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CHAPTER 04: Invictus [Supplementary 05: Reconditioning]

Chapter 04: Invictus [Supplementary 05: Reconditioning]

[ A Vulcan Subconscious | Mind-Meld | Niga | Mahéwa System ] Attn: Doctor Maya

The botanist saw herself from above, threading the undergrowth of the planet Niga. She failed to determine the cause for why she was there again, and why she was disembodied from herself. She remembered having been in Sickbay on orders from Captain T'Rena, and she knew Niga had been destroyed. Therefore, she supposed she was seeing the past - like a lucent dream. Why this place?

Then she saw the violet flowers that her figure stopped to examine, and she knew.

They looked so harmless, but she remembered the scent of them all too well. The memory made her feel it again. The flowers remained perfectly still but for a light stir caused by the wind that coursed through the tropical forest area, but she knew better. It was dormant. Patient. The nature of the plant would not suggest any kind of sentience - would not react to anything outside its evolutionary doctrine - but kept spreading its pollen into the air. It did not hint at what was to come - the chain of events that evolution had dictated. Thick and sweet the scent was, and it would wear down any kind of defences - any inhibitions that might shelter the primitive minds and desires of animal or humanoid. Cir'Cie saw herself scanning the plants slowly with the tri-corder. She remembered that she was doing her best to have cold unmoving logic dominate the more primitive feelings that were slowly taking root in her mind.

"Cir'Cie to science team, I think I found some interesting plants, this flower seems to exhibit some aphrodisiac properties, and might have other medical uses. Should I collect some seed pods?" She realised she was seeing herself out of the eyes of the Niga flora - remembering her own intoxication. Her actions against the Theurgy crew after what was about to happen in that glade. Underneath the surface of glade, its body began to shift ever so slowly - its vines that filled the trunks of the trees slithering out into the canopy. Hidden to the naked eye. Cir'Cie could not look away. It is merely a dream, she told herself.

[Science team to Cir'Cie, this is Lt. Gladstone,] came a male voice over the static. The plants possessed no sense of hearing, yet the noises thrummed against their sensitive petals. [An aphrodisiac? I am surprised you of all people would detect something like that... In a way, it is the last thing that the crew needs right now, and yet in another way, I reckon it might be what it needs the most. Collect the seed pods, by all means. Gladstone out.]

All the while the noise lasted, the plant kept spewing its pollen into the air; wearing down the prey's will-power. The plant knew, Cir'Cie realised, that timing was the pinnacle of its own survival. It had pollinated the dangerous humanoids before - millennia ago. The experience was integrated with its evolution; as it stood the victor over the native people of Niga... now utterly now extinct. Cir'Cie knew not how the impressions of the flora's nature had been transferred to her, but she knew when it had happened, and it was playing out before her eyes.

"Lt. Gladstone," the vision of herself said in stoic retort. "I'd think an officer of your rank would have the maturity to realize that mental discipline and biology are two separate things. I can sense the effects the plant is having, that hardly means I'm tempted to give in to its influence. Cir'Cie out." Then the past self of hers withdrew a small pocket knife and began to carefully sever the seed pods one by one.  Her attention focused solely on ensuring both the plant and pods remain intact with minimal damage. She placed the pods in a small pouch.

It was already too late, for Cir'Cie saw that the vines had come to hung lower and lower from the canopy overhead - moving slowly enough for the movement to not be caught in an animal's peripheral vision. It was a careful process. Lesser plants than the Niga flora had a kind of nervous system that allowed them to catch flies before they flew away, and this plant was no different - only far stronger. In the span of a millisecond, two thick wines latched themselves around Cir'Cie's arms - strong enough to bruise the skin underneath the fabric layer that concealed it. And when those two vines found the prey, the rest of the vines above whipped in to squirm their way down along them - a leathery sound marking their speed.

In but three seconds, the dozens of vines were coursing down the humanoid's raised arms - two of them slithering down inside the edge of her shirt's collar. As the vines made contaxt, Cir'Cie was no longer an outside spectator - instead reliving the past. She was already being hoisted up into the air, and the tricorder falling down into the mud below her feet, where the ground was shifting too; thick whipping stems rising - flaying wet dirt around themselves. Four of them appeared around her legs, and upon contact, they tightened themselves like ropes around her calves, ankles and hips...

As one, thousands of violet flowers turned their open petals in the prey's direction, and they all spewed the intoxicating sweet scent towards her - the centre of concentration being right where the vines had ensnared Cir'Cie. Yet the vines were not alone in looking at her. Cir'Cie she saw the other Vulcan standing in the undergrowth - seemingly unaffected by the flowers - a shard of reality in the madness that was ensuing.

It was Doctor Maya, facing Cir'Cie where she hung in the air. "Doctor?" croaked Cir'Cie despite herself, the added confusion of her being present confirming that there was no time-displacement - only a vivid dream of a traumatic event. What was the other Vulcan doing there? She vaguely remembered having fought her. It was not entirely easy focusing when vines were crawling into the openings of her uniform - tearing the seams. The scent was not real, and the effects it would have only a memory - not a fact. It made the violation she had suffered more grim, since there was no true arousal to break down any mental defences. Nothing to make her compliant.

As strange as it seemed, it was not the first time she re-experienced Niga. It was the same dream she'd had numerous times since the incident, yet the dreams had never felt so real. It was the greatest horror she had experienced, and Doctor Maya had never been present before. The addition was... interesting.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [Supplementary: Reconditioning]

Reply #1
[ Maya ]

Maya grimaced as the sensation of the vines enveloping Cir'Cie's body stimulated her pallid skin.  It was an inconvenient truth that a mind meld meant that memories, even unpleasant memories were shared.  Fortunately, as a surrogate back on Vulcan, Maya had been trained to compartmentalize her thoughts in order to minimize psychic contamination.  Maya focused on isolating Cir'Cie's sense memories in order to focus on the present.  The green blooded physician was here to free Cir'Cie from her delusions, not to succumb to them.

It was unfortunate that Maya hadn't socialized with Cir'Cie.  Ever since she left her homeworld almost two hundred and thirty three years ago, Maya had stayed away from other Vulcans.  She had never considered herself fully accepted by her people and had therefore avoided them.  That was completely unnecessary in this day and age.  After being a part of the United Federation of planets for over two centuries, the Vulcan people were no longer the intolerant, traditionalist, controlling civilization she remembered.  As citizens of the Federation, modern Vulcans were allowed to be individuals.  As a child of the Federation, it was unlikely that Cir'Cie would judge Maya as harshly as the Vulcans the doctor remembered.  Unfortunately, Maya had made no effort to forge a bond with Cir'Cie, even though she was her personal physician.  Hopefully this wouldn't complicate freeing her from T'Rena's influence.

Maya filtered out the other woman's tactile memories, and focused on the other sensations such as sight, sound, smell and taste.  Everything she seemed to be experiencing was an illusion anyway:  In reality the two Vulcans were in sickbay; Cir'Cie lying on a biobed; Maya leaning over her.  Everything Maya perceived at this moment either came from her own mind or Cir'Cie's.

The older Vulcan was prepared for Cir'Cie's memory of Niga. She had planned to bring her patient to this particular memory all along but Cir'Cie was already revisiting this event herself.  Satisfactory.  It was likely that the patient's own subconscious was pursuing the argument Doctor Maya intended.

"Cir'Cie," Maya called out.  "Ensign Cir'Cie, it is Doctor Maya.  I need you to listen to me.  I need you to concentrate on the sound of my voice.  Block out the sensation of the vines.  They are illusionary.  You need to free yourself from the illusions.  Can you do that?"

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [Supplementary: Reconditioning]

Reply #2
"Free myself," Cir'Cie said to herself as she once more found herself helpless - at the complete mercy of the flora. She remembered feeling herself becoming more and more aroused, her mind clouded by the intoxicating scent in the glade. Focusing her thoughts, taking the advise from the Doctor, she did her best to struggle more and attempt to break free.  Yet as illusionary as the vines really were, the memories were vivid to her. Unlike humans and other species, she remembered more from the Incident - her memory engrams somehow more resilient to Dr. Nicander's antidote. "I can't, Doctor. They still appear quite real to me. It would appear that I cannot ignore the effects upon me. This happened to me once, and my meditations have not been able to suppress the memories of this day."

And the scent of the flowers around her were becoming more real to her as well - the spores filling her nostrils and affecting her body. As aroused as she was feeling, she still wanted to believe Maya - that she could still escape. She was Vulcan, and though she was a mere botanist, she was strong. She bared her teeth and yanked at the vines, but they were too strong. Those that had curled aroundher hips had found where her undershirt and trousers met, and the plant knew the prey to be caught, the struggles not a threat for it to proceed with the pollination.

Cir'Cie was lifted higher into the air, but it was not only the vines that had grasped her arms and legs that pulled at her. Even the vines that had slipped down her collar was curling upwards, and her uniform was ripped in the seams as they were peeled upwards. Cir'Cie felt her uniform jacket, undershirt and bra bundle up underneath her armpits. The vines around her lower body might have given leeway for their prey to be hoisted from the ground, but as her legs were being spread, those that had reached the hem of her panties and trousers also curled down along with those that pulled her legs straight. The result was that her buttocks, hips and thighs were bared. The pull was not meant to injure the prey, since the plant needed her alive, but it was not the least gentle, and Cir'Cie gasped - the jungle's humid air touching her exposed body.

"I... cannot come free," she said to Maya, heart-rate elevated. There was no rush for the Niga flora any more. The vines slithered around her bare skin, the touch stroking Cir'Cie's suppressed feelings of arousal. "It would appear my mind is trapped in the memory, and I am unable to deny the existence of this place. I know the planet was destroyed, but it is still here, inside my mind."

As she said this to Maya, a new kind of vine - thick and slippery - decended out of the canopy above - swaying and dripping on its way down before the Cir'Cie's face. She could not ignore the notion that it stared upon her through the needle-point eye at the end.

"It is going to happen again..." she said, her flat voice lowered in resignation to her fate - passionless green eyes returning the stare of the phallic vine. "I am not strong enough to break free. Please, leave me to my fate, Doctor."

As if it noticed consent in her words... the vine descended, slithering against her breasts. It went down her abdomen, scenting the secretions between her thighs. It searched... prodding, smearing her body with its natural lubricant. Cir'Cie refrained from meeting Doctor Maya's eyes, closing them and steeling herself against what was to come. What she was failed to realise was how the Niga flora did not just represent her memories... but the hold that Captain T'Rena had upon her mind. She was unable to understand how trapped she truly was.

All the while, the scent fermented the air in the glade, whilst the phallic vine aligned itself to get the leverage it need - about to squirm its way inside Cir'Cie.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [Supplementary: Reconditioning]

Reply #3
[ Maya ]

Maya groaned and shuddered as Cir'Cie relived the memory of her violation.  A number of vines were surrounding the little doctor and slithering across her body as well.  To deny Cir'Cie's current thoughts utterly would cut off contact, ending communication between the two women and leaving them back where they started.  Maya's heart rate sped up to match Cir'Cie's as she blinked tears out of her large hazel eyes.  The heady aroma of the pollen may have been illusionary, but it was real enough to cause a psychosomatic response in the older Vulcan. 

The little physician closed her eyes and brought to mind the scent of the incense she used during meditation.  She thought of the comforting solitude of the isolation chamber where she had Lahkesis had shared an intimate moment.  

"I... cannot come free," Cir'Cie stammered as Maya struggled to slow her rapid heartbeat and deny the arousal that the other woman's memories invoked.  "It would appear my mind is trapped in the memory, and I am unable to deny the existence of this place. I know the planet was destroyed, but it is still here, inside my mind."

"Ensign you cannot surrender," Maya implored her in a voice that was impressively calm.  Only the volume indicated the urgency.  "Too many people are depending on you."

Cir'Cie was capitulating.  Of course she was.  It was the path of least resistance.  It was the healthy and logical thing to do in the long run.

The Vulcan brain had a greater control over the body than a Terran one had.  Although this control could be used for impressive displays of endurance and recuperation, conflict within the Vulcan psyche could cause health problems later on.  A repressed memory could theoretically cause a lobotomy.  This was one of the reasons why the suppression of emotion was still popular on Vulcan after two centuries as part of the United Federation of Planets.  Because strong emotions could shorten a Vulcan's life nearly all medical doctors on Vulcan recommended that their patients deaden their passions immediately.

Cir'Cie was doing the next best thing and taking the path of least resistance. It was likely that she was even attempting to enjoy the memory of being violated by the vegetation on Niga.   Maya could relate. As a former sexual surrogate treating unmarried victims of ponn farr on Vulcan she had been conditioned to capitulate when sexually assaulted and try to make the experience as pleasant for her patients as possible. 

Maya had originally intended to bring Cir'Cie back to this memory in order to make a logical argument.  To Maya's surprise, Cir'Cie had already brought herself back here and was wallowing in the memory.  It was symbolic of her current subjugation under T'Rena's domination.  Cir'Cie subconsciously knew she was being violated but had stopped caring.  As a Vulcan, finding a way to stop caring was easy.  

Maya realized that logic wasn't going to help them now.  She needed an emotional appeal.  But emotional appeals seldom had the intended effect with their people.  Any strong passion caused them to instinctively repress their feelings.  Getting Cir'Cie to re-experience this memory was a mistake.  It was time to have the younger woman experience another memory, if only break her out of the distractions of this one.

"It is going to happen again..." Cir'Cie murmured in resignation as her empty green eyes stared at thick and slippery vine that had emerged from the others like a sword out of its sheath.  "I am not strong enough to break free. Please, leave me to my fate, Doctor."

"No."  That statement was supposed to be an emotional appeal, but Maya's emotions were kept locked up behind mental barriers that had been jammed shut.  The stronger Maya felt something, the more she subconsciously buried it.  Small wonder why she was so vulnerable to outside influences.  She had to feel the emotions of others because her traditionalist upbringing wouldn't let her sense her own feelings.

Maya needed a primal, unrestrained passion to tear Cir'Cie free from this moment.  But after a lifetime of burying her emotions, how could she summon one?  The sexual stimulation of the Niga and Ishtar incidents were counterproductive, and her feelings during her sexual assault in the holodeck would be harmful.  What emotion could she conjure that could dispel this illusion?

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [Supplementary: Reconditioning]

Reply #4
Cir'Cie was trying to deny herself feeling the effects of the pollen where she hung in the air, but it was not the first time she relived this incident in her life, so she knew it was futile. She saw the phallic vine heaving in the air as it prodded the apex of her legs - slithering against her own juices and demanding entry. At the same time, she saw the second phallic vine rise from the ground - stretching up towards her from the undergrowth. Despite her being Vulcan, Cir'Cie felt shame that Doctor Maya was looking at her, but there was nothing she could do about it. Maya tried to speak to her - to allay her carefully hidden panic - but there was no use.

Then, a voice was heard on the breeze - coming from elsewhere entirely.

[All personnel on the Theurgy, I am Lieutenant Commander Carrigan Trent. By now, you all know Declan Vasser and T'Rena have begun an attempt to hijack this ship by force of arms after a minimum of two sabotage attempts. I do not know the exact number of casualties at this time, but I know for certain Chief Engineer Tia Marlowe is fighting for her life, Helmsman Cale Winterbourne was murdered in front of me and Chief Tactical Officer Sjaandin Fedd was killed attempting to follow illegal orders. They have accomplished this by planting their crew on our ship and by using mind melds and possibly other telepathic techniques to twist the perceptions of members of this crew. Vasser has also ordered the widespread brainwashing, the mind-rape, of every last person on our ship regardless of whether or not they join him.]

Gasping at the sensation of the strokes across her outer labia, Cir'Cie opened her eyes when she heard the words on the wind. They were new - yet to be heard in the jungle. She looked down to see Maya being confronted by a thick, glistening vine as well - slithering across her neck and down her body.

[Since Captain Ives and Commander Rez have been detained by Vasser and his cohorts, as a senior officer on the ship's rolls prior to this attack, I am assuming command as one of Captain Ives' lawful delegates under the auspices of Starfleet regulations pertaining to continuity of command. As such I will retain command of the Theurgy until such as time as I am relieved or ordered to yield command by the proper authorities or murdered on the word of the criminal Declan Vasser.]

At that point, Cir'Cie's attention to the words broke when the thick vine finally entered her - squirming its way up her vaginal passage. She gasped, breath quickened, and yet the male voice beseeched her. [Now, I ask all of you to listen to me,] Carrigan Trent told her, [This enemy we fight needs us, the ones aware of its existence, at each other's throat. It needs Starfleet to be riven with cracks and to lose all confidence in itself and from the Federation at large. As such, so long as we remain Starfleet, so long as we remain true to our oaths and our procedures and regulations, we are strong! Vasser promises you what? Murder? Hiding? Forsaking everything you are? Look inside you! Look around you! To this vessel, to your shipmates!]

The vine was pumping into her, and the second vine had reached her - sliding across her body and going for her mouth. She did not want to taste it, but she knew it was no use resisting. The pollen made her want to take it inside her lips, and she would eventually comply. Why not surrender immediately? Yet the man that spoke on the wind was still talking to her - trying to keep her attentive. [As advanced as the Theurgy is, she needs her crew! She needs all of you! Your friends and shipmates need you! If you are Starfleet, I ask you to remain at your posts and man your stations! I ask you to do your duty. If you are one of Vasser's accomplices, know that my first concern is to this ship and the enemy that hunts us. As such, I ask you ay least not interfere with those who choose to do their duty as Starfleet personnel. But if deep inside you remember who and what you are, your assistance will be most welcome.]

Who was she? What was she? As she pursed her lips and let the vine stroke across her tongue, she knew she was lost. Her mind was no longer her own. She was an accomplice of Vasser's, and she would not interfere. How could she, when she was destined to be no more than an agent of the Niga flora, not to mention the agent of Commodore Vasser and Captain T'Rena. She lost her own will long before they encountered the Harbinger. She had lost it in the very glade she found herself in.

[Those of you who choose to serve the Federation as you best know how, I am thankful for your duty and I will be honoured to command you for as long as is needed to resolve this crisis. This is Lieutenant Commander Trent, interim commanding officer. All stations, all departments: close up and report readiness!]

As the flora pollinated her, her mind was slipping into the shadows - about to be lost again unless the violation ceased.

OOC: As you can read in the new thread 05: Anodyne, Phantom is about to pay a visit in the CMO Office (where Maya and Cir'Cie is at). This is, however, after T'Rena and Carrigan Trent have finished their dialogue as it was publicly announced on the intercom, so there is till time to develop this scene until Phantom arrives. Check the aforementioned thread for more info.

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [Supplementary: Reconditioning]

Reply #5
Maya whined and groaned as Cir'Cie's memories overcame her.  Cir'Cie had surrendered entirely to both the memory Niga flora and the machinations of Vasser and T'Rena and was taking the older woman with her.  Fortunately, Trent's announcement kept her grounded in reality enough to remember who she was and who she was struggling for.  She was thankful that Lahkesis hadn't visited the surface of Niga and fallen prey to...

Lahkesis.  That was it.  Maya didn't need someone to struggle for, she needed someone to fight for, and her unofficial protégée fit the bill perfectly.  The thought of Lahkesis being subjected to this violation or anything the crew of the Harbinger might do to her was exactly what Maya needed to undo two thousand years of Vulcan history and unleash the primal, violent fury of her ancestors.

Focusing her thoughts, she imagined Lahkesis, the tall willowy blue eyed girl whose tissues were closer to vegetable than animal, naked and being subjected to the Niga pollination the same way Cir'Cie was.  Every opening being filled with that terrible creature that made one's body betray her and made her desire to lose herself to pure sensation.  The illusionary Lahkesis kicked and shrieked before choking out a sob as a vine entered her mouth.

Maya shrieked in rage as she tore free of the vines.  A lirpa was in her hands as she slashed through the foliage.  The vegetation tried to restrain her but it burned against her skin.  Lahkesis vanished as Maya chopped and tore her way to Cir'Cie's side.  "Fight!" Maya shrieked.  "Fight you selfish child!  Even a selhat has the sense to fight when a la-mayta threatens her cubs!  You are a Vulcan and you have no excuse to not to FIGHT WITH EVERY GRAM OF YOUR WILL!"

Without any pretense of gentleness or restraint, Maya tore Cir'Cie loose from the vines, pulling the snakelike vegetation out of her mouth and orifices.  "You are a VULCAN and you will SEE REASON!"  Maya snapped as she slapped the younger woman across the face.  "You WILL fight back and you WILL stop following orders you KNOW is WRONG!  I WILL not tolerate your being a party to rape, murder and treason ONE.  MORE.  MINUTE!   Do you understand?"   She slapped the taller Vulcan a second time.   "DO you UNDERSTAND?" Maya shouted.  "The officers of the Harbinger have committed an unforgivable attack on our ship and they shall PAY FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE!  Lahkesis, if you can hear me, administer two millimeters of Lexorin into Cir'Cie and we shall SEE if she can BE!  REASONED WITH!"

Re: CHAPTER 04: Invictus [Supplementary: Reconditioning]

Reply #6
In the situation that she had found herself in, Cir'Cie was barely able to keep track of what was happening. Suddenly, the Niga flora was being cut down, and she ended up on the floor of the jungle. She was coughing, and while her throat was freed, she felt completely unbalanced. Maya had been screaming words of challenge, berating her and calling her a child, but it was not until she had ended up on the ground - after her sex had been vacated and she tried to take look around - that she was being slapped in the face. Once, twice.

The physical abuse she suffered at the hands of Maya might have been justified to some extent, but Cir'Cie was feeling verbally attacked and belittled while being in a very compromising state - mind unable to centre. She was, however, freed from the vines and the rape not completed in the sense that they had not pollinated her with their 'ejaculation'. Fight? How was she to fight? The majority of her broken mind had come to enjoy the sexual stimulation, but was now being bereft of touch - making her feel anger because of he loss. She felt empty when no phallic vines pumped into her, and not able to get her self-preservation to respond.

This was when the voice of T'Rena was heard on the wind, but strangely, the words were a twisted reflection of the present conditions of the mind-meld. T'Rena's voice may have been incorporeal, but nonetheless, the dark-haired Vulcan appeared as a spectre in the jungle - staring at the two struggling Vulcans amidst the vines.

"This is not acceptable," she said to Cir'Cie and Maya in her passionless voice, the words echoing in the breeze. "I hope you realise how futile your efforts truly are. We are about to upload a reprogrammed version of the Ship A.I. from her mobile emitter and into the pasitronic brain core. Thus, all resistance aboard this ship will be dealt with. There is no use in defying us any longer."

The spectre stepped forth, her Captain's uniform in stark contrast to the environment. While Cir'Cie struggled together with Maya, she tried to ignore the words - tried to heed Maya's urgency as opposed to T'Rena's logic. Somehow, she knew it was the right way, but it was not the easy way. Cir'Cie heard the words drone through the jungle, so aligned with her her newly eared convictions. "Unless you surrender, you will help Captain Ives taking the lives of everyone on this ship, for the sake of an ignorant cause. Let yourself be embraced, enjoy the clarity of mind and serving the greater good. You will not be able to fight them off. You cannot escape the truth I have brought you, so I do suggest you comply.]

Cir'Cie was caught it the moment, the mere push upsetting the balance of her psyche in either direction. Fight herself free, or fall back to the vines wrapped around her mind. Maya's urgency, projected through the mind-meld, it questioned everything T'Rena had showed her and made her believe. The vines did not desist, however, and while she tried to flee them - tearing and twisting while Maya's cut those who she could not escape.

Then, when she was just about to give up - too weak to fight any more - she vaguely heard the hiss of a hypospray. After that point, she could no longer see T'Rena's spectre next to them, and the vines became weaker and fewer - loosing their hold on the two Vulcans. After that point, all she could hear was Carrigan Trent's voice- dispelling the shadows in her thoughts with the supporting structure of Maya's mind to guide her own. The Doctor had succeeded, she realised, when her eyes slowly opened...

...and she found herself in Sickbay.

Doctor Maya and Doctor Saugn stood over her, but they were not alone.

- Fin

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