My Faith in You Part 1 of 4 K/U, S/U [R] Non-con
Image blend courtesy of Trek BBS and Trekcore
Disclaimer: Paramount owns Star Trek. I own only the stories my Muse gives me
Summary: A dark turn in Uhura's life and the lengths Kirk goes to in order to fulfill a promise.
The Enterprise approached Bengali Station slow and easy. Their mission was humanitarian-delivery of desperately needed medical supplies for an epidemic somewhere in the Bractian Confederation. The fact that they must transfer the medicine to an independent transport for final delivery was not lost upon the Starfleet crew.
The Confederation had no problem taking Federation aid, so long as the Federation stayed out of their space. Bengali Station was a border point between the two powers, a place to exchange goods, services, news, diplomats, and rumors. Starfleet saw the aid as beneficial in a multitude of ways: aid to the sick, proof of their compassion and respect of planetary sovereignty, and a way to observe the comings and goings of certain species known to have issue with the Federation.
Sulu had to cruise in at one-quarter impulse in order not to panic the skittish locals. The starship was clearly the largest vessel in port, yet the station itself dwarfed it.
"Captain, station advising we are clear for perimeter three orbit." Uhura reported to Kirk.
The Enterprise would not actually dock with the station, even though she could do so, docking left her vulnerable, and Kirk had no intention of allowing that. No, Enterprise would orbit Bengali and transport the supplies directly into the hold of the waiting Ramori ship. Most cargo vessels did not have the luxury of so much power; they had to dock in order to transfer their goods.
"Thank you, Lieutenant." Kirk smiled over his shoulder. His demeanor didn't change, but there was a lilt in his voice that wasn't there before.
"Acknowledge orbit to Central and contact the Ramorian vessel we are ready to transport when they are. Mister Sulu, park us into orbit."
"Aye sir." Both officers answered and quickly followed their directives.
"Ramorian ship Takut, acknowledges they are ready to receive and are transmitting their coordinates now, Captain." Uhura shunted the coordinates to the science station and transporter room.
"Very well, let's get them on their way and then we can discuss a few hours of leave."
Kirk sighed. The Ramori were a very closed society and he hadn't really expected any communication with their captain. Yet, it still made him a bit sad that the sick would suffer longer because Enterprise wasn't allowed to deliver the medical supplies themselves. With her engines, she could cut four days off the trip the Takut had to make.
"Transfer complete, Captain." Spock reported from the science station.
It was gratifying to get their mission accomplished so expediently.
"Thank you, Mister Spock. What is local time on the station?" Kirk asked. He wasn't very interested in taking leave yet if it was 0300 by their reckoning.
"Bengali Station time is 1430, Captain." Spock promptly advised. He had a full dossier of pertinent facts on his PADD and stepped down for Kirk to review them.
"Why, thank you Mister Spock. Are you interested in any R & R on Bengali?" Kirk teased the First Officer. It was a game they played to see if the Captain could entreat the Vulcan to succumb to the pleasures of shoreleave.
"No sir, I have no need to visit the station at this time." Spock answered.
"Ah well, Spock, I understand...we will barely get twelve hours of leave, hardly time for a Vulcan to really let his hair down." Kirk spoke in feigned commiseration as the Vulcan's eyebrow climbed into said hair.
"Captain, I assure you, twelve hours is an excessive amount of time for any Vulcan to arrange their hair." Spock deadpanned. His pretense of never understanding human metaphors and phrases was his own endearing wit.
"I see." Kirk chuckled. "You won't mind if the rest of us indulge ourselves, will you?"
"No Sir. In fact, I have the leave rosters already compiled and ready for posting." Spock reported sanguinely.
"I didn't doubt it for a moment, Mister Spock." Kirk grinned. "Please forward to Uhura so she can broadcast to all departments."
"Done, Sir." Uhura commented over her shoulder.
"Oh, Lieutenant? Are we eager to start our shopping time?" Kirk teased the Comm Officer. Her fetish for presents and trinkets for friends and family was well known.
Uhura turned in her chair and saw five sets of male eyes staring in her direction.
"Very eager, Sir. Bengali is home to the greatest Confederation bazaar we have access to." She chided them and raised her chin in slight defiance.
"I see." Kirk intoned in mock seriousness. "However, please remember our weight limits on this trip, Lieutenant. Your last expedition cost us three weeks in space dock, didn't it Spock?"
The Vulcan tilted his head as he spoke.
"We did notice an imbalance in the starboard nacelle after leaving Denobula Two."
"Yes, that's right. And Lieutenant, your quarters are on the starboard side of the ship, correct?" Kirk inquired -- wrapped in innocence.
The Comm Officer sat with her mouth open, looking between the Captain, who she knew to be a tease, and the First Officer, who she hadn't expected to play along.
"Mister Scott, what was the final diagnosis of our engine trouble when we were in space dock?" Kirk looked over at the Chief Engineer, who had been a silent spectator of the banter until now.
"Uh, Captain...we had a wee bit of a weight ratio imbalance on the starboard engine." The Scotsman reported with an apologetic glance at Uhura.
"Oh, Scotty, not you too." Uhura sighed.
"Misters Chekov and Sulu." Kirk snapped. "Didn't both of you report to Sickbay at the end of that leave complaining of strained muscles?"
The Navigator and Helmsman looked at each other to get their story in sync before answering the Captain.
"Yes Sir!" They snapped back in unison.
"I thought so. And you both were seen shopping with the Lieutenant and acting as package bearers. Need I say more?" He glanced knowingly between the two of them and Uhura.
"No Sir." Uhura answered smartly. " However, since my Christmas list just got shorter by five names, I should have no problem making that weight limit now." She stood and curtsied deeply before deliberately turning to address her relief officer, who was just entering the bridge.
Kirk wrinkled his brow and sighed. "I should have seen that one coming..."
"Aye Cap'n, and the lass always gave the best presents..." Scotty acknowledged sadly.
"Thank you, Captain. Now that Christmas has been resolved, are you ready for me to relieve you?" Spock inquired dryly. While the tone was bland, the cant of the Vulcan's head belied his opinion of their 'discussion'.
"Yes, Spock. I guess I've done all the damage I can do for now." Kirk grinned impishly.
The bazaar was a kaleidoscope of colors, smells, and sounds. Uhura was entranced by it all as she flitted from vendor to vendor. Each booth was a world unto itself. Uhura began to worry she might really have to deal with the weight limit issue if she didn't slow down.
In order to minimize Starfleet's presence, many crewmembers, including Uhura, wore civilian clothing during leave in non-federation territory. It appeared to lessen the anxiety level of the local population and it sometimes allowed crew to pick up bits of news and opinions they would never hear if in uniform. Uhura always relished an opportunity to be out of uniform; she'd never been a fan of the current miniskirt design. Trying to climb under the communications console to affect repairs could be quite entertaining for her shift mates.
The cacophony of different languages surrounding her was like a dream come true. In the Federation, so many people spoke Standard as a convenience, that she rarely had the opportunity to actually hear anyone speak their native language. Having the universal translator was great and a necessity when making first contact with other cultures, but the nuance of tone and the cadence of speech was rarely recreated by the computer.
She had toured through nearly a quarter of the bazaar when she saw another shopper carrying a beautiful sculpture. Uhura approached him hoping to learn where he had purchased it. She tried asking the alien, but had no idea what species he was and got only a grunt and a gesture down a side corridor for her efforts. She couldn't see any shops down the corridor, but considered it might be a pass through to more booths. She thanked the alien and started down the hallway.
As she came to a crossway, Uhura caught a flash of motion darting her way. She barely had time to sidestep a large Orion who was intent on taking her down. The suddenness of her movement caused her communicator to go skittering across the floor. She cursed her flowing caftan, as it limited her agility in dealing with the threatening Orion. The alien came at her again and she pivoted, letting loose a vicious punch as he went past. A startled grunt came from the Orion as he fell. Obviously, he had not expected the smaller female to put up any resistance. Uhura kept her eyes trained on her fallen attacker and reached over to get the communicator. She never saw his partner, or the phaser he shot her with.
The light was painfully bright as she tried to open her eyes. Her head was pounding and her stomach was turning itself inside out. Uhura attempted to shield her eyes but found she was bound hand and foot. Two large green Orion faces came into her fuzzy field of vision.
"So, you decide to join us female." The apparent leader spoke.
Uhura knew Orions did not grant females any status in their society; they were considered chattel to be bought and sold. Their predilection to assign the same status to all females kept them on the fringe of acceptable civilization. Many rumors regarding their involvement in slavery rings came rushing into Uhura's mind.
"Who are you and why did you attack me?" She demanded angrily.
The Orion responded immediately by slapping her hard across the face. Uhura's head snapped back from the impact. She could taste blood from the gash in her lip.
"You do not challenge me, female! I ask the questions. I will beat you for such insolence again."
"I am Lieutenant Nyota Uhura of the Starship Enterprise. You have kidnapped a Starfleet Officer and a Federation citizen. Release me immediately or you will have Hell to pay." Uhura spat defiantly back at the big brute. She knew she couldn't show weakness with this species.
"Arrgh, you bring me a Starfleet woman!" The leader screamed and smashed his fist into the other male in the room.
"She wore no uniform! How could I tell?" The other Orion cowered at the feet of the leader.
"You are paid good money to tell! She is useless to us. Starfleet women cannot be trained to be good slaves! Now, we risk the wrath of the Federation Humans." The larger Orion roared.
Uhura could not believe what she was hearing. They really had intended to sell her for God knows what. Could she use his disgust with Starfleet to gain her release or would he consider her worthless and kill her outright?
"The only way to get yourself out of this trouble is to let me go now." Uhura pressed the agitated leader.
"No, the only way to solve this problem is to get rid of you." He hissed and slapped her hard again.
"I told you I would beat you for further insolence. You are of no use to me, so I have no reason not to now." He taunted as he started to do just that.
Uhura tried to shield herself from the torrent of blows, but her bound wrists made it difficult. Just before she blacked out from the pain, she heard him tell the other Orion something that sent panic through her heart.
"Have Toreeg use the drugs and mind treatments on her. He may gain some insight for future use. Better to experiment on something of no value rather than waste a good prospect. After that, she can be used by all until we leave."
Boarding call came and went but Uhura still hadn't checked in. Lieutenant Palmer advised Kirk of her continued silence as he entered the bridge. Kirk went over to Spock, a sick feeling beginning in the pit of his stomach. Uhura would never miss an all call unless something was dreadfully wrong.
"Spock, can you pin point Uhura's communicator?" Kirk asked tensely. He leaned over the Science station and watched Spock as the Vulcan methodically reviewed each scan.
"I have been attempting to do so since Lieutenant Palmer reported her lack of response. I have yet to find its signal." The Vulcan reported calmly. He too knew that the communications officer would never fail to respond if she were capable of doing so.
"Keep trying, Spock. I don't like this at all. Lieutenant Palmer, check in with Station Central and advise we have a crewmember late for all call and request their assistance in locating Lieutenant Uhura. Also, I want you to check in with Station Security and Medical to be sure neither have her." Kirk ordered briskly as he dropped down to the command chair. Security was unlikely, but accidents did happen and right now, that scenario looked to be their best hope.
Uhura awoke in darkness. Her legs and wrists were still bound; her arms were stretched uncomfortably over her head, tied to something solid. She felt as if she were lying on a cold floor; wherever she was, it was hard and chilled. Her whole body hurt inside and out. Each breath was an ordeal to take. She attempted to open her eyes, but couldn't tell if she was successful because the swelling in her face made it impossible to see in the gloom.
She tried to focus her thoughts on where she was and how she had gotten there. Her mind flashed images of garish green faces looming over her, their guttural language sounding harsh and hateful to her ears. The images came too fast and a wave of unrelenting fear crashed over her essence. Its source was unknown but very real. All her synapses seemed to fire at once and she screamed in abject terror. She screamed until her voice was gone.
Kirk had sent search parties to scour the station, leading as many of them as he could himself. Ground teams had traced her path through the bazaar by quizzing each vendor, but she just seemed to disappear in the middle of the market. The Captain had cajoled, harassed, and demanded that the Security Prefect call in all his manpower to assist in their search. Kirk had also browbeaten the Bengali governor into halting all traffic in and out of port to lessen the chances of Uhura being spirited away. Meanwhile, Spock had a multitude of onboard teams scanning every millimeter of the mammoth station, searching - futilely so far - for any sign of her. It was if she had been swallowed by space itself.
"Captain, I'm being hailed by Starfleet Headquarters." Palmer reported to Kirk.
"Acknowledge and put on screen, Lieutenant."
He had been expecting and dreading this call. The fact that they were twelve hours past check in could not go unnoticed forever. He rubbed his tired eyes and prepared for the confrontation he knew would come.
McCoy came onto the bridge just as the glaring presence of Admiral Komack came on screen. He stayed out of range of the visual pickup, moving over to the empty engineering station. The Doctor knew Scotty was leading a search team on the station, the Engineer hadn't been able to just sit and wait either.
"Captain Kirk, please advise why you have not checked in with Command and why you are still at Bengali Station? Surely you have been able to transfer those medical supplies by now." The iron-jawed bane to Kirk's existence demanded.
"Admiral, we did transfer the medical supplies to the Ramori ship, but Enterprise is conducting a search for a missing crewmember." Kirk reported with patience he did not feel. Talking to Komack was difficult under normal circumstances, and Uhura's disappearance had left him with an overwhelming feeling of failure to protect one of his own.
"Missing crewmember? Who is missing? They're probably in the station brig or one of the brothels -" Komack started to rant. Kirk cut him off before he could continue that train of thought.
"Lieutenant Uhura is hardly the officer to visit a brothel and we've coordinated a search with Station Central to check all likely places she could be." Kirk's tone was like ice.
"Lieutenant Uhura?" Even Komack took a moment to consider whom it was Kirk had named. He actually was rather fond of the Enterprise communications officer.
"How long has she been missing?" He asked in a concerned voice.
"Between twelve and twenty-four hours. She failed to check in after the all call." Kirk reported in a clipped tone.
Komack appeared to consider that for a moment.
"Kirk, I can appreciate your concern for a missing crewmember, especially a fine and dedicated officer like Lieutenant Uhura, but I can only give you another twenty-four hours to search for her. After that, you will have to leave the search to station security and report to sector fourteen for border patrol. The Lexington took severe damage in an ion storm and must come in early for repairs." Komack truly seemed sad to give the order for Kirk to abandon a crewmember.
Kirk looked long and hard at the Admiral before speaking.
"Orders received." He replied through clenched teeth.
"Orders received *and * acknowledged, Captain. No quarter will be given for any loose interpretations of my directives this time." Komack shot back just as willfully.
"Kirk, consider, you may never find her. A phaser or disruptor can vaporize a body. If she hasn't been found within another twenty-four hours, she probably won't be." Komack vacillated between anger and compassion for Kirk. He didn't care for the young captain on a personal level, but he knew Kirk was as dedicated to his crew as they were to him.
"Orders received and acknowledged." Kirk bit back. He was all too aware of what a phaser could do.
"Very good, I expect a check in call when you are on your way. Good luck in your search. Komack out." The screen when blank.
Kirk bolted out of his chair and paced the walkway between Spock and Palmer. McCoy gave him a moment to cool off before he dared approach him. All the bridge crew were deep into their boards; now was not the time to catch the Captain's attention unless they had good news.
McCoy laid a compassionate hand on Kirk's shoulder. The agony in his eyes caught the Doctor by surprise. He expected anger, yes - definitely frustration, but not the one unguarded moment of anguish, so quickly buried by his friend, McCoy wasn't sure if he imagined it or not.
"Jim, as much as I hate to agree with Komack, we have to accept the possibility that Uhura might have been killed and vaporized -" The storm of anger that flashed into Kirk's eyes cut him off. There was no doubt of that emotion.
"No, Doctor, I don't have to accept that possibility. Lieutenant Uhura is somewhere on Bengali and I intend to find her." Kirk responded in a no nonsense tone.
McCoy didn't know if it was denial or determination, but he chose not to say any more.
"Captain, I have been cross-correlating a review of Bengali Station's security logs from the past several months while I continue to scan its surface, and I have made a disturbing discovery. Eight other women have been reported missing in the last three months and none have yet to be located." The Vulcan reported in a tone of bewilderment.
Why hadn't station security shared this information at once? What clues and suspects did they have in tracing the other women? Spock was concerned that such an omission could be anything other than deliberate. Enterprise had sought out station assistance and cooperated with station leadership.
"Eight other women, Captain?" Chekov burst out. He had kept quiet for as long as he could. But now, knowing Uhura's abduction appeared part of an ongoing crime wave, he jumped into the discussion.
Kirk shot the ensign a look, but didn't follow with a reprimand. He felt the Russian's frustration and anger. Sulu hadn't spoken, but his eyes were pleading with the Captain's for some form of action.
"Lieutenant Palmer, get me Governor Hosh now." Kirk ordered as he stepped down to the center seat again. He was tired of games and intended to take control of the situation. The Surim governor appeared on screen momentarily, already in mid sentence.
"-tain Kirk, I protest your intrusion into my family time -" he blustered.
"Governor, I protest the fact you failed to share with me that eight other women had been reported missing during the last three months. I protest and I intend to do something about it. Consider Bengali Station under martial law until my crewmember is found. A unit-by-unit search of the station will begin immediately. All movement between ships and station shall desist immediately. And, if necessary, a search of every ship in port will be done. No tolerance for interference will be acceptable. I suggest you advise your population immediately." Kirk fired at the dumbfounded governor. He hadn't cared for him when he made his mandatory visit aboard station and he cared even less for the man now.
"Kirk, you have no authority to invoke martial law - " the Surim railed back, his neck ridges flared in anger.
"I have full military and diplomatic authority to represent Federation interests. My missing officer is such an interest. You can voice your concerns to Starfleet Command if you so choose. Kirk out." Kirk cut off the governor's tirade with one of his own.
"Jim! You can't just up and declare martial law! Komack will have you up for court martial so fast, even Nogura won't be able to save you." McCoy exploded.
He had seen Kirk bluff before, but never to this magnitude. The scary part was, he didn't think the captain was bluffing.
"Spock, can you talk some sense into him?" McCoy turned to the Vulcan for some logic and assistance.
"While the degree of support Starfleet will grant in this case is speculative, a Starfleet Captain does have broad discretionary powers at his disposal. The fact that Lieutenant Uhura's disappearance does not appear to be an isolated instance may give him the right to invoke those powers." Spock treaded carefully between the two irate humans.
"You don't mean to support him in this madness do you? I want Uhura back just as much as either of you, but we're close to a declaration of war here." McCoy bellowed. Could he not make Kirk see what a risk he was taking?
"Doctor, my decision stands. You can either accept it and be a part of the search, or you can accept it and go back to Sickbay. Kirk shot at the Doctor, he would brook no more arguments. McCoy quieted but stood his ground. Kirk dismissed him and began to launch a string of orders.
"Spock, coordinate security details with Mister Giotto to begin a room by room search of Bengali. Every available crewmember to be utilized. All we need is a skeleton crew in this orbit. Start with the Orion conclave - I know we've scanned them already, but they bear the most scrutiny for this type of disappearance. Keep a team onboard to continue the detail scans of the station. All the activity might cause someone to get careless."
"Lieutenant Palmer, monitor Bengali signals to Starfleet - make sure you 'help' them if they transmit. Also broadcast a lockdown notice to all ships in port. If any so much as fire a maneuvering thruster, I want to know about it."
"Spock, I want to see the details on those other eight missing persons. What did they have in common; what was different?"
"Keptin" Chekov spoke out again. "Meester Sulu and I vould like to be on one of the search details. We need to be inwolved in finding Lieutenant Uhura." The young Russian spoke in earnest.
Uhura was a cross between a big sister and the woman of his dreams. He couldn't even process that she wasn't sitting on the bridge with them now. The entire crew was acting as if it were their best friend that was missing, and maybe that was reality. Uhura made everyone feel special and important, it was her gift.
"You both will be. I'm not wasting your energies up here. Alright ladies and gentlemen, we have less than twenty-four hours to find Lieutenant Uhura - you have your orders - get busy." Kirk's focus was intense, he had a plan now, and nothing was going to keep him from finding her.
A chorus of "aye, aye sirs" came back to him and a catharsis seemed to flood over the bridge. Everyone seemed to pick up on Kirk's energy and determination, adding them to their own.
Part 1 of 4