Chapter 9 - Pain

It was well past her bedtime for such an early mission and Jitsia knew that she should be in her quarters sleeping, but she couldn’t.

It wasn’t that she wasn’t tired, it was more that she was constantly having dreams; more so nightmares in her opinion, that constantly woke her up. It was because of that, she decided that she would try and work herself to sleep.

Jitsia figured that if she was exhausted, even if she had the dreams, she wouldn’t wake up. While that would just end up forcing her to have the dreams, at least it wouldn’t compromise her in the morning by disrupting her sleep.

The Trill was the type of masochist that enjoyed a workout that caused every muscle in her body to burn and ache. In her opinion, if it didn’t make her sore, then she was doing it wrong.

Right now, though, the strenuous workout served a second purpose. The pain in her arms, back, and legs took her mind away from the other things racing around in there. The thoughts and ideas that she really didn’t want any part of but was seemingly being forced into thanks to her symbiont.  

She’d only heard rumors of something like this happening before. They teach you all about the relationships between the symbionts and the hosts, and how they interact with each other, and it’s always explained that it’s a cooperative relationship.

If anything, the host is the dominant party. The host controls where they go, what they eat, who they talk to, what they listen to, whether they go swimming...

So why, she pondered as she struggled to push the leg press, was Gras able to cause her to think the way she was thinking about Lt. Commander Ishran?

She knew this feeling. She’d felt it before.

She was in love with him.

But she didn’t love him.

She’d never met him before he tracked her down on Cardassia. Then they only chatted for a while. Ishran had mentioned talk of Deka, the previous Gras, and how he wanted to be friends with her like he was with Deka. He hinted at other ‘aspects’ of their relationship, but that talk quickly ended when he found out that she was dating one of the female Vulcan security officers on the base.

He found out ‘she was like that’.

Ishran ended up spending the night there in guest quarters, they said a curt and short goodbye and she thought that would be the last she saw of him.

Yet this love was so strong that she was compelled to select him as the second in command of her NEO unit. He was good, but he wasn’t anything special. There were several officers she worked with on Cardassia and on the ship she commanded, the DeSoto, that would have been just as qualified.

But she chose him.

All because she loved him.

But she didn’t.

Gras did.

What was worse was that Gras wanted them to be closer.

Jitsia did not want to be closer to a man she didn’t love.

She did not want to be close to a man.

Jitsia finally gave up. There was no way she was moving the leg press plate. She rested on the weight equipment for a moment before sliding off and wiping her sweat from it.

The young woman, who normally worked out in shorts and a t-shirt, was wearing her NSO uniform pants and grey tank top. She’d been wearing that combination pretty much constantly since Ishran came on board. Her hair was a rat’s mess as well.

Jitsia was hoping that if she looked as unattractive as she figured she did, Ishran would lose interest. He hadn’t yet. Nearly everywhere she went, he managed to run into her. Luckily something always managed to come up.

Jitsia sighed as she slowly walked out of the lower deck gym and made her way to the turbolift and hit the call button. She was avoiding the NSO gym in hopes to avoid him as well.

After a moment of waiting the doors slid open. Jitsia nearly jumped backward when she saw the Bolian standing there.

“Si-Siohxx,” she stammered.

“Hey,” he smiled. “How are you?”


Jitsia simply stood in the corridor for a moment before Ishran smirked a bit. “Going up or down?”

“Back - back to my quarters.”

“I’ll walk you,” he smiled.

She wanted to decline but didn’t.

“Okay,” she said, stepping into the turbolift.

“Deck A,” Ishran called out.

The pair rode in silence for the very, very long trip, Ishran standing very close to Jitsia. The musky scent that came as a side effect of her workout not seeming to bother him in the least. The Trill could feel his breath on the back of her head, something that scared her, yet thanks to Gras, she could do nothing about it; she was frozen in place.

When the doors opened, the pair stepped out, virtually in unison. They slowly walked down the corridor as Ishran spoke, his hand on the small of her back, rubbing her slightly.

“Shame I am stuck down on deck five thanks to the lack of room up here.”

“The junior officer’s quarters are probably bigger than these anyway,” Jitsia quietly replied.

“Oh?” Ishran mused. “Well, Gras,” he smirked, “maybe you can show me so I can make a comparison.”

‘No,’ her brain tried its damnedest to force her mouth to say. “Okay,” is what came out.

Jitsia gritted her teeth. Her eyes darted around, angry at the fact that out of all the times for no one to come by and cause a distraction, of all the times for the alarm klaxons not to sound or shit to start shaking, everything seemed to be quiet and peaceful.

The pair stopped outside of crew quarters A-19. Jitsia punched in her unlock code, her fingers trembling.

The door slid open and Ishran entered, guiding Jitsia in; his hand moving from the small of her back to her hips as they walked.

“Oh, you’re right. These are small,” he stated, looking around, keeping a tight grip on Jitsia as he scoffed. “I mean, they’re bigger than mine but far smaller than what a Commander deserves.”

“It-it’s got a shower, a desk, a couch...” Jitsia mumbled.

Ishran nodded and looked around some more. He looked to her desk, looking at a picture of her family. He then noticed a picture of Jitsia and Rei that Jitsia had, as a keepsake of her time on the Sisko.

“What does Gras think of your relationship with this woman?” he asked as he picked it up, looked at it for a moment, then set it back down with the face of the photo lying down, as to ensure they would not have to look at it.

Jitsia looked to Ishran. “What?”

“Does she like it?”


“No. Gras,” Ishran said, fondling some more of Jitsia’s belongings before moving back over to her.

“Gras isn’t...”

Ishran rolled his eyes. “They say they don’t have a gender, but they do. Her last host was a male, but she shone through. Had the host not died, I would have looked the other way because I love Gras that much.”

Jitsia stammered a bit at Ishran’s confession but didn’t say anything coherent.

Ishran put his hands on Jitsia’s shoulders. “It’s a lot easier now. We can both have what we both want.”

“I-I’m gay.”

Ishran shrugged as his hands moved to the sides of her face. “It’s not just about you. Doesn’t Gras have the same right to be happy as you do?”

Jitsia couldn’t say anything as Ishran began to guide her towards her bed.

“Gras is amazing. Think of all you have learned from her,” Ishran continued as he slowly pushed Jitsia backward, finally stopping them at the foot of her bed. “Do you really think that you would have the life you have right now if it wasn’t for her?”

“Please...” Jitsia began to cry.

“Tell me no, and we won’t,” the Bolian said unzipping his uniform jacket.

‘NO!’ Jitsia’s brain cried out.

Her mouth moved, yet no words came out.

Ishran smiled as he pulled her tank top off. He slowly laid her down on the bed before kissing her abdomen passionately.

“Finally,” he sighed contently.

Despite every desire to want to rip this man’s head off, Jitsia could do nothing by lie there motionless for the next couple of hours.

Gosnell hit the deck with a thump. He groggily looked up at his and Makoto’s bed to see Makoto thrashing around, mumbling in Klingon.

“I didn’t know she spoke Klingon,” Gosnell yawned as he stood and began to shake Makoto. “Honey, wake up.”

“jIH DIchDaq HoH SoH vaD yuch!” Makoto screamed as she sat up quickly swinging at and clocking Gosnell upside his head. Gosnell quickly found himself back on the deck as Makoto looked around confused for a moment.

“Whu...?” she mumbled.

“When did you learn Klingon?” Gosnell asked, slowly climbing back to his feet, rubbing the massive welt on the side of his head.

“OH GOD,” Makoto screeched, hopping out of bed, and running to the replicator to get Gosnell some ice. “I’m so sorry,” she called back to him.

“It’s okay,” he smiled as she returned with a small bag of ice and began to try and take care of his small wound. “I’m not mad assuming it wasn’t me you were dreaming about punching.”

Makoto lowered her head.

“IT WAS ME?!” Gosnell cried out.

“No, no,” Makoto said, kissing Gosnell a couple of times to relax him. “You know I would only wallop you for something you did, not out of anger.”

“Is that better?” Gosnell asked, chuckling a bit.

“Technically that’s discipline,” Makoto smiled.

“I’m not a pet,” Gosnell sighed.

“A husband is always a pet of sorts,” Makoto grinned back, kissing him again.

Gosnell seemed to be lulled into acceptance from the love he was receiving. He laid down in the bed with the ice pack on his head, Makoto next to him. He turned slightly.

“So why were you freaking out, yelling in Klingon?” he asked.

Makoto sighed. “I still, occasionally, have dreams about the times when I was implanted...”

Gosnell looked to Makoto softly. “Jeff’s meditation didn’t help?”

Makoto shook her head. “Those implants were very effective,” she explained. “Every minor detail. I remember it.”

Gosnell took Makoto’s hand.

“You know,” she continued, “hurting my friends bothered me, but I think what still gets me the most is remembering what I did to you.”

Gosnell squeezed Makoto’s hand tightly. “Obviously I got over it,” he smiled.

“I know,” Makoto smiled, turning to Gosnell. “But everything you did for me. Everything you gave up for me… For me to just... Throw you out like...”

“A stray pet?” Gosnell grinned.

Makoto sighed deeply. “I think you forgave me too easily.”

Gosnell shrugged and turned back to where he was looking at the ceiling. “In the end, everything - at least for me - worked out. So, why shouldn’t I?”

Makoto looked at Gosnell for a moment before wrapping her arms around him. Gosnell smiled and wrapped his arms around Makoto as well.

“Just don’t do it again, okay?” Gosnell whispered.

Makoto nodded.


Six months. It had been a little over six months since the last time he had seen Makoto. That was far too long, even for one of their infiltration missions.

Makoto was more of an enforcer, rather than a clandestine agent anyway. If she couldn’t get in and out in a couple of months, she usually didn’t get assigned to the mission. She was far too valuable to leave stuck in one place for several months at a time.

The visit from ‘the power company’, whom Gosnell all but knew for a fact was likely her Section 31 handlers told him that something very, very wrong had happened.

But what exactly could he do?

He couldn’t report her missing. According to her official file, Makoto Kino (Ensign) had been blown to bits in the battle of Wolf 359. Her fake ID for her civilian life, Koyomi Su, could be reported, but that would flag Section 31 and they would just end up killing off that ID somehow.

Gosnell was frustrated.

And hungry. He was terrible at cooking.

He wanted his fiancée back.

The door to his house opened. Gosnell began running around feverishly looking for a phaser. If the people from the ‘power company’ had come back for him, or worse yet, they were really from the power company and they were here to shut off the power, they weren’t doing anything without a fight.

Gosnell finally found one and slinked into the living room.

“WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!” Gosnell cried when he saw a rather disheveled-looking Makoto grabbing stuff and jamming it into a bag.

She turned and smiled at him.

“Sorry I haven’t-” Makoto is interrupted when Gosnell glommed onto her. Makoto lost her smile and pried him off. “Sorry I hadn’t called. I’ve been off the radar.”

“Some people were here looking for you,” Gosnell said, a little shocked by Makoto’s reaction.

Makoto nodded as she walked into the couple’s bedroom.

“I’m not surprised. I quit Section 31.”

“You what?”

Makoto walked back into the living room with another suitcase and some clothes. “I quit Section 31.”

“Oh,” Gosnell said, smiling a bit. “Well, good. We can spend some more time together then.”

Makoto shook her head. “No, I really don’t think so.”

“What do you mean?”

“I took a job with some people,” she explained as she packed. “Basically, a freelancer-hired-gun type position. It’s fun.”

“Oh,” Gosnell said. “So, I-”

“They really don’t need the services of...” Makoto paused and looked to Gosnell, a rather uncaring look on her face, “...someone who really has no skills.”

Gosnell basically fell into one of the recliners.

“I mean, if you still had your powers, then yeah, you’d be really useful,” Makoto continued as she finished packing. “But as you are now,” she said, shrugging a bit, “just baggage.”

Gosnell could only stare at Makoto in shock as she pulled out a small communicator.

“I ‘killed’ Koyomi in a runabout warp core breach, so try and look shocked-” she grinned slightly at Gosnell, “Yeah, that look, when Starfleet comes to tell you. The house is in my name, so you’ll want to start looking for someplace to live pretty quickly.”

Gosnell, despite wanting to say a million things, was speechless.

“Kino to the Gold Schlager, beam me up.”

“Acknowledged,” a voice replied.

“Goodbye,” Makoto half grinned to Gosnell before she was beamed away. Gosnell could do nothing but stare in shock at the spot she beamed away from. He sat there, motionless for several hours till, as Makoto had warned him, two men from Starfleet arrived to inform him that his fiancée, Koyomi, was dead.



Gosnell glowered at the people who were wandering around the small casino at this resort. Almost ninety percent of them were male. The brochure had declared that there would be globs and globs of sexy ladies here, but the only women seemed to be the waitresses.

And, in Gosnell’s humble opinion, none of them were ‘that’ sexy to begin with.

Sure, some people might like them, but Gosnell had a type. Tall. Long, dark hair. Green eyes. Kinda deadly.

Though there was one woman who he did find cute.

Gosnell slid into a chair next to her at the bar and grinned at the bartender.

“What’ll it be?” the bartender asked.

“I’ll take a vodka,” Gosnell nodded. He looked to the short redhead next to him. “Can I buy you another round?”

She looked at him cutely. “Sure!”

The bartender walked off to get the drinks. Gosnell looked the girl over. He was intrigued. She seemed to have a nice body, but she was certainly hiding it. Loose-fitting black pants and a bulky red and white Chinese style shirt. And of course, there was her hair. Get it out of that weird braid and do it up nicely, then put this girl in a formal gown or even a sporty short skirt and t-shirt and...

“Here you go,” the bartender smiled, passing out the drinks. Gosnell nodded thanks and passed the bartender a couple of strips of gold-pressed latinum. He then turned back to the redhead.

“I’m Gosnell,” he said, extending his hand.

The redhead took it and shook it. “Commander Ranma Saotome,” she smiled.

“Oh, you’re with Starfleet?”

Ranma-chan nodded. “Yes, I am the executive officer on the U.S.S. Loami.”

“That must be exciting,” Gosnell smiled, taking a drink of his vodka.

Ranma-chan nodded and chuckled a bit. “It has its ups and downs.” She turned to Gosnell and smirked. “Look, you seem nice, so I don’t want you to get the wrong idea here. I’m a guy.”

Gosnell chewed on this for a moment. “Well, I’ve had women tell me they had cancer, their parents were dying, they were gay, they had a parasite, and that their religion forbade them from contact with the opposite sex. I think this is the first time I have heard that one.”

Ranma-chan laughed a bit. “Well, I’m actually serious.” She quickly ordered two glasses of water from the bartender. One hot, one cold. She poured the hot water on herself, changing her to male Ranma.

“This is my true form,” he said, allowing a shocked Gosnell to feel his chest.

“Wow...” Gosnell stammered.

Ranma nodded, then splashed himself with the cold-water glass. “I’m not a big fan of this curse,” she explained after swatting away Gosnell’s attempts to now feel her female chest, “but it comes in handy, especially when there is a poker tournament.”

“You will literally flirt with anyone, won’t you?” another voice called.

Ranma-chan rolled her eyes. “Gosnell, this is my friend, Akane Tendo.”

Gosnell smiled at Akane. She was kind of his type. She certainly had that ‘I want to murder someone’ look in her eyes.

Akane sat down next to Ranma-chan and smacked the back of her head. “I don’t know why you think flashing your cleavage does anything to help your horrid poker skills,” she concluded.

Gosnell, both interested in the poker tournament and in seeing female Ranma’s cleavage grinned slyly. “Is there still any room in this tournament?”

A Ferengi seemingly appeared from nowhere. He was dressed in a pinstripe suit and looked as if he had come straight from a 1950’s gangster movie nodded to Gosnell.

“There is a one-bar buy-in.”

Gosnell grimaced.

“Too rich for you?” he taunted.

Gosnell shook his head. “No, just a lofty buy-in.”

“The prize is 10,000 bars,” the Ferengi grinned.

“Dang,” Gosnell whistled. He quickly ran to the nearest cashier and got a line of credit, allowing him to bring the man a bar of gold-pressed latinum.

“Great!” the Ferengi smiled. “We start in five minutes!”

Gosnell turned to speak to Ranma-chan again but noticed she was gone. “Where’d she go?” he asked Akane.

“To... change,” Akane sighed.


Gosnell could now understand how Saotome’s strategy would work. The dress she was now wearing was cut very, very low and was very, very tight. In fact, it seemed like a small seismic event would cause her breasts to come exploding out of the top.

Akane was sitting with the spectators, with seemingly both an annoyed and amused look on her face.

He wondered if she was amused because all the players seemed to be enamored by what were essentially a male’s breasts, or because she thought Saotome looked rather silly wearing that, considering her ‘real’ sex.

Either way, her look amused Gosnell.

As the tournament progressed two things became clear. First, Akane was right. Saotome was in fact a terrible poker player. She had folded more than once when she shouldn’t have, and seemingly called when she shouldn’t have. She was only saved by what Gosnell assumed was the second thing to prove true.

Ranma-chan’s cleavage was distracting enough to cause the other, better players to make several, costly mistakes.

Eventually, the other players were eliminated, and it was down to Gosnell and Ranma-chan.

The redhead grinned at Gosnell devilishly.

“I guess since you know my secret, my technique won’t work on you, eh?” Ranma-chan asked.

Gosnell shrugged slightly as he smiled. “Not entirely, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy myself.”

Ranma-chan’s eyes narrowed as the Ferengi dealt the cards.

“The final hand of the Frenginor No-Limit Hold ‘Em Tournament is beginning!” he cheerfully called as both Ranma-chan and Gosnell placed their opening bets.

The dealer flopped the community cards.

King, King, Six.

Ranma-chan, with the token, peaked at her cards before tossing a few bars onto the table. Gosnell didn’t even bother looking before calling her bet.

The turn card was dealt.


Gosnell saw it. She was not pleased with the ace. He realized that she had nothing. He quickly looked to his cards as Ranma-chan placed some more latinum on the table.

Two sixes.

He had a full house.

Victory was assured.

Gosnell called the red-headed commander’s bet.

The river card was dealt.

A three.

Again, he saw Ranma-chan wince.

Certainly, she would fold.

Gosnell watched in disbelief as she shoved every piece of shiny metal she had onto the table. Gosnell stammered.

“I- I don’t have that much.”

“Then you’ll have to fold,” Ranma-chan smirked.

Gosnell KNEW she was bluffing. He KNEW it. He WAS going to call it, come hell or high water.

“How about this, to even out the difference, I offer my services as a personal concierge, for the rest of your life,” Gosnell pleaded.

Akane shook her head in disbelief. Ranma-chan pondered this for a moment before looking to the Ferengi. “Is that allowed?”

“If you don’t care, I don’t care,” he shrugged. “But I’m taking 5 percent of the pot as a contracting fee.”

Ranma-chan nodded. “Okay.”

“Ranma!” Akane barked.

“Ahem,” the Ferengi coughed, “I said ten percent.”

Both Gosnell and Ranma-chan scowled at him as the Ferengi, doing what he loved, scammed them both and wrote up a quick contract before handing it to Gosnell. Gosnell skimmed it over, then nodded and applied his thumbprint to the bottom.

“For God’s sake,” Akane murmured.

The Ferengi then looked to Ranma-chan.

“Him first,” she smiled.

Gosnell grinned happily as he turned over his cards. “Full house, baby!”

Ranma-chan sighed before lazily flopping her cards onto the table. “Four kings.”

Gosnell could only stare wide-eyed at the two kings Ranma-chan had tossed out there. The spectators applauded as the Ferengi pushed the pile of latinum, as well as the PADD with Gosnell’s contract on it over to Ranma-chan.

Ranma-chan slowly walked around the table, took a communicator out of her purse, and stuck it on the still stunned Gosnell.

“The Loami leaves in 72 hours. Don’t be late!” she smiled, patting Gosnell on the head.

Gosnell continued to sit there, in shock.

“Aye,” he finally replied.


“Shelton to Commander Hino,” Rei’s communicator chirped.

Rei who was in the lounge with Kio having coffee looked at it strangely. Shelton should be on the planet by now, so if he was calling her directly, something bad must have happened.

“Go,” she worriedly replied.

“Commander, you said Commander Gras was coming with us for the first scouting mission, right?” he asked.

“Yeah, she didn’t?” Rei asked.

“No,” Shelton replied. “We’re in the transporter room waiting, but she’s not here and she’s not answering us when we call her.”

Rei and Kio look at each other.

“That doesn’t sound like her,” Kio said, worried.

Rei shook her head.

“Go ahead and beam down with just you and Parker,” Rei sighed. “We’ll look into things and get back to you.”

“Aye,” Shelton replied, worry coming to his voice.

“Where the hell is she?” Rei pondered.

“Did she come home last night?” Kio asked Rei.

Rei shot Kio a very, very nasty look before shaking her head. “No, she did not spend the night, but for your information, Lieutenant, she doesn’t spend every night.” Rei hit her comm badge. “Hino to Gras.”

No reply.

“Hino to Gras,” Rei tried again.

Again, no reply.

“Computer, where is Commander Jitsia Gras?”

“Commander Jitsia Gras is in crew quarters A-19,” the computer replied.

“Those are hers,” Kio said.

Rei nodded and stood. Kio stood as well. “We better go check on her,” Rei said.

Kio nodded and the pair ran off.


<Nifty Star Trek Doorbell Sound>

Rei looked to Kio as no one answered the call.

<Nifty Star Trek Doorbell Sound>

Kio pulled out her sidearm and activated the phaser mode before nodding to Rei. Rei typed in her security override code while pulling out her own sidearm.

The door slid open, and the pair quickly moved in. Kio went one way, Rei the other.

It didn’t take long for Rei to find who they were looking for.

“Oh my God...” Rei mumbled, dropping her gun.

Kio, hearing Rei, and more clearly, the clanging of the NEO pistol on the metal deck plating, quickly ran over.

“Holy...” Kio stammered. Rei dropped to her knees and began to run her hands through Jitsia’s hair as Kio smacked her comm badge. “Medical emergency to crew quarters A-19! Hurry!!”

“On the way,” sickbay reported.

On the bed lay Jitsia, naked. Her body, covered in blood. A large incision went from the middle of her torso about a third of the way down. In her right hand, still gripped tightly was a large, sharp knife that was covered in blood.

Several medics arrived, most stunned by what they saw.

“She’s lost a lot of blood. We need to get her out of here now,” they stated.

Rei nodded as Jitsia and the medics beamed out of the room.