Missing Scenes from Season Two: The Expanse

By Alelou

Rating: PG-13

Genres: dark drama missing scene

Keywords: Xindi

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This story is number 26 in the series Missing Scenes from Season Two


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SPOILERS: “The Expanse” and it may not make sense without it.

DISCLAIMER: Star Trek belongs to CBS/Paramount.  “The Expanse” was written by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: And so ends my missing scenes from season two.  I decided to explore what might have inspired T’Pol to tell Phlox, “Delicate is not a word I associate with Mr. Tucker” one episode later in “The Xindi.”

Thank you as always, reviewers and beta jT. 


x x x

Trip scowled down at the various components of an antimatter injector in pieces on a workbench in engineering. 

Why had it failed?

Yes, obviously, the hairline crack in one of the injector lens had caused it to stop functioning properly, but what had caused that?  Enterprise hadn’t been so much as rocked by a hard turn for weeks.  They had hit a particularly empty section of space.  No new civilizations.  No star systems.  No other starships.  Their biggest enemy was boredom.

Or perhaps their biggest enemy was the chance that all their antimatter injectors were about to fail, leaving them stranded out here in the middle of nowhere. 

Trip had spares, but not enough to replace all of them if they went bad all at once. Antimatter injectors were expensive because they were manufactured to extremely precise specifications; their key parts included dilithium crystal cut into lenses that were used to focus an extremely controlled stream of particles, as well as rare and expensive metal alloys. They could not be improvised from just any old thing in stores.

He tapped his com.  “Hess, let’s swap out two more of the antimatter injectors.  I want to check them out.”

“Got it,” she said quickly, as if she’d been waiting for the order.  Perhaps she had been.  He had been sensing a touch of impatience with him from her lately.

He stared down at the small cracked lens in his hand.  Usually when he encountered a puzzle like this, he took the part in question to T’Pol for a sub-molecular scan.  Unfortunately, right now he was trying to avoid T’Pol. 

Which was stupid,of course.  He would have to take it to her.  This was more important than the fact that her recent little episode of microbe-induced out-of-control libido had him profoundly rattled.

For one thing, he couldn’t help wondering if just maybe their science officer harbored a secret attraction to their armory officer.  If what Malcolm had said was true, she’d definitely come onto him while ‘under the influence.’ You’d think Malcolm would be delirious with joy about it.  He wasn’t, though.  Perhaps the sore shoulder she’d inflicted on him by throwing him across the corridor had dampened his enthusiasm – that had to be hard on a man who prided himself on his combat techniques.  Unfortunately, it hadn’t been enough to stifle his enthusiasm for speculating to Trip about what had turned their prim science officer into a wild woman.

Not that Trip was sure he could ever entirely put that completely out of his own head, either.  How could he forget that smoldering look she’d pinned on him from decon – or the way  she’d crammed a handful of food in her mouth like some kind of starving animal? Nor could he forget her near-panic that she didn’t know exactly what had happened with Phlox. 

So perhaps it wasn’t so much Malcolm she’d been hot for as any guy.  But that was distressing in a whole different way. It didn’t fit with his previous idea of T’Pol at all.  Hell, he doubted it fit with T”Pol’s previous idea of T’Pol.

Which all just added up to the inescapable conclusion that, hello, Vulcans really were alien.  Not just cute, extremely logical Humans with pointy ears and bad haircuts, but really alien aliens. And Trip had a proven track record of screwing things up in that department. It didn’t help that he was now also absolutely certain that at least part of his interest in T”Pol was inappropriate.  He knew that because every time Malcolm made the slightest reference to what T’Pol had said to him, Trip’s gut clenched with jealousy. 

So … he’d backed off a little.  It was important to keep that relationship professional, and he’d already had enough screw-ups with aliens to last a lifetime.  

Perversely enough, T’Pol had responded to his greater distance by finding excuses to seek him out – she’d even suggested a movie she was interested in viewing for movie night.  He just kept demurring, as politely as he could.  The last time he’d given her an excuse for something, she’d just said, “I understand,” in a low voice.  After that she had stopped trying to engage him any further.

And that had made him feel like shit. 

It had also left him pretty lonely. Apparently he had begun to rely on T’Pol more than he realized for day-to-day company.  Of course the new tension between him and Malcolm didn’t help. Trip had barked at him at one point when Malcolm was going on yet again about what had happened with T’Pol.  Trip really just didn’t want to hear it. 

Even Archer was a bit cranky these days, probably mostly because he was bored, but he’d also been giving Trip the evil eye at meal times when conversation died.  This irritated Trip.  Why did he always have to be the one to keep batting the ball back? 

And meanwhile there was this stupid antimatter injector lens. Which he was going to have to take to T’Pol.

It made him half wish something would happen to take his mind off all the drama.

That was when Hoshi called him to an emergency meeting of all senior staff.

 

x x x

Three million sentient beings dead.  Even for a Vulcan, it was a difficult number to fully grasp.  For a Vulcan surrounded by Humans who were now all angrily adjusting their view of the universe – and coping with personal losses, in some cases – it was particularly challenging.

So it was perhaps just as well that a new distance had already set in between her and Commander Tucker before this happened.

She had feared the loss of his friendship, but in truth this was not as unpleasant a break as the last time.  In that case, he’d been angry, and she had sensed real animus from him.  Since her abortive episode of pon farr, he had struck her mostly as wary and regretful, but not harboring any ill will.  His excuses sounded embarrassed and apologetic.  “I’m sorry, T’Pol,” he’d said more than once, coming up with some reason why no, he couldn’t stay and talk in the mess hall, or whatever it was she had most recently attempted to engage him in. 

So she had simply ceased her attempts.  He was no doubt right to distance himself from her, especially if his unfortunate glimpse of Vulcan sexuality had dismayed him that much. 

Of course, at the moment she doubted her existence even really registered in his consciousness at all.  His focus had narrowed down to a swath of destruction through his hometown and the sister no one in his family had heard from yet.  The captain had told her there was little question she was among the dead.  Tucker himself was silent on the subject, but his face was so stormy and his shoulders so set that any conversation about the attack broke off the moment other crewmen saw him enter a room.

 

x x x

“Have you heard anything about your sister?” she asked late one night, about a week after the attack, when she ran into him in the mess hall. 

“I wish to hell people would stop asking me that!”

“I apologize. I will not ask again.”  She had thought he looked a bit less formidable than usual, perhaps because he was sweaty and red-faced, clearly fresh from the gym and stopping in just long enough to get some water.  It was almost midnight – an odd time for someone on his shift to be exercising, but then Tucker was probably having trouble with sleep again. 

He ran his fingers through hair that had turned dark with perspiration.  “Look, I’m sorry. It’s just … it’s a very frustrating situation.  No, we haven’t heard anything.  I just wish I could get home faster.”

“Your frustration is understandable.”

He looked at her then for a long moment, as if he might have more to say, but then he shook his head slightly and said, “Well, good night.”

She’d wanted to say “I grieve with thee.”  But if he hadn’t welcomed a question about his sister’s status, she doubted he would appreciate that, either.

 

x x x

In the weeks since he’d finally accepted that Lizzie was lost, Trip had felt alone in brand new ways he’d never imagined before.

He’d felt alone in his own family.   It was not that they had pushed him away, but he was still so far out that there was an inevitable delay in every communication. That made everything a little stiffer.  And then perhaps because they were there and they could see the devastation firsthand, they had given up hope for Lizzie long before he did.  He’d been very angry and hurt about that.  He understood it better now, when even he accepted that there was no way Lizzie was an unidentified patient in a hospital room somewhere, or still trapped under part of a building that hadn’t been entirely vaporized.  Perhaps in exasperation, his mother had even sent him a diagram of the vaporized area superimposed over an older map of their neighborhood and their house, which Lizzie had been staying in while his parents were away.

His poor father could barely speak at all.  It had been his sabbatical that had taken them to Ireland, and his idea to ask Lizzie if she wanted to house-sit for them.

He also felt alone because his loss was not really that bad compared to so many others’ – his own father’s, for example.  The news feeds were full of stories about the parent who had left home to go to work or do some shopping and then gone back to a gigantic hole in the ground, or of children who had gone to play at a friend’s house and never returned.  An unfortunately-placed Little League tournament had meant a staggering loss from one small town in Cuba.  In his hometown, both of Lisa’s parents had perished.  His arch-rival turned friend Bobby McMullen had lost a sister, a nephew, and both parents.  The Garcias, the Billirises and the Li’s were gone.  The entire block he had grown up on had been annihilated. 

He felt alone among the crew, too, for only he had lost a member of his immediate family, though it seemed everyone knew someone who was lost – an old friend, a friend’s relative, a relative’s friend.  So it was a tragedy for them, too, but generally not as deeply painful a loss.  This was probably why he often heard them buzzing among themselves about the gory details with a kind of feverish excitement that could make him feel either furious or nauseated or exhausted, depending on the day – at least until they noticed he was there, and clammed up.

Malcolm had tried to get him to talk about it, but backed off when Trip was having none of it.  He’d then ruminated endlessly about the construction and capabilities of the alien weapon until Trip had asked him to please shut the hell up about that, too. 

Meanwhile, Archer was busy huddling with Forrest about the military and diplomatic implications of what had happened.  He had become obsessed with the information the Suliban had given him and how best to persuade Starfleet to take it seriously.  Trip was more than happy to leave him to it.

And T’Pol – but any distance there had been his own damned doing.  He regretted it sometimes, especially when she looked at him with her brown eyes full of sympathy.  He suspected that in her, at least, he might have found a quiet, calm port in the storm.  But it was surely for the best to maintain his recent resolution there, for all the same reasons as before.

Most of all, of course, he missed Elizabeth.  He and she had shared a special bond, for they were only a couple of years apart, close enough to be in school together a good part of the time.  He could kick himself across half the galaxy for how little he had attempted to keep in touch with his baby sister over the course of this mission.  She had written, he had written, she had written … and that was about it, except for birthday greetings.  He had relied on his mother to relay information back and forth.  He had three letters from Lizzie in his files on board.  Just three.  And they were over a year old. And now there would be nothing more, ever.

But feeling sorry for himself hardly helped matters, with so many dead, and his sister just one of millions, and everyone on the planet at imminent risk of destruction. 

It all felt like a never-ending bad dream from which he could never wake up – which meant there was little relief in waking from his ‘real’ nightmares into the darkness of his cabin, except of course that at least he knew he was still alive. 

And that was perhaps the most awful thing, really: the relief that he was still here, when she wasn’t.

 

x x x

Running the engines at high warp for weeks was taking its toll.  Tucker sat at his small work station in Engineering, juggling various diagnostic reports, trying to balance their need for speed versus mounting evidence of wear and tear.  They only needed to get home now – but they did need to get home.

“Sir?”

He looked up at his second tiredly.  “Yeah?” 

Hess looked a bit wary.  They all did lately.  His nerves were frayed, and his poor staff knew it all too well.  “I was wondering…”

“Yeah?”

“Did you ever figure out what was going on with the anti-matter injectors?”

He squinted at her.  “Does it matter?”

She looked concerned.  “You don’t think it does?”

“I’m seeing plenty of problems, but antimatter injection hasn’t even made the top ten yet.”

“If we needed to head back out quickly …”

He blinked.  The truth was he’d simply let those injectors fall off his list of priorities.  “So we’ll make sure they replace them all at Jupiter Station, or stock a bunch of extras.  Problem solved.”

“Aren’t you still a little curious what happened?”

“No.”

She stared at him as if she didn’t recognize him.

He tried to swallow a surge of irritation.  “Look.  If you’ve really got spare time you want to devote to that little mystery, you’re welcome to it.  I’ve got more immediate concerns.”

“Then you won’t mind …?”

“Knock yourself out.” 

“Where are the three assemblies we pulled?”

He blinked tiredly at her.   

Now she was really looking concerned.  He had always prided himself on knowing exactly where everything in his department was, and he had drilled his staff to be the same way.  It prevented waste and needlessly duplicated effort.  He looked around his little work area, though that was pointless.  There was no room in Engineering to leave stuff just sitting around – it had to be stowed.  And it had been weeks.  His memory was completely blank.  For all he knew he’d thrown them in solid waste recycling, though that would have been a criminal waste of expensive components.  “I have no idea.”

“Okay, don’t worry, I’ll look,” she said quickly, then added, “When I have time, of course.”

He nodded, rattled.  Maybe lack of sleep was really doing something bad to him.  Maybe it was time to ask Phlox if there was something he could take. 

Once he got a little further down this list of problems, maybe.

 

x x x

T’Pol looked down at the delicate crystalline item in her hands.  “Ensign Rao could run a sub-molecular scan,” she said.  “It may determine the cause of this failure.”

“That’d be great,” Hess said.  “Thanks.”  She handed over a different case.  “This contains two that haven’t failed yet.  If he could check those too, maybe we could find out if there’s some stress we’re not aware of.”

“When did the original failure occur?” T’Pol asked.

“A few weeks ago,” Hess said.  “Just before we found out about the attack on Earth.”  She smiled nervously.  “I guess that kind of pushed it off the radar.”

Actually, the attack had been over a month ago.  T’Pol had noticed that Humans often underestimated the passage of time.  Off the radar, she knew, could be translated as not showing up on scans. As in not worth focusing on; unimportant. Humans were also often slow to update their technological metaphors.  “Commander Tucker is usually very inquisitive about such matters.”  Indeed, Tucker could sometimes become rather irritating in his quest for an immediate answer.

Hess smiled tightly.  “Keeping the engines running this hard requires a great deal of time and attention.”

T’Pol had become increasingly concerned about Tucker’s haggard appearance, apparent isolation, and evident ill humor. “How is Commander Tucker, in your estimation?”

Hess’s posture stiffened.  “He’s fine.”

“He is obviously suffering from a deeply emotional loss, and he also does not appear to be getting enough sleep.  It would be understandable if he might be encountering some challenges in his work.”

“We’re all pretty rattled by what happened, ma’m.”

“Then you have no concerns about the operation of your department?”  T’Pol gazed calmly at the woman, waiting.

Hess licked her lips and shuffled from foot to foot – clear signs of Human discomfort.  After a long moment, she said, “No, ma’am, no serious concerns.”

T’Pol was not impressed by misguided loyalty, though by now she understood the tendency.  “May I assume, then, that you may have some minor concerns?”

Hess scowled.  “There’s perhaps a little more tension than usual … some distraction.  We’re all feeling a great deal of anxiety to get home.  That’s only Human in circumstances like these.” 

T’Pol didn’t miss the slightly hostile emphasis on “Human.”  She’d been encountering this more frequently; the attack on Earth had inspired a number of comments and attitudes among the crew that she would characterize as tribalistic.  Judging from the news feeds, it was even more common on the planet.  But this was perhaps understandable, especially since the Vulcan High Command had not as yet expressed any intention to help defend Earth from its new enemy with anything more than sage counsel.  “Yes, of course.  Thank you, Lieutenant.  I’ll get a report on this for you as soon as possible.”

It bemused T’Pol that she was nearly as anxious to get back to Earth as the rest of the crew. She wanted to learn more about what had happened.  In particular, she wanted to know if any of the evidence Starfleet had managed to gather could corroborate the theory suggested by the Sulibans’ contact.  The captain appeared to have eagerly seized on the information, which was perhaps to be expected since it was the only actionable information they had, but this struck her as potentially quite dangerous.  There was no valid reason to trust their informant.

She looked down at the components on her desk.  She would give them to Ensign Rao.  Without any stops to investigate phenomena on the way back, her science team was growing restless.  It would be good to give them a mystery of some kind to investigate, even if T’Pol suspected the matter was not truly urgent.  If it were, even a distressed Tucker would not have let it go without attention this long.

 

x x x

T’Pol went to Engineering.  “Lieutenant,” she said, raising her voice to be heard by Hess, who was standing in front of the warp engine control panel.  “I have the results of those scans.  Is Commander Tucker available to go over them with us?”

Hess slid down the short ladder.  “He and Rostov are trying to track down a problem with cooling in the starboard nacelle.  Can I let him know you want a meeting?”

“Yes, but I believe it should be scheduled as soon as possible.”

“Then you have concerns about the other two injector assemblies, too?”

“I do,” T’Pol said.  “I believe they are nearing the end of their useful life. Based on the specifications you gave us, there appears to have been a significant flaw in their manufacture.”

Hess sighed.  “That’s another reason to be glad we’re almost home, then.”

 

x x x

The meeting occurred a few hours later at Tucker’s tiny work station in Engineering.  He was still grimy from whatever he had been doing in the nacelle.  “So what’s the story?” he said, his tone curt.

“Ensign Rao’s full report has been transmitted to both of you,” T’Pol said.  “But in essence, all the injector lenses we examined have experienced a significant amount of micro-fracturing, weakening the overall structure and increasing the likelihood of total failure.”

“That shouldn’t be happening,” Tucker said.

She didn’t bother to reply to such an obvious statement of fact.

He scowled.  “Any idea why it’s happening?”

“Ensign Rao believes the dilithium used in these lenses was cut from some kind of cultured dilithium rather than natural crystals.  There is a regular pattern of extremely fine lithium intrusion.  It would not be easy to detect unless you sectioned the material.”

Tucker sighed.  “Which would require sacrificing a whole lens, which would cost a fortune.  Okay, so that would have made these a lot cheaper to manufacture, and that’s definitely not what the specs called for.  Apparently someone thought they could make an easy buck.”  He stared off at a distance. “Hess, why don’t you carry on with this, since you’re the one who got it started – and it’s a damned good thing that you did.  I want a full engineering report we can transmit to Starfleet, along with Ensign Rao’s findings.  Let them know we’re going to need a whole new set of injectors, and I want a full set of spares, too.”

“Yes sir,” Hess said.

A vein had risen noticeably on Tucker’s temple, as T’Pol had often observed when he was angry or under stress.  He said, “I hope they bring criminal charges against somebody.  We could have ended up floating in space a lifetime away from home, or from anywhere else, for that matter. If you ask me, whoever did this should be taken out and shot.

T’Pol stared at him in some consternation. 

Hess gave her a quick, embarrassed glance.  “I’d better get back to work.”

“Yes.  Great job, Hess,” Tucker said.  “Thanks, T’Pol.  Tell Ensign Rao thanks for us, too.  Right now I’ve got another nacelle to check on.”  He started to walk off.

“Commander,” T’Pol said.

He stopped.  “Yes?”

She lowered her voice and stepped closer to him.  There was not much privacy in Engineering, though she believed the noise of the engines drowned out much that other Humans could hear.  “You congratulated Lieutenant Hess for following through on this issue.  Am I correct in concluding that you yourself did not consider it a priority?”

His face turned red.  “Yes.”

“That strikes me as rather uncharacteristic of you.”

“In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been running flat out at Warp 5 for seven weeks straight.  I’ve had more immediate concerns.”

“Perhaps personal issues have proven to be a distraction as well.”

He glared at her.  “What do you want to do, Sub-Commander?  Put me on report?  You can’t confine me to quarters; we’re still running at Warp 5.”

“I was not suggesting anything of the kind.  However, I do feel that perhaps you should consult Dr. Phlox about this lapse.”

“I told you, we’re been running at Warp 5 for six weeks straight.  So if it was a lapse, it was one any other chief engineer could have made just as easily.”  He was getting loud; several crewmen looked over before T’Pol looked back at them and they turned away again.

She lowered her voice, hoping it would encourage him to do the same.  “It is my understanding that Humans sometimes require professional help to deal successfully with traumatic personal issues.”

Instead, his volume rose even higher.  “Unlike Vulcans, right?  You people just go meditate and everything is all hunky dory again.  I bet you probably haven’t even thought twice about – ” He stopped suddenly.

“About what?”

“Nothing,” he said quickly.  He sighed and straightened into an attitude of military attention, which from him often struck her, somewhat paradoxically, as insubordinate.  “Yes, ma’m, I’ll go see Phlox.  Now if you don’t mind, I’ve got stuff to do here and you’re just getting in the way.”

“I could assist you.”

“Thanks, but that’s the last thing I need.”

It was fascinating how a simple remark could resound with a sensation not unlike a physical blow.  T’Pol turned on her heel and headed for the hatch.  She had learned long ago that Humans sometimes attacked when they felt cornered.  It was illogical to take Tucker’s words as a personal rejection.

This was especially true given that the actual personal rejection had occurred weeks ago, and by now should have lost its power to disappoint her.  Really, this little professional dispute was nothing more than business as usual. 

She would endeavor not to let it affect her in any way.

Even if that was clearly going to require some effort.

 

x x x

Trip ran and ran and ran.  He knew that if he exhausted himself thoroughly, sleep might come quickly … and if he was very lucky, he would wake in the morning instead of in the middle of the night from yet another nightmare.  It horrified him that just as they were heading out on this vital mission, the doctor was threatening to cut him off from the sedatives.  Since those were his only reliable way to get a good night’s sleep, he tried this instead at least every other night.  And once in awhile, it even worked.

Besides, he found it soothing.  He just focused on his feet hitting the treadmill, his body working, his pulse pounding, running as hard as he could from his own endlessly churning thoughts.

When he stopped by the mess hall to gulp down some cold water on his way back to his quarters, he was probably still breathing too hard to hear T’Pol come in behind him, for when he turned she was standing there like an apparition.

He stared blankly at her.  She and he had not had many interactions outside of staff meetings, or the occasional shared bridge duty shifts, though he and Hess had continued to cc her on new developments with the anti-matter injectors.  That issue had proven more frustrating than he had ever imagined.  There was only one contractor – now under investigation – who made that part, and they had not had much inventory.  Jupiter Station had managed to replace most of Enterprise’s injectors, but not all, which left them with only their original spares.  So, they really had to hope the mission wouldn’t take more than a couple of years, which was probably a fairly moot point now if they wanted to save the planet.  Trip had at least managed to wangle a supply of uncut crystals.  He figured he could try to cut and polish some lenses himself if they got desperate.

Meanwhile, in the last senior staff meeting before their launch today, the captain had announced that the Vulcan High Command had recalled T’Pol.  Clearly, they wanted nothing to do with this expedition to the Expanse.  As usual, they were being more of a hindrance than a help.

“I have one request,” T’Pol had announced at the meeting.  “I do not wish to have any ‘going away’ party given in my honor.  Under the circumstances I do not feel it would be appropriate.”

Yeah right, he’d thought.  He knew that really she was just scared of parties. 

“T’Pol,” he said now, nodding politely. 

“Mr. Tucker,” she said, and turned to ask for chamomile tea. 

Would she miss that tea when she was back at home?  They had been ‘given permission’ to drop her at Vulcan.  This struck Trip as a rather odd thing for Archer to request, and he wondered if the captain had been hoping it would somehow shame the Vulcans into softening their position in some way – which, if true, would just prove that Archer really didn’t understand Vulcans at all. 

“Glad to be heading home?” he asked.

“No.”

“Rude of me to suggest you’d have feelings one way or the other about it, I suppose,” he said, unable to resist one last poke.  He knew she didn’t want to go.  He wasn’t sure if he’d gotten good at reading Vulcans or if T’Pol was just particularly easy to read, but her displeasure with the order had been obvious to him from the beginning.

“I believe my skills would be very useful to this mission.  It is not logical for the High Command to prevent me from participating.”

“I’m sure they’re just trying to protect you.”  At least there was some comfort in thinking that she would survive, even if they didn’t.  It was nice to think that someone would remember them.

She said nothing.

“And hey, at least you won’t have to smell us anymore.”  He knew he must reek particularly badly at the moment. 

She gave him an oddly wounded look and turned to go. 

Damn it.  What the hell was that look, anyway?  How come nobody else in the galaxy could make him feel like such an asshole with just one glance? 

“It’s been a pleasure serving with you, T’Pol,” he said quickly, before she could make it out the door.  “I know you might find it hard to believe, but I really mean that.”  He swallowed hard.  This was most likely the closest he would get to goodbye with her. 

She just stopped and looked back at him with a quick nod, and left. 

She really hadn’t had much to say to him lately, not that he could blame her.  He’d been alternating between snarling and brooding, and he wasn’t even sure they were still friends, really. 

Live long and prosper, he thought wistfully, finally summoning up the salute he had learned from Ambassador V’Lar too late for it to matter.  Too bad, because it would have been appropriate.  He sincerely hoped she would live long and prosper, safe on Vulcan. 

And this wasn’t any Vulcan’s fight.  Which was fine.  Which was appropriate.  Which was freeing, really.  Because right now all that really mattered was finding those Xindi bastards and stopping them by any means necessary. 


Comments:

Starwatcher

Another great chapter and a fantastic way to round off a series of fantastic one-shots which really enhanced what was otherwise a mediocre season. I think that S2 is probably my least favourite season of the 4, there are some good episodes but on the whole the season was so hit and miss that it left me feeling a bit cold.

Fortunately, the same cannot be said about this series. Alelou, I commend you for giving us realistic, canon-compliant, consistent interactions between Trip and T'Pol. Its really amazing how, in a season dominated by inconsistent writing and plot direction and at times just plain bad episodes (A Night in Sickbay looms large in my mind at this point), you are able to craft a series of snippet views which together forms a beautifully delicate narrative about how these two very different people navigate the rapids of cross-species friendships. You should be commended.

Daya

You are an amazing writer! This work is totally fulfilling my desire for all the missing elements in the show! 

Have you considered writing some original fiction with characters of your own for publication? You are very gifted. I'd love to read a whole sci-fi novel or something that you wrote! 

Elessar

JT told me this was a great one and she wasn't jokin :)

 

I love this one from start to finish for two main reasons:  of course your way of illustrating Trip's inner turmoil is so genuine it practically bleeds off the page; but I also enjoyed the realistic little elements having to do with the injectors.  I like that b/c we don't often hear about the humdrum realities of starship building...  contractors, manufacturing standards, corporate corruption, bidding wars, etc.

bluetiger

When I stopped to consider after reading this, the one word that keeps flashing in my mind is pain. Not angst but pure physical pain

You get the feeling that everyone is walking around with open wounds that ache if anyone touches them. It makes you wonder if Trip would have lost his mind eventually if T'Pol had not come to his aid.

This surely did turn into more than a missing scene. Depressing but realistic take on what was happening at that moment in time.

Aquarius

Which all just added up to the inescapable conclusion that, hello, Vulcans really were alien.  Not just cute, extremely logical Humans with pointy ears and bad haircuts, but really alien aliens.

 

I.

Love.

You.

 

And, yes--what everyone else said, this was perfect, in terms of watching Trip come undone and the 9/11-ness of it all.  Fabulous way to end your Season Two missing moments.

I can't wait for Season Three!

Alelou

:p Oooh, thank you!  It really is just babble I pulled right out of my butt.  But I thought it was strange when the Klingons were attacking them that Trip was so freaked out about losing three antimatter injectors when it had never come up before in any battle situation that I could remember. 

Transwarp

Along with your talent for finding hidden gold in the episodes, you also have a rare talent for techno-babble.  I totally enjoyed the anti-matter injector sub-plot.

Alelou

Thanks so much, ladies.  (And yes, it was impossible to write this without channeling 9/11.)

Aikiweezie

You did it again!  You tied all inds of things together that just *fit* so perfectly and lead you right into what happened on the show.  You capture poor Trip's muddled psyche just right and leave things right for someone to fill that need he has for comfort and companionhip (even though he doesn't know it yet.)  And of course these two have been dancing around each other for a while so there's some tension there that you can feel. 

Honeybee

For a chapter you had trouble with, this sure did come out a tour de force. Bravo! it's really Trip's story - his inner monologue feels just right. Love the transition from ordinary routine to un-raveled world.

justTrip'n

Ha, ha! I was just talking to my sister on the phone. I told her I had just posted the last Missing Scene of Season Two. Her exact words, "Oh great! I'll go watch it."

LOL!!! A Freudian slip that PROVES MY POINT!!!

Mary

ALELOU: nISSING SCENE????? THIS WAS THE episode. All Trip's confussion about how to feel, how to react vacillating between anger saddness depression snapping at everyone, regretting it but not being able to stop. He IS pain All this came through crystal clear. It's a good thing everyone is too busy preparing for the mission to retaliate.  That boy needs help, I'm sure you'll find someone to assist him GREAT episode.

justTrip'n

And it's because of you that we need to say the "original episode." I predict many people will totally mix this episode with that one.  

justTripn

Well, I'm at work, so I can't reread NOW, but here is my reaction to the first beta: VERY VERY GOOD. You signed off wtih the exact same tone as in the episode. Like everyone else, I was waiting for that perfect ending, where someone says just the right thing, to tie everying up in a bow. Instead, they don't!!!!!! And I'm thinking. Wow, THAT's the perfect ending: The mission comes first. That really was Trip's attitude and you've captured it.

He is really messed up at the moment and you've captured that. He's stressed and foggy, and thoughts come a little late, like the "Live long and prosper line," and then he's back to obsessing about the fight ahead.

You didn't compromise AT ALL. It's perfect.

And at this moment, I will add, yes, very reminicent of 9/11. I presume you drew on that experience, just as the writers of the original episode obviously did.

panyasan

Alelou, I have read this missing scene in one session and I think it's brilliant. Moving. I can't wait to read your missings scenes of season 3.

Crystalswolf

I loved how you conveyed Trip's feelings about his sister and him not knowing if she was dead or alive.  Very 9/11 like in the optimism bordering on denial.  This missing scene, while knowing what's to come, is very powerful emotionally.  Doesn't seem like you need a rest when you write scenes like this. ;)

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