Missing Scenes from Season Three - Twilight

By Alelou

Rating: PG

Genres: dark missing scene

Keywords: Xindi

This story has been read by 683 people.
This story has been read 1197 times.

This story is number 8 in the series Missing Scenes from Season Three


SPOILERS: “Twilight” and it may not make sense without them.

DISCLAIMER: Star Trek belongs to CBS/Paramount.  “Twilight” was written by Michael Sussman.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Because I am not a big fan of reset buttons, I decided that the reset button for “Twilight” would have one glaring imperfection.  The temporal physics of that may be dead wrong, but I feel no compunction to be more generally scientifically plausible than the show is.

Many thanks as always, reviewers and beta jT. 


 

Lieutenant Reed’s voice said, “Bridge to Commander T’Pol.”

T’Pol opened her eyes.  She was sitting on her meditation cushion.  In her cabin.  On Enterprise. 

Which, therefore, still existed.

She rose to her feet quickly – noting a twinge of pain in her ankle as she did so -- and went to the comm.  “Go ahead.”

“Commander Tucker just reported in that the damage to the starboard nacelle is fairly minor. Repairs should be complete within five hours.  He also wanted me to pass along his opinion that this means there is absolutely no reason to cancel Movie Night tonight.”

“Thank you, Lieutenant.” She looked around her cabin again. 

Their utter destruction at the hands of the Xindi had seemed so real.

She dressed, noting a rather large green bruise on her ankle where it had become trapped by wreckage this morning.  Fortunately, the swelling had gone down and it was not difficult to fit her foot into her shoe.  Phlox had tended to the captain first, diagnosing him with a concussion before determining that her ankle was only bruised and sending her off with a recommendation to stay off it for a few hours until the anti-inflammatory hypospray he had given her could do its work.

So, after briefing Tucker and Reed, she had gone to her cabin intending to spend the time in meditation.

Instead, she had spent twelve years living through catastrophe.  The captain had lost his short-term memory, Earth had been destroyed, and she had ended up in a refugee camp on a desolate planet, nursing an endlessly addled Archer until a tiny sliver of hope – the arrival of Phlox with a cure -- had instead led to the end of everything. 

And now?  All was well.

Or was it? 

Had the captain awakened yet?  She decided to go to sickbay.  Arriving at the turbo-lift doors, she distinctly remembered how they hadn’t been working – that the bridge had been blown away.  Captain Tucker and the rest of the bridge crew had been lost.  The Xindi had boarded and …

Could this be the beginning of some terrible repeating temporal loop? 

If so, was she now somehow armed with knowledge that could prevent the same outcome? 

Or had it simply been a dream?  A very long, detailed, painful dream?  The kind of dream that Vulcans who meditated properly never had? 

Perhaps her recent experiments with Trellium-D were affecting her more significantly than she had thought. 

Of course, in the dream she had given up the Trellium-D immediately.  She’d had too much responsibility, and there was no point in any case.  Tucker had blamed her for their fate – at least at first – and no amount of Trellium-D would have made any difference in that.  He had warmed to her again, but by then she’d had other obligations.

She swallowed and squared her shoulders and went into sickbay to meet her fate.

“How is he?” she asked Phlox.

“Ah, T’Pol.  How is your ankle?”

“It’s fine.  The captain?”

“Still sleeping.  But as I said before, I’m not concerned.  It’s just a mild concussion.”

“Have you scanned for trans-dimensional parasites in his brain?”

Phlox turned and stared at her in surprise.  “No.  But perhaps I should have scanned you more thoroughly.”

“I am perfectly well, doctor.  According to my reading in the Xindi database, cerebral infection with parasites from a domain outside normal space-time is a rare but possible consequence of exposure to anomalies.”  That was not strictly true, but she needed a reasonable explanation for her next request.  “Please scan carefully for any unidentified objects in his brain.  Call me as soon as you have any results.”

x x x

The captain was absolutely fine, Phlox assured her.  There was nothing there that shouldn’t be there. If anything, he would simply be peeved that Phlox was going to keep him overnight. 

“Yes, he was looking forward to movie night,” T’Pol said.  “Let me know when he wakes.” 

And although the captain seemed fine when he awoke, she wasn’t entirely convinced that they were safe yet.  It didn’t help when Archer told her she’d make a great nurse. 

x x x

Tucker came in for his neuro-pressure session later that night with, “Why didn’t you come see Rosemary’s Baby?  That’s a real classic.”

“I read the book instead,” she said.  “I suspect that one has to be willing to believe in the possibility of a satanic power at work in daily life to fully appreciate it.”

He took his shirt off and headed for the bench.  “It’s called ‘suspension of disbelief’, T’Pol.  You temporarily accept a far-fetched premise, as long as the work maintains some sort of internal logic.  It’s not that you have to really believe the premise.  It’s just … a fun way to stretch your imagination.  Or, I don’t know, to think about the meaning of life or something.”

“And what did Rosemary’s Baby tell you about the meaning of life?”

He chuckled.  “I think that one might fall more into the category of just having some scary fun.  Or maybe that it might be a good idea to watch out if your husband and neighbors start acting weird.” 

She began with his back, as usual.  He always carried more tension in his spine than anywhere else.  As she worked she leaned forward, softly inhaling his scent.  Despite the captain’s apparent good health, her dream or hallucination or whatever it was continued to bother her. 

At least partly because in it, she had lost this. 

“Vulcans don’t have any myths or stories or literature or anything?” he said.  “All you ever read is Surak’s wisdom and scientific reports?”

“We still read pre-awakening literature, primarily from a historical and anthropological point of view, although there are a few language scholars on Vulcan who will argue for an appreciation of them on a purely aesthetic basis. There is also a tradition of poetry devoted to the illumination of small moments of understanding that might otherwise go unremarked.  And there is a strong tradition of children’s literature -- primarily allegorical tales designed to encourage logical reasoning and good citizenship.  But for Vulcan adults, engaging with fiction as Humans do would not be considered a respectable use of one’s time.”

“But you read Rosemary’s Baby.”

“I determined that reading it would be faster than viewing the movie.”

“But you didn’t have to read it – or view it – at all.” He sounded as if he thought he’d caught her out.

“As someone who lives and works on a Human ship, it behooves me to at least attempt to understand Human entertainments.  But I will admit that it was also quite … suspenseful.”

She felt rather than saw him smile.  “You know,” he said, “Being able to imagine a whole range of possible scenarios can also be useful from a tactical point of view.”

“Indeed.  Vulcans often employ what-if scenarios in their strategic planning.”

“Well, just think of our stories as extended what-if scenarios.  Only they’re more fully imagined, with characters you can relate to.”

“How would relating to fictional characters help in strategic planning?  If anything, I would expect that to prove distracting.”

“I don’t know,” he said, with a sigh.  “Maybe we really just enjoy being distracted.”

She had him sit up, facing her, and began to work on his shoulders.  He smiled at her and closed his eyes, as he typically did if they were not talking.  She had long ago concluded that he was not entirely comfortable looking at her in such close quarters; quite often, if she caught his eye, he would blush.

“This morning I imagined a scenario in which the Xindi destroyed Earth,” she said.

His eyes snapped open.  “What?”

“In this scenario, the captain’s head injury resulted in a total loss of short-term memory, which left him incapable of command.  The eventual results of this were catastrophic in the extreme.”

He just stared at her.

She said, “I take it you did not imagine anything like that this morning?”

“I was too busy with repairs to imagine anything except how nice it would be to have Jupiter Station next door.  But even if I did have time, why the hell would I want to imagine that?”

“I don’t know.  And I have never imagined anything at that level of detail in my life,” she said. “I have been wondering if I was the only person aboard who had this experience.”

“What are you saying, T’Pol?”

“It was most peculiar.  It felt extremely real.  It certainly did not have the quality of mere musing.”

“Maybe you were dreaming?”

“I was not asleep.  I was meditating.”

“Well, perhaps you fell asleep meditating without realizing and just … had a really bad dream.  You were worried about the cap’n … it could happen.”

“Vulcans don’t dream.”

He frowned.  “Maybe Vulcans in the Expanse do.  You should probably have Phlox take a look at you.”

She said nothing.  She could hardly explain that she did not welcome that option because she had begun to experiment with ingesting small quantities of Trellium-D in order to better relate to her Human colleagues. 

He squinted at her.  “T’Pol?”

“I will consider it,” she said, and finished her work on his shoulders.  “Particularly if I experience any more highly detailed … imaginings.  The Khavorta posture.”  

“And then it’s your turn.”

She nodded her agreement, and focused on the pressure points on either side of his neck while he breathed and watched her with fairly obvious concern. 

Eventually she turned and unbuttoned her shirt so that he could reach the correct nodes on her back.  His touch was particularly welcome tonight. 

In her dream, or hallucination, or whatever it was, Tucker had eventually apologized for his initial reaction to her desperate maneuver with the ship, but their command relationship had continued to be fraught with tension, perhaps because of the truly desperate situation they were in. Their neuro-pressure sessions had also ceased under the pressure of more urgent priorities, and never resumed. 

All this, of course, had only made it easier to make the logical decision to go to the planet to care for Archer. 

“I have my reasons,” she’d told him, at the time.

“Do you love him?” he’d asked, shocking her.

“Why would you ask me that?”

“I don’t know.  Maybe because suddenly I feel like throwing up.”

“Commander?”

“I don’t want to have to do this without you.”

“You were quite willing to do it without me when you urged me to return to the safety of Vulcan.  You’ve completed all our major repairs, and you are eminently well-qualified for this position.”

“That’s not what I’m talking about,” he said.  “Can’t we … come on, T’Pol.  Can’t we at least talk about this?”

“I’ve made my decision.”

The look on his face that day had haunted her for years.  Eventually, she heard that he had begun a relationship with a MACO, Corporal Cole.  As much as that information had pained her, she had assumed it was for the best.  She did not want him to be as lonely as she was.

“T’Pol?” 

“Yes?” 

“Are you sure you’re okay?”

“I’m fine.”

“You’re not releasing at all.”

“I apologize,” she said, and took a proper breath.  “I lost focus.”

“Well, get it back.”

“Yes sir.”

He snickered softly, and bent to his task again. 

Focus on this moment, she told herself.  Appreciate it while you can. 

x x x 

Later that night, after Tucker had left, she stared down at the piece of Trellium ore in her hand.  Timing her exposure to the shuttle pod had proved problematic because the launch bays were generally manned by at least one crewman.  Therefore she had obtained a piece of ore that she kept in a stasis unit in her quarters.  Simply holding that small piece of unrefined ore had not had the effect she desired, so she had made a weak decoction of the mineral to take internally.  So far that was proving sufficient to keep her in tune with her crew mates without provoking any unfortunate symptoms.

The dream was the first suggestion that it might be having a negative effect on her neurology.

What the dream also suggested, however, was that a purely logical version of herself, unaffected by Trellium-D, would choose a bizarre half-life with an impaired Jonathan Archer over the warm companionship of a man who could at least be counted on to remember what she'd said to him the day before.

She knew that some Humans believed that dreams were messages from their subconscious, or even from a higher power.  There could never be hard scientific proof to back up this belief, of course, but for the first time in her life she thought she understood the appeal of such reasoning.

In any case, she prepared another dose, and then she took it.


Comments:

Siverbullet

Not sure if this came out as quite the Love story  Sussman wanted to write. He admited he knew that Harbinger was in the works and would be produced and broadcast. 

Had the crew remembered what would have been Archer/T'Pol's relationship in Season three. would it have superceded  TnT? Interesting question.

Alelou

Thanks, all.  Yeah, I have to admit I had a lot of fun twisting this putatively A/T episode into a T/T episode.  <evil grin> 

I have to admit, SB, that I'm intrigued by how it might have played out if the whole crew HAD remembered all this.  I think they would have been so traumatized all around that it would be a real mess, though -- and Season 3 was already dark enough.

Silverbullet

Liked your story. Never have viewed Twilight and hav eno plans to. I am like Rigel Kent he too will not view the episode either  or once said he wouldn't perhaps he changed his mind.

Whatever, from what I understand the episode was a dream sequence iniiated by things in Archer brain and it never happened.

also heard that Sussman wanted the crew to remember the episode but that was nixed.

So, T'Pol knowig it would be better for her to be with Trip than nursing Archer sounds reasonable.

BTW Twilight was Sussmans "Love Story" for Archer and T'Pol which he always wanted to write. So he says on the DVD.

Alelou, you did well with this episode. Corrected much. Thanks

panyasan

Great solution of mixing the AU of Twilight into the RU of your missing scenes. I agree with T'Pol: it's illogical to play nursemaid for Archer (out of a guilt complex) if she could be with Trip. And what would T'Pol think, remembering her dream, if Cole shows up on the radar? Nice harbinger of things to come.

The scene where T'Pol stared down at the piece of Trellium ore in her hand and the mentioning of a piece of ore she keeps in stasis unit in her quarters fits perfectly with the episode of Azati Prime – the only episode which gives us more details about her addiction. You can feel that T'Pol slowly fall into the trap of addiction, still thinking she has some logical reasons to continue. Disaster is lurking. Made me want to shout to her to stop this foolish road.

Cogito

I must applaud your opening reference to Descartes. I'm glad that in the 'Twilight' loop she gave up Trellium (I hate that they did that to her) but how depressing her reason was. There was no point. He had left her.

And no kidding that Archer's comment about her making a great nurse (for him) "didn't help". What a bitter pill to swallow, given the sacrifice whe's made for him during the last twelve years. I'm glad that T'Pol remembers how lonely that was, personally I think it must have been a living hell. I'm glad she got a chance to tell Trip about that, although he'll need more details to fully appreciate what she went through. I hope he's persistent enough to get them. T'Pol's "Yes sir" was a nice gentle dig, glad Trip picked up on it.

 

"Appreciate it while you can." I'm left wondering whether whe was thinking of the danger that the timeline could be snatched away as quickly as it was restored, or that Trip could leave her (for Cole? *), or that she would inevitably outlive him other things being equal. I'm glad she decided at this point to risk the life of warm companionship instead of the cold lonely existance, but it's distressing to think about the consequences of the approach she's chosen.

 

* No wonder she reacted as she did when Cole seemed to be making moves on her Trip. A very neat explanation for something that didn't previously make sense. I can almost imagine her shock and horror at the realisation that she might be about to lose him again and all this has been in vain.

Reanok

:s oops Just like season 3 you've shown T'Pol experience a difficult experience and that dreams can be terrifying for here specially after waht happened to her in Fusion.She envies the humans ability to dream and wants to experience like a human does.

Reanok

T'Pol remembering the events of the Twilight universe was a very neat twist this story is certainly dark buut well written.Just like season you've excellently potrayal of lonliness here.

aadarshinah

I love it - well, except for the unpleasant Twilight suggestions JT introduced. But that's not your fault...

Misplaced

Well done... very dark, though.  Oy!  But I knew that would be coming considering the events of the third season.  Excellent work!

Linda

Things half remembered, how haunting.  Nicely done.

bluetiger

Now that was very interesting. I love the premise that T'Pol remembered the whole twelve years.

The fact that she found nursing Archer a very unsatisfactory life when she could have been with Trip shows how intelligent she really is :p

'What the dream also suggested, however, was that a purely logical version of herself, unaffected by Trellium-D, would choose a bizarre half-life with an impaired Jonathan Archer over the warm companionship of a man who could at least be counted on to remember what she'd said to him the day before.'

Seriously this statement reinforces how logical she found continuing to take the drug to be.

As I keep repeating, if the show had shown her rationalize what she was doing instead of just springing it on us I think it would have worked.

justTripn

This story has a nice, dark foreboding feeling, as T'Pol recovers from her "dream." It is also interesting to watch her loosening up. There is also a profound philosophical question here about what gives life meaning: T'Pol compares a life of duty to a possible alternative in which she pursue what makes her happy.

Honeybee

Ouch! Amanda Cole & Trip in the Twilight-verse! That smarts. But this is very well thought out and a great read.

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