Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I own nothing. Paramount, et al. own all. I really wish they would let me borrow Spock for a while though.
Genre: Angst, Drama, Erotica, Hurt/Comfort
Word Count (Chapter Twenty-Eight): 3191
Warnings: Language, explicit and non-explicit sexual situations, slight dub!con, rape, violence, minor Fem!slash, torture.
Summary: Alternate Mirror Universe. He wants to protect me; I want that protection, need it, in fact. But I am willing to betray him if and when the time comes. We are not working together. I know my goals. But what are his?
The Scarcity of Hope in Torment
They take me to the Wall. Parade me down the street, my arms tight in their hands, squeezing. I can’t escape. My body shivers in the cool early morning weather. I’m uncovered, my body exposed to the curious eyes of leering men. In front of me, Admiral Barnett and Captain Pike march. And Commander Spock—I don’t know where he is. I don’t care. I don’t want to see him. We pass the hanging body. My mind screams for Gaila. For all of them. Through the gates and into the giant building. No windows. My coffin.
I won’t be leaving this place alive.
No one does.
I’m dragged into a room in the basement. I don’t fight. What’s the point? There is no point. My heart drops. And they pull me into the center of the room, grab my wrists and pull them above my head, securing them with the chains hanging from the ceiling. I am left dangling, my toes barely finding purchase on the floor beneath.
And then they leave me there.
I’m too terrified, too broken to cry anymore. This is my prison. I will die. I will not escape. I was never going to escape. The Commander had no intentions of helping me, of saving me. I see that now. I understand that now. The Empire is far too entrenched in him for him to risk his life for mine. He was biding his time, waiting for the best moment to make his move.
This is the same room where he killed Gaila. I remember it. I remember it clearly. I was in his mind, we were one. He showed me his memories of this place, showed me Gaila, his father. I’m here now. I’m next. Was I always next? Or did I get bumped to the top of the list the second I slid that knife into the Emperor’s gut?
He got what he deserved.
My wrists hurt. The chains dig into my skin. I try to raise my body higher, standing on my toes, to lessen the pressure. My foot slides on the slick cold floor underneath me and I stumble, falling. But the chains catch me, jerking my shoulders, cutting into my skin, and I cry out, gasping. My lungs struggle for air, struggle against the pressure.
I can’t breathe.
I gave myself to him, willingly—he knew what happened to me, what my parents did, the Admiral, Robau; he knew, he knew it all—I let him inside. Inside my body. My mind. My h—
How long will I be left here? Will I suffocate to death, my body struggling against my bonds, my lungs seizing with each difficult breath?
Should I have killed him instead?
My eyes close.
The door slides open, a loud hum and groan as it slides across the grooves in the ceiling and floor, echoing against the metal walls. A sense of finality.
I open my eyes and gasp. My lungs burn already. They’ve been burning. I don’t know how much longer I can take the strain.
How do people last so long? I’ve been here for only a few hours and already my arms ache, my lungs burn.
Admiral Barnett and Captain Pike enter. And Commander Spock.
He’s dressed in his uniform. It’s finely pressed, cleaned. His hair is once again pristine—he’s had a haircut, the traditional Vulcan style; when did he have time for a haircut; how long have I been here? The wound on his lip, where that soldier struck him with the rifle, is closed, clean, almost healed, in fact. His eyes stare straight forward, outside a face of complete blankness, complete Vulcanity. He won’t look at me.
I feel tears burn. But I don’t call his name. It won’t matter. I don’t matter to him. I realize that now. It was a farce. Of course it was a farce, I know that. God, don’t I know that. I was only allowing him inside because I needed his protection. A heavy painful weight settles in my chest, crushing my lungs. It hurts to breath.
The Commander glances at the men beside him. They say nothing and so he steps forward, and approaches me, retrieving a scanner device from a nearby table. The device rests beside a knife, a larger knife, pliers, forceps, an agonizer, a gag. Oh, God. My breathing, already taxed, becomes more difficult. I think I might hyperventilate. The Commander bends and grabs my foot, the one that bears that wretched barcode tattoo that I struggle to ignore every day. I cry out. I don’t want him to touch me. Not anymore. I try to pull my foot away from his grasp, but he tightens his fingers around my ankle and brings that device to the tattoo. It beeps, announcing that it read the lines of the barcode. And Spock releases me and moves away, his gaze on the device. He places it on a nearby table and grabs a PADD. He presses several buttons, spends several minutes reading through files on the thing. Then he types in more information. He walks to Admiral Barnett and hands him the PADD.
I’m cold. I want clothes. I want something. I shiver, quiver, tremble. I can’t stop. I feel the prickly goose bumps on my flesh, the hairs on my skin standing up. I’m chained inside this room without anything to wear and these men stare at me. There’s no compassion, no concern. I don’t deserve clothing.
My eyes follow the Commander. He returns to his previous position, hands behind his back, eyes straight ahead.
I hate him.
The Admiral takes the device from him and reads it. When he’s finished, he looks at me. “Well, Miss Nyota Uhura, it appears you’ve acquired quite the rap sheet.” He walks closer to me, waves the PADD in my face. “Violation of the contract between your parents and Admiral Fredericks.”—That was his name? The first man to take everything from me, my innocence, my hope…I never knew his name; it doesn’t bring me any comfort, though—“The subsequent murder of Admiral Fredericks. Ah, we’ve been looking for his murderer—he was a respected admiral, greatly missed. Impersonating a cadet of Starfleet. Enrolling into Starfleet despite your sex, conspiracy to commit treason, treason. And, of course, the assassination of Emperor Archer. And the murder of Richard Robau, a well-respected philanthropist and friend of the Emperor and his family.”
My eyes dart from Barnett to Sp—to the Commander, but he still won’t look at me. Why won’t he look at me? Guilt?
My eyes dart away from him. Across the room, in the corner, there’s a large cylindrical device. An agony booth. I remember those things. I’ve seen them. I’ve been inside. We all have. Part of training here at the Academy. They need to make sure you’d be able to survive intense attempted information extractions, in case you were captured by the enemy. Or something like that. Torture, more like. There’s been talk within the Academy and Headquarters whether or not they should be implemented as a means of discipline to keep officers and soldiers in line.
I know that if I was faced with the prospect of being forced into that machine, I’d behave.
Admiral Barnett stops in front of me, blocking my view of the booth. That’s right. I need to focus on this right now. “Now, do you understand the seriousness of your crimes, Miss Uhura?”
I nod. There’s nothing else I can do. It would be stupid to do otherwise. Yes, I know my crimes. I know I committed them. I know why I did them. They deserved it.
The door opens behind the men and two soldiers, one holding a bucket, enter. They move around Pike, Spock and Barnett to stand behind me. Spock looks at them, his eyes widening slightly. The first reaction I’ve seen from him since he entered this torture chamber. But otherwise, he does nothing. I can hear the men moving around behind, the clanging of metal on metal. I shiver, fear coursing through me.
Barnett steps closer to me. “Good for you. Now, those of us in here aren’t monsters, Nyota. We don’t want to hurt you anymore than necessary. So, we need you to help us and tell us what we want to know.”
I swallow the lump in my throat. My throat’s dry, my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth. I can’t say anything, even if I wanted to—I don’t; what can I say when I’m guilty? My heart pounds in my chest, sweat covers my body. This is true fear. I’m terrified. He speaks so calmly, so surely. His voice is gentle, kind. And that makes it all the more terrorizing.
Barnett steps to the side. And I am doused in ice cold water. I scream. Thousands of tiny frost-tipped needles prick the skin on my back. I shiver, my muscles convulse. Behind me, the sound of a bucket being placed on the ground, scraping.
The Admiral stands in front of me once more. “I don’t know who told you, but assassinating the Emperor doesn’t change anything for your Rebel friends. The new one is currently being installed. The Empire will continue as it always has, powerful, invincible. So, I need you to tell me, Miss Uhura, who was the one who ordered you to kill the Emperor?”
Should I tell him? Would it make a difference? Robau has betrayed me, I killed him. Should I do the same for him? Would it make me a better person if I remain silent, if I protect him, his name for the cause? Or will it make me a stupid naive person? My eyes dart to the men in front of me: Barnett, Pike, then finally resting on Spock. He still won’t look at me.
“N-no one ordered me, sir. I did it on my own.”
A whistle. A snap.
The lash slices through the skin on my back. I scream, tears burning my eyes. My breaths catch in my throat. Something warm trickles down my back. Blood. My eyes feverishly search for Spock. He’s not looking at me; his eyes are closed, his head turned slightly downward. How dare he remain still, silent. What difference does it make? He’s one of them. He doesn’t care.
Barnett moves to stand in front of me, blocking my view. “Now, we both know that’s not true, don’t we? The careful planning, positioning. No woman could have done it. So, tell me, who is your leader?”
I don’t know what I’m supposed to say. I don’t know if I should name Robau. What good would that do? He can’t defend himself. I killed him. Do I give him up? Would they believe me? Why is the Admiral questioning me? I thought this was the Commander’s job. “It was me, sir.”
The whip slices my back again. And, again, I scream. I can’t—I’m unable to hold it in. My legs twitch and I lose my footing. The shackles prevent me from falling—the chains tense above my head—but they dig in. How? How long can I do this? Why can’t they just kill me now? I just want to crawl away, curl up, hide.
The Admiral steps in front of me and bends forward, placing his face within inches of mine. “Now, Miss Uhura, you’re making me look like a hypocrite. We don’t want to hurt you—”
“We just want to hear you scream a little.”
Barnett jerks his head back. “That’s enough, Captain.” He turns back to me. “We don’t like hurting people.” God, how can he lie like that? Has he not seen the bodies hanging outside this building? Has he not seen the broken faces of the women, of the alien races the Empire has conquered? Is he so blind to our suffering? His gaze drops down to my nude body. “You are a very beautiful woman, Nyota. One I wouldn’t mind making mine. You don’t have to suffer through this. I could take you away, make you my wife.” He cups my cheek with a hand.
I close my eyes—I don’t want to look at him. I want to pull away. I want to hit him. How can he lie to me so effortlessly? Does he think I would believe him? Does he think I would want to be his? Even if I did, I couldn’t be. I’m a criminal. I won’t leave this room alive.
He takes a step back; his hands fall away from my face.
My body arches, desperate to get away from the agony, and I cry out.
“Tell me, Nyota. Who ordered you to do this? I know you didn’t do this on your own. There’s no way you could have planned this on your own. So, save everyone the trouble and just name your co-conspirators.”
I shake my head.
The whip snaps again.
“You don’t have to suffer like this. If you tell us, tell us who you’re working with, who gave you the order to kill the Emperor, we can work something out.”
There’s a part of me that wants to believe him. My head drops to my chest. I want this to stop. How can anyone last during this? How did Sarek survive years and years of this?
How could he do this to me?
Nufau au sochya yi dungi ma tu sochya. I remember those words etched into the floorboards of the Admiral’s bedroom — of my prison cell. But I guess he has a name now. What was it? Franklin? No. Fredericks. My finger traced those words over and over and over. I wanted someone to save me from that place. I wanted my parents, my knight in shining armor to burst through the door and save me. They didn’t. No one did.
I had to save myself.
I wanted to believe that Robau was my savior. I wanted to believe the Commander was my tarnished hero.
No. You can’t trust anyone.
I don’t want to fight anymore. I just want to sleep. I just want—
God. I don’t know.
Nufau au sochya yi dungi ma tu sochya. Offer them peace. Then you shall have peace. Peace. I want peace. I’m so tired. So tired of fighting them. Fighting everything. I just want to forget it all. If I—can I ever just forget it all?
“Robau.” His name spills from my lips. I can’t stop it. I don’t think I want to stop it.
Barnett steps closer to me, close to my face. “What was that, sweetheart? I didn’t quite catch it.”
I close my eyes. “It was Robau. He told me to do it.”
He steps back and laughs. It’s loud, piercing. It hurts my ears.
Another lash. Another scream. My legs fold and I hang by wrists. I can’t fight it anymore. I’m going to die.
Barnett still laughs. Pike joins him.
“Nyota. I asked for your co-conspirators. And—”
“It was Robau. He ordered me. It was always him.”
“You’re lying, sweetheart.”
I shake my head. It’s so hard to breath. My wrists hurt. My back sears. My heart aches.
“How inconvenient for you, isn’t it? The man who told you to assassinate the Emperor lying dead in a pool of his own blood in the exact same room. Both killed by the same knife. By the same person.”
“It was him. It was him.” It becomes my mantra. It was him. It was always him.
“Convenient how he can’t defend himself, isn’t it?”
The whip snaps again. I scream. My throat is harsh. My eyes dart around the room, falling on the faces of each of the men. Barnett, Pike: they’re relishing in this. They’re getting off on this. The Commander, he still won’t look at me. He still stares ahead. Fuck him. The pain ebbs. “It was Robau. It was him. Him.” Over and over.
“See, do you want to know my problem with this? Richard Robau has given much to the Empire, to the Emperor. Great friends with him, in fact. Why would he want to have him killed? And why would he order a woman, a whore to do it?” The Admiral’s words mock me.
Robau had been lying to me from the beginning. I was always a sacrificial lamb being raised for slaughter. Me. And the other women at the hideout. We didn’t mean anything to him. A means to an end. Use us to bring down the Emperor, the Empire, then slip in and enjoy the spoils himself. Crown himself, even. He just never counted on me killing him.
Will it ever end?
Another lash. My throat aches. Tears fall. I don’t care. I don’t care because it doesn’t matter.
Movement in front of me catches my eyes. I look up. The Commander moves to the door, his back turned to me. No. He’s not allowed to leave. He sent me here. He can’t run away from his actions.
“You haven’t been dismissed, Lieutenant Commander.” Pike’s voice is gruff.
Lieutenant Commander? Since when? Why?
The Vulcan halts his steps but remains facing the door. His shoulders straight. “Permission to leave, sir?”
Pike wave his hand off-handedly. “Denied.”
The Commander stiffens; Pike smiles. “Relax, Spock. And enjoy the show. It’s just getting started.” He faces me and crosses his arms.
“With all due respect, sir, I feel my time would be better spent gathering the required evidence for the tribunal.”
“Turn and watch, Spock,” Barnett says.
He doesn’t move.
“That’s an order, Spock.”
Pike laughs. And the Admiral turns his attention back to me. Barnett asks me again and I give him the same answer because I have no other answer to give. The whip hits me again, ripping a scream from my body.
I cry out. All I feel is pain. It’s so encompassing, so overwhelming. Everything—I’m not supposed to be here. He said he would keep my secret. Why didn’t he? Why am I here? He was going to help me escape. “Tu ugua-tor nash-veh. Tu var-tor nash-veh tu var-tor au ri, kuv nash-veh tor ra tu taitlun. Ra riyeht tor nash-veh kugau?” (1) The words pour from my lips. I can’t hold them back.
Slowly, the Commander turns to look at me. His eyes land on mine and I struggle to maintain contact. Tell me. Tell me, you fucking bastard. I have a right to know. I have the right to know why I’m here because of him. Why did he do that?
“What the hell did she just say?” Pike asks.
“Nothing.” The Commander drops his gaze from mine, looking at his captain. “Nothing, sir. She said nothing of importance.”
A whimper escapes my lips, choked.
Pike laughs. “Well, think of it this way, Spock. The little slut is finally getting what was coming to her. She’s been making you soft. It was becoming an embarrassment.”
I can’t look at him. The tears blur my eyes.
The whip hits me again.
(1) You promised me. You said you wouldn’t tell them if I did what you wanted. What did I do wrong?