Prologue | I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX | X
Title: Zahvan T’Masu
Fandom: ST TOS
Characters: T’Nis, Starek
Warnings: Ramblings on the nature of beauty, implications of and requests for future acts of a sexual nature
Notes: T’Nis meets with Starek to ask a favour… (This is the fic I’ve been writing with DK for the last week or so. I should probably apologise for generating eleven posts in less than 24 hours, but I know that Sterling Carter’s the only one who’s got this place on RSS, so… uh… I owe you blowjobs? Again?)
T’Nis appears on the Renunciation’s transporter pad with the bottle of Romulan ale poised on one hip.
Starek waits, leaning on the side of the transporter console. He is dressed in a fashion reminiscent of the classier side of a holodeck novel on pirates. He has a scarf tied about his head, but neither eyepatch nor parrot. He raises his left hand in the Vulcan salute.
"Tonk’peh, T’Nis. Welcome to the Renunciation. I hope my crew do not disturb you greatly — they are mostly harmless."
The Orion woman at the console, dressed much like her Commander, pulls down the bottom of her right eye and sticks her tongue out at Starek. He pretends not to notice.
She returns the ta’al and steps down from the transporter platform. Her look lingers briefly on the shapely Orion.
"I believe I can hold my own." She proffers the bottle. "A gift. In honor of our common interests, as it were."
"Nemaiyo. Let us take this to the lounge, where we might further discuss these common interests."
He accepts the bottle, with a gracious nod, before stepping back toward the door, his other hand extended in an invitation to follow, but flat-palmed, in that distinctly Vulcan way that discourages touch.
"Certainly. But first, would you be so kind as to give me the grand tour?" She slips a hand into the crook of his elbow, in a most un-Vulcan fashion. Starek’s eyes widen, but he recovers quickly.
"As you wish. You will understand, of course, that until we are in the lounge, I must ask that you refrain from touching most things. The Renunciation’s controls have been refitted in a non-standard configuration, in many places, to accommodate my desire for more brass and wood, and as such, they may not respond in the way you are expecting, which has disastrous potential."
He leads her through the door, toward the bridge. Her eyebrow lifts at the suggestion that she would touch anything as guest and a newcomer, but no doubt he has entertained all sorts of unsavory characters on his vessel. Shee remains impassive, allowing him to be her guide.
"The bridge is, I believe, the most beautiful part of the ship — other than my quarters, of course." He leads her through the doors, and takes a moment to address the Andorian who leaps up from the captain’s chair.
"Sit down, Merendith. You still have the conn. I am simply giving our guest a tour.
"You will notice that nearly all the dead space on the consoles and the walls has been fitted in engraved synthetic walnut. The engravings correspond to the standard labelling, everywhere it is requisite, and add embellishment where the walls looked plain. The wood alone encompasses vaksur.
"But, in this design, so many of the buttons are tangible, mechanical objects — there are levers and dials, where newer ships lack them. They are brass. where possible. Most of the cloth has been replaced with faux suede, in a stain resistant variety, in, as you see, that lovely crème caramel colour.
"I enjoy my ship, and I appreciate her to the best of my ability. She has saved my life more than once, and I owe her this. She should look like the fine vessel she is." He raises an eyebrow and cocks his head, silently asking if she’s any questions, before they move on.
"Is-lof heh vaksur." T’Nis opines. Yet the antique mechanisms — do they not interfere with the operation of the ship?"
"Bolau vaksur is-lofik kwon-sum." She moves as smoothly as any ship her age, and more so than many. The antiquity of the method is a function of the age and manufacture of the ship. It’s mostly been a matter of refitting the hardware, and adjusting the position of some consoles and attributes to accommodate a non-Klingon crew. Since we have converted from the extant mechanical system, rather than a Federation-style digital set-up, there are few places for it to affect standard function.
"Klingons, I have found, maintain more a physical interface with their ships, potentially because the digital consoles are … easily damaged with a fist. By adjusting the tension and size of the interface components, the controls have been made viable for a less strong and violent crew.
"I firmly believe the Orion girls down in engineering are going to kill me in my sleep for insisting on the addition of a digital console to the captain’s chair, but I’m spoiled by Ro—" he coughs, "the ingenuity of civilised species."
He trails a hand along the edge of a console. "A ship this size has few interesting sights, I’m afraid — the galley, a shuttle bay, engineering… We are only four decks, most of it crew quarters and engineering. Have you a preference as to what we visit, next?"
"You had mentioned a lounge." T’Nis gestures to the bottle Starek has set on the edge of the console he’d been caressing. Her eyes indicate she finds this entire affair quite diverting. "Also, Commander, I think it best if you bring the ale. Your crew are still on duty."
The corner of his mouth twitches in barely-concealed amusement. He lifts the bottle. "Merendith, don’t let anything happen to my ship."
He leads T’Nis off the bridge, to the turbolift, and from it, to the lounge on Deck 3. The room is not large, as far as lounges on starships go, but it is decorated in much the same fashion. It features a few small tables, spaced for discretion, and is empty of sentients. A cat sleeps on one of the tables.
"A place of sanity among the madness." He gestures broadly at the room, then acquires glasses from the replicator, setting them on a table with a view of the world the ship orbits.
"Pulau na’vathular k’nuhk — heh nar-tor pulaya s’au k’ka’es." He opens the bottle, with reverence, and fills the glasses.
"I had meant to compliment you earlier. Your facility with the Vulcan tongue is most impressive." She accepts the tumbler of blue liquid with a gracious nod. The cat has raised its head and gazing at the pair of them, wondering, in the manner of its kind, how it might play the situation to its advantage.
"It is not so different from my own language. We are cousins, are we not? Mere points of philosophy and a thousand years of linguistic evolution between our people?" He lifts his glass, tilting it out, in what might be a toast. "In form, am I not just as Vulcan as you? Indeed, in function, I am neither Vulcan nor Romulan — stripped of meaning and unleashed upon the unsuspecting galaxy. My homeworld, this ship, my philosophy compiled from agreeable thoughts on the nature of sentience.
"But, I wax poetic. I believe your point was that I spoke Vulcan passably. You are most generous." He drinks, meeting her eyes, as he does to drive home the point that he has drunk first, without bothering to check for poison. "I shall attempt to restrain my overbearing philosophical impulses."
"Overbearing? No, I would say it is rather more . . . stimulating. But that is your speciality, is it not?" Here she pauses, drawing otu the ambiguity. "The spoken word? After all, we Vulcans are so very fond of our meaningful discourse." She sips, rolling the liquid around on her tongue. "Which is why I have sought you out — hat in hand, as it were."
Her eyes roam the lounge, pausing on the cat, who is approaching on quiet feet.
"May I be assured of your discretion?"
"Who would I tell? If nothing else, my place in the social strata would render my words inviable tripe to any who heard them — who trusts a starship pirate, these days? Even a mostly reformed one.
"No, you have little to fear from me, on that point. Were I to be even be heard, I only tell stories with the names left out. And if I tell those stories in Vulcan, who would even understand? Most sentences lack a subject sometimes even when that subject is not implicitly known."
He crouches, holding out a hand to the cat. "Beta’uh, T’Marek."
The cat nuzzles his fingers and then steps closer to sniff at his glass. It does not look pleased at the scent of the ale.
"Very well then." T’Nis takes a deeper sip, again holding the liquor in her mouth for a moment before continuing. "My earlier statement about your ability to occasion a . . . rendezvous with the one called Spock. It was not an idle thought. In fact, I believe that you are the ideal candidate.
"Had you considered it?"
He stares, amazed.
"You are proposing to me that I should attempt to engage in relations with Spock? I’m not going to object to this in the least, but I suspect my next question should be one about the cost of such a thing, for all involved. Where, to ask a Ferengi question, is your profit, in that?"
He lifts the cat in one arm, to drape across his shoulder and rises smoothly. Sitting on the edge of the table, he takes a long sip of the ale. "And perhaps more importantly, what in the four sectors would make you consider me the ‘ideal’ candidate? Last I had heard, Spock declines the finer points of art and pleasure, preferring a more severe simplicity of mind and environs than many genuine Vulcans of my acquaintance."
"Genuine Vulcans." Her eyes dance "Yes he does try terribly hard, doesn’t he? The little half-breed sycophant."
She smoothes out her robe and her expression before continuing. "Yes, I believe it is time to reveal my stake in all of this. Although I am Vulcan by descent, you have no doubt by now ascertained that I was not raised on the homeworld."
She raises both eyebrows, as if daring Starek to deny it.
"The reason for this is the scandal involving my fathers, Tunor and Selov, who chose one another over their intended bondmates. They engineered their seclusion and took a drug to bring them into their Time, thus ensuring that they would bond with one another."
She leans back against against the plush material of her chair. "What you may not know is that Sarek headed the council that decided their fate — provided the deciding vote, in fact. As a result, my fathers were exiled. Sarek eventually became an ambassador and also, apparently, a hypocrite when he married that Terran slut."
T’Nis took another lingering draught of the ale, savoring the pleasant burn. Then she leaned forward, face in her hands, elbows on the table. "That is why I require your assistance. I have studied your adventures well, your reputation precedes you. Your ancestry is, of course, the final key."
And she actually smiles, although the expression does not reach her eyes. "Sarek’s precious son with a Romulan."
"Politics! How charming!" He takes a large swallow of ale, and sets the glass heavily on the table.
"You wish me to seduce the ambassador’s son, to avenge your fathers. I wish to seduce the ambassador’s son, because he looks like he’d be stunning, all undone beneath me. I believe we can come to an arrangement in this matter."
He considers . "First we must discover the location and path of our target, and then we must establish a plan around those conditions. Is this agreeable to you?"
"It is perfectly agreeable." She raises her glass, indicating his with her eyes. "You still have a little left there. To mutual interests?"
"To mutual interests, regardless of their variant sources." He taps his glass against hers and drains it. "May the experience bring wisdom to all involved."