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For The Want Of A Queen

Posted on Tue Apr 28, 2020 @ 1:29am by Captain Madelina Weisz & Master Chief Petty Officer Thomas Barnes

Mission: The Nanjing
Location: Quarters
Timeline: MD 1 || 2000 hours

Were it not for the orange and brown glow of the Badlands outside the windows, the room would have been driven into pitch black as soon as the door closed behind him. Tom had lost all track of time throughout the day, and he still had no awareness of what time it was. If he had to guess, he would have assumed that three days had passed since they’d arrived at the Badlands.

He didn’t care that that guess would have been wrong. All that he cared about was the fact that he’d been stumbling all across the deck like a drunkard since leaving the turbolift. The ship felt different to him in the last few minutes. Colors seemed more muted in the last few minutes, yet his vision seemed sharper than ever. He could see every stroke of paint, every fiber in the carpet, and he swore he saw the actual frequency of the light.

His mind, however, still felt cloudy. Thoughts were incomplete, disjointed, and in some cases they seemed like gibberish or a foreign language. One word kept coming back to the surface.

Nourishment.

The raktajino seemed to have served its purpose, and its effects had worn off way too early.

Tom stumbled over to the kitchen and stopped in front of the replicator. “Computer,” he slurred. “Materials override, enable multipurpose… multipurpose use.” The computer’s affirmative beeps echoed in his head, adding to his splitting headache. “Water,” he then instructed. “Mix with duranium and gold particles, thirty parts per million. Deliver in a steel glass with rubber-coated grip.”

Instantly, the beverage materialized on the replicator plate.

Tom picked up the cup, and didn’t think about what was in it. He brought it to his lips and began to pour, chugging it until it was gone. He then looked down at the cup and placed both hands around it. He could feel the cold steel, followed by a tingling sensation in his palms. The cup quickly disintegrated, with the steel and the rubber dismantled and disappearing into his body. The process stung, and his hands turned cold momentarily as his blood lacked the proper amounts of iron to keep them warm and regularly colored.

The nausea returned, and so did the sway beneath his feet.

Tom grabbed the counter, and used it as a crutch as he left the kitchen. He lacked sufficient energy to make it to the bedroom, so he was forced to stop at the couch. He made no attempts to remove his uniform, nor his boots, or even to cover himself. As soon as he laid down on it, his eyes closed as his body, and those that occupied it, transferred all energy and resources into upgrading it.

Maddy wasn't sure what time it was, but the sleeping baby against her shoulder let her know it was late. At least late enough to be his bedtime. That was going to make babysitting that much easier, and would give her a chance to check on Tom.

After what happened earlier in the day, the redhead found herself thinking about his constantly. Wondering if he was okay, or if there'd been anymore side effects to the treatment he'd undergone. Why that particular method was chosen was beyond her, but he wouldn't be going through it a second time if she had a say.

The Captain walked through the door of her shared quarters and took a brief look around. A tired smile formed in her lips when she spotted the love of her life asleep on the couch. Instead of moving toward him, Maddy made her way to the spare bedroom where Liam would be sleeping for the night and got him settled down. Luckily for her, he didn't stir even a little.

With a smile, she made her to the master bedroom to get out of her uniform and replaced it with one of Tom's t-shirts that he'd given her some time back. Now that she was more comfortable, Maddy made her way back out into the living room and moved over to the couch to kneel down beside it. "Hey," she said softly. "How are you feeling?"

While Tom's eyes did not open, the vocal pattern that infiltrated his auditory senses registered as familiar. The nanites were able to decipher and identify the pattern as others continue to build the interface modules and rewire Tom's neural pathways. For a moment, the nanites sensed danger, worrying that they would be discovered, and thinking that they needed to deal with the threat.

Other chemicals were released naturally by Tom's brain and nervous systems. These pheromones and endorphins confused them, but they soon learned what they were for. This human had an attraction for the woman. And, unlike the Lagashi in the engineering lab, who was more artificial than natural, the woman here would likely provide an excellent host to observe and improve on their new plane of existance.

Still, to Maddy's eyes, Tom remained unmoving, his consciousness still sound asleep.

"You've had a hell of a day," she whispered, placing a hand against his cheek. "And I just don't have the heart to wake you. Sweet dreams, my love. I hope you wake up feeling better in the morning." With that, Maddy lowered her head and pressed her lips to his.

The pheromones and endorphins quadrupled in number. Tom was now very much aware of Maddy despite his eyes still being closed and his mind unconscious, yet the activity levels were rising. The nanites "felt" the brush of the warm finger against his cooling cheek, and then her lips on his.

They took their cue from Tom. Eyes still closed, his right arm lifted from the couch and slipped under Maddy's fiery hair to gently wrap around her neck just below the base of her skull. Any other time, this would feel like the start of a loving and passionate embrace.

And to her, that's exactly what it was. She smiled against his lips, only slightly surprised he'd chosen this moment to wake up and acknowledge her. Maddy placed her other hand against his other cheek and carefully maneuvered herself without breaking the kiss until she was stretched out next to him on the couch.

His left hand repositioned itself between his chest and Maddy's. Up until this point, it seemed Maddy's actions had caused Tom to awaken, as if he was being enticed to return to the realm of the living for a moment of intense passion, an activity that he and Maddy certainly loved to share.

Tom's eyes slowly opened. What once was brown had turned to solid black (not that one could see in the dark), and his pupils had an eerie red glow to them. Suddenly, his grip changed from gentle to firm, as if his hand had become a vise. Each finger on his left hand opened. Four tubes shot out, penetrated Maddy's uniform, and breeched her skin.

The nanites applied the same tactic they'd used hours ago with Tom. Maddy's muscular system was overwhelmed with an electrical charge, causing every muscle to seize and freeze. The Nanjing shot across this new bridge, directly into Maddy's heart so they could quickly reach her brain. Tom's eyes remained emotionless and unmoving as the transfer took place.

Inside Maddy's body, the Nanjing raced to her brain. Using the lessons they'd learned from both Barnes and Rivers, they began to construct their first interface where they immediately dumped the images of what happened to the Borg cube directly into her mind. This was done to overwhelm the woman, which the Nanjing would use as their opportunity to fortify themselves without interference.

Maddy's eyes went wide when his hold on her tightened, it was at that moment she knew something wasn't right, but before she had the chance to fight against him, the four tubes were embedded inside her chest. This wasn't how she planned for her evening to go. She wanted peace. She wanted quiet. Instead, the Captain was getting this.

The seizures began almost immediately, her body tensing and shaking before going completely rigid. She could feel something moving inside of her, but was helpless to stop it. Maddy h as f no fight left in her, her senses and body completely overwhelmed by the Nanjing now living within her.

The four tubes finished their job and retracted themselves into Tom's hands. For a moment, Tom felt lightheaded, attributing this to both the changes to his vision and then also to the loss of nanites from his bloodstream. With Maddy released, he pushed her onto the floor to allow for her nanites to begin their work. His eyes blinked and his vision adjusted. The room, once illuminated by just the badlands, now appeared with multiple layers of information. He could read heat signatures and detect various spectrums of background radiation and electromagentic fields. His vision adjusted for each of these options, as if performing a simple diagnostic to show off his new capabilities.

Tom looked down at the hand that had injected Maddy. His fingertips had been mostly reconstructed, save for metallic slits in the middle of each print. Just by looking at them and thinking about them, Tom was able to open and close those slits.

The lightheadedness returned. Tom looked to his left and right, his mind still a bit fuzzy as his ability to process thoughts and information was still being re-written, but he was now very much aware of the presence inside of his system. He could almost feel them coursing through his blood, talking to him, guiding him. Tom very much still felt in control, and he found himself appreciating their voices.

Nourishment, the voices told him.

Yes. They both required nourishment. Tom rose from the couch, his knees doing all of the work now. He approached the replicator in the kitchen and requested a pitcher filled with the solution he drank earlier, but asked that it be even more concentrated -- a full six hundred parts per million. The upgrades and implants required material, and power.

But, most importantly, Maddy would need the materials as well.

Tom picked up the pitcher, consumed four full gulps, and then returned to where Maddy lay. He knelt down beside her. He reached down with his left hand to cradle the back of her skull. With care, he lifted her head until her body was in a sitting position. The slots in his hands opened touching various nerves in the back of her neck so that his nanites could communicate with her own. His nanites continued to work on the new transceiver that it was constructing at the base of his neck using the medical device as a template. Once it had the layout, he would give the instructions to Maddy so that they could move beyond verbal communication, but that would be several hours away.

For now, it was time for nourishment. His nanites communicated to hers, and Tom simply said, "Drink, my queen." With that, he pressed the edge of the pitcher against her lips and started to slowly pour the duranium and gold mixture down the hatch.

If Maddy thought she was exhausted before, nothing prepared her for how she felt now. With Tom's help, she sat up, relying on him to help keep her upright in her slightly weakened state. It wasn't until he urged her to drink and began to pour the contents of the pitcher into her mouth did she swallow. She wasn't quite sure what was happening to her, but the more of the liquid she drank, the more she realized she wanted it.

 

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