Spoilers: There are minor references from the whole series up through "Bound." Primarily, however, this is a sequel of my story "Darkness Intruding: The Missing Episode," which was designed to be the RU version of what happened in the MU in "In a Mirror, Darkly." It can be read alone, but will make much better sense if you've read "Darkness Intruding" first.

Disclaimer: All things Star Trek belong to CBS/Paramount.

Author's Note: Why haven't we ever seen a female Tellarite? That's the question that finally got me going with this story (perhaps especially since the last one ended with four alpha males from four different species toasting each other). I also wondered why there seems to be some tension between Trip and T'Pol in "Demons," so you can expect some tussling in that department. In general, expect non-explicit adult themes, some of them snout-nosed.

This is just the teaser. Act One should go up as soon as I have enough of an outline to assure myself that it doesn't need revision. (In the interest of getting this done before an overseas trip, I may also decide to depart from Star Trek's traditional teaser-and-five-acts structure. After all, you don't need to fit any commercials in, right?)

Note that I have also corrected my spelling of Gral. (Sigh. Those darned alien names!)

Ambassador Gral strutted into the dimly-lit, red-draped lounge. As always, this exclusive establishment for senior government employees was warm and steaming with the luxurious mud pit that dominated it. But he barely noticed that, his attention drawn instead to the array of beautiful young women reclining decoratively on the large pillows arranged around its perimeter. Their lips were painted red and their teats were not really hidden by the filmy shifts they wore.

Manageress Malaara, an older woman who was much more modestly dressed, stepped forward with authority. "How can we assist you, Ambassador?"

At this, the younger women on display about the room sat up, their ears swiveling forward – all but one, who looked to be perhaps the youngest there: she drew back further into her corner.

"Ladies," Gral announced to the room at large. "Having just achieved an amazing feat of diplomacy that I expect to benefit our people for generations, I am in the mood to celebrate. Who among you most deserves to bear my distinguished progeny?"

The women immediately began to vie for his attention by crowding up to him and snuffling and grunting lasciviously – all except the one in the corner, who stayed where she was and watched warily. Perhaps she new to this, Gral thought, dismissing her without a second thought. Virgins were far less likely to conceive a large litter, and he preferred a female with skill and enthusiasm in any case.

"I like the hips on you," he declared to one who had been so bold as to back her ample behind up against him. "Come, sweetness, let us demonstrate our faith in the future."