Missing Scenes from Season Three - Strategem

By Alelou

Rating: G

Genres: missing scene

Keywords:

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This story is number 14 in the series Missing Scenes from Season Three


SPOILERS: "Strategem," but only in the most peripheral way.

DISCLAIMER: All things Star Trek belong to CBS/Paramount.  "Strategem" was written by Michael Sussman.

AUTHOR'S NOTE:  Well, you knew Amanda had to come into this equation sooner or later.  I decided to take a break from the routine and use her point of view for this episode.  Thanks to you generous reviewers - I welcome any feedback, positive or negative. 


Amanda slumped over her cocoa in the mess hall - nobody was around, so she didn't need to project  professionalism - and wondered whether living aboard a ship in deep space could give a person a case of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Certainly there was a lack of real sunshine, after all.

Or maybe this was just normal holiday depression.  Not that she was usually depressed during the holidays.  She loved the holidays.  She just didn't expect to love this one.  Her life as a MACO corporal hadn't always allowed her to be home for Christmas Day, but up to now sometime during the season she'd always managed to get back for a home-cooked meal and presents and hugs and the simple joy of relaxing amid one's own family - something she doubted anyone would take for granted this year, when so many families had lost it.

But this year she and her comrades in arms were as far away from home as any Human had ever been, on duty that combined the long, day-after-day tedium of Major Hayes' stultifying training routines with occasional episode of brutal combat.  There would be no trips home this Christmas season.

Not that she didn't want to be here.  This was their best effort to ensure that the Human race and all its holidays and all its families were not about to be annihilated by some crazy ass alien species that had apparently taken what sounded like some wacko Bible story from the future way, way too literally.

At least the scuttlebutt on the ship tonight was that they had discovered where the weapon was being built, which meant that now they could go get it.  The terrible boredom should be ending soon.

Unfortunately, this also meant they probably would all be dead soon.  Enterprise was just one ship, just one crew, against a whole civilization bent on destroying them.  The Xindi had already proven their ability to whup their asses pretty much at will.  Nobody was talking about it out loud, but Amanda didn't think she was the only one on board who expected it would take nothing less than the sacrifice of all their lives to have any impact at all in this particular contest.

So it didn't look particularly good for any future holidays that might make up for how crappy this one was looking to be.

The door whooshed open and she straightened up.  Hayes wouldn't want her to let the team down by looking depressed in front of anyone else.  

It was the ship's yummy chief engineer, Trip Tucker, looking adorably rumpled but also unusually intimidating.  He stalked to the cabinet to get a mug, stalked to the beverage dispenser for a cup of "coffee, strong," and took a sip before he even noticed she was there.

When he did, he raised his mug and gave her a grim smile.  She raised her cocoa mug back at him and gave him the same grim smile back. 

She wasn't sure why, but when it came to leisure time there seemed to be an invisible line drawn between Starfleet and MACOs.  So she certainly wasn't expecting him to walk over.  But he did. 

"Corporal Cole," he said, gesturing at an empty chair.  "May I?"

"Knock yourself out."

"I don't believe I've ever seen you alone in here.  You MACOs always seem to eat together."

"Oh, you know how it is, sir.  We don't want to mix with the riff-raff."

He snorted.  "So, what are you doing here all by your lonesome now?"

She shrugged.  "I couldn't sleep."

"I know that feeling.  Phlox has some excellent hypo-sprays for it."

"So I've heard.  Apparently our science officer can offer relief as well."

Tucker scowled.  "Yes, she can definitely help, too.  I see that even if you avoid mixing with the riff-raff, you still hear all the same rumors."

"Yes, sir, I believe we do," she said with a smile. 

"It's called Vulcan neuro-pressure, actually.  It's ... I dunno ... I guess the closest Human equivalent would be acupressure or therapeutic massage, or something like that.  It really does do wonders."

"I'm sure it does."

He looked irritated.  "I'm serious, Corporal."

"Of course you are, sir.  Perhaps you could show me sometime."

His face flushed charmingly pink.  "I've only been doing it a couple of months.  I'm not sure how good I'd be at it.  I could ask her if maybe she could ..."

"Sir, there's really no need for that," Amanda said quickly.  "I don't get insomnia that often."

"She doesn't bite, you know."

"No?" She raised her eyebrows suggestively.

He smirked, thankfully at least partially amused by her insinuation.  "You're very bad, Corporal.  All I can say is that the rumors you've been hearing must be vastly overstating the matter.  T'Pol and I are just close colleagues and ... friends." 

Did he have the slightest idea how sad he'd looked as he said that?

She sat up straighter, all her senses suddenly engaged.  Commander Tucker was enamored of their first officer.  That was widely rumored, and here was the evidence right in front of her. 

But T'Pol was Vulcan.  So she wouldn't be interested or perhaps even capable of responding to him.

Which meant that their lovely chief engineer must be quite sad, and frustrated, and lonely. 

Just like Amanda.

"I heard another rumor, Commander ... that you're from Florida.  So am I."

His face lit up with interest.  "Really?  Where?"

 


Comments:

Linda

I love Amanda stories!  Thanks for writing one about her.  This one seems very in character for both her and Trip.  Quietly enjoyable. 

Ezinma88

I've always really liked Amanda. I never thought she was some man-eater hell-bent on getting her way, or else.

I like how you've portrayed her here. Human, vulnerable and normal.

It was also nice to step outside of the Trip/T'Pol PoV for a wider perspective.

Aikiweezie

Nice.  Great set-up for how these two might have started hanging around together.  I have no issues with Amanda either, so I like your treatment.

Misplaced

I always love stories that feature Amanda as a normal woman, not some crazy chick trying to steal Trip away from T'Pol.  It's nice to see her fleshed out as more than just a plot contrivance (just like I enjoy good Koss stories too for that matter).

Can't wait to see the next one!

panyasan

Don't worry ;), I thought the previous scene and this scene completed each other: if you have a big crush on some one and you think it can never work and it's normal human behaviour to start avoiding that person. Any way, good explanation why Trip and Amanda are doing neuropressure together in the next episode.

Alelou

Boy, that definitely wasn't what I was trying to get across in the last missing scene.

Oh well.  I will freely admit that I took some evil pleasure in THIS one. 

panyasan

I must say I was a bit annoyed by Trips whole "I don't want to be with T'Pol and am looking for any chance to get away from her as soon as possible"-attitude in the last missing scene, but Amanda is a keen observer. She noticed he is sad because he knows he has feelings for T'Pol and she sees a chance to take adventage of it. I wished we had seen such a scene in the real show: some kind of introduction instead of a sudden relationship between Trip and Amanda.

bluetiger

Since I do not fall into the 'I hate Amanda' camp, I really enjoyed this. Considering what we know about T'Pol and they don't, it seems perfectly logical for these two to be drawn together.

Not knowing of her addiction, I'm sure being with T'Pol was not on Trip's radar at this time. A little harmless flirting when you are so lonely is totally understandable.

And can't we all sympathize with Amanda wanting to get as close as possible to the 'yummy chief engineer'. :p

Silverbullet

Careful Trip, your guard is down. She might sneak up on you and have you Hog Tied quick.

I never thought that Amanda carried a mattress on her back but still thought that she could be a party girl. Trip migth have been a diversion,a conquest. A scalp to hang on her belt. a Notch on her bed Post.

aadarshinah

ah, Amanda Cole as a normal person, not a, idk, sexual preditor or whatnot. Poor Amanda. Poor Trip. (and, to round it off, bah humbug)

justTrip'n

I really liked this paragraph:

"Not that she didn't want to be here.  This was their best effort to ensure that the Human race and all its holidays and all its families were not about to be annihilated by some crazy ass alien species that had apparently taken what sounded like some wacko Bible story from the future way, way too literally"

I think you also captured the mood perfectly as Trip and Amanda head into this thing: they are scared, bored, and latch onto this thing as a way out of the oppressive gloom.

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