Quote the Raven
By: Lopaka Tanu
Series/Sequel: Poe Series.
Disclaimer: I do not own Enterprise.
Summary: Phlox gathers intel on the Xindi.
Author's Notes "You'd be surprised. It was extremely difficult and painful for him to speak, but he managed to dictate this to me before he died. He said you'd know what it meant."
Rounding the corner of the biobed, he grabbed a hypospray from the tray. Placing it to the arm of the alien laying on the bed, he depressed the button. "Open your eyes, I know you are awake."
The alien form didn't move.
"Have it your way. I know some beings find it a great deal more comforting to not know what is in store for them before they die. Others offer comfort to those that are dying. I am not one of those beings." He gave a disarming chuckle as he put back the hypo. "Have no doubt, my Xindi friend, you will die." Glancing over his instruments, he selected one. "It is only the matter of when I let you."
At that, the Xindi's eyes shot open.
"Ah, I knew that would get your attention." He turned to look at the incapacitated man with a look of bemused interest. "Now then, shall we get on with our questioning? I do believe you have yet to hold up your end of the bargain."
He looked away from Phlox. "Let me die."
"I am afraid I can't do that, just yet. You have information we desperately need."
"Let me die."
"I am a healer, I can ease your suffering..."
"Let me die!"
"Your appendages remain undamaged." Phlox pressed the instrument to the man's shoulder. "There, remedied that situation." He gave the Xindi a delighted smile as the man screamed in pain. "Do you feel more cooperative yet? No? Well, as I was saying, I am a healer, I can ease your suffering or," he pressed it to the same spot, "increase it."
After his spasms of pain had subsided enough for him to form a coherent thought, he looked on through tear filled eyes. "Why?"
"Because, you owe us information."
"You will." He pressed the instrument to another appendage. "How does that feel? Hmmm? Does it make you want to talk yet?"
"Please, you are a healer!"
"Don't make the mistake of believing I will allow that to stop me from getting my answers." The man's screams ceased as he let off the with the instrument. "I can see this is not having the desired effect. I shall have to use something more..." Phlox looked the Xindi over, a pleasant smile on his features. "I have just the perfect animal."
Walking away, he moved over to the animal cages. Using a finger to guide his eyes, he scanned their contents. "Where are those Bolian Silk Worms? Ah! There you little darlings are."
Phlox returned back to the Xindi's bedside holding up the jar for the man to see. "They lay in hibernation until a suitable food source happens along. Just so happens, they will eat just about anything. They're favorite is mammalian flesh, however. You see, they are attracted by warmth. Once they latch their tiny hooks into the flesh, they begin to tear it to shreds and devour it. I hear it is quite painful, shall we put that theory to practice?" Opening the jar, he used tongs to remove one and set it on the Xindi's chest.
The Xindi started to scream as the caterpillar bit into his flesh. "I'll tell you, I'll tell you!"
"Ah good!" Phlox set down the jar next to the Xindi's head and picked up the padd. "Begin dictation."
"Please! Remove the worm."
"Listen to that, now I will have to restart. Now what were you saying, oh yes! Why would I do that? No, consider him your little motivator." Phlox pressed a few buttons on the padd. "Begin again, this time, please leave out any screams, cries, threats, or begging that is not associated with what you owe Captain Archer." After a moment's pause, "oh, you may begin."
Phlox listened patiently as the man relayed his information, then smiled when he was through. "There, that wasn't so hard, now was it."
"Now, please, I beg you, remove the worm!"
He had been turning to go, when he heard the plea. Looking up from the padd, he smiled. "That reminds me, thank you, your death will not be in vain." Phlox lifted the jar of Silk Worms. "In case you have lied to me, consider this repayment." He dumped them on the immobilized alien's chest and pushed the biobed into the imaging chamber. Sealing the door on the screams, he gave a deep sigh.
He reached over and touched the comm. "Phlox to Lieutenant Reed, could you please meet me in sick bay. The patient has..." he looked over at the imaging chamber, "passed beyond the threshold of this mortal coil."
"Acknowledged, Phlox, I'm on my way."
"Take your time, we'll have all night to digest this new information. Phlox out." He pressed the button twice. "Phlox to Commander Tucker."
"Your suggestion was not as helpful as you had hoped, Commander. However, he was still forth coming." Lifting up the empty jar, he smiled. "With a little help, that is. Phlox out." He took the padd off the console and walked out of sick bay, a smile on his face.
The journey through the corridors was quiet and introspective as he looked over the data. Not what he was expecting, but he hoped the Captain could use it. Once outside the captain's door, he pressed the button and waited for the summons.
He put on his best solemn face and entered. After the doors closed, he looked at the floor. "I am terribly sorry, captain, but there was nothing I could do..."