Missing Scenes from Season Three - Chosen Realm

By Alelou

Rating: PG

Genres: missing scene

Keywords:

This story has been read by 648 people.
This story has been read 1139 times.

This story is number 12 in the series Missing Scenes from Season Three


SPOILERS: "Chosen Realm" and it won't make any sense without it.

DISCLAIMER: All things Star Trek belong to CBS/Paramount.  "Chosen Realm" was written by Manny Coto.

AUTHOR'S NOTE:  This is a bit of a departure from my routine, but hopefully you won't mind it.  Thanks to all reviewers (blessings be upon you).  And thanks to my beta justTripn for being puzzled by my first draft, which I had written from Archer's POV, since I think this one is much better.


 

Trip hated debriefings.

Across from Malcolm, at Jon's right, T'Pol sat straight and remote.  Her report was unusually wooden, especially when she came to her moment of ineffective resistance to the Triannons as they targeted their enemies.  If it hadn't been for the existence of the bridge recording, he wondered if she would have even mentioned it.

"I understand why you tried to stop them, T'Pol," Archer said.  "But I'm not sure it was wise under the circumstances.  You could have been killed."

She gave the captain her blandest look.  "I calculated that the risk was minimal."

Trip grimaced.  From the recording, it didn't look as if she had calculated anything

Archer didn't look convinced, either, but he moved on to Travis's own attempt at resistance, quickly countered by the weapon held to his head.

 "You did the right thing, Travis," Jon said. "I hope I don't need to remind any of you here ..." - his eyes flashed Trip's way for a moment - "... that Earth's survival might well hinge on our survival.  Let's save any heroic sacrifices we have in us for the people who are counting on us back home."   

Trip glanced at T'Pol; she glanced back, mouth tightening just a fraction.  Sometimes Jon's sanctimony about the importance of this mission got a little old.  And it was a bit much to be reminding them about avoiding risk when he'd volunteered for a death sentence.  How could he have known they would fall for the transporter trick?  Or that he would be able to take the ship back practically all by himself?

They viewed more of the recording.  At his right, Malcolm began to detail, with some relish, how the bridge had been recovered from D'Jamat.

"Seems like good work all around," Archer said, summing up.  Trip wondered if anyone else at the table was wondering what would have happened to them by now if Yarrick hadn't just happened to be willing to betray his spiritual leader.  But he sure as hell wasn't going to raise the point. It might make the meeting longer.

Archer turned to Hoshi, who was sitting next to T'Pol, across from Trip.  "Have you made any progress with the database?"

Hoshi looked calm and collected.  Trip reflected that she had matured into a very sturdy officer.  "We should be able to retrieve portions of it from the redundant memory core," she said.  "It's impossible to determine just how much, yet.  T'Pol and I already have a subroutine running a search.  Then it will just be a matter of putting those pieces back together in some kind of useful way."

Perhaps only Hoshi would make a task that gargantuan sound so simple.  Jon smiled warmly at her, and Trip wondered, not for the first time, if their captain might be carrying a quiet little torch for their comm officer. 

Of course, he'd never admit it if he did.  Jon never talked about matters of the heart unless he could make it sound like a joke - like that woman (what was her name?  Paula?) who'd gotten so furious at Jon down in Alice Springs that she'd poured a beer in his lap. 

And the captain sure as hell wasn't going to admit to having a thing for an ensign in his command, especially one who was twenty years younger.  Hell, he'd never even mentioned Erika Hernandez to Trip, and Trip knew from multiple sources that that one had been pretty serious.

Which was fine.  He and Jon weren't really on such intimate terms that Trip would want to discuss any of his deepest feelings with him.  Especially lately.

T'Pol said, "We also have data on various individual PADDs that we can use to repopulate sections of the database." 

"Oh, good," Jon said.  "Keep me apprised on our progress with that.  Now, let's talk about how we can prevent something like this from happening again."

Naturally, Malcolm - after grudgingly noting that he had incorporated some input from Major Hayes - eagerly launched into his own analysis of where their security measures had fallen short and suggested a number of steps they could take to prevent it in the future.  One of them involved requiring mandatory scans of all visitors to the ship. 

Phlox quickly objected, citing medical ethics.

Trip, trapped between the two, tried to contain his impatience.  He had things to do in Engineering - like providing a reassuring return to routine for his traumatized staff.

Meanwhile, he noticed that T'Pol was staring at him.  He straightened in his seat and gave her a small, grim smile of commiseration.  When she continued staring at him, he raised his eyebrows in silent query: What?

She looked over at Travis and then back at Trip, her head still subtly inclined towards the helmsman.

Travis had hunched so far back in his seat, all but curled in on himself, that Trip had to lean forward to see him.  It wasn't surprising, really: their sunny helmsman had been made an unwilling party to murder.  You didn't just shake something like that off your back in a moment ... not if you were Travis, anyway.

He nodded back at T'Pol.  Okay, message received.  He'd talk to him.

She gave him a tiny nod of acknowledgment, and then turned her attention back to Phlox and Reed.

Thankfully, the captain had finally heard enough.  Archer told them, "I'd like you both to work on a new passenger scanning protocol.  It doesn't have to be intrusive - and I don't believe we should have to ask permission to protect ourselves.  Make it something automatic, something that simply notifies us of the presence of any anomalous readings in a new arrival's bio-scans."

Phlox said, "Just how do you define anomalous?"

Trip sighed.  Phlox didn't dig his heels in very often, but when he did ... 

Archer didn't let himself get drawn in.  "You and Lieutenant Reed work that out and report back to me with your recommendations."

Trip raised his eyebrows at the captain:  So can we go?

Jon scowled back at him.  "Well," he said.  "At least after this afternoon we shouldn't have to worry about the Triannons anymore."  He looked at each of them and sighed.  "Is there anything else?"

Trip prayed Malcolm wouldn't have any more brilliant security ideas.

When no one responded, Archer said, "Very well.  Good work, everyone.  Dismissed." 

Trip got up, eager to intercept Travis, who was already stalking towards the door.

"Trip, stay a moment," Jon said.

Trip shared a frustrated glance with T'Pol, who frowned slightly, but left with the others.

"Is everything all right?" Jon asked, when the room had emptied.

"Cap'n?"

"You seem a little ... grumpy."

Grumpy?  "Just eager to get back to work, sir."

Jon tilted his head.  "Something is clearly bothering you.  So, what is it?"

Why did Jon suddenly care what he thought about anything?  "Maybe you should be a little more worried about Travis.  He's obviously having a hard time with this."

"Yes, I noticed that.  And I plan to talk to him."

Trip nodded slowly.  "Okay."

"You don't think that's a good idea?" Jon said.

"It's fine, sir.  I was just ... I was thinking perhaps a little moral support from someone who ... isn't the captain ... might be helpful, too. "

Archer's eyes narrowed and Trip's heart sank.  He recognized the look as Jon on the trail of something.  The captain said, "Have I been failing to give appropriate moral support to someone, Trip?"

"No, sir."

"You, for example?"

"No, sir."

Archer just waited.

Trip scowled.  He hadn't exactly enjoyed waking up and discovering he'd been cloned, but there was no way he was bringing that up.  "Okay, so maybe I didn't enjoy running my engines on behalf of a nutcase terrorist." 

"It wasn't for very long."

"It felt pretty damned long."

Archer nodded.  "Yeah, I know.  It couldn't have been easy for you, or for T'Pol and Travis, having to cooperate with them."

Nice of him to notice, but what the hell did it matter now?  Trip took a deep breath and let it go.  At least Archer had noticed.  That was more than he'd usually done, lately.  "Is that all, sir?"

"Actually, no.  Apparently there are quite a few rumors circulating about it, so I was hoping you could tell me a little about this 'Vulcan neuro-pressure'."

Trip felt his stomach drop.  "Sir?"

Archer's face was utterly neutral.  "I hear you're spending quite a few evenings with our first officer.  And I could see you two practically carrying on a separate conversation over the table there."

What?  "She was just pointing out what was going on with Travis.  You should be pleased that she's getting better at noticing these things."

"She is getting better," Jon said.  "She's a lot more in touch with the emotional side of things, lately.  It's kind of a striking change, really."

Trip frowned.  He hadn't really thought about it much, but Jon was right.  "Maybe she's just ... I don't know ... assimilating.  She's been with us for over two years after all."

"And this neuro-presure?"

Trip felt his face get hot.  "It's nothing, really.  She's just helping me sleep.  Phlox asked her, because I was asking for too many hypo-sprays.  There's this technique Vulcans have ..."  He explained, conscious that he was perhaps babbling in his nervousness.  Not that there was any reason to be nervous.

Finally, he just shut up and waited.  Archer stared appraisingly at him for a few moments.  "She's a very attractive woman, Trip.  Smart. Brave.  Exotically beautiful.  I could see where a guy might be tempted."

This was so unfair!  "She's a Vulcan, Cap'n, " Trip said.  "A Vulcan!  Even if I was interested, which I'm not, she'd never consider doing something that unprofessional.  Besides, they only mate every seven years, remember?  And she thinks we smell bad."

"Actually, she told me she was used to it."

When the hell had she told him that?  "You know, you actually spend a lot more time with her than I do.  I just see her three hours a week for neuro-pressure."  It was true.  T'Pol had been avoiding engineering lately.  He wasn't sure why, but it had become noticeable.

Jon said, "Look.  I'm not saying something like that would be completely out of bounds ... on a long, isolated mission like this ... if that's something you really want to do.  That's assuming you can handle it with some degree of discretion, obviously.  I just ..." He sighed.

"Sir?"

"I just want to know what the hell is going on with my own command staff," Archer said, suddenly looking very tired.  "Not every little thing, obviously, but serious relationship shifts that could affect this mission, yes.  Can you do that for me?  Keep me informed?"

Trip stared back at him.  Had he just been given permission?  "Jon.  Nothing's going on.  I swear.  She'd never ..."   He shook his head and waved his hand in the air.  "She'd just never."  It was true.  "She won't even call me Trip."

Archer smiled ruefully.  "All right.  Sorry I had to ask.  Dismissed."

Trip all but ran out the door.  He wanted his engines like a drowning man wants air.

Everything else in his life was just too damned weird right now.

 


Comments:

panyasan

I really liked your Archer and glad we got to see some friendship returning between Archer and Trip. I do wonder why Trip constant denying of the relationship he has with T'Pol didn't cause him to run to Cole. Guess we will see that in the next missing scenes.

Misplaced

Fantastic as always, Alelou.  And I know that season 3 is probably harder to write at times because it's so weary and dark.  But I love it and I love what you've done.  The silent communication between Trip and T'Pol was brilliant.  And I ain't gonna lie -- I lean a little Jon/Hoshi so I had a little squee of delight at reading Trip's thoughts on that.  LOL

Great stuff and I'm looking forward to the next installment!

Alelou

Yes, Phlox did, but I think Archer suggested the idea to him and then had to get a scan off a Triannon for him in order for it to work.

Silverbullet

Correct me if I  am wrong, but  didn't Phlox have a good deal to do with the defeat of t hat group>He devises somethin gthat would neutraliize their abilityy to blow themselves up. 

Just wondering

Cogito

It has been a long time since I saw this episode air and I had to watch it again to remind myself what T'Pol did on the bridge. I know it's hard to get into a life-or-death situation and then out of it again in forty minutes without cutting a few corners, but really guys, do you have to be quite so idiotic? Can you imagine Archer's debriefing with Starfleet?

Yes, sir, we let them bypass decon and all the normal biohazard protocols because I didn't want to seem rude. Yes sir, I let them wander all over the ship. Yes sir, even the sensitive areas. Without an escort sir, yes sir. I already explained that sir, we didn't want to seem rude. With respect sir I didn't literally hand the keys over, and anyway as you know we don't have keys any more. Yes sir, my security chief and I watched one of them standing next to the warp core try to blow himself up and we didn't do a damned thing about it. Stun him, sir? Wouldn't that have been a bit rude? No sir, nepotism was nothing to do with it, I am a perfectly competent captain and I'm fully entitled to this rank. Oh, I'm not?

I can really sympathise with Trip being fed up with the whole thing and you captured his exasperation perfectly. How the hell can you think you have any right to talk about what we did? Jeez, talk about a martyr complex. Let me out of this pointless meeting so I can get back to my engines, at least there's a problem I can deal with.

T'Pol's ineffectual resistance seemed completely silly. Despite her Vulcan strength and nerve pinch and combat training she couldn't overcome somebody sitting with his back to her? If I didn't know better I'd think she was told to play the helpless female so that Super!Archer could ride in and save the day. Surely not!

Trip and T'Pol's silent communication was great. I really like the idea that they know each other so well that they can do this sort of thing. I suppose T'Pol was mainly trying to avoid Travis noticing that she was talking about him, and it would be pretty obvious to anyone who could see both of them, but I find myself wishing that they'd got away without Archer noticing. I do quite like the idea that they'll have a mutual eye-roll afterwards and come to a tacit understanding subsequently that there will be times when they want to communicate without Archer or anyone else noticing. They're highly intelligent and observant people who know each other extremely well and I think they could get away with it - unless Hoshi starts to pay attention. Maybe wishful thinking, but it's an idea that appeals to me.

 

Alelou

Thanks, all.  (And special thanks to you, JaysPlays, for delurking in the comments section too.):p

JaysPlays

I was really concerned reading this though as I didn't feel as though it was Trip... Or more to the point, it wasn't the Trip I know and love. Here was Trip showing exhaustion, desperation and despondency that made me recall the two episodes that pulled on my heart string (when he admitted the loss of Lizzie was hurting him and when he couldn’t write that goddamnawful letter back to Earth - a pain I know all to well, having made the ‘long walk’ to break the news to a young man’s parents).

Then there was the fact that T’Pol was more aware of the emotional status of the crew - or more importantly, his friends - than he was.  This isn’t Trip!  Trip always comes back, with the wit, the aside, the “there’s always a silver lining“!

And then to stuff it all up, Jon comes down on him. Oh, hell there’s no chance of saving him now.

And then the moment of genius. The line that only our Trip could deliver:

"She won't even call me Trip."

And he’s back! The man that, although an engineering and  scientific genius, deeply desires people to know him for who he is, not what he is.

You left me on a high - and I didn’t see it coming. And to deliver a high with 6 words…! Huzzah!

Keep them coming, they make re-watching the more rewarding.

Linda

I will have to rewatch the episode now that you have pointed out subtle things from it.  This fic drew me in more than some of the other missing scenes. The characters' voices and tiredness were strongly drawn. I think Trip was a little hard on Jon for being sanctimonous, but seeing how everyone was so stressed out, he can be forgiven.  As for taking back the ship single handed, Kirk and Janeway also seemed to do that too.     

Aikiweezie

I agree with all previous comments.  I can't imagine how people could work together that long and under those circumstances without noticing changes in the behavior and interractions of their co-workers.  I am eager to see what you do with this in upcoming "missing scenes."

bluetiger

This is very interesting. T'Pol is becoming more sensitive to emotion due to the Trellium D. Archer finally seeing what has been right under his nose. Trip in all kinds of denial about T'Pol. Everyone is tired and beaten down.

I love that Trip feels his engine room is the only place that life makes any sense anymore.

These really evoke the sense of tension that was rampant during this time.

Silverbullet

Chosen Realm is one of my favorite Episodes. I especailly liked Archer in it.

I thought the leader of the group showed hoow ignorance would lead to arrogance in the belief that his way was the only way. So he eliminated the inofrmation that Enterprise had gathered on the spheres.

Nice story.

SB

aadarshinah

oh, where to begin? T'Pol catching on to Travis's distress or Archer catching on to her and Trip... *shakes head* great as always, Alelou.

Reanok

Well done Alelou you can definitely tell the stress of the events in Chosen realm and the Expanse is wearing all the crew down.Trip and T'Pol's silent communcation being by the captain here he seems jealous of all the time they're spending together on and off duty.

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