Required Reading

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The Flip Side of Sin (3/8)

Three:  Experiment

First Officer’s Personal Log:

Captain Kirk is very distressed about the change.  He feels an overwhelming sense of guilt that our Lieutenant Uhura did not return.  He explained to me that she had been very frightened during their visit, and for her to be trapped in that universe upset him a great deal.   It was one of the reasons he was eager to turn this Lt. Uhura over to me; he could not bear to look at her.

Lt. Uhura has been amongst the crew of the USS Enterprise for eighteen hours and forty two minutes.  Within that time, she has been in the brig, confined to quarters, assaulted a colleague, threw food and exposed herself to me.  She has also caused a bit of interest among some of the males on board this starship.  Her…appearance…is very distinctive, entirely different from that of the former Lieutenant.  The men have definitely noticed; she has ensured that they had no choice but to.

In spite of my sensibilities, I am fascinated with her.  She is unlike any other female I have ever encountered; brash, vulgar, manipulative and very aware of her feminine attributes.  It is as if everything that others may find off-putting intrigues me.  What set of circumstances came about to produce this particular variation of Lt. Uhura?  And why is it that I find this variation undeniably appealing?  In my initial observations of her, I realized that her belligerent attitude and blatant sexuality elicited a base response in me.  This side, a remnant of my Vulcan ancestry, is completely illogical and it responds to her illogical behavior.  I would prefer that it never manifested itself, but it has and I must find a way to assuage it or risk it consuming me.

I have as yet been able to ascertain why I am responding at all.  As a result, I am going to initiate and explore various interactions with this Lt. Uhura in order to discover what it is about her that appeals to me.  I am a rational, logical Vulcan and a science officer, and so an experiment is the best course of action.

Hypothesis:  I find Miss Uhura’s behavior appealing because it elicits a…primal…response within me.

Now it is time to test it.


She has not yet reported to the bridge.  The gamma shift communications officer is fidgeting in her chair, obviously ready to get off duty.  It is forty-seven minutes and thirty-eight seconds into alpha shift, and so I leave the conn and go to her quarters.

I am ostensibly nervous about entering.  I would prefer not to see her in various states of undress, regardless as to what part of me truly wanted.  I sounded her door chime and she bade me entrance.  I closed my eyes as I entered, just to be certain I would not be exposed.

“What are you, blind?  Why do you have your eyes closed?”

“I do not wish to see you naked, Lt. Uhura.”

“Pity,” she says.  “Because I think you’d really like it.  As it stands, I am not in my birthday suit.  You can open your eyes.”

I do.  She is dressed in another modified uniform.  Physically, she is spectacular.  Her body is in perfect condition; she appears to have a minimum of body fat.  She has great muscular tone, excellent posture and a balanced stance.  I cannot help but appreciate it.

She is grooming herself in the mirror.

“Lieutenant, you are late for duty.”

She does not respond, but continues to groom her hair.

“Lieutenant, you are exactly fifty-one minutes and thirty-nine seconds late to your post.”

“I heard you the first time, Mr. Spock.”

“Is there any reason for your tardiness?  Should you report to sickbay?”

“I’ll be there when I get there.  The communications desk is not going anywhere.”

“This is not proper protocol, Lieutenant.  You agreed to follow the rules.”

“I am, Mr. Spock.  I’m going to my duty as soon as I’m done with my hair.”

I look at her.  She is touching her hair, and then she is touching her clothes, turning back and forth in the mirror.  “Tardiness is insubordination, Lieutenant.  You are deliberately disobeying me.”

“I am not!”

“Then why are you late?”

“I never report to duty on time.  No one in my world does.  We show up when we show up.”

“Fascinating.  How is it that anything gets completed on time?”

She shrugs.  “Don’t know, but it does.  I’ll be there in fifteen minutes.  I promise.”  She smiles at me.

“Unacceptable.  I told you yesterday that I would not tolerate any more of your noncompliance.”

She puts a hand on her hip and looks at me.  “I am not being insubordinate!”

“You are late for your shift.  By definition that is insubordination.  I am afraid I shall have to put you in the brig.”


“You are my charge and I am your commanding officer.  You will not disrespect me in front of the crew. You will not disrespect me at all.   I am sorry if this inconveniences you.”

“Mr. Spock, don’t put me in the brig!  I didn’t do anything to warrant that!”

“Did you not agree to follow the rules, Miss Uhura?”

“Yes, but you never told me what time I was supposed to be on the bridge!  In my world, I show up whenever I want to show up!  It’s common practice!”

“It is not common practice here, Lieutenant.  You are an adult and an officer in both worlds, and therefore you are fully aware of the difference.  You have been here long enough to recognize it.  I should not have to spell it out for you because you are not by any means unintelligent.”

She looks at me and there is rage in her eyes.  I use my communicator to contact Security and ask for four security guards.  I am well aware of how feisty this woman is, and acutely aware as to how much part of me likes it.

“I’m not going.”

“You are going,” I say.

“I’m not.”  She starts backing away and I am conscious of her hand moving towards her leg.

“Do not make me use force.”

“If you touch me, I will kill you,” she says.  Amazingly, I have no doubt that she will try.  She will not succeed, however.

“Lieutenant, surely you understand my position.  You would not have a subordinate undermine you, would you?”

“Hell no!” she shouted.

“Lower your voice and refrain from using vulgar vocabulary.”

Make me, you bastard!  I can’t believe you’re doing this to me! I haven’t done anything wrong.”

Your failure to follow the rules is not my fault, Lieutenant.  Now we can proceed calmly, or you will be taken by force.  Like before.”

The door opens and the security guards enter.  She stares at me and there is a look in her eyes that further intrigues me.  It is not the one she normally wears and I wonder if she realizes it.

“No,” she says.  “Don’t come near me!”

I look at the guards.  “Escort her to the brig.”

They converge on her from four directions.  Her hand slides down into her boot and she pulls out a knife.  My eyebrows rise in curiosity and surprise.  How she managed to obtain such a weapon fascinated me.  She takes a fight stance and holds the knife in what is definitely a perfected grip.  It is clear that she has done this before. 

“First one to come near me is going to get slit from his throat to his balls.” 

The security guards look at me and then back at her, as if they could not believe that they were ordered to take the lieutenant to the brig.  She uses that moment to her advantage.  She begins to jab and swipe with the knife, and true to her word, the first guard that gets close enough gets slashed across the arm.  He falls back and he is bleeding profusely.

I take five point four seconds to marvel at her ability.  The next guard to move towards her got kicked in the chest.  The other two, having caught on to the fact that she is not the Uhura they know, tried to come at her differently.  She flips the knife in one hand, holding it edge-up and changes her stance.  She does it so easily that I am more than convinced that she has superior experience in self-defense.  Another guard moves toward her, still unsure as to how to proceed.  She is ready.  One more high kick leaves him on the floor holding his nose, which is now broken.  I must put a stop to this, for there has been enough violence.

She is engaging the last guard and the first one that she kicked; her hands and feet are moving very fast.  She is very skilled in defensive techniques and I cannot help but wonder what kind of world she comes from in order for her to get that way.  It is amazing indeed to see a woman like her fearlessly take on four security guards and put three of them down.  I have never seen it before, not even from our female security officers.  I walk up to her and clamp her shoulder.  She collapses and the uninjured guard carries her to the brig.  The other guards get my leave to go to sickbay.

I have been around humans long enough to recognize defense mechanisms in all of its forms.  I am fascinated by this woman.  I am intrigued by the factors that have delivered her to this place at this time and in my care.   It is imperative that I learn what they are.


I woke up on the floor, disoriented.  I looked around and to my surprise and dismay; I was in the brig.  The last thing I remembered was kicking a security guard in the chest and I don’t know how long ago that was.  The side of my face was numb from being on the floor.  I massaged my cheek and looked around again.  This prison is exactly eight feet long, ten feet high and six feet wide.  I measured it the first time I was here.  There were two guards outside of the door.  I thought about screaming, but decided against it.  My head throbbed.  I reached inside my boot and could not find my Tanto.  Frantically, I checked the other boot and then pulled both boots off just to make sure.  It was not there.  I started to panic.  Where is my knife?  Where is it?  Where is it???

I felt my boobs and the presence of the Harpy reassured me.  It wouldn’t do me any good, however.  There was absolutely no way of getting out of here.  The last time I was in here, I was with Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy and Scotty and the place was simply too small for the four of us.  It nearly drove me crazy.

I went towards the door, careful to avoid the force field.  The security guards had their backs to me.  I tried to get their attention, but neither of them would respond.  I asked for something to eat, but neither of them responded.  I pretended to ask for help and neither of them responded.  I asked to use the bathroom and neither of them responded.  I started screaming at them and neither of them responded.  Apparently, they’d been ordered by that evil, sexy Vulcan not to engage me no matter what.  I was so mad I could spit, but it did nothing except make my head hurt worse and elevate my blood pressure.

I lay back down on the floor and looked up into the overwhelming bright light.  This was insane.  I closed my eyes and couldn’t concentrate.  I couldn’t focus; my mind was a twirl of thoughts.  How did I get in here?  Why was I in here?  Yeah, I was late for work, but so what?  Captain Kirk never made it to the bridge before 0930 hours.  No one did; it was just the way things were done on the ISS-E  The only one who did was Mr. Spock and that was because he was Spock and he did everything…just…right…that fucker!

The light was too bright.  I am not a fan of overhead lights; they’re draining.  I can’t concentrate like this and I needed to think.  So I removed my tights, doubled them and tied them around my eyes.  I sighed and lay back down.  It helped, but not that much.  The lights were blinding.

I rolled over and put my head in the crook of one arm.  I needed to get out of here.  What do I need to do to get out of here?  I would fuck my way out if I could, but I can’t even get the guards to look at me.  This offends me; it’s a slap to my feminine sensibilities, but I have no choice but to deal.  I need to get out of here.  I am not a fan of enclosed spaces, but as long as I couldn’t see the walls, I would be fine.  I needed to get out of here.

I needed to get out of here.  I needed to get out of here.  I needed to get out of here.

Calm down, Ny.  Calm down.  Breathe, breathe…deep breaths.  I needed to clear my head.  To answer that question, I needed to find out how I got in here in the first place.


I walk up to the door of the brig and nod to security for them to leave.  She is lying on the floor and I am amused to see that she has tied her stockings around her head.  Her boots are scattered and she appears to be sleeping.  She has been imprisoned for three hours and forty-seven minutes as of now.  I have secured Ensign Yao to man the communications desk until I was ready to release her.  Captain Kirk is busy with Starfleet and I have yet to inform him of what has occurred.  We are one light-day away from Starbase 356 and Ensign Yao is more than capable to man the communication console for that time.

I take a moment to appreciate the view of her on the floor.  She is on her stomach, with her arms folded to cushion her head.  Her legs are splayed and I admire them; they are shapely and becoming.  I move upward, taking in the graceful curve of her back.  Her hair is mussed and I decide that I want to see her face.  I marvel again as to how I never noticed the original Uhura in this manner.  Fascinating.

Her stockings appear to cover her eyes and I understand that the bright light of the brig bothers her.  It makes sense; whenever I was in her quarters, she used the peripheral lamps and never the overheads.  I ordered the computer to dim the lights.  She does not notice the change and I wondered if she is asleep.

I am willing to extend an olive branch.  Since she has been in the brig, I have ordered her room d├ęcor changed.  She is not a fan of pastels—as she has said many times—and I took the liberty while she was unconscious to peek into her mind.  Within the span of those twenty point two seconds, I became aware of quite a few things.  She has a taste for dark, bold colors, and that too makes sense.  I am confident she will appreciate her new quarters when she is released.  I will order a meal to be sent up, as I am cognizant that she has not had breakfast.

Something stirs within me as I watch her and I wonder if I can get her to talk.   I am aware that she has been looking for ways to influence her situation, but I could not allow her to continue to manipulate me.  I would make her comprehend what is expected of her, but I also wanted to understand her.  I do not believe for a moment that she is all she appears to be.  What I am unsure of is if she is aware of it.  The look in her eyes when she realized that I intended to send her to the brig was quite revealing and I am completely intrigued by it, by her.

I stand and I stare for a long time.


When I woke up, my stomach was growling.  I pushed my stockings over my eyes and noticed the lights were dim.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  There were no guards posted and I needed to relieve myself.  I needed to get out of here, but I didn’t know what it would take to do it.  At this point, I would agree to anything, anything at all.  I rolled over on my back and lay down again, trying hard to focus on everything but my stomach, bladder and increasing nervousness.


I call her name.  “Miss Uhura?” 

“Mr. Spock?”

I can tell by the tone of her voice that she is at once relieved and irritated.  “Yes?”

“I’m starving and I need to use the facilities!”

That is understandable.  She has been in the brig for six hours, thirty minutes and fifteen seconds.  However, I would not be so easily handled.

“I understand that, Miss Uhura, but frankly, I don’t trust you.”

There is a long pause of one minute and forty-two seconds.  Then she says, in a low voice, “Please?”

I can detect the fear, whether she intended it or not.  “Miss Uhura, you have demonstrated on multiple occasions that you are untrustworthy, vulgar and violent.  I have no desire to subject the crew to your outbursts.”

“Mr. Spock, it is not in my nature to…ask…for anything, but I really must relieve myself.  And I am hungry.”

“You are aware that there is no chef to accommodate your specific culinary tastes.”

She sighs.  “I know.  A sandwich will do.  I’m starving.”

“There is also the small matter of your imprisonment.  If I should escort you to the restroom, you should know that I intend to escort you right back to the brig.  I do not feel as if you comprehend the extent of your actions.” 

I wonder how she will respond to that.

There is another long pause; this one is ninety-six point three seconds in length. 

“Miss Uhura, do you hear me?  You will return to the brig after you have taken care of your needs.  If you should try to thwart me, I will subdue you with the method I used before.”

“What did you do to me?”

“I used the Vulcan nerve pinch.  It renders the opponent unconscious instantly.”

“Is that why my head hurts?”

“Your discomfort is a result of many things; not the least of which is your hunger and your need to use the facilities.  I also imagine that you are tired.”

“I’m not tired,” she says.

“You are and I am now positive that you do not realize it.”  She did not understand what I meant by the word ‘tired.’

“Mr. Spock…”

She sighs again.

“Yes, Miss Uhura?”

“I…promise not to frustrate you.  I will go to the restroom…and return to the brig.”

“I do not believe you.”

Her tone changes.  “Then you’ll believe it when you have a mess to clean up!  Damn it, I said I promise!  What the fuck do you want me to do, you sadist?”

I raise my eyebrow, satisfied that I was not talking to an impostor.  “This is your one chance to show me that I can trust you, Miss Uhura. If you give me a modicum of a reason not to, you will spend an infinite amount of time in the brig.”

“I don’t want to, Mr. Spock.  I hate this place.  Please, please let me out.”

I release the lock and the force field dissipates.  I enter the darkened room.  She is still on the floor.  I bend down and help her up.  When I put my hands on her, I can feel everything: anger, helplessness, irritation, frustration, fear and loneliness.

I am not surprised by any of these illogical emotions. 

I do not say anything.  She allows me to touch her and help her up.  She retrieves her boots and rushes towards the exit.  I follow her.  Once in the corridor, she stretches like a cat while closing her eyes.  I recognize the moment of joy that crosses her countenance when she realizes that she is no longer confined.

She is so very beautiful.  And she turns to me and there is a different expression on her face; a smile that is pure, not meant to beguile.  Then, just as it appeared, it disappears. 

I escort her to the nearest ladies’ room.  She rushes in and remains in there for four minutes and ten seconds.  I wait outside the door, willing to enter within fifty seconds if she does not emerge within that time.  But I do not have to.  She comes out.  She has put on her stockings and boots and smoothed her hair.

“To the cafeteria?”  I ask.  To show her that I mean well, I am willing to allow her to eat there instead of the brig.

“Yes,” she says.

In five minutes and seven point two seconds, she sits across from me, eating a most hearty meal of baked chicken, green beans and potatoes.  She does not speak and I watch her as I sip my tea.  I am wary for I know how cunning she is.  But it appears that all she wants is to eat.  She focuses on her food and avoids my eyes.  When she finishes, she wipes her mouth and looks at me.

“Thank you,” she says and sighs.  “Back to the brig.  I promised.”

I stare at her, looking for a trace of deception and did not find any.  “You are willing?”

“Do I have a choice, Mr. Spock?  Because I am not willing, if you are asking.”

“I am not asking.  Come, let me escort you back.”

She sighs again and rises.  I pick up her tray to dispose of it and she takes it from me.  “I can do it.”


She does not speak as we walk down the corridor.  I wish to engage her in conversation, but I do not wish to do it in the confines of the brig.  I feel as if I would not get what I seek with another barrier between us.

“Miss Uhura?”

“Mr. Spock.”

I stop and turn to face her.  She looks up at me and I think again on how very lovely she is.  “If you promise to behave, I would escort you to your quarters and confine you there for the rest of the day rather than the brig.”

That pure smile crosses her face once more.  It is fleeting. 

“Do I have your word, Miss Uhura?”

She looks at me warily.  It is clear that she trusts me about as much as I trust her.  It is as if we are sizing one another up.  She pushes and I push back.  She will try to push again; of this I am certain.  I shall push back.

“Miss Uhura?  I should regret subduing you and carrying you to the brig.  I assure you, you will remain in there for the duration of this day.  I am offering peace, as peaceful solutions are best.”
She takes a deep breath.  “I don’t want to go back to the brig,” she says.

“Good.  I want to engage you in some discourse.  I would like for you to share with me what it is like in your world so that I may make no more assumptions and so that you will know my expectations.”

She is stunned.  “You want to talk to me?”

“Yes.  Not in the manner I did yesterday evening.  Yesterday, I was unaware of certain practices.  I wish for full disclosure.  If you are to remain with us, you must learn our ways.  For that to occur, I must be aware of yours.”

“You really want to talk to me, Mr. Spock?”

“You seem surprised, Miss Uhura.”

She gapes a moment, and then quickly resumes her normal expression.  “No.  It’s just…I’m tired.  I’ve been in there all day and I want…”

I look at her.  “What do you want?”

She looks away and then back at me.  “Nothing.  I will behave and you can talk to me.”

“Are you positive?”

“I am.  I don’t want to go back to the brig.”

I stare at her.  Clearly, she has issues with enclosed spaces.  So I start walking towards her quarters.  She keeps pace with me and I begin to ask her questions.  She answers matter-of-factly, keeping her eyes on the corridor.  When we arrive at her suite, she keys the code and walks in.

I remain in the doorway and watch her expression as she takes in her new room.  I knew then that redecorating it had been the right gesture; a way to show her that while I mean business, I also desire harmony.

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