importantly, the ghastly potential, ramifications, and consequences thereof. That the aftermath was one of the "better case scenarios" was of little comfort to the reader (or to the victims). It’s definitely a good thing this isn’t part of [your] timeline…
Lesa L. (23 Aug 2000)
It was a difficult story to read. You’re right, it was not a pleasant situation. I’m glad that you didn’t pretty up the situation.
Will we see a follow-up? I’d like to know about the emotional recovery of the team. Contrary to what Voyager usually shows. People don’t recover by the next episode, it’s a long-term process.
SportySTV1 (19 Sep 2000)
Thank you! And by the way it was a great story. Definitely worth the wait.
Robin Irvin (15 Dec 2002)