Wednesday, July 24, 2013

'Tis Charity to Show Chapter VII Part 2

‘Tis Charity to Show
Chapter VII
Part 2

They could hear the mayhem coming from the meeting room before they even reached the place; Rose’s voice was shrill and grating against Scotty’s jumbling mess of halted, severed sentences. 

Spock reached the meeting room before the others, but suddenly stopped abruptly by the door.  He just stood there, appearing confused, puzzled, his hand gripping the frame of the door, as if some kind of fainting spell was trying to overtake him.  Rand looked at Spock, mystified over Spock’s behavior, until impatience spurred her to step under his bracing arm and enter the room, with Begay following her. 

Scotty and Rose stood toe to toe, like bulls, screaming at each other in blaring, deafening pitches.  Rose shoved Scotty in the chest hard enough to make him trip, stumble, and fall.  Standing with her feet apart and her fists clenched, Rose raised her head defiantly, like a pack animal that humiliated her alpha leader.  While Scotty was struggling to get up off the floor, Rose loomed over him like a schoolyard bully waiting to stomp him.


When Scotty finally got up, his eyes were ablaze.  His lips twisted obscenely, barring teeth.  He let out a ripping howl as he grabbed Rose by the collar and yanked her, making her head snap back violently.  His other hand struck her in a back-handed slap that echoed in a nauseating, crackling sound, like bones shattering.   


Rand leapt towards Rose, whose body was twisting in free fall after Scotty released her from his grip.  Rose crashed to the floor, landing on her hip.  Blood coated her lips, laced her teeth, and there was an angry red impression that ran from her cheek to her chin. 

Rand bent down over Rose and reached for her face, cradling it in her hands.  Rose was crying, her eyes squeezed shut and smeared with the wetness of her tears, her mouth a grimaced red pit. 

“Hyacinth!  Hyacinth!”

Rand could hear the shakiness in her own voice and tried to control it, but the image of a wild-eyed, sneering Scotty backhanding Rose seared through her mind.  Rose kept screaming, inconsolable, unreachable.  Rand looked up and saw Begay struggling against an irate, crimson-faced Scotty who was reaching over Begay’s shoulder with an accusatory finger towards his victim.

“At least Begay has him under control,” she thought with some relief. 

Rand looked over at Spock, who was still standing by the door.  He was rotating his head slowly, his shoulders hunched, his eyes strained.  It was as if there was something in his head he couldn’t shake, like an invasive, insistent white noise. 

“Spock, are you all right?”  Rand asked warily.   

 It was hard for Rand to tell whether Spock was going to stay where he was, or leave his spot.  But then, as if answering her, he stopped turning his head and straightened up, his eyes suddenly relaxed and focused, and started towards Rand when a bizarre contraption, long, bulky and multi-tentacled, slid in his path and under his feet, making him trip and tumble to the floor in a pummeling spill. 

There was dead silence.  Everyone froze in their place.

Rand held her breath, taking a look at what it was that appeared out of nowhere to make Spock fall. 

It was a spiral plant-holder, made out of plastic but produced to resemble a tree, its branches shaped as bowls where potted plants could be placed, accented by dainty carvings of attentive little fairies hovering just underneath the pots.

One of the plant holders had broken off and bounced down the floor, heading towards Rand.  She followed it with her eyes numbly, forgetting all about Rose, who she was still holding.  The clattering of the holder echoes through the quiet of the room until it came to an abrupt halt.


Riley appeared, seemingly, out of nowhere, standing over Spock and yelling at him, gesturing wildly, while Spock lay face down on the floor. 

Spock hoisted himself up slowly, tentatively, until he was sitting up.  He looked at the detached plastic piece on the floor in front of him, and then at the bottom of his meditation robe and saw that the hem had been torn, its gold trim detached raggedly and dragging beneath his feet.

Spock looked up at Riley, who continued to yell, point and gesture.  At first, his eyes were dead as he sat there on the floor.  But then, something happened to them when he started to get up,  his eyes came alive in a slow, rolling boil. 


It happened quicker than an eye blink, or at least it seemed that way to Rand.  Spock’s lip was turned downward in a contemptuous curl, mirroring Scotty’s when he had attacked Rose.  His eyes narrowed on Riley like a falcon that finds its prey before tearing it apart for the feeding.  With unnatural speed, Spock latched onto Riley by the back of his collar and lifted him up, making Riley hang like a ragdoll.  Riley looked down to see the long, elegant fingers of the First Officer’s curling up one by one into a fist. 

The Lieutenant’s face was a clear expression of dread and horror with his gaping eyes and trembling lips, as he grabbed Spock’s wrist with both hands, pushing and pulling, attempting to loosen the Vulcan’s steely grip on him.  He twisted his neck, trying to duck his head inside his collar in order to remove himself from his tunic.  His body jerked like a chicken pinned to a slaughterhouse hook. 

“GOD, NO!! SPOCK!!” 

Rand jumped up and sprinted towards Spock, abandoning a distressed, hysterical Rose right there on the floor.  Begay and Scotty shot out in front of Rand and reached out, their hands outstretched.  Begay was yelling at Spock to stop, to put Riley down, to think carefully about what he was doing. 

The two men surrounded Spock and Riley, and Begay tried to grab Spock by his arm, but Spock elbowed him in the shoulder blade, making Begay crumble to Spock’s feet.  Scotty tried to grab Riley, but ended up clawing at air as Spock yanked Riley away from him.  Spock pulled Riley horizontally while he reached under and punched Riley square in the face. 

Riley’s nose and mouth collapsed under the weight of Spock’s fist, globs of red, pink and white matter exploding onto bare knuckles.  The pitiful, writhing squeal that came from Riley was the last thing Rand heard before everything went completely black.



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

'Tis Charity to Show Chapter VII Part 1

‘Tis Charity to Show
Chapter VII
Part 1

Rand was sick and tired of staring up at the ceiling.  It had become a bad habit, almost like an addiction that consumed her, but she’d become afraid of falling asleep.  She simply couldn’t understand, for the life of her, how otherwise astute and reasonable Starfleet personnel could be oblivious to their plight one moment, and then, the next moment, be so keenly aware of it.

Rand let out a long, ragged breath and ran her fingers through her hair, which was fanned out on the pillow.   She knew that she couldn’t count herself entirely blameless, as she’s been almost completely swept away by all the hallucinations and apparitions like everyone else, but the extreme sexual nature of her experiences have kept her from confiding about them to anyone.

That scene in the shower room changed all that.

Something was going on that was distracting the landing party, keeping them dangerously absorbed, isolated to their own illusions, and from one another, while whatever it was ate away at what little faculties of reason they had left. 

Rand continued to gaze at the ceiling, at the wheel of light from Tijus’ moon projecting from the blinds.  She thought back to Dr. Ellis’ logs, and how they degenerated into gibberish about her childhood eczema.  Clearly, what was happening to this landing party had happened to the missing archeological team.

Why the hell didn’t she see this before? 

Rand chuckled.

Stupid question, when you consider what’s been going on, she thought.

Rand wondered if the physical deterioration of the crew was somehow connected to all this; the pale skin, ragged eyes and weight loss. 

Was all of this connected to the team’s disappearance?  Because if it was, that meant Rand needed to reach Spock, to make him understand, before they became the subject of a search themselves.

She sprang upright in her bed, her lips drawn firmly, her back firm and rigid.

“I don’t give a shit,” she thought.

“I don’t give a shit about his nastiness, his standoffishness, his blocking the bedroom door!  I’m talking to Spock, even if I have to force him to listen!”

She flung the bed sheets off her body, sprang from the mattress and hastened out her bedroom door, not even bothering to close it behind as she headed for the hall to Spock’s room.

“Hey, Janice!”

Rand turned.  It was Dr. Begay, coming down from the other end of the hall, clad in his pajamas, slippers, and robe.

“You look like a woman running out of a burning building!  Where are you going?”

“I need to talk to Spock.”

“You too?”

“Yeah.  I can’t deal with his lack of action anymore.”

“Hey, I guess great minds think alike.  You can’t see him like that, though.”

“Like what?”

“Are you kidding?  You hardly have anything on.”

Rand knew she’d rushed out of her room without her robe and slippers, and that her nightshirt only covered her from the top of her thighs.

“Oh, give me a break, Mat.  I’m not naked.”

“A break, nothing.  Put this on.”

He slipped off his robe and held it out in front of him.  Rolling her eyes, Rand stepped in front of the robe, turned her back towards it, and put it on dutifully, tying the belt around her waist.  When she was finished, she turned to Begay and, in jest, held up her arms for inspection.

“Am I presentable now?” she smirked.

“Almost.  Put these on your feet.” 

Begay kicked his slippers off his feet, and pushed them, with his heels, towards her.

“Your slippers?  Don’t be silly, Mat.  What about you?” 
“You’d be surprised how thick my calluses are.  Don’t worry about me.  Put them on.”

“Oh, such a doctor,” Rand teased as she placed her feet in the slippers. 

“Okay, let’s go.”


“Very funny.”

They started on their way hurriedly, asking each other about whether Spock would be receptive to their concerns.  When they reached his door, Rand and Begay stood in front of it and simply looked at each other.   It was like the one was waiting for the other to make the first move, to be the one to rap their knuckles on the door.

“OK.  I’ll let him know we’re here,” said Begay finally, a slight crack in his voice.

“Don’t get too nervous, Mat.  Chances are he won’t even answer,” Rand quipped.

“Then we’ll stand here for as long as it takes,” he said, his nerve gathering back.

He pounded on the door with the side of his fist, pushing aside any pretense of politeness. 

“Mr. Spock!  Mr. Spock! Do you hear me?  Are you in there?” 

“I can indeed hear you, Doctor, and I am indeed here, as I would be nowhere else at this hour.”

“Oh, my God!  I didn’t except it to be this easy,” whispered Rand.  “If this is a real window of opportunity opening up here, let’s jump on through, I say!”

Mr. Spock, I’m here with Yeoman Rand.  We have some real concerns about this mission that we feel need addressing.  May we come in?”

“By all means, if the matter is pressing.”

Rand’s smile burst forth as Dr. Begay pushed pushed open the door to Spock’s room and followed him in.  They found Mr. Spock in his long, black and gold trimmed robe, sitting erect in what appeared to be the lotus pose.  He was situated in front of a small alter shrouded in a black cloth, with a small bowl sitting on top of it.  A long crimson rug sat underneath both him and the alter.

“You must excuse me.  My faculties of concentration have alluded me throughout most of this mission, so during the few occasions I am able to settle my thoughts, I as you would say, grab hold of the opportunity, if you will.”

Spock leaned forward, placed his hands a few inches in front of him and hoisted himself up slowly.  There was fatigue etched in his face, a heaviness under his eyes that made him appear aged, frail.  He was thinner and paler like the rest of the landing party, making the greenish undertone of his skin harsh, glaring, almost cadaverous. 

Spock moved to the edge of his bed and sat down heavily, his shoulders slumped.  Rand and Begay walked over to Spock and stood over him, waiting.

“I must, in all honestly, say that my behavior has been less than fitting of a Starfleet officer, and that I am pleased that you are both here, so that you two may be the first that I apologize to.”

“Less than fitting is putting it mildly, but then Spock has always had a way of understating things,” thought Rand.

Still, she was moved by the gesture.   And downright relieved.

Whether Spock was going to stay in his right mind was still in question, so Rand kept a guarded optimism, as it would be stupid not to.

“That’s actually why we’re here, Mr. Spock.  Everyone’s been under some kind of influence that induces these strange behaviors.  This grip has been so strong that it’s distracted us almost to the point of our sabotaging this mission, sir.  And judging from Dr. Ellis’ logs and the erratic swing they took, I believe that our behavior on Tijus might be connected, in some way, to the disappearance of the expedition members.”

Spock’s brow cocked, his interest clearly peaked.

“I am listening, Yeoman.”


The scream was drawn out, wild and throaty.  Rand, Spock, and Begay turned to the door.

“What the hell…”

“It sounds like Rose!”

Spock was the first out the door as the three of them bounded down the hallway to the commotion in the meeting room.