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"Oh, Arachnia… you do love me!" Chaotica moved to the cradle of persuasion and began releasing her restraints.

"How could I resist your – " Kathryn swallowed. "Magnetism?"

"Or I yours? Together, we'll rule the cosmos!" Chaotica held up his hand, fingers spread wide, before slowly magnificently curling them into a powerful fist. "And grind our enemies into dust!"

Snatching up her hand, he kissed it passionately. To Kathryn's horror, he began kissing his way up her arm.

Chakotay gritted his teeth. Jealousy burned in his belly, and he had to force himself to stand still between his guards. The holodeck controls were offline, which meant that the safeties might be as well. Attacking Chaotica might result in his being shot by one of the clunky looking but possibly deadly rifles.

Kathryn rolled her eyes and let her head drop to the table with a clunk as Chaotica neared her lips. This wasn't in the Starfleet training manual.

"My love…" He pressed a kiss to her cheek. "Together forever… ruling the universe as one…"

Watching as Chaotica pressed another kiss to Kathryn's cheek and temple, Chakotay reminded himself that she wasn't in any real danger. This was a time when sex was more titillation than anything else. Rape wasn't a possible scenario. The fop wasn't touching anything other than Kathryn's arms and face, but he still didn’t have to like it.

Kathryn managed to sit up, and she motioned imperiously at Lonzak. "Undo these." When he looked to his liege for permission, she arched an eyebrow. "Now!"

Lonzak scurried to release her ankles, glancing up as he did so to see if Chaotica would object, but he had already turned his lamé covered back on his minion. "And who is – " Chaotica gestured at Chakotay. "This?"

"My… bodyguard." Kathryn held a hand out to Chakotay. "Do you expect me to get down by myself?"

"Forgive me… my queen." Chakotay brushed aside the guards and went to her side. She placed one hand in his and the other on his shoulder as he helped her down. Ham. "We must neutralize the remaining devices."

"True." She smiled at Chaotica. "Duty calls."

"Wait! I shall accompany you, my dear." A smile curled the corner of his mouth. "It's a poor bridegroom I would be if I did not escort you personally through my humble abode."

Without reading the script, Kathryn knew that he was really saying that he didn't trust her. "Of course. But the danger…"

Chakotay picked up on his cue. "Computer, exit." He said and hoped the computer would respond. Obligingly, the holodeck door appeared in place of the ornate doors that led into Chaotica's palace.

The megalomaniac gasped as the door slid open and revealed the full colored corridor beyond. "The fiends! A portal into my very sanctuary!"

"Indeed, my… love." She bit her lip to keep from smiling. "Their perfidy knows no bounds."

"We shall turn the tables on them!" Chaotica grabbed her hands and lifted them to his lips. "We shall invade their realm! And crush them beneath our feet!"

Oh for the love of –  She cast a look over her shoulder at Chakotay.

"Brilliant plan." Chakotay said. "But for one fatal flaw. Beyond that doorway – " He pointed dramatically at the gaping door. "Lies certain death!"

Chaotica and Lonzak both took a step back, and the guards looked at each other nervously. Statements like that were never good news for underlings.

Kathryn arched an eyebrow at Chakotay. Ham.

A shrewd look came over Chaotica's face. "And I am to take your word? Fool! Do you think I am so easily misled?"

"Don't believe me?" Chakotay shrugged. "Then simply walk through the doors."

"Ah…" His bluff called, the despot scrambled for a backup plan. He stroked his beard to cover his indecision. "Lonzak!"

"Yes, my liege!" Lonzak's spine straightened.

"Go through the door!"

"The – the – " His chief minion turned to look at the wildly colored world just past the doorway. "Me?"

"Yes, you! " Chaotica flung his arm toward the opening, the movement flaring his robes out in a dramatic fashion. "This… minion could well be lying. Perhaps – " His eyes narrowed shrewdly. "Perhaps there is great wealth and power to be had in the eighth dimension!"

"But – but – " Lonzak looked from the door to his liege.

"Not that I believe you would ever lie to me… again… my love." Chaotica smirked at Kathryn.

"Oh, of course not." She gestured casually toward the brightly colored corridor. "By all means send your minion through."

"But – but – " Still stuttering, Lonzak pointed at the guards. "Perhaps it would be better to send one of the guards?"

The guards all shuffled nervously as Chaotica drew himself up to his full height and struck an angry pose. "You dare question my orders?"

"No, my liege!" Lonzak pulled off his helmet and fell to one knee in front of his liege lord. "Never, my most gracious and merciful lord!"

Chaotica preened and the man continued hastily. "But I'm your chief minion! If this is dangerous – " He gulped audibly. "You could be deprived of my services!"

"Services which include letting intruders from the eighth dimension enter my Fortress of Doom? Letting them plant their alien devices under your very nose?"

"But – I thought there were only five dimensions." Lonzak finished weakly.

"Out!" Another flaring of Chaotica's robes as he pointed to the door once again.

"Yes, my liege." Standing, Lonzak put his helmet back on and walked to the door. He shot Queen Arachnia and her bodyguard an evil look as he went past them.

Hesitating for a moment at the doorway, he cast a pleading look over his shoulder to see if Chaotica had changed his mind. His lord only crossed his arms across his chest and tapped a foot impatiently.

With a sigh, Lonzak stepped over the threshold. And vanished.

"Foul creatures!" Chaotica fell back, clutching his chest dramatically. "They've murdered Lonzak!"

Chakotay bowed his head and closed his eyes. It helped him keep from laughing out loud. "He was a brave man." Wisely, he didn't point out that Chaotica had been the one to send Lonzak to his doom.

Kathryn had to cover her mouth to hide the smile, and she hoped the choked back laugh would be mistaken for grief. "You see now, the danger that we face?" She recovered her composure well enough to speak. Barely.

"Let them go!" Chaotica ordered his guards. A moot point since they had already taken several steps back lest they be the next ones ordered through the doorway of death.

"We'll neutralize all of the remaining devices." Kathryn told him. "Your empire will be saved."

Chaotica eyed her backside appreciatively as she turned to leave. "I'm not one for the fashions of the day, my pet. But…" A lascivious look crossed his face. "You do look… fetching, my love."

"Thank you." Running a hand down the black leather belts crossing her chest, Kathryn smiled as Chaotica licked his lips. "And it does show off my girlish figure, don't you agree?"

"Oh, most definitely." His eyes followed her hands as they slid over her hips. "Who knew that trousers could be so… attractive on a woman?"

Chakotay had had enough of the flirting and innuendoes. More than enough. "We really must leave, my queen. "

"Yes, of course." Her cheeks pinkened as she looked up to see Chakotay's expression. His jaw was clenched and the black velvet eyes simmered with anger. "Duty calls."

"Wait!" Chaotica stepped in front of her. "How is it that you are able to survive, my dear?"

"I was – " She shot a glance at Chakotay who subtly tapped one of the cartridges on his chest. "Injected with the antidote."

"The antidote?" Chaotica's eyes lit up. "Brilliant! I will go with you – and several guards of course." The guards shifted nervously behind him.

He was a hologram, and Kathryn didn't believe that injecting him with the chronoton serum would allow him to leave the holodeck – but it wasn't a chance she was willing to take. "The procedure is… excruciating. " She closed her eyes and turned her face away dramatically as if reliving the pain.

"Excruciating?" Chaotica echoed.

"I can't bear to think of you in such… agony. " Turning back, she placed a hand on his shoulder. "Despite your hardy, manly nature."

Secretly, Chaotica was relieved. Pain was something royalty should never be forced to endure. Pain was for one's enemies. And minions. "My poor beauty." He followed Kathryn as she walked to the doorway. "So brave to endure such pain."

"One does what one must." Kathryn barely kept the grimace off her face as the hologram grabbed her hand and kissed it wetly. A little too much realism.

When he raised his head and leaned in for a kiss, she stepped back and shook a finger. "Ah ah! Let's save something for the wedding night!"

"Ah… our wedding night!" His eyes glazed over, and he smiled lewdly. "I can hardly wait."

As they stepped through the doorway and into the corridor, Chakotay stopped and turned back to face Chaotica. The punch came from his hips, just as Boothby had trained him, fueled by jealousy and anger. His fist connected with the hologram's nose, knocking him onto his lamé covered ass.

Kathryn laughed as Chaotica clutched his broken nose. She followed Chakotay down the corridor, still chuckling.

"So you don't want him to go through the 'agony', but it was acceptable to put me through it?" Chakotay led her into the turbo lift.

"You?" She elbowed him. "You're my chief minion, who else would I bring with me?"

In the holodeck, Chaotica struggled to get up from the floor, his long robes hampering his efforts. "Help me, fools! Incompetent fools!"

Two of his guards helped him to his feet, and he brushed his robes off. "He dared to lay a hand on my person!"

The dark blood on his hand was startling. He was bleeding! His royal blood was on his hands! "I will have revenge for this cowardly act!" Chaotica looked around. "Lonzak! Lonzak, where are you? You – you – "

He clutched his chest as he remembered that Lonzak was gone. Staggering to the cradle of persuasion, he leaned against the cold metal. "Oh, poor Lonzak! Loyal, brave soul! Taken before your time!"

"Foul, fiendish murderers!" Straightening, Chaotica thrust his chin up regally and stalked to his throne. Spinning to face his guards, he began barking out orders. "Gather my forces! Find these aliens from the eighth dimension!"

The guards scattered to do his bidding. Chaotica sat and shook his fist at his unseen enemy. "I will avenge you, loyal Lonzak! I will avenge you!"