All characters named in this are the property of Paramount. No infringement is intended.
This story is mostly Aristophanes', I just changed it to make it relevant to Voyager.Apologies for any mistakes. My eyes feel like someone's been rubbing sandpaper on them.
A TWENTY-FOURTH CENTURY LYSISTRATA
by Suz email@example.com
410 BC LYSISTRATA by Aristophanes anonymous translator
CHARACTERS IN THE PLAY
KATHRYN B'ELANNA SEVEN OF NINE SAMANTHA CHAKOTAY (A MAGISTRATE) TUVOK HARRY (CHILD OF TUVOK) TOM (HERALD OF THE JENNY'S) EMH I (LEADER OF ENVOYS FOR THE JENNY'S) NEELIX (A MAGISTRATE) CHORUS OF OLD MEN - LED BY AYALA CHORUS OF WOMEN - LED BY NICOLETTI
(SCENE:-On the Bridge are two doors, one to KATHRYN's Ready Room and the entrance to the Briefing Room; a winding and narrow path leads up to the latter. Between the two doors is the opening of a turbolift. KATHRYN is pacing up and down in front of her Ready Room.)
KATHRYN Ah! if only they had been invited to a Talent night, or a feast of Q or this year's Prixin, why! the corridors would have been impassable for the thronging tricorders! Now there's never a woman here-ah! except my chief engineer B'Elanna, whom I see approaching yonder.... Good day, B'Elanna. B'ELANNA Good day, Kathryn; but pray, why this dark, forbidding face, my captain? Believe me, you look awful with those death-glare eyes and those lowering brows. KATHRYN Oh, B'Elanna, my heart is on fire; I blush for our sex. Men will have it we are tricky and sly.... B'ELANNA And they are quite right, someone has to have the balls on this ship! KATHRYN Yet, look you, when the women are summoned to meet for a matter of the greatest importance, they lie in bed instead of coming. B'ELANNA Oh! they will come, my dear; but it's not easy, you know, for women to leave their quarters. One is busy pottering about her husband; another recalibrating the EPS conduits in her bathroom; a third is putting her child asleep or washing the brat or feeding it. KATHRYN But I tell you, the business that calls them here is far and away more urgent. B'ELANNA And why do you summon us, dear Kathryn? What is it all about? KATHRYN About a big thing. B'ELANNA (taking this in a different sense; with great interest) And is it thick too? KATHRYN Yes, very thick. B'ELANNA And we're not here yet! Imagine! Someone signal a red alert... KATHRYN (wearily) Oh! if it were what you suppose, there would be never an absentee. No, no, it concerns a thing that has given me many sleepless nights. B'ELANNA (still unable to be serious) It must be something mighty fine and subtle to have kept you up all night! KATHRYN So fine, it means just this, Voyager saved by the women! B'ELANNA By the women! Why, its salvation hangs on a poor thread then! KATHRYN Our Ship's fortunes depend on us-it is with us to undo utterly the mess hall. B'ELANNA That would be a noble deed truly! KATHRYN To exterminate the Engineering section to a man! B'ELANNA But surely you would spare the sickbay. KATHRYN For my bridge's sake I will never threaten so fell a doom; trust me for that. However, if the Engineering and mess hall women join us, Voyager is saved. B'ELANNA But how should women perform so wise and glorious an achievement, we women who dwell in the bowels of our vessel, clad in diaphanous garments of yellow silk and long flowing gowns, decked out with flowers and shod with dainty little slippers? KATHRYN Ah, but those are the very sheet-anchors of our salvation-those yellow tunics, those scents and slippers, those cosmetics and transparent robes. B'ELANNA How so, pray? KATHRYN There is not a man will wield a lance against another... B'ELANNA Quick, I will get me a yellow tunic from the dyer's. KATHRYN ...or want a shield. B'ELANNA I'll run and put on a flowing gown. KATHRYN ...or draw a sword. B'ELANNA I'll haste and buy a pair of slippers this instant. KATHRYN Now tell me, would not the women have done best to come? B'ELANNA Why, they should have flown here! KATHRYN Ah! my dear, you'll see that like true Voyager crewmembers, they will do everything too late.... Why, there's not a woman come from the waste recycling, not one from the science department. B'ELANNA But I know for certain they embarked at daybreak. KATHRYN And the dames from the holodeck! why, I thought they would have been the very first to arrive. B'ELANNA Bristow's wife at any rate is sure to come; she has actually been to consult Hecate.... But look! here are some arrivals-and there are more behind. Ah! ha! now what shipwomen may they be? KATHRYN They are from the science department and astrometrics! B'ELANNA Yes! upon my word, 'tis a levy en masse of all the female population of those sections! (SEVEN OF NINE enters, followed by other women.) SEVEN OF NINE Are we late, Kathryn? Tell us, pray; what, not a word? KATHRYN I cannot say much for you, Seven of Nine! you have not bestirred yourself overmuch for an affair of such urgency. SEVEN OF NINE I could not find my girdle in the dark. However, if the matter is so pressing, here we are; so speak. B'ELANNA No, let's wait a moment more, till the women of the mess hall arrive and those from Engineering. KATHRYN Yes, that is best.... Ah! here comes Samantha. (SAMANTHA, a husky Engineering damsel, enters with three others, two from the mess hall and one from the science lab.) Good day, Samantha, dear friend from deck eleven. How well and handsome you look! what a rosy complexion! and how strong you seem; why, you could wrestle a Traikan beast! SAMANTHA Yes, indeed, I really think I could. It's because I do gymnastics and practise the bottom-kicking dance. B'ELANNA (opening SAMANTHA'S robe and baring her bosom) And what superb breasts! SAMANTHA La! you are feeling me as if I were a beast for sacrifice. KATHRYN And this young woman, where is she from? SAMANTHA She is a noble lady from the mess hall. KATHRYN Ah! my pretty mess hall friend, you are as blooming as a garden. B'ELANNA (making another inspection) Yes, on my word! and her "garden" is so thoroughly weeded too! KATHRYN (pointing to the one from the science lab) And who is this? SAMANTHA 'Tis an honest woman, by my faith! she comes from the science lab. B'ELANNA Oh! honest, no doubt then-as honesty goes at the science lab. SAMANTHA But who has called together this council of women, pray? KATHRYN I have. SAMANTHA Well then, tell us what you want of us. B'ELANNA Yes, please tell us! What is this very important business you wish to inform us about? KATHRYN I will tell you. But first answer me one question. B'ELANNA Anything you wish. KATHRYN Don't you feel sad and sorry because the fathers of your children are far away from you because of the Delaney argument? For I'll wager there is not one of you whose husband is not in disagreement at this moment. B'ELANNA Mine has been the last five months in the shuttle bay-looking after the Delta Flyer. SEVEN OF NINE It's seven long months since mine left for the brig. SAMANTHA As for mine, if he ever does stop arguing, he's no sooner decided Jenny is sexier when he changes his mind to Megan! KATHRYN And not so much as the shadow of a lover! Since the day that Tom started the bet, I have never once seen an eight-inch gadget even, to be a leathern consolation to us poor wives.... Now tell me, if I have discovered a means of ending the argument, will you all second me? B'ELANNA Yes verily, by all the goddesses, I swear I will, though I have to put my gown in pawn, and drink the money the same day. SEVEN OF NINE And so will I, though I must be split in two like a flat-fish, and have half myself removed. SAMANTHA And I too; why to secure peace, I would climb to the top of the warp core. KATHRYN Then I will out with it at last, my mighty secret! Oh! sister women, if we would compel our husbands to make peace, we must refrain... B'ELANNA Refrain from what? tell us, tell us! KATHRYN But will you do it? SEVEN OF NINE We will, we will, though we should die of it. KATHRYN We must refrain from the male altogether.... Nay, why do you turn your backs on me? Where are you going? So, you bite your lips, and shake your heads, eh? Why these pale, sad looks? why these tears? Come, will you do it-yes or no? Do you hesitate? B'ELANNA I will not do it, let the argument go on. SEVEN OF NINE Nor will I; let the argument on. KATHRYN (to SEVEN OF NINE) And you say this, my pretty flat-fish, who declared just now they might split you in two? B'ELANNA Anything, anything but that! Bid me go through the fire, if you will,-but to rob us of the sweetest thing in all the world, Kathryn darling! KATHRYN (to SEVEN OF NINE) And you? SEVEN OF NINE Yes, I agree with the others; I too would sooner go through the fire. You've never had sex with someone going through the ponn farr... KATHRYN Oh, wanton, vicious sex! the poets have done well to make tragedies upon us; we are good for nothing then but love and lewdness! But you, my dear, you from hardy Engineering, if you join me, all may yet be well; help me, second me, I beg you. SAMANTHA 'Tis a hard thing, by the two goddesses it is! for a woman to sleep alone without ever a strong male in her bed. But there, peace must come first. KATHRYN Oh, my darling, my dearest, best friend, you are the only one deserving the name of woman! B'ELANNA But if-which the gods forbid-we do refrain altogether from what you say, should we get peace any sooner? KATHRYN Of course we should, by the goddesses twain! We need only sit in quarters with painted cheeks, and meet our mates lightly clad in transparent gowns of Risian silk, and perfectly depilated; they will get their tools up and be wild to lie with us. That will be the time to refuse, and they will hasten to make peace, I am convinced of that! SAMANTHA Yes, just as Menelaus, when he saw Helen's naked bosom, threw away his sword, they say. B'ELANNA But, oh dear, suppose our husbands go away and leave us. KATHRYN Then, as Pherecrates says, we must "flay a skinned dog," that's all. B'ELANNA Fiddlesticks! these proverbs are all idle talk.... But if our husbands drag us by main force into the bedchamber? KATHRYN Hold on to the door posts. B'ELANNA But if they beat us? KATHRYN Then yield to their wishes, but with a bad grace; there is no pleasure in it for them, when they do it by force. Besides, there are a thousand ways of tormenting them. Never fear, they'll soon tire of the game; there's no satisfaction for a man, unless the woman shares it. B'ELANNA Very well, if you must have it so, we agree. SAMANTHA For ourselves, no doubt we shall persuade our husbands to conclude a fair and honest peace; but there is the Voyager populace, how are we to cure these folk of their disagreement frenzy? KATHRYN Have no fear; we undertake to make our own people listen to reason. SAMANTHA That's impossible, so long as they have their trusty guns and the vast treasures stored in the weapons locker. KATHRYN Ah! but we have seen to that; this very day the weapons locker will be in our hands. That is the task assigned to the older women; while we are here in council, they are going, under pretence of offering brownies to the guards. SAMANTHA Well said indeed! everything is going for the best. KATHRYN Come, quick, Samantha, and let us bind ourselves by an inviolable oath. SAMANTHA Recite the terms; we will swear to them. KATHRYN With pleasure. Where is our security woman? Now, what are you staring at, pray? Lay this shield on the earth before us, its hollow upwards, and someone bring me the victim's inwards. B'ELANNA Kathryn, say, what oath are we to swear? KATHRYN What oath? Why, the Hirogen, they sacrifice a person, and swear over intestines; we will do the same. B'ELANNA No, Kathryn, one cannot swear peace over a person, surely. KATHRYN What other oath do you prefer? B'ELANNA Let's take a targ, and sacrifice it, and swear on its entrails. KATHRYN But where shall we get a targ? B'ELANNA Well, what oath shall we take then? KATHRYN Listen to me. Let's set a great black bowl on the ground; let's sacrifice a skin of Leola root wine into it, and take oath not to add one single drop of water. SAMANTHA Ah! that's an oath pleases me more than I can say. KATHRYN Let them bring me a bowl and a skin of wine. B'ELANNA Ah! my dears, what a noble big bowl! what fun it will be to empty it. KATHRYN Set the bowl down on the ground, and lay your hands on the victim. ....Almighty goddess, Persuasion, and thou, bowl, boon comrade of joy and merriment, receive this our sacrifice, and be propitious to us poor women! B'ELANNA (as KATHRYN pours the wine into the bowl) Oh! the fine yellow blood! how well it flows! SAMANTHA And what a delicious bouquet, by Picard! B'ELANNA Now, my dears, let me swear first, if you please. KATHRYN No, by Q, unless it's decided by lot. But come, then, Samantha, and all of you, put your hands to the bowl; and do you, B'Elanna, repeat for all the rest the solemn terms I am going to recite. Then you must all swear, and pledge yourselves by the same promises,-I will have naught to do whether with lover or husband... B'ELANNA (faintly) I will have naught to do whether with lover or husband... KATHRYN Albeit he come to me with an erection... B'ELANNA (her voice quavering) Albeit he come to me with an erection... (in despair) Oh! Kathryn, I cannot bear it! KATHRYN (ignoring this outburst) I will live at home unbulled... B'ELANNA I will live at home unbulled... KATHRYN Beautifully dressed and wearing a saffron-coloured gown B'ELANNA Beautifully dressed and wearing a saffron-coloured gown... KATHRYN To the end I may inspire my husband with the most ardent longings. B'ELANNA To the end I may inspire my husband with the most ardent longings. KATHRYN Never will I give myself voluntarily... B'ELANNA Never will I give myself voluntarily... KATHRYN And if he has me by force... B'ELANNA And if he has me by force... KATHRYN I will be cold as ice, and never stir a limb... B'ELANNA I will be cold as ice, and never stir a limb... KATHRYN I will neither extend my Starfleet issue boots toward the ceiling... B'ELANNA I will neither extend my Starfleet issue boots toward the ceiling... KATHRYN Nor will I swell my tongue like an Ocampa in heat. B'ELANNA Nor will I swell my tongue like an Ocampa in heat. KATHRYN And if I keep my oath, may I be suffered to drink of this wine. B'ELANNA (more courageously) And if I keep my oath, may I be suffered to drink of this wine. KATHRYN But if I break it, let my bowl be filled with water. B'ELANNA But if I break it, let my bowl be filled with water. KATHRYN Will you all take this oath? ALL We do. KATHRYN Then I'll now consume this remnant. (She drinks.) B'ELANNA (reaching for the cup) Enough, enough, my dear; now let us all drink in turn to cement our friendship. (They pass the cup around and all drink. A great commotion is heard off stage.) SAMANTHA Listen! what do those cries mean? KATHRYN It's what I was telling you; the women have just occupied the weapons locker. So now, Samantha, you return to Engineering to organize the plot, while your comrades here remain as hostages. For ourselves, let us go and join the rest in the weapons locker, and let us push the bolts well home. B'ELANNA But don't you think the men will march up against us? KATHRYN I laugh at them. Neither threats nor flames shall force our doors; they shall open only on the conditions I have named. B'ELANNA Yes, yes, by Q; otherwise we should be called cowardly and wretched women. (She follows KATHRYN out.)
(The scene shifts to the entrance of the weapons locker. The CHORUS OF OLD MEN slowly enters, carrying faggots, cargo containers, and pots of fire.)
AYALA Go easy, Freddy, go easy; why, your shoulder is all chafed by these damned heavy cargo containers. But forward still, forward, man, as needs must. FIRST SEMI-CHORUS OF OLD MEN (singing) What unlooked-for things do happen, to be sure, in a long life! Ah! Q, who would ever have thought it? Here we have the women, who used, for our misfortune, to eat our bread and live in our quarters, daring nowadays to lay hands on the holy image of the goddess, to seize the weapons locker and erect forcefields to keep any from entering! AYALA Come, O'Donnell, man, let's hurry there; let's lay our faggots all about the citadel, and on the blazing pile burn with our hands these vile conspiratresses, one and all-and Lycon's wife first and foremost! SECOND SEMI-CHORUS OF OLD MEN (singing) Nay, by Quinn, never will I let them laugh at me, whiles I have a breath left in my body. Cullah himself, the first who ever seized our weapons locker, had to quit it to his sore dishonour; spite his Kazon pride, he had to deliver me up his arms and slink off with a single garment to his back. My word! but he was filthy and ragged! and what unkempt hair, to be sure! He had not had a bath for six long years! AYALA Oh! but that was a mighty siege! Our men were ranged seventeen deep before the door, and never left their posts, even to sleep. These women, these enemies of Q and all the gods, shall I do nothing to hinder their inordinate insolence? else let them tear down my trophies of Marathon. FIRST SEMI-CHORUS OF OLD MEN (singing) But look, to finish this toilsome climb only this last steep bit is left to mount. Truly, it's no easy job without beasts of burden, and how these containers do bruise my shoulder! Still let us carry on, and blow up our fire and see it does not go out just as we reach our destination. Phew! phew! (Blowing the fire) Oh! dear! what a dreadful smoke! Thank the Gods the fire supression system is off line! SECOND SEMI-CHORUS OF OLD MEN (singing) It bites my eyes like a mad dog. It is powerful fire for sure, or it would never devour my eyelids like this. Come on, Carey, let's hurry, let's bring succour to the goddess; it's now or never! Phew! phew! (Blowing the fire) Oh dear! what a confounded smoke! AYALA There now, there's our fire all bright and burning, thank the gods! Now, why not first put down our loads here, then take a vine-branch, ignite it and hurl it at the door by way of battering-ram? If they don't answer our summons by opening the door, then we set fire to the carpet, and the smoke will choke them. Ye gods! what a smoke! Pfaugh! Is there never anyone will help me unload my burden?-Ah! it shall not gall my shoulder any more. (Setting down the cargo container) Come, brazier, do your duty, make the embers flare, that I may kindle a brand; I want to be the first to hurl one. Aid me, heavenly Victory; let us punish for their insolent audacity the women who have seized our weapons locker, and may we raise a trophy of triumph for success!
(They begin to build a fire. The CHORUS OF WOMEN now enters, carrying pots of water.)
NICOLETTI Oh! my dears, methinks I see fire and smoke; can it be a conflagration? Let us hurry all we can. FIRST SEMI-CHORUS OF WOMEN (singing) Fly, fly, Nicoletti, ere Laurel and Hardy perish in the fire, or are stifled in the smoke raised by these accursed old men and their pitiless laws. But, great gods, can it be I come too late? Rising at dawn, I had the utmost trouble to fill this vessel at the replicator. Oh! what a crowd there was, and what a din! What a rattling of water-pots! Servants and slave-girls pushed and thronged me! However, here I have it full at last; and I am running to carry the water to my fellow-crewwomen, whom our foes are plotting to burn alive. SECOND SEMI-CHORUS OF WOMEN (singing) News has been brought us that a company of old, doddering grey-beards, loaded with enormous faggots, as if they wanted to heat a furnace, have taken the field, vomiting dreadful threats, crying that they must reduce to ashes these horrible women. Suffer them not, oh! goddess, but, of thy grace, may I see the Jennys and the Megans cured of their warlike folly. 'Tis to this end, oh! thou guardian deity of our city, goddess of the golden crest, that they have seized thy sanctuary. Be their friend and ally, Voyager, and if any man hurl against them lighted firebrands, aid us to carry water to extinguish them. NICOLETTI What is this I see, ye wretched old men? Honest and pious folk ye cannot be who act so vilely. AYALA Ah, ha! here's something new! a swarm of women stand posted outside to defend the door! NICOLETTI Fart at us, would you? we seem a mighty host, yet you do not see the ten-thousandth part of our sex. AYALA Ho, Freddy! shall we stop their cackle? Suppose one of us were to wear out our phaser energy on them, eh? NICOLETTI Let us set down our water-pots on the ground, to be out of the way, if they should dare to offer us violence. AYALA Let someone knock out two or three teeth for them, as they did to Carey; they won't talk so loud then. NICOLETTI Come on then; I wait you with unflinching foot, and no other bitch will ever grab your balls. AYALA Silence! or my phaser will cut short your days. NICOLETTI Now, just you dare to touch me with the tip of your finger! AYALA And if I batter you to pieces with my fists, what will you do? NICOLETTI I will tear out your lungs and entrails with my teeth. AYALA Oh! what a clever poet is Euripides! how well he says that woman is the most shameless of animals. NICOLETTI Let's pick up our water-jars again, Swinn. AYALA
You damned women, what do you mean to do here with your water? NICOLETTI And you, old death-in-life, with your fire? Is it to cremate yourself? AYALA I am going to build you a pyre to roast your female friends upon. NICOLETTI And I,-I am going to put out your fire. AYALA You put out my fire-you? NICOLETTI Yes, you shall soon see. AYALA I don't know what prevents me from roasting you with this torch. NICOLETTI I am getting you a bath ready to clean off the filth. AYALA A bath for me, you dirty slut? NICOLETTI Yes, indeed, a nuptial bath-tee heel AYALA (turning to his followers) Do you hear that? What insolence! NICOLETTI I am a free woman, I tell you. AYALA I will make you hold your tongue, never fear! NICOLETTI Ah ha! you shall never sit any more amongst the Heliasts. AYALA (to his torch) Burn off her hair for her! NICOLETTI (to her pot) Aquarius, do your duty!
(The women pitch the water in their water-pots over the old men.)
AYALA Oh, dear! oh, dear! oh, dear! NICOLETTI Was it hot? AYALA Hot, great gods! Enough, enough! NICOLETTI I'm watering you, to make you bloom afresh. AYALA Alas! I am too dry! Ah, me how! how I am trembling with cold! (Chakotay, a Magistrate enters, with a few Megan policemen.) CHAKOTAY These women, have they made din enough, I wonder, with their tambourines? bewept Q enough upon their terraces? I was listening to the speeches last assembly day, and Chell, whom heaven confound! was saying we must all go over to the science lab-and lo! his wife was dancing round repeating: "Alas! alas! Q, woe is me for Q!" Chell was saying we must levy hoplites at the mess hall-and there was his wife, more than half drunk, screaming on the ceiling: "Weep, weep for Q!"-while that infamous Mad Talaxian was bellowing away on his side.-Do you not blush, you women, for your wild and uproarious doings? AYALA But you don't know all their effrontery yet! They abused and insulted us; then soused us with the water in their water-pots, and have set us wringing out our clothes, for all the world as if we had bepissed ourselves. CHAKOTAY And well done too, by Q! We men must share the blame of their ill conduct; it is we who teach them to love riot and dissoluteness and sow the seeds of wickedness in their hearts. You see a husband go into a shop: "Look you, jeweller," says he, "you remember the necklace you made for my wife. Well, the other evening, when she was dancing, the catch came open. Now, I am bound to start for the transporter room; will you make it convenient to go up to-night to make her fastening secure?" Another will go to the cobbler, a great, strong fellow, with a great, long tool, and tell him: "The strap of one of my wife's sandals presses her little toe, which is extremely sensitive; come in about midday to supple the thing and stretch it." Now see the results. Take my own case-as a Magistrate I have enlisted rowers; I want money to pay them, and the women slam the door in my face. But why do we stand here with arms crossed? Bring me a crowbar; I'll chastise their insolence!-Ho! there, my fine fellow! (to one of the Megans) what are, you gaping at the crows for? looking for a tavern, I suppose, eh? Come on, bring crowbars here, and force open the door. I will put a hand to the work myself. KATHRYN (opening the gate and walking out) No need to force the door; I am coming out-here I am. And why forcefields? What we want here is not forcefields, but common sense. CHAKOTAY (jumping nervously, then striving manfully to regain his dignity) Really, my fine lady! Where is my officer? I want him to tie that woman's hands behind her back. KATHRYN By Artemis, the virgin goddess! if he touches me with the tip of his finger, officer of the public peace though he be, let him look out for himself! (The first Megan defecates in terror.) CHAKOTAY (to another officer) How now, are you afraid? Seize her, I tell you, round the body. Two of you at her, and have done with it! B'ELANNA By Kahless! if you lay a hand on her, Kathryn will put her hands on her hips! (The second Megan defecates in terror.) CHAKOTAY Look at the mess you've made! Where is there another officer? (To the third Megan) Bind that minx first, the one who speaks so prettily! SEVEN OF NINE By the Borg, if you touch her with one finger, you'd better call quick for a surgeon! (The third Megan defecates in terror.) CHAKOTAY What's that? Where's the officer? (To the fourth Megan) Lay hold of her. Oh! but I'm going to stop your foolishness for you all B'ELANNA By Feklar, if you go near her, she'll pull out her compression phaser rifle. (The fourth Megan defecates in terror.) CHAKOTAY Ah! miserable man that I am! My own officers desert me. What ho! are we to let ourselves be bested by a mob of women? Ho! Megans mine, close up your ranks, and forward! KATHRYN By the holy goddesses! you'll have to make acquaintance with four companies of women, ready for the fray and well armed to boot. CHAKOTAY Forward, Megans, and bind them! (The Megans advance reluctantly.) KATHRYN Forward, my gallant companions; march forth, ye vendors of holodeck programmes, engineering expertise, keepers of brownie recipies, wrench and strike and tear; come, a torrent of invective and insult! (They beat the Megans who retire in haste.) Enough, enough now retire, never rob the vanquished! (The women withdraw.) CHAKOTAY How unfortunate for my officers! KATHRYN Ah, ha! so you thought you had only to do with a set of slave-women! you did not know the ardour that fills the bosom of free-born dames. CHAKOTAY Ardour! yes, by Q, ardour enough-especially for the wine-cup! AYALA Sir, sir what good are words? they are of no avail with wild beasts of this sort. Don't you know how they have just washed us down-and with no very fragrant soap! NICOLETTI What would you have? You should never have laid rash hands on us. If you start afresh, I'll knock your eyes out. My delight is to stay at home as coy as a young maid, without hurting anybody or moving any more than a milestone; but 'ware the wasps, if you go stirring up the wasps' nest! CHORUS OF OLD MEN (singing) Ah! great gods! how get the better of these ferocious creatures? 'tis past all bearing! But come, let us try to find out the reason of the dreadful scourge. With what end in view have they seized the weapons locker, the sacred shrine that is raised upon the inaccessible section of deck nine? AYALA (to Chakotay) Question them; be cautious and not too credulous. It would be culpable negligence not to pierce the mystery, if we may. CHAKOTAY (addressing the women) I would ask you first why you have barred our door. KATHRYN To seize the weapons locker where the betting ratings are; no more rations, no more argument. CHAKOTAY Then rations are the cause of the war? KATHRYN And of all our troubles. It was to find occasion to steal that and all the other agitators were forever raising revolutions. Well and good! but they'll never get another ration here. CHAKOTAY What do you propose to do then, pray? KATHRYN You ask me that! Why, we propose to administer the rations ourselves. CHAKOTAY You do? KATHRYN What is there in that to surprise you? Do we not administer the budget of the quarters expenses? CHAKOTAY But that is not the same thing. KATHRYN How so-not the same thing? CHAKOTAY It is the rations that supply the expenses of the argument. KATHRYN That's our first principle-no argument! CHAKOTAY What! and the safety of the Voyager? KATHRYN We will provide for that. CHAKOTAY You? KATHRYN Yes, we! CHAKOTAY What a sorry business! KATHRYN Yes, we're going to save you, whether you like it or not. CHAKOTAY Oh! the impudence of the creatures! KATHRYN You seem annoyed! but it has to be done, nevertheless. CHAKOTAY But it's the very height of iniquity! KATHRYN (testily) We're going to save you, my good man. CHAKOTAY But if I don't want to be saved? KATHRYN Why, all the more reason! CHAKOTAY But what a notion, to concern yourselves with questions of peace and disagreements! KATHRYN We will explain our idea. CHAKOTAY Out with it then; quick, or... (threatening her). KATHRYN (sternly) Listen, and never a movement, please! CHAKOTAY (in impotent rage) Oh! it is too much for me! I cannot keep my temper! NICOLETTI Then look out for yourself; you have more to fear than we have. CHAKOTAY Stop your croaking, you old crow! (To KATHRYN) Now you, say what you have to say. KATHRYN Willingly. All the long time the argument has lasted, we have endured in modest silence all you men did; you never allowed us to open our lips. We were far from satisfied, for we knew how things were going; often in our homes we would hear you discussing, upside down and inside out, some important turn of affairs. Then with sad hearts, but smiling lips, we would ask you: Well, in today's discussion did they decide who's sexier?-But, "Mind your own business!" the husband would growl, "Hold your tongue, please!" And we would say no more. B'ELANNA I would not have held my tongue though, not I! CHAKOTAY You would have been reduced to silence by blows then. KATHRYN Well, for my part, I would say no more. But presently I would come to know you had arrived at some fresh decision more fatally foolish than ever. "Ah! my dear man," I would say, "what madness next!" But he would only look at me askance and say: "Just read your reports, please; else your cheeks will smart for hours. Delaney's are men's business!" CHAKOTAY Bravo! well said indeed! KATHRYN How now, wretched man? not to let us contend against your follies was bad enough! But presently we heard you asking out loud in the open street: "Is there never a man left in Jennys?" and, "No, not one, not one," you were assured in reply. Then, then we made up our minds without more delay to make common cause to save Megans. Open your ears to our wise counsels and hold your tongues, and we may yet put things on a better footing. CHAKOTAY You put things indeed! Oh! this is too much! The insolence of the creatures! KATHRYN Be still! CHAKOTAY May I die a thousand deaths ere I obey one who wears a bun on her head! KATHRYN If that's all that troubles you, here, take my hair, wrap it round your head, and hold your tongue. B'ELANNA Then take this tricorder; put on a girdle, grow plants, munch beans. The Delaney's shall be women's business. NICOLETTI Lay aside your water-pots, we will guard them, we will help our friends and companions. CHORUS OF WOMEN (singing) For myself, I will never weary of the dance; my knees will never grow stiff with fatigue. I will brave everything with my dear allies, on whom Nature has lavished virtue, grace, boldness, cleverness, and whose wisely directed energy is going to save the State. NICOLETTI Oh! my good, gallant Kathryn, and all my friends, be ever like a bundle of nettles; never let your anger slacken; the winds of fortune blow our way. KATHRYN May gentle Love and the sweet Voyager Queen shower seductive charms on our breasts and our thighs. If only we may stir so amorous a feeling among the men that they stand as firm as sticks, we shall indeed deserve the name of peace-makers among the Jennys. CHAKOTAY How will that be, pray? KATHRYN To begin with, we shall not see you any more running like mad fellows to the mess hall holding phaser in fist. B'ELANNA That will be something gained, anyway, by the goddess, it will! KATHRYN Now we see them, mixed up with saucepans and kitchen stuff, armed to the teeth, looking like wild seckats! CHAKOTAY Why, of course; that's what brave men should do. KATHRYN Oh! but what a funny sight, to behold a man wearing a protective isolation suit coming along to replicate fish! B'ELANNA The other day in the mess hall I saw a man with flowing ringlets; he was pouring into his helmet the broth he had just replicated at an old dame's quarters. There was a Vulcan warrior too, who was brandishing his phaser like Tereus in the play; he had scared a good woman organising figs into a perfect panic, and was gobbling up all her ripest fruit- CHAKOTAY And how, pray, would you propose to restore peace and order in all the sections of Voyager? KATHRYN It's the easiest thing in the world! CHAKOTAY Come, tell us how; I am curious to know. KATHRYN When we are winding thread, and it is tangled, we pass the spool across and through the skein, now this way, now that way; even so, to finish of the argument, we shall send embassies hither and thither and everywhere, to disentangle matters. CHAKOTAY And is it with your yarn, and your skeins, and your spools, you think to appease so many bitter enmities, you silly women? KATHRYN If only you had common sense, you would always do in politics the same as we do with our yarn. CHAKOTAY Come, how is that, eh? KATHRYN First we wash the yarn to separate the grease and filth; do the same with all bad citizens, sort them out and drive them forth with rods-they're the refuse of the city. Then for all such as come crowding up in search of commissions and quarters, we must card them thoroughly; then, to bring them all to the same standard, pitch them pell-mell into the same basket, resident aliens or no, allies, debtors to the vessel, all mixed up together. Then as for our isolationists, you must think of them as so many isolated hanks; find the ends of the separate threads, draw them to a centre here, wind them into one, make one great hank of the lot, out of which the public can weave itself a good, stout tunic. CHAKOTAY Is it not a sin and a shame to see them carding and winding the vessel, these women who have neither art nor part in the burdens of the argument? KATHRYN What! wretched man! why, it's a far heavier burden to us than to you. In the first place, we bear sons who go off to fight far away from Megan. CHAKOTAY Enough said! do not recall sad and sorry memories! KATHRYN Then secondly, instead of enjoying the pleasures of love and making the best of our youth and beauty, we are left to languish far from our husbands, who are all with the argument. But say no more of ourselves; what afflicts me is to see our girls growing old in lonely grief. CHAKOTAY Don't the men grow old too? KATHRYN That is not the same thing. When the soldier returns from the argument, even though he has white hair, he very soon finds a young wife. But a woman has only one summer; if she does not make hay while the sun shines, no one will afterwards have anything to say to her, and she spends her days consulting telepaths that never send her a husband. CHAKOTAY But the old man who can still get an erection... KATHRYN But you, why don't you get done with it and die? You are rich; go buy yourself a beer, and I will knead you a honey-cake for celebration. Here, take this garland. (Drenching him with water.) B'ELANNA And this one too. (Drenching him with water.) SEVEN OF NINE And these fillets. (Drenching him with water.) KATHRYN What else do you need? Step aboard the boat; Dalby is waiting for you, you're keeping him from pushing off. CHAKOTAY To treat me so scurvily! What an insult! I will go show myself to my fellow-magistrates just as I am. KATHRYN What! are you blaming us for not having exposed you according to custom? Nay, console yourself; we will not fail to offer up the third-day sacrifice for you, first thing in the morning. (She goes into the weapons locker, with B'ELANNA and SEVEN OF NINE.) AYALA Awake, friends of freedom; let us hold ourselves aye ready to act. CHORUS OF OLD MEN (singing) I suspect a mighty peril; I foresee another tyranny like Seska's. I am sore afraid the holodeck people assembled here with intent have, by a stratagem of argument, stirred up these women, enemies of the gods, to seize upon our rations and the funds whereby I lived. AYALA Is it not a sin and a shame for them to interfere in advising the citizens, to prate of shields and lances, and to ally themselves with holodeck people, fellows I trust no more than I would so many famished wolves? The whole thing, my friends, is nothing else but an attempt to re-establish tyranny. But I will never submit; I will be on my guard for the future; I will always carry a phaser hidden under my clothes; I will post myself in the mess hall under arms, shoulder to shoulder with Chakotay; and now, to make a start, I must just break a few of that cursed old jade's teeth yonder. NICOLETTI Nay, never play the brave man, else when you finally go back home, your own mother won't know you. But, dear friends and allies, first let us lay our burdens down. CHORUS OF WOMEN (singing) Then, crewmembers all, hear what I have to say. I have useful counsel to give our section, which deserves it well at my hands for the brilliant distinctions it has lavished on my girlhood. At seven years of age, I carried the sacred vessels; at ten, I pounded barley for the altar of Megan; next, clad in a robe of yellow silk, I played Dorothy to the Wizard of Oz; presently, when I was grown up, a tall, handsome maiden, they put a necklace of dried cucumber slices about my neck, and I was one of the in crowd. NICOLETTI So surely I am bound to give my best advice to Megans. What matters that I was born a woman, if I can cure your misfortunes? I pay my share of tolls and taxes, by giving men to the vessel. But you, you miserable greybeards, you contribute nothing to the public charges; on the contrary, you have wasted the rations of our forefathers, as it was called, the rations amassed in the days of the Kazon Wars. You pay nothing at all in return; and into the bargain you endanger our lives and liberties by your mistakes. Have you one word to say for yourselves?... Ah! don't irritate me, you there, or I'll lay my slipper across your jaws; and it's pretty heavy. CHORUS OF OLD MEN (singing) Outrage upon outrage! things are going from bad to worse. Let us punish the minxes, every one of us that has balls to boast of. Come, off with our tunics, for a man must savour of manhood; come, my friends, let us strip naked from head to foot. Courage, I say, we who in our day garrisoned Suder; let us be young again, and shake off eld. AYALA If we give them the least hold over us, that's the end! their audacity will know no bounds! We shall see them building ships, and fighting; and, if they want to learn how to pilot a shuttlecraft, we had best cashier our pilots, for indeed women excel in driving, and have a fine firm understanding of the consoles. Just think of all those squadrons of Amazons Naomi has painted for us engaged in hand-to-hand combat with men. Come then, we must now fit collars to all these willing necks. CHORUS OF WOMEN (singing) By the blessed goddesses, if you anger me, I will let loose the beast of my evil passions, and a very hailstorm of blows will set you yelling for help. Come, dames, off with your tunics, and quick's the word; women must smell the smell of women in the throes of passion.... Now just you dare to measure strength with me, old greybeard, and I warrant you you'll never eat garlic or black beans any more. No, not a word! my anger is at boiling point, and I'll do with you what Seska did with a hot poker. AYALA I laugh at your threats, so long as I have on my side Samantha here, and the noble Theban, my dear Ismenia.... Pass decree on decree, you can do us no hurt, you wretch abhorred of all your fellows. Why, only yesterday, on occasion of the feast of Hecate, I asked my neighbours for one of their daughters for whom my girls have a lively liking -a fine, fat eel to wit; and if they did not refuse, all along of your silly decrees! We shall never cease to suffer the like, till some one gives you a neat trip-up and breaks your neck for you! (To KATHRYN as she comes out from the weapons locker) You, Kathryn, you who are leader of our glorious enterprise, why do I see you coming towards me with so gloomy an air? KATHRYN It's the behaviour of these naughty women, it's the female heart and female weakness that so discourage me. NICOLETTI Tell us, tell us, what is it? KATHRYN I only tell the simple truth. NICOLETTI What has happened so disconcerting? Come, tell your friends. KATHRYN Oh! the thing is so hard to tell-yet so impossible to conceal. NICOLETTI Never seek to hide any ill that has befallen our cause. KATHRYN To blurt it out in a word-we want sex! NICOLETTI Oh! Q, oh! Q! KATHRYN What use calling upon Q? The thing is even as I say. I cannot stop them any longer from lusting after the men. They are all for deserting. The first I caught was slipping out by the door near the turbolift; another was letting herself down by crawling through a Jeffries tube; a third was busy preparing her escape; while a fourth, perched on a console, was trying to access transporter control, when I seized her by the hair. One and all, they are inventing excuses to be off home. (Pointing to the door) Look! there goes one, trying to get out! Halloa there! whither away so fast? FIRST WOMAN I want to go home; I have some soup in my quarters, which is getting cold. KATHRYN Bah! you and your soup! go back, I say! FIRST WOMAN I will return immediately, I swear I will by the two goddesses! I only have just to finish the soup. KATHRYN You shall not do anything of the kind! I say, you shall not go. FIRST WOMAN Must I leave my soup to go cold then? KATHRYN Yes, if need be. SECOND WOMAN Unhappy woman that I am! Alas for my bed! I've left it at home unkempt! KATHRYN So, here's another trying to escape to go home and change her sheets! SECOND WOMAN Oh! I swear by the goddess of light, the instant I have put it in condition I will come straight back. KATHRYN You shall do nothing of the kind! If once you began, others would want to follow suit. THIRD WOMAN Oh! goddess divine, patroness of women in labour, stay, stay the birth, till I have reached a spot less hallowed than Megan's mount! KATHRYN What mean you by these silly tales? THIRD WOMAN I am going to have a child-now, this minute! KATHRYN But you were not pregnant yesterday! THIRD WOMAN Well, I am to-day. Oh! let me go in search of the midwife, Kathryn, quick, quick! KATHRYN What is this fable you are telling me? (Feeling her stomach) Ah! what have you got there so hard? THIRD WOMAN A male child. KATHRYN No, no, by Q! nothing of the sort! Why, it feels like something hollow-a pot or a kettle. (Opening her robe) Oh! you silly creature, if you have not got the sacred helmet of Paris-and you said you were with child! THIRD WOMAN And so I am, by Q, I am! KATHRYN Then why this helmet, pray? THIRD WOMAN For fear my pains should seize me in the weapons locker; I mean to lay my eggs in this helmet, as the doves do. KATHRYN Excuses and pretences every word! the thing's as clear as daylight. Anyway, you must stay here now till the fifth day, your day of purification. THIRD WOMAN I cannot sleep any more in the weapons locker, now I have seen the snake that guards the rations. FOURTH WOMAN Ah! and those awful owls with their dismal hooting! I cannot get a wink of rest, and I'm just dying of fatigue. KATHRYN You wicked women, have done with your falsehoods! You want your husbands, that's plain enough. But don't you think they want you just as badly? They are spending dreadful nights, oh! I know that well enough. But hold out, my dears, hold out! A little more patience, and the victory will be ours. A telepath promises us success, if only we remain united. Shall I repeat the words? THIRD WOMAN Yes, tell us what the telepath declares. KATHRYN Silence then! Now-"Whenas the swallows, fleeing before the hoopoes, shall have all flocked together in one place, and shall refrain them from all amorous commerce, then will be the end of all the ills of life; yea, and Q, who doth thunder in the skies, shall set above what was erst below...." THIRD WOMAN What! shall the men be underneath? KATHRYN "But if dissension do arise among the swallows, and they take wing from the weapons locker, it will be said there is never a more wanton bird in all the world." THIRD WOMAN Ye gods! the prophecy is clear. KATHRYN Nay, never let us be cast down by calamity! let us be brave to bear, and go back to our posts. It would be shameful indeed not to trust the promises of the oracle. (They all go back into the weapons locker.) CHORUS OF OLD MEN (singing) I want to tell you a fable they used to relate to me when I was a little boy. This is it: Once upon a time there was a young man called Melanion, who hated the thought of marriage so sorely that he fled away to the wilds. So he dwelt in the mountains, wove himself nets, and caught hares. He never, never came back, he had such a horror of women. As chaste as Melanion, we loathe the jades just as much as he did. AN OLD MAN (beginning a brief duet with one of the women) You dear old woman, I would fain kiss you. WOMAN I will set you crying without onions. OLD MAN And give you a sound kicking. WOMAN (pointing) Ah, ha! what a dense forest you have there! OLD MAN So was Myronides one of the bushiest of men of this side; his backside was all black, and he terrified his enemies as much as a Borg. CHORUS OF WOMEN (singing) I want to tell you a fable too, to match yours about Melanion. Once there was a certain man called Timon, a tough customer, and a whimsical, a true son of the Delta Quadrant, with a face that seemed to glare out of a thorn-bush. He withdrew from the world because he couldn't abide bad men, after vomiting a thousand curses at them. He had a holy horror of ill-conditioned fellows, but he was mighty tender towards women. WOMAN (beginning another duet) Suppose I up and broke your jaw for you! OLD MAN I am not a bit afraid of you. WOMAN Suppose I let fly a good kick at you? OLD MAN I should see your thing then. WOMAN You would see that, for all my age, it is very well plucked. KATHRYN (rushing out of the weapons locker) Ho there! come quick, come quick! ONE OF THE WOMEN What is it? Why these cries? KATHRYN A man! a man! I see him approaching all afire with the flames of love. Oh! divine Queen of Voyager, I pray you still be propitious to our enterprise. WOMAN Where is he, this unknown foe? KATHRYN Over there-beside the ships status console. WOMAN Yes, indeed, I see him; but who is he? KATHRYN Look, look! do any of you recognize him? SEVEN OF NINE (joyfully) I do, I do! it's my husband Tuvok. KATHRYN To work then! Be it your task to inflame and torture and torment him. Seductions, caresses, provocations, refusals, try every means! Grant every favour,-always excepting what is forbidden by our oath on the wine-bowl. SEVEN OF NINE Have no fear, I'll do it. KATHRYN Well, I shall stay here to help you cajole the man and set his passions aflame. The rest of you withdraw. (TUVOK enters, in obvious and extreme sexual excitement caused by the ponn farr. A slave follows him carrying an infant.) TUVOK Alas! alas! how I am tortured by spasm and rigid convulsion! Oh! I am racked on the wheel! KATHRYN Who is this that dares to pass our lines? TUVOK It is I. KATHRYN What, a man? TUVOK Very much so! KATHRYN Get out. TUVOK But who are you that thus repulses me? KATHRYN The sentinel of the day. TUVOK For the gods' sake, call Seven of Nine. KATHRYN Call Seven of Nine, you say? And who are you? TUVOK I am her husband, Tuvok, son of Surak. KATHRYN Ah! good day, my dear friend. Your name is not unknown amongst us. Your wife has it forever on her lips; and she never touches an egg or an apple without saying: "This is for Tuvok." TUVOK Really and truly? KATHRYN Yes, indeed, by Q! And if we fall to talking of men, quick your wife declares: "Oh! all the rest, they're good for nothing compared with Tuvok." TUVOK Oh! please, please go and call her to me! KATHRYN And what will you give me for my trouble? TUVOK Anything I've got, if you like. (Pointing to the evidence of his condition) I will give you what I have here! KATHRYN Well, well, I will tell her to come. (She enters the weapons locker.) TUVOK Quick, oh! be quick! Life has no more charms for me since she left my house. I am sad, sad, when I go indoors; it all seems so empty; my victuals have lost their savour. And all because of this erection that I can't get rid of! SEVEN OF NINE (to KATHRYN, over her shoulder) I love him, oh! I love him; but he won't let himself be loved. No! I shall not come. TUVOK Seven of Nine, my little darling Seven of Nine, what are you saying? Come down to me quick. SEVEN OF NINE No indeed, not I. TUVOK I call you, Seven of Nine, Seven of Nine; won't you please come? SEVEN OF NINE Why should you call me? You do not want me. TUVOK Not want you! Why, here I stand, stiff with desire! SEVEN OF NINE Good-bye. (She turns, as if to go.) TUVOK Oh! Seven of Nine, Seven of Nine, in our child's name, hear me; at any rate hear the child! Little lad, call your mother. HARRY Mamma, mamma, mamma! TUVOK There, listen! Don't you pity the poor child? It's six days now you've never washed and never fed the child. SEVEN OF NINE Poor darling, your father takes mighty little care of you! TUVOK Come down, dearest, come down for the child's sake. SEVEN OF NINE Ah! what a thing it is to be a mother! Well, well, we must come down, I suppose. TUVOK (as SEVEN OF NINE approaches) Why, how much younger and prettier she looks! And how she looks at me so lovingly! Her cruelty and scorn only redouble my passion. SEVEN OF NINE (ignoring him; to the child) You are as sweet as your father is provoking! Let me kiss you, my treasure, mother's darling! TUVOK Ah! what a bad thing it is to let yourself be led away by other women! Why give me such pain and suffering, and yourself into the bargain? SEVEN OF NINE (as he is about to embrace her) Hands off, sir! TUVOK Everything is going to rack and ruin in our quarters. SEVEN OF NINE I don't care. TUVOK But your alcove that's all being pecked to pieces by the cocks and hens, don't you care for that? SEVEN OF NINE Precious little. TUVOK And Aphrodite, whose mysteries you have not celebrated for so long? Oh! won't you please come back home? SEVEN OF NINE No, least, not till a sound treaty puts an end to the argument. TUVOK Well, if you wish it so much, why, we'll make it, your treaty. SEVEN OF NINE Well and good! When that's done, I will come home. Till then, I am bound by an oath. TUVOK At any rate, lie with me for a little while. SEVEN OF NINE No, no, no! (she hesitates) but just the same I can't say I don't love you. TUVOK You love me? Then why refuse to lie with me, my little girl, my sweet Seven of Nine? SEVEN OF NINE (pretending to be shocked) You must be joking! What, before the child! TUVOK (to the slave) Chell, carry the lad home. There, you see, the child is gone; there's nothing to hinder us; won't you lie down now? SEVEN OF NINE But, miserable man, where, where? TUVOK In the turbolift; nothing could be better. SEVEN OF NINE But how shall I purify myself before going back into the weapons locker? TUVOK Nothing easier! you can wash in the sonic shower. SEVEN OF NINE But my oath? Do you want me to perjure myself? TUVOK I'll take all responsibility; don't worry. SEVEN OF NINE Well, I'll be off, then, and find a bed for us. TUVOK There's no point in that; surely we can lie on the floor. SEVEN OF NINE No, no! even though you are bad, I don't like your lying on the floor. (She goes back into the weapons locker.) TUVOK (enraptured) Ah! how the dear girl loves me! SEVEN OF NINE (coming back with a cot) Come, get to bed quick; I am going to undress. But, oh dear, we must get a mattress. TUVOK A mattress? Oh! no, never mind about that! SEVEN OF NINE No, by the Borg! lie on the bare sacking? never! That would be squalid. TUVOK Kiss me! SEVEN OF NINE Wait a minute! (She leaves him again.) TUVOK Good god, hurry up SEVEN OF NINE (coming back with a mattress) Here is a mattress. Lie down, I am just going to undress. But you've got no pillow. TUVOK I don't want one either! SEVEN OF NINE But I do. (She leaves him again.) TUVOK Oh god, oh god, she treats my tool just like Vorik's! SEVEN OF NINE (coming back with a pillow) There, lift your head, dear! (Wondering what else to tantalize him with; to herself) Is that all, I wonder? TUVOK (misunderstanding) Surely. there's nothing else. Come, my treasure. SEVEN OF NINE I am just unfastening my girdle. But remember what you promised me about making peace; mind you keep your word. TUVOK Yes, yes, upon my life I will. SEVEN OF NINE Why, you have no blanket! TUVOK My god, what difference does that make? What I want is to make love! SEVEN OF NINE (going out again) Never fear-directly, directly! I'll be back in no time. TUVOK The woman will kill me with her blankets! SEVEN OF NINE (coming back with a blanket) Now, get yourself up. TUVOK (pointing) I've got this up! SEVEN OF NINE Wouldn't you like me to scent you? TUVOK No, by Q, no, please don't! SEVEN OF NINE Yes, by Q, but I will, whether you like it or not. (She goes out again.) TUVOK God, I wish she'd hurry up and get through with all this! Seven of Nine (coming back with a flask of aftershave) Hold out your hand; now rub it in. TUVOK Oh! in Q's name, I don't much like the smell of it; but perhaps it will improve when it's well rubbed in. It does not somehow smack of the marriage bed! SEVEN OF NINE Oh dear! what a scatterbrain I am; if I haven't gone and brought rats droppings! TUVOK Never mind, dearest, let it go now. SEVEN OF NINE You don't really mean that. (She goes.) TUVOK Damn the man who invented perfumes! SEVEN OF NINE (coming back with another flask) Here, take this bottle. TUVOK I have a better one allready for you, darling. Come, you provoking creature, to bed with you, and don't bring another thing. SEVEN OF NINE Coming, coming; I'm just slipping off my shoes. Dear boy, will you vote for peace? TUVOK I'll think about it. (SEVEN OF NINE runs away.) I'm a dead man, she is killing me! She has gone, and left me in torment! (in tragic style) I must have someone to lay, I must! Ah me! the loveliest of women has choused and cheated me. Poor little lad, how am I to give you what you want so badly? Where is Zimmerman? quick, man, get him a nurse, do! AYALA Poor, miserable wretch, baulked in your amorousness! what tortures are yours! Ah! you fill me with pity. Could any man's back and loins stand such a strain. He stands stiff and rigid, and there's never a wench to help him! TUVOK Ye gods in heaven, what pains I suffer! AYALA Well, there it is; it's her doing, that abandoned hussy! TUVOK No, no! rather say that sweetest, dearest darling. (He departs.) AYALA That dearest darling? no, no, that hussy, say I! Q, thou god of the skies, canst not let loose a hurricane, to sweep them all up into the air, and whirl them round, then drop them down crash! and impale them on the point of this man's tool! (A Jenny Herald, TOM enters; he shows signs of being in the same condition as TUVOK.) TOM Say, where shall I find someone who can help me? I am bearer of despatches. (Chakotay enters.) CHAKOTAY Are you a man or a mouse? TOM (with an effort at officiousness) Don't be stupid! I am a herald, of course, I swear I am, and I come from Jenny about making peace. CHAKOTAY (pointing) But look, you are hiding a lance under your clothes, surely. TOM (embarrassed) No, nothing of the sort. CHAKOTAY Then why do you turn away like that, and hold your cloak out from your body? Have you got swellings in the groin from your journey? TOM By the twin brethren! the man's an old maniac. Still, it'll keep the C/Per's happy... CHAKOTAY But you've got an erection! You lewd fellow! TOM I tell you no! but enough of this foolery. CHAKOTAY (pointing) Well, what is it you have there then? TOM A Jenny 'torch.' CHAKOTAY Oh, indeed, a 'torch,' is it? Well, well, speak out frankly; I know all about these matters. How are things going at Jenny now? TOM Why, everything is turned upside down at Jenny; and all the allies have erections. We simply must have sex. CHAKOTAY What is the reason of it all? Is it the god Q's doing? TOM No, it's all the work of Samantha and the women who are acting at her instigation; they have kicked the men out from between their thighs. CHAKOTAY But what are you doing about it? TOM We are at our wits' end; we walk bent double, just as if we were carrying lanterns in a wind. The jades have sworn we shall not so much as touch them till we have all agreed to conclude peace.
CHAKOTAY Ah! I see now, it's a general conspiracy embracing all of Voyager. Go back to Jenny and bid them send envoys plenipotentiary to treat for peace. I will urge our leaders myself to name the seductresses from us; and to persuade them, why, I will show them my own tool. TOM What could be better? I fly at your command. (They go out in opposite directions.) AYALA No wild beast is there, no flame of fire, more fierce and untamable than woman; the leopard is less savage and shameless. NICOLETTI And yet you dare to make war upon me, wretch, when you might have me for your most faithful friend and ally. AYALA Never, never can my hatred cease towards women. NICOLETTI Well, suit yourself. Still I cannot bear to leave you all naked as you are; folks would laugh at you. Come, I am going to put this tunic on you. AYALA You are right, upon my word! it was only in my confounded fit of rage that I took it off. NICOLETTI Now at any rate you look like a man, and they won't make fun of you. Ah! if you had not offended me so badly, I would take out that nasty insect you have in your eye for you. AYALA Ah! so that's what was annoying me so Look, here's a ring, just remove the insect, and show it to me. By Q! it has been hurting my eye for a long time now. NICOLETTI Well, I agree, though your manners are not over and above pleasant. Oh I what a huge great gnat! just look! It's from 'Macrocosm', for sure. AYALA A thousand thanks! the creature was digging a regular well in my eye; now that it's gone, my tears can flow freely. NICOLETTI I will wipe them for you-bad, naughty man though you are. Now, just one kiss. AYALA A kiss? certainly not NICOLETTI Just one, whether you like it or not. AYALA Oh! those confounded women! how they do cajole us! How true the saying: " 'Tis impossible to live with the baggages, impossible to live without 'em!" Come, let us agree for the future not to regard each other any more as enemies; and to clinch the bargain, let us sing a choric song. COMBINED CHORUS OF WOMEN AND OLD MEN (singing) We desire, Megans, to speak ill of no man; but on the contrary to say much good of everyone, and to do the like. We have had enough of misfortunes and calamities. If there is any man or woman who wants a bit of money-two or three minas or so; well, our purse is full. If only peace is concluded, the borrower will not have to pay back. Also I'm inviting to supper a few Vidiian friends, who are excellently well qualified. I have still a drop of good soup left, and a young porker I'm going to kill, and the flesh will be sweet and tender. I shall expect you at my house to-day; but first away to the baths with you, you and your children; then come all of you, ask no one's leave, but walk straight up, as if you were at home; never fear, the door will be... shut in your faces! AYALA Ah! here come the envoys from Jenny with their long flowing beards; why, you would think they wore pigstyes between their thighs. (Enter the Jenny Envoys, EMH and EMH II, afflicted like their herald.) Hail to you, first of all, Jenny's; then tell us how you fare. EMH No need for many words; you can see what a state we are in. AYALA Alas! the situation grows more and more strained! the intensity of the thing is simply frightful. EMH It's beyond belief. My programme has never been under this much stress! But back to work! Summon your leaders, let us patch up the best peace we may. AYALA Ah! our men too, like wrestlers in the arena, cannot endure a rag over their bellies; it's an athlete's malady, which only exercise can remedy. (CHAKOTAY returns; he too now has an evident reason to desire peace.) CHAKOTAY Can anybody tell us where Kathryn is? Surely she will have some compassion on our condition. AYALA(pointing) Look! now he has the very same complaint. (To CHAKOTAY) Don't you feel a strong nervous tension in the morning? CHAKOTAY Yes, and a dreadful, dreadful torture it is! Unless peace is made very soon, we shall find no recourse but to make love to holograms. AYALA Take my advice, and arrange your clothes as best you can; one of the fellows who mutilated the Hermae might see you. CHAKOTAY Right, by Q. (He endeavours, not too successfully, to conceal his condition.) EMH Quite right, by Zimmerman. There, I will put on my tunic. CHAKOTAY Oh! what a terrible state we are in! Greeting to you, Jenny fellow-sufferers. EMH (addressing one of his countrymen) Ah! my boy, what a terrible thing it would have been if these fellows had seen us just now when we were on full stand! CHAKOTAY Speak out, Jenny, what is it brings you here? EMH We have come to treat for peace. CHAKOTAY Well said; we are of the same mind. Better call Kathryn, then; she is the only person will bring us to terms. EMH Yes, yes-and Kathryn into the bargain, if you will. CHAKOTAY Needless to call her; she has heard your voices, and here she comes. (She comes out of the weapons locker.) AYALA Hail, boldest and bravest of womankind! The time is come to show yourself in turn uncompromising and conciliatory, exacting and yielding, haughty and condescending. Call up all your skill and artfulness. Lo! the foremost men in Voyager, seduced by your fascinations, are agreed to entrust you with the task of ending their quarrels. KATHRYN It will be an easy task-if only they refrain from mutual indulgence in masculine love; if they do, I shall know the fact at once. Now, where is the gentle goddess Peace? (The goddess, in the form of a beautiful nude girl is brought in.) Lead hither the Jenny envoys. But, look you, no roughness or violence; our husbands always behaved so boorishly. Bring them to me with smiles, as women should. If any refuse to give you his hand, then take hold of his tool. Bring up the Megans too; you may lead them either way. Jennys, approach; and you, Megans, on my other side. Now hearken all! I am but a woman; but I have good common sense; Nature has endowed me with discriminating judgment, which I have yet further developed, thanks to the wise teachings of my father and the elders of the Academy. First I must bring a reproach against you that applies equally to both sides. At a score of places too numerous to mention, you celebrate before the same altars ceremonies common to all Voyager crewmembers; yet you go cutting each other's throats, and sacking Voyager sections, when all the while the barbarian yonder is threatening you! That is my first point. CHAKOTAY (devouring the goddess with his eyes) Good god, this erection is killing me! KATHRYN Now it is to you I address myself, Jennys. Have you forgotten how Hogan, your own countryman, sat a suppliant before our altars? How pale he was in his purple robes! He had come to crave an army of us; it was the time when Messenia was pressing you sore, and the star-God was shaking the ship. Cimon marched to your aid at the head of four thousand hoplites, and saved Jenny. And, after such a service as that, you ravage the sections of your benefactors! CHAKOTAY They do wrong, very wrong, Kathryn. EMH We do wrong, very wrong. (Looking at the goddess) Ah! great gods! what a lovely bottom Peace has! KATHRYN And now a word to the Megans. Have you no memory left of how, in the days when you wore the tunic of slaves, the Jennys came, spear in hand, and slew a host of Kazon and helpers of Seska the traitor? They, and they only, fought on your side on that eventful day; they delivered you from despotism, and thanks to them our ship could change the short tunic of the slave for the long cloak of the free man. EMH (looking at KATHRYN) I have never see a woman of more gracious dignity. CHAKOTAY (looking at PEACE) I have never seen a woman with a finer body! KATHRYN Bound by such ties of mutual kindness, how can you bear to disagree so strongly? Stop, stay the hateful strife, be reconciled; what hinders you? EMH We are quite ready, if they will give us back our cargo bay. KATHRYN What cargo bay, my dear man? EMH Cargo bay four, which we have been asking for and craving for ever so long. CHAKOTAY In the star-god's name, you shall never have it! KATHRYN Agree, my friends, agree. CHAKOTAY But then what section shall we be able to stir up trouble in? KATHRYN Ask for another place in exchange. CHAKOTAY Ah! that's the ticket! Well, to begin with, give us a transporter padd, a turbolift, and the secret spices for the Colonel's chicken. EMH No, by Zimmerman, surely not all that, my dear sir. KATHRYN Come to terms; never make a difficulty of two legs more or less! CHAKOTAY (his eye on PEACE) Well, I'm ready to strip down and get to work right now. (He takes off his mantle.) EMH (following out this idea) And I also, to dung it to start with. KATHRYN That's just what you shall do, once peace is signed. So, if you really want to make it, go consult your allies about the matter. CHAKOTAY What allies, I should like to know? Why, we are all erected; there's no one who is not mad to be mating. What we all want is to be in bed with our wives; how should our allies fail to second our project? EMH And ours too, for certain sure! CHAKOTAY The Mwasi first and foremost by the gods! KATHRYN Well said, indeed! Now go and purify yourselves for entering the weapons locker, where the women invite you to supper; we will empty our provision baskets to do you honour. At table, you will exchange oaths and pledges; then each man will go home with his wife. CHAKOTAY Come along then, and as quick as may be. EMH Lead on; I'm your man. CHAKOTAY Quick, quick's the word, say I. (They follow KATHRYN into the weapons locker.) CHORUS OF WOMEN (singing) Embroidered stuffs, and dainty tunics, and flowing gowns, and golden ornaments, everything I have, I offer them to you with all my heart; take them all for your children, for your girls, in case they are chosen for the in crowd. I invite you every one to enter, come in and choose whatever you will; there is nothing so well fastened, you cannot break the seals, and carry away the contents. Look about you everywhere. . . you won't find a blessed thing, unless you have sharper eyes than mine. And if any of you lacks corn to feed his slaves and his young and numerous family, why, I have a few grains of wheat in my quarters; let him take what I have to give, a big twelve-pound loaf included. So let my poorer neighbours all come with bags and wallets; my man, Manes, shall give them corn; but I warn them not to come near my door, but-beware the dog! (Another Magistrate, Neelix enters, and begins knocking at the gate.) NEELIX I say, you, open the door! (To the WOMEN) Go your way, I tell you. (As the women sit down in front of the gate) Why, bless me, they're sitting down now; I shall have to singe 'em with my torch to make 'em stir! What impudence! I won't take this. Oh, well, if it's absolutely necessary, just to please you, we'll have to take the trouble. A MEGAN CITIZEN And I'll share it with you.
(He brandishes the torch he is carrying and the CHORUS OF WOMEN departs. The CHORUS OF OLD MEN follows shortly after.)
NEELIX No, no, you must be off-or I'll tear your hair out, I will; be off, I say, and don't annoy the Jenny envoys; they're just coming out from the banquet-ball. MEGAN CITIZEN Such a merry banquet I've never seen before! The Jenny's were simply charming. After the drink is in, why, we're all wise men, every one of us. Shame about the leola root drink though... NEELIX It's only natural, to be sure, for sober, we're all fools. Take my advice, my fellow-countrymen, our envoys should always be drunk. We go to Jenny; we enter the city sober; why, we must be picking a quarrel directly. We don't understand what they say to us, we imagine a lot they don't say at all, and we report home all wrong, all topsy-urvy. But, look you, to-day it's quite different; we're enchanted whatever happens; instead of disagreement, they might sing us a Vulcan funeral dirge, and we should clap our hands just the same. A perjury or two into the bargain, why! What does that matter to merry companions in their cups? (The two CHORUSES return.) But here they are back again! Will you begone, you loafing scoundrels. (The CHORUSES retire again.) MEGAN CITIZEN Ah ha! here's the company coming out already.
(Two choruses, one Jenny and one Megan, enter, dancing to the music of flutes; they are followed by the women under the leadership of KATHRYN.)
A JENNY CITIZEN My dear, sweet friend, come, take your oboe in hand; I would fain dance and sing my best in honour of the Megans and our noble selves. MEGAN CITIZEN Yes, take your oboe, in the gods'name. What a delight to see him dance! JENNY CITIZEN (dancing and singing) Oh! Arturis! inspire these men, inspire my muse who knows our exploits and those of the Megans. With what a god-like ardour did they swoop down on the ships of the Hirogen! What a glorious victory was that! For the soldiers of security, they were like fierce boars whetting their tusks. The sweat ran down their faces, and drenched all their limbs, for verily the Hirogen were as many as the sands of the seashore. Oh! huntress queen, whose arrows pierce the denizens of the woods, virgin goddess, be thou favourable to the peace we here conclude; through thee may our hearts be long united! May this treaty draw close for ever the bonds of a happy friendship! No more wiles and stratagems! Aid us, oh! aid us, maiden huntress! NEELIX All is for the best; and now, Jennys, take your wives away home with you, and you, Megans, yours. May husband live happily with wife, and wife with husband. Dance, dance, to celebrate our bliss, and let us be heedful to avoid like mistakes for the future. CHORUS OF MEGANS (singing) Appear, appear, dancers, and the Graces with you! Let us invoke, one and all, SuzyQ, and her heavenly brother, gracious Quinn, patron of the dance, and Q2, whose eye darts flame, as he steps forward surrounded by the Maenad maids, and Q, who wields the flashing lightning, and his august, thrice-blessed spouse, the Queen of Heaven! These let us invoke, and all the other gods, calling all the inhabitants of the skies to witness the noble Peace now concluded under the fond auspices of Aphrodite. Io Paean! Io Paean! dance, leap, as in honour of a victory won. Euoi! Euoi! Euai! Euai! NEELIX And you, our Laconian guests, sing us a new and inspiring strain! I'm off to have a shag. JENNY (singing) Leave once more, oh! leave once more the noble height of Taygetus, oh! Muse of Jenny, and join us in singing the praises of Q of Quinn, and Athene of the Brazen House, and the gallant twin sons of Spock, who practise arms on the banks of Lake George. Haste, haste hither with nimble-footed pace, let us sing Megan, the section that delights in choruses divinely sweet and graceful dances, when our maidens bound lightly by the bio-neural gel packs, like frolicsome fillies, beating the ground with rapid steps and shaking their long locks, as fairies wave their wands in the wild revels of the Wine-god. At their head, oh! chaste and beauteous goddess, daughter of Kirk, Uhura, do thou lead the song and dance. With a fillet binding thy waving tresses, appear in thy loveliness; leap like a fawn, strike thy divine hands together to animate the dance, and aid us to renown the valiant goddess of battles, great Megan of the Brazen House! (All depart, singing and dancing.)
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Suz's Voyager Fanfic