Beta Reader: Jsilver2000
Summary: There was an attempted coup on the bridge, and the search for other culprits was ongoing. Nyota, witnessing the outcome, realized that taking over the ship was a bad idea.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Nyota was able to find the leak in her team: a young Communications officer, Ensign Harris. Her days were numbered. Scotty discovered that the engines had been tampered with; they were rigged to shut down when the Enterprise reached sector 5. Kirk had to decide what form of death would fit the crime. He was still in a foul mood about the coup attempt. He extended his rage to the rest of the crew to remind them who was the Big Dog on the ship.
Meanwhile, down in the brig, three people were in the agonizer booths screaming and begging for help. The Security detail would let them rest for a half hour and then the torture would resume. A medical team was standing by to revive any prisoner who passed out. The Security detail and the medical team gave regular updates to Kirk and McCoy, respectively. This went on for three days; finally, Stone broke and revealed the plan. Sulu recorded his confession and sent it to Spock and the Captain. After the fourth day in the agonizer booths, the mutineers were sent to Sickbay. McCoy assessed their condition and entered "Mutiny" into his log as the reason for their state. Then he and his nurses treated the three of them; Kirk wanted them alive.
Everyone on the ship knew that Harris, Stone, and Finney would pay with their lives for their actions. The Empire didn't care how discipline was handled, as long it didn't interfere with its mission of conquest.
Nyota sat in her quarters still working on a plan to form a group that could band together and use their resources to exert leverage, as opposed to executing a takeover that was doomed to failure. First, she needed help; she needed to find someone to trust and work with, without competition or malice. She wrote in her journal her ideas:
Stage 1-Potential recruits:
Unfortunately, that was a far as she got. And Nyota had doubts about the woman she had chosen, but she had to try. "If I can just get some women to work together with me as one. We would be a force to be reckoned with." Her chimer rang, and she looked at her security screen to see Eve Brody holding a package. She unlocked her door and let her in:
"Are those my uniforms?"
"Yes, Lieutenant Commander, including the new adjustable armband."
"Call me 'Nyota'."
Brody gave her the packages, and Nyota slowly opened the package to reveal her adjusted uniform; it was still two pieces but offered more coverage of her cleavage.
"They still meet Empire regulations," Brody assured her.
Then Nyota unwrapped the armband. The gold band sported the new insignia of her command, which was accompanied by an embroidered red gem. Nyota tried the armband on, and the fit was nice.
"You have done well; for that I will reward you with a ten percent bonus. I think it looks sexy."
Brody looked wide-eyed at Nyota in response to the compliment and her generosity.
Nyota noticed her shock: "What's wrong?"
"You spoke nicely to me. Thank you. It's rare when people say something -nice."
Nyota touched her forehead and then pursed her lips. She eyed Brody closely: "How do you feel about the balance of power on this ship?"
"It's almost exclusively male ranking officers who hold the power. There are a few others who have managed to gain leverage of some kind. It's hard to be a woman on this ship, unless you have a high-ranking man by your side. I've even overheard some women pretending to be lesbians to avoid attacks, just to be safe!"
"That won't last long; the male crew will find out," Nyota said.
"You are the only prominent female officer without a high-ranking male officer for protection or banging," Brody pointed out.
Nyota knew Brody's assessment was correct, even though Kirk had been trying to get up her skort:
"That's true. The Captain needs me for now, but for how long? You can become expendable in an instant."
"We need protection as women. Where I work, no man notices me, which I don't mind!" Brody said with a chuckle. Then she became serious: "But the yeomen are fresh meat and are always targeted."
Nyota let down her guard and took out her knife and glared at Eve: "If you repeat this, we could be charged with conspiracy against the Empire! I need honest people around me. Can I trust you?"
Brody saw the seriousness in her face and thought for a second: "After what I've seen! Yeah, you can trust me!"
"Good, I have an idea, Eve. We need to rally the women on this ship to work together for our common good. We have to learn NOT to depend on the male crew and to become independent thinkers. We need to use our abilities-not our sexuality-to get what we want. We will demand more credits for missions-we deserve an equal share versus the men. And I am sick and tired of fighting off that octopus, Sulu!"
Eve jumped up and did a jig, clapping her hands: "Girl, count me in!"
Nyota saw Eve reaction, put her knife away and smiled at the Quartermaster; she had gained an ally.
"We have to do this in secret; if the men find out they will crush us or worse. We'll be undercover and covert. Now, who would be the best recruit? We have to be selective, Eve."
"I agree; some could be bought with credits and sell us out. We would all be screwed. How about Lieutenant Masters?"
"Masters? Who's that?"
"One of the smartest engineers on this ship. Mr. Scott keeps her locked away in the deepest parts of Engineering. He always has her tinkering with new gadgets. I don't think she has been seen on the upper decks in months!"
Nyota was curious about the engineer: "Computer."
A deep male voice responded: "Working."
"Read the official personnel file of Lieutenant Masters in Engineering."
"Lieutenant Charlene Masters, Engineer First Class.
"Graduated as salutatorian in Engineering from Imperial Starfleet Academy.
"Currently serving on the ISS Enterprise under Lieutenant Commander Scott.
"Expertise in warp core engineering.
"Expertise in adjustment of Heisenberg compensators for transporters.
"Has published research into the recrystallization of dilithium.
"Her complete record will continue for five minutes and 34 seconds; do you want to continue?"
"That will be enough, Computer."
Nyota looked at Eve in amazement.
Eve nodded her head in agreement: "Yep, overlooked. The girl's got mad skills, Nyota. She can really help us."
"Can you get her some place where we all could talk privately?"
"I think I can. Who else can we trust?"
Nyota walked to her desk, grabbed her journal, and scanned it:
"The idea is that we work in secret as a unit, with representatives in each department. Staying under the Captain's radar will be the hard part. I want you to recruit one yeoman to start, and you will be in charge of that yeoman. But you just report to me all their needs and concerns. Then, as we expand, all the other units will support them, and each other."
"Sounds good so far; what other units?"
"If we get Masters onboard, she'll be our contact in the Engineering unit."
"So they would never know who the real leader is if any of us get caught!"
"Right. Once we get going, we all need to be trained."
"How about Janet Sullivan in Science? She has a bone pick with Mr. Spock, because he has those Vulcans all up in there business.
Nyota jotted down her name: "How about Christine Chapel?"
"Whew, I don't know; that woman could go either way. She's a tough cookie from what I've seen and heard about her. You might make her an offer she can't refuse. I've heard she's dating Sharon Running Deer."
Nyota thought for a moment and organized her plan: "Let's tackle Masters first; she will be key to our setup. Think you can get hold of her and arrange a meeting?"
"Give me a couple of hours, and I'll report back to you."
"Thanks for the uniforms and armbands, Eve. You're talented!"
"Don't let that get around. I don't want to attract attention."
Eve left Nyota and headed back to her office.
Nyota sat at her desk and started planning her next step in developing this new organization of women. Once she recruited Masters, there would be others needed to seal the deal.
A few hours later, three women met in the Quartermaster's back office.
"No one comes in here. I'm considered off the grid and non-essential," Eve explained.
Nyota did a quick scan of the room for bugs. She had had to go three decks up, take a Jefferies tube, and then climb some scaffolding stairs to keep from prying eyes. There in front of her stood Lieutenant Masters with three tricorders draped over her shoulders. She held a fourth in her hand; she too was scanning the area.
"Yep, we're safe. Brody said you wanted to talk to me?" Masters said, getting to the point.
"I want to form an organization of female crew only. Eve says you're a wiz with inventions."
"Sounds interesting; tell me more." Masters said, folding her arms across her chest and looking Nyota in the eye.
"It has to be a secret. I want junior officers to take charge of small groups of women to protect and lead them. But most important is to change the image of female crew members that's projected on this ship. I need women who won't bow down to men. Once we gain enough strength, I would use our combined leverage to obtain equal credits for all women who serve on the Enterprise. I just received my promotion. I had to do a whole lot of bargaining and extra work to advance Kirk's agenda to get it, and even then he still wanted to sleep with me."
Masters looked at Nyota's armband and took in her new rank: "You're a lieutenant commander now?"
Masters didn't take long to show interest Nyota's idea: "What do you need from me?"
"First, I want you to be in charge of the Engineering team. I just want to start with one woman in your department who would buy into our idea. We need to train these women not to depend on men, which will be hard. The idea is to network with each department on the ship. Plus, Eve told me you have developed inventions that Scotty doesn't know about. Those can be part of our leverage."
"I'm in; what Mr. Scott doesn't know-because I'm unregistered-is that I have the equivalent of a class 7+ computer science classification, which is rare, in addition to my Engineering credentials."
"They don't know that you're a genius, Charlene!" Nyota said, smiling widely.
"Correct; the less they know the better, right?" Charlene said with a smile. "Mr. Scott keeps me hidden because of my talent. Otherwise, Kirk might give me his job. But the Boys Club won't let that happen. I give him tidbits of my stuff to keep him and Kirk happy."
"I want you to stay hidden; don't share your ideas, Charlene."
Eve chimed in: "Just tell me what you need-equipment or supplies-and I can either get them from the ship's stores or order them to be delivered to the next planet or starbase on our route."
"So what should we call this sisterhood thing?" Charlene asked, nonchalantly waving a hand in the air.
Eve and Nyota looked at each other and smiled: "THE SISTERHOOD!"
The three women sat down and drew up guidelines for the organization. They had to start small to avoid drawing suspicion. Nyota made Eve and Charlene her two ranking officers, in case anything should happen to her.
"We need a meeting place for us three, and it can't be the same place every time.," Nyota said.
"Not only that, how are going to communicate without drawing attention?" Eve asked.
The women thought for a few moments before Nyota solved the communication problem: "I can take basic communicators and modify them to emit a signal that can't be traced; give me yours now and I'll have them ready tomorrow."
Then Eve solved the meeting location problem: "I have the blueprints of the ship. We can use certain storage areas but change them each time; I have access to them. I can also program them into your communicators; the signal will be the passcode as well."
"I like it," Nyota said.
Charlene was tapping her finger on her lips, thinking about revealing one of her inventions: "Commander, I've been working on this one invention, but it's risky. I need to test it first before I show it to you. I'll let you know in a couple of days."
"Fine, I can wait. Eve, who will you recruit?"
"I was thinking of Yeoman Lawton. She's been abused a lot. She's a tiny little thing. Looks vulnerable."
"Build up her confidence. Give her some hand-to-hand combat training. Find out who abused her. Tell her you will protect her. I want a list of offenders because we three will be the judges of their cases and determine punishment."
Charlene and Eve looked at each other in approval: "About time-I'm sick of being the weakest link," Eve said.
Nyota snapped: "You're not the weakest link! You're a woman with skills and talent!"
There was a pause as the two women processed Nyota's statement. Nyota turned to Charlene: "Are you able to recruit anyone in your department?"
"Yes, Lieutenant Romaine is part of the auxiliary control team; she does all the work and has the sh$tty schedule. She'll join."
"Tell her I will protect her."
Charlene grew concerned: "I need to get back; I will have some new toys for you at our next meeting."
"Looking forward to it. Thanks, ladies! I see a new horizon in our future-as long as we stick together."
The three of them nodded their heads in agreement and left.
If the woman looks familiar that is Yeoman Mears from the episode "The Galileo 7, she is representing Eve Brody. I hope you like her.