Needs of the Many

By Lady Rainbow

Rating: PG

Genres: au

Keywords: Andorians

This story has been read by 421 people.
This story has been read 722 times.


Chapter 1

Disclaimer: Don’t own ‘em, don’t make money off ‘em.

Notes: Here is the tenth installment of the AU Switcheroo Series. The majority of this story takes place at the same time as “Blue Tears”. You will see what’s happening on Vulcan as Hayes and Columbia are dealing with things on Andoria.

If the conversation among Hayes, Forrest and Hoshi Sato seems familiar, it’s the same one in the first chapter of “Blue Tears”, except this one is from Hoshi’s POV on Enterprise and not Hayes’s on Columbia.

This story is heavily TnT, though the others play a pivotal role. There are two versions of this first chapter; this one on this site is rated PG/T. If you are at least 18 and would like to read the NC17 version click here: Needs of the Many - NC17, by LadyRainbow, September 7, 2008

Thanks, Pesterfield! :)

Please leave a review! Thanks!

Pairings: Hayes/Sato, TnT

Rating: T


One

June 23, 2155

About 2 weeks after “The Batty Engineer”

Enterprise, Ensign T’Pol’s Quarters

The familiar desert heat rose up around T’Pol. She blinked, but couldn’t see her surroundings in the bright haze. The Vulcan inner eyelid swept over her irises and finally, she recognized where she was. She knelt upon the stones of the courtyard of Mount Seleya. Instead of her regular Starfleet uniform, she wore a purple gown with a thin veil. Her long blonde-brown hair spilled down her back instead of being confined in its usual braided crown.

Standing with her was T'Les, her mother. Next to T’Les was V’Lar, her godmother and Vulcan’s High Minister. Other colleagues and acquaintances were present as well. To her surprise, Captain Hoshi Sato and the senior staff of the Enterprise were also there. All but one.

Where was Trip Tucker?

She raised her head and gazed directly at the shadow across from her. The man knelt with his head bowed, his traditional robes outlining the broad shoulders and muscular physique. Someone took her hands—T’Lya, a priestess of Mount Seleya—and placed her hands within the man’s. T’Pol nearly jumped as her skin touched his; a desperate wave of heat poured into her, mingling with the one deep within her chest and belly. Her mouth opened slightly in surprise and her body trembled in its wake. The pleasant sensation threatened to overwhelm her logic; she struggled to retain it.

Is this how it feels? To be within the throes of pon farr? If this was supposed to be her marriage ceremony, than the man across from her should be her betrothed, Koss. The prospect of being joined, physically and mentally, to him revolted her to the core. Tears threatened to spill over her cheeks at the injustice of it all. Why? Why now, why here? I do not want this. She could always call the challenge, the kal-if-fee, but whom could she call as her champion? Humans were weaker than Vulcans, especially in the higher gravity and thinner atmosphere. Koss would kill anyone she could choose.

She swallowed her pain. I am Vulcan. I am in mastery of my emotions. I will endure...

The bells rang, the gong sounded. The man raised his head and T’Pol steeled herself to meet the crazed eyes of her betrothed. She may be forced to surrender her body, but Koss would never have her soul...

And she met the searing blue of a hot flame. The shock gave way to a wild joy, and as the realization sank in, she gave in to the inevitable. She strove to reach him with every fiber of her being, and then her surroundings changed. T’Pol was alone with her thy’la and went willingly into his arms and eagerly accepted his touch...

“Senior Officers to the Captain’s Ready Room. Repeat, all senior officers to the Ready Room.”


“Oh, sh—OUCH!” Trip Tucker jerked awake, only to find himself on the floor and twisted within the sweat-soaked blankets. Reflexes kicked in and he reached up and slapped the comm button. “Tucker, I’m on my way.”

He struggled out of the blankets, leaped over piles of clothing on the floor and practically threw himself into the shower. He didn’t even bother to change the temperature of the spray; freezing cold water was the best thing for him at the moment. He shivered as he thought, Now where the hell did that come from? T’Pol? Why would she—His face flamed with embarrassment and he stuck his head back under the water. Trip knew about some events that were usually kept secret from non-Vulcans, courtesy of Soval, but he didn’t like the implications of the dream...if it was a dream.

Being out of control scared the daylights out of him. Feeling that way terrified him. But why him, and why now? He resolutely put the dream out of his mind; Enterprise’s Armory officer couldn’t afford to be distracted in the middle of an emergency. Trip raced out of the shower, got into a clean uniform and immediately headed for the Bridge. It would have to wait. For now, he had a job to do.

Even if his subconscious still had other ideas.


Captain Hoshi Sato glanced up as one by one, her staff came into her Ready Room. The doors hesitated for a moment before they finally hissed open to admit Doctor Malcolm Reed. She hid a sigh; the equipment malfunctions were more annoying than anything else, but it took a toll on the crew’s efficiency and morale. The two weeks after their mission on Pyrithia had been a nonstop flurry of visits to various colonies. The hit-and-run attacks that had nearly destroyed Palmyra Three were becoming more frequent, and Enterprise was now their first—and only—line of defense, since Columbia was heading back to Earth.

“Captain?” Malcolm asked. The single word relayed how concerned he was for her. She only shook her head once and gestured him to a seat.

“Just tired, Malcolm. It’s been a rough month for all of us.” She rubbed her temples in a futile effort to ward off the migraine. Then she heard the hiss of a hypospray and the pain eased somewhat. “Thanks.”

“It’s not a problem.” He tucked the hypospray back into the medical pouch he regularly carried at his side. Just before he opened his mouth to say something else, Lieutenant Jonathan Archer barreled into the room, followed by Commanders Phlox and Travis Mayweather. Archer looked as haggard as they all felt; he still had the comm transtator firmly within his ear. Ensign T’Pol came in afterward, with Lieutenant Commander Trip Tucker behind her.

“Admiral Forrest is on the line,” Jon told them, “and we have a cross-feed from Columbia.

Hoshi nodded as the others took up seats, then she activated her screen. Indeed, Admiral Maxwell Forrest’s image occupied the left side of her screen, while Captain Matthew Hayes of Columbia was on the right. She smiled at her husband; Matt smiled back. He looked tired and worn, but still firmly in command.

“Admiral, Captain.”

“Captain Sato, we have a situation,” Forrest began without preamble. “Lady Jhamel, one of Andoria’s ambassadors to Terra, has been kidnapped, along with her daughter, Talla.”

Hoshi sat there for a moment, stunned. “Kidnapped? By whom?”

“We don’t know, but whoever took them managed to outwit a highly sophisticated security system built by the finest minds on Andoria. They snatched Lady Jhamel and her daughter from their private home. Captain Shran was away on Hanrii at the time and was not present.”

“Does Captain Shran know?”

Matt nodded. “He called half an hour ago and told me. Needless to say, he’s headed back to Andoria at high warp, but it’ll still take him some time to get there.”

“Starfleet and the Earth Council received an urgent request from the Andorian government,” Forrest said, his voice calm and professional. “They want Columbia to divert to Andoria to help in the search. Needless to say, they were quite adamant that Captain Hayes be involved in this matter.”

“I’m sure Captain Shran had something to do with that,” Hoshi remarked. Shran had adopted Matt as a bond-brother, and herself as a bond-sister. Forrest had never exactly been thrilled at their “adoption” into Shran’s clan, even if it was just ceremonial. He’d expressed to Hoshi his concern about split loyalties between Andoria and Earth. She’d reassured him that their first loyalty was to Earth and Starfleet.

Even now, the same question shone in Forrest’s eyes. “Indeed. His wife is a high ranked diplomat in the Andorian government, so her disappearance is a huge loss. The High Councilor also reminded me that an Andorian’s duty to his or her family is paramount.” Matt winced as if he’d heard the admiral’s unspoken words. “Therefore, in the interest of Earth’s relationship with Andoria, Columbia is to divert to Andoria at her best speed.”

Matt visibly sighed. “Thank you, sir.”

Commander J.T. Daniels, Matt’s First and Science Officer didn’t look pleased at this set of new orders. “This will delay our arrival at Earth to correct our computer software problems.”

Forrest nodded in agreement. “Yes, I’m aware of that. I’m not happy with that fact, Commander Daniels, but the situation has changed, so we have to be flexible. A clutch of brother-engineers from Raquilla have altered course to rendezvous with Columbia instead of heading to Jupiter Station. Once they arrive, they will assist Commander Opur with preliminary repairs to the ship’s computer.”

Daniels nodded, although the science officer still didn’t look happy and again, Matt bristled at the unspoken reproach in the admiral’s voice. “This situation on Andoria had changed Starfleet’s priorities yet again. Captain Sato, Enterprise is hereby ordered to Vulcan to render any assistance to High Minister V’Lar’s government. I realize nearly half of your command staff has been ‘requested’ to return there anyway; it’s only fair to you that you be in a position to help them in any way.”

Hoshi nodded. “Thank you, Admiral.” There was the silent, but understood meaning: And if either you or Columbia needs help, you’ll both be within range of each other. Max Forrest was no fool, and unlike Lucas Gardner, he did understand the trials of a married couple in Starfleet.

“Those are your orders. Starfleet Command, out.” And Forrest’s image winked out.

“We’ll be getting underway immediately,” Hoshi added. “Our ETA to Vulcan is—“ she glanced at Travis, who was already doing the math in his head, and he mouthed the answer, “—forty-two hours.”

“We’ll be reaching Andoria at about the same time, Captain,” said Daniels.

She nodded and tried to sound confident, despite a wave of sudden dread in the depths of her heart. Hoshi shook off the sense of foreboding. “If you need anything, Matt, we’ll be within shouting distance. Take care, and give my regards to Shran, Jhamel, and Talla.”

“We will, and you do the same if you need anything, Hoshi.” Hoshi raised her hand, kissed her fingers, then pressed them against the screen. Matt did the same; it was their mutual farewell gesture at every conversation. Her husband conducted himself impeccably on duty, but this time, he unbent a little bit. “Until later. Enterprise, out.”

“Take care, Hoshi. Columbia, out.” Matt Hayes’s face disappeared from the screen. She closed her eyes briefly and thought, Be safe, my love. Then she dropped her hand and let out a deep breath. She glanced at her senior staff. “Things just got a lot more complicated.”

Trip ran a hand through his still-damp hair. “Who’d snatch Shran’s wife and daughter from under the Andorians’ noses? Sounds like a well-planned and highly professional job. I’d hate to be ‘em when Shran gets a hold of ‘em.”

“Yeah,” Travis agreed with a shudder. “Orders, Captain?”

“Phlox, best speed to Vulcan. Jon, I want you to contact High Minister V’Lar on a Priority Two channel. Tell her we’re finally on our way.” She glanced at T’Pol; the helmswoman’s face was serene, but there was unease in those amber-brown eyes. “We’ve managed to stall them for two weeks, but I knew we’d have to go back eventually.”

T’Pol’s tone was even and calm. “I appreciate your assistance, Captain Sato. I am prepared to face he who is my intended and his family, and the...complications that go with him.”

Hoshi saw Trip flinch involuntarily at T’Pol’s words. Ever since he and T’Pol had returned from Zora Prime, Hoshi had seen the two officers’ relationship change almost overnight. Both seemed more at ease with each other and both seemed more accepting of each other’s eccentricities. Trip had never told her exactly what had happened between them, but Hoshi had her own suspicions.

She noticed the sympathetic looks that T’Pol got from Jon and Malcolm. They all knew about Koss and his father Soultek and the politics of the Vulcan High Command. T’Pol was safer walking into a den of le’matyas.

“All right, everyone, let’s go about it. Dismissed.” Everyone but Trip left quickly; he lingered at the door for a moment longer. “You going to be all right, Trip?”

He managed a smile. “I’ll be okay, Cap’n. I’m more worried about T’Pol. If that slimy snake hurts her—“

“Trip. He’s her fiancé.”

“I know that, but it’s gonna be tough resisting the urge to strangle him with my bare hands. Just givin’ fair warning, Hoshi.” And Trip left the room, the doors swishing shut behind him.

She watched him go, more than just a little disturbed at the vehemence of his tone. Just what is going on between those two? I have a bad feeling about this.


Comments:

Kate

Love this story so much! thank you. Will there be more?

Asso

Finally I finished reading this story.
I enjoyed it very much.
Bravo.
Maybe I found a little difficult to believe that behaviour is so important for Vulcans that it deserves, for them, to be handled in such a severe way, but  - well - after all,  everything is serious for Vulcans,
I hope the Bond is able to instill in T'Pol a tiny bit of sense of humour from Trip.
Anyway, that's only a little thought of me, nothing else.
Your job is really worth. :p

WarpGirl

All I have to say is that if these are the results of 'challenging your creativity and gently tearing you to pieces for any failed attempts at improving' I proudly admit it and will cheerfuly continue as long as you decide you want me to do it. :-p Because really this is truly wonderful work. Then again I don't think I would have spent so much time ripping you to shreds if I didn't believe you could do it. So be proud and I hope you get flooded by people who love it as much as I do. You deserve every bit of adulation. :D

You need to be logged in to the forum to leave a review!