The Forgotten Time

By enterprikayak

Rating: PG-13

Genres: adventure angst au episode rewrites missing scene romance

Keywords: bond character death Koss marriage pon farr T'Pol's Parents Temporal Cold War time travel

This story has been read by 1700 people.
This story has been read 5079 times.

This story is number 1 in the series The Forgotten Time Series


Chapter 1

A/N: This is a (very slightly) revised edition of the same story by me at House of Tucker under the name enterpriseScribe.  Following chapters are coming as I revise them.  I began it in Sep 2004 while Enterprise was still airing. 

- eK

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The spacious room was empty and dark save for the two people in the third row. Flickering white light from the black and white movie played over their shadowy skin, but they weren't watching the screen, and the soundtrack was non-existent.

They were turned toward one another in their seats, eyes locked, half their faces lit up by the scattered cinematic light, the other halves in shadow. He reached up and stroked her cheek once with an unbearable tenderness, his clear blue eyes searching her dark, liquid ones. The moment was endless. Her heart was pounding like any moment it would shatter into a million pieces. Electric sheets of adrenaline darted over her sternum and the backs of her hands,.

She was riveted by the gentle face of this man who was slowly becoming the core of her existence: a bond swirling gently but inexorably into being like the formation of a new galaxy of dusty silvered stars. Since her encounter with Trellium-D, T'Pol had been experiencing a chaotic tangle of intermittent, disorganised emotions that rose and fell in response to charged situations, especially those concerning a certain Commander Tucker.

Gazing keenly at this human who had so changed her life, her feelings suddenly and inexplicably fused into a white-hot beam of thunderstruck resolution:

She loved him. She loved him with absolute totality. She never wanted to be apart from him.

The air was rapidly becoming close and thick with static electricity. T'Pol could feel it pressing softly on her eyelashes and lips, raising the tiny hairs on the back of her neck. This new, clear emotion melted everything around the two of them rapidly back into the blackness at the perimeter of the room. Heat, a thing of itself, hovered expectantly between their two bodies. A deliciously disturbing sense of cold water splashing down her insides mingled warmly with a heady feeling of homecoming. She wanted to tell him how she felt and feel his arms tighten around her. She wanted to cover his mouth with hers.

The static pressed firmly against every inch of her skin. The pulsing energy linking them built to a high-pitched keen. She tried to speak, to lift her hands, but she was transfixed in place. Trip's eyes were pleading. He made no move.

As they stared at one another, haunted, she felt her whole body being suddenly pulled, as if by a tractor beam. She was forced smoothly back and upward, through the thick windows and out into the smothering silent suction of space. Trip's face was strangely as crystal clear viewed from the cold airless outdoor blackness as from seven steamy inches away seven seconds ago. She reeled onward into icy infinity, but their eyes stayed riveted on one another. His face impossibly far away.

And sad. Desperately sad.

T'Pol jolted awake.

* * *

Trip pressed the turbolift button. He idly scanned his way down a PADD containing a list of items he was bringing to this afternoon's senior officer meeting. Though the meeting wasn't until 1300, Captain Archer had just summoned Trip to his ready room and he didn't sound too happy. Trip hoped he wasn't in for another harangue about getting the repairs completed. The Engineering team had been working full tilt since the Xindi conflict had finally ended, but they sill had a long way to go. Mainly what his staff needed was some R & R... saving the universe was a tiring job.

The last few weeks he'd been falling into bed like a ton of bricks every night at 2100. Insomnia apparently no longer being an issue, he had briefly considered ending his neuropressure sessions with T'Pol. No point in taking up her free time now that he was sleeping again. But lately he had the distinct feeling that she needed the quietly intimate time they shared several nights a week even more than he did.

These days he found himself feeling strangely protective toward her, though if she knew that, she would probably promptly scorn his concern. T'Pol was one Vulcan who knew how to handle herself. Usually. However, since they had entered the Expanse, she had been growing ever more erratic... a little here, a little there, until sometimes he felt he barely knew her anymore.

Living with humans is a major transformation for a Vulcan, no matter how open-minded, he told himself. She's just adjusting to the strain of having so many nervous and stressed humans venting their emotions all over the place for the past eight months we've been at war.

The turbolift door opened, breaking off his reverie. Trip looked up.

T'Pol was standing there, hands clasped behind her slim torso, staring at him in an unsettled, edgy sort of way.

"Mornin' Sub-Commander," Trip grinned as he stepped into the lift, "Going up?"

T'Pol lifted her chin and looked ahead. She seemed uncomfortable. "I am going to the Captain's ready room," she stated in her characteristic clear, even tone. Evidently he had summoned them both.

Following her lead, Trip also faced forward. She was in one of her funny moods this morning. Several seconds passed in silence as the turbolift resumed its course. Then, turning, both took a breath and spoke at once.

"Say, how would you like to-"
"Commander, I-"

They both stopped, T'Pol looking even more awkward, Trip glancing down and laughing.

"Ladies first."

T'Pol took a breath to steady herself. Her dream of the night before had unsettled her to say the least. The memory of the strong emotions that she experienced while asleep still tugged powerfully at her mind, though her actual emotional state was normal enough this morning. Since the Trellium addiction, she always felt somewhat out of sorts. Daily, hourly emotion was not something one could become accustomed to overnight. It was a constant struggle to blend both control and indulgence of these new sensations.

The dream seemed to her to be a subconscious warning that she was allowing a vital opportunity to slip away. Her older self from the other Enterprise had admonished her against taking Trip for granted. Now, T'Pol felt strongly that she had to do something to bring a simmering situation to a head, but she had no idea how to begin. And the stunning strength of her remembered emotions, still making her blood run alternately icy and fevered, was not helping. T'Pol opened her mouth, still undecided as to what to say.

Too late to speak, the door opened again and Hoshi entered the lift. She glanced from one to the other, as if sensing the atmosphere was a bit strained.

"Mornin', Hoshi," Trip said.

"Good morning, sir," Hoshi said with a smile and raised eyebrows as she took her place between the others. T'Pol gave the other woman a short nod in greeting.

After a few moments of silence, still looking ahead, Hoshi asked, "Are you two coming down to movie night tonight? My pick this week... Wuthering Heights. Best movie ever, in my opinion."

At the mention of movie night, T'Pol started visibly, and then just as quickly regained her composure. Trip looked at her strangely for a moment, and then replied to Hoshi.

"Never seen it myself. An oldie isn't it? A Western or something?"

The lift had reached the bridge.

Stepping out of the turbolift, Hoshi glanced back at the two senior officers with a cheeky grin. "Nope, it's a romance. 2100 tonight."

T'Pol gave Trip an almost frightened glance and then quickly walked ahead of him to the Captain's ready room and pressed the chime.

***

Jonathan Archer was pacing agitatedly up and down the width of the small room. When the door chime rang, his head jerked up.

"Come in!"

The door hissed open, admitting Trip into the room. "Sorry to keep you waiting, sir. We had a problem with some EPS conduits down in Engineer-"

Trip stopped short, causing T'Pol, who was following, to nearly collide with him.

Crewman Daniels was sitting calmly in the visitors' chair. The door swished shut behind T'Pol, and the four people surveyed one another in silence for an instant.

"Good morning, Trip...T'Pol..." Daniels finally said heavily, extending his hand as he rose from the chair. Nonplussed, Trip shook hands, looking from Daniels to the Captain. T'Pol merely nodded from a safe distance, one dispassionate eyebrow raised.

"Cap'n?" Trip queried.

Archer had stopped pacing and stood behind his desk. He leaned forward to place both palms heavily on the tabletop. "Sorry to get you out of Engineering right now, Trip," the captain started as he looked up. His resigned, yet pissed-off, tone of voice was one Trip had heard before in the presence of the enigmatic Daniels. The captain clearly did not enjoy involving Enterprise as a pawn in this man's temporal games. And given the nature of time manipulation, secrecy and working blindfolded was usually the order of the day. "As you can see, it's been a peculiar morning." Archer turned. "Mind filling us in now, Daniels?"

Daniels clasped his hands together and took a breath. Glancing once at the glowering Captain, he began.

"Jonathan, I am sorry to disturb you and your crew again. I'm sure you've seen more than enough of me for a while."

"That's an understatement," muttered the Captain.

"Indeed." A small smile curved Daniels' lips for an instant, and then he sobered. "This last battle has been one in which this crew and its allies gave many of their finest to benefit billions of lives. My superiors weren't certain of a positive outcome, but Enterprise proved herself to be more than equal to the task. For that, we want to give you our heartfelt thanks." Daniels paused looking at each of them. Under his patient, earnest gaze, the captain seemed to soften a little.

"What can we do for you today, Daniels?" Archer sank into his desk chair. It was going to be one of those shifts. He could tell.

"Well, it's a matter of what you might call clean-up. After any major temporal adjustments such as we have seen recently in this part of the timeline, my team and I are responsible for sorting out final details before closing the mission. Tying up 'loose ends', if you will." Daniels stopped again.

Archer, Trip, and T'Pol waited for the other shoe to drop.

"I'd like to fill you in on all the details. However, this being a temporal matter in the final stages of fine-tuning, it wouldn't be prudent of me to involve any more persons than are absolutely necessary. In this case that's Commander Tucker and T'Pol. I'm recruiting them."

"The hell you are," Archer began belligerently, "Daniels, I-"

"Jonathan, please." Daniels' tone was placatory yet still firmly urgent. "I am only recruiting them temporarily. The only reason I am even telling you about it is in case anything goes wrong. Temporal work is dangerous. There's always the chance they won't return, and in that case you'll need to report the incident to Starfleet."

"And what exactly would I tell Starfleet in that scenario? It's not like you're gonna give me a hell of a lot of details to work with are you?"

Daniels smiled slightly. "No, I'm not. You know the reason for that. Temporal data is the most dangerous data in existence. And if anything were to happen to your crewmembers to prevent their return, you would simply inform Starfleet that they had gone missing in action while involved in a classified temporal mission."

"Oh, is that all."

Daniels sighed. "Jonathan, you yourself have done similar work for me and my colleagues in other times and places. You just don't remember. This time, I need Commander Tucker and T'Pol's expertise. So. You know where they're going, now I'd like to brief them on some details. If you wouldn't mind..." he gestured to the door.

Archer chuckled once, a dry humourless sound. "Are you trying to show me out of my own ready room? Listen: if this "mission" involves my crewmembers, it damn well involves me too, Daniels." Any diminishing of his irritation had ceased, his voice testy and loud again.

"Captain, please," Daniels requested reasonably. "I only need to speak to them for a few moments."

"LOOK," Archer started to rise up out of his chair.

"Very well," Daniels conceded, as if he were going to give in. But instead, he quietly activated a small device in his hand and the Captain froze in mid-motion.

"Hey, what's the big idea?" shouted Trip, starting towards Daniels.

Daniels put his hands up in a gesture of acquiescence. "He's fine... he's simply been temporarily taken out of the timestream. It's just simpler this way. It always takes me hours to convince him to do this kind of thing, and pardoning the pun, I don't have the time right now."

"Well, put him back!"

"Commander," came T'Pol's deliberate tone. "Perhaps we should hear what crewman Daniels has to say."

Trip looked over his shoulder at the Vulcan. She was calmly standing with her arms crossed, regarding the two men with a neutral expression.

Daniels leaned back to half-sit on the edge of the captain's desk. His mild face looked fatigued and he ran his hands over his short receding hair. Captain Archer was still behind the desk, weirdly positioned rising halfway out of his chair. He looked as if someone had hit the pause button on a video recording. He looked uncomfortable. Trip sighed.

"Well, let's hurry this up then. I don't feel right leaving the Cap'n like that."

"Right," Daniels began tiredly, but efficiently, "We have managed to repair most of the major temporal damage caused by the transdimensional sphere-builders. However, there are still dozens of micro-incursions to be resolved."

"Hold on," Trip put his hand up, "What the hell is a 'micro-incursion'?"

Daniels pushed off the edge of the desk and stood up to pace the room, warming to his topic. "Micro-incursions are tiny temporal eddies left in the wake of a serious timeline alteration." Daniels paused, struggling to frame his words in 22nd century terms. Trip and T'Pol waited. "Any major event will cause a chain reaction down the length of the timeline." Daniels took a PADD from his pocket. Though it was smaller and sleeker, it looked much like the one Trip still had in his own hand. Daniels consulted the screen, pulling up various crisscrossed timeline illustrations. "So, when we perform a major temporal repair, we hope to see the results work their way down the length of the timeline in question." His hands gestured expressively at the diagram. "If the repair is carried out well, this process self-corrects most of the events throughout history. However, some things are always left out: tags of alternate events that are still erroneously present in the timeline."

"I thought you guys were supposed to have time travel down to an art," Trip interrupted.

"We aren't talking about fixing an EPS conduit here, Commander. This is time itself, including all the people and events occurring over thousands of millennia. There are bound to be some lingering issues after a major temporal repair is performed. While many of these issues are inconsequential, some micro-incursions have the potential to set off future events of their own, and therefore, they must be reset manually," Daniels finished. He looked at the other two to see if they grasped the situation thus far.

Trip remembered a favourite antique movie of his, Back to the Future III. At the end of the movie, though Marty and the Doc had set everything more or less back to rights in the Old West, there were still some minor permanent changes to the 20th century. For example, the ravine where Marty apparently plunged to his death back in 1885 was still called "Eastwood Ravine" in 1985... 'Clint Eastwood' being his pseudonym while living in the past.

"I think I see what you're talking about," Trip said. "But where do we fit in?"

Using the PADD, Daniels brought up one particular animated image of several timeline threads twisting over one another, each one affecting the next.

"The future of your current timeline as planned out by the transdimensionals and the Xindi Reptilians was grim, to say the least. I won't go into much detail, but shortly after Earth was destroyed, the Xindi culture degenerated into a short and bloody civil war. Enterprise survived the destruction of Earth, and became involved in fighting the Reptilian factions alongside the other four Xindi species. At one point in the alternate timeline, about a year from now, a Reptilian guerrilla operative places an experimental trans-duodynetic particle converter at a critical junction in Enterprise's power matrix. When this device detonates, it destroys the ship and tears a hole in the fabric of space-time, causing an axionic anomaly that eventually destroys most of the life in the quadrant."

"Impressive," T'Pol commented. Trip's face tightened and he said nothing.

"Yes, obviously it yielded far more destructive power than the Reptilians were hoping for. The Xindi civil war was cut short at that point as the accident instantaneously wiped out every living thing within a 10 parsec radius of the flashpoint." Here Daniels stopped and looked out at the stars as if trying momentarily to fathom the violent nature of intelligent life.

"Well," Trip broke the heavy silence, "Good thing we managed to rewrite history then. 'Cause after everything we just survived, that'd be hell of a way to go." A smile momentarily played over his mouth as he glanced over at T'Pol and then faded as he met Daniels' serious eyes.

"Therein lies the problem, Commander." Daniels stood up to face Trip and T'Pol. "We haven't managed to rewrite history as well as we need to yet. That bomb is still very much a part of Enterprise's future."

 


Comments:

Linda

I guess I missed this on over on House of Tucker.  It is inspiring that you have completed a rewrite of an old story, something I have been trying to do but just don't seem to be able to finish, LOL.  A minor point though - I was surprised Trip had not known of Wuthering Heights which is a very well known movie and Tip seemed to have extensive knowledge of vintage movies.  Your plot line is intriguing so I am looking forward to see how this story unfolds. 

Cogito

Happy days!


Sometimes when I'm busy I'll read a story and put the tab to one side so that I can comment later when I have time to think about it. And three, four and now five tabs have been sitting in the corner of my monitor for the past few days looking at me accusingly. How have I allowed myself to be distracted from commenting for so long?

The affection you show growing between them is wonderfully described. There is a sense here that both of them are on the cusp, that there is the potential for something strange and terrifying and wonderful to happen between them. It's an exciting and frightening time, and right now Daniels has to throw them in at the deep end. On the bright side they will have some quality time together oh, and hey, save the universe again while you're at it would you? Oh, and try not to go insane.

Icing on the cake is the belligerent Archer (is there any other kind?) frozen in mid rant by an exasperated Daniels. FFS, we don't have time for these histrionics Archer, will you just give it a rest? It's probably very wrong of me to enjoy seeing him taken down a peg or two, even if he doesn't exactly realise it. :D

WarpGirl

Hey Ek I am so thrilled you're posting this here. Now I'm going to confess a little something to you. This is one of the very first TnT fics I ever read! God's truth, I discovered HoT and found it almost immediately. Now you have to understand I catagorically refused to watch ENT at the time. But I was desperate for good Trek fic and the P/Ters weren't producing any, and I had always liked TnT it was the show itself I couldn't stand at the time. So I figured there's got to be so good fic about them. So I started reading...

Frankly you stole my heart with one little sentence, "Wuthering Heights. Best movie ever, in my opinion." I knew right then and there you were my kind of writer and I'd adore anything you wrote. :D Then I realised this was a space-time continuum fic!:s And for someone who loves sci-fi as much as I do, I have an absolute terror of "time stuff" oh I watch it with relish, but reading it usually gives me a complete migraine. But I couldn't stop reading, not when you referenced one of the best romance movies EVER! So I bravely plowed on. I've always wanted to review this story but I was never a member at HoT so I felt uncomfortable. Now I can! Yay Me!

In addition to your flawless taste in classic film, I love your writing style. It's emotionally moving, the pacing is supurb, and the best part is the language isn't "fussy." And now that I actually have had glimpses into your sparkling sense of humor, it awes me how you effortlessly weave it through your work. You have no idea how jealous that makes me! The opening of this chapter always makes me tear up, simply because you make us feel all of the emotions running through it. It's very hard to get me teary.

Your characterization is amazing, everyone "sounds right" nothing seems forced or awkward. A reader can tell that you know who these people are and you're comfortable writing them. Do you hear voices when you write too? I do. Oooops that sounded a little psycho. I absolutely adore this line

Living with humans is a major transformation for a Vulcan, no matter how open-minded, he told himself. She's just adjusting to the strain of having so many nervous and stressed humans venting their emotions all over the place for the past eight months we've been at war.

I didn't know it when I first started reading this stuff but I am a sucker for TnT fics that highlight how difficult T'Pol's situation is living with humans. But it started with you!

And as my good buddy Transwarp noted you are AMAZING with the technobabble. Even I with my phobia of the space time continuum understood it and love it dearly.  Okay gonna read more now!

Opal

I loved the imaginary used to describe T’Pol’s dream.  It is clear from this chapter that she is not coping very well with her emotional state post Trellium D.  The scene with Trip and T’Pol in the turbo lift was very much in character.  Perhaps a mission away from Enterprise is just what they need to get the chance to find out exactly how they feel about each other.  However knowing that Daniels involved, who knows what is going to happen.  I’m certainly hooked and looking forward to reading more!  

Transwarp

WOW! And I thought I was good at techno-babble.  An experimental trans-duodynetic particle converter that will tear a hole in the fabric of space-time, causing an axionic anomaly that eventually destroys most of the life in the quadrant?

I've *ALWAYS* wanted to cause an axionic anomaly!  Where can I get one of these?

Asso

Now I know how to spend my time in the coming days, enjoying once again this marvellous story.

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