spock: logic is sexy

Fic: Survivor -- Found (not!Gaila, gen)

Title Survivor -- Found
Author: igrockspock
Character: not!Gaila
Rating: PG-13
Summary: not!Gaila stars in a Federation public service announcement about trafficking of Orion girls. For the Intergalactic Women's Day Ficathon
Word Count: about 1K



On her eighteenth birthday, Leira is broke. Her parents had kicked her out of the house to earn her own living, as was the custom of their people, which Leira thought was bullshit because who the hell were they kidding? They lived in a gated compound in LA. Her parents weren't exactly keeping the Orion ways.

But here she is in shitty apartment, which she shares with three bleach blond actress wannabes and uncountable mice. Apparently, there are still vermin in this century. Some of them have ponytails and they're named Lou. They hang out in her kitchen and accost her while she's making eggs.

"Listen," he says, and his voice sounds oily from the first syllable. "I gotta do a public service ad. I need a green girl."

"Who let you in here?" she snaps, even though she knows. Her roommates would whore themselves out to any dickhead who claimed to be a casting director. This guy apparently is a casting director, so she gives them a few bonus points for getting smarter over the last six months.

"Immaterial," Lou says. "You in or you out?"

Leira narrows her eyes. She sniffs a deal.

"Is there money involved?"

"Four hundred credits."

"I'm not going to be the fluffer for your next porno flick," she snaps. She is getting really goddamned tired of these slick producers who want "authentic" slave girls for their films.

Lou holds up protesting hands.

"I told you no porn. Federation public service ad. About not screwing Orion slave chicks."

"I was born free," Leira says. She perfected her icy don't-assume-I-was-a-slave voice when she was about ten. "Why don't you go find someone who was actually a slave?"

"Know a lot of escaped slaves around here?" he asks, and Leira feels an involuntary, instinctive chill down her spine. Little human kids had the bogeyman; expatriate Orion kids had the Syndicate. Be good, her parents had always said, or the Syndicate will take you and never let you go.

Lou leans in a little closer, though not actually inside her personal space. Leira had learned how to protect her personal space from predators a long time ago -- it was a necessity, given what so many humans believed about Orions -- and by now, she repels unwanted contact without even trying.

His eyes sweep around the tiny apartment, the rat poison on the floor, the stove spattered with half-burnt grease that can't be removed.

"Four hundred credits could be the security deposit on a new place," he says.

Leira raises a skeptical eyebrow; she's become well-versed in LA rent prices by now.

"Your half of the security deposit, I mean. You in?"

Leira sees all the same things he does.

"Fine. I'm in."

"See you eight o'clock tomorrow."

She shows up ten minutes before call time. The studio's kind of dingy, but it's not a porn place; she'd looked it up last night just to check. Someone throws her a chain mail bikini that looks nothing like what Orion prostitutes wear, and after she puts it on, three people offer to hook her up with a part in a really great skin flick. Then, when the make-up artist finishes putting dark circles under her eyes (black, not purple like a real Orion would get), she huddles in a sewer thing that wouldn't exist on any of the pleasure stations where slave girls are kept.

"Try to look less derisive," the holographer tells her.

"Yeah, give us more desperate," the director agrees, and she turns down the corners of her mouth in a human gesture of unhappiness that no Orion girl would ever make.

"Yeah, yeah, give me more," the director says, and Leira looks down, the better to turn large, pleading eyes to the camera.

She wonders dimly if this is what it feels like to be a whore.
I love this! I love that the fact that she's of two worlds is always present, especially how she knows what an Orion would actually do, but also what the humans want to see.

...I'm not articulating that well. But you know where I mean, I hope..!
I do know what you mean! In fact, it's exactly what I was hoping to get across, so it means a lot that you saw it :)
Very painful. And I love the sharp edges of her character.

I really like seeing different interpretations of who she is and where she comes from and I love how some things remain consistent, she always has this inner core of bitterness and anger and strength.
Wow, this was such a fascinating take. Too right that ad campaigns wouldn't change between centuries. *sigh* Loved her views on both Terran and Orion society. Thank you for sharing. :D
I love that ending line , which crystalizes her position as someone who has never been born a slave but who people always assume was. Very interesting idea!
Wow! I love how you've captured the ever-present dissonance of living in a foreign culture - "she turns down the corner of her mouth in a human gesture of unhappiness" "She is getting really goddamned tired of these slick producers who want "authentic" slave girls for their films." etc.
Oh, Leira. This had me suspended between giggling (parents making her earn her own living despite living in an Earth gated community! sleazy film industry never changes!) and my heart absolutely aching. That dance between who you know you are and who people decide you are based on one characteristic, when you have to deliver that -- you've depicted it beautifully.
Thank you so much! It means a lot when someone picks up on exactly what you were hoping to say :)
Wow, this is great. Love the dichotomy between who she is, what her culture is and what everyone believes her to be. Very well done. Thanks!
Oh, wow. You write her borderline beautifully; this aches, and I love it.
Brilliant, like all your stories. Sharp and detailed and thought-provoking. This part stood out for me the most:

"Know a lot of escaped slaves around here?" he asks, and Leira feels an involuntary, instinctive chill down her spine. Little human kids had the bogeyman; expatriate Orion kids had the Syndicate. Be good, her parents had always said, or the Syndicate will take you and never let you go.

The Syndicate as an bogeyman makes *so* much sense. In a sad, horrible way.

Thank you for sharing this.