Missing Scenes from Season Four: Kir'Shara

By Alelou

Rating: PG

Genres: drama missing scene

Keywords: Koss Shran Soval T'Pol's Parents

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This story is number 9 in the series Missing Scenes from Season Four


Part I

DISCLAIMER: All things Star Trek belong to CBS/Paramount. "Kir'Shara" was written by Michael Sussman. My Vulcan here is from the Vulcan Language Dictionary site.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This has now gotten so long, I'm breaking it up into at least two parts, possibly more.


Soval looked up from the science station he had been allowed to man as a grimy Commander Tucker entered the bridge. He was grateful that Tucker seemed to understand that in the wake of his experience on Shran's ship, he needed to do something useful. It also soothed him to be surrounded by people who would immediately notice if he suddenly disappeared, for he had been meditating alone in his quarters when Shran had beamed him into that diabolical interrogation device.

Unfortunately, a Vulcan should only go so long without meditation.

"Status?" Tucker asked Reed.

"We should have the warp engines back in less than an hour," Reed said. "Hull plating is at less than 50% and probably won't improve significantly until we can repair the hull. We have partial phase cannons and torpedoes, but targeting is still offline."

"All right," Tucker said. "We're not going to get that breach on G deck locked up as tight as I'd like before we need to get moving, but it's been braced and shouldn't interfere with achieving warp. If everything else is good to go, we'll work on the targeting systems en route." He looked over at the communications officer. "Admiral Gardner wanted me?"

Sato said, "Yes sir. As soon as possible, he said."

"See if you can get him for me. And then … have you taken any break at all?"

"No sir," Sato said.

"Take one," he said to Sato. "You too, Travis. I'll be in there," he said to Reed, with a nod towards the ready room, and disappeared into it. Soval got up and followed him in.

"This is not a great time, Soval," Tucker said. "Not unless you're just dying to try your diplomatic skills on the admiral for me."

"If you feel it would help…"

"It won't," Tucker said, and looked up at him, clearly wondering why he was there.

"Commander, my … experience on Shran's vessel has left me in great need of meditation."

"That's not surprising."

"Unfortunately, the necessary state is … eluding me. I don't normally require a flame for meditation, but…" Soval shifted uncomfortably. "In this case, I believe that one might be most helpful. Is there any way I could obtain access to such a thing?"

"T'Pol has a supply of Vulcan meditation candles. I doubt she would mind if you borrowed one."

Soval waited for Tucker to fully process his request. It didn't take long.

Tucker grimaced. "I'll take you down there after I talk to the admiral."

"Surely a steward could show me? I don't wish to cause any inconvenience."

"It's all right," Tucker said, and smiled grimly. "I know exactly where she keeps her lighter."

Sato's voice came over the comm. "I have Admiral Gardner, Commander."

"Put him through," Tucker said, and straightened in his seat, suddenly going completely expressionless.

Soval left, thinking that for such a generally emotive Human, Tucker had some tendencies that were quite Vulcan.

x x x

Gardner had been irritated with him, no doubt about it, but had ended up complimenting him in the end. "You had no business doing any of that without authorization, Commander, but, with the benefit of hindsight… you might have just helped to prevent a very nasty interstellar war."

"That was the general idea, sir."

"Hell of a risk, though." Gardner scowled. "Hell of a risk. However, chewing you out isn't the only reason I wanted to talk. We've had a request that you rendezvous with a small Vulcan scout ship on your way back and pick up a passenger. I believe you know the man? His name is Kotok."

Kotok. Koss's father. Trip felt his gut clench in suspicion. "Why us?"

"I have no idea. It could be that you're simply the closest ship at this point. Vulcan has already recalled its entire fleet."

The entire fleet? "I wouldn't trust Kotok, sir. He was pretty high up in the intelligence ministry under V'Las."

"I'm not asking you to trust him. Just give him a ride. The request came straight from the High Council. We do rely quite extensively on Vulcan intelligence. Anything we can do to further that relationship is probably in our best interest."

Trip was glad he said 'probably.' It was long past time to take anything that came out of Vulcan on faith. "I'm not giving him free run of this ship," he said.

"I'm not suggesting you do. Just…" Gardner grimaced. "Whatever you do, be polite about it."

x x x

Soval noticed Tucker hesitate just slightly as he input a code and used his thumb print to gain entrance to T'Pol's cabin.

Inside, he went straight to a box she kept on a shelf, pulled out a lighter, and turned. "Do you have a preference for any particular candle?" he asked. "She usually lights them all."

"You appear to be quite familiar with her personal routines."

"She tried to teach me how to meditate," Tucker said, with a sigh. "I wasn't a particularly gifted student." His eyes slid to the bed and away again.

Interesting. "Any candle would do," Soval said.

Tucker scanned the room and chose one on a shelf, instead of the one T'Pol obviously used to focus her own meditation. Soval watched with fascination as Tucker held it up under his nose and inhaled.

Tucker must have noticed him watching, for he said, "I've always loved this smell."

"It's called svai kr'trkkla – flower of serenity. It is from a cactus-like plant that only blooms after a rain."

"Ah." An expression of profound sadness flitted across Tucker's face and then was gone as if it had never existed. He handed the candle to Soval. "Here you go. I'll tell her where it went."

"This is an aroma I have long associated with T'Pol," Soval said. "No doubt you were also relieved to hear that she is safe."

"Yes," Tucker said briskly. "Do you have what you need, then?"

"I do."

He had much more than that, in fact.

x x x

Trip invited – ordered, actually - a reluctant Malcolm to join him for dinner that night with their new passenger Kotok as well as Soval. Malcolm had argued that he would have nothing to say. Trip had countered that being in command gave him the right to spread the pain around. "Besides," he said, "How bad can it be? Vulcans think it's rude to speak during meals."

"Even more delightful," Malcolm said sourly.

Once they had gathered, however – and learned that the two Vulcans were already acquainted with each other - Kotok quickly began to speak over the quiet clinking of cutlery on porcelain. "Your chef seems quite well versed with Vulcan cuisine," he said. "This is an excellent plomeek broth."

"Chef does his best to keep T'Pol fed," Trip said. "He's always complaining that she's too thin. No doubt he also took the opportunity to replenish his stores while we were at Vulcan."

"Did you get down to the surface this time, Commander?" Kotok said.

"No, not this time." He would be quite happy if he never saw Vulcan again.

"And you, Lieutenant Reed?" Kotok asked.

"I did get down to the surface," Reed said. "But only briefly." He grimaced.

Soval said, "Lieutenant Reed discovered the evidence V'Las had had planted in the ruins of the embassy."

"And was nearly blown up in the process," Reed added.

"V'Las's ruthlessness is quite breathtaking, isn't it?" Kotok said. "My mission to Paan Mokar was clearly designed to get me out of the way as he began his invasion, and probably also intended to make me one of its victims."

Trip regarded him for a moment, and then returned his focus to his plate. As far as he was concerned, there was no particular reason to believe anything Kotok said.

"I was deeply sorry to hear that T'Les was killed," Kotok said.

"Indeed," Soval said. "That is a great loss for Vulcan."

Kotok said, "T'Pol has now lost both parents quite young."

Trip stared down at his meal. He wished they would just be quiet, like proper Vulcans were supposed to be. He had been sorry to hear about T'Les, too, of course. It felt very strange to know something so terrible had happened to T'Pol and to also know that he could do absolutely nothing about it.

It also suggested that his earlier certainty that she was okay was wrong. Who could truly be okay after that?

"Are you familiar with Vulcan mourning rituals, Commander?" Soval asked.

"Can't say that I am," Trip said.

"The burial or entombment always takes place before the next sundown if at all possible. Then the bereaved go into ritual seclusion for a period of time. For an adult child of an adult parent, one day is typical. After that, T'Pol will receive condolences and execute her mother's wishes. Since you knew T'Les and Enterprise will be at Vulcan soon, the custom would call for you to make a brief visit to her home to express your sympathy."

Trip said, "Will Koss be there?"

Soval looked at Kotok, who said, "He is her husband."

It would probably not be a good idea to mention that if he saw Koss, he would want to kill him. "I'll go if I can. Unfortunately we've taken a lot of damage, and I'm not sure when we'll have the captain back."

"I will be happy to accompany you, Commander," Soval said. "Not to go would be a significant breach of protocol … from both of us."

Trip slumped a little. Soval obviously didn't intend to let him get out of this. "Very well," he said.

"The captain will no doubt want to go as well," Malcolm said, probably trying to be supportive.

"Yes, if he is well enough," Kotok said.

Trip looked at Malcolm, who looked just as surprised as he was. "I just spoke to him half an hour ago," Trip said. "What do you mean, 'if he's well enough'?"

"Apparently your captain is carrying the katra of Surak," Kotok said. "Assuming this is true, I'm sure the priests are currently attempting to … find a new home for it."

"Wait a minute … what?" Trip said. "What the hell is 'the katra of Surak'? THE Surak?" The captain had not mentioned a single word about this.

Kotok said, "The katra roughly corresponds to the Human concept of the soul. Your reaction is understandable, Commander. Not even the Vulcan Science Academy acknowledges the existence of katras, let alone that one could continue to exist as a cohesive consciousness this long after death. However, T'Pau and the captain insist that this is true, and a priest has verified it as well. So it certainly appears that somebody's consciousness has taken up residence in your captain. The priests are no doubt searching for a solution even as we speak."

Was all of Vulcan going insane? "And if they don't succeed?" Trip asked.

Soval's tone was dry. "I suppose you might be promoted to your first command sooner than you expected."

Trip shook his head. "That's not going to happen. But even if it did, that would be T'Pol, not me."

Soval said, "Earth is hardly going to put the flagship of its fleet in the hands of a Vulcan."

"We have already been in T'Pol's hands many times over the years," Reed said. "But I tend to agree. It wouldn't happen now. Perhaps after both fleets have had more experience with joint exercises…"

Trip scowled. "T'Pol's an officer of Starfleet, not some Vulcan on a joint exercise. But none of this is relevant anyway, because the captain will be fine." He stabbed impatiently at a recalcitrant piece of potato. The captain had to come back. If T'Pol were captain, she'd need his help. If he were captain, he'd need hers.

And neither of them was ready for that right now.

x x x

"Are you sure uniforms will do for this? We don't need robes?" Tucker sounded quite harried. Soval noted that he had arrived at the bridge in a different uniform, one that was more reflective and did not appear to require the wearing of multiple layers. He also noted that the young man who had maintained calm in the face of attack by vastly superior forces now appeared profoundly rattled by the necessity of a simple social call.

But then, that perhaps made sense now, too. Soval had been rethinking some of his assumptions about T'Pol's long service on Enterprise. "Your uniform should suffice, Commander. It is not a ceremony, merely a visit."

"I'm going to hold you to that," Tucker said. "Let's get this over with. Travis, you're driving. Hoshi, please have one of the MACOs escort Kotok to the shuttle pod. Malcolm, you have the con."

Ensign Sato turned her chair to say, "Please give Commander T'Pol my condolences, Commander."

"Mine too," Reed said. "And I'm certain you can include the whole crew in that."

"Thanks, guys," Tucker said, with a sad smile. "I'll be sure to pass all of that along."

x x x

The shuttle landed at the outskirts of Shi'Kahr, where Earth had set up a provisional embassy while the original was taken down very slowly, for fear of further possible 'evidence' exploding.

Archer met them on the landing pad. "Report," he said, sounding just like the captain and nothing like a guy with an ancient Vulcan celebrity stuck in his head, although he definitely did look a bit the worse for wear. Trip made a quick report, conscious that Soval and Kotok were waiting for Archer to greet them, and then he said, "You okay, Cap'n?"

"I'm fine," Archer said. "I haven't actually laid eyes on T'Pol since she was captured, though, so why don't we get going. You brought me a clean uniform, I hope?"

"Yes sir," Trip said, and handed over a rucksack. "What do you mean, captured?"

"I'll fill you in while we go," Archer said, walking towards one of the buildings. "The High Council has provided transportation for us. Ambassador Soval, how are you? I hear that Shran rather seriously pushed the limits of diplomacy."

"I am largely recovered," Soval said. "Allow me to introduce Kotok, Deputy Minister of Intelligence. He is also your first officer's father-in-law."

Archer glanced quickly at Trip, who did his best not to react. "Kotok. A pleasure."

"Captain," Kotok said. "I am grateful that your ship was able to provide me with faster passage home than I could have obtained on my own."

"Always glad to help," Archer said, again looking at Trip, who allowed himself a slight grimace.

x x x

The lot where ground cars generally parked for T'Les's neighborhood was crammed full, so the Council's driver simply dropped them and promised to return. There were other Vulcans walking in the narrow alley, some ahead of them, others passing them in the other direction. Either this was pedestrian rush hour, or T'Les's wake was attracting a crowd.

Trip let the others get ahead of him. The heavy gravity, the thin air, the heat, and the familiar scenery were all conspiring to make him feel ill.

The captain turned back and stopped and waited for him to catch up. "You all right?"

"I have to admit, I wasn't expecting to be back here so soon."

"I'm sure T'Pol will appreciate your effort."

Trip just kept doggedly putting one foot in front of the other. "You were there when T'Les died?"

"Yes, in T'Pol's arms. She'd been hit in the bombardment. It was difficult … but at least it was fairly quick."

"How did T'Pol handle it?"

"She insisted that we bury her mother and the other Syrranites who had died with her before we moved on. Fortunately that wasn't exactly difficult with all the rocks lying about. Her mother's death obviously affected her, but you know T'Pol. Even if she's devastated, she'll try her best not to show it."

Maybe not to you, Trip thought.

Perhaps it was good that he had come.

Or perhaps it was very bad that he had come.


TO BE CONTINUED


Comments:

Cogito

The pain is very clearly portrayed here - but also the fact that Trip still cares deeply for T'Pol however much he struggles to hide it. I thought it was amusing that Soval noticed that T'Pol was rubbing off on Trip, as well.

I think this was my favorite part of this chapter:

 

Even if she's devastated, she'll try her best not to show it."

Maybe not to you, Trip thought.

Alelou

Thanks, Panyasan!

One reviewer  at ff.net asked me if I knew how to pronounce that flower name, which I took from a Vulcan language site. I'm not sure, but I may have put together two words to get it.  But the answer would be no way. :) 

panyasan

I really enjoyed the following passages, because they so clearly show Trip is missing T'Pol and their relationship (and not letting him miss her). 

 

"She tried to teach me how to meditate," Tucker said, with a sigh. "I wasn't a particularly gifted student." His eyes slid to the bed and away again.

and

Soval watched with fascination as Tucker held it up under his nose and inhaled.

Tucker must have noticed him watching, for he said, "I've always loved this smell."

"It's called svai kr'trkkla – flower of serenity. It is from a cactus-like plant that only blooms after a rain."

"Ah." An expression of profound sadness flitted across Tucker's face and then was gone as if it had never existed.

The image of a desert plant (nice picture of T'Pol) that only blooms after a rain (nice image of Trip, refreshing and from a planet of water) is great.

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