This one is rated T for safety mainly because there is suggestive language and some S&M things. That all deals with the red Queen, so if it makes you queezy, just skip it.

The red queen, sitting on her throne, was tapping her riding crop on her heeled foot as she eyed the bound dark haired man who she had in his skivvies and chained.

"Come now, dark knight," she barked, standing and circling him. "Whence came you? How did you make it into my lands?"

Samok stirred and opened his eyes and looked up at the woman, then to her whip, "Who are you?" He asked, attempting to sit up when he realized he was bound, "Unchain me." He nearly glared at her. How dare she.

She smirked and took the whip across his face, drawing a bit of blood, "You do not ask questions. I do."

Samok swallowed thickly and straightened, determined to retain his control. He could feel that this woman was the impatient type, and for once in his life, he regretted that he knew so little of the mystery that was women. But even so, he would not let her win. He suppressed the pain and focused on her question.

"I do not know how I came to be here. Perhaps you could tell me."

She cracked the whip across his other cheek and laughed, "If I knew...I wouldn't have to ask you, now would I?'

She leaned down and leaned her face in close to take in his sent and purred before licking his cheek, "However...I find you...tasty none the less. I think I shall keep you. I would suggest you not anger me...such...stature would be a shame to waste." She stood and turned, heading back to her throne, "Now...come to me my pet." Her hand beckoning him to her gracefully, malicious intent gleaming in her eye.

Samok's eyes hardened. He was not a pet to be summoned at her beck and call! He was an officer in Starfleet, a son of Vulcan, and he would not stand for such blatant disregard for his dignity!

However...the way she had spoken to him...the controlling nature of her voice...I find you...tasty nonetheless...

The beast growled, interested in this woman, and almost against his will, his eyes roamed over her. She had strong shoulders and a defined torso kept in check with a tight corset, and her facial features were proud and noble. Her cheekbones were high and defined, and her hooded eyes were bright with malice. Her lips were red as human blood, parted, plump, and the way her fingers curled deftly around her riding crop made his eyebrow rise in intrigue.

She cracked her whip on her thigh harshly and snarled, "Do not keep me waiting, devil. Come. Here. Now." and just as quickly as her smiled had faded it returned, tracing a painted nail over her supple breasts, "You like what you see...so I see no reason why it should be difficult for you. I might be gentle..." There was a cruel yet playful tone to her voice as she cooed to him.

A spider...drawing her prey into her web. The thrill of watching the prey squirm...the thought made her moan and bite her lip.

The beast was even more intrigued...here is a woman who may find your inner passions quite acceptable. She will not break...she is too strong to break...she may break us...

Samok could feel (against his will, against his greatest efforts) the beginnings of arousal pulling at him, making him lean forward slightly.

"No," he growled. "I will not be used in such a callous manner." Even as the words tumbled from his lips, the thought of tasting her milky white skin made his mouth water in anticipation.

There was a clicking of her heels as she had jumped to her feet and spun kicked him in the head, sending him sliding across the floor, where she walked over and lashed at his back a moment, "You don't get a choice!"

She knelt down and grabbed a fist full of his hair and looked him in his green eyes, seething in anger only to head butt him, "Now, what do you say?"

Her violent actions were only serving to stir his blood, and a moan was forced out of his lips against his will. He was torn between giving in to her (as the beast wanted to do) and retaining his dignity. But his blood was awakened, seething in his veins, and he closed his eyes, ready to accept defeat.

"What would you have me do, my lady?"

She smiled and dropped him to stand, "My shoes need cleaning now. Lick them so." Her eyes were locked on him, her whip ready, "Should you not...I have vinegar to pour on those wounds of yours..." She cooed.

Samok growled in defiance. His control was enough to suppress the pain, and he would not debase himself to lick her shoes.

"I will not," he hissed, staring at her with a defiant gaze.

"I am beginning to think you like the pain." She kicked him in the stomach.

"Guards! Hang this scum from the ceiling and whip him. My arm is growing tired and I want to enjoy watching him howl in agony." Two men dressed in red hearts covering a white armor came up and pulled him off the floor and attached the chains around his wrists to a hook. Another guard brought out a table with many different whips on it, and he grabbed a black one with tiny silver razors along it. Samok glanced over at the rest and swallowed. None looked pleasant and the Queen grinned.

O_O_O_O

The three others walked through the archway, Varel leading Larkin as T'Lara walked ahead to get a better look at the huge flowers.

"It is probably best if we do not get too close as there may be insects. In our current size we may have issues fending them off should they attack." Varel called ahead.

"Insects? We have no insects. They are not permitted." A female voice called out.

"They look like insects. Get rid of them." Said another.

"We are not insects." Larkin chimed in matter-of-factly.

"Oh? Where is your proof, bug?" A voice asked.

Larkin leaned in to whisper to Varel, "Who is speaking?"

Varel had to have him repeat the question as his eyes were locked on to the source of the voices but he finally replied, "The flowers."

Larkin gave a sigh, "Are you going senile?"

Varel blinked at him indignantly, "I am not. I assure you I have complete control of my mental facilities. The flowers are speaking. They also have facial structures."

Larkin gave a small growl. He was beginning to get irritated with not being able to see. What good was a Doctor without sight?

"We are not insects because we do not possess an exoskeleton." Larkin answered the Flowers, feeling utterly foolish at the notion.

"Pfft...butterflies don't have those and they are insects." A voice said snottily.

"Yes dear, but those are bugs we let in." Another replied.

"They are good friends with the breadflies, so of course." Another answered.

Larkin blinked, "I assure you we are not insects." He tugged on Varel's sleeve and mouthed, "I can not believe I am arguing with a flower."

Varel held back a chuckle then his eyes widened as he saw T'Lara wondering closer to where the flowers were rooted, "I suggest you keep distracting them. It would seem T'Laras curiosity has encouraged her to gain a soil sample."

"An assurance is quite polite...bugs are not normally polite." A voice cooed.

"An assurance is also not proof." Another responded.

Larkin was searching through every sort of insect he knew of to find a way to explain they were not insects, but nothing was coming up as logical or convincing, and he gave a sigh, "I am not sure I can."

Varel rolled his eyes then looked to the flowers and straightened, "Perhaps you...lovely ladies could tell us what games you like to play on such a beautiful and sunny day as this. Such beautiful flowers are well educated and cultured."

Larkin quirked a brow and turned his head to Varel, "Flattery? Really?"

"OOOOH!" One of the squealed in delight, "Well, you flatterer, we are very fond of playing cards and chess. However..." She leaned in and said in a softer tone, "We are really fond of charades."

Varel knew all of these games and gave a polite bow, "Could we possibly interest you in a game?" He asked, ignoring Larkin.

"Bugs never play games!" Came a reply, "We would love to play a game."

Varel gave another nod and gestured with his hand, "Ladies first. Would you like to act out a scene, or to guess?"

"Oh! Oh! Oh! I want to act one out! I never get to!" A smaller and younger voice cried out.

"Oh I suppose you can this time. Go ahead violet." One of the other voices responded.

"Yay! Ok...I am a thing." Varel watched, trying to avoid looking at T'Lara for she was dangerously close to being spotted as 'Violet' was not to far from her and forcing the other flowers to look down at her.

Varel also had no idea what the flower was trying to do, but he kept throwing out guesses as best as he could, "A bird? No. A...Tree? Uhh...no. A..."

"A Dandelion!" One of the other flowers cried, the others laughing in tow. Until there was a loud shriek.

"WEEEEEEEEEED! There...There is a Weed trying to contaminate your roots rose!"

"Game over? You should have guessed a loon." Larkin said just as he was pulled into a frantic run as Varel booked it to grab T'Lara. There was screaming all around and for once Varel was glad he couldn't hear as he grabbed and pulled the female up off her feet and began running and dodging branches and pedals as he headed off to the other side of the garden.

Once through another small opening they all stopped and attempted to regain their breaths, "We...are to never...and I mean NEVER mention that we were run out of a garden by flowers. Do I make myself clear?" Varel growled, glaring at T'Lara as she gave him a nod and tucked her new vial of dirt into her uniform jacket.

Larkin gave a small chuckle, "Why, Varel? Afraid someone would never believe you?"

Varel cocked a brow and began to turn and walk away. Larkin and T'Lara jumped as they heard a painful howl, T'Lara grabbed Varel's wrist before he wandered off without them.

"What was that? It sounded like...someone in pain." Larkin moved his glance to were he knew T'Lara was standing.

T'Lara touched Larkin's fingers to her temple and nodded, and she looked around, finding an opening she hadn't noticed before. The bricks behind it blended seamlessly with the wall closest to them, and she tapped on Varel's shoulder and pointed it out to him. Once he moved his head a little, he could see the opening, and he and T'Lara pulled Larkin along through this new path.

"We need to get to our original size and get out of this place. This is growing tiresome." Larkin sighed.

O_O_O_O

Solok stopped in the town square, looking around for their lost companions, but their fellow Vulcans were nowhere to be seen. He told T'Pel this and gripped her wrist a little tighter, "Do you feel them, T'Pel?"

T'Pel shook her head, "I do not. However I think we should leave here. I sense hostilities." She turned and headed in a direction, not really thinking.

"Where are you two going? You don't look like you belong in these parts." a mans voice called from behind.

"We do not want trouble. We are simply looking for some friends. I think we are in the wrong area." She responded, making an effort to keep herself between Solok and them.

Solok narrowed his eyes, wanting to get in front of T'Pel. Something primal was beating in his blood as the strange man walked up to his T'Sai, looking as if he might strike her or hurt her. No, he would not have it. He would not let anyone hurt his lovely T'Sai.

"Yeah, you are most definitely in the wrong area. Begone with ya, devils the lot of ya!" the man barked, and Solok planted himself between the tall man and his T'Sai.

"Do not speak to her in such a manner. She is a lady, and you will address her as such."

T'Pel raised a brow in surprise, "Solok, that is not advised." She said softly, making an attempt to pull him back

"A big man, eh?" The man laughed and struck Solok across the face, "Mouthy little brat."

T'Pel felt her own instincts flare up like fire and she lowered her head and growled, "THAT is most certainly not advised."

Solok suppressed the pain and watched in shock as his T'Sai charged the man and punched him in the face. The man stumbled back and tried to make a counter move, but T'Pel was too fast for him. She broke his nose with a swift upward thrust with the heel of her hand, then knee him in the groin.

She turned and took Soloks hand. "And now we run."

Solok gave a quick nod, and with her hand in his began running away from the village as fast as his legs could carry him. It was a time before he slowed, having ducked into the forest for cover, "Have they followed?" He asked panting.

T'Pel bent over, placing her hands on her knee's in an attempt to both catch her breath and calm herself, "I do not believe so. Are you injured, Solok?" She asked, falling to her knee's, looking for a distraction. She wanted to return and burn the whole village...this was not acceptable.

"He tried to strike you," Solok growled, the primal nature of his blood roaring in his ears. He took a deep breath and calmed himself. Although he wanted to run back to that village and find the man who tried to hurt his T'Sai, who treated her with such disrespect, that would be unwise. He was only a boy, though he possessed three times their strength, he would quickly be outnumbered.

"No, T'Sai, I am uninjured. And you?"

She took in a deep breath and sat back, her eyes closed. She could feel the beast being caged again and shook her head, "I am unharmed. However...before we head into the city, I believe we should attempt to find some shielding of our..."A smirk crossed her lips, almost pleased, "...our pointy ears."

Finally she stood again and placed a hand on his shoulder and gave it a calming squeeze, "There is no need for anger. In this place, it will test you. That much is obvious. They only fear what they do not understand. Always remember that, my Solok. Now...Let us head to the city. Keep an eye open for anything we may use as a disguise."

His primal self wanted to force a growl from his lips as she said those words. Always remember that, MY Solok...

He shook his head of the stray thought and focused on finding something to cover their ears. "You could probably hide yours with your hair," he suggested, and his eyes lingered on her long, dark locks. "I think, however, that I should find...an Earth bandana?"

She gave a smirk and unclasped her hair letting it fall over her ears and shoulders, "Clever boy. Thank you. And I believe that would be sufficient, yes."

"A Bandana like...this purrrhaps?" A voice cooed from around them. Solok saw a blue bandana hanging in mid air, "Yes!" He exclaimed.

He tried to jump and take it, but it disappeared. He frowned, chiding himself as he remembered to take nothing at face value, but he was truly confused when a crescent-shaped grin appeared in mid-air, hovering above a tree branch.

"A little too short I think." The bandana reappeared just above his head and dangled there.

T'Pel gave a tilt of her head as she could sense amusement, however non threatening, "May we inquire your name?" She had no idea what Solok was seeing and assumed it was flesh and blood.

"Cheshire would be me...and you are?" He purred, continuing to tease Solok with the bandana. Slowly lowering it and letting it sway in the slight breeze.

Solok reached for the bandana again, but it disappeared again, and a wheezy giggle came out of nowhere. "Oh, this is too much fun!" the voice said, and Solok could see displeasure spreading over T'Pel's features.

"What must I do to get the bandana?"

A purple cat with a sly grin slowly appeared on the tree branch above their heads, and he rolled over so he could hang his head down and smile at them upside-down. "Puuuurhaps a riddle, little boy?"

T'Pel stood behind Solok and placed a hand on his shoulder, "Do not get frustrated. Simply listen. Observe. The logic will unfold it's self as long as you are patient for it." She gave a blink, finding it odd how maternal she felt, and it was a little alarming and she removed her hand.

"Give us your riddle, Sir. We will come to an answer." She hoped.

The cat gave another laugh, "How...is a Raven...like a writing desk?"

Solok frowned and pondered the riddle, but he could not come up with an answer. "Perhaps they are alike in color?" he whispered to T'Pel. He had no answers.

She smiled, having thought it over herself and came up with nothing, "Perhaps the answer is that there is no answer. The logic is that there is none. Answers can often be the simplest one." She whispered back.

"I cannot think of any way that they are similar." He turned to the cat. "There is no similarity between them."

Ches gave a low purr, "Clever. Clever indeed."

The next moment he had wrapped the bandana on Soloks head and curled up on top, swishing his poofy tail in the lads face, "You are not from here. You also seem lost."

"We were...dropped here, for lack of a better term. We believe we may have friends in the city and are heading to see if we can find them." Solok responded.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk...It may be wiser to avoid the city. That is where the Red Queen lives and she...she is not very nice."

Solok frowned. "The danger is acceptable. We must find our companions."

The Cheshire cat grinned wider. "Such cooourage...I like that, little boy. I just heard a from a little pretty bird that the Queen has a new pet...looks like the devil, said she, and she might not let him free..."

A knot grew in T'Pels stomach, "Can you give us more information?" Her hand gripped Soloks arm.

"If you walk closer, you still might be able to hear his screams. Those are the Queens favorite music. The mistress of pain..." He responded coolly.

She now wanted to break into a run toward the city, but held back. Rushing in guns a blaze would not be any assistance at all.

"Any suggestions as how we may get in to see her?" She asked.

"Hmm..." the cat purred, rolling over so he was upright. "You might worry about getting past the labyrinth...my little bird told me that three people with pointed ears were having a hard time getting through the maze...so worry about the labyrinth. And I think flattery might get you far...just a thought..."

"We thank you for your assistance. If we can return the favor, do not hesitate to ask." She responded, ushering Solok toward the city again.

"I wonder who she has captive...and if it was Q's doing." She murmured.

O_O_O_O_O

"I think that is enough." The Queen purred, standing to walk over to Samok and eyed the green blood running down his form, "Perhaps I was just a...tad harsh with you."

She moved to face him, her face soft and almost compassionate, "Now I feel bad. I always get a little...over zealous about such things. I hope you can forgive me."

Taking it a step further, she grabbed a wet rag and dabbed it on his face gently, just as a nurse maid might.

Samok was panting, his body burning in agony, and he tried to center himself, tried to control the overwhelming pain.

"I do not understand," he whispered. "One minute, you...whip me, the next...you are tender...I do not understand."

A smile graced her lips, "Do you have to understand everything? All you need know is that my word is law. You, and all my subjects follow it. I am...quite generous to those those who obey." She trailed her tongue along the outer shell of his ear, just before biting his lobe, "Or I can put you through worse then what you have just endured. You're choice." She purred, giving his neck a nibble.