Missing Scenes from Season Three - Azati Prime

By Alelou

Rating: G

Genres: angst dark missing scene

Keywords: Xindi

This story has been read by 694 people.
This story has been read 1241 times.

This story is number 19 in the series Missing Scenes from Season Three


SPOILERS: "Azati Prime" and prior episodes in Season 3, and it will probably make little sense without them.

DISCLAIMER: All things Star Trek belong to CBS/Paramount.  "Azati Prime" was written by Rick Berman, Brannon Braga, and Manny Coto, and I do pick up a substantial chunk of their original dialogue this time.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: As a literal-minded Vulcan translating the English colloquialism might say, now the excrement is beginning to travel through a ventilation device.  This missing scene uses some existing show dialogue because, well, it needed it in order to get to the ending I wanted.  I know a lot of T'Pol fans hate "Azati Prime."  While the sudden revelation that our favorite Vulcan is a Trellium-ho IS shocking, and Archer's sacrifice makes no tactical sense in any universe I can imagine, I still find this episode riveting.  What I've added here would never work on television (and may only be middlin' as fanfic), but I wanted some insight into T'Pol's thought processes.  Many thanks as always, reviewers and beta JustTripn.


 

 

No, she didn't need Trip's leadership advice.  She already knew she was failing spectacularly. 

Unfortunately, she was also certain that watching her fall apart on the bridge would do more harm to the crew's wavering morale than what she was doing right now, which was ... what? 

Trying to come up with a plan, any plan, that wasn't guaranteed to result in all their deaths and the destruction of Earth? 

Or just desperately attempting to hold off what the humans called a nervous breakdown? 

Why was it so difficult to focus and do what the situation required?  She tried to lay out the facts logically:  Archer wasn't coming back.  Trip was probably right about that.

How could she not have foreseen the possibility that she would have to take over for the captain at a point like this?  She had been reeling with dismay ever since his announcement of his plan, but she had been utterly unable to counter it with a better one. 

It was particularly hard not to flash back to that long nightmare of an alternative timeline she had 'dreamed' a couple of months back.  She'd failed them then, too.  Perhaps that explained the oppressive sense of doom that she felt now.

Or perhaps it was because there were simply no good options left.

She noticed that she was wringing her hands and forced herself to stop.  Perhaps this was what inevitably happened when a Vulcan suffering from Pa'nar Syndrome and an unfortunate preoccupation with one Human engineer stupidly imagined she could safely experiment with emotions by ingesting and then injecting Trellium-D over a period of three months.

Even now, as she struggled to come up with their next move, her body was surging with unpredictable barrages of emotions ... and demanding its next dose of Trellium-D, or her hands on Trip's skin, or both. 

And whatever executive function she had left was overwhelmed with disgust that she had picked NOW of all times to realize this.

She blinked.  A plan.  They needed a plan.

Archer had taken the only ship that could get them inside the Xindi's well-fortified defenses.  Enterprise stood no chance.  A shuttle stood no chance.  Either ship would have to be invisible to succeed.  They could not be invisible.

A distraction?

Distractions were ineffective against automatic detection grids.

Perhaps, as a Vulcan, she could make a diplomatic overture where the Humans could not?

But Rajin had scanned her, too.  Presumably, they knew she served with the Humans.  It was also difficult to make successful diplomatic overtures on behalf of a species if merely mentioning who they were or why the overtures were needed would immediately doom your efforts and spark a massive search for the ship full of Humans who were depending on you to save them.

Where could Enterprise hide?  If the captain had been captured, leaving the protection of this planetoid was certain to bring the Xindi down upon them.  However, their destruction of the lunar outpost would inevitably bring an investigation sooner or later.  They could not stay here much longer. 

And even if they could beat a successful strategic retreat, what about the weapon?  What about Earth?

She got up and paced the ready room floor, trying to walk off the terrible urge to go and simply huddle in the darkest corner of the ready room.  Trip was right.  The crew needed her to go out there and act as if she had a clue what to do. 

Except that she couldn't.  Because she didn't know what to do. 

Why hadn't Archer told them what to do if his plan didn't work?   Was it because he also realized there was absolutely nothing else that stood the least chance of success?  Or had he suffered from the delusion that she was capable of handling the job?

Just a week ago, she would have assumed she was.  But events since then had conspired to reveal the truth.

First, Trip's unilateral decision to end the neuro-pressure sessions had made her realize just how much she depended on them.  Indeed, as a run of increasingly sleepless nights passed without any physical contact to soothe her, she had contemplated telling him that she was the one who needed those sessions now.  She knew he would help her if it came to that.  But they had also been running intense combat drills the whole time, readying themselves for whatever waited at Azati Prime.  So even if she had wanted to admit her weakness to him, finding time to fit in a session would have been difficult.

Second, faced with the startling reality of her dependence on him, she had made a grim resolution about another unfortunate habit: she must stop the Trellium-D.  Her increasingly rampant emotions were not likely to be helpful in a crisis.  And if a part of her also wanted to reject all those feelings now simply because he had rejected her, even if only temporarily, that was just further evidence that she had indulged in this dangerous flirtation with feeling for far too long.

Unfortunately, that second resolution had proven incredibly distracting.  She had reduced her next dose, which had also been the last she had prepared for administration, thinking that it would be wiser to wean herself off rather than to stop all at once.  She had told herself she would use the remaining partial dose only if it became truly necessary.  She could then leave the rest of the Trellium-D ore undisturbed in Cargo Bay Two, and reclaim her heritage. 

However, less than six hours later, she'd injected all the rest of it, and found it appallingly insufficient. 

That was when she'd first realized that stopping was going to be much more of a challenge than she had realized.  She would have to step the doses down more gradually ... perhaps even wait for a less stressful time to make the attempt.

However, events since then had then conspired to keep her from Cargo Bay Two and the ore she needed to maintain herself.  She had tried to get in there four separate times, and each time she had been interrupted.  And right now all eyes in the crew were following her, waiting for her to tell them what to do. 

She had comforted herself that this lack of access would help her keep her resolution even in the face of her own weakness.  But now her craving for more Trellium-D had become a loud and constant drumbeat, shredding her ability to attend to anything beyond the most routine tasks. 

There was no escaping the obvious conclusion: she had become, at the very least, deeply psychologically dependent on Trellium-D. 

She, T'Pol of Vulcan, daughter of T'Les, was an addict.

They would be better off without her right now.  Trip was in better control of himself than she was. And if he wasn't waiting for her lead - or pushing and prodding her to take it - he'd step up and figure out the next steps without her.

Perhaps she could find Archer.  Perhaps he could even "pull a miracle out of his ass," as Trip would put it.  She could use diplomacy as an excuse.  She might even attempt it, if the opportunity arose.

Realistically, however, the best thing she could do for Enterprise right now was simply to get out of the way.

x x x

She had given them another hour to wait for Archer - time in which she had given Trip the assignment of installing Sato's translation matrix in the shuttle, hoping to keep him busy instead of arguing with her.   He'd reminded her that she'd have to take the shuttle that wasn't insulated with Trellium-D, and she'd been tempted to tell him it didn't matter - that it might even help - but she didn't want to leave them without their one insulated shuttle, anymore than she wanted to admit she'd been helping herself to their carefully packed cache of the ore for the last three months. 

Perhaps now they would be able to use the remaining Trellium-D for the purpose for which it had been intended.

She spent the time huddled with Ensign Sato, reviewing material the ensign had been gathering from their Xindi database about their diplomatic protocols. 

Ultimately, she and Sato decided to focus on the Aquatics, since Azati Prime was clearly a water planet, and because she knew the least about that species.  Thankfully, the need to focus on new material was a welcome distraction from everything else that was claiming her attention.

When the hour had almost passed, the door buzzed and Commander Tucker stepped in.  "The translation matrix is installed," he said grimly.  "Can I talk to you for a minute?"

Sato immediately stood, ready to leave them to it, but T'Pol had no intention of letting Trip get started.  "This is not a good time," she said, standing and signaling to Sato that she should follow as she hurriedly brushed past Tucker and out the door.

On the bridge she waited for him to follow them out.  She had never had it in her to offer rousing speeches, and in any case she knew that what she had to offer today was unlikely to bolster anybody's spirits or resolve.  "The ship is yours, Commander," she said to Tucker, as the rest of the bridge crew watched.  "If I meet with any success, I will contact you."

Tucker raised his hands to his hips, clearly readying an argument.  Before he could open his mouth, she added, "May you all live long and prosper," and headed straight into the turbo-lift.

He jumped into it before the doors could shut.  "This plan of yours doesn't make any sense," he said.  "You must realize that."

"Daniels urged the captain to make peace with the Xindi.  That suggests it has the potential to work."

"Since when do you listen to Daniels?"

"Perhaps he's the reason we haven't heard from the captain yet.  For all we know, Daniels might have somehow intercepted the captain."

Trip scowled.  "Then what's the point of heading off on a fool's errand yourself?  The crew already lost one captain today.  We can't deal with another one so soon.  T'Pol. Please don't do this to us."  Blue eyes beseeched her.

"I'm sorry," she said.  The lift door opened and she headed down the corridor as fast as she could.  She had to move quickly, before she did something unforgiveable, like crying again.  

It didn't take Tucker long to start up again, as he chased her down the corridor.  "I don't think you're doing this to make peace, I think you want to try and save the captain."

"You 're wrong."  If anything, she was hoping the captain would save her.

"Why do I get the feeling you haven't thought this through?"

That was too close to the truth.  "You have made your objection clear. Now return to the bridge!"

"I'm not just going to sit still and watch you fly off and die!"

"I gave you an order!"  

"T'Pol."  He grabbed her elbow even as she rushed down the gangway.  In some distant, still-analytical part of her brain she wondered if having sex with Trip meant that he would never feel compelled to follow her orders again, or had he simply always ignored her rank when he wanted to?  She tried to wrench herself away from him, and finally succeeded.

"What the hell's wrong with you?" he demanded, and she suddenly realized how obvious her lapse of control must have become. 

That was when Reed's voice came and they learned that the Xindi were on their way.  She was too late.

The look in Trip's eyes then - so full of pain and fear and grief and concern - stayed with her even as she rushed back to the bridge and he ran in the opposite direction, towards Engineering.

Too late. 

It was all too late.

There was nothing to do now but see it through.

 


Comments:

auroraborealis

This was even more intense than the actual episode. I really love these missing scenes, it makes the show seem less scatterbrained. lol

Alelou

Thanks, again, all.  I am going to run the rest of the missing scenes at fanfiction.net first, where I have more control.  This has absolutely nothing to do with any reviews or feedback at this site, although I do appreciate the admin removing some comments that were completely irrelevant to the story posted.  Once I've finished season 3 over there, the admins here can have it if they want it.

Brandyjane

When it first aired, I liked "Azati Prime" because it was extremely compelling television.  I thought Archer was making the wrong choice in sacrificing himself, but I could understand how he'd gotten to that point.  To me, that wasn't Super!Archer, it was human, flawed Archer being unable to live with himself anymore.  As for T'Pol, I remember thinking, "Okay, something is actually WRONG with T'Pol."  I didn't realize it was trellium addiction, but she'd been slightly off-kilter for the last few episodes.  Her actions made sense to me in that context, and I assumed we would figure out what was going on with her soon.  The next episode, when we learned that it was a drug addiction, kind of ruined "Azati Prime" for me.  I always hated the trellium addiction - until I started reading your missing scenes.  You have made season three T'Pol so much more sympathetic for me.  You've made all of her illogical actions seem perfectly logical, and you've managed to take a whole storyline that I found incredibly OOC and made it seem perfectly consistent with what we already knew about T'Pol.

To me, this line perfectly sums up what was going on in that episode: "Realistically, however, the best thing she could do for Enterprise right now was simply to get out of the way."

 

bluetiger

I had to think about this one for a while. I needed to separate my feelings for the episode from what you have done with it.

You did an excellent job of showing T'Pol's despair. Her feelings of having the fate of mankind dropped in her lap were right on target.  I totally agree with Dinah, Archer should never have abandoned his ship and crew. That seems like the cowards way out to me.

Walking us through the progression of T'Pol's addiction makes all that happened make much more sense as far as her reactions go. Of course, when I watched it originally, I had no idea why she was acting so nutty and out of character. Then Archer leaving everyone in the lurch, well it was just one of my least favorite shows.

As sad and depressing as this story is, you certainly made it finally make a bit of sense, but then I knew you would :D

justTripn

Off-topic comments removed by administrator, including two friendly responses to the precipitating comment.

Cogito

Another episode where the original screenplay left all sorts of unresolved issues but once again the way you're showing it from T'Pol's perspective makes a lot more sense. This is another missing scene where T'Pol's situation is going from bad to worse, and it makes me want to give her a big hug - and I wish Trip had managed to do it for me. Sadly, not this time.

Archer's decision to go on the suicide mission is sometimes explained on the basis that he won't ask anyone else to do make the sacrifice, or isn't willing to stand by and lose yet another crewmember when he has an alternative, but T'Pol's anguish at being left in command hints at another reason. She doesn't seem to have rationalised it this way herself, but isn't it likely that the reason he abandoned his command without leaving his successor any advice or instructions in the event his mission failed, despite the fact it was clearly idiotic for him to be going, was that he didn't have any idea what else to do? In other words he was in exactly the same situation T'Pol is in now and just wanted to get away from the crushing responsibility. Hardly something we'd expect from Super!Archer but that's not a persona I've ever really bought into.

And now they're unprepared and outnumbered and the Xindi have found them, and so comes their darkest hour.

Alelou

Thanks, all!  (Dinah, so nice to see your name in these parts again!)

Misplaced

With billions of lives hanging in the balance, I honestly think this episode shows the breaking point for all that stress.  No one is perfect.  People screw up.  I think in Trekverse we're so used to the crew doing everything right that we get angry and throw shoes when the characters are not always levelheaded when faced with something impossible like our ENT crew was in this episode.

But that is a discussion for a thread, not comments on a fic.

Alelou, I want to say that this is a great addition to your series.  Yes, you have prepared us for T'Pol's Trell-D addiction through the previous missing scenes.  It makes all of her irrational actions make perfect sense.  Excellent work as always.  I anxiously await the next one!  :D

justTripn

I liked the episode. :? I remember at the ending, my husband and I looked at each other in horror. Because it was such a great cliffhanger, we were both worried it was the season finale. We both went "Was that the season finale? No that can't be the season finale. It's too early."

Linda

I like the way you have T'Pol exploring all the facets of the situation as she sees them.  This episode is where I was the most disgusted with Archer, as he seemed to be abandoning his duties as captain for the personal reason of easing his conscience over the destruction of the outpost, by assuring his own death.   He seemed to be putting the needs of the one over the needs of the many and leaving T'Pol in an impossible situation.   

Nemo

I always thought that episode to be ridiculous. The key to ending the war wouldn't be peace through begging, but peace through terror, brinksmanship and dissuasion. The Xindi want to genocide the humans? They feel that they can safely do it because they are coming out of nowhere by suprise. The fact that a human ship has captured Xindi databases and found the Xindi worlds opens the can of worms known as Mutual Assured Destruction. Twentieth century weapons would work just fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinah

I think you've done an excellent job of capturing T'Pol's thoughts.  It helped to make a little more sense of things when you filled us in on her growing concern about her addiction to trellium. 

To me, the two most telling points were her realization that she'd come to crave Trip's company far more than she'd thought possible and that she felt Archer had done all of them a disservice by flying off without giving the senior staff -- especially T'Pol -- a Plan B.  A good commander stays at his post and orders other men and women to do the fighting while he keeps his eye on the bigger picture and prepares his next moves.  Longstreet didn't accompany Pickett's men at Gettysburg; Eisenhower didn't go in with the first wave at Omaha Beach; the captains of Yorktown, Enterprise and Hornet and didn't fly off to attack the Japanese at Midway.  Captain's stay with their ships.  I think you pegged it right:  T'Pol's tears were shed because she simply didn't know what to do -- this whole mess had been dumped in her lap and she knew she wasn't really fit for duty.  If Earth was destroyed, somehow it would all be her fault.    

As always, your missing scenes are wonderful!  Thank you.

Alelou

Actually, I should correct my Author's Note.  We don't know yet that she's doing Trellium at this point on the show.  She's just ... a puzzling mess.  Which does seem OOC if you don't know why.  I'm afraid I've been turning her into such an addict week by week that I completely forgot the viewers don't know it yet. 

I have got to try those pretzel m&ms.  I've been known to pay way too much at the food coop for a pretzel dipped in dark chocolate.  Happy sigh.

Silverbullet

I have always hated this Episode. Archer going off in the Insectoid shuttle. He is the Captain. He is not expendable. Travis, who had already piloted the Shuttle was. There were obviously other helmsmen on board. the Captain uses his subordinates that is why they are there.

T'Pol crying. OOC.

T'Pol wasn't waualitifed for the position and this episode showed that. At the end of the attack she was frozen in the Captains chair just waiting for the end.

Archer was wrong. He should have told her to get the Enterprise away from the area and hide until it was certain he was returning or wasn't going to return. 

At least Trip had some sense.

 

 

Aikiweezie

OMG I'm first for a change!  I, for one, do not dislike this episode.  It is one of my favorites.   Mostly because I don't see T'Pol as "high" or terrible impared, AND I don't think she screwed up during the attack.  Thee were so out gunned and out armed it was a lost cause.  (IMO) That being said, I think you captured her state of mind very well.  She is aware that she is heading for trouble but still able to pull herself back.  She also is beginning to accept the fact that she needs Trip, just ike her older counterpart said she would, to help her through this.  So now, I can't wait to see what comes next.  

Your missing scenes are more addicting to me than pretzel m & m's.  And that's saying a lot.

justTripn

I strongly disapprove of one line: the one where you put down this story in the author notes. You had to treat this section of the episode. It's the key section, even if it's a giant downer to be with T'Pol in this moment.  Great stuff.  

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