The events in this SIM occurred on stardate ((placeholder))
(( Talvath - Hidden ))
:: The stabbing, blinding bright could not intrude upon this place. No more than a shallow compartment, but it would serve. She was protected. She knew they would come, but what was the point? Was there any hope that they would help, these fools who did not even know what threat they faced? The only certainty was that they would bring pain. Those not of Remus always carried and spread the shining pain wherever they came. ::
:: Her brothers were out there. She would curse them, but life had cursed them from birth. No one who could understand their suffering would add any more to it. They hungered as she did, but could only satisfy themselves in destruction. They were her enemies, but they were more enemies to themselves than anyone else could be. Although their path was abhorrent, Cruella could not fight them or restrain them. They were too strong. Their violence defied reasoning. ::
:: Two shuttles entered the husk-strewn jumble of the Talvath's Shuttle Bay. As soon as one had passed through the magnetic containment field, the lights tried to activate. Her brothers had seen to it that the lights would only function enough to disorient visitors. From hiding she could not see them. She could hear them. Before the crafts' doors opened, even before the engines of the shuttles had set them down, she could hear the thoughts, the hopeful and determined thoughts of the light-bringers. ::
:: For a moment Cruella felt rising hope herself. These non-Remans might be stronger than the Romulans. They might even defeat her wicked brothers! ::
:: She spoke a prayer for her brothers, her sisters — wherever fortune might find them — and for these who were now examining the Shuttle Bay. ::
:: The thoughts she heard were strange. Not Reman. Not even Romulan. She was confused until she realized that they were not even one group— Of course! They were a mixed party. Maybe these non-Remans would understand what Cruella needed? Individually their thoughts seemed weak. Even the thoughts of their warriors paled next to the consuming dark noise of her Reman brothers. ::
:: Her brothers were watching them. They were only waiting to come between the non-Remans and their ships. The brothers gloated in the dark and Cruella could only hate them for it. Hopelessness crept over her once more. Cruella could not be more unlike Remans of the Orcus Sect. They were opposite, and yet she sank inside, crushed in knowing that she was more like her wicked brothers than she could ever be like the non-Remans from "Discovery". Cruella could not even throw herself upon the mercy of the Discovery's crew; her weakness then might give her disgusting brothers a perfect chance to strike. Best to avoid both. ::
:: One of the non-Remans approached near Cruella's compartment cover. She reached out towards his thoughts — he was clearly male — with her mind. ::
CRUELLA: oO What can I offer someone who dwells in the light? Oo
::Cruella drew herself back into herself. She felt inexperienced again, her thoughts were spinning.::
CRUELLA: oO His mind must have done it to me. But there are others. Different non-Remans. Oo
:: The female Reman picked up that the Discovery crew was aware that her brothers menaced nearby. The crew's thoughts had so much light in them that it was at time uncomfortable to catch bits of what they had seen bathed in painful light. But it was dark now, outside in the Shuttle Bay. Cruella determined she would go and aid the non-Remans if she could. She opened up the panel she had hidden behind just slightly... ::
:: The lights briefly grew intensely bright. The door exiting the Shuttle Bay suddenly opened, startling the assembled Away Team. Immediately after the door had opened, the lights dimmed once more, but remained on. Barely perceptible, the lights flickered between degrees of dim. ::
:: Cruella fell backward, stunned. The light hurt her eyes, stung her mind like a hundred needles, seemed to burn her all over. She curled up in defense, shrank deeper into the recess. In desperation she sought out the thoughts of the one who had activated the lights. Maybe she could make them want to turn those lights back off? ::
CRUELLA: oO What a strange mind! Unlike any of the others ... So many tranquil thoughts. Oh! Oo
:: The Dachlyd's mind had begun enquiring about something, then myriad questions had sprouted out from the first. Cruella was careful to break contact, as minds with question were dangerous. But before the female Reman had left, she caught on to something. Cruella could use this, she thought, though the thought had been simple. It was a desire. ::
:: Cruella absorbed and went over the details of the desire, so that what the alien had in mind would become as familiar to her. Soon the desire was as clear in Cruella's head as though she longed for it herself instead of merely stealing it from Ensign Rogg. ::
((Time warp - Present))
MITCHELL: Let's get to work.
ROGG: Unless anyone here can actually read the Rihanai script, I guess I have as good a chance of finding a power junction.
:: Rogg wandered off to inspect the walls and floor of the Shuttle Bay. The Engineer especially wanted to rid his mind of the horror he had lately witnessed inside the Shuttlecraft "Yamato". ::
ROGG: oO Being morose is not going to help us off this freighter. Think happy thoughts, "Steve"! Oo
:: A piece of orange fruit. It was a junark gourd, a prize fruit filled with ambrosia-like nectar. At the top the juice would have fermented in the sun to a weak but flavorful liquor. The middle would have some pulp strands with seed, suspended in delicious liquid. And the very bottom would have the rich junark curd like a sorbet but also like custard. Rogg the Dachlyd could still recall his first junark gourd and it had been a decade since he last enjoyed one. Such a delicacy from Dathis II was rare off-planet; almost unheard of in Starfleet. ::
ROGG: ::Ecstatic:: Whoa!
MITCHELL: Find something?
:: Unlikely as it seemed, Ensign Rogg found a junark gourd. There was a loose panel over a power junction access, and Rogg had been about to remove it when he smelled the amazing fruit. The succulent morsel was just behind the panel. ::
ROGG: ::pulling on the panel:: Unh. ::The Dachlyd emitted a glottal croaking sound, and heaved to once more.:: UNH! ::The Ensign paused to regain some composure.:: Nickels, Mitchell, someone — could you lend a claw to with this? I perceived it as loose, but this panel is really stuck on.
MITCHELL: Can you help Nickels? I wanted to finish the preflight.
ROGG: ::annoyed:: No, there is a junark in— ::falsely positive:: Err, yes. I am sure I found plenty of silver over here. Help me pry this access panel off, would you?
:: The lights of the Shuttle Bay went out briefly. There was a loud BANG, as of a sheet of metal knocking a Dachlyd Engineer to the deck unconscious. When the lights flickered on, there was a dark figure. Dimly illuminated, difficult to discern because of a voluminous shroud of black covering her, Cruella stepped from the hole. One draped arm shield the woman's face from light only a Reman could call bright. The other arm, outstretched, was similarly swaddled but showed a pale hand supplicating the Away Team. ::
CRUELLA: Please. Please, help me.
:: To anyone looking, the woman appeared drastically different than she had a moment ago. She wore very little, and the garments enhanced a beautiful, curved figure. The proud features of Cruella's face were humbled by her mournful expression. Although her charms threatened to seduce any whom beheld them, her gesture was pleading, as before. ::
MITCHELL: Come out of there, hands where I can see them.
CRUELLA: You are so good. Your mercy and kindness shame me—that you should find me in such a state as I am! ::The lovely Reman woman faltered slightly.:: Oh!
:: In any other situation, in one of the many ships less ruinous than Talvath, Cruella's stumbling might have seemed an act. Perhaps it could even have been a ploy of a devious female mind. But the Shuttle Bay was so cluttered with junk, and Cruella was just so darn good-looking that her clumsiness could be nothing less than the genuine article.
CRUELLA: Thank you, oh. I did not catch your name ..?
CRUELLA: "Nickels". What a quaint anachronism! I can think of no fitter moniker for a dapper Sigma Iotian buck like yourself. I see your sainted mother must have imparted excellent manners on her young gentleman. ::apologetic:: Oh dear, but where are my own manners? Noble sir, by what do your crew call you?
MITCHELL: Mitchell. USS Discovery.
CRUELLA: Charmed. And you may know me as Sister Cruella.
ROGG: ::unconsciously:: Unnnnnn...
CRUELLA: How dreadful! Your ..Engineer ::beat:: —thing seems to have fallen in its struggle to free me.
MITCHELL: Put her in the shuttle. Strap her into one of the troop seats. It'll be crowded but we can't leave anyone behind.
CRUELLA: I shall try to stay out of the way. ::The woman smiled pleasantly, her perfect teeth seeming to sparkle.:: I'll make myself small.
MITCHELL: We'll see.
::Mitchell let Nickels carry out his assigned task, while he carefully squatted down and shook Rogg's shoulder.::
MITCHELL: Rogg, wake up.
:: With everything else settled, Sister Cruella moved to the Yamato. Only someone with keen eyes to see in the poor light, and suspicious nature in addition would have noticed anything amiss. As the captivating Reman boarded the Shuttle she was demure and graceful, effusive in thanking people but adamantly refusing any additional assistance. In truth, her beautiful body cast an ugly shadow: An emaciated, hunched frame which seemed to be more bone than well-toned curves shuffled weakly aboard the Yamato. ::
(( Talvath Shuttle Bay - Yamato ))
:: Unseen, dense layers of black robes shrouded the spare frame of a Reman woman. Beneath a low-pulled cowl skulked a bald head, pointed ears of disproportionate size, and sunken eyes. Telepathic illusions and glamer aside, the doleful expression of the eyes and mouth were as real as they had appeared. For the moment her only company were the dead. ::
CRUELLA: ::Sigh:: oO I hope these fools are stronger than they look. ::looking around:: And tougher than these departed which lie about me. If they cannot free me from the company of my wicked brothers, I fear no one will. Oo
:: There are no tears on Remus. Not from pride, but generations of hard life leave no room for such a display of emotion. After unrecorded years of toiling in the Mines of Remus, many Remans came to anticipate death as deserved break from their slavery. Cruella did not cry for the dead now. She knew there would nevermore be tears or slavery on Remus. ::
(For details of a similar phermone, see the Memory Alpha entry on Orion females:)
"There is no sorrow in death:
A better life was promised
I borrowed this from many vampire stories I have read, including a bit of Niven's "Ringworld" vampires. I hope you enjoyed reading it.))