Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is the creation and property of M. L. "Steve" Barnes and is copyright 1972 by M. L. "Steve" Barnes. Rated R. Originally published in Grup #1, 1972, edited by Carrie Brenham.

 

TOUCHE

Steve Barnes

 

Doctor Leonard McCoy hurried to the Bridge when Kirk announced over the intercom that the ship was entering orbit around Gamma Hydra One. The passenger they were assigned to pick up would more than likely be assigned to him first. She had not had a medical exam in three years and Star Fleet was inclined to get a little tough about such things.

As he reached the Bridge, Spock was just turning to face Kirk and read from the passenger's computer profile. McCoy paused long enough to listen.

"Captain. our passenger is Miss C. Smith. Her father was a Terran and her mother Orion. The parents were computer experts assigned here twenty-two years ago. Since her parents' demise, Miss Smith has been. operating this computer monitoring station alone and I might add that she has done a remarkable job for one so young. She has recently contrived a method to make the K-23 computer here completely self-maintaining. As she will no longer be needed on this station, the Federation is removing her. The University on Cappella One has asked that we transport her to the campus. They intend to offer her a full professorship for her work on the K-23 and a position on their staff."

Spock pressed a button and a picture appeared.

"This is the last available likeness we have of Miss Smith."

They all turned to look at the viewscreen and several. soft exclamations from the male Bridge members could be heard. Uhura gave her head a twitch of dismissal and turned her back on the screen.

McCoy felt suddenly as though his uniform collar was choking him. He looked at Jim and saw beads of sweat pop out. McCoy was relieved; he had been afraid that he had been out in space too long, but the reaction seemed universal. He noticed Spock glancing at the screen out of the corner of his eye. No telling what the Vulcan was thinking, but he was the only man McCoy could not read. The rest of the Bridge crew was silently shrieking "sex" as they looked at the picture of Miss Smith.

McCoy murmured to Kirk:

"Can you imagine a girl who looks like that, with that kind of brain?"

"Nnnn..." Kirk cleared his throat noisily." No, Bones, frankly I can't. I was expecting someone quite different."

McCoy noticed Chekov's ears were practically doing a revolving salute in an effort to overhear their conversation. He deliberately raised his voice; it would serve the ensign right if he did hear.

"You know, Jim, she's half Orion. I've heard some strange things about Orion women. It will be interesting to find out how true they are."

He watched and saw Chekov's ears beginning to turn pink, so he went on, "And since her parents died, she's been all alone down there. With just computers for company. Hard to believe she could preserve her sanity. What a waste of that beautiful body."

"Completely alone, Bones?" Kirk asked.

"Completely."

"Hm-mmm," That from Kirk, speculatively.

Chekov wondered how she had managed. Aside from the usual method of gratification, what had she done? Visions crept through his mind.

Chekov couldn't stand it. He leaped to his feet.

"I wolunteer!" He roared.

The conferees turned their gaze on him.

"You 'wolunteer' for what, Mr. Chekov?" McCoy asked innocently.

"Why...uh...to be the young lady's escort while she is aboard, of course," he stammered lamely, then went borscht red and sat down.

Spock spoke up then and interrupted McCoy's smothered answer.

"We have visual contact with Miss Smith, Captain," the Vulcan reported.

The viewscreen changed and Miss Smith appeared, in the flesh. Kirk sat there, stunned, and then quickly shifted. his gaze to stare at the floor. Miss Smith began to speak and her voice did a slow crawl down his middle.

"Captain Kirk? I am so pleased that the Enterprise has asked to transport me to Cappella. One."

Kirk looked up at her briefly and hastily crossed his legs. He resumed looking at the floor immediately.

"Ah ... Miss Smith," he began. "We'll be beaming you aboard in a few minutes. As you are the first Orion we have had on board, perhaps you should tell me if there are any special arrangements we need to make?"

"Can me Circe, please." Her voice flowed over him. like warm honey. He rolled his eyes up to study the ceiling.

"Circe? That's a rather unusual name, isn't it?"

She gave a throaty laugh and he shifted his weight uneasily.

"My father's idea of a joke, Captain. It seemed...appropriate. Yes , I require that a security team meet me in your transporter room and accompany me to my quarters."

"A security team?" For the first time he heard what she was saying, instead of how.

"Yes. And they must all be female, Captain, or I won't be responsible for the results."

Conceited bitch, thought Kirk.

"'Whatever you say, Miss Smith. Prepare to beam aboard."

He relayed her strange request to security and got the expected stunned silence. Then Adams, head of the section regained his famous aplomb.

"Yes, sir. I have five female security guards. I will assign them to Miss Smith for the duration of her stay on board."

Kirk shrugged at McCoy and they headed for the transporter room to greet their guest.

Chaos met them in the room. The man at the transporter console was on the floor, unconscious, and the female guards were at alert, phasers drawn. Kirk felt as though he had walked into someone else's bad dream.

"What's going on here?" he demanded.

A slim, curvaceous brunette stepped out from behind a guard. From the effects he felt and the faint green tint of her skin, the Captain recognized Circe Smith.

"I'm to blame, Captain," she said. "I forgot you might have a male crew member at. the transporter console. I'm so sorry."

"Uh, no apology necessary. But, what caused this, Manning?" He turned to the senior female guard.

"I'm not certain, sir. But when Miss Smith stepped off the platform, he... Well... He tried to... He went berserk, Captain!" She blushed.

Kirk let this sink in and only slowly got the message.

"You mean he..." He glared at the unconscious man. "Put him in the brig, Manning!"

"Please, Captain Kirk," Circe interposed. "It wasn't his fault. You see, this sort of. thing always happens well a female of my species gets too close to a human male. He wasn't to blame."

Kirk's eyes bulged.

"You mean I am going to have you on board for three weeks and you have this ... attraction ... for men? Do you know how many human males there are aboard this starship, Miss Smith?" He groaned. "Can't you do something? Shut it off ... or wear a bag over yourself ... or... SOMETHING?"

She shook her head.

"It wouldn't do any good, Captain. Now that I'm aboard, they'll all be effected. It's sort of like air; you aren't aware that it's there, but you have to have it to survive."

"Oh, my God!" Kirk slapped his forehead. He looked for help from McCoy and found the medical man staring at Circe with the look of a dog who has just been hit by a lightening bolt; all he needed was a tail to wag. Kirk glanced back at Circe and felt a stir somewhere in his own groin. He stamped out of the transporter room in the nick of time. McCoy trailed after him, eyes glassy.

"Dammit, Bones! Why me?" He snorted. "The Enterprise gets all the dirty details! We've ferried a Medusan ambassador who drives men insane, been turned into a kiddies' pre-school and even hauled cows. Now this! I swear, someone out there hates me!" He plunged off down the corridor. Halfway to the lift, he turned on McCoy. "Get her medical exam finished as soon as possible. Then tell her she's confined to quarters except for supervised exercise periods. I only hope she was exaggerating the effect she will have on the crew!"

But as the days wore on, Kirk found that her words had been simply the prophecy of complete truth. The ship was a madhouse. The male Bridge crew had to be dismissed and replaced by an all female one. Since they had had a double exposure of Miss Smith through the computer photo and her own image on the viewscreen, the Bridge crew seemed hardest hit of all. Even Spock was ordered below briefly as a precautionary measure. Kirk alone escaped, partly through McCoy's judicious injections and partly because he was too upset over what was happening to his ship, to fully appreciate Circe Smith's devastating effect.

Things got rapidly worse. Chekov was useless. He wandered the lower rec rooms playing a balalaika and weeping into what looked suspiciously like a glass of vodka.

Sulu was a walking disaster. He strolled around singing in Japanese, an odd off-key verse he identified as "The Lovesick Swain". Failing in his attempt to get near Circe's quarters, he tried to commit seppuku by falling on the sword he had saved from the PSI virus days. Since the blade had long ago bean replaced with hard rubber he escaped with only a bruised chest.

Scotty had to be confined to quarters; he had been caught exposing himself to two female yeomen and a male ensign.

The worst was yet to come. Four security men ran amuck and barricaded themselves in Auxiliary Control. From here they locked the ship into orbit around Gamma Hydra Two and refused to come out. They repeatedly broadcast shipwide, lurid demands for Circe's attentions. When, in the press of other worries, Kirk ignored them, they consoled themselves by singing "Roll Me Over In The Clover" in close, barbershop harmony.

Kirk finally abandoned his all female Bridge crew and went below to sulk in his cabin. He liked a little action as well as anybody, but he wanted his ship back and his crew restored to sanity. He sent for McCoy.

The Doctor appeared to be the most normal on board. The truth was that Circe had aroused his fatherly instincts, besides, he had enough tranquilizers in him to petrify an elephant.

"Bones," Kirk pleaded. "Help me get this mess straightened out. Aren't there at least twenty men you can certify for duty?"

"Every man on board seems drawn to her, Jim. None of us are immune to this sexual 'siren' call she radiates."

"None of us? You mean...?"

"Well, if you are referring to our logical, unemotional First Officer, I just caught him watching her during her exercise time and the front of his trousers was standing at attention. I repeat, no one has escaped her allure."

"Fascinating," murmured Kirk as he tried to summon up the picture of Spock "in extremis".

"Listen, Jim, there is only one way out of this madness. Unless I keep the whole male population of the crew sedated out of their skulls, it's going to get worse. I've talked to Circe and she has explained to me that this is a phenomenon that only occurs with the virgins of her species. We simply eliminate the cause and things will return to normal."

"You mean if one of us knocks off her cherry..."

"Exactly. And it had better be soon. I just treated two broken arms and a broken nose this morning. Even with phasers on stun, those female security guards aren't going to be able to hold off the crew forever. Riley was caught trying to slither down her ventilator shaft."

"Well, what do you suggest we do? You can't ask a lady to surrender such a prize on the spur of the moment."

"No, but she is being very reasonable about it. She's a logical young woman. She's anxious to get to Cappella One and knows we can't continue the voyage under these conditions. As a matter of fact, she's submitted. a list."

"A list? A list? What kind of a list?" Kirk was getting a little hysterical.

"Well, she's been observing, the crew over a closed circuit scanner and has narrowed the field down to two."

Kirk struggled to find his voice.

"Which two?" It wasn't much more than a croak.

McCoy gave him a pitying look.

"Sorry, Jim, you weren't on it. Seems the lady feels intimidated by your rank and position. No, the two she has selected for further consideration are Chekov...and...are you ready for this? Spock."

"Spock? Spock!" Kirk charged to his feet and paced, wringing his hands. In a flash his mind turned on his Vulcan friend. "That frigid avocado? Talk about getting cold-cocked! Has she ever thought what a frost-bitten vagina would feel like?" He suddenly had a. mental image of the Vulcan doing a controlled screw on that luscious body. His blood began to pound.

"Oh, come on, Jim. He's responding to her quite well. It might be the making of him. And he does have a body temperature of 120 degrees. I think she might find the whole experience ... unique, to be clinical about it."

"You be clinical," snarled Kirk as he headed for the other room. "I'm going to take a cold shower!"

But, after further consultation with McCoy, Kirk reluctantly set up a private interview with Chekov and Spock. He could see no other way to get his ship back. He had to regain command of his ship at all costs.

With close supervision by the female guards, they prepared for the interviews. Odds were running five to two in favor of Chekov in rec room B. The young Russian was practically drooling, but Kirk was a little worried about Spock. After all, was it logical? He finally decided to present the suggestion. to the Vulcan as an assignment above and beyond the call of duty. To his surprise, the First Officer offered no argument.

"I am here to serve, Captain," he said calmly." Service .is something we Vulcans are known for."

Kirk the alien was making a very bad pun, but let it go. As long as Circe had enough appeal to get even Spock hot, Kirk was in trouble. The Captain felt no regret in throwing his friend to the wolves, so to speak.

Because Chekov had gotten up at four in the morning in order to make the rendezvous with Circe, they let him go first. Spock had resumed his Bridge duties and came down only after the door had already closed behind the young Russian. Kirk looked at Spock for signs of distress, but he merely looked bored.

Inside the room, Chekov approached Circe, his eyes averted. In her presence he felt he could not trust himself not to go too far, too fast. He stopped about one meter from her and gazed at her feet.

"You have wery lovely feet, Mees Smith," he mumbled.

"That is a non sequitor, but go on." Circe did not sound overwhelmed.

He got up enough courage to look at her face. His heart blubbered along, making great gusty thumps in his chest.

"Your face ... is like a rose opening in the Leningrad sun, soft and warm." He saw her look away, obviously disinterested. He hurried on, his words tumbling over each other awkwardly. "You are so warm, so lovely. I love you, I desire you. I must have you! Please send away the guards so we may be alone." He reached out and caught her hand in his, pressing it to his chest passionately. "I will initiate you into the Russian way of spending our long winter nights!"

She gave him a completely blank look and withdrew her hand.

"Mister Chekov, you disappoint me. You have a great deal of training in scientific areas. That was the reason I selected you. Why do you choose such an illogical method to seduce me? Is there no originality in your soul?"

He was sweating now, desperate and upset. He clutched her to him and, just as the guards started forward to intercede, he snarled into her ear:

"Circe, are we going to ball or not?"

She shoved him violently backwards into the arms of the security team. Kicking and yelling, he was escorted to sick bay where McCoy gave him a massive dose of sedative.

Spock was the next to be interviewed. You had to admire his style, the Captain thought as the Vulcan vanished into Circe 's lair. His ears were the only thing standing up that Kirk could see.

Once inside, Spock moved to precisely 1.24 meters from the half Orion and stopped. He did not move a muscle. Every nerve ending in his body was doing a radar "beep" but he did not show it. He assumed his arms crossed stance and locked his eyes with Circe's.

"You are to be congratulated on a magnificent job of re-programming the K-23," he said. "Did the memory field additions prove to be of any problem?"

"Your praise is most flatting, coming, as it does, from one of Star Fleet's few A-7 experts... No, I was able to solve the interface problem without undue alteration of technique."

"Most interesting. I would deem it edifying to discuss the matter with you at some later time."

She flushed slightly and nodded.

"I would be pleased to do so. Your expertise in the field is quite generally acknowledged."

"You are a unique example of the feminine gender," he said softly. "You have a logical, well-regulated mind."

"Thank you,, Mister Spock. You are the first to notice it."

"I am receiving sensory impressions of heated circuitry. Are you well?"

Her color intensified.

"Quite well. It's just that being in these close quarters with a keen mind such as yours and hearing your accolades has caused a temperature rise. My body thermostat will soon regulate it. Please continue."

His gaze intensified.

"Your eyes are comparable to the glowing lights of my computer board."

She sighed happily.

"Your lips are as pursed and full as a computer cartridge."

She moistened said lips and parted them a trifle.

"Your figure surpasses the design of the H-5."

She wrung her hands and fidgeted nervously. "Mister Spock. I feel that you are the one man on board who could match my passion! Please go on!"

"I am gratified by your response. We can set up the programming with a course of coinciding orbits. With the extreme proximity of the involved participants, there should be no difficulty in achieving a satisfactory print out."

"Yes, yes!" she murmured.

He drew her nearer and whispered the next sweet nothings to her alone. With his breath warm along her carotid area, he said softly:

"I believe maximum effect can be obtained by visual and other sensory readings accompanied by osculatory contact. With a minimum of tactile manipulation, insertion of the primary material should be easily accomplished, thereby developing a completely ultra-harmonic circuit. I can then step up the input. to the ultimate degree. By frictionary maneuvering and proper juxtaposition, we should be able to reach a synchronous and satisfactory solution."

"Mister Spock," Circe whispered, her eyes. Half closed. "Where have you been all my life? At last I have found a man who understands me, who speaks my language." She drew back a little and coyly said: "But I hear no mention of a termination procedure in your analysis."

"I submit that the program perform a loop. While our systems gradually return to their previous state , I look forward to many hours of interesting discussion about. your work on the K‑23. Ultimately, disconnection will be effected by your debarkation at Cappella One."

She moved into the radius of his body heat and smiled up at him.

"Mister Spock, you are my selection. No other choice is possible." She added shyly, "I place my systems under your master control. When can we begin initial programming?"

"I shall come to your quarters again as soon as I am relieved of duty. That will be in precisely 22.53 minutes."

She swayed toward him.

"You are so masterful when you speak like that!"

"That does not computer, but I will excuse it as I can see your sensory input has been stimulated into chaotic disorder. I shall return shortly. Please do not overload. your main circuits while I am gone. I will endeavor to do likewise."

"When you speak to me that way, I get amperes and amperes of electricity racing up and down my spine."

He leaned over and touched her in a certain way. Their bodies vibrated together for a brief moment.

"Miss Smith, I notice a strangely disturbing but pleasant feedback reaction to this activity in both of us." He sighed happily. "Our currents are in sync. It should prove to be a fascinating experience."

He moved away and regretfully took his leave of her. He returned to the Bridge to find he was something of a celebrity.

The entire female Bridge crew was in a dither. Mister Spock had suddenly achieved exalted status. One girl actually burst into tears and fainted happily when he turned to her and said:

"Yeoman, your electrical output report fails to coincide with mine."

Kirk groaned and thought about being sick but changed his mind. He had the body hauled off to sick bay and dismissed Spock instead.

"Go on, get out of here. If the only way I can maintain peace is determined by your piece, for God's sake get to it!"

Spock inclined his head graciously and strolled to the turbo lift

Kirk thought he managed to look rather debonair.

Chekov was lurking in the corridor near Circe's door. Relieved for the time being of his stronger drives; the Russian was contenting himself with feeling merely lovelorn. He stared at the Vulcan as he approached. All the First Officer needed was milk to lick off a whisker, he was that smug.

"Meester Spock, a moment, please." He was quite humble. In the presence of such success even his usual brash nature was subdued.

Spock turned and waited, but his eyes kept slipping sideways down the corridor. This was one time when he didn't need 'pon farr' to tell him what must be done.

"Meester Spock, I suppose the whole thing was 'logical' to Circe. She was raised around computers and you are the closest thing to... ah... that is, you have a common background and interest. But despite that there are only so many ways to proposi... I mean, we all use practically the same words and methods. I was wondering... Why do you think she chose you?"

The unhappy ensign watched as Spock's right eyebrow rose to alert status; was there special significance in that erect member just then? Chekov thought so. Then unbelievably the Vulcan gave a slow wink.

"Savoir-faire, Mister Chekov," he said. "Savoir-faire."

THE END