In The Palm of His Hand

By Lt. Zoe Jebkanto

Rating: G

Genres: drama

Keywords: time travel

This story has been read by 358 people.
This story has been read 651 times.


By:  Lt. Zoe Jebkanto & Luck O’Tucker

Disclaimer:  Star Trek belongs to CBS Paramount.  No profit has been or will be made from this story.  No copyright infringement is intended.

Keywords:  Finale Fix

Summary:  On the day of the charter signing for the new Federation of Planets, an unwelcome visitor holds possibilities – where else(?) – in the palm of his hand.

Author’s Notes:  The only good thing (in my vehement opinion) to come out of TATV have been the many, many interesting stories people have written in reaction to it.  To this varied collection of realities, may yet another possibility be offered!

Unspoken thoughts are shown in quoted “italics”


 

“Captain?” The voice came from behind him.  As usual, there had been no warning.

Jonathan Archer glared over his shoulder from where he sat staring at a face on his desk monitor.  Scowling, he looked up with haunted eyes and made no effort to hide his irritation.  “Daniels!  What the hell do you want?”

“I wanted to congratulate you on the charter signing today.”  The time traveler’s tone was relaxed, his manner unruffled by Archer’s harsh words, “That Federation we spoke of – I’m not the most precise on these dates, please forgive me about eight years ago?  Today, I was privileged to witness its beginning.”

“Well, good for you.”  Jonathan turned his back on the intruder.  “If that’s all you wanted to say, you know where to find the door.”

“Your speech was everything history said it should be—”

“Don’t talk to me about my speech!”  Clicking off the monitor, Archer spun from the desk and surged to his feet.  “Or the events I’ve set in motion today and how important my presence was to your damned timeline!  I’ve heard way too much about that already.  Everybody on Enterprise has, including my Chief Engineer!”

“Commander Tucker—” Daniels began.

“That’s right, Commander Tucker.  Do you know what all your talk about my needing to be here to give that damned speech meant to him?  That the entire future rested on my reciting a handful of words I hadn’t even written yet the last time I saw him!  That it was worth sacrificing his life in a half-baked plan to free me from a hostage situation my security team could’ve taken care of if they’d had an extra two minutes…!”

“I know history recorded Commander Tucker died three days ago—” Daniels glanced down at a small device he held in his hand.

“Well, you’re precise enough about that, aren’t you?”  Jonathan’s eyes glared, green and steady at Daniels, but his voice cracked.  He had to clear his throat before he went on.  “But your history probably never bothered to mention he was my best friend, did it?”

Daniels shook his head.  “Only that you were colleagues for over twenty years which—”

Brushing past Daniels, Jonathan moved toward the door.  “I don’t want to talk about Trip.  Not with you.  Now, if you don’t get yourself out of here within the next thirty seconds, I’m going to arrange for security to—”

“I don’t need thirty seconds,” said Daniels.  With a swift motion, the small object in his hand landed on the desk beside Jonathan’s monitor, with a sharp, light clatter.  “It took only a slight adjustment to correct events along that timeline.  But I needed the recording of the original events to help someone with a decision that will affect happenings in the … well; I don’t think I should tell you about that.”

Jonathan did not step away from the door, but despite himself, he couldn’t help glancing at the object on his desk.

“You probably don’t want to watch that,” said Daniels. “You’ve already lived through those happenings the past three days.  It was archived with other half-substantiated legends of Earth’s NX era of exploration, under ‘acts of justifiable insubordination’.  I think you ordered the Commander not to do what he did?”

“I said I don’t want to talk to you about Trip,” Jonathan’s voice came, hollow with grief and bewilderment, and, after a moment, with reluctant hope.  “What did you mean – one slight correction?”

“As you yourself said, Captain, your security team could have taken care of the situation, given a couple of minutes.  Once we knew those events had been reviewed by … never mind that part.  It took only one minor correction to make that possible.”

“But then, Trip didn’t have to …” Jonathan had almost reached the door, but the hand he’d raised to assist Daniels out through it dropped to his side as he stared at his visitor in confusion.  “If you’re saying what I think you’re saying, how can I remember something that never happened?”

“You remember because the recording still exists.”  Daniels shrugged.  “What you choose to do with it is up to you.”

“A minor adjustment?  Trip’s death?  Minor?”  Jonathan glared at Daniels.  “If whatever actions that had led to it had already served their purpose, then …”        

Daniels stepped aside as Jonathan took one, two three steps away from the door.  His hand was unsteady as he picked up the small, thin, circular object.

Minor?  Minor!”  The word filled him with a rising mixture of rage and slowing spreading relief.

Despite the shaking, he could feel the moment when the wafer-like device crumbled against his palm and fall away.

Jonathan looked down at the scatter of dust on the floor. Ship’s Maintenance must have done a real rush job in here this morning. Probably all the excitement leading up to the ceremonies commemorating the charter signing for the new United Federation of Planets. He, for one, was more relieved than anything else that it was over!

Especially that speech!

He was scooping the small mess into the palm of his hand when the door chime sounded. “Come!” he called, tossing it into the recycler.

“Hey, Cap’n!”  Trip stood just outside the sliding door, his grin wide as he held up his lightly bandaged hands, then touched one to a fading burn at the side of his neck.  “Just had my last check-up from Phlox.  God, this was bad enough, good thing those connectors weren’t fully charged!  Who knows what kind of shape I’d have landed myself in?  Anyway, now that you’ve got no more speech to give and I got no more pain shots to take, let’s go get a beer and toast to the new Federation!”

“You got it, Trip,” said Jonathan, stepping into the hall as the door slid shut behind them on an empty room.


Comments:

Weeble

Screw cunning I'm going with yippee.

Reanok

Clever fix the finale story.I really liked it has a happy ending.:)

Asso

"Cunning" it's say the least.

Cogito

I very cunning twist on the episode we love to hate. :)

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