"Review with me everything you know about the planet," the Captain said to those sitting around the conference room table. Scotty and Dr. McCoy automatically deferred to the First Officer to enlighten them all.

"Leferson is class M, Captain," Spock said. "Little else is known. They are matriarchal and have up to now refused all contact with the Federation."

"Why are they asking that we come?" the Captain inquired ideally, not really expecting a response.

"Maybe they are as curious about us as we are about them," Dr. McCoy ventured.

"Maybe they need something from us, Captain," Scotty suggested.

"There is nothing in their request to indicate they are in distress," Spock said. "It is widely believed that they avoid contact with the Federation because they shun all forms of violence."

"With a planet as heavily shielded as theirs, they can avoid all the violence they want," Scotty said, a note of reluctant admiration in his voice.

"So we can assume they have some advanced technology," the Captain said.

"Aye, Captain."

"Any record of interstellar travel?" Kirk asked.

"None, sir," Spock responded.

"Well, I supposed we'll get plenty of answers when we beam down," the Captain said.

"Indeed," Spock agreed.

"Aren't you at all worried that they won't allow security to go with you?" McCoy asked.

"It's their planet, Doctor. We must follow their rules," Kirk said with a shrug.

"Makes me nervous," the Doctor said.

"Just as well you aren't coming," the Captain said lightly, smiling at his naturally cautiously friend.

"Please be careful," McCoy requested as he so often did.

"You know we will," Kirk agreed. "Scotty will transport us down since the shield will only be open a few seconds."

"Aye, sir," Scotty agreed, standing when the Captain did. They all left the conference room to go directly to the transporter.

"They will open the shield in 5.36 minutes, sir," Spock reported.

Kirk nodded at that, studying the Doctor. "Bones?"

"It doesn't feel right, Jim," the Doctor said, his hands spread in frustration at his inability to explain exactly what was troubling him. "This whole thing makes me uneasy."

"I respect your instincts, Bones. I also have my orders," the Captain said. "We'll be fine."

"I hope to the gods you are right," Bones said with a sigh.

"The planet's contacting us, sir," Scotty said.

"Very well, Mr. Scott," the Captain said as he and Spock mounted the transporter platform. "Energize on their…" Before he could finish, the Captain had disappeared, Spock alone on the pad. Alone except for the Captain's uniform and communicator.

"Red alert," Spock ordered, rushing over to the transporter controls.

"I never energized, Mr. Spock," Scotty said in quiet distress.

"They kidnapped the Captain," Bones said in anger.

"So it seems, Doctor. Lt Uhura, open hailing frequencies to the planet," Spock ordered.

"No response, sir," the Lt said, her normal serene tone missing.

"Contact Starfleet. Top priority. I will be on the Bridge momentarily," Spock said, moving toward the door, the other men close behind.

The Captain was disoriented. The transporter had never energized but he was not on his ship. He had no idea where he was but had to assume he was on the planet. He slowly sat up, surveying the room where he had landed. It was not any sort of prison cell. It was, in fact, fairly comfortable. His bare skin was warmed by the soft cream carpeting covering the floor. There were no breaks in the rounded walls surrounding him except for a picture window which looked out on a valley with a sparkling stream in the distance. Past that was a range of mountains, snow on their peaks, clouds hovering close by.

How strange, the Captain thought. I'm in a round room with no door but a beautiful view out of a window. And I have lost my uniform. None of this makes sense.

Several feet before him, the air shimmered until it solidified into a tall, regal woman. She was taller than Spock, the Captain thought. And she was quite beautiful, her grey hair in a multitude of braids swept off her face. In some of those braids were bright yellow ribbons, the same shade as the shimmering outfit she wore. She wore flowing pants, the top the same color and material – one arm covered, the other nearly bare. Her sleeves were secured around her wrists with bracelets of shining yellow stones. The necklace which swept down her front to her waist was made of the same stones and they were also present at the ends of some of her braids.

"Captain," she said in a commanding voice. Kirk had stood when she appeared and she assessed him, apparently unconcerned that he was completely bare.

"I am Captain Kirk," he acknowledged, using all of the command authority at his disposal.

"I am Kala Korena," she returned.

The Captain didn't know if any response was expected so gave none.

"I am the ruler of this planet," she informed him in a commanding tone of her own.

The Captain nodded slightly. "Where is my first officer?" he asked in a way most could not refuse to answer.

"He remains aboard your vessel," she said in dismissal. "We have no need of him."

"No need of him," the Captain repeated. Why did that sound vaguely ominous to his ears?

"You are the only one we require," she informed him.

"Require for what?" the Captain asked, almost certain he was not going to like the answer.

"The males on our planet have become infertile," she said matter-of-factly.

"Infertile," the Captain repeated, a distinctly sinking feeling developing in the pit of his stomach.

"Our scientists have worked to discover the reason and reverse it. They have had no success. No children have been born on Leferson in 3.6 cycles."

Years? the Captain wondered but did not ask. Surely not months. "We have medical researchers who will be able to assist you," the Captain told her.

"We are a very…self-contained society, Captain. We do not want out-worlders coming to disrupt our peaceful existence."

"You brought me down," he pointed out unnecessarily.

"Alone," she reminded him.

"Why?" he had to ask, certain he didn't really want the answer.

"We have need of your seminal fluid," she said.

"My…seminal fluid," he repeated, the knot in his stomach tightening.

"Our scientists have determined that humans are capable of producing offspring with our biology. We will collect your seminal fluid and use it for our procreation," she explained calmly.

"I have no intention of allowing you to collect anything from me," he informed her firmly.

"Your cooperation is not required, Captain," she said, a hard edge to her tone that had not been present earlier.

"Then you must not fully understand human physiology," he told her.

"On the contrary, Captain. Your Federation was most generous with the resources we requested."

He believed her and it made him queasy to realize what she was saying.

"We can collect what we require with your cooperation. We can also take it against your will," she warned.

He refused to flinch from her hard stare. They were not going to find their forced collection as easy as they thought.

"I will leave you to consider your alternatives, Captain. When the sun has fully disappeared behind the mountains, our scientists will come to you. You will give them what we need or we will force you to comply," she said in warning. And with that, she shimmered and disappeared.

Kirk was stunned. His head was buzzing and he could not think clearly. He had to find some way out of this cell before they returned to…take what they wanted.

He approached the window, looking down over the edge. The building appeared to be a fortress of some sort, smooth stone walls beneath the window. He was at least 30 meters up from the ground with no way to make it down the wall safely. A tap on the clear surface of the window confirmed it was composed of the same substance as the windows of his ship – made to withstand encounters with meteors and space debris. Virtually shatter proof.

He turned to examine the round room. The walls were smooth, the ceiling far over his head. Think he reminded himself. If Spock were here, what would he suggest they do?

No answer came. No escape seemed possible. His only hope was to enter their transporter beam the next time someone from the planet appeared. But what then? He was naked. The shield prevented the ship from finding him or sending down a rescue party to conduct a search. He felt utterly hopeless and he did not like it.

He sat on the soft carpeting, his back against the smooth wall, fuming at his predicament. When he got back to his ship, he would be more careful to listen to Bones. When…

Across the room, a small light shimmered and a plate appeared. He could see it held fruit and a cup. Neither was of any interest to him. He was too angry to contemplate eating.

From his vantage point, he could see that their sun was hurriedly disappearing behind the mountains. All too soon they would come. He had to stop them. He just wasn't sure how.

As the light in the room begin to dim from the disappearing sun, lights shimmered and three women solidified in the cell. They all looked slightly menacing. One held a large syringe, one held a metal bar and a chain, and the third simply stared at him.

"Have you decided?" the empty handed woman asked. Demanded.

"I am not giving you anything," he informed them sternly, not moving from his position crouched on the floor.

"Stand up," the woman ordered.

"No," he refused, daring her to do something about his lack of cooperation.

"Stand up now," she said, her tone stern and hard.

The woman with the bar sat it down and she and the spokeswoman advanced on him. He watched them until he calculated he had the advantage. He sprung toward them but if he had been counting on the element of surprise, he was the one surprised. They were unnaturally strong and way too easily subdued him, wrestling him to the floor and holding him face down. He tried to break away but his efforts were in vain. His struggle ended when the red hot pain of the needle entering his ass signaled his compete involuntary surrender. The lights dimmed and he sunk unwillingly into oblivion.

The first thing he became aware of was the pounding in his head. When he tried to rub his forehead to ease the pain, he realized his hands were bound above his head. He squinted up, noticing with odd detachment that he seemed to be strung from chains attached to the peak of the ceiling. As he shifted his weight, his feet remained shoulder width apart, the bar effectively immobilizing his feet and legs. The bar was secured to his ankles and to the floor, allowing for almost no movement.

They had done him the courtesy of securing him facing the window so that he could see a way out. An escape he could not manage.

A soft sound from his left startled him and he looked around his bound arm to see a woman studying him, only sympathy reflected in her expression. She was as tall as the other women who had already visited him but she looked in no way threatening. Under other circumstances, he would have thought her quite beautiful. Her dark brown hair was held in two thick braids, one on each side of her head. Her outfit was much like the others he had seen but in a rich burgundy. Her very pale blue eyes studied him as she gracefully approached.

"Pleased am I that you are awake," she said when she stood before him, gazing down at him.

"Who are you?" he asked, his tongue sticking to the roof of his mouth.

"Drink," she instructed gently, holding a cup to his lips. He allowed the liquid to enter his mouth, relieved that it was water. "Called Bellarosa am I," she said, allowing him to empty the cup.

"Thank you," he said in appreciation of her answer and the water.

"Get you more I will," she offered gently.

"No thank you," he said, studying her as she did the same to him. "Why are you here?"

"Care for you. Trained in the healing arts I am," she explained, going to the chair where she had been sitting. She soon returned with a small tablet which she offered to him. "Ease your pain it will," she explained.

"Are you a telepath?" he asked as she stood holding the small pill for him to accept.

"Telepath?" she repeated.

"Can you read my thoughts?"

"Cannot, Captain," she said. "Accept this assistance."

He nodded and opened his mouth.

"Allowed to dissolve it must be," she instructed.

He nodded again, feeling it explode in tiny bursts inside his mouth. "You aren't like the others," he said.

"Born in Madrena I was. Have other customs, different from here," she explained.

"I see," he responded. "Do you know when they will return?"

"Morning time. Crest the mountains to the south the sun will."

"How long?" he asked.

"Has our time meaning to you?"

"No," he conceded.

"Require anything do you?" she asked.

"Freedom," he said before he could stop himself.

"Come eventually it will. Resist you must not. Win they will," she told him sympathetically.

He did not respond to her, trying to keep his anger at bay. She was not threatening him. He would not take out his frustration on her.

"Angry you are at their plans," she said.

"There must be some other way to ensure your survival. Besides stealing my reproductive… fluid."

"Tried all alternatives have we. Reversing the sterility eludes us. Reproduce can a few men."

"Then why don't you use their seminal fluids?"

"Belief is that your offspring will also be fertile."

"Increase the odds," the Captain said with only a small amount of bitterness.

"Say you the truth as they see it," Bellarosa agreed.

"As they see it?"

"Question must not I," she said. "Hungry are you?"

"No," he said wearily.

She nodded, studying him with an appraising eye. It was a professional scrutiny, much like the ones McCoy gave him when he knew the Captain was trying to hide something. "Feeling pain you are," she said with a small frown.

"No," he denied, shaking his head.

"Here," she said, pointing to his heart. "Feel sadness from you."

"Are you sure you don't read the thoughts of others?" he asked.

"Trained to know from observation," she explained gently.

"I see," he said, holding his gaze steady with hers. He was not about to admit to any weakness, emotional or physical.

"Returned to your ship you will be," she assured him.


"Collected enough they have," she said with an apologetic shrug.

"For a people who foreswear all violence, you certainly are casual about what you intend to do," he said, his voice becoming hard as flint.

"Ensuring our survival causes sacrifices to be made, Captain."

"Our medical personnel can help you," he insisted.

She shook her head sadly. "Sleep now you must."

"It's the middle of the day on my ship. And I never have learned to sleep standing up," he said.

She nodded, moving the chair where she had been sitting. When it was positioned so that he could sit in it, she took several steps backward and removed a small transmitter from a hidden pocket. When she pressed the button, his arms began to lower, allowing him to be enfolded in the soft welcome of the chair.

When he was sitting, he looked up at her, resisting the urge to thank her. He wanted to express his appreciation but did not want his gratitude to appear as a weakness. It was even harder not to thank her when she draped a warm blanket over him, providing him a measure of modesty.

"Leave you now I must. Tend you tomorrow I will."

He nodded, watching as the air around her shimmered and she was gone.

After she left, the lights far over his head dimmed, casting the round cell into near darkness. It afforded him an uninterrupted view of the night sky out the window, the red stars shimmering over the valley and the mountains beyond. He knew Enterprise was too small to appear as one of those stars but he studied the sky even so, imagining the efforts of his crew to retrieve him. He knew all too well that he would be unable to return to his ship until the women of Leferson allowed it.

Despite what he told Bellarosa, he eventually fell into a fitful sleep. He dreamed that birds of prey were circling him, waiting to swoop down and devour him. When they landed, they started by pecking at his genitals. Although the black birds eating him caused no pain, he watched with a strange, detached fascination as the birds pecked at his penis and scrotum. There was no blood as they exposed his testicles which unwound like a ball of yarn, strewn over the ground at his feet. That's odd his sleeping self thought.

The strangeness of the dream woke him with a start and he tried to remember where he was. The unnatural quiet that engulfed him made him yearn for the hum of his ship's engines. An attempt to shift in his chair brought waves of tingling pain to his hands and feet. Wiggling his toes helped a little but his feet were mostly numb.

The room began to lighten as the distant mountain ranges lost more of their deep shadows. Soon it would be full sunup and the scientist would return. And he knew there was not one thing he could do to stop them from taking what they wanted.

He forced himself to remain completely still in the chair as the now familiar lights shimmered just in the range of his vision. He refused to look to his right to see who had arrived, instead keeping his gaze firmly locked on a particularly interesting patch of snow near the top of the closest mountain.

"Stand up," the spokeswoman from the day before ordered.

"No," he said in utterly futility. She had activated the controls to retract the chains connected to his wrists, forcing him to rise. Apparently she liked issuing orders he had no choice in obeying. When he stood with his hands above his head, she stopped the movement of the chains and stepped close enough to pick up the blanket at his feet. All of this he ignored as best as he could.

"You will provide what we need," the spokeswoman told him as she stood between the Captain and the window. The other two women watched their exchange with blank expressions.

"No I will not," he told her firmly.

"The choice is not yours, Captain. You are not aboard your space vessel where those around you must acquiesce to your every word," she informed him.

He felt as though he had been insulted and couldn't quite figure out why. Her words were true but still had a sting to them.

"Your cooperation will make our collection easier for you," she said when he remained silent. "It is not required."

"What you are talking about is not a collection. It's a violation," he told her matching her flint hard tone.

"That is purely semantics, drendla," she informed him.

"It is a violence against another. All the talk of your pacifism is just that – talk."

"In order to ensure our survival, principles will be set aside for a time. We have studied your human race. Your Federation talks of peaceful exploration. How much violence have you committed while aboard your heavily armed space ship, Captain?"

He refused to answer, staring at her in a silent war of wills. He might be their captive but he was not theirs to toy with.

She turned her focus to the woman waiting to her right, nodding in silent instruction. In understanding, she circled behind the Captain. The third woman approached him, staring down at him with piercing green eyes. They reminded him of the eyes of a cat he had had growing up. That cat had been born wild and was never fully tamed, devouring helpless mice in the barn after playing with them. He was now one of those mice.

He instinctively tried to back away when her hand reached out for his flaccid penis but the bar securing his feet held him firmly in place. Her touch was cold and impersonal which somehow made what she was doing worse. When she began stroking him, he decided she had no experience in providing pleasure to any of the men on her planet. She was doing a terrible job. Perhaps her regular job was milking cows.

She frowned briefly as her efforts did nothing to arouse him, glancing over her shoulder at the woman so clearly in charge. The spokeswoman nodded and Kirk felt the cool hands of the third woman on his ass, parting him. He made himself relax as much as possible, instinctively knowing what was coming. When the well lubricated, pliable object entered him and eased past his sphincter, it was not as painful as he had feared. The woman behind was being careful as she pushed it higher, waiting for his body to accommodate the intruder.

He could not stop a quiet gasp as his gland was caressed. Before he closed his eyes against the betrayal of his body, he saw a victorious glint in the eyes of the spokeswoman.

The hands in front caressed his hardening erection as those behind continued their tortuously delicious massage of his most private opening and beyond. He hated what they were doing to him, how they were forcing his body to react. He had never before experienced anal stimulation and he understood why others so enjoyed it, as much as it sickened him to have it forced on him. Even as he fought his unwilling reaction, he knew they were about to win.

And win they did. They had been careful students of the information on human physiology. As the sensations accumulated within him, and his testicles filled in anticipation, the hands stoking him reached for a container which was eased over his erection as the orgasm produced the precious fluid they wanted. He was grateful that he was able to come silently, a lesson he had learned sharing a bedroom with his brother as they grew up.

He refused to open his eyes as his body reflectively relaxed. Whether he was more angry at the women or himself he could not say. He sensed their departure and he sagged in his restraints, his wrists bearing the weight of his defeat.

The shimmering lights appearing around his closed eyelids alerted him to someone's arrival. Maybe if he ignored her, she would simply leave him to his misery.

"Drink," Bellarosa's soft voice said, a cup at his lips.

He wanted to protest, to refuse. Instead he drank the water, letting it cool his mouth and throat. It did nothing to extinguish his shame.

"Harm you they did not?" she asked, studying his body for signs of physical distress.

"They did not injure me," he said in a low voice.

"Ashamed you must not be," she said.

He shook his head at her words, willing her silently to go away.

"Open your eyes, please, Captain," she requested.

He shook his head again. "Please go."

"Leave I cannot."


"Understand you believe I do," she said gently.

"You can't possibly understand. If you did, you'd leave," he said, his voice barely above a whisper.

"Duty requires I stay, Captain," she said in a soothing tone.

"Duty to whom?" he asked although he did not care and could not fathom why he had asked. He felt her move away before she answered, then felt her return.

"Eat," she requested.

He slowly allowed his eyes to open, studying her. "If I do, will you go?"

She did not respond but continued to hold the food that looked like a slice of orange up to his mouth. "Eat, please, Captain."

He finally opened his mouth to accept the segment, discovering it was in fact an orange.

"Enjoy this you do?" she asked, giving him another piece.

He made no response except for allowing her to slowly feed him the juicy fruit.

"Drink?" she asked when he had eaten the entire orange.

"Coffee?" he asked hopefully, having no idea if the concept would have any meaning to her.

"Yes," she agreed. She went over to a small table and poured liquid from a tall container into a cup. The smell was more delicious than he would have allowed himself to hope – real coffee.

She stood once more before him, the cup cradled in her hands.

"Is it hot?" he asked cautiously.

"Burn you it will not," she said, lifting the cup to his lips. As promised, it was pleasantly warm but not too warm to drink. It warmed him on the inside as well, thawing out a part of him he didn't know had been frozen.

"Enjoy this?" she asked with a patient smile.

He nodded, accepting more as she held it to his lips.

"Still hungry you are," she said, guessing correctly what was causing his stomach to rumble.

He shrugged one shoulder, staring longingly at the cup in her hands. She let him drink it all before moving away. He was able to stop the groan from escaping, waiting for her to leave. Instead, she returned to stand before him, holding what looked remarkably like a blueberry muffin.

"Eat this you will?" she asked.

"Is this from your planet?" he asked, curiosity finally getting the better of him.

"Earth," she corrected.

"More research," he realized.

She nodded, breaking off a piece of the muffin. "Accept?"

He opened his mouth, taking the muffin. It tasted a little strange but not unpleasantly so. He guessed they had tried to make him an Earth dish and couldn't quite duplicate the ingredients. The orange was a real puzzle, and the coffee a welcome guess.

Bellarosa carefully fed him the entire muffin, allowing him more coffee in between bites.

"Thank you," he said when they were both consumed.

"Eat more would you?"

"No," he said.

She nodded, moving behind him. When the chair was in the correct position, she used her transmitter to lower the chains holding him upright.

"Thank you," he said, shifting before sitting still.

"Sleep now you will," she said.

"Probably not. Thank you for your assistance."

"Find more coffee on the table," she said, moving the little table closer to the chair.

He nodded gratefully. "If you had let me sit sooner, I could have fed myself."

"Eat you would not," she said guessing correctly.

He made no response, watching her as she did the same to him.

"Return I will when again it is time to eat," she finally said.

He nodded, watching her disappear with a shimmer. He leaned over the padded arm of the chair, glad there was enough slack in the chain around his left arm to reach the carafe of coffee she had left him. He noticed that there was also a book resting on the table. Now that seemed strange. He picked it up, finding that it was written in English. They had obviously intended for him to read it.

With nothing else to do but watch the sun arch over the sky toward the mountains, Kirk sipped the coffee and opened the book.

It was a history of their planet, beginning with the first recorded stories. The first few pages told how Leferson was once a violent and war-torn planet, reminding Kirk of what he knew of pre-reform Vulcan. So many of their men were slaughtered, the women rose to power, filling the vacuum left by the dead. The females of Leferson abhorred the violence that was threatening to destroy their civilization, and considered war both stupid and unnecessary. With women of like minds in authority over all of the land masses, the planet united as one people. They chose a ruler who was charged with making the laws and keeping the peace for five of their cycles. At the end of that time, a new ruler would be chosen.

Before Kirk could stop it from happening, he saw the words on the page blur and sleep overtook him. It was a sleep thankfully devoid of dreams.

The now familiar shimmering lights penetrated his sleep, waking him in time to see Bellarosa and another woman appear in front of the darkening window.

"Sleeping you were?" Bellarosa asked gently.

"Yes," he agreed, looking from her to the second woman who was a little taller and a little older than Bellarosa, her dark hair liberally sprinkled with grey.

"Meet my lifemate I wanted you to," Bellarosa explained. "Called Zarensa she is."

The Captain nodded to Zarensa, noticing her rounded belly.

"Having our child she is," Bellarosa confirmed happily.

"Then why do you need me?" the Captain asked them both in a hard tone.

"Ours is the first child to be conceived in a very long time, Captain," Zarensa said.

"But you did conceive," he pointed out.

She nodded at that, her multitude of braids shifting around her face.

"Hungry you are?" Bellarosa asked.

"No," he replied. "May I request one favor?"

"Request you may," Bellarosa said.

"Can you contact my ship and tell him…them that I am unharmed and will be returned?" he requested, careful not to make it sound like an order.

"Relay your message I will," Bellarosa said. "Read the book you did?"

"I started it," he agreed. "Why is it in my language?"

"We had it translated for you, Captain. In order for you to understand who we are," Zarensa explained.

"What are the names of the other three women?" he asked. "The scientists?"

The two women exchanged a glance, Zarensa barely shaking her head no. He did not ask again, hoping that by being a good captive, they would contact his ship for him.

"Need anything do you?" Bellarosa asked.

"I need to empty my bladder," he admitted, wishing like hell it wasn't necessary to tell them that particular piece of information.

Bellarosa nodded in understanding. "Stand you must."

He did it, waiting as she activated the controls to raise his hands once more over his head. When they were secure, she approached with an earthen jug, rounded at the bottom, narrower at the top.

"Touch you I must," she said in apology.

He nodded, trying not to mind when she gently placed his flaccid penis into the narrow opening.

"Release you may," she said, looking down at his face covered with a faint blush, a reaction he had not had when the scientists had acted much more intimately. Why was her assistance more embarrassing than their insistence? He decided not to think about it, glad when he was finished and she could step back.

"Have other bodily needs do you?" she asked without any sympathy which made the question easier to hear.

"No," he responded, meeting her eyes and seeing more than she had intended to reveal to him. She was not happy that he was being treated in this way but he knew there was nothing she could do about it.

"Leave you now I must," Bellarosa said. "Return again when it is time to eat."

"Thank you," he responded, glancing over at Zarensa who had been silently studying him. What she thought of his situation was not evident from her expression.

"Let him sit, Bella," Zarensa said quietly.

Bellarosa nodded, lowering his arms so that he could return to the soft chair.

"Thank you," he repeated, watching the two of them and their silent communication. Much passed between them with no words necessary. Bellarosa covered him with the blanket and they were gone.

Would they contact Enterprise for him? The idea that his crew did not know whether he was alive or dead was a weight he could barely stand to have pressing on him. If they could be told he was safe, unharmed, only borrowed and not taken, he would not need to concern himself with their fears.

As he stared blindly out the window, his mind played out a slide show, familiar images of every day ship life – Scotty tinkering with his engines to increase their efficiency just a wee bit more; Chekov and Sulu exchanging silent, knowing glances when they thought he could not see; Dr. McCoy trying to bait him into admitting he really was too tired to work a third straight shift; the crew members who attempted to watch him walk past without him seeing. All part of the fabric of shipboard life. All part of what was his ship, his home.

And what must his First Officer be thinking? Was his coolly logical mind turning over the puzzle, attempting to find the key to unlock the mystery? Would he devote all of his energy to retrieving his Captain, ignoring his own need for sleep, for food? Kirk had been witness to his single mindness enough times to know that Spock would sacrifice his own well being to ensure his Captain's.

If Bellarosa were able to fulfill his request and communicate with his ship, they might content themselves to wait for his safe return.

As he tried to still his mind, tucking away his concerns for his crew, the sun slipped behind the mountains and was gone. As expected the three lights shimmered to solidify into the scientists to have what they wanted.

"Stand up," the first one ordered, much as he knew she would. He considered refusing on principle but the slowly retracting chains connected to his wrists made obedience inevitable. Once he was standing with his hands over his head, he met her eyes, his hard and unyielding, hers angry and with a fire not present before. What reason would she have to be angry? He wondered ideally. But he didn't really care and let the thought be absorbed into his subconscious from where it had come.

The other two women watched their silent battle of wills, standing motionless, waiting.

"We will have what we want," the spokeswoman informed him sternly.

"Yes I know," he said in a clipped tone, not bothering to keep his own anger at bay.

"Are you willing to make it easier on yourself?" she demanded, sweeping his bare body with her eyes and dismissing what she saw.

"No," he said, more in that one word then she had bargained for.

"Makes no difference," she warned him.

"So you've said," he replied in stern dismissal.

The two silent women exchanged a silent glance. He was pleased that they at least looked worried. Didn't do any good, of course. But it provided him with a brief moment of futile triumphant.

"We will have what we need," she repeated, nodding to her companions.

They took up their positions, the one with the fierce green eyes in front, the shorter one behind. He stared unblinking at the woman before him, refusing to acknowledge her touch, the caresses she was using in a futile attempt to arouse him. Her technique had not improved since the morning session.

He relaxed the muscles of his ass as much as he could when the cool impersonal hands spread him apart. The insertion was painful but she was once again being careful to allow his body to accept the intruder. He made no sign when it reached his gland, suppressing his reaction more successfully than he had during their previous visit. His penis was hardening on its own but he was not becoming fully aroused.

"Controlling your response is not in your best interest," the woman warned.

He ignored her, fighting for control, fighting to hide the effort it took to dampen his reflexes.

The caressing hands in front slowed and stopped, the milk-maid looking over her shoulder in question. The first one stepped closer, staring down at his less than erect penis before shooting silent daggers at him. He stared back at her, remaining motionless as the pliant probe was inserted fully into his rectum and released.

First one nodded, signaling over his head. He wanted to be surprised at the sharp sting of the hypodermic needle as it punctured his flesh but he had figured it was only a matter of time. A muscle relaxer, no doubt, stripping him of some of his control.

He made no acknowledgment of the injection and anger flared in the eyes locked on his. He wondered briefly if first one intended to strike him but instead she took one step back. Her position was taken again by the milk-maid, number three easing the probe slowly within his channel, bumping his gland in a way his body could no longer ignore.

There was a gleam of triumph in first one's eyes as he was coaxed to full arousal, his testicles quivering, his Adam's apple bobbing as he swallowed against the rising tide of sensation.

The milk-maid placed the receptacle over his erection just in time, backing away when he was complete. Wordlessly, all three women disappeared, leaving him spent and angry.

Bellarosa finally appeared, her expression nearly hiding all of her sympathy. She gave him water which he reluctantly accepted. When she offered him an orange, he shook his head and closed his eyes.

Recognizing his utter defeat, Bellarosa pushed the chair into position, lowered his arms, draped the blanket over him and left, only his misery for company. When she was gone, he stared blindly out the darkening window, considering the emotions stirred within him by the actions of the women. He examined each one, cataloging them as Spock would his specimens from an exotic planet.

There was anger. That was easy to understand. How dare they hold him against his will when neither he nor his crew had done them any injustice? And to take what they wanted, as though his reproductive ability was a crop to be harvested. He was not a wheat field. They were planning to increase the population of their planet with his progeny, half humans with his blood coursing through their veins.

Anger considered and set aside, he contemplated the shame he was feeling. He was a victim. Shame was irrational. But that fact did not prevent his face from glowing hot when he thought about the reactions of his body over which he had no control.

Frustration was next on his inventory. He was the Captain of a Starship. He had survived situations others would have had no chance escaping with their ship and crew in tact. Yet he was rendered helpless by hands around his penis and a probe inside his rectum.

His body was a betrayer. If only he had paid more attention to those times Spock had tried to teach him mind control. But would Vulcan mind control techniques overcome the drugs they had given him? Would continue to give him as long as they needed his unwilling cooperation.

Why could he think of no way to extract himself from this situation? A small thought tried to surface that he had too long depended on Spock's intellect to solve their problems. He knew that they complimented one another's talents, Spock's methodical consideration of the problem and the possible solutions. His impulsive actions and spontaneous ideas that Spock would temper but never extinguish. They were an excellent team, one which would have already discovered a way out of this situation.

Frustration considered and cataloged, he turned to claustrophobia. He wanted to explore the valley he saw outside the window, feel the grass beneath his feet, the sun on his face. The cell was intensely boring and he again wondered how long they intended to hold him as their captive.

Before he reached sorrow and took time to consider why it was present, he slipped into sleep, his body taking the rest it needed, his mind allowing him to put aside all thoughts for a time.

He tried to stop the dream but it was more powerful than he was. The birds returned, larger this time, calling out to the entire flock until the sky was black with their wings. While the first arrivals feasted on his genitals, the later ones nibbled on his back, his legs, and his ass.

He woke shivering and sweaty, the nightmare feeling all too real. Outside the window, their moon sat atop the distant mountains, the stars too faint to distinguish. Attempting to decide on the time was impossible with no reference to guide him. The darkness spoke of morning not yet ready to break and he reluctantly closed his eyes once more.

The next time he woke, it was with sunlight streaming across his body. Bellarosa and the scientist were late. That was curious. He looked out his window, watching the sun play on the mountainside and sparkle off the distant stream.

A closer shimmering warned him of an arrival, relief that is was Bellarosa.

"Sleep did you?" she asked solicitously.

He nodded, hoping she was bringing him coffee in the carafe she held.

"Coffee," she confirmed, smiling gently. After pouring a cupful, she approached to hand it to him.

"Thank you ," he said, his voice sounding rough and unused.

"Eat please," she requested, handing him a peeled orange waiting for him in a bowl.

He looked up at her, a bleak expression on his face.

"Please," Bellarosa repeated.

He shook his head, looking away from her serene gaze. He could barely stand for her to look at him, her sympathy the hardest to bear.

She sighed very softly, much like a mother would sound when faced with an adored, stubborn child. "Empty your bladder need you?"

He reluctantly nodded, slowly standing and letting the blanket fall to his feet. She waited until his hands were secure over his head before she approached with the jug. When it was in place, he allowed his bladder to empty.

"Had nightmares you did," she said as she stepped back from him, taking the blanket from the floor.

He made no response, making every attempt to ignore her. Except now he couldn't drink from his coffee cup. To hell with it.

She took the cup from his hand, holding it to his mouth. "Drink, Captain."

He complied, wishing he were strong enough to refuse this small comfort. She nodded, waiting until the cup was empty.

"Leave now I must," she said.

"You'll return?" he asked quietly, not sure where the question had come from.

"Return I will," she promised. She watched with him as the three scientists appeared in the cell.

"You are late," first one scolded her.

Bellarosa nodded with a tiny smile. "Sleeping he was."

"Come earlier tomorrow," first one told her firmly.

"Comply I will, Kalanan," Bellarosa replied respectfully.

First one nodded in dismissal, turning her cold stare on the Captain.

He stared back, barely noticing when Bellarosa disappeared. Nor did he bother to move as number three pushed the chair aside. Ignoring the milk-maid was more difficult when she blocked everything else from his field of vision.

Deciding to waste no time or unnecessary effort, number three injected the muscle relaxer into his ass, avoiding the injection site from the day before.

The effects were almost immediate, a warmth spreading up from his bottom throughout his entire body. It was much faster than the four or five brandies that it usually took for him to feel this mellowing effect.

The milk-maid went about her work, his penis hardening even more when his prostrate was massaged by the intruder. As hard as he tried, he could not stop a very small groan. The milk-maid was being overly enthusiastic, the skin on his penis ill used from her motions.

"We will have what we need, drendla," first one warned.

The milk-maid frowned, turning to look over her shoulder.

"There is some problem?"

Number three left the probe in place, rounding the Captain to see the cause for the delay. First one examined the skin of his penis, clearly understanding the problem.

"Ahh…" she said. She reached into her pocket, taking out a tube about the size of her thumb. After removing the cap, she squeezed a generous amount of clear gel on the milk-maid's hand. She spread it on both palms and returned to her work. It wasn't long before her efforts were successful and she gathered his unwilling offering into her container. Number three withdrew the probe, and then they were gone.

He sagged, his writs holding him up, exhausted and drained, and hating himself. But not as much as he hated his circumstances or those who were exploiting his body for their own needs.

He kept his mind as blank as he could until Bellarosa finally appeared. He looked at her as she studied him with understanding.

"Eat you will?" she asked.

He shook his head. "I…uhm…need your help," he finally admitted.

"Help you I will," she assured him.

"My…uhm…bottom," he said softly, his face turning a soft red.

She circled behind him, very gently touching the two bruises decorating his rump.

"Inside," he corrected in a whisper.

"Yes," she acknowledged. "Bleeding you are not."

"I am very sore," he said in embarrassment.

"Help you I can," she assured him. "Enter you I must."

"Yes," he sighed.

"Relax you will?" she requested. He felt a soft rustling behind him and he took a deep, calming breath. "Ready you are?"


She very gently inserted a slick tube, cooling gel following the insertion. "Help ease the pain it will."

"Thank you," he said. "What does drendla mean?"

"Used for a small, beloved child who behaves willfully," she explained with a patient smile.

"Beloved child?"

"Yes, Captain."

That was something he needed to consider. "Were you able to ask them to contact my ship?"

"Asked I did," she agreed.

"Did they?" he asked hopefully.

"Know not I. Ask again I will."

"Thank you, Bellarosa."

"Sore you are here?" she asked, very gently touching the pink skin of his penis.

"Yes," he agreed, wishing he didn't have to admit it.

She nodded, taking out a tube and spreading the gel over his penis. "Feels better it does?"

"Much better," he said. "Thank you."

She nodded again, retrieving a glass of water. "Drink you will?" He accepted the water and when the glass was empty she looked into his eyes. "More?"

"Yes please." With her help, he emptied the second glass as well. "Could I have some coffee?"

"Eat first. Bring you coffee after I will," she bargained.

He considered her offer, finally nodding. He would try to eat if it meant she would provide him the coffee. After she had the chair in position, she let him sit and gave him a new bowl with oranges and a strange fruit he did not recognize.

"Called plest it is," she said when he picked it up to study it.

"It's native to your planet?" he asked, holding the small blue fruit in his fingers. It smelled faintly of bananas and raisins.

"Grows wild it does. Loved by many," she said.

He put it in his mouth, finding the taste strange but pleasant. When he bite into it, the juices burst out, coating his tongue and mouth with the delicate flavor.

"Enjoy it?" Bellarosa asked.

"It's different from any fruit I've had before."

"Oranges. Eaten on your planet they are?"

"Yes," he agreed, eating a segment of orange. It was cool and refreshing, the taste familiar, bringing with it memories of home he could not completely suppress. He sighed softly, forcing himself to eat more of the fruit, conscious of Bellarosa watching him. When two thirds of the orange and all of the plest was gone, he stopped and looked down hopelessly at the bowl.

"Finished you are?" she asked.

"Yes," he said, letting her take the bowl from his hands. She traded it for a small plate and cup, the welcome smell of coffee retuning with her. On the plate rested four pieces of what looked remarkably like chocolate truffles. She silently filled his cup, smiling encouragingly.

"Chocolate?" he asked.

"Eaten by humans," she said.

"Yes," he agreed, tasting one. It was rich and sweet and one of the most delicious foods he had ever eaten. "Thank you."

"Eat them all," she coaxed with a smile.

He nodded and followed her instructions, savoring them and the extra coffee she provided when he had emptied his cup.

"Eat tonight then chocolate you will receive," she promised.

He shrugged in response, drinking from his cup. "How do you spend your time when you aren't tending to me?"

"Care for others. The sick. The old. The sad."

"Where do you live? There are no houses I can see."

"Live close by I do. With my lifemate."

"What does she do?" the Captain asked.

"Do, Captain?"

"Does she have a job, like healer or scientist?"

"Advisor to Kala Korena she is."

"I see," the Captain said, considering it.

"Have you advisors?" she asked.

"Yes. We don't call them that but I do have them. They are trying to figure out some way to retrieve me, I'm sure."

"Succeed they will not," she said matter of factly.

"Apparently," he had to agree.

"Returned you will be," she assured him.


"Decide that I do not."

"I know," he sighed.

"Sleep you will now?" she asked.

"Probably. The drugs they are giving me leave me little choice."

"Harm you they will not," she said.

He nodded, handing her his empty cup and the plate that had held the precious chocolate.

"Return I will," she promised.

"Thank you," he replied. She nodded and disappeared.

He decided not to fight the sleep trying to overtake him. Better to give in than be left with nothing to do but think.

He woke from a dreamless sleep to find a fresh bowl of oranges and a tall glass of water on the table next to the chair. He was disappointed that he had slept through Bellarosa's visit, hoping she would return before nightfall.

As much as he wanted to drink the entire glass of water, he had to restrain from doing so. The food and drink he had earlier consumed were waiting in his bladder for release. It wasn't a pressing need as of yet but he gave into temptation and drank more water, it would become urgent.

Rather than dwell on the needs of his body, he reached over for the book, taking up where he had previously stopped reading. He learned that after the women rose to power, they brought the brightest minds to the capitol and determined how they would secure the peace permanently. To Kirk it sounded again like the process undertaken by Vulcan. The women of Leferson did not devote themselves entirely to logic but embraced the belief that enduring peace was possible and absolutely essential to their survival.

He closed the book and set it aside with the arrival of the scientists.

"Before you say it, I have to empty my bladder," he informed first one.

"Very well," she said, waiting as the earthen jug appeared before her. With a nod to the milk-maid, it was brought to him as he stood, the blanket falling away. Once his hands were secured over his head, the milk-maid positioned the container, allowing him relief.

He nodded to indicate he was quite through. The routine was then the same – number three administering the injection, inserting the probe into his rectum, the milk-maid bringing him to unwilling completion. She did take care to use the same gel as earlier, easing the friction on his delicate skin.

It was all accomplished in stony silence, first one not speaking, the Captain doing everything possible to pretend they did not exist.

Only a brief time elapsed between their departure and Bellarosa's arrival.

"Feeling…pain you are," she said quietly, studying him.

"It's not important," he decided.

"Allow my help, please."

He shook his head, closing his eyes. "Did they contact my ship?"

"Tell me they will not," she said in apology as she lowered him to sit in the chair. The soft blanket was placed over him before she backed away. "Eat you will?"


She studied him, the misery on his face telling her everything he did not or would not say to her. "Water," she said, indicating the tall glass on the table next to him. He nodded, not looking up at her. "Please, Captain," she said, not sure herself what she was asking of him.

"Do you have any idea what it's like, Bellarosa?" he finally said, very softly.

"Free you I would if it were possible," she whispered. "Unaccustomed to being a prisoner you are."

"It's not being held against my will," he said quietly. "It's…being forced to provide…to produce for them. I understand the instinct for survival that's making them do it. But there are other ways to ensure your survival."

"Considered accepting your assistance they did," Bellarosa told him. "Bring too many of you here it would."

"What does Zarensa think about what they are doing?"

"Discussed it we have not. Change it can neither of us. Keep her own council on this matter she does," Bellarosa said in apology.

"Yes, I suppose not discussing it is preferable," he agreed. The yawn took him by surprise, the sleep induced by the injection creeping up on him.

"Leave you I will to sleep. Return when the sun is up," she promised.

"Thank you," he agreed, watching her shimmer and disappear. He wondered briefly if everything which occurred in his cell was being recorded or overheard by an unseen witness. But it hardly mattered. So long as Bellarosa was not scolded for her sympathy or her help, he didn't care who might be watching or listening. Perhaps it should have increased his sense of exposure but he forced himself to remain insouciant concerning his enforced nudity. They had made that choice. He was not going to embarrassed by it.

Sleep, as he knew it would, overcame him in a wave of blankness. A new dream filled his mind with unease, Enterprise no longer in the sky above the planet, ordered away by those who thought they knew best. He remained on the planet but was fully aware of the anxiety the orders caused his crew, especially the command staff. They tried everything they could to remain in orbit but were threatened with arrest for mutiny if they defied their orders. The sorrow they felt ripped at his heart and he was overwhelmed with grief, for them more than for himself.

When he woke, he knew with certainty that his ship remained in orbit above the planet and nothing short of phaser blasts would cause them to abandon him. The dream was disturbing in its intensity but he was able to shake off its effects with several calming breathes.

He watched as Bellarosa appeared, the earthen jug ready to give his bladder relief.

"Had disturbing dreams you did," she said as she studied him.

"They are gone now," he assured her.

She nodded. He stood as the chains were retracted until he was fully upright. With no words needed, she allowed him to empty his bladder and she stepped back.

"Eat you will?" she requested, her eyes concerned.

He shook his head, much as she knew he would.

"Refuse why do you?" she asked gently.

"I'm not hungry, Bellarosa," he said simply.

"Eaten very little you have. Worried I am," she admitted.

"You needn't worry. I am thirsty," he said hopefully.

"Yes," she agreed, waiting as the carafe and cup appeared. "Coffee."

"Thank you." He watched as she poured him a cup, holding it to his lips for him to drink. "Do you drink coffee?"

"Is not native to us," she said, shaking her head.

"How did you know I drink it?"

"Studied you they did," she said, allowing him to drink more.

"Humans? Or me?" he asked, wondering if he really wanted the answer.

"Both. Studied many humans they did. Chosen you were."

"Chosen?" he repeated. "Why?"

"Tell me they did not. Chose you to bring they did."

"Oh," he said, nothing else to add that would make any sense to either of them. He frowned when the three lights shimmered, the scientists returning all too soon.

"You may go," first one said to Bellarosa in dismissal.

"Yes," Bellarosa agreed. "Return I will," she promised the Captain before she disappeared in a shimmer.

"You will have what you need," the Captain told the first one before she could tell him.

"With or without your cooperation," she warned as she so often did.

"I won't prevent my reactions if you won't give me the shot," he bargained, wanting to avoid any more muscle relaxers if he could.

"You will cooperate?" she asked, clearly doubtful.

"That's what I just said," he informed her sternly.

"What makes you believe you are in a position of power, Captain? Is it in your best interest to antagonize us?" she asked. The undercurrent of humor in her voice caught him off guard and he studied her more closely.

"Whether or not I attempt to antagonize you will not alter the circumstances in which I find myself," he told her. "Making you mad brings me a small measure of satisfaction."

"You do not anger me, drendla. You amuse me. You interest me. Were things different, I might have called you friend."

"Instead of Procreator?" he asked.

"Yes. As it is, I have been charged with ensuring the survival of our people. You possess that which we need to accomplish this goal."

"Why are your men infertile?" he asked, glancing at the milk-maid and number three who were watching their conversation as though it were a tennis match.

"Why do you care? You can do nothing to alter it," she pointed out.

"I care because I'm being used. And our scientists could help you find an answer that doesn't involve abducting and raping a Federation citizen," he told her with an edge of bitterness.

"We believe the shield interferes with the reproductive organs of our men. As they are partially external as are yours," she said, not responding directly to his accusations.

"So that which keeps you safe keeps you prisoner."

"I suppose you can look at it like that. We do not wish to have out-worlders come to our planet and disrupt our way of life. Your seminal fluid will ensure our survival without interference from any others."

He sighed, and shook his head. He was not going to convince her not to use him nor accept the assistance he could provide.

"You are ready, Captain?" she asked, not a demand this time.

"Yes," he agreed reluctantly, waiting as the milk-maid and number three took up their positions. The milk-maid looked at him with a new expression, one he could believe was almost respect. The antagonism he had always seen was no longer present. "If you…uhm…caress my testicles, I'll become aroused more quickly," he told her quietly.

She nodded, waiting as number three inserted the probe. It still hurt to have it in his tight channel but he would address that problem the next time they came. They had made enough inroads to his resolve for this visit.

The milk-maid reached with one gentle hand between his legs, fondling him. "Squeeze very gently," he suggested. She did it and he moaned. "No, you aren't hurting me," he assured her when she released him. "It was fine."

She reached for him again, caressing him in a most satisfactory way. Her right hand had already been coated with lubricant and it was stroking his hardening erection in time with her left hand on his testacies.

She looked startled when his balls quivered in her hand and almost released him again. "They're supposed to do that," he assured her very quietly. "You are doing a good job."

She had to smile at him as she relaxed to her work. Her left side was pressed up against him and he found that he enjoyed the warmth of her body next to his. It was an impersonal touch but the increased connection warmed him. It had been the distance between them that had increased his discomfort. Now that she seemed to be concerned about him, it was easier for him to bear what she was doing.

It did not take very long for him to come, the milk-maid collecting all of his precious fluid. She smiled before backing away, standing next to first one as number three removed the probe to join them.

"Thank you, drendla," first one said with a nod. "Bellarosa will come with chocolate."

He nodded, watching them leave. He felt better than he had since he was first abducted although his relief was also embarrassing to him. The convoluted emotions he was feeling were going to take some sorting to figure out.

With nothing else to do but wait, he gazed out the window, wondering if it was as warm as it looked. The valley beneath the mountains was lush and inviting. Strange that he hadn't seen anyone in the valley or by the stream. From his vantage point, the three scientists and Bellarosa seemed to be the entire population of the planet.

Bellarosa appeared with a bowl of fruit and a plate of chocolate. "Fruit first," she said as she lowered him into his chair.

"Alright," he agreed, accepting it from her. He ate most of the orange and all of the plest, drinking from the glass of water she also provided to him. "Why do I never see anyone in the valley?"

"Are the Kala's grounds. Permitted to visit citizens are. Live here they may not."

"I see," the Captain said, considering it. "Are we in the Kala's fortress?"

"Fortress?" Bellarosa repeated in question.

"Castle?" the Captain tried.

"Yes. Lives here does the Kala. When in power she is. Returns to her ancestral home when replaced."

"What is this room used for when you aren't holding prisoners in it?"

"Added on it was. Needed a secure place to house you. Know of your cleverness they do," she said with a faint smile.

"Oh. They did an excellent job," he admitted reluctantly. "You and Zarensa live here?"

"We do," she agreed, handing him the chocolate. "Coffee?"

"Yes please," he said, accepting a cup when she had it poured for him.

"Leave I must. Return I will."

"Thank you, Bellarosa," he said, watching her shimmer and disappear. When she was gone, he reached over for the book, wanting to know more about these people that were holding and using him.

As he read, he learned the men were marginalized to prevent them from taking back the power. It sounded to him as though they were reduced to little more than slaves. They were not given the same educational opportunities as the women, the education for the men ending after six years. The women were allowed to continue their studies at the institutions which sounded like Earth's universities. The restrictions on the men seemed overly severe to the Captain and he wondered if changes had been made since the time of the first Kalas. He also wondered if Bellarosa would be able to tell him. Perhaps the answers were at the end of the book. But he would not jump ahead to see. He feared he would have plenty of time to read all of the pages of the thick book.

As promised, Bellarosa returned with fruit and water, chocolate his reward for eating the oranges. He briefly wondered if that was all they had for him to eat but it wasn't worth asking about. He would not cede more power to them by requesting anything else. It was curious, however, that they provided him coffee and chocolate but none of his other favorites.

As the sun was setting, the scientists returned, little conversation undertaken. The milk-maid employed the lessons he had provided that morning, bringing him quickly to orgasm. He moaned very softly as he came, the first sounds he had made to indicate he enjoyed his involuntary pleasure.

He fell asleep before Bellarosa returned, waking to her welcome presence the next morning.

Three more sunsets and sunrises greeted him and his scientists. He read more of the history, discovering Leferson was not entirely different from Earth. They had constructed the shield as a protection and a warning. They would not fight any potential invaders and had to make sure that none would consider their pacifism a weakness. Stopping anyone from arriving on their planet preserved their peace.

As the sun was fading behind the mountains, Bellarosa appeared, sitting gracefully before him, gazing up at him.

"Tell me of Earth," she requested.

"What is it you want to know?"

"Tell me what you will, Captain. Are your stars red like ours? Have you mountains like ours?"

He considered her request, trying to decide how best to answer. How to describe an entire planet in a way that she could understand. "From space, from above, our planet is blue and green," he said thoughtfully. "It is made up of more than half oceans."

"Oceans?" she repeated.

"Bodies of water," he explained.


"A hundred hundred lakes. All come together," he explained.

"Ocean," she said, considering this new idea.

"Immense stretches of beautiful blue water as far as the eye can see."

"Raised by an ocean you were," she guessed from his pleasure at describing it.

"No. I grew up surrounded by an ocean of land. Farms."

"Yes, farms," she agreed.

"We had neither oceans nor mountains where I lived. But our planet does have mountains. Immensely tall mountains with snow caps that never melt. Gently rolling mountains that are more ancient than our race."

"Left your planet you did," she said.

"To explore new planets. Visit distant worlds. I never thought I would populate one," he admitted.

"Grateful we are for your assistance," she said warmly.

"What will happen if the offspring born from my sperm are also infertile?" he asked.

"Decided they have not."

"Who is the father of your child?" he asked.

"Donated sperm is anonymous, Captain," she explained.

"Will the women who use mine know it came from a human?"

"Told they will be. Choose they must for themselves."

He nodded at that, watching as his scientists appeared.

"Leave you now I must," Bellarosa said, standing gracefully. After gently kissing him on the forehead, she left.

"Captain," first one said in greeting, actually smiling at him.

He rose before she retracted the chains, waiting.

She nodded to number three who went to her customary place. He was surprised when she administered the injection they had spared him since his agreement to cooperate.

"You are leaving us now, drendla," first one explained. "Returning you unconscious is easier."

"I see," he said, sitting back down. He wasn't quite sure how felt about this news. Relief certainly. And sadness? That hardly made sense.

"We appreciate your assistance, as unwilling as it was. You have provided us a gift. We will continue to flourish thanks to you," she said.

"I would not have voluntarily assisted you," he said, simply wanting to make sure they understood.

"We know this, Captain. When you return to your ship, you will leave orbit, please. And request that no other ships follow."

"You will be considered strictly off limits," he assured her.

"As we desire."

"What if my sperm fails to produce fertile offspring?" he asked.

"We will contact you. We will accept the assistance of your scientists. Only you will be allowed to return with them."

"Yes," he agreed. He felt an unwilling sense of obligation to these women now, the anger he had felt supplemented by reluctant respect.

"Sleep now, Captain. And know that you have the gratitude of our entire planet," she said, also kissing his forehead before backing away.

"Good bye," he said, yawning and closing his eyes to allow their drugs to take him.