Cria's plans for an afternoon with her friends go a little awry when someone gives into temptation.

Star Trek
Enterprise

Temptation

A Star Trek Fan Fiction By
J. R. Gershen-Siegel

G- General Audiences

All ages

TrekUnited Publishing

This is a fan written work

The copyrights & trademarks of Star Trek are owned by
Paramount Pictures, CBS Corporation and their licensee, Pocket Books. Any attempt to sell or rent this book should be reported to the copyright owners for their action

First pdf online edition 10/29/2011

Published for TrekUnited by
L'Stok Press

Cria carefully counted the number of little cakes in the jar. There were seven, she was sure of that. Then she counted again – just to make absolutely sure. She walked over to where her mother was sitting and reading. "Mama?" she asked, "May I have some friends visit this afternoon?"

"Have you finished your learning?" Mistra asked. Cria nodded, and presented the materials. Mistra looked them over. "Oh, this is very good. So you are free to have visitors. How many, and will they be staying to dinner?"

"I would like to invite Kathalia, Morza and Jamae," Cria said, "and I don't think they will be staying to dinner. Just a few hours to play some games together and chat."

"Of course, my dear," Mistra said, "your brothers will come home in about an hour's time. Please, just make sure you do not interfere with any learning they have brought home from the big school."

"I understand," Cria said, "we will be quiet during that time."

=/\=

The girls arrived and sat together in the learning room. They spent their time playing a game where the players go around the room and associate words together in order to make sentences. Morza kept deliberately messing up, and the four girls laughed and laughed.

They also carefully combed each other's fur and trimmed each other's whiskers in the modern, graduated style, and Kathalia, who was an elegant Daranaean beauty already, proclaimed their efforts so close to professional it was not possible to tell that they had not had any specialized training.

They also told secrets, and Jamae confessed to the other three that she thought Trinning, one of Cria's elder brothers, smelled the best of any boy. Soon afterwards, Trinning and his older brother, Vidam, came home from the big school and Jamae's nose and ears turned all red when she saw him.

Because the boys had to study, the girls came out of the learning room and went into the kitchen.

"Where is the rest of the family?" Jamae asked.

"Dratha has taken them on a day trip to the countryside," Cria explained, "but Trinning and Vidam had to go to school, and Inta is too young to go, so Mama stayed home and I decided to keep her company."

"And I appreciate your company. We have gotten a letter," Mistra said, "It is from the human, Commander Reed. Would you like for me to read it out loud?"

"Humans? How interesting," Kathalia said, "My father says they fought together with us when he battled the Klingons. I am sure they helped him. I should thank them for keeping Father safe."

"I am certain they would like to hear from you," Mistra said.

"Plus you will be a Prime Wife someday," Morza pointed out.

"And you will all be secondaries," Kathalia said, "But it does not mean that what you say is unimportant, or that we cannot be close. You are my sister, of course, Morza!" It was still quite a coup to say that someone with a different mother was one's sister. So many Daranaeans still said half-sister and half-brother which, while technically true, was beginning to be seen as a bit unnecessarily cruel. "And Cria and Jamae, we are such good friends; you are like having more sisters. I don't think the castes should matter in that way, do you?"

"I value all of my friends," Cria said, "Mama, what does the letter say?"

"It says," Mistra read,

"November fifth, 2165

Dear Mistra and family,

My apologies for not including all of your other names. I am so afraid I would leave someone out. I do remember all of your faces.

I do not know when I will next be in the area, but at some point, I should like it very much if my son, Declan, could have some play time with some of your younger children. I believe that Seppa and Minna may be the closest in age to him.

You are very fortunate to be spending so much time with your loved ones. I'm afraid my work often takes me rather far away. I hope we can all get together soon.

Sincerely Yours,

Malcolm Reed

Commander, USS Zefram Cochrane

DCC – 1501

Mistra paused for a moment, "Oh, there is a picture enclosed. Look!" It was a child's drawing of one of the shuttles belonging to the Zefram Cochrane.

"Oh, that is a pretty good likeness," Jamae said, "How old is this little boy?"

"Four, I think, and that is counting from birth, and not pouch emergence, for their women do not have pouches," Mistra said.

"How odd," Morza said, "it must be difficult to go through life without a pouch!"

"I understand that they are barefaced, as well," Jamae said, "and I could not see any whiskers in any of the pictures I have ever seen of humans. Still, this Declan, he is a good artist already."

"Would you like some little cakes?" Cria asked, ever mindful of being a good hostess.

Morza brought over the jar. "There are not enough." There were only two in there.

"Huh, there were seven in there before I asked you over," Cria said, "I am sorry."

"It is all right," Kathalia said, "perhaps we could make more. Would you mind?" she asked Mistra.

"Not at all, here, I will show you where the flour is." Mistra was pleasantly surprised. A first caste female such as Kathalia was not obligated to ask for permission of a secondary such as her, even taking the age difference into consideration. Daranaea was changing, and that felt like another positive change.

"Where is little Inta?" Vidam asked. He and Trinning were taking a break from their studies, so he came into the kitchen.

"She went into the sleeping room," Mistra said, "and good and early, too! She is often so much trouble when it comes to her naps. But today she went right in there."

Trinning came out of the sleeping room and Jamae again got very red in the face, "Mama, I think you should come and look in on Inta," he said.

"Is she all right?" Mistra got up, a little alarmed.

"Yes, but, you will see what I mean," Trinning said, and he showed a secret smile that only Jamae saw.

They all went into the sleeping room. There was a bit of a crunching sound where they put their feet. Inta was lying more next to her blanket than under it, wearing naught but her swaddling. There were crumbs all around where she was sleeping, and two of the little cakes were stuffed into her tiny pouch, but she was so small that they stuck out of the top. There were crumbs in her whiskers, too, and around her little mouth and in her hands.

"So that is where the other five little cakes went!" Cria exclaimed.

"She must have carried one in each hand, one in her mouth and two in her pouch," Morza said.

"Then that would mean she was walking upright!" Vidam said, "And she has only been crawling so far."

All of the noise woke Inta up, and she began to cry a little and hold her belly. Mistra came over, "Oh, Inta! You have been naughty! I imagine you have quite a bellyache, little one. Here, let us get you some fizzing water. That will make the pain go away."

"I guess that is why there weren't enough little cakes," Cria said, again apologetic.

"Oh, I don't mind making more," Kathalia said, "if my friends will help me."

They baked a batch of little cakes and everyone enjoyed them. Everyone that is, except for Inta, who had had quite enough, but was feeling better once she had drunk some of the fizzing water.

There were some leftover little cakes, and it was getting to be close to dinner time. "You should take the remaining little cakes with you," Mistra suggested to the guests, "so that someone is not tempted again."

They wrapped them up into two packages – one for Kathalia and Morza's family, and the other for Jamae's family. "Uh, Trinning and I will carry the packages," Vidam volunteered, even though the packages were very small and the girls were more than capable of carrying them by themselves. Mistra took one look and nodded, understanding. It was early to be thinking of such things, but she could see a glance exchanged between Trinning and Jamae, a girl from a fine family. And Kathalia and Morza were two of the daughters of Acreon, the war hero! They would all make fine additions to the family, when they were ready, and of age.

The five of them left, and Mistra and Cria cleaned up the mess in the sleeping room and Inta helped as well as she could so that she would learn to be more considerate. Then Cria and Mistra straightened up the kitchen from the baking and got dinner ready as the rest of the family came home and began to speak of the day's adventures. Minna was very excited that they had ridden on a big boat and seen fish jumping out of the water and splashing as they landed again.

And little Inta, who was sitting in the corner of the kitchen and watching and listening very intently, stuck her hand in her pouch and pulled out a forgotten broken off morsel of a little cake and ate it while no one else was looking.