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Return to Part Six of Hotel California - The Lure of The Blood

White Slavery

By the way the voices were fading in and out, Ruth thought at first she was dreaming. She wanted to wake up, would even think that she was, then be just as sure she wasn’t. The voices sounded familiar, but that had to be only because she kept hearing them in her dream/not-dream. There were two, one male, one female, the male polite yet condescending, the female both sultry and matter-of-fact. The sound would come close, then drift away, then move back until it was right in front of her. They hadn’t been talking about her before, but now she was certain they were.

“Antari,” the woman said, her voice sounding as if she were reading from some inventory list. “The only ones who travel off planet are Moon Priestesses.”

The man made a sound that was derisive. “I can fix that.”


“Yes, indeed.”

“Do so.”

She heard a hiss and a cool pain flooded her arms and legs. It almost brought her awake, but the voices moved on, while a voice very much like her own muttered from somewhere far away, “Check, one Ruth Valley, ex-keheil.”

Then she did wake, her body stiffening as a scream of alarm forced its way from her throat – not the usual wordless cry of her nightmares, but a panicked, inexplicable, “JILLA!

The voice that answered her was a dull monotone. “I am here.”

I can’t move!

“A police web,” came Sulu’s tight answer. His tone was calm enough, but she could hear the tension and anxiety beneath the words.

“Ruth, are you all right?” Kevin called. Jilla’s voice had come from right next to her, Sulu’s a little further away and Kevin’s further still. They seemed to be standing in a short line, their backs to a wall…no, a bulkhead. They were on a ship of some sort. She could hear the thrum of the engines and the air held the usual non-odor of artificial life-support. She couldn’t turn her head, only her peripheral vision giving her a glimpse of Jilla’s burgundy hair. All she could see in front of her was another line of people – three men and one woman – all naked save for a thin metal band at their throats, all held in police webs. When she realized she was also without clothing she swallowed hard, and felt the same band at her own throat. None of those opposite her raised their eyes to look at her.

“Where are we?” she asked.

It was Jilla who answered. “Can you not guess?” The hysteria that was just below the surface of the veneer of Vulcan calm was palpable.

“The hold of a slaver,” Sulu said in the same tone he would have used to acknowledge an order during a red alert when the ship was being shot out from under them.

“This leave just gets better and better,” she again heard her own voice say, and again it seemed far away from her.

“Can’t you do something?” Kevin called desperately.

Ruth took a deep breath, and the images of her dream returned, along with a terrible, empty, useless feeling. Her talents were locked inside her. Her attempts to access them sent fire into her long bones and made her lungs and heart labor – but that was all.

“No, I can’t,” she said from between clenched teeth. “They gave me something, Zehara knows what.”

“Shanghaied?” Kevin rasped incredulously. “This can’t be happening!”

“Bets?” Ruth answered, and her voice was wavering, tears starting in her eyes.

“It can, it is,” Sulu said grimly.

“And it’s best that you accept it with as little rebellion as possible,” a voice said. Ruth looked up at the prisoner who had spoken. “They’ll be here soon and you’ll be punished for talking out of turn.”

Ruth ignored him. “Roy, they injected me with something,” she said, trying desperately to keep her voice steady. “My telepathy, my empathy – everything is just… blocked. A drug or something. I can’t clear it. I can’t use any of it…” She heard the panic rising in her voice as she struggled in vain to turn toward him. “I’m scared….”

“It’s gonna be all right,” Spike,” he said with determination she knew he was willing himself to feel. “We’ll find some way out…”

“Are you crazy?” Kevin demanded. “How are you going to get us out of the hold of a slaver?!”

“Kevin, be still!” Jilla nearly shrieked, then inhaled sharply. Ruth could imagine the emotions building up inside the Indiian.

“Jilla, hon, try to calm down,” Sulu murmured soothingly. “We have to think, we have to…” He was interrupted by a horribly familiar voice.

“Six Terrans, an Antari female, an Indiian female. Not a bad haul.”

“Uhura?!” Sulu burst out in disbelief.

“I’ll check ‘em over, no problem,” another voice drawled.

Bones?!” Ruth cried.

Four people stepped into her line of sight, Uhura and McCoy in uniforms that weren’t Starfleet’s, and two other men: Captain Kirk and Commander Spock.

“Oh god, we’re still here!” Sulu groaned in near-panicked despair.

The images receded until Ruth was looking at them on the screen of the psycho-cin theater.

“But… we left!” Jilla said incredulously, and turned in her seat. “I know we did!”

“How can… damn it, how is this thing keeping us here!” Ruth demanded helplessly.

“Let’s just get the hell out now!” Kevin said vehemently.

They rose from their seats.

“The more you struggle, the tighter that net becomes,” Kirk commented indifferently as the four of them attempted to escape the restraints.

“Control, logic, this is not real, it is not happening,” Jilla began to repeat to herself. Her voice started out calm, but got louder and more frantic with each repetition.

“Logic from an Indiian. Fascinating.”

Jilla started to scream. She felt Sulu’s touch, trying to pull her into an embrace, but couldn’t stop staring at Spock’s richly amused eyes.

“Shit, is everything we say gonna be up there?” Kevin moaned.

“It can’t be, that wasn’t,” Ruth pointed out almost savagely.

“Jilla, honey, snap out of it!” Sulu begged.

“Shut that girl up, I’m tryin’ to conduct an examination,” McCoy snapped. Uhura reached for a device on her belt.

“No,” Kirk said. “Let her go. Let’s see what we’ve got to deal with here.”

“A wise suggestion, Captain,” Spock remarked.

Kirk grinned. “Thank you, Mr. Spock.”

Jilla’s scream had faded to hopeless sobbing and McCoy ran a scanner over Ruth, checking the readings on his tricorder.

“We’ve got a half-breed here, Captain,” he reported jovially.

“Hybrid, Doctor,” Spock said coldly. McCoy hid a sneer.

“She’s half Human,” he clarified.

“That’ll bring the price down,” Uhura commented.

“Wide hips, good for breeding,” McCoy was continuing, “and Antaris are supposed to be very fertile.”

Uhura smiled. “Back up again.”

“She doesn’t look half – hybrid,” McCoy mused. “We could neglect to mention…”

“No, Doctor. My merchandise is guaranteed,” Kirk said sternly. “I don’t deal in deception.”

“Damned hypocrite!” Ruth hissed, and Kirk smiled coldly, then slapped her.

“Ruth calm down!” Sulu hissed.

“Shanghaied, and he talks about decep…”

”Ruth, a cinema. Stop getting involved. We’re in the theater, all of us, damn it, we can’t get caught up in this!” He shook her roughly, then did the same to Kevin, then spoke urgently to Jilla. “Just watch, hon. Don’t involve yourself.” He glanced at Ruth and Kevin, including them. “It isn’t us, isn’t them, come on, we’ve got to help each other, keep each other here, not there!”

“Right, it isn’t real,” Ruth replied.

“A movie,” Kevin repeated. “Just a movie.”

“Jilla?” Sulu asked anxiously.

“Not – real,” she faltered.

McCoy turned to Jilla, repeating the scanning process. His eyebrows rose with the readings. “This one’s a little odd, Captain,” he said, and reached toward her hair, pushing it back.

“Don’t touch her!” Sulu hissed. McCoy regarded him in bored annoyance and continued. Kirk chuckled at the cold smile that touched Spock’s eyes.

“Thanks for the handle, honey,” Uhura said.

“Malformation of the ears,” McCoy continued. “See? Her body chemistry’s a little off the norm, too. I can’t place it.”

“Still, it’s not unattractive,” Kirk commented. “Shouldn’t affect the price. Run some tests on her to find out about that chemistry.”

Jilla cried “No!” involuntarily, and her glance at Spock didn’t go unnoticed. He returned it curiously and she closed her eyes with a sudden deep breath.

“I’ll order it done… shit!” McCoy snarled in disgust and grasped Jilla’s left wrist, turning it to expose her palm. “Just what we don’t need, a married Indiian.”

“Him?” Uhura asked with obvious delight, gesturing to Sulu. McCoy grabbed his left hand. Sulu swore at him.

“Nope,” the doctor chuckled.

“Interesting,” Spock commented.

“I’ll let you know right now, boy,” Uhura purred. “She’s unobtainable.” She laughed. “At least for now. Give us a few days, however….” Kirk’s laughter joined hers.

“The bitch doesn’t know everything, does she, Roy?” Ruth said sarcastically. This time it was Uhura who slapped her.

“Well, do we train her for a special price or do I get rid of that scar?” McCoy asked impatiently.

Sulu stiffened as Jilla’s eyes flew open in alarm.

“A trained, married Indiian would bring in as much as the Antari,” Uhura said.

“Quite an achievement for you, Captain,” Spock added. “Your reputation would hardly suffer.”

“And if the golden bitch is right, she’ll break easily enough,” Uhura rejoined.

Jilla whimpered.

Spock stepped forward, his hand gently turning her face up to him. “Is she, little one?” he asked.

“Damn it, leave her alone!” Sulu shouted hoarsely, and Jilla’s eyes filled with tears.

“But I’d have to prove her trained, and there’s a limited market for that prestigious an item,” Kirk said, ignoring Sulu. “We’d have her to support for a far longer period of time before we found a buyer, and that might cost us in the long run.” He thought for a moment more. “No, we’ll go with the easy sale. An Indiian will bring price enough.”

“As you say, sir,” Uhura sighed, clearly displeased but resigned to the captain’s decision.

“Goddamn them, I’ll kill them if they…!”

Sulu felt the slash of a hand across his face and blinked.

“Jilla,” Ruth ordered tersely as she turned to a trembling Kevin.

Jilla was clutching her left hand protectively, rocking back and forth, weeping silently. Sulu took a quick glance at the screen and got a glimpse of McCoy forcing Jilla’s hand open and holding some sort of medical laser over it. As gently as he could, he pried open Jilla’s fist.

“Jilla, baby, look. It’s still there. It always will be.”

Jilla gasped and he realized he was nearly crushing her wrist, holding it as McCoy did on the screen.

“Jilla, look!” he demanded. The realization that he was only proving to her that she was damned made it very hard to breathe. Then he heard her half-joyous, half-aching wail and she threw her arms around him.

“Why are they doing this to us!” Kevin was shouting. There was the sound of another slap, and Ruth’s angry explanation.

We’re doing it! As long as we let ourselves stay involved it’s gonna keep pulling out our fears and splattering then all over that damned screen! STAY OUT OF IT!”

Jilla sobbed helplessly as McCoy moved on to Sulu. The helmsman was trying to pierce the Indiian’s desolation with comforting words and McCoy regarded him disgustedly.

“Forget it, boy,” he advised. “A week from now she won’t be more than a vague memory.”

“A bad one at that,” Uhura added with a throaty chuckle.

“Fucking bitch,” Sulu muttered and accepted the sharp slap with glaring defiance.

Uhura looked sharply at Kirk, who shook his head. “Not yet,” he said. “They’ll learn soon enough.” He stepped in front of Kevin. “Spirit’s a valuable commodity, isn’t it, boy?” he asked with a charming, deadly cold smile.

Kevin glared but couldn’t match his anger against the cold expression – or Sulu’s clear defiance.. “We’re Starfleet personnel,” he managed. “You can’t get away with this.”

“On the contrary, boy,” Spock replied. “We can. We have.”

Kevin found it more difficult to meet Spock’s dark confidence. “Fleet will be looking for us,” he began, and it sounded weak, even to him.

“No, they won’t,” McCoy drawled. “Both in excellent condition,” he said to Kirk.

“Thank you, Doctor.” Kirk turned to Uhura and smiled broadly. “I believe there’s something you wish to demonstrate, Miss Uhura.” He made a gracious gesture. “If you will….”

Uhura smiled and stepped forward, pressing a button on a device as her belt. Ruth dropped to her knees, the web that had held her upright suddenly released. She was followed in quick succession by Jilla, Sulu and Kevin. She raised her head, her eyes blazing as Sulu pulled Jilla into his arms and Kevin started to crawl toward her.

“Stand up,” Uhura ordered.

“Go to hell,” Ruth and Sulu said in unison – then all four were choking, grasping the metal bands at their throats which were now glowing. Uhura waited, her finger poised over another button on the device. When the gasps of pain reached proper intensity, she depressed it, releasing them from the pain of the collars.

“The first rule here is obedience,” she said. “You’ll be punished for defiance, for hesitation, for non-compliance. You’ll do what is ordered, when it’s ordered, by any of your trainers. Is that understood?”

She was answered with silence and glares of defiance from black and violet eyes.

“No protests? Perhaps you’ll learn quicker than I expected.” Her finger hovered over the collars’ control, almost daring. Sulu didn’t disappoint her.

“Bitch!” he snarled. Sharp pain followed as soon as he said it. Jilla cried out and Ruth gasped, but it was in reaction to his sudden spasming. Uhura lifted her finger and the searing along his nerve endings stopped.

“You’ll be kept in the webs except for training, meals, and exercises,” she informed them. “You will eat what is given you or be fed intravenously. Our means of control cause no physical damage. You’ll reach the block in perfect condition, all of you.” She smiled coldly, then turned to Kirk. “Anything else, Captain?”

“I believe you’ve forgotten a small detail of the functioning of the collars,” Kirk replied with a grin.

“Perhaps it would be better if that demonstration were earned, Captain,” Spock suggested.

“Of course,” Kirk agreed. “Much more efficient that way, thank you, Mr. Spock.”

“We’re out of the damned web,” Ruth hissed. “Let’s get out of here or go down fighting!”

“We can’t!” Kevin nearly sobbed. “The collars…”

Sulu slapped him hard, then met Ruth’s eyes. “You’re right, but it’s this damned theater we have to get out of!”

She blinked, shuddered, then swallowed and nodded.

“We can’t do that, either!” Kevin snarled.

On the screen, they were hauled roughly to their feet, the web again taking its hold.


Jilla sobbed silently, tears streaking down her face as the slavers left them alone in their prison. If she could have, she would’ve crumbled to the deck in desolate grief, but she couldn’t even bow her head.

Ruth closed her eyes and tried not to think. The scar that Jilla had born so resolutely was gone. Ruth knew what it was doing to her friend; it was the ultimate in Indiian blasphemy, and the fact that it hadn’t been by Jilla’s wish or at all her fault would not matter, neither to Jilla and most certainly not to Aema. Her anger at the rigidity of Indiian belief combined with her own helplessness and she felt tears beginning in her own eyes. Her head was totally silent, she was alone for the first time in her life. No other minds, no contact with her Goddess or other telepaths, not even the whisper of other’s thoughts or emotions…empty, deaf, terribly frighteningly alone. She heard Sulu’s voice, rasping and choked with fury and grief, trying to penetrate Jilla’s shame with words of devotion and futile comfort.

“I’ll find a way out of this,” he promised her. “They won’t hurt you, I won’t let them. Baby, it doesn’t matter, Aema has to know that. Please Jilla, honey, I love you! I won’t let anything hurt you!”

Ruth sobbed. Zehara, where is someone to love me?

Sulu held onto Jilla, stroking her hair. “Come on, honey,” he murmured. “Stay out of it, stay here with me. I love you, baby, it’s still there. Fight it, Jilla. Stay with me.”

“Ruth,” Kevin whispered, “hold on, okay?”

Ruth blinked back the desolation and reached for Kevin’s arms. It wasn’t what she wanted, who she wanted. Kevin couldn’t ease the fear enough to keep her away from the pain, but she knew he needed her – and she couldn’t take Sulu from Jilla.

“Ruth, I love you,” Kevin murmured miserably. “I wish there was something else, anything else I could do…”

Shut up, just shut up!

“… I’m so sorry, it’s all my fault…”

“Kevin, no!” Sulu cut in. “Help her, be strong for her!”

“I can’t,” the navigator whispered. “I can’t.”

Sulu took a deep breath. “Come on, Spike, we can fight them. Don’t break, don’t let them break you!”

“I’m so alone!” Ruth wailed.

“No, you’re not! Ruth, you’re not alone! I’m here, Jilla’s here… I know you’re scared. So am I. But we can beat it. Damn it, I can’t touch you, but I’m here!

Sulu’s name came involuntarily from Ruth’s lips. She could sense how much that hurt Kevin, but she was being flooded by her own terror. Then she felt a hand gently pulling at her shoulder and she turned, meeting aching black eyes, and threw herself into Sulu’s embrace, shaking against one shoulder as Jilla clung to his other. She felt his lips moving through her hair, his words of comfort echoing those that whispered in her mind as she clung to both him and Jilla in sobbing desperation.

“Kevin, get your ass over here!” Sulu snapped. “Help her!”

There was no answer from the Irishman, but he moved hesitantly toward them, only joining the despairing huddle when Sulu grabbed his arm and pulled him in.


None of them knew how much time had passed when they heard the door open and footsteps coming toward them. When Spock came into their line of sight, all of them swallowed.

His eyes swept coldly over them. Kevin refused to look anywhere but at the deck. Jilla recoiled after seeing the flicker of interest in the Vulcan’s gaze. Ruth and Sulu showed only determined defiance – defiance that he measured with professional curiosity. Finally, he spoke.

“I will tell you this now so as to avoid any misunderstanding in the future,” he said. “I give an order only once.”

“Good, we’ll only have to disobey it once,” Sulu muttered, but the words caught in his throat with a gasp of pain.

“Fools should keep silent,” the Vulcan stated calmly, releasing the collar’s power. He turned and walked out of their sight. After a few moments, Ruth suddenly fell to her knees with the release of the police web.

“Antari, come here,” Spock ordered.

Ruth got slowly to her feet, but didn’t move toward him. “No.” she said. Almost immediately the pain began and she grasped at her throat. She couldn’t even count the seconds, but when it stopped, she collapsed, gasping. When she got her breath back, she tried again to rise, but she still didn’t move to him – and the pain began again

“Ruth, obey him!” Kevin hissed.

“Fight it!” Sulu countered viciously. Ruth nodded mutely.

The third time the pain lasted much longer and her throat was raw from the shrieks that were torn from it. After the fourth time, she didn’t even try to get up – but she crawled slowly toward the Vulcan.

The pen in which they’d been held widened out just beyond the row of webs. It wasn’t a large area, and there were no furnishings save a small platform in the middle, covered with what looked like a thin mattress. Spock knelt on it, as naked as she was save for an arm band that held the controls for the collar and webbing.

“No,” she nearly moaned, and started backing away. The pain stopped her. His voice was calm, and she knew it carried clearly to the other prisoners.

“You will arouse me. You will serve me, and you will use all your skills to satisfy me. I will by this judge how you need to be trained.”

Ruth gaped at him, not only at the words but at his complete confidence in being obeyed. She heard Sulu’s, “Don’t touch her, you damned Vulcan bastard!” then the choked off shriek and Jilla’s cry as Spock activated the helmsman’s collar.

“Oh god, oh god…” Ruth moaned.

“Stay out of it!” Sulu shouted.

“How can she?” Jilla sobbed. “She has wanted him for…”

“Shut up!” Kevin hissed.

For them, Ruth told herself. I’m doing it for them, so he won’t hurt them, too. She took a deep breath and crawled humbly to him. He watched her dispassionately as she rose to her knees. She blinked back tears, then hesitantly reached for him, gliding trembling fingers across his chest and up his throat to the ears she knew would be exquisitely sensitive.

They didn’t watch. They couldn’t. But the sounds were bad enough, and when, on the screen, Ruth began sobbing, “Please, I don’t know what you want, I’ve never had a Vulcan! I’m trying, I am!” Sulu glanced up at it. There, Ruth was writhing against the unresponsive Vulcan. The barest hint of a smile played on Spock’s lips.

“Goddamn son of a bitch, you’re afraid to let it work!” Sulu shouted. “She obeyed you and you’re not man enough to…”

Jilla clamped her hand over his mouth.

Spock reached for the controls on his arm and Sulu quickly looked away, only to jerk his gaze back when Ruth gasped, cries that were not of pain being torn from her. She was arched against him, her head thrown back, her eyes closed in the expression of orgasmic pleasure Sulu had once been so familiar with.

Ruth spasmed, and slumped against the Vulcan. She was covered in sweat, shuddering with near-convulsive ecstasy yet Spock hadn’t touched her. His physical control had kept him from responding to all her efforts and she was mortified – yet he hadn’t punished her, at least not with pain. She dared to look at him, and he inclined his head, his voice the cool and amused.

“The collar has settings for both pain and pleasure,” he told her. “When you are obedient, you are rewarded. Go back to your place.”

The rapidity with which she scurried back to the web next to Jilla was the final humiliation.


They had no sense of how long they had been imprisoned, but Sulu thought it hadn’t yet been twenty-four hours. They’d been fed once, a long table with trays of food pushed in front of them, their webs partially deactivated to allow them use of their arms and upper bodies to feed themselves. Kevin had eaten slowly but without prompting. Ruth stubbornly refused until the collar forced her to. Jilla simply ignored her tray, her head bowed listlessly.

“Jilla, hon, eat,” Sulu encouraged softly. “You need to keep up your strength.” She shook her head and Sulu reached out to her.

“They’ll force you anyway,” he murmured, stroking her face with the back of his hand. “Don’t give them reason to…”

“No fraternizing,” Uhura snapped and Sulu choked on the brief burst of pain from his collar.

He glared at the dark-skinned lieutenant. “I was only trying to get her to eat,” he snarled.

“Collaboration,” she returned with a malicious smile. “I never would have expected that so soon.”

Sulu felt Ruth’s suddenly furious glance and closed his eyes.

“Indiian, pick up your utensil,” the lieutenant ordered. Numbly, Jilla did so. “Bring the food to your mouth.” Again, Jilla complied. “Chew, and swallow.” When that order, too, was obeyed, Uhura turned back to Sulu. “It happens with Indiians sometimes,” she said off-handedly. “They just shut down. It actually makes the training easier on them.” She returned her attention to Jilla and issued a final command. "Repeat until all your food has been consumed." Then she shrugged and walked away.

Sulu stared in sickened horror as Jilla mechanically finished the food before her.

“Jilla?” he whispered. He got no response. “Jilla, please!” Still nothing. He took a deep breath, damned himself, then said, “Indiian, look at me!”

Her head turned. Her face was pale, devoid of its usual soft shimmer, her eyes dull and lifeless. The sight tore at his heart, but he steeled himself. “Celletyea, tu haranyosh asim,” he stated. I love you, and you belong to me.

Something flickered in her eyes and she took a breath, whispering, “Asi, i Roshé.”

Yes, my lord.

“What are you doing?!” Ruth gasped.

“Saving her sanity,” Sulu replied.

“You’d really make her your slave?”

“Better mine than theirs.”


“You two,” Uhura said, pointing at Kevin and Sulu. “Come.”

The webs were released and Sulu managed not to fall to his knees by locking them as soon as the power was switched off. Kevin did fall, and was slowly getting to his feet before Uhura spoke again.

“The captain wants to see if you’re fit for the gladiatorial ring,” she said. “You’ll begin with wrestling, then progress to weapons combat. Is that understood?”

“I won’t fight him,” Sulu stated. He was expecting the sharp agony from the collar and steeled himself to endure it. The first gasp was the only sound that escaped him, though he fell to his knees. When it let up, he inhaled deeply, then said, “And I can’t fight under that kind of punishment anyway.”

“Well, aren’t you the clever one,” Uhura sneered. She snapped her fingers and one of the two guards who had accompanied her handed her something that looked like a long, thin wand. She smiled and touched it to Sulu’s shoulder. It send a much more localized flare of agony into him.

“This won’t incapacitate you, but I think you’ll find it just as effective,” she told him. She stepped back. “Bring them,” she said to the guards, and he and Kevin were hauled to the open room that was beyond the sight of the other prisoners. The mattress had been replaced by a padded wrestling mat. They were thrown onto it.

“Take your stances,” Uhura ordered.

“Let’s just do it and get it over with,” Kevin muttered.

Gritting his teeth, Sulu nodded.

“Engage,” Uhura said.

They grappled half-heartedly, more of a shoving match than any real wrestling. After only a few minutes Uhura began to use the wand liberally, both men jerking and flinching where its power touched them.

“You’re Starfleet,” she mocked. “Don’t they train any better than that?”

“We’ve gotta make this real,” Sulu whispered. “Do you go down or do I?”

“You’re better than I am,” Kevin answered in short grunts. “If they have us fight the guards…”

Sulu nodded, and with a few showy but uncomplicated moves, pinned Kevin to the mat.

“Pitiful,” Uhura sighed, and activated the collars. When the two stopped writhing, she said, “Again, and this time show me what you can really do.”

“Damn it!” Sulu growled.

“Just do it,” Kevin returned.

The second bout was longer and more difficult, but Sulu eventually threw Kevin flat on his back.

“Better,” Uhura said approvingly. “Once more, and just to make sure you’re giving it your all, whoever loses will receive a full minute under the collar.”

Kevin’s eyes went wide and he gulped. Sulu set his jaw. They fought again, and this time, Sulu let Kevin have the edge, though he did his best not to make it obvious. When he was pinned, he held his breath, waiting. Kevin sat up, the relief warring with gratitude and sympathy in his eyes – only to be replaced by shock when the pain his him full force.

“He won!” Sulu cried, automatically grasping at the Irishman’s flailing body. “You said…!”

“You let him win,” Uhura replied. “Do you think I’m too stupid to see it?”

Sulu snarled helplessly, his eyes filling with frustrated tears as Kevin writhed before him. When the punishment stopped, the navigator lay on the mat, gasping weakly.

“Now, you’ll do it again,” Uhura stated, “and you’ll both fight to win, because if you don’t, your pretty companions over there will be punished. And the stakes this time are a full minute for the Antari if you lose, Irish, and a full minute for the Indiian if Mr. Clever does.” She smiled again.

“You fucking bitch!” Sulu seethed, his words cut off by a burst of pain as Uhura touched the wand to his solar plexus.

“Take your places, gentlemen,” she said.

“I’m sorry, Kev,” Sulu growled.

Kevin’s eyes were determined. “So am I,” he returned.

The fight went on for a long time. Both were grunting and sweating, Sulu’s fast reflexes making up for Kevin’s advantage in height. They each had the kind of strength that could be called wiry, each employing every trick and ploy they knew. Uhura was clearly delighted, and she used the wand at critical moment to prolong the match. Eventually, she hit Sulu just behind the knee as he was preparing to pin Kevin and his leg collapsed, allowing the navigator to throw him to his side on the mat. Kevin immediately leapt on him in agonized triumph.

“Hold!” Uhura called. “Match to Irish!”

“NO!” Sulu screamed “That wasn’t fair, you…!” Pain flooded his senses as she activated his collar. When it ceased, Uhura was laughing.

“You’re absolutely right,” she said. “I’ll call it a draw, then.” She depressed buttons on her belt and Ruth and Jilla started shrieking.

Both Sulu and Kevin lunged at her, knocking her to the deck. The guards grabbed them both, one picking up the painstick she’d dropped, using it to force them off of the lieutenant. Her dark eyes were angry as she activated their collars. They both passed out before the agony ended.


“Indiian, come.”

Sulu cried, “NO!”, the word cut off with the expected pain.

Kirk smiled at him. “I know how you feel, boy,” the captain said, “but business is business.”

The helmsman watched helplessly as Jilla moved from her place, standing with her head bowed before Kirk.

“Uhura tells me you’re in overload,” Kirk said, brushing back the rich fall of burgundy hair. “That’s a terrible thing, isn’t it. I’ll bet you really want to feel again, don’t you?”

“No, she doesn’t,” Ruth snapped.

Kirk made a gesture, and one of the guards with him touched a painstick between the Antari’s breasts. “No one was talking to you, angel,” he said mildly. His attention returned to Jilla.

“Now I know you’d feel the collar,” he went on, “but that’s not going to convince a customer to give me the price I know you merit. You won’t learn to crave sensation if that sensation is pain.”

Ruth gasped. “Oh god,” Kevin moaned, shivering.

“You bastard…” Sulu began, and the pain of the collar again stopped his words.

“No one wants to hurt you,” the captain murmured. “Any of you.” He chuckled. “Except maybe Uhura, but that’s just her nature.” He shook his head wryly. “Now, little Indiian, you’re going to come with me and we’ll see if we can’t awaken your emotions, hmm?”

“Please, no, please,” Sulu rasped. “She can’t, you don’t understand…”

“I think I do, boy,” Kirk returned. “It’s why we got rid of that ugly scar, after all.”

“She belongs to me!” Sulu hissed desperately.

Kirk’s eyebrows rose. “Does she? Does she really?” He gazed again at Jilla. “Do you belong to him, little one?”

Ton tu asim haranyos Roshe,” she murmured tonelessly.

“What did she say?”

“What do you think she…” Ruth spat and the painstick hit her just below the navel.

“Did she say she belongs to you, boy?” Kirk asked Sulu.

The helmsman almost smiled. “Yes.”

“A pity. We’ll have to break her from both you and her vows then.”

“No - !” Again Sulu’s protest was cut off. He grit his teeth. “Captain, you’ll destroy her. She won’t be of any value to you. Whatever you want from her, I’ll do. Sell us together and I can…”

“You can what?” Kirk interrupted. “Guarantee she’ll please her master, whoever that turns out to be?”

Sulu swallowed heavily. “If I have to.”

ROY!” Ruth cried, pulling away from the embrace the four of them had been sharing for what seemed like forever. “What the fucking hell are you SAYING?!”

“Anything and everything I can to protect her!” Sulu returned savagely.

“You’re really gonna trick her out this time?” Kevin snarled.

With a cry of rage, Sulu jumped on the Irishman, pummeling his face with blind fury.

“STOP IT!” Jilla screamed. She was glowing like a beacon, her eyes wild. “I do what I must, I always have, I always will… Aema sumin tu, asim telmnori, telmnori…!”

She collapsed in Ruth’s arms, and Sulu pushed away from Kevin, holding tightly to her back, sobbing and trembling right along with her.

“I am afraid to die!” the Indiian whispered hoarsely. “Forgive me, I am afraid to die…”


Jilla walked slowly behind the captain, hearing but not listening to Sulu and Ruth’s shouts of rage and desperation. Kirk had laughed at Sulu’s final assertion, then had crooked a summoning finger at her as he moved toward the training room. She was numb, even as a part of her remembered the climax Spock had forced on Ruth, even knowing the captain was all too likely to do the same to her. It didn’t matter; it couldn’t matter. She was damned, there was no escape from her nature. Her blood would respond – and it didn’t matter.

She stood, waiting as Kirk removed his clothing. When he beckoned to her, she moved silently to him and knelt before him. He tilted her chin up. “Look at me,” he said.

She did.

“This passivity isn’t going to change anything, you know,” he said.

She nodded.

“It will be easier for you if you allow your senses to rule you.”

“I cannot,” she whispered.

“Why make me force you, little one?”

“I am damned, I am a Beggar. I will respond, but I cannot…” She gasped as a rush of pleasure flooded her senses.

“Doesn’t that feel good?” Kirk whispered, his hands caressing her.

She fell into the touch, moaning softly. He laid her down on the mattress, cupping one full breast, pinching her nipple. The storm of ecstasy left her, leaving only the sharp sensation of his hand.

“Feel it, little one,” he crooned. “Let yourself go.”

The wave began again and she writhed, her back arching.

“You know how this is going to end,” Kirk told her, again stopping the overwhelming pleasure. “I can condition you far too easily.”

She knew it was the truth, yet she still couldn’t bring herself to respond.

“There are those who won’t care about your pleasure, Indiian. They’ll use the collar to make you compliant, but they won’t let it last. They won’t please you unless you can please them.”

“I cannot…” she sobbed. Desire again filled her.

“I can leave it on,” the captain murmured, “but at the lowest setting. It won’t give you release, little one. You’ll burn like this for the rest of your life, never knowing anything more than mindless response. You’ll beg for any touch, but your body won’t bring you satisfaction. Is that what you want?”

“I can’t…” Jilla gasped. “I can’t…!”

“Do I have to threaten the one who claims you as his own? Do I have to torment him to get you to obey me?”

Her eyes flew open. “No… please…!” Her body collapsed with helpless fear as the collar was again deactivated.

“Then respond to me, Indiian. Show me the hedonism you’re capable of.”

Jilla wept, hopeless despair tearing at her soul. Her body was trembling as she took a ragged breath and reached for him.

Jilla wept, not responding to either Ruth’s comfort or Sulu’s. She turned her face away form them, trying to curl in on herself, away from their embrace.

“It’s not real,” Sulu moaned. “God, Jilla, it’s not real…”

“She can’t take this,” Ruth sobbed. “Roy, what are we gonna do?”

Sulu took a deep breath and touched Jilla’s tangled hair. “I forgive you, honey,” he whispered. “It’s all right, I forgive you.”


“I forgive you,” Sulu whispered hoarsely as Jilla returned to her place beside him.

“But she won’t forgive herself,” Ruth said, and wept.


The days passed in a blur of torment and despair. The combination, skillfully used, of pain and ecstasy wore them down, making them compliant and docile. Eventually the webs were no longer necessary, and they were allowed to sleep in individual cells. Sulu and Kevin were forced to service Uhura and other female prisoners, then were made to do likewise with the males. Ruth and Jilla were used as both sexual slaves and performance, made to touch and arouse each other while the crew watched with laughing excitement. Ruth served both Spock and Captain Kirk, Jilla likewise, the Vulcan seeming to take a special delight in her.

There was no more commentary or reaction from them in the theater, each caught up in their own private hells. Nor was there any indication that the psycho-cin management objected to the blatant pornography on the screen.


The auction theater was a dimly lit room, only the stage itself ablaze with light. They were made to kneel on that stage, rising to turn and be examined with only the barest nudge from the painsticks. There were faces in the crowd of potential buyers that they should have recognized, but didn’t, save for the vague sense of shame and humiliation: Jeremy Paget, Lane Gage, Noel DelMonde, Loki Monolem, Monique DuBois , Daffy Gollub – and Ruis Calvario. When the actual auction began, however, there was one outrageous bid that dwarfed all others, and Kirk quickly jumped on it.

“Sold!” he cried as soon as it was offered, and the four glanced up in dulled curiosity – to meet a smirking Klingon face.


Go to Part Eight of Hotel California - Klingons!

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