(a/n: Okay, okay, I'm so so sorry for late updates. Real life has been kicking my ass. And I'm gonna admit, I spend more of my time reading on the new kink meme than I do filling for the new kink meme. But I'm still here. Slowly but surely, I am getting this finished. Thanks, you awesome, loyal watchers for your fantastic reviews; you don't even know how happy any sort of feedback makes me. Here, have some fic.)
Chapter 3: The Wrath of Agrajag
After that strange moment, the procession continued back on its journey to the bridge. Arthur looked around him. Behind him, Trillian analyzed the workings of the ship, and Zaphod plotted to steal it. Next to him, Ford was giving his old towel a close inspection, mumbling incoherencies. Arthur looked forward. The expressionless alien man and his charismatic captain had fallen into perfect stride beside each other. They hovered together in a manner that Arthur thought would uncomfortably close. Realizing this, he took a step away from Ford, who shot him one of those disconcerting grins and mouthed, "Exciting, eh?"
Arthur rather didn't think so. He let his eyes wander back to the two people ahead of him, and glanced around at the crew scattered about. The vast majority of them were humanoid, and upon closer inspection, Arthur realized that most were human.
"Er, Captain?" he asked, one finger raised in conjecture, "this ship's crew…where are most of them from?"
"Most of us are human," the captain replied. "Some members of the crew are colonists from other planets, but a lot are from Earth." He suddenly broke into a wide grin and gestured at the man standing next to him. "Why, even our resident alien is part human."
Said "resident alien" straightened and clasped his hands more securely behind his back; remaining stony faced. Arthur nodded. Wherever they were, it was a skewed version of his own timeline.
A welcoming hydraulic whoosh of a door preceded the group's entrance onto the bridge. The members of the former starship Heart of Gold crew looked about in awe at the sterile, glittering bridge of the flagship of the Federation and those at work on it.
"Welcome to the bridge," Captain Kirk said, and Arthur wondered if the man ever stopped grinning.
Whirling about in the glittering starts somewhere was a little blue box. It has nothing to do with this story.
Trillian wandered over to what was the communications station of the bridge and hovered about for a moment, curious.
"What's all this for?" she asked the pretty dark-skinned girl who manned the station.
"It's where we receive and translate all incoming signals, to begin with," the woman said. "Many are in alien languages and dialects."
"So, you've never heard of a Babel fish?"
Trillian didn't really want to put the nice young lady out of a job.
"Never mind," she said, and went off to go make sure Zaphod didn't try to hijack the ship that had saved them. It would have been awkward. Uhura looked on after her, mentally making a note to look up this Babel fish when her console beeped.
"We're being hailed," she said.
The view screen filled with horrible images: Vogons and their ship. Some crew members recoiled violently in fear. Some gagged. Several poor souls simply couldn't take it and collapsed into dead faints.
"Why hello there," Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz whined, "we're about to torture some of you to death. Just thought I should let you know."
Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz gave the slightest of smiles at his own chivalry and pressed the matter-transference beam button on his console.
"Urghxfhghh," Arthur Dent said. "I recognize this place."
"'Urghxfhghh' is right," Ford Prefect said, rearranging himself and his satchel. "We're on a Vogon Constructor Ship."
"URGHXFHGHH." Said Arthur Dent.
"Okay. Everybody remain calm," the captain said, "we need to find out what's going on."
"I'll tell you what's going on," Ford shouted, "Vogons! That's what's going on!"
"Alright, then. Let's take stock of the situation."
Kirk tried to recall who had been nearest him on the bridge before the involuntary beam-up: the CMO, probing for information ("Dammit, Jim, what the hell is going on?"), his first officer, the communications officer, and the group they had just saved from the spontaneously combusting ship. They all met roll call. Plus one completely inexplicable potted plant.
The door to the storage compartment they were stuffed into creaked open, letting the light from outside in. They wished it hadn't; greeting them was Ensign Agrajag, a diabolical expression possessing his entire body. There was madness in those eyes, there were a million vengeances concealed in that terrible smile. There were myriad pointless deaths within that often-reincarnated soul. To put it simply: he looked enraged. He looked crazy. He looked like he needed a good hug.
"Ensign!" Kirk shouted, but Agrajag only had eyes for one.
"Dent," he growled, and Arthur tried to pretend he didn't squeak. "It's finally time."
"Time for what?" McCoy shouted, but Agrajag ignored him.
"I'm saving that pathetic scumbag for last," he snarled, backing away as a Vogon guard entreated into the space. He cleared his throat.
"RESISTANCE IS USELESS!" he shouted, and they all recoiled from the noise. "All right, you lot, we're gonna do this systematically. Who wants to get read poetry first? If you don't comply, we'll toss you out the airlock. Haven't done that in a while."
"A quite outdated practice; the Vogons have utilized it for centuries," Spock commented.
"Poetry?" the captain inquired, "what's to resist about poetry?"
"In Vogon parlance, the word 'poetry' might as well be a synonym for 'excruciating torture', Captain. The Vogons' poetry is so bad that it has caused smaller, more defenseless planets to implode in order to keep gravitational equilibrium within their solar system, as too many of its inhabitants had imploded in order to escape the agony."
Kirk stared at his first officer for a moment.
"ANY VOLUNTEERS?" the Vogon guard shrieked. "You'd best hurry up, or I shoot the one in charge. Who's the one in charge?" he turned to Agrajag.
"The one in gold."
"Somebody had better volunteer, or I shoot the one in g—"
"I shall go," Spock stepped forward.
"No!" Uhura gasped.
"Do not be concerned. Out of all of us, I will be the least affected."
"Wait!" Kirk shouted, but the guard had already led him away.
"Didn't that righteous bastard just get finished telling us about implosions?" McCoy scoffed.
"Yeah, but Vulcans are exempt from all of that," Ford said. "Superior intellect, and all."
"I thought some of that was only rumors," Zaphod mumbled.
"Well," Kirk said, gesturing to the still open door, "I'm not just gonna stand here and wait."
Uhura was already halfway out the door. The rest followed, running out to catch up with Agrajag, the guard, and their prisoner.
By the time they had run down the constructor ship's corridors, the batshit crazy ensign, his Vogon crony, and Spock had already disappeared into the recital area.
"Wait right here," Kirk stopped outside the door and held a hand up to stop the rest of them abruptly. "I'm going in."
"Are you crazy?" Ford cried, "You'll flood the whole compartment!"
"He's dead already. It's too late."
Kirk peered through the glass window in the door, hand helplessly placed on the glass. He had the strangest sense of déjà vu. Uhura shoved him out of the way to get a look through the door. They glared at each other for a split second, then Kirk recuperated and they stood staring through the glass side by side.
"Sorry, Captain," Uhura murmured, and he nodded once.
Inside the room, the Vulcan was being strapped into some strange restraint by the putrid Vogon guard. ("Poetry Appreciation Chair," Ford whispered.) The larger, surlier Vogon squashed himself upon his seat and shifted around a bit, looking content. Or, as content as something quite that hideous could possibly look.
"Are you prepared?"
The slightest of pauses.
The Vogon cleared his throat.
"Roses are red…asphyxiated carbon-based beings are blue…"
From outside the Poetry Appreciation room, the two at the window spotted a tell-tale eyebrow raise from the captive.
"The borogroves were oh so mimsy, they stick to me like glue…"
A careful observer would notice the slight turn down of Spock's mouth, the slight furrowing of his eyebrows.
"MY MISTRESS'S EYES ARE NOTHING LIKE THE SUN…"
There it was: an unmistakable grimace on the Vulcan's visage, however ephemeral.
"LURGID MICTURATIONS DANCE AND HAVE THEIR FUN."
Oh dear. Rhyme scheme. The two at the window grimaced, but continued watching the Vulcan, whose façade of calmness was quickly fading. He now looked a little more than vaguely disconcerted—he was twitching around in discomfort. The sound amplification devices on his temples and forehead were obviously doing their job. With each line, he struggled more and more against the restraints.
"YOUR LOVE DOES MUCH TO SUFFOCATE ME," Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz warbled. This was too much. Even from outside the door, they could hear the Vulcan's small whimpers of suppressed agony.
"AS IF WE WERE TRAPPED IN SEPULCHERS BY THE SEA."
Panting and moaning from the Poetry Appreciation Chair, now; the observers on the other end of the door were shocked. Yes, it was awful, but…?
"TYGER, TYGER! BURNING BRIGHT! NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP TONIGHT!"
A bloodcurdling scream. It sent shivers down Kirk and company's suddenly straightened spines.
"WE ARE NO STRANGERS TO LOVE!"
"OH FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS LOGICAL!!!" Spock screamed, thrashing about and hyperventilating in the way a Vulcan best knew how. "STOP IT! MAKE IT STOP!"
"I WANDER LONELY AS A CLOUD, NEVER RUNNING AROUND, NEVER DESERTING YOU…"
"OH, PLEASE; I IMPLORE YOU!" he sobbed, "BY SURAK, STOOOOOOOOOP! CEASE!"
And then, finally, silence.
"What did you think of my poem?" Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz asked. A moment passed. Spock began to cry.
A few moments later, after the Vogon guard had unstrapped all the restraints on the Poetry Appreciation Chair, Spock calmly walked over to the door with the guard prodding him on.
Kirk and Uhura hurriedly worked together to open the door, and the Enterprise crew—them plus McCoy—all dashed inside to meet the half-Vulcan halfway.
"Spock!" Kirk cried, placing his arms on his first's shoulders. "Are you alright?"
"I am…" He paused a moment.
"A most…unpleasant experience, Captain," he finally said, and with that, collapsed into Kirk's arms.
"Mmm," Ford said drolly as he meandered up, Arthur in tow. "Sensitive ears."
(a/n: HEY YOU SEE WHAT I DID THAR?!
Okay. So…I may or may not know exactly what's going to happen next. And by that I mean nope, no clue. But it will come to me. Plot bunnies are awful, obsequious little bitches.
My deepest apologies, of course, to Misters Carroll, Shakespeare, Adams, Poe, Blake, Wordsworth, and of course, Mr. Astley. I couldn't have done it without them.
And, by the way, if you wanted the thread on the original meme where this was first prompted, here you go:
You be the judges as to whether or not I'm doin' it right.)