Andromeda Noir 2: Twisting the Knife
"Rommie?" Beka knocked on the hatch to the Avatar's room, "We need to talk."
"Certainly Rebecca, come in." Rommie smiled, opening the door, "I hope you don't mind, but I have company." She stood aside to reveal a scantily clad woman stretched out on the bed, apparently asleep, "Have you met Lt. Helena Carpenter?"
"One of Dylan's exes?" Rommie laid out seductively on a sofa, "No, Helena was a find of my own, and I've told Dylan to keep away from her. She's very nimble, very open minded and very submissive."
"You have a very strange way of looking at relationships."
"You organics have such strange misconceptions when it comes to pleasure. I know that for most species you need a male/female mix for successful procreation, but it's not necessary for simple sexual gratification."
"Really, Rommie, I didn't know you were such a romantic."
"Romance has its place, but it's not the be-all and end-all of everything. Now, is there something specific you wanted to talk to me about?"
"Yes: you need to stop playing these 'games' of yours with the crew. It's making life difficult for everyone."
"And what 'games' would they be?"
"You know full well what I mean: rigging the heating so the women's dormitory was like a hothouse, adding Viagra to the coffee in the officer's mess, re-setting the auto-laundry to make everyone's clothes one size too small, telling new recruits that they have to do their daily jog in their underwear..."
"Just the odd prank here and there..."
"Rommie, we're the laughing-stock of the entire Argosy!"
"That's a slight overstatement..."
"Get real, Rommie! We started out crewed by a bunch of rejects and rogues who no one else would employ, and things have gone downhill from there. We have the largest number of transfer requests for any ship in the fleet! We had so many crewmembers go AWOL last time we put into port that we had to turn one of the cargo bays into a temporary brig! The crewmembers we have managed to hold onto are a bunch of psychos and sex-addicts that even the Restorian's wouldn't touch with a ten-foot bargepole!"
"So they're a little colorful. You're not exactly Miss Squeaky-clean..."
"I'll admit I did a few things that were not 100 legal, but at least I tried to stay moral."
"This is from someone who's been two-timing her Nietzschean boyfriend with the ship's Avatar?"
"This has to stop!"
"I'm going to give you a chance to walk away from this conversation right now, and we'll both pretend it never happened..."
"What are you talking about?"
"I like things the way they are Beka: all those years of playing the goody-goody High Guard A.I. where too constricting for me. I like the freedom having my behavioral constraints removed gives me. I like who I am now, and no-one, not even you, is going to change me."
"We'll see about that..."
"Please don't force me to take any actions that would be detrimental to your health."
"Are you threatening me?"
"No, I'm warning you. I've already told you once that I have my way of controlling what happens on this ship. I can make life very uncomfortable for both Telemachus and you: uncomfortable with extreme prejudice. You wouldn't want to take the Maru for a spin and find the AP flow regulator was faulty now would you? A problem like that would destroy the ship..."
"I....I can't believe you just said that!"
"And you're the one who said I was playing games?" Rommie laughed out loud, "Relax Beka: you're one of my best friends. There's no way I'd ever do anything to hurt you. You just need to loosen up a little."
"B...but what you just said! You said it, so you must have considered it!"
"I've come up with ways to scare and blackmail half the High Guard: I bore easily. It's just a little mind-game I play from time to time, when I'm not screwing Dylan or disciplining Helena. Talking of which; would you like to have a go with her. She's very good. As long as you don't use any dildos or the like, you can do what you want with her..."
"What? I'm saving her for Dylan's birthday. I know Telemachus is still not interested in sex; it's something about it being a waste when there are other women to get pregnant that all Nietzschean men have. One of the reasons I've not made a move on him myself."
"I thought your deal with Dylan was that you could go after women, but not men?"
"So Harper's not a man? If Dylan wants to think that he's the only man I make the beast with two backs with, then that's his own little delusional fantasy. Anyway, I find sex with men is better used as a weapon: the entire crew knows by now that my tastes lean more towards the so-called 'fairer' sex, and when I screw a man it's because there's something in it for me."
"Is that what it's like with Dylan?"
"No: You may find it hard to believe, but I really do love him. I may have an odd way of showing it at times, but I do love him."
"And what about Helena here?"
"I suppose I love her too, in a way. Anyway, message understood: I'll tone down the pranks and try and get the crew back in order."
"Want to give her a go?"
"Ok. Helena, wake up."
The young woman looked round, her eyes bright and full of lust, "Yes mistress?"
"I need to go sort a few things out." Rommie stood, pulling on her uniform jacket, "But I'm leavening Captain Valentine here to keep you company. I know you will do your best to make her feel at home. She knows the rules, and I trust her to stick to them." She leaned in and kissed the young officer, "Be good, and I'll give you a treat later."
"Yes mistress." Helena smiled, licking her lips as she looked at Beka.
"Have fun you two." Rommie opened the door, "Oh, by the way Beka; there's a whip under the bed if you want it..."