Missing Scenes from Season Two - First Flight

By Alelou

Rating: PG

Genres: drama missing scene

Keywords:

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This story is number 24 in the series Missing Scenes from Season Two


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SPOILERS: “First Flight”

DISCLAIMER: Star Trek belongs to CBS/Paramount.  “First Flight” was written by John Shiban and Chris Black.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Thank you, reviewers and beta jT.  I always thought T’Pol’s arrival in the shuttle pod at the beginning of this episode seemed suspiciously smooth. 



 

All those near-misses in space, and the man ended up dying by falling off a mountain.

What were the chances?

Trip scowled.  The chances were excellent.  Like a lot of test pilots, A.G. was an adrenaline junkie who loved to flirt with mortality – and the more near-misses he survived, the more daring he got.  Trip had decided long ago that it was a serious risk to be a passenger in one of A.G.’s vehicles – in space or on the ground.  A.G. made Jon look like a paragon of caution, and that was saying something.

“Commander?”

He looked up from the charges he was rigging at a work table in Engineering.  It was routine work, and at the moment he was grateful for it.  “Sub-Commander?”

“The captain appears to be rather…”

“Upset?”

“Yes.”

“He just lost a good friend.”

“Did you know Commander Robinson?”

“I did.”  Trip put a completed charge down and moved on to the next one. 

“So this emotional for you as well?”

Trip licked his lips and looked up.  “I wasn’t as close to him as the cap’n was.   But yeah, it’s sad.  For one thing, I’m sure A.G. would have preferred to go doing his job rather than just … you know, vacationing.”

She was silent for a moment.  “Why would death on the job be preferable to death while vacationing?”

Trip looked up.  Why indeed?  “There’s not much out there more dangerous than being a test pilot.  A.G. loved to push the limits.  I think those guys always half-expect to go out in a blaze of glory.”

“The willingness of Humans to accept high levels of risk in pursuit of technological progress has concerned the High Command from the beginning of our species’ relationship.”

“Yeah, you are definitely a lot more cautious than we are.”  He cocked his head and looked up at her speculatively.  He wasn’t sure that was actually true of T’Pol.  At least not anymore.

“Perhaps Vulcans have a more rational understanding of risk.”

“Perhaps,” Trip said.  “Or maybe, since you live a lot longer, you feel as if you have more to lose.  For Humans there’s actually a fairly short period of time in which to make your mark – to accomplish your goals   At any rate, I think it’s safe to say that A.G. believed in living large.”

She raised an eyebrow.  “Living large?”

Someday he really should sit down and compile Tucker’s Handbook of English Idioms for Vulcans.  “That has different meanings, but in this case, I mean it like … I don’t know … living dangerously.  Living life to the fullest.  Living without restraint.”  Trip shrugged and moved on the next charge.  “The guy definitely wasn’t lacking in …” He wanted to say cajones, or testosterone, but that would require yet more explanation, and probably also make them all sound like hormonal apes.   “Gusto.”

“He was courageous.”

“Yep.”

“Reckless?”

“Sometimes.  But don’t tell the cap’n I said that.”

“Is Commander Robinson a person the captain emulates?”  T’Pol looked concerned.

“I wouldn’t put it that way, exactly. You should probably ask him about it.”

“He did not appear to want any discussion on the topic.”

“Well, give him time,” Trip said.  He put down the completed charge and looked at her.  “Hey, look.  I won’t be surprised if he’s going to want to go off by himself and brood.  And he’s probably thinking this is the perfect opportunity.”

“It is against regulations for the captain to leave the ship unaccompanied.”

Trip gave her a tight smile.  Did she think that mattered?

She frowned.  “Was Commander Robinson also quick to disregard Starfleet regulations?”

“Well, let’s just say there are regulations and then there are regulations.  But I think we should be prepared for the Cap’n to try to hotfoot it out of here.  If I can’t get myself on board that shuttle pod with him, you should probably be ready to do it.  He has a harder time saying no to you than to me.”

“That has not been my experience.”  

 “You’re also a lot more credible citing regulations than I am.  Just don’t take no for an answer.”

She frowned, clearly uncomfortable.

“Who knows, maybe you’ll be the first Vulcan in history to see a dark matter nebula.”

“As you would say, I’ll believe it when I see it.  When will the charges be ready?”

Trip looked down at his work.  “I’ve just got one more after this one.  Another 15 or 20 minutes or so – more if you want me to test one ahead of time.”

“The captain wanted to launch by 1100.”

“No time for testing, then,” Trip said.  “But I wouldn’t say it’s necessary.  This is a pretty fool-proof configuration.”  He added another finished charge to the case and moved on to the next one.

“There is no guarantee it will work even if we do encounter sufficient amounts of dark matter.  Open space is a very different environment than a lab.”

“Well, you never know until you try,” Trip said lightly, as he wrestled with a recalcitrant piece of housing.

“Indeed.  That appears to be the underlying philosophy of the entire Earth space program.”

He bore down hard, grunting, and the housing finally opened.  “You could be right about that.  Doesn’t make a very stirring motto, though.” Trip smiled at her.  “I think maybe you’re finally beginning to understand us, Sub-Commander.”

Her eyes narrowed.  Finally?

 He grinned and focused on the charge in his hands.  “I’ll take these down to the shuttle pod as soon as I’m finished.  Just be ready to move if he turns me down.”

“I’m sure quite that you would be a better companion, especially if the captain is coping with strong feelings.” 

“I think the cap’n relies on you to help him work things out a lot more than you realize.  Even the emotional stuff.”

She gave him a profoundly nonplussed look.

“That’s a good thing,” he said.  “That’s part of the first officer’s job.”

She stared at him for another moment, then left.

It used to be part of the chief engineer’s job too, Trip thought.  And he’d keep trying to do it, for whatever it was worth.  But he wasn’t trying quite as hard as he used to. 

A.G.’s death may have marked the end of an era, but in reality those days had been gone for awhile now.


Comments:

Starwatcher

"Someday he really should sit down and compile Tucker’s Handbook of English Idioms for Vulcans"

Love this line and I would LOVE  copy when its published!

I must admit, this was not one of my favourite S2 episodes but you do a great job of adding to their interactions.

Crystalswolf

I agree with Honeybee.  I love how you have their relationship progressing for the actions of Season 3 to fit in more naturally.

Alelou

Ooh, darn.  Yes, "dying with his boots on" would have been fun to explain.

bluetiger

Trip needs to explain 'dying with your boots on' to T'Pol.

This was very interesting. It did seem rather odd in this episode that T'Pol would have realized on her own that Archer shouldn't be alone. Trip's double teaming with her to make sure he didn't leave alone was an inspired stroke. It makes so much more sense than her simply sighting regulations as the show explained it.

Being such a 'grieve in private' person, T'Pol wouldn't have picked up on it by herself.

Alelou

Thanks, Reanok (and thanks for all that typing despite your arthritis -- I saw your note in the forum).  I actually suspect Archer has become LESS of a risk taker now than he would have been back then.  After all, he has 82 other souls to worry about besides his own.  Not to mention he's had some powerful lessons in how quickly Starfleet will back down if the Vulcans tell them they've screwed up -- not only on this test flight, but after that planet's atmosphere burned up.  (Of course, the Xindi will probably change that back.)

Reanok

:sOpps what I meant to say it was nice that Trip and T'Po had this conversation about A.G. having an influnce on Archer to be more of a risk taker and that A.G pushing the limits finally caught up to him.That Being a teat piolot is a risky business.just like the Apollo or shuttle astronauts.Gene Cernan's book talks alot about the risks he took as a test pilot and alot of closecalls including a spacewalk outside either the Mercury or Apollo capsule and how difficult it was to get back inside the capsule.

Reanok

This really fits innicely with the story of First Flight where T'Pol talks with Archer Trip telling her about A.G.'s death and the risk of they take .I really like First flight and your atory Alelou well done.:)

Honeybee

Thank goodness for 20/20 hindsight! This fits just so neatly and perfectly into the episode, and I love that you are setting up the third season closeness through conversation and friendship. Their mutual dedication to Archer is a good foundation for them to build something on - and when he withdraws later - it makes perfect sense that these two, as you portray them, would turn to each other.

Aikiweezie

So when does Tucker’s Handbook of English Idioms for Vulcans go to print??????  

I agree with panyasan, makes perfect sense as to why she was there.

panyasan

Thank for given us a reason why T'Pol went on the travel with Archer. Nice touch how Trip explains T'Pols relationship with the captain for her and how he realized his relationship with Jon has changed.

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