Your Mom n' Me - Part III - Midnight in the Garden

By Elessar

Rating: R

Genres: adventure drama romance

Keywords:

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This story is number 3 in the series Your Mom n Me


Prologue

Author: Elessar/John O.
Rating: PG for occasional language and sexuality
Disclaimer: Star Trek, Star Trek: Enterprise, and all affiliated characters, titles and names are registered trademarks of Paramount Pictures, CBS Television and VIACOM International. This work is not intended for distribution for profit or publication. Even if I am better at it than them.

Notes: This is the continuation of my series, Your Mom n’ Me. For those unfamiliar with it, I would recommend reading Parts I and II before this one. It starts in late Season 4 and is AU from then on.


Quick Synopsis of I/II:

In Part I, Trip and T'Pol are together. T'Pol became badly hurt during an attack by the Orions, and it became necessary to cultivate the Bond in order to save her life. They returned to Vulcan to seek further treatment, where Trip met T'Pol's grandfather, Solkar. There were several attempts on their lives, particularly T'Pol's. They married under Vulcan tradition in 2155, but are yet to do so under Earth custom. Malcolm left the Enterprise to serve with Section 31. T'Pol's grandfather Solkar is a powerful force in Vulcan affairs, and revealed to her, Archer, Reed, and Trip that he spent several years investigating the link between Vulcans and Romulans. His career has spanned three centuries through diplomacy, intelligence, and the sciences. Trip and T'Pol spent a great deal of time on Earth, facilitating T'Pol's familiarity with his family and maturing their relationship.

In Part II, we learned that Trip and T'Pol split during the war when T'Pol was transfered with Archer to the Appomattox and Trip was transferred to the Endeavor and promoted to 1st Officer. The story actually opens after the war has ended, with their time apart as backstory. Trip's CO, Captain Jefferies, was killed and he took command. The Endeavor's combat patrols kept it far from Earth, where T'Pol worked in a Headquarters Section as Admiral Archer's new adjutant. Over the 6 years the war lasted, they grew apart. But when the two met, on Earth, for Malcolm's posthumous Medal of Honor ceremony, the spark was rekindled. They spent a romantic yet troublesome day in Malaysia visiting Malcolm's mother, who didn't seem to know that her son was dead - even though she was at the medal ceremony. Trip visited Hoshi in the hospital, and settled his differences with Archer. In the end, Trip and T'Pol vowed to face their differences, and bridge the gulf that settled between them during the war. Choosing a teaching position at Starfleet Academy, T'Pol was able to settle on Earth, while Trip debated whether or not to stay in Starfleet after bitter, troubling memories of the war plagued his mind. When Archer offered him a job on the construction of Utopia Planetia, he took it.

 


 

Trailer!

And for visual aid check out Escriba’s amazing new Fanfiction Trailer for Your Mom ‘n Me Part III, Your Mom ‘n Me 3

Notes 2: The story jumps between two primary timelines – the present, April of 2162, which is about 11 months after Your Mom ‘n Me Part 2, where Trip and T’Pol are together, T’Pol is teaching physics at Starfleet Academy and Trip is commuting to Mars for the construction of Utopia Planetia – and the past, starting in 2156. In 2156, Malcolm had been off of Enterprise for a few months following the events of Your Mom ‘n Me Part 1, working with Section 31. In my chronology, Malcolm returned to Starfleet service as Captain of the Enterprise when the Romulan War started to really intensify about 2158. The flashback time line progresses from 2156 through to 2161 to show what Malcolm was up to during the events of Your Mom ‘n Me Part II and through to the present of 2162. Malcolm was in command of the Enterprise when she was destroyed at the Battle of Cheron and presumed dead.

 

Ack: Words can't possibly do justice to how much of this I owe to JustTripn.

 


 

Prologue
15 August 2156
Shi’Kahr City, Vulcan

Solkar’s family had long resided in a large estate on the outskirts of Shi’Kahr City – with one of the largest courtyard gardens in the city, it was a botanical jewel overlooking the vast desert wastelands of the Forge. T’Pol’s ancestral home and a safe haven for Vulcan intelligence agents operating against Romulan infiltration of Vulcan’s High Command, the compound was heavily guarded by Vulcans loyal to the family of Solkar and his son, Skon. Though often styled as a pillar of stability in the Quadrant, Vulcan enjoyed its own sectarian divisions and fractured loyalties at the highest levels of government and in the deepest roots of its culture.

A veteran of foreign intelligence, diplomatic and military service – Solkar took no risks, skipping no precaution for the coming operation against the Romulan Star Empire. Though war between Coalition powers and the isolationist Romulans seemed almost inevitable by the Fall of 2156 – soon after the signing of the Coalition of Planets Treaty – Solkar and other powerful members of the Vulcan intelligentsia hoped to weaken the threat by covert attrition. To do this, they would have to rely on cooperation and collaboration between intelligence elements from its allies. Calling on the still-wet ink of the Coalition Treaty to lend strength to a cooperative of such paramount importance required careful consideration of its participants. Prospective associates began arriving at the Vulcan compound early on the morning of the 15th of August, 2156.

Upon arrival, Malcolm began to wonder why he had been sent by Harris at all. It had been just two months since he left Enterprise, and he was already beginning to question the wisdom of his decision to rejoin Section 31. In that narrow time, he and Harris had already come to blows over a number of executive decisions in the field. Having previously worked primarily in domestic operations, Malcolm was finding field work bloodier than he remembered. Worse, any traceable scent of the plots against Trip and T’Pol had gone cold in the barrens of space like a prairie trail erased from time by the perfect storm. The Romulan Empire and its surrogates seemed to possess the power to temper and control that storm, calling it up at will to snuff out any illumination along the trail, as Malcolm searched for the Doctor Sevel’s and the Administrator V’Las’s of the galaxy. Dead ends were disconcerting for a man accustomed to finding… well, ends. It made him nervous, twitchy. He was looking over his shoulder far too often.

Malcolm knew little of what to expect from the meeting to which he was summoned, save through the murky dispensation of Harris’ typically tight-lipped cryptic: ‘It’s an interagency intelligence brief regarding intelligence operations, procedures and related interagency cooperation.’ Right. That explained a lot.

Conspicuously lacking insignia, an all-black dressed Malcolm patiently loitered near the center of a brick floored garden as the Vulcan sun finally began to set over the eastern horizon. A bead of sweat so slowly and carefully trickled down his brow that he became irritably aware of the cool, refreshing mist ever so faintly being carried on the air from the fountain towering at the center of the surrounding garden. This type of square, symmetrically arranged gardens were commonplace in older Vulcan homes and monasteries, as Malcolm had learned during his fateful visit to P’Jem.

“Mr. Reed, your presence is requested in the conference room.” One of the Vulcan guards appeared behind Malcolm and waited as he turned about to face him.

“Thank you,” Malcolm nodded, considering the man.

Malcolm followed the guard towards a stone archway. Flanking either side of the arch was a pair of Vulcan guards who had refused to allow him passage when he had first arrived. He was yet to see the inside of what appeared from the orbital approach to be a substantial compound.

Through another passageway, Malcolm’s eyes identified one security system after another: Walls lined with embedded synaptic scanners. Signs of recessed particle weapon sentries at every juncture. Even good old-fashioned armed guards every ten meters.

“Proceed, please.” The guard stepped aside as they arrived at a large, featureless door with no detectable means of entry. Malcolm stood before the door, searching its edges. With a low-pitched whir, a green beam of light processed from the top of his head to his chin. The door chirped in recognition, and then began to slide open. Malcolm hesitated briefly, shooting a glance from one guard to the other.

Entering the room, Malcolm found just three Vulcans, one other human, and General Shran seated at a table bowed in the shape of a sharp C, allowing its occupants to converse with one another. Shran looked unusual out of uniform, as Malcolm imagined he might have looked in a black-on-black suit and tie. Malcolm strode to the right side of the table and seated himself next to a man of dark complexion and Latin descent, with a full mustache and beard.

Designed only to seat a handful, and centered in a room not much larger than the table, the arrangement surprised Malcolm, who had been expecting a larger venue. As it became clearer that security was the top priority, he had begun to suspect he might be meeting with high level Vulcan government officials. He was partially correct. Shran and Malcolm exchanged knowing glances but restrained from any form of verbal acknowledgement as Malcolm awaited further instructions.

 


“Thank you for attending.”

At the center of the table, a Vulcan of advanced years stood before the collected parties and folded his hands at the front of a set of flowing golden robes.

“It is probable that many of you are unfamiliar with one another. Indeed, that many of you are unfamiliar with the purpose of this engagement. However, I intend to rectify both these concerns quickly.

I am called Solkar,” he introduced himself to the group. Malcolm, of course, knew the former ambassador to Earth by title and reputation, but had only met him once during an investigation into the infiltration of Starfleet by Romulan personnel. On two occasions, saboteurs attempted to assassinate Commanders Tucker and T’Pol – once on Vulcan, and once aboard ship in Earth orbit. Despite Harris’ claim that Solkar’s suspicious intelligence history suggested Romulan collusion with these attacks, Malcolm’s own investigation lead to the discovery of Solkar’s status as a loyal Vulcan double agent infiltrating the Romulan unification movement on Vulcan.

“To eliminate need for further inquiries, I will now introduce the attendees. From my left,” he began, indicating Malcolm with an open, welcoming gesture of his hand:

“Lieutenant Commander Malcolm Reed, Colonel Esteban de La Serna, General Thy’lek Shran, Professor Skon, Professor Solkar, and Minister T’Pau,” he finished, waving to his far right.

“We are gathered here today as an assembly of operatives, military officers, and diplomats of our respective species to address the Romulan threat to our collective peace and prosperity by covert means.”

Malcolm straightened in his chair. He doesn’t waste any time, Malcolm mused, smirking slightly.

“Those of you present were chosen based on your service record, loyalty, and skills to eliminate this collective threat. Most importantly, you were selected as singularly entrusted confidants by resources of mine.”

The Humans, Vulcans, and Andorian exchanged appertaining glances of one another’s representative weight on the assembled council. Shran’s lips creased, incensed to dispute his lone presence. Narrowing his eyes at Solkar, he leaned into the table.

“Why am I the only Andorian present at this meeting?” his voice rumbled gravelly.

“General, you were chosen because this operation must be executed with utmost secrecy. Paramount to that secrecy is the inclusion of a minimum number of individuals. You, alone, of those present possess the military, intelligence and diplomatic experience and contacts to facilitate Andorian assistance in this endeavor.”

Solkar’s explanation seemed to satisfy Shran’s curiosity, as well as his ego. Diplomat indeed, Malcolm thought.

Solkar looked around the room and paused for further questions. As Malcolm’s gaze traversed the table and wandered to the Vulcan delegation, he wondered if T’Pau and Skon had already had this briefing… and perhaps had been involved in calling up this cabal.

“One of the most critical skill-sets necessary to subvert the Romulan threat is the ability to quickly and covertly appropriate resources to the execution of that end,” Solkar went on. “Engendered in the selection of each of you is the ability to achieve synthesis of resources vital to executing a counterintelligence campaign of this magnitude. It will be necessary to draw on resources from military, intelligence, and diplomatic quarters of our governments.

“The mission of this assembled Trust is non-contingent on the diplomatic status of our three peoples,” Solkar added, intently settling his gaze on each of those present. “This condition is necessary to insulate our organization from external political distractions of a transitory nature. Before any of you agree to be a part of this effort, you must assert of sound judgment that you understand this requirement,” Solkar said gravely. His eyes moved purposefully from one attendee to the next.

In response, Malcolm resisted a smile playing on his lips. Malcolm and Esteban shared a smirking glance as Esteban rested against his chair, arms folded.

Wonder what branch of service he is from…

Colonel de La Serna closed in toward the table and spoke.

“What kind of an organization would this be?” Esteban asked through a thick Caribbean/Spanish accent. Malcolm curiously considered the colonel’s origins… Central America, to be sure. Solkar did not immediately answer, sensing a continued line of questioning.

“Would there be command and control located somewhere specific? Or would this group’s organization be of a more… paramilitary nature?” The Colonel let the words slip out pointedly.

“There is no central command, headquarters, or formal government association,” Solkar answered.

“What about funding?” Malcolm asked, taking advantage of Solkar’s invitation for inquiry.

“It has been assured that operatives such as Colonel de La Serna, General Shran, and Lieutenant Commander Reed will retain such a military post as necessary to remain active duty personnel in a flexible intelligence capacity. You will be appropriated means of transportation and execution of operations. Your Vulcan counterparts,” Solkar half-turned toward Skon and T’Pau, “Will continue their positions in the Vulcan High Council and exercise their part in this mission in that capacity. Professor Skon will operate within Vulcan Intelligence,” Solkar clarified of his son’s role.

“Any additional funding, where necessary, will be made available,” Solkar indicated cryptically.

Malcolm leaned forward to speak.

“What is the nature of this operation…Intelligence gathering… or direct action?” It was the question on everyone’s mind: ‘How far does this go?’

Solkar nodded expectantly.

“Initially, it will be necessary to restrict our operations to passive methods to avoid escalation. These activities will include intelligence gathering, special reconnaissance, and counter-proliferation of sensitive technology.”

Shran interrupted. “Are you suggesting that the Romulans are currently trying to steal weapons or warp technology from any of us?”

“I’m afraid, General, that your inquiry goes beyond the scope of today’s agenda,” Solkar replied. Shran’s antennae dipped aggressively forward at a nearly right angle as he frowned.

“Yes,” Malcolm answered out-of-turn. Shran turned to him. Malcolm suddenly flushed as the Vulcan contingent turned stolid glares in his direction. Solkar nodded and held up an acceding hand. Malcolm straightened up to explain.

“I can’t go into much detail, but I am aware of at least one attempt by Romulan incursion to obtain classified Andorian weapons technology,” Malcolm related. Shran’s eyes bulged and his antennae dipped.

“They were stopped,” Malcolm assured him. “By us,” he added.

“And the equipment?” Shran demanded.

“Destroyed. I assure you,” Malcolm said, hoping that prior cooperation between Shran and himself along with the Enterprise crew would enhance his credibility.

“Gentlemen, I think these questions are best resolved at an alternate venue,” Skon, son of Solkar, urged. Shran huffed disapprovingly, but remained tight-lipped. Skon was reseated, allowing his father to continue.

“Our primary directive must be to both minimize potential for war between the Coalition powers and Romulus and to destabilize the Romulan military’s defense posture,” Solkar went on. “Should war become inevitable…

It will become necessary to practice more direct methods. Sabotage, unconventional warfare, and direct action may be used.”

Malcolm’s took a sharp breath as he took in the surrealism of what he was hearing from a Vulcan.

Solkar’s no ordinary Vulcan, Malcolm reminded himself. Decades of files on Solkar’s intelligence experience flashed in front of him.

Solkar paused, folding his hands at his back and stepping away from the table. Malcolm sensed a conclusion building.

“If any here do not consent to involvement in this operation…” Solkar said, stylizing a brow high in the air. “It will be necessary to secure your confidence in regard to this matter,” Solkar said plainly.

Wonder what the bloody hell that means, Malcolm wondered.

He was astounded to imagine that Vulcan intelligence would resort to methods as underhanded as he was accustomed to in the Bureau in order to secure your confidence.

Perhaps they mean business.

Silence fell over the group.

“Very well,” Solkar concluded, stepping away. Skon rose from his seat next to the Minister T’Pau and began handing out dossiers to each of those seated. Malcolm noted at last that Minister T’Pau had been conspicuously silent throughout the entire brief.

“Each of you has been given an initial intelligence report on your first assignment. Full details will be disclosed at a later date.”

As each stood and departed, they were greeted by their Vulcan hosts. Solkar took Malcolm aside.

“Thank you, Commander. While unorthodox, and perhaps classified, by providing General Shran with assurance that Andoria’s technological security is of concern to its Coalition allies, you may have convinced General Shran to…” Solkar paused. “'Hear us out', I believe is the phrase Commander Tucker once used.”

Malcolm gaped.

He liked Solkar immediately.


Comments:

daryalkami5

I wish there had been a part 4...sigh. one of the best TnT series I have ever read (although I admit to being slightly upset at  the beginning of part 2 lol)

WarpGirl

Yey Malcolm! For some strange reason that old song "The Boys Are Back In Town" is blaring in my head. I have to agree with Blacknblue don't let Trip and T'Pol become idiots again. Really it's annoying enough in the show. Shran is amazing, but I'm facinated by Skon I have high hopes for him. It's not that I want to put pressure on you, but it is Spock's ganddaddy.

The Middleman
That trailer was just awesome.
Aquarius
I may have to pick your brain about how to effectively write political intrigue because you shine there and I suck! Still, feeling the pain of no TnT here, so I'm going to the next chapter! :p
Reanok
Elessar glad you're continuing this series I like seeing Malcolm undercover in thie part of your story
Distracted
Politics. Meh. I'm moving on to chapter one. ;)
John/Elessar
If anyone wants to read my thoughts on where the story's going and why I did things a certain way, with each chapter, I'll post a few thoughts in the Discussion Thread up in the Forums for this story in the Trip and T'Pol Fanfiction Section.
Middleman
I'm so happy to see this story continuing. I really enjoyed the first 2 parts (particularly the first one, Startling Discoveries). Can't wait to see where you go with this one.
Asso
[b]Blacknblue[/b], you're great!:p Anyway it's too soon. Elessar wants us to look forward for the continuation. And he hits the mark. ;)
Blacknblue
I read the initial description and kinda started dreading the insertion of Malcolm epsiodes that would be interrupting the TnT. But after reading the Prologue I find myself gripped. This has absolutely wonderful possibilities. I am looking forward to this. Please hurry up with it. This is starting off great. Just don't let TnT turn into childish idiots again? Spank them and make them straighten up, ok? And have Trip scrub Archer's face in the dirt if necessary. :) You really handled Shran well btw. He was in perfect character.
justTrip'n
I've been reading this in pieces, not in chronological order, so I will also be interested to see what happens. But I have gathered the following intelligence [i]he he[/i]: There WILL be epic adventure. There WILL be heartwarming/ heartwrenching Trip 'n T'Pol romance. :D Enjoy!

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