The Horseshoe Nail


By Tommyhawk1@AOL.COM
Artwork (c) 2001 by Voyeur. All Rights Reserved.

Illustration of Horseshoe Nail

It was a routine watch aboard Voyager. Space was clear, and the senior staff was on the bridge, marking time until they reached the nearby planet, Orolan-7, which had contacted them and promised to trade foodstuffs and other necessities for information from Voyager's databanks. All in all, a very peaceful shift, Janeway thought as she looked at the starfield ahead, one star beginning to stand out from the others, their destination. Her crew was feeling happy and she shared their feelings. Shore leave possibly when they knew more. At the very least, nice that they don't have to fight their way through this race's space, or go around or grabble in the dirt for supplies....
*
* DISCONTINUITY*
*
Janeway shook her head, a brief fit of dizziness. Chakotay got up from his chair next to hers and walked over to Tom Paris. "Computer, initiate program Chakotay Alpha." he said. A force field sprang up around the right-hand side of the helm, enclosing him and Tom Paris. Tom was startled, the more so when Chakotay's strong arms reached around him and hauled him to his feet.
*
"Hey, Commander..." was as far as he got before Chakotay forced him over the helm console. Twin flashes of light as his hands went over the console, another force field, this one imprisoning his wrists, binding him in his bent-over position.
*
Chakotay's hands reached for Tom's waist and undid the hidden fasteners as Chakotay leaned over to kiss Tom's ear, his hands pulling the reluctant fabric of Tom's uniform trousers down .
*
"What the hell?" Tom asked, barely beating Janeway to the same remark.
*
"Commander, what are you doing?" Janeway said.
*
Chakotay didn't answer, his chest heaving as he opened his own trousers. A bottle of lubricant was pulled from his pocket and he squirted his cock, and then moved into position.
*
Tom realized then what was about to happen as the hot organ pulsed at the crack of his ass, seeking out the tiny entrance. "Oh, God, Chakotay, no, please don't..." was as far as he got before the hot pain of male passion entered him and all he could manage then was a gurgling sound.
*
Voices were shouting at Chakotay, voices were shouting at the computer to obey and lower the goddamned force field, the computer was responding "Unable to comply!" but Chakotay ignored all of them, even the waving hands of those who had stepped in front of the helm, shouting and gesticulating, bringing phasers to bear to hit the force field, to no avail.
*
For the next five minutes, all was a chaos with the eye of the storm the two men locked in their struggle, Chakotay for deeper and faster penetration, Paris to free himself, his face red with embarrassment, grunts escaping his lips, his face a mask of shock. Then a sudden burst of speed seemed to arise from the two men, Chakotay fucked Tom harder and faster, Tom's face flushed deep red and he groaned, lay down over the helm, resisting no longer, and Chakotay roared as he shot his load into Paris' ass.
*
Done, panting, sweating, chest heaving, he slumped over Paris while he caught his breath. "I'm so sorry, Tom." he said. "Computer, time, please!"
*
"0852."
*
"Thank God!" Chakotay stood up and wiped his forehead with the back of his sleeve. Then he reached down to pull Tom's pants back over his ravaged buttocks, and even refastened them. "Tom, I am so sorry." he repeated. "I'll explain everything as well as I can. Computer, end program Chakotay Alpha. Authorization code Sigma Delta Seven Four Three Three Six."
*
"Acknowledged."
*
And the shield went down.
*
Janeway went over as the crewmembers grabbed Chakotay and held him tight, as Paris fell back onto his chair once again, gasping in pain as his buttocks touched the leatherette seat.
*
"Computer, beam Lieutenant Paris directly to Sickbay." Janeway commanded.
*
As Paris dematerialized, Janeway walked over.
*
"Captain, I can explain everything." Chakotay said.
*
"Save it for your court-martial, Commander. As of now, you are under arrest. Take him to the Brig." Janeway said.
*
Kim's face was red with tears of frustration as he spoke in a broken voice to Captain Janeway. "The President of Orolan-7 is attempting to contact us." he said.
*
"On screen."
*
The President looked at Janeway. "Welcome to Orolan space, Captain." he said. "There was a significant delay in connection. Is everything all right?"
*
"I'm afraid not." Janeway said. "Mr. President, may we request your assistance in a strictly personal matter?"
*
"We would be glad to assist any way we can." the President responded.
*
* * * * *
*
Ganisat Prime was reviewing Federation Starfleet laws in his study when the door sounded. "Enter." he said, and his face lit as he recognized his oldest friend. "Ah, Renusar, good to see you." he said. Both were Orolanians, human-shaped except for skin of pale-white color and ears with elongated lobes that nearly touched their shoulders.
*
They embraced in the traditional Orolan manner and Renusar said, "I came to see if I could be of assistance to you in this new matter."
*
"Yes, I am reviewing their laws and precedents now." Ganisat said. "Very perplexing to deal with alien laws."
*
"Why are they asking for an Orolanian to assist them in prosecuting one of their own crewmembers?" Renusar asked.
*
"Because their laws require either a civilian judge, such as myself, or a council of three officers of command rank. Their ship only has two of these, and one of them is the accused, and the other a percipient witness. The accused has consented to being tried in an Orolanian court although under their own laws and the President has agreed to this even though the crime took place inside Orolanian space."
*
"What crime has he committed?"
*
"He made love to another crewmember on the bridge of their ship."
*
Renusar smiled. "Unusual, but is that criminal?"
*
"Only a minor crime, except for an important point. The crewmember did not give his consent to the lovemaking."
*
Renusar frowned. "That is despicable conduct."
*
"The more so when you learn that they only have two sexes, and this crewmember was of the same sex as the accused."
*
"How is that possible?" Renusar gasped in astonishment. Their own race had four sexes, and only limited permutations were available among these four due to their anatomy. Why, the fondness he felt for Ganisat Prime often evoked itself in a regret that they were of the same sex and could thus never consummate their deep friendship in a physical manner, the one sex of the four he was unable to do so with. And Renusar thought once again that it was a shame about his mate Merithan, who was only able to copulate with Renusar's sex and could never know the joys of the other sexes....
*
"Apparently it is possible, but the exact details are unimportant." Ganisat said. "There are too many witnesses to the scene, and the accused has admitted his guilt. Apparently it was done with clear premeditation and forethought. The only thing to be decided is the extent of the accused's guilt and the punishment. That is what I am concentrating on studying."
*
"Is there a difference in their degrees of punishment?"
*
"The accused cites as-yet-unexplained extenuating circumstances." Ganisat said. "The degree of his culpability depends upon his reasons."
*
"I will help you learn what you must have." Renusar said.
*
"You can help me by going to their ship and speaking with the accused." Ganisat said. "I wish you to be his representative. His advocate. Under their laws, you will present only those portions of this case favorable to obtaining his release and attempt to obstruct any other viewpoint. It's an adversarial process, sort of like being a warrior, but with words instead of weapons."
*
Renusar bowed his head. "I am pleased to serve the Prime."
*
They embraced once again and Renusar went to communicate with the alien vessel. At least he wouldn't need to wear some sort of suit to visit their vessel, their atmospheres were quite compatible.
*
* * * * *
*
Renusar was led to their Brig and he saw the accused behind a force field. A guard let the shield down to permit him to enter and reactivated it. "I have been assigned to be your representative to the Orolanian court." he said. "Our own judicial processes are quite different from yours, but I understand that I am to advocate your position only before the Prime?"
*
The alien said, "Yes, that is how our counsel handle things."
*
"But with only one side, how is truth obtained?"
*
"There will be another counsel whose sole purpose is to present the case against me."
*
Renusar nodded. "Ah! And then the Prime hears both sides and balances the two in hopes of arriving at a solution."
*
"Yes." the alien said.
*
"What are you called?"
*
"My name is Chakotay."
*
"Chakotay, you admit your transgression of your laws, a most serious offense, that of initiating sexual contact with a nonconsenting member of your race?"
*
"I do."
*
"But I am told you offer extenuating circumstances?"
*
"Yes."
*
"Tell me these circumstances."
*
"I hardly know where to begin."
*
"Begin at the beginning."
*
"All right. It happened three weeks ago. Actually, it happened an instant before the attack, but it was three weeks ago for me."
*
"I fail to comprehend."
*
"Neither did I, at first. I was sitting at my station and suddenly everything but me stopped. And I mean stopped."
*
Renusar sat down. "I can see this will take some time. Continue with your story."
*
"I didn't know what to think and spent some time trying to get something, anything, on the ship to work for me. Then Q showed up."
*
"Q?" Renusar was upset.
*
"You know him?"
*
"I know his people, yes." Renusar said. "Was he the cause of this freezing of time?"
*
"Yes." Chakotay said. "But he swore from the start that he was doing it only to help us...."
*
* * * * *
*
Commander Chakotay knew the problem began the instant that he was surrounded by dead silence. An instant before, he had been surrounded by the noises of the ship, of his crewmembers, talking idly, speculating about the planet, relaying the results of scans or of ship status. And there was the ship itself, an all-pervasive hum that the ears had long become deadened to, which you could only hear when it stopped.
*
And rather than the typical drone-down sound of the engines going off-line, there was a sudden and complete silence. Chakotay startled. "Engine Room, report!" he snapped out.
*
Silence.
*
Chakotay looked to the Captain, to see her frozen in movement, a slight smile on her face, an awkward forward leaning posture with one arm and hand in mid-upraised position. She had been about to reach for her chair controls for some purpose or other, probably to signal one of the ship stations for status. Everyone else was frozen in the same way, in poses that could not have been held deliberately.
*
Chakotay looked around, trying to decide what to do. What was wrong, and why was he the only one still able to move. "Computer, status report!" he snapped out.
*
"All ship operations are functioning within normal parameters." the computer responded to his astonishment.
*
"Computer, what is wrong with the ship. Why are we not moving?"
*
"The ship is on course at Warp 5."
*
"Computer, the ship is not moving."
*
"That is incorrect."
*
"Computer, scan the bridge crewmembers. What is their status?"
*
"All bridge crewmember lifesigns are within normal parameters."
*
"Computer, scan myself. What is my status?"
*
"Your lifesigns are within normal parameters."
*
Chakotay sighed in exasperation. "Computer, the crewmembers of this bridge are not moving. They are holding completely still."
*
"That is not correct."
*
"Try asking for the time." came a familiar voice.
*
Chakotay turned to see Q standing behind him and to one side. "Q! Is this some joke of yours?"
*
"No joke, Commander." Q said. "I am not your goad here, I am your savior."
*
"What are you talking about? Why is the crew frozen in their place?"
*
"They are not frozen and neither are you."
*
"That's what the computer says, but I don't understand." Chakotay said.
*
"Of course not." Q said. "This is really beyond your race's comprehension, but I suppose a brief explanation is in order. Your race is temporally limited. You are unable to move in time save at the flow of the timestream. Sort of like so many pieces of plankton. Humans are on the level of temporal plankton, you might say."
*
"Yes." Chakotay said.
*
"Your crewmembers are all moving with the timestream still. But you, my dear Commander Chakotay, have been plucked from the timestream and given a slight control of your own movements. I have given you cilia, you might say, so you can move about in the stream of time. You just aren't moving yourself yet so you're completely still."
*
"But why?" Chakotay asked. "If this isn't some game of yours...."
*
"Because, foolish as it sounds, and foolish indeed it is, I am quite fond of your species and this ship in particular. So I have stepped in to help you."
*

Chakotay reminded himself that, whatever Q's flaws, he never stooped to lying. "How does my being outside of the timestream help us?"
*
"Your people have a poem. 'For want of a nail, a shoe was lost, for want of a shoe, a horse was lost, for want of a horse, a rider was lost..."
*
"For want of a rider a message was lost, etc., etc., an entire kingdom lost for the want of a single horseshoe nail." Chakotay said. "I know the poem."
*
"Well, you, my dear Commander Chakotay, are the horseshoe nail."
*
Chakotay wasn't stupid. But the enormity of this remark from Q left him gaping, stunned.
*
"I see you have enough intelligence to understand my rather simple explanation of a complex phenomenon. Like the ripples of a pond, small movements reach out to become massive waves affecting all around it."
*
"So what do I have to do?" Chakotay asked.
*
"That, my dear Commander, you will have to figure out for yourself." And Q vanished. He had not been seen by Chakotay again since that time.
*
* * * * *
*
Renusar stopped him. "You are saying that Q was not responsible for your attack on your crewmember--what is his name?"
*
"Lieutenant Paris."
*
"Yes, this Paris person. He did not force you into this, uh, lewd act?"
*
"No." Chakotay admitted. "I did it all myself."
*
"Then I don't understand yet."
*
"I wandered around the ship after that, trying to figure out why my being stuck in a single instant of time could matter. I examined all ship systems, they seemed fine. The computer responded to my commands, the doors and turbolifts functioned for me. It was like I was on a normally operational ship and my only companions were statues."
*
"How long did this go on?"
*
"I got hungry and went to the commissary to get something to eat. It wasn't possible for me to reach the food Neelix was preparing without brushing past him. When I touched him, the very first time I had touched another person on the ship, people moved, including him. When I stopped touching him, they returned to their original positions. I had moved time forward by my touching of Neelix, but only while I touched him. So I went back and grabbed hold of Neelix. He started to remark on my rough handling of him, and then the movements slowed and stopped.
*
"So touching this Neelix individual caused time to move forward?"
*
"But not to keep moving forward." Chakotay said. "I was still stuck in time, at 0844.17. I tried touching other individuals on the ship in various ways. Each time, time would move forward, but only for a brief period. Then it would snap back to that particular second of time."
*
"I went back to the bridge. There, I tried touching Captain Janeway. Time continued for quite a while, nearly a minute, but still it stopped. So I began to trying various things on various crewmembers. It took time, a lot of time, but I had time, if you see what I mean. I ate, slept, and moved around the ship, trying to see which crewmember would cause time to flow for the longest."
*
"And the crew never remembered these prior contacts?" Renusar said. "According to your Captain's report of the incident, from her perspective, you simply got out of your chair and went over and molested Lieutenant Paris."
*
"Yes, each time I touched them, it was like they didn't remember the previous touch. But I noticed that touching Lieutenant Paris caused time to last the longest. Just my hand on his shoulder and time would flow for nearly three minutes. A minute longer than anyone else on the ship. From there, it was a matter of figuring out how to touch him. As this went on, I created the computer force-field program, and refined it after the bridge crew figured out how to breach it, until I had a tamper-proof shield. Step by step, over three weeks, I finally figured out what I had to do. I had to make love to Lieutenant Paris. In a hurry. No time to ask him to permit me to have sex with him."
*
"So the episode of which we are aware is not your first molestation of Lieutenant Paris?"
*
"It's the only one he remembers, yes. And the only one in which I managed to complete the sexual act." Chakotay said. "Please don't think I raped Paris repeatedly and he only remembers this one time. God, I didn't want to take him down and rape him! I kept trying seduction scenarios. But without my touch, he wouldn't keep moving long enough for me to explain, or request, or seduce him in any way, certainly not on the bridge! Tom kept interrupting my words with jokes or questions, and I just didn't have enough time! I even spent one entire day trying to get him off the bridge with me, hoping then I would be able to talk to him. Finally, I screwed up my courage, I drank some real alcohol instead of our synthehol, manufactured a bottle of lubricant. Then I got up and went over to rape Tom Paris. It was the first time movements on the bridge occurred before I actually touched someone. I knew then I had found the right scenario. That gave me the courage I needed to go through with it. Whatever Q meant by my being the link in a long chain of events, it depended on my raping Tom Paris. I just hope I can explain things enough for him to forgive me."
*
"You have larger concerns than that." Renusar said. "If you are found guilty of this crime, then the only way to sentence you will be to keep you here on Orolan. Our own people don't believe in this, uh, Brig they are keeping you in, and I know it is the only method of isolating a criminal aboard your ship."
*
"Yes." Chakotay said. "I wouldn't want to stay in here for years on end."
*
"Nor would my people permit it. So let me try to find a way to get these charges removed."
*
Renusar went to the computer. He felt sure that something there would show him that Chakotay had been moving about the ship for three weeks. But nothing. No use of the computer banks remained, no foodstores missing, no clothing mussed in his quarters--Chakotay had told him in a later interview that he had used every bit of his clothing, left most of it dirty in his room, and his room was clean with no soiled clothing--even the ship's doctor's scan of Chakotay failed to show that he had been alive for longer than anyone else. Renusar began to wonder if this alien commander was lying to his counsel.
*
But the loyalty his crew showed, even as they helped put the noose around his neck (Renusar shuddered when he came across that in the human's databanks--barbaric!), assured Renusar of the truth of his client's version of events. This was no depraved individual, but an honorable man.
*
He reminded himself that he was working under alien justice. He must advocate only his client's position. No balance on his part was required. In fact, it would be remiss of him not to use every weapon he could find.
*
Which led him to speak to the victim personally.
*
* * * * *
*
Paris was sitting in the commissary with Harry when Renusar came to speak with him. "Hello, Lieutenant Paris." Renusar said. "I am Renusar, the advocate for Commander Chakotay."
*
"Sit down, Renusar." Paris said. "I was wondering when you would get around to me. I've talked with the prosecutor often enough. Arisen.
*
"Arisen is a good man." Renusar said. "I have worked with him often in the past in our search for the truth of unpleasant or antisocial events. He will present the, uh, prosecution quite well. As I hope to present the defense."
*
"Have you had any luck verifying Chakotay's story? About Q and us being frozen in time for three weeks?" Tom asked. "I want to believe Chakotay, but nothing seems to prove it. Nothing at all."
*
Again, Renusar was reminded of the decency of his client. When the victim prays for his attacker's freedom, how can one lose? But the facts, as his people said, are hard enough to crack any misplaced hope.
*
"Tell me of your relationship with Commander Chakotay." he said.
*
Paris shrugged and smiled. "Until three days ago, I would have said they were the best they had ever been. I still think that, though I'm scared to be left alone with him right now."
*
"Have you spoken with the Doctor?" Kim asked, concerned.
*
"He tells me it's normal to be afraid after an attack." Paris said, seeming to be unconcerned. "Though I think as soon as we get proof Chakotay is telling the truth, I'll be able to face him again."
*
"I need to ask you about the attack." Renusar said. "Had my client ever made any sexual overtures to you in the past, before this attack."
*
"Of course not!" Kim chipped in.
*
"Uh, Harry." Paris said. "That's not true."
*
"Tom?" Kim looked at Paris, eyes wide.
*
"It was about six weeks ago. I'd picked up some fruit juice on that planet from a merchant while I was on shore leave. Sitting with Chakotay, I mentioned it and he asked if I would share some. He was wanting some fresh fruit juice. So I went and got the bottle and we shared it. The merchant hadn't mentioned it contained alcohol as a preservative, a lot of alcohol. And the fruit flavor was tangy enough and exotic enough, and good enough, that we didn't notice how much we were drinking or how strong it was until it was too late. It was a funny kind of drunk that concoction gave us, like we were both congenital idiots or something...."
*
* * * * *
*
Paris had never found himself feeling this friendly toward Chakotay. Or seen such a big smile on his face before. It was like the big Indian's head was going to split into two at the mouth, he was grinning so widely.
*
Paris polished off his glass and reached for the bottle, surprised that he missed and knocked it to the floor. Only a little was left in the bottom, it didn't make a mess at all, but Paris stood up to get the bottle. And the floor moved up to smack him in the face!
*
Paris reached for the floor to push it away, to find he was lying on it, not pressed up against it as he had thought. Must have fell. I'm still groggy, he thought.
*
"Tom? Tom?" Chakotay asked.
*
"I'm all right." Paris said.
*
"Then why are you on the floor?"
*
"I fell down."
*
"You aren't supposed to be on the floor." Chakotay pointed out.
*
"I fell down."
*
"You're supposed to be in your chair."
*
"I fell down."
*
"But you fell down."
*
"I fell down." Tom got to his feet and had to hang onto the table, because the room was weaving wildly. "Chakokay, I think there was something in that fruit juice."
*
"You called me Chakokay."
*
"I'm sorry, Tachokay."
*
"You called me Chakokah, Chatotah, Cha, Cha, ...you said my name wrong." Chakotay protested.
*
"I think we're both drunk." Paris said.
*
"Really?" Chakotay's eyes lit up as if with a revelation.
*
"Smashed."
*

"Loaded."
*
"Inebriated. Hey, I said that right! I said inebreebabed. Nuts!" Paris said.
*
"We'd better get to our rooms and sleep it off." Chakotay said.
*
"Yeah, but how? I don't think I can walk."
*
"Let me try to help you." By hanging onto the table with both hands like a guiderail on a ship in a storm, Chakotay made it over to Paris. "Now put your arm around my shoulders."
*
Paris did. To their surprise, by hanging onto each other, and leaning into each other, they were able to ambulate quite steadily, though their splayed-out angle took up a lot of deck space.
*
"We can walk out of here." Paris said as they steered a ponderous course to the door. "But how are we going to get to our quarters?"
*
"I'll take you to your room and put you in your bed." Chakotay offered. "And then you take me to my room and put me in my bed."
*
"Good idea!" Paris agreed, not spotting the fatal flaw in this plan of theirs. "Let's go."
*
"But my room is closer." Chakotay said. "Let's go there first."
*
"Okay." Paris said. Actually, Chakotay's room was further, but he didn't spot that, either. They made it to the turbolift and after a few attempts, managed to say Deck Four, Corridor Two properly enough for the turbolift to understand them. Or thought they had. After visiting Deck Two--Corridor Four, Deck Two--Corridor Two and Deck Four--Corridor Four, they made it to Deck Four, Corridor Two, mostly because a young female ensign sharing the turbolift realized their problem and destination, and said it for them. They thanked her most profusely, and Chakotay leered at her and promised her the Starfleet Medal of Honor if she would come back to his quarters with them and pick it up, but she must not have liked medals very much, for they were alone when they made it to Chakotay's quarters.
*
Inside, Paris heaved Chakotay at the bed, to find his support gone, and the floor rising up once again to stare him in the face.
*
"You fell down." Chakotay said.
*
"I fell down." Paris agreed.
*
"You aren't supposed to fall down." Chakotay pointed out reasonably.
*
"I know."
*
"You're supposed to sit on the bed."
*
"I know."
*
"But you fell down."
*
"I fell down."
*
"You aren't supposed to fall down."
*
"I know."
*
This went around about four times before they noticed the circular nature of their conversation, but by then, Paris was on the bed, sitting, and Chakotay was dealing with the problem of how to remove his clothing, sit up straight, and talk all at once. He could manage any two of them, but the combination of three defeated him.
*
"I had better go." Paris said and stood up to promptly fall over again.
*
"You fell down." Chakotay pointed out reasonably.
*
"Let's not start that again." Paris found the repeated blows to his face were helping him think a little better, or perhaps it had been the rather long turbolift ride they had been on. "I don't think I can make it back to my room alone."
*
"You would fall down." Chakotay agreed.
*
"So can I stay here?"
*
"Sure!" Chakotay grinned widely again. "You and me are buddies. Best buddies. Take off your clothes and get in bed with me. Right here!" Chakotay, now wearing only his trousers and one boot (his other foot was bare, he had managed that somehow), patted the bed beside him and fell over himself.
*
They had to cooperate and undress each other, but they managed it until both were wearing only their briefs.
*
"I'm undressed now!" Paris said happily.
*
"No, you're not." Chakotay said. "You got that on."
*
"Oh, yeah!" Paris said and reached for the elastic band. "You got them on too."
*
"I do?" Chakotay looked down. "I do! Have to get undressed so I can sleep."
*
After a rather long bout with the covers, they managed to both lie side-by-side, underneath the sheet (the bedspread had fallen to the floor and they consulted, peering over the side of the bed, decided the floor was too far away and they couldn't possibly reach it from way up on the bed).
*
"Okay, Lieutellet, Loonennett, Loo, Loo-, Tom, go to sleep now." Chakotay said.
*
"I can't." Paris said. "The bed keeps swinging around and around and around."
*
"So grab hold of something." Chakotay said.
*
Paris grabbed the only thing he could figure out, he grabbed Chakotay. That DID seem to help the spinning sensation, so he pulled himself closer and they ended up wrapped around each other.
*
"You're poking me!" Paris said.
*
"Am not!" Chakotay said. "My hands are right here and here."
*
"You're poking me in my stomach. You got a finger down there!" Paris accused Chakotay.
*
"That's not my finger." Chakotay said.
*
"It's not?" Paris was puzzled. "What is it?" He reached down to find out.
*
"It's my dick."
*
"Yeah, it's a dick!" Paris was as pleased as if he had discovered a wormhole back to the Alpha Quadrant.
*
"You got a hold of my dick." Chakotay pointed out.
*
"Yeah."
*
"Not fair to hold my dick and not let me hold yours." Chakotay said. "The way the bed is moving and all."
*
Paris fuzzily considered the logic of this and decided it was reasonable. "Okay." he said
*
Chakotay grabbed Paris' cock and said, "Yours is all small and mushy. Not like mine. Mine's nice and BIG!" he shouted the last word.
*
"Mine gets bigger." Paris protested.
*
"It does?"
*
"See, it's getting bigger now."
*
"Oh, yeah, I remember!" Chakotay said happily. "They get bigger if you do this to them." He stroked Paris' cock which firmed up under the ministration.
*
"That tingles." Paris said.
*
"Really?"
*
"Yeah."
*
"It's not fair that your dick tingles and mine doesn't." Chakotay said.
*
Again, Paris had to admit the logic of this. Soon, he had Chakotay's cock tingling as much as his did. Maybe even more, Chakotay pointed out, since his was BIGGER!
*
So they decided to have a tingle contest to see if that was true or not. They lay facing each other and kept stroking each other's dicks and making them tingle and then Chakotay groaned that his cock was tingling more and more.
*
"So's mine!" Paris said. "Ooh, that's really nice!"
*
"Oh, oh, oh!" Chakotay said.
*
"Ooh, ooh!"
*
"Urgh!"
*
"Mph!"
*
And they shot their wads onto each other. After catching their breath, they tried to remember the scoring system for the tingle contest they had worked out, but it eluded them. So they gave up and went to sleep.
*
* * * * *
*
Paris told Renusar a very abbreviated and much-sanitized version of what had happened that night. "I don't know if you'd call that sex, exactly, but we did do it that one time."
*
"You haven't had sexual relations with Commander Chakotay since that time?" Renusar asked.
*
"No." Paris said. "The next morning, we were pretty embarrassed about what we had done. But we weren't angry at each other or anything, hell, we ended up grinning at each other like idiots every time we even looked at each other. I was discussing with him how we should rescue one of our crewmembers on a planet where her only crime had been an angry thought-- they were a race of telepaths--and I swear we both grinned the entire time we talked about it. I was trying to get him to go against the Prime Directive and he was telling me the dangers involved, and both of us grinning like madmen. Hey, Harry, are you all right?"
*
Kim was looking at Paris like he had never seen his best friend before. "Tom, why didn't you tell me about this?"
*
Paris shrugged. "Tell you how? Hey, Harry, Chakotay and I got loaded one night from drinking what we thought was fruit juice, and ended up in bed playing with each other like a couple of schoolboys?"
*
Kim blushed, a most interesting color on his face. "I see what you mean." he admitted.
*
"Tell me, Lieutenant, if the Commander had approached you in a more acceptable manner, requested sex with you, would you have agreed?"
*
"I don't know." Paris said. "I might have."
*
"But you wouldn't have agreed quickly? Say, within three minutes' time of his request?"
*
"No!" Paris said. "I may sleep around a lot, but I don't have sex that casually. Look, can I ask where you're going with these questions? It's not like Chakotay is denying what he did to me or anything. He apologized right afterwards, and I know him well enough to know he meant what he said. I still squirm when I think of what happened, but he had his reasons and they weren't sick or perverted reasons. Can you figure out a way to prove what he said?"
*
"I am working on that." Renusar said. "And I am equally convinced of his truthfulness. One way or another, I shall get him free of these charges."
*
"Thanks." Paris said. "I'll sleep a lot better when I see the proof."
*
"I had better return to my own planet now." Renusar said. "My mates are unhappy when I am not with them for the evening meal."
*
* * * * *
*
Renusar was quiet during his family meal. Merithan was patient as she always was, drawing him out little by little. Finally, he was venting his frustration at the adversial process.
*
"Take this case I have now. I know, I know for certain, that this man had no choice but to act as he did in order to save his ship and who knows how much more, his entire race, perhaps. After all, Q was involved and doing their race a favor, think on that and shudder with sympathy for this race! But not a single fact exists to support his version of events. So what am I left with to try to get my client free from lifelong banishment here on Orolan? I'll tell you!
*
Desecrating the honor of the victim! I will have to put him on the witness stand and attack him verbally, dragging out every sexual act he has ever had, and there have been quite a few from what I gather, into public eye and make them seem cheap and meaningless. Then I'll have to bring up the fact that the victim had an orgasm of his own from the sexual act of this attack--I found it in the cleaning records of the ship while reviewing the attack--and make it sound like he enticed and frustrated Chakotay until he had no choice but to walk over and assault Paris. Skygods protect me!"
*
Merithan cleared the dishes in silence and silently consulted with her other mates. Then she went over to Renusar and said, "Perhaps we can talk of something else for a brief time, my love?"
*
"I would like that a great deal." Renusar agreed.
*
"We have been married for three years now. Isn't it time we had a few children?"
*
Renusar looked up at Merithan. "Really?" he asked. "Are you ready?"
*
"Not yet, but my time is nearly upon me." Merithan agreed. "No reason not to practice a little tonight, is there?"
*
Renusar looked at Merithan, then to grinning Weluthar and bashful Trepanet. "I see a little conspiracy has been going on in my household today." Then he had to smile.
*
A little later, in the midst of the mating embrace, himself in possession of Merithan and Trepanet while Trepanet was in possession of Weluthar and Weluthar in possession of Merithan, Renusar realized that he did have an alternative to the public humiliation of Paris. As he gasped in the joy of the release of this tension, he found his own orgasm as well, which naturally triggered the other three's. He slept well for the first time since taking the human's case.
*
The next morning, his first action was to signal Ganisat Prime and invoke the human ritual of a pre-trial conference with the parties to attend.
*
* * * * *
*
"Thank you all for coming." Renusar said when Ganisat turned the conversation over to him. "I have asked you all here for what I believe you call a pre-trial motion. I am hereby moving this court that we proceed with this case under Orolan law and not human law."
*
"But the President himself asked me to use human law." Ganisat Prime said. "This is not acceptable."
*
Renusar turned to the three humans, Chakotay, Paris and Captain Janeway. "All of you, and myself, know this man to be innocent of any depravity in his actions. But there are no objective facts upon which we can prove this and subjective facts are not sufficient for human law. But there is an Orolanian method of arriving at the truth which will prove his innocence, if indeed he is innocent. It takes the willing consent of the victim. So first, I ask Lieutenant Paris, do you trust Commander Chakotay, despite what has happened?"
*
Paris gulped. "Yes, I do."
*
"Enough that you are willing to permit a different sort of violation to occur if in fact he is depraved?"
*
"Chakotay is not depraved!" Paris exploded. Renusar looked to Ganisat Prime and nodded significantly.
*
"See the reasons for my actions, Prime?"
*
"Indeed. Depravity does not invoke loyalty." Ganisat Prime said. "If the victim agrees, I will permit the joining."
*
"What joining is that?"
*
"We will link their minds together, Chakotay and Paris. Both will know exactly what the other knows. Paris will know, know for certain, the reason for Chakotay's actions and the violation of Paris' body. Chakotay will know the pain he has inflicted on Paris because it will become inflicted upon himself. The only danger here is that you are not Orolanians, and may not be able to shake off the link when we are done. Your minds may remain linked to some extent. It is possible, though the danger of this is slight, that they may end up irretrievably mixed together. You would have a single crewman in two bodies, Captain, with both their minds forming a new individual."
*
"I won't ask Lieutenant Paris to take that risk." Captain Janeway said. "Nor Chakotay."
*
"The only other alternative is to abandon Chakotay here on Orolan-7." Renusar pointed out. "We will treat him as an honored and valuable member of our planet. But he would be alone to some extent."
*
Arisen said, "Prime, I must agree. I too have seen the actions of Chakotay's associates. None of them show any of the signs of being within the sphere of influence of a depraved individual and all are quite loyal to him, even as their own aid built my case into an unstoppable and foregone conclusion. If Chakotay is to be found innocent of depraved behavior, then the link is unavoidable."
*
Ganisat Prime said, "The link is our last resort, when the facts are inconclusive. If Lieutenant Paris does not wish to take the link, I will support him in this. No individual should be asked to risk a violation of their mind after suffering a violation of their bodies."
*
"I won't order it either. Well, Lieutenant Paris?" Janeway said. "It all rests on your shoulders here."
*
Paris licked his lips. "I'm afraid." He admitted. "It's like I can't close my eyes without seeing Chakotay, feeling him on top of me, hurting me. If Chakotay is innocent, will these feelings stop?"
*
"Most likely." Ganisat Prime said. "You will understand completely."
*
"Tom, I want to do this if you'll let me." Chakotay said. "It sounds like I can make a complete apology to you."
*
"And take a part of his pain." Ganisat Prime said. "You, too, Chakotay, will suffer that violation. It will be as though Paris has raped you."
*
"I want to do it." Chakotay affirmed.
*
Paris stood up. "Then let's do it. What do we have to do?"
*
Ganisat Prime smiled. "Stand face to face with Commander Chakotay. Look directly into his eyes."
*
Chakotay stood up and the two looked at each other. As they did, Ganisat Prime used the talent which made him the Prime on his world. He reached out with his own mind, grasped the minds of his two human subjects, and thrust them together like two bowls of mush, poured into a single bowl though lying side-by-side within it.
*
Then he separated them again. As he feared, some mixing, a good deal, had occurred. He pulled them apart as well as he could, but the link remained.
*
From the viewpoint of Captain Janeway, Paris and Chakotay gasped, and it was over with. Chakotay immediately seemed to spasm in pain. Paris reached out and cried out, "Oh, God, Chakotay, I'm sorry! I'm so sorry! I didn't have a choice!"
*
"I know. Tom, I forgive you." Chakotay said. "You didn't have the choice."
*
The two men embraced, held each other tightly.
*
"Lieutenant Paris?"
*
Both men looked at him and answered, "Yes?"
*
Chakotay shook his head. "I'm sorry. I really thought you were speaking to me."
*
"It is a side-effect of the link. Lieutenant Paris, is Chakotay innocent of the crime of depraved behavior?"
*
Paris nodded strongly. "Absolutely."
*
"Then he is innocent." Ganisat Prime said. "And this matter is resolved in accordance with Orolanian law. Captain Janeway, I fear the link will remain, but you still have two individuals to your crew, Captain and they will learn to deal with the link between them. I declare that this matter has been resolved and no further action need be taken."
*
* * * * *
*
A week later, their trade concluded, they were leaving Orolanian space. Janeway looked over at Chakotay. "Commander, I have been so busy, I haven't had time to ask how you and Paris are dealing with your mind-link. How strong is it?"
*
Chakotay smiled. "Watch Tom."
*
Janeway looked over at Paris sitting at his console. He jerked, wiggled, then burst out laughing. "Chakotay, stop that!" he shouted to the consternation of his comrades.
*
"What did you do?"
*
"Tickled him." Chakotay smiled. "He can't stop me, either." Then he shuddered, snickered. "Of course, he can get revenge. Okay, Tom, I give up!"
*
"Remember that's a game two can play, Commander." Tom said.
*
"Do you really need to speak out loud?"
*
"Not any more, but we have decided to keep it that way. At least in public."
*
"And in private?"
*
"Well, let's just say that it adds a whole new dimension to making love. After the crew has a chance to get used to us being together, we're going to get married." Chakotay shrugged. "We don't really have a choice any longer. We're too close for anything else."
*
"I wonder if that was Q's intention?"
*
"I know the Orolanians are glad we're leaving them behind because of Q's interest in us." Chakotay said. "And their last message to me mentioned it. They extend their deepest regrets for being the object of Q's interest. Seems he used to be interested in them, as well. Changed their entire culture before he was done."
*
And Janeway looked at her Executive Officer and Navigator with new eyes. The start of a new breed of humanity?
*
Then at once, for no apparent reason, Chakotay and Paris laughed aloud. That laugh reassured her a great deal.
*
Whatever their race may become some day, it would still be human.
*

THE END