Chapter 1-The Dark Side
His hands caressed her backside; he pressed his body against hers, moaning her name. Nyota smiled grimly as she looked at the red disk in her hand: she had earned it-she deserved it. She was now one of the few women to move into the upper ranks on the Enterprise.
"Thank you for the promotion, Captain."
"You can thank me by giving me some of your essence, Nyota."
"I gave you the Halkans, Captain, along with more credits than you can imagine."
Kirk tried to kiss her; she moved just enough that his lips trailed over her cheek.
"Come on, let me taste you, just once!" Kirk mumbled.
"Sorry, sir! You have those two vixens already, and I don't want to cross swords with them."
"They won't know," Kirk said, moving his hands up her back, his lips kissing the crease between her breasts.
Nyota chuckled softly, "Captain, everyone will know. There are no secrets here, only... credits."
One of his hands slid down her muscular leg, trying to reach the junction between her thighs. She leaned back to get distance, shaking her head.
"It's not worth it if I die before I can enjoy my new position, Sir," she said smoothly and with a smile. One hand removed the offending paw from her thigh while the other grabbed him by the chin.
"I have to go now, but I am grateful."
Kirk sighed, staring into her eyes with lust: "One day, Uhura, one day!" he said, releasing her.
Nyota started to leave the conference room, but turned back toward Kirk to say, "You are aware that Security Chief Sulu won't take kindly to my promotion."
That statement brought Kirk back to reality: "If Sulu could produce credits like you and Spock, he'd get everything he wants," Kirk snapped.
Nyota rolled her eyes: "Sure, Captain. Like he's going to see things that way," Nyota said, sashaying out the room with rolling hips.
She walked down the corridor smiling contentedly; she had finally obtained her objective-a promotion to lieutenant commander. She had made sure the Empire had processed Kirk's recommendation for her promotion before she issued his credits. "Leverage. Always use your leverage to get what you want."
With her promotion disk in hand, she went to see Quartermaster Brody and placed orders for new uniforms and insignia. Nyota gave her the disk, and Brody read the information:
"Congratulations, Lieutenant Commander... What did you do to earn such a position?" she asked slyly.
Nyota raised a brow and placed her hand on the knife strapped to her thigh: "Seriously? You want to go there?"
"Just asking a simple question, Lieutenant Commander."
"Hard work! Now place my order before I lose my patience!"
"Okay... okay.. I don't want trouble, Uhura! It's just that it's hard for a woman to get a leg up without protection. You will be the highest-ranking woman on the Enterprise."
"I've worked with Kirk for four years on that crazya$$ bridge with that octopus, Sulu! You don't think I deserve a promotion?"
"I'm sorry; that's not what I was getting at. What I meant is that maybe you can help me, and I can help you; what do you say?" Brody asked.
"I want a specially designed armband with my rank engraved on it; think you can do it?"
"I'll do it personally! Let me show you some of my work!" Eve put a disk into the computer and displayed a myriad of designs on the monitor. Nyota liked what she saw. She selected one for her armband, and the two of them discussed how Eve would modify it specially for Nyota.
"I'll do a rush job, and you'll have it tomorrow."
"If I like it, I'll give you extra credits for your time-and for keeping the design exclusive to me. Deal?"
Nyota left the quartermaster feeling greasy from being pawed by Kirk; all she wanted to do was wash the grime off her body. But first she wanted to celebrate with her man; she headed down to his deck. As she was walked through the ship, she kept her game face on-the glare she always presented to the male crew. She was used to it; it had been necessary since she hit puberty. Her body, which should have been her woman's glory, was instead used and abused, always attracting the attentions of the wrong kind of man.
Nyota entered Boma's quarters and saw the man in action, pumping a yeoman on his desk. She stood there watching Sam humping the yeoman, with the woman crying and moaning. Nyota folded her arms and leaned against the wall, observing his work. "Sam, Sam, Sammy! What a dog! I see you again at your best."
Boma was just a quick fix, nothing more than a f$ck buddy. But he was handsome; she gave him credit for that. She could always count on him-literally: "One, two, three, all done!" She could time it to the minute. "Just a fix!" she thought.
Sam looked up and saw Nyota glaring at him; he gave her his sleepy smile: "One minute, baby; I'll be right with you."
When he finished, the yeoman put her clothes on quickly as soon as she realized it was Uhura in the room. The chick scurried away without looking at Uhura, leaving Sam standing there with his junk hanging out.
"Hey, baby! Just in time! Want some of this good stuff?" he asked, smiling at Uhura.
"I'm good. I just was turned off, but hey," Nyota said sneeringly. She had had enough of the "men's rule" mentality. She had just come from being pawed by Kirk and now she realized she had been getting only seconds or thirds from Boma.
Boma made the mistake of approaching her, trying to lure her in, despite having just had sex with another woman.
"I always have time for you, baby," Sam said, reaching for her.
Nyota was disgusted with the thought of him touching her after being with the yeoman. She had changed her mind about the idea of hooking up with Sam:
"I'm good; I guess I'll go shower and read. I've seen enough, especially of you, Sam. I just came to say goodbye-for good this time."
"Aw, baby! The chick doesn't mean anything to me; it's always been you." Sam touched her upper arm and Nyota reacted, pulling out her dagger and lifting his junk with the blade. He sucked in his breath in fear and anger.
"I know you think you're all that! I said it's over! Now get your nasty hands off me and keep them off!" Nyota glared into his eyes to let him know she was serious.
He slowly released her arm: "What is wrong with you? We have an understanding."
"We did, but I just said we're done! I found something much better than one-minute Sammy!"
Boma growled: "Don't call me that!"
Nyota stepped back toward the door, still holding her blade: "Bye, my one-time baby."
She quickly exited and swiftly walked down the corridor. She didn't even know why she had gone to Boma's quarters. Yes, she did: She had wanted someone to share in her happiness about the promotion. She found that she was alone in that, and the knowledge made her sad and depressed.
When she entered her quarters, she quickly stripped her clothes off and entered the shower to wash away the feeling of Kirk's and Boma's touches. Under the shower, the tears ran down: "I wish just once I could be myself, just once! It's always fight or die!" She dried off and put on her sports bra and shorts.
She had double-secured her door right after entering her quarters. She never knew what animal would try to get in; she even had a hidden sound and camera system hooked up. "At least I can sleep at night," she thought as she sat down and began to review her reports. Her quarters represented the only safe space, a place where she sang her songs of loneliness, despair, and her hope of love. Her private world of just... her. Nyota prepared for the next day, when she had to put on her game face to deal with hate, fighting, mind games, and the Empire.
When she started her morning, she knew what to expect when she reached the bridge. "Rule One: Make sure Kirk's or Spock's security team is on the bridge. Never arrive early if they are not present." Her console was linked with Spock's so she knew that when he signed in to his science station, it was safe to head up.
"Rule Two: Expect Sulu to try to sleaze on you and prepare plans B and C in case he goes overboard with so-called attempts to lure you to his lair.
"Wait? I wonder if I can have my own security team?"
Nyota finished dressing; she placed another knife in her boot and hid a small one in the side of her uniform.
"As long as I do right by Kirk and translate the Imperial codes, I'm safe-I'll have his and Spock's protection. Remember Rule Three: Never-no matter what state of mind I'm in-under no circumstances, sleep with either of the commanders." It would disrupt the balance of their arrangement.
Nyota got the signal from her console, meaning that Spock was on the bridge, so she proceeded to her station. As she walked off the turbolift, she gave the Imperial salute with a stern face. She stepped onto the bridge and went straight to her station to provide updates for the commanders.
As if on cue, Sulu sauntered over with his sneering smile. She rolled her eyes: "The man will never give up!"
Sulu spoke seductively: "Hey, Uhura! I believe congratulations on your promotion are in order."
Nyota put in her earpiece and opened a channel to start her day, totally ignoring Sulu.
"How can I tell you about the perks of being a lieutenant commander if I can't confirm your promotion? Maybe it's just a ploy?"
Sulu leaned against the console next to her. Nyota input information into the computer, and a red disk appeared, which she held out to Sulu. He stared at it and then looked at her. Nyota dropped it on the floor and went back to work. She knew that Sulu would now be pissed; he reached out to touch her face, but in a flash, she had her blade pressed against his throat.
Nyota glared at the fine-looking Asian man: "Pick it up and leave me the hell alone; I have reports to do."
"One day, Uhura, you'll give me a different answer," he snarled. He bent down, snatched the disk off the floor, and went back to his station.
Nyota continued to work, thinking about how the commanders-Kirk and Spock-needed her and how they didn't. They needed her because she was the only crew member who spoke more than 72 languages. She was needed in many landing parties-all those that required more than a translator. On the other hand, they didn't need her because of the massive number of Imperial credits in the secret account whose existence they didn't know she was aware of.
Nyota transferred her reports to a Padd and took it over to Spock's station. She held out the Padd, saying, "These are the latest reports from Imperial Command, as well as requisitions for supplies from the various departments."
He reviewed her reports and requisitions, signed them, and gave the Padd back to her without even looking at her.
Nyota returned to her station and started her security check on herself and her console. She never knew who was scanning her for leverage, for leaks were a dangerous game.
It was lunchtime, but any place on the ship besides her quarters and the bridge held a risk of rape/injury. A woman could be attacked at any time, unless claimed by a high-ranking man. Then there was fighting among the women, jockeying for the affection and protection of the high-ranking men. Unattached women were vulnerable to the disreputable elements of the ship.
Rand and Moreau were untouchable to the male crew; to even approach one of them meant having to face the wrath of the Captain. Such a man would find himself... just... gone.
Nyota sat at a table alone but was listening to the group at the table next to her, three women conversing quietly:
First woman: "Girl, tell them you're a lesbian; they will leave you alone."
Second woman: "What? I'm not a lesbian!"
Third woman: If you want to be safe, that's your only option, unless you find someone to hook up with."
Second woman:" Is there any other way to be safe on this ship?"
First woman: "Are you for real? Not in this universe!"
The voices faded, but the conversation stayed with Nyota. It was true that the women were not safe. She had to run the gauntlet of men's advances every day, but she had it a little easier than lower-ranking women because she had the protection of her commanders.
After her shift, the thought continued to haunt her in her quarters: "How can a woman be safe without being attacked all the time? Or even worse, becoming a slave to some man-whore?"
Several hours later, Nyota sat up in bed, shocked by the idea that had awakened her: "Could I take over the ship? Could I? I must plan this to a 'T'; if not I will surely die."