Deceit

By ginamr

Rating: PG-13

Genres: adventure au drama general romance virtual season

Keywords: bond Romulans

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Star Trek: The Continuing Voyages of the Enterprise
A Virtual Season 6 Series


By GinaMR

Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Only new characters and plots are mine. The original characters belong to Paramount. I receive no monetary reward for my work; my only reward is the joy of creating.

Story Notes:

This episode will resolve some or all of the conflicts from Earth Divided.

On another note, the first episode of the STCVE Virtual Series Audio Drama, Paradise Lost - Part One, has been set for a tentative release date of December 25th, 2007. With any luck we'll be able to meet this deadline without issues.

Also, I'd like to offer a special thanks to the EntSTCommunity staff writers of VS5 & VS6 for inspiration just when I needed it. They've given me my purpose back and my desire to write my own virtual series is stronger than ever. You can read their version of Enterprise's adventures at virtual.entstcommunity.org.

 


 

Last Time on Star Trek: Enterprise...Earth Divided
Season Six Premier

6x01-Deceit
Story Two of Two

Trip, David, & Mae lose a close friend to the violence of the xenophobic rallies. But Starfleet is hiding something. An investigation by Trip, Reed, and T'Pol brings to light secrets that expose Romulan spies as well as bringing to light years of deceit that could break apart United Earth irreparably.

 


 

 
Was ever book containing such vile matter
 
So fairly bound? O, that deceit should dwell
 
In such a gorgeous palace!
 
~~William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

 


 

Moss Point, Mississippi, Earth-Home of Charles and Catherine Tucker
December 11th, 2155-0710 hours Central Time

Reed grinned, nodding in approval as Jamie blocked a majority of the blows he threw at him. The boy was certainly a quick study. He brought his hands down, breathing heavily. Jamie did the same.

"Loads better, but don't let your guard down or your enemy could sneak in a paralyzing blow," Reed offered.

Jamie nodded. "Yes, sir."

Reed shook his head, still grinning. "Malcolm is fine. I get enough 'sirs' on Enterprise."

Jamie's grin widened. "All right...Malcolm."

"Jamie!" a female voice called from the porch.

Trip's older sister, Katelyn, stood there shaking her car keys. Jamie turned back toward Reed, grinning wryly. "I suppose I'd better go. Mother wants to visit a friend."

Reed nodded. "I'll show you another maneuver when your uncle and I get back from Natchez."

Jamie nodded and waved as he ran towards his mother. "Bye, Malcolm! See you later!"

"Remember, don't let your guard down!" Reed shouted after him.

Still smiling, he returned to the house to wake up the Commanders. They needed to discuss their plan of action.

 


 

Moss Point, Mississippi, Earth-Outside the Home of Mister and Misses Cook
December 11th, 2155-0730 hours Central Time

Katie stared at the oak front doors for the longest time, her son standing beside her. She raised her hand to rap her knuckles against the wood, but pulled it back for the tenth time in three minutes.

"Are we going to stand out here all day? Seth wanted to show me his model of Enterprise," Jamie whined.

She glanced at her son for a moment before returning her gaze to the door, biting her lower lip as she knocked softly. Within moments, the door opened to a matronly woman with kind, hazel eyes and long strawberry blonde hair. The woman's eyes widened slightly in surprise before an affectionate smile spread over her lips.

"What a nice surprise," she simpered. "You haven't been by in such a long time."

Katie plastered a smile on her face. "I've been out of the country for a number of years." She paused. "You look as wonderful as ever, Mrs. Cook."

Still smiling, the woman shook her head. "How many times...? Call me Maggie." She stepped aside, motioning Katie inside. "So how have ya been, darlin'? And who is this handsome young man?"

Katie laid a hand on Jamie's shoulder, squeezing tightly. "This is my son, Jamie." A look of surprise slid over Jamie's features as the friendly older woman enveloped him in a hug.

"How old is he?" Maggie asked, looking at Katie.

As Katie was about to answer, Jamie cut her off. "Twelve," he replied rather acidly, annoyed that they were acting as though he weren't there. This earned him a baleful glare from his mother, and he quickly corrected his rudeness. "Twelve, Mrs. Cook."

A tense silence hung in the air between them before Katie cleared her throat. "I...um...I heard about Billy." She met the older woman's gaze with deep sympathy in her own. "On behalf of my family, we're sorry for your loss, and we offer our condolences. I'd also like to apologize on behalf of myself and my family for not attending the funeral."

Maggie smiled weakly. "That's all right, honey. Your mama sent over a delicious squash casserole and a note that explained everything." She paused. "Follow me. There's something I want to show you."

Frowning, Katie followed Maggie as she hurried up the stairs. Photographs hung on the walls of the staircase leading to the second floor. She halted when she saw a picture of Billy in his Navy uniform. He looked so young and so happy. Tears prickled the corners of her eyes and her throat constricted.

Billy and Jamie looked so much alike that at times she found it impossible to look at her son without remembering how she'd fled as soon as she'd found out she was carrying Billy's baby. He'd never known. Now he was gone and he would never know. She turned to gaze at her son and fought the urge to sob. Now her son would never know his biological father.

Squaring her shoulders, she continued up the stairs. "Maggie?" she called.

"In Billy's room, honey," Maggie replied.

Katie's eyes closed for a moment, and she willed herself to breathe before moving step by step toward the end of the hall. Her heart raced inside of her chest as she pushed the door open the rest of the way.

The second she entered the room, the memory of their first kiss assaulted her like a storm. Her gaze drifted to his bed and a slight smile curved her lips. That was where they'd shared those first tender moments of their love. Her eyes closed and she could almost feel his big, work-roughened hand on her cheek as he tentatively leaned forward to brush her lips with his.

"Over here, Katie," Maggie called out, halting her train of thought immediately.

Her eyes fluttered open and she dazedly moved toward where Maggie was knelt digging through a box. A moment later, the older woman pulled an object from the box and then turned to give it to Katie.

Gasping softly, Katie took the necklace cautiously. It was the cross that she'd given him for their six-month anniversary. The gold and diamonds were just as brilliant as they had been the day he'd lifted it from the box.

"His will said that he wanted you to have this. It said you'd know what this meant," Maggie offered.

Katie nodded, smiling tearfully. "Yes. Yes, I do."

 


 

Moss Point, Mississippi, Earth-Home of Charles and Catherine Tucker-Guest Room One
December 11th, 2155-0742 hours Central Time

Trip opened his eyes and found T'Pol's face inches from his as she leaned over the bed, already fully dressed. Her eyebrows were arched high. He chuckled softly and closed the space between them, brushing his lips against hers.

"You're up early," he commented.

"It is 0742 hours," she retorted. "That's very late."

He groaned and closed his eyes. "Can't we sleep in? We aren't on duty, and we don't have anything important ta do."

She pulled back slightly and gave him a tolerant look. "Lieutenant Reed has requested our presence on the back porch. He wishes to discuss the next steps of our operation."

He sighed, throwing the covers off. "All right. I'm gettin' up. But remind me ta introduce ya later to the concept of sleepin' in," he mumbled.

She paused only a moment before slipping into the hallway, leaving Trip to get dressed.

 


 

San Francisco, California, Earth-Lilly's Bar
December 10th, 2155-1423 hours Pacific Time

Tai sat with his hands folded on the table as he eyed the younger, thinner man in front of him. The younger man, called Telvesh, stared back with an unreadable expression, the steady tick of the antique wall clock echoing loudly in the confined space. The room was old-fashioned by Earth standards and the dark furniture made Telvesh feel as though he'd stepped back in time to Earth's England in the 1850s.

"Did you locate the target?" Tai asked.

Telvesh nodded. "Yes, Commander. My men are ready to infiltrate the area."

Tai smirked. "Good. You move at 0900 tomorrow."

Telvesh then stood and bent at the waist in a low bow before exiting the room. Tai's smirk grew wider, and he took a long drink of the blue ale he'd removed from storage. He'd saved it for a special occasion and the downfall of Earth was indeed that.

 


 

Natchez, Mississippi, Earth-Home of Brody Sullivan
December 11th, 2155-1317 hours Central Time

Trip stopped in front of the steps, staring up at the house. The two-story residence had a rustic appearance and an air that sent shudders down his spine. He grimaced, following Reed up the creaking steps.

"We could have just asked Hoshi, ya know," Trip grumbled.

Reed shook his head. "No. We can't put her at risk, Trip. Besides, according to my sources, Brody Sullivan is the best in his field."

Trip's eyebrows shot up. "And how do we know that we can trust this Brody Sullivan not ta hand us over ta Greene?"

Pausing, Reed cleared his throat. "Well, he's not quite in a position to risk revealing his whereabouts," he replied evasively.

Trip stared at him, his eyes wide. "He's on the run?" He shook his head in disbelief. "Dear Lord, Malcolm. Please don't tell me that we're going to be in the same room with an ax murderer."

"He's not an ax murderer," Reed retorted. "He served a brief stint in the Lunar Colony One penitentiary for smuggling dangerous technologies, but he's no more an ax murderer than I am a linguist."

Trip frowned. "Malcolm..."

"He can help us, Trip," Reed said. "He's an expert hacker. He can get us into the most confidential files that Starfleet has."

Sighing, Trip nodded. "All right. In then out." Trip felt a chill run down his spine. He had a bad feeling about this Brody Sullivan.

Reed raised a fist and rapped it against the wooden door. A moment later, a man who Trip assumed to be Sullivan jerked the door open.

He was about an inch or two shorter than Reed, and he had wild white hair that stuck up in all directions. The man pushed the hair away from his face, revealing a pair of steel gray eyes. A thin scar ran the length of his left cheek, and his nose was oddly crooked as though it had recently been broken.

"Brody Sullivan?" Reed asked.

The man narrowed his eyes. "Who's asking?"

"Malcolm Reed. We spoke this morning."

The older man offered a wry smile. "Of course." He turned, walking further into the room, and Reed followed. Trip entered behind him and took up a position near the doorway. He noticed that the man walked with a slight limp and was fairly flat-footed.

"Would you gentlemen like anything?" Sullivan asked, gesturing to the bottle of brandy sitting on top of the desk in the corner.

Reed shook his head. "Nothing for me, thank you."

"No thanks," Trip said.

Sullivan shrugged. "Suit yourselves." He then reached for the bottle, uncapping it and pouring himself a glass.

"You're a hacker?" Reed offered.

Sullivan gave Reed a half-smile. "I prefer the term 'systems specialist.'"

Reed paused. "Can you help us with the problem we discussed this morning?"

Sullivan nodded. "Starfleet's systems are some of the easiest to hack. I can get you whatever you need."

Reed nodded. "Let's get started, then."

 


 

Moss Point, Mississippi, Earth-Home of Charles and Catherine Tucker
December 11th, 2155-1329 hours Central Time

Katie stood by the sink, peeling potatoes in silence, occasionally glancing at her mother, who was stirring a pot on the stove. The air between them had been tense for the last few days. Every time she'd opened her mouth to apologize for everything, she'd closed it again, unable to find the right words. As she finished peeling the last of the potatoes, she leaned against the edge of the sink and closed her eyes, sighing heavily.

"Mama, I..." she began.

Catherine turned toward her, a smile curving her lips. "I know, honey. Me, too."

Katie frowned, meeting her mother's gaze. "What did you do? I was the one who hurt you."

Catherine paused a moment before setting the stirring spoon on a plate next to the stove and sitting down at the kitchen table. Katie took the chair across from her and laid a hand on top of her mother's.

"I love y'all. You know that, right?" Katie said. "I just wanted to be able to give my children something. That's why I ran away."

"I know," Catherine said, smiling and nodding. She clasped Katie's hand with both of hers. "It's called being a parent, darlin'. We all want our children to have more than we did." She paused. "I'm sorry that your father and I didn't think more about that when we opened that store on Baker Street."

Katie worried her lower lip. "You and daddy did the best you could." She smiled weakly. "And you did a hell of a job. Trip has really grown inta a fine young man."

Catherine laughed. "He's a smart boy, all right. Ya can thank your grandpa Chuck for some of that. Those two poured over warp drive specs for hours."

"It's good ta see that all of that didn't go to waste," Katie replied. "My baby brother is Chief Engineer of Starfleet's first Warp Five ship. I tell everybody I meet."

Both women started when they heard a loud bang echo from beneath the sink. Catherine stood and moved slowly toward the sink, grabbing the stirring spoon before throwing the cabinet doors open. Katie sighed in relief when she noted that it was only Seth.

Catherine lowered the spoon and sighed. "Seth Issac Tucker, ya nearly gave me a heart attack!" she chastised.

The boy's cheeks flushed. "Sorry, gramma."

"What in God's good name were you doing under there, anyway?" Katie asked, helping the boy out of the small space.

"Me and Jamie were playing hide and seek," he replied grinning wryly. "I've been holed up in there for over an hour. He really stinks at hide and seek."

Katie froze. "Where was the last place you saw him?"

Seth shrugged. "Out by the tree countin', I suppose."

Without another word, Katie flung the door open and rushed into the yard, Catherine following her. Seth rolled his eyes before stepping out after them.

 


 

Natchez, Mississippi, Earth-Outside the Home of Brody Sullivan
December 11th, 2155-1352 hours Central Time

Sullivan frowned. "There are an unusual number of protocols in place. I don't think I can open the files from here. There's an encryption code here that keeps the files from being accessed outside of his office. It'd have to be done directly from the system."

"So we'd have to access the files right from his computer?" Trip asked.

Sullivan nodded. "Unfortunately, yes." He paused. "But I can access the Starfleet security files to get you in. From there, I can talk you through it."

Reed nodded. "No doubt Admiral Greene will have installed further security measures to prevent us from getting in again."

The older man entered one last command before handing the data pad to Reed. "This should help you get past any security measures."

Reed took the data pad from him and nodded. "Thank you."

Sullivan grinned. "Any time."

The three men walked toward the front door. Just as Reed was about to step over the threshold, the older man laid a hand on his shoulder and Reed turned.

Sullivan paused, then pointing at the pad. "You'd better win this...whatever you're fighting for or I'll go after these bastards myself."

Reed smiled and nodded. "We will. You have my word."

A smile crossed Sullivan's lips before he closed the door behind them. Looking back at the old house one last time, Reed followed Trip back to the hovercar. With any luck, they wouldn't just win the battle. They'd win the war.

 


 

Moss Point, Mississippi, Earth-Home of Charles and Catherine Tucker
December 11th, 2155-1355 hours Central Time

Katie stared at the man who held an odd-looking weapon to her son's temple. She didn't move, afraid that the man would follow through on his threat to kill Jamie.

"W-what do you want?" she stuttered.

Jamie struggled and the man's grip tightened. Katie bit her lower lip to keep herself from crying out as the stranger's hand clenched tighter around her little boy's throat. In the same moment, she felt pride welling inside of her chest when she met her son's gaze and noted that there wasn't a flicker of fear in his eyes.

"Let me go, you ugly sonuva-" Jamie began hoarsely only to have a second man strike him hard across the face.

"No!" she screamed, fighting against the fear that was paralyzing her limbs.

Jamie's head turned and he glared at the man. "I said let me go!" he shouted. Jamie dug his heel hard into the man's foot, and the man let out a cry of pain. While he was distracted, Jamie's hand shot upwards, breaking the man's nose.

Katie stood frozen as she watched her son fighting for his life. However, when she saw another man coming at him from behind, she rushed forward and drew back her fist, hearing the second man's nose break when her fist made contact. He reached out to grab her throat and she brought her knee up roughly into his groin. He didn't even wince and she stared up at him in horror. The man couldn't be human.

A moment later, she found herself on the ground with a split lip. She licked her lips and tasted the bitterness of her own blood.

"What do you want?" she screamed.

"There are two men and two women staying with you. We've been sent to arrest them for treason," the man said. "Give them to us, and we will spare you and the veruul."

She froze. Trip. "Whoever you're looking for, they're not here," she said.

This earned her another sharp slap across the face. "Don't lie to me, you sniveling sseikae. We know they're staying here with you."

"Please," she begged, the tears welling up in her eyes. "Please leave us alone. We're the only ones here. My husband died in a sailing accident. My son and I are staying with my mama until I can find a job." She held her breath, praying that the lie would hold up.

She saw him draw back his fist and closed her eyes in preparation for the harsh strike, but it never came. Her eyes opened and she felt a rush of relief when she saw a civilian peace officer wrestling the man to the ground.

She stood shakily and enveloped her son in a tight hug. "Oh, Jamie. Don't you ever do that to me again." She pulled back holding the sides of his face and looking into his eyes. "That man could have killed you."

Jamie shook his head. "Malcolm showed me how to defend myself against bullies. He said I was good."

She smiled weakly. "I'm sure you are, darling, but that man was nearly three times your size."

"But I wasn't scared, Moth..." he began, drawing in a sharp breath when his mother's hand gripped his arm.

A concerned expression crossed her features. "Jamie, what...?"

"It's nothing," he said. "Just sore."

She shouted for one of the medics who had just arrived.

**

Several minutes later, the two sat in the back of the ambulance as one of the medics wrapped Jamie's arm.

"Is he going to be all right?" Katie asked, panicked.

The medic smiled and nodded. "He'll be fine. He just has a minor fracture. It should heal just fine in four to six weeks."

She nodded, relieved. Just as the medic was finishing with Jamie's sling, the familiar black '52 Greville rolled up the driveway followed by Mae's cherry red minivan. The black hovercar came to a halt several meters from the ambulance. She rushed toward the vehicle, stopping as Trip emerged from the driver's side. She couldn't decide whether she wanted to hug him or punch him. In the end, the unexplainable desire to hug him won out.

 


 

Moss Point, Mississippi, Earth-Home of Charles and Catherine Tucker-Kitchen

December 11th, 2155-1406 hours Central Time

Katie sat at the kitchen table not meeting Trip's gaze. Trip stared at the cup of coffee in his hand, unsure of why she'd been ignoring him since she'd hugged him out by the car. At last, growing tired of the tense silence, he cleared his throat and she looked up at him.

"So...how's Jamie?" he asked.

She returned her gaze to the paper in front of her. "He's fine. Nice of you to ask," she said neutrally.

Trip sighed. "What's wrong now?"

She turned on him, her expression tight. "You came here knowing that dangerous men were after you! You put my son and the rest of your family at risk!"

He closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Look, I didn't think..."

"That's your problem!" she shouted. "You never think! And your thoughtlessness always gets someone hurt!" She poked a finger at his chest. "I won't allow you to endanger my son with your stunts!"

He glared at her, and opened his mouth to protest but suddenly thought better of it. Closing his mouth, he shook his head, got to his feet and walked away.

 


 

Moss Point, Mississippi, Earth-Home of Charles and Catherine Tucker-Guest Room
December 11th, 2155-2002 hours Central Time

Trip buried his face in the comforter as T'Pol worked on his back. He grimaced when he felt a sharp pain where she was pressing her thumbs.

"You must remember to breathe correctly," she reminded him.

He grunted in annoyance and turned over onto his back. Noting T'Pol's arched eyebrows, he sighed and scrubbed his hands over his face, shaking his head.

"I'm sorry, T'Pol. I'm just not up for this tonight," he said. Again, he shook his head.

She hesitated, sensing his anger and guilt at what had occurred earlier that day. "She is right to be concerned for her son's safety, Trip."

He glared at her, but then his features softened at the hesitant expression on her face. "I know," he said with a sigh. "She just struck a nerve, I guess."

She nodded supportively. "The cogenitor."

Grimacing, Trip nodded. "Yeah." He again stared at the ceiling.

"It is your nature to help those who cannot help themselves," she whispered reassuringly. "But it is also in the nature of the wise to contemplate the consequences of their actions."

He reached for her hand and grasped it tightly, his gaze locking with hers. "But how am I supposed to know when I'm doing the right thing?" he asked softly.

"What is 'right' is a subjective concept," she soothed. "It isn't for others to decide which battles you will and will not fight. That choice is yours alone."

He smiled, wrapped his arms around her waist and, pulling her on top of him, brushed his lips against hers. "Thanks," he whispered.

She lowered her mouth to his; the contact between their lips was a little firmer this time. "Always."

 


 

San Francisco, California, Earth-Alley Behind Kat's Place
December 12th, 2155-0002 hours Pacific Time

Telvesh stood in the darkness of the alley, waiting for his contact. His nose wrinkled at the foul scent of decaying animal flesh and feces. Resisting the urge to walk away from the scene, he breathed through his mouth in the hope that it would, at the very least, diffuse the strength of the fetid odor.

Suddenly, he caught sight of a shadow lurking near the mouth of the alley, and he turned abruptly to face it, bringing his weapon up. When he saw that it was his contact, he lowered the weapon slowly.

"I've been waiting for over an hour," Telvesh bit out.

Tai stepped halfway into the light, frowning. "Be careful, Commander," he warned.

Telvesh stiffened. The old man was beginning to wear on his nerves. The Praetor had allowed him to become too powerful. The Empire would pay for its naivety if Tai weren't removed. Once the spies had been apprehended and executed, he would begin his plans to annihilate Tai.

"You were unsuccessful," Tai said.

Telvesh nodded. "We met with unexpected resistance."

Tai's eyebrows shot up. "Your men couldn't handle two weak Human women and a child?"

Telvesh's lip curled in disgust, but he stayed silent. Oh, yes. Tai needed to be eliminated.

"I warned you," Tai began. "I warned you of the price should you fail." His hand dropped to his side where his weapon was holstered.

Telvesh's eyes narrowed and he nodded. "You did."

Tai smirked. "I hope you don't have any unfinished business."

However, before Tai could raise his weapon, he was caught in the abdomen by a bright burst of green energy. Telvesh watched the color drain from Tai's face as the old man dropped to his knees and fell forward onto his face.

Telvesh rushed toward Tai and, gripping the old man's arms, tugged his body into the narrow alleyway to the left. He stared at the corpse for several moments, seeing that the drugs Tai had been taking to maintain his human form were failing slowly. The drugs would wear off completely in a few hours and, if the body were found, all of their meticulous planning would be for naught. He raised the weapon and set it on the maximum setting before aiming at the body and firing.

 


 

Moss Point, Mississippi, Earth-Home of Charles and Catherine Tucker-Guest Room 2
December 12th, 2155-0802 hours Eastern Time

Trip knocked softly on the open bedroom door and Jamie, who sat on his bed putting the finishing touches on his model starship, jumped. This caused him to release his grip on the tweezers too soon and the piece he was maneuvering into place slipped sideways.

"Blithering hell!" the little boy cursed, tossing the tweezers aside angrily.

Trip's eyebrows shot up. "Watch your language, Jamie," he admonished.

Jamie looked toward the door, startled, and grinned sheepishly. "Sorry, Uncle Trip."

Trip's lips turned up for a moment until he got a better look at the cast on Jamie's arm. "How's your arm?" he asked, his brows furrowed.

Jamie shrugged. "It's fine." His grin widened. "It was worth it to see the look on that prat's face," he added, laughing. "He couldn't believe it!"

Trip nodded. "Yeah, I heard from Malcolm that he's been teachin' you how ta fend off those bullies at your school." He paused, remembering what Katie's husband, John, had told him. "And from what your dad tells me, your mom isn't too happy about it."

"I imagine she's not," the little boy said with a grimace. He paused. "She said I'm a lot like you."

Trip stared at the little boy for a moment, stunned. "She did, did she?"

Jamie nodded. "Yes, sir. She said I have your temper and everything."

Trip smiled and scoffed jokingly. "My temper? I'm only touchy when it comes to my engines."

"And women," a voice added behind him. He turned to find Mae standing there with a smirk on her face. As Trip opened his mouth to protest, her eyebrows shot up. "Don't think I don't know about those barroom brawls you get into because some drunken fool decides he wants a lady who doesn't want him."

"That's different," he protested. "That's defendin' a lady's honor."

Suddenly, Katie appeared in the doorway and the moment her gaze fell on Trip, she stiffened. "I don't want you near my son," she said coldly.

Mae laid a hand on Katie's shoulder, frowning. "Now Katie, don't you think you're being a little unreasonable about all of this? It isn't Trip's fault that Jamie hurt his arm."

Katie turned angrily on her sister-in-law. "Those men who hurt my son were looking for him! He's on the run from something, Mae, and he's risking our lives while he's holed up here!"

Mae opened her mouth to protest, but Trip cut her off. "She's right," he muttered.

He then slipped past the two women in the doorway and headed for the back porch, leaving Mae staring after him with her mouth agape.

 


 

Moss Point, Mississippi, Earth-Home of Charles and Catherine Tucker-Guest Room
December 12th, 2155-1305 hours Eastern Time

Trip looked up when he heard a soft knock at the bedroom door to find T'Pol standing in the doorway holding a plate.

"You weren't present at the afternoon meal so I thought you would prefer to take it here," she said, setting the plate on the desk.

He smiled and nodded his thanks before returning his attention to the monitor in front of him. T'Pol arched an eyebrow before sliding into the chair next to him, her gaze falling on the computer screen.

"I've been goin' over some of the files we got from Sullivan, and I think I've found a way to get past security," he explained. "We'll still need to access the files directly from Greene's office, but we should be able to gain access without trippin' any alarms." He paused. "We'll leave in the mornin'. In the meantime, we should talk ta Malcolm about the building layout and work out a plan," he said

She inclined her head. "We should discuss such matters here after the evening meal to prevent others from overhearing our conversation."

He nodded and once again returned his attention to the monitor.

"You also weren't present at the morning meal," T'Pol said sternly with a brow raised.

Trip turned toward her. His eyes moved from T'Pol to the sandwich and back to her. "I'll eat later. I want to see what else I can..." He trailed off as she gave him a tolerant look.

"You should take in sustenance first. You will have time afterwards to continue your perusal of the documents."

His protests were nullified by her stern expression and he sighed, picking up the sandwich and taking a bite.

 


 

Uptown New York, Earth-Archer's Apartment
December 13th, 2155-0942 hours Eastern Time

Archer stared at the screen in disbelief. "Missing? Have they found a body?"

"He was officially reported missing this morning," Hoshi said. "They're hoping that he's still alive somewhere."

He grinned wryly. "It looks like we weren't the only ones who wanted something from him." He paused. "When was the last time anyone saw him?"

Her brow furrowed. "His wife mentioned something about him leaving for some kind of appointment."

"Does she know with whom?" he asked.

She shook her head. "He told her it was for work."

Archer frowned. "I'll take a closer look at the newscasts. Let me know if you find anything else."

She nodded. "Yes, sir."

As soon as the comm. was cut, Archer exited out of the screen and began to search for newscasts that mentioned Greene's disappearance. The admiral was becoming more and more mysterious by the day. With any luck, Trip and the others would find out what Greene had been up to before his sudden disappearance.

 


 

Moss Point, Mississippi, Earth-Home of Charles and Catherine Tucker-Guest Room
December 13th, 2155-1023 hours Central Time

Trip carefully packed the last of his belongings in a small shoulder bag. Zipping it closed, he set it on the chair beside the door. He heard the sound of children's laugher and he gazed out the window to see Seth, Katy, Carrie, and Jamie playing out in the yard. It looked like they had found a game that all four of them could play.

Jamie ran back and forth across the yard chasing Carrie as the little one giggled. Suddenly, he turned and ran toward Seth, tackling the other boy while he laughed happily. The two girls watched the boys' wrestling match with interest, their hands over their mouths to cover their giggles.

Trip turned away from the window when he heard a soft knock on the door. T'Pol stood on the threshold with a bag dangling from her shoulder and a suitcase in her hand. She once again wore the blonde wig, form-fitting top, and jeans. He grinned, looking her up and down.

"You're goin' ta turn a lot of heads with that outfit, darlin'," he teased.

She gave him a tolerant look, but her eyes sparkled at the compliment. "Is this attire inappropriate?" she asked coyly. "Lieutenant Reed informed me that it was very aesthetically pleasing."

The grin slipped instantly from his features at the thought of Malcolm ogling her thoroughly before paying her the compliment. A moment later, he saw T'Pol's eyes flash with mischief and he realized she was teasing him.

He chuckled. "I'll just bet he did," Trip drawled.

She moved toward the window, and he wrapped his arms around her waist, brushing his lips against hers.

"You look beautiful as a blonde, T'Pol," he whispered huskily. "Have ya ever thought about growin' your hair out a little and dyin' it?"

She arched an eyebrow. "I have considered allowing my hair to grow past its usual length," she offered.

He ran a hand through the artificial hair of the wig and smiled. "Ya should. Longer hair suits ya."

She paused. "I will take that under advisement."

A long silence hung in the air between them as they stood, staring into each other's eyes. Sensing through the bond that he was distressed, she brought a hand up to his cheek in an attempt to comfort him. He smiled weakly and, turning his head slightly, placed a kiss in the center of her palm.

He sighed. "I'm goin' ta miss them," he said, jerking his head toward the window.

T'Pol looked out the window, fighting back a smile when she noted Jamie chasing the other three. Finally, he caught up with one of the young girls and picked her up, holding her tightly to him whilst twirling her in a circle. The girl giggled breathlessly. Suddenly, an image of Trip spinning Elizabeth in his arms entered T'Pol's mind and her throat tightened. Her gaze dropped to her feet as she tried to hide the tears forming in her eyes.

Trip frowned and, reaching out a hand, lifted her chin. "T'Pol," he said softly. She looked up immediately, her gaze locking with his. He sucked in a soft breath when he noted the moisture in her eyes and felt tears sting the corners of his eyes as well. His arms slid up her back, and he enveloped her in a tight hug, burying his face in her neck as he fought back choked sobs.

His vision blurred and he felt the wet droplets slid down his face before dripping onto her shoulder. They stood wrapped around one another with neither sure of what to say. Several moments, later they broke apart and Trip kissed her forehead, his lips lingering slightly longer than necessary.

They started at the sound of someone clearing his throat and turned to find Reed standing in the doorway. "Are you ready, Commanders?" he asked.

Trip nodded and walked toward the door, grabbing his shoulder bag out of the chair. He turned to look at T'Pol one last time before slipping from the room. Her gaze dropped to the floor as she followed him out. Reed frowned and exited the room, closing the door.

 


 

Gallup, New Mexico, Earth-Murray's Diner
December 15th, 2155-0923 hours Mountain Time

Reed looked up from the menu and took in their surroundings for the tenth time since their arrival. They'd had a close call back in San Antonio with a black van. The vehicle had stayed with them for a good 35 miles before turning off at the Calaghan Road exit.

None of the diner's occupants seemed out of place. Reed's lips turned up and he returned his gaze to the breakfast menu. There was the usual array of American breakfast foods along with a couple of Americanized dishes originally from England. Just as he made a final decision on what he was going to order a tall, dark-haired waitress, who he suspected was of Hispanic descent, came to a stop next to the table and offered him a warm smile.

"Have you decided, señor?" she inquired.

Reed nodded. "I'll have two eggs over easy with a side of wheat toast."

She smiled, then writing the order down before turning to Trip and T'Pol. "Señor? Señora?"

T'Pol glanced at the menu one last time before replying, "I will have a bowl of oatmeal with a side of fresh fruit."

Trip paused. "I'll have two orders of the biscuits and gravy."

The waitress smiled, writing down the last item before taking their menus. "Those will be out soon. " She then turned to Trip with admiration shining in her eyes. "Would you like another coffee, señor?"

He smiled kindly and nodded. "Yes, thanks."

When she moved back behind the counter to refill Trip's cup, Reed returned his attention to the others. "So when we get to San Francisco, we'll get in touch with the contact that Harris set up for us, and then we'll proceed to headquarters."

Trip nodded. "Once we're inside, Sullivan will guide us through the procedures to hack inta the system."

Reed opened his mouth to reply when suddenly one of the diner patrons shouted, "Turn it up, querida. They're talking about that almirante de Starfleet again." At the mention of Starfleet, they all turned to view the newscast.

"...report that neither Admiral James Greene nor his body have been located. First reported missing two days ago, he was last seen by his wife who alleges that he had an appointment with persons unknown," the correspondent reported.

The newscast then cut to Elizabeth Greene offering a statement. "When I asked him whom the appointment was with, he said it was for work," she elaborated. "He wouldn't tell me where he was going or what the appointment was regarding. He just repeated that it was for work and left."

It then cut back to the correspondent, who wrapped up with report. "If you know anything about this man's disappearance," she began as a photo and description of Greene replaced her face on the screen, "please contact Starfleet Headquarters immediately. I'm Gale Werther, reporting live from outside of Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco. Back to you in the studio, Chuck."

"Thank you, Gale," Chuck said. "And now Tom with the weekly forecast."

Trip turned away from the screen with a slightly stunned expression on his face. Reed grinned wryly, shaking his head. "Well...that complicates things."

T'Pol's eyebrows arched. "Perhaps Admiral Greene was not the only individual sharing crucial information with the Romulans."

Reed frowned. "Possibly." He paused. "This time, the stakes are going to be a great deal higher. If we're found snooping through his personal files, we'll probably be added to the list of suspects."

T'Pol nodded. "And no doubt we will experience some unexpected difficulties due to the investigation. They may believe we have played a role in his disappearance."

Trip shook his head. "I've looked through all of the reports, and it doesn't look like he's told anyone else that we tried to break inta his office. He's somehow managed to cover that up. With him missing, we could walk in there and no one would say a word against us. We'll just need a different plan."

T'Pol hesitated before inclining her head. "Agreed."

Reed nodded. "All right." he replied. "We'll discuss it during the remainder of the drive."

Moments later, the waitress brought their plates to the table with a smile and, after she was sure that there was nothing else that they needed, she left them to their meal. The three ate quickly and Reed paid the bill, being sure to leave a generous tip for the waitress. The three then slipped from the little diner and climbed into the black luxury car to finish their journey to San Francisco.

 


 

San Francisco, California, Earth-Kat's Place
December 17th, 2155-1923 hours Pacific Time

Reed sat waiting at the table, anticipating the arrival of their contact. It was 1923 hours and the contact was nearly a half-hour late. He grimaced, wondering if the contact was going to show at all.

Suddenly, he heard someone approaching. When he looked up, a shocked expression crossed his features as his gaze locked with a pair of blue eyes that he knew instantly belonged to none other than his cousin, Emily Montgomery.

"Emily?" he croaked. "What are you...?" His eyes widened in realization. "You're the contact that Harris was talking about." She nodded. "Why...what...?"

Emily grinned. "This has to be the first time I've ever seen you speechless, duckling, and that's saying something." She paused. "I'm sorry. I wanted to tell you, but Harris said that it was too dangerous."

His features tightened. "You've been following us."

The grin slipped from her features and her gaze dropped to her hands. "Yes," she admitted. "Admiral Greene was getting too close and Harris asked me to help throw him off of the trail." She grimaced. "Unfortunately, it didn't work as well as we'd hoped."

He frowned. "Trip's family. That's why that group of men targeted them. The men that threatened his family were Romulan spies."

She paused. "They were actually Reman slaves." At his puzzled expression, she continued. "The Remans inhabit Romulus's sister world, Romii. Since the early years of the 22nd century, they have served as slave labor. We're not quite sure about their exact origins, but we assume that they must share some common ancestry with the Romulans."

"You have an unusual amount of insight into their history," Reed said slowly.

Her expression was unreadable. "We have our ways of getting information." She looked at him sternly. "I trust that you'll keep this information to yourself. The only reason I've been authorized to share this with you is your past links to Section 31."

He nodded. "I understand." He paused. "Why share this with me?"

"In order to defeat one's enemy one must understand them, Malcolm," she said seriously. "And the best way to understand a race is through their history."

Again, he frowned. "Are you telling me that they intend to enslave the Human race?"

"We can't be sure," she replied. "But this tells us that it is not in their nature to show mercy to those that they deem inferior nor is it in their nature to allow an alliance to succeed that could threaten the hold they have over their empire. To put it simply, Malcolm, the Romulans are conquerors, and they won't allow anything to get in the way of that conquest, not even one of their own."

He sat silent for several moments, thinking over her words and his eyes widened in sudden realization. "Admiral Greene's disappearance."

She smiled and nodded. "Exactly. He was becoming too powerful and his self-righteous behavior would have exposed their plot."

"It sounds as though this goes far deeper than an undercover operation," he said softly. "This seems to be an infiltration of the highest order."

She laid her hand on top of his, grasping it tightly. "You're our best chance of stopping this, Malcolm. The encrypted files in Admiral Greene's computer could very well expose years of lies and deceit. If those files go public, it could destroy any trust that the people of Earth have in Starfleet."

 


 

San Francisco, California, Earth-Starfleet Headquarters--Main Lobby
December 18th, 2155-1452 hours Pacific Time

Trip leaned on the counter, smiling kindly at the rather bookish blond who sat behind the main desk in the center of the lobby. She'd been infatuated with him from the moment he'd first walked into Headquarters over eight years ago looking for Admiral Forrest's office. The young woman gazed at him shyly, her cheeks taking on a pinkish tinge. "Commander," she said, her voice full of adulation.

He regarded her kindheartedly. "Hi, Maya. It's been awhile." He paused. "How's Damien?"

The tinge in Maya's cheeks became more pronounced and her eyes twinkled with pleasure. "He's great. He took his first steps yesterday."

He chuckled. "Amazin'. How old is he again? A year?"

Out of the corner of his eye, Trip saw T'Pol and Reed walking past. Just as they had agreed, Trip inclined his head in greeting as though it were a coincidence that the three of them should visit Headquarters on the same day.

Maya laughed nervously, wringing her hands in her lap. "Eighteen months."

He whistled softly. "They sure grow up fast, don't they? Next thing you know, you'll be takin' him in for his first day of grade school."

 


 

San Francisco, California, Earth-Starfleet Headquarters--Outside Greene's Office
December 18th, 2155-1500 hours Pacific Time

Reed entered the code that he'd used the last time to break into Greene's office only to find that it had been changed. He frowned. "They must have changed it after our last attempt," he said softly.

Emily glanced at the pad in her hand before moving forward to enter another code. The three stared for a moment after she'd entered the code. The moment the indicator light became green, Reed shoved the door open. He was about to rush in to disable the alarm when Emily threw out an arm to stop him.

She reached carefully into her pocket, removing a bag containing what looked to be baby powder. Opening it, she threw a handful into the room. As the dust from the powder was distributed around the room, a series of green laser lights appeared.

Emily raised an eyebrow at the other two before skillfully ducking under, climbing over, and sliding between the lights until she at last reached the small security box mounted on the far wall. Again, she pulled the small pad from her pocket and activated the communications circuit that she'd jury-rigged. Within moments, Brody Sullivan's face appeared on the little screen.

"We're in," she confirmed.

Sullivan nodded. "His security system is a bit tricky. You'll need to bypass the primary circuit first."

She nodded and paused before slipping the pad back into her pocket so that she could have her hands free to disable the alarm.

 


 

San Francisco, California, Earth-Starfleet Headquarters--Main Lobby
December 18th, 2155-1510 hours Pacific Time

Out of the corner of his eye, Trip spotted what appeared to be a group of MACOs talking quietly in the far corner occasionally glancing in his direction. Trip maintained his composure, but was only half-listening as Maya chronicled her son's most recent achievements.

The atmosphere in the room was nearly stifling. He wondered exactly what the MACOs were saying about him. Something about the way they continued to point at him made him feel uneasy. Upon seeing that one of the MACOs was at last holding his gaze, he turned toward the man and stiffened instinctively when he saw the man reach for something at his side.

"Everyone down!" he shouted, diving for the floor himself.

The weapons fire just missed him, hitting the solid oak desk behind him with a resounding crack. Several people screamed and ran for the doors in their panic, but the other MACOS blocked the way.

Trip scrambled for a nearby pillar as the man once again took aim and fired, the shot this time grazing his shoulder. He winced at the sharp pain and pressed a hand to the wound as the blood seeped slowly through his fingers.

 


 

San Francisco, California, Earth-Starfleet Headquarters-Greene's Office
December 18th, 2155-1512 hours Pacific Time

Emily frowned. "The back-up system appears to require a code to deactivate," she informed Sullivan.

He grinned wryly. "And voice print identification as well no doubt."

Upon closer examination, Emily discovered the little voice box and nodded. "Yes."

Sullivan paused. "Hang on. I should be able to find his voice print in the database and modify it."

"What about the code?" she asked.

"You might have to contact your friend, Harris, for that," he replied.

Emily nodded to Reed who immediately got to work hacking into a secure channel with a device similar to the one that Emily had jury-rigged to her pad.

Moments later, they had both the code and the voiceprint. "If you give me the code, I can program it to the voice print," Sullivan said.

Reed frowned. "I can't understand a word of this."

T'Pol extended her hand for the pad and Reed passed it to her. She browsed the contents for a moment before looking up. "They appear to be numerals in Archaic Vulcan." She paused. "They must be pronounced exactly or the word will form another meaning entirely."

Emily paused. "Why don't you read them so that Mr. Sullivan can hear them?"

T'Pol nodded. "Shek. Mne. Lliu. Hwi. Hwi. Kre. Rhi." Once she'd read off the numbers, Reed frowned. Her eyebrows arched and she turned to him, reading his expression. "Six. Four. Zero. One. One. Two. Five."

"The exact same numbers that he used before," Reed said, his frown deepening. "Perhaps we should have a closer look at these numbers once we get back to Enterprise they appear to have a great deal of significance to him."

In the far corner, Emily played the modified voiceprint and a moment later the alarm was deactivated. Reed moved immediately toward the computer and used the same modified voiceprint to access Greene's private computer files. To their relief, the voiceprint was accepted and Reed immediately began downloading the files to a data pad.

Just as the link was initiated, the three heard several loud screams downstairs followed by weapons fire. T'Pol froze and bolted from the room with her weapon raised.

 


 

San Francisco, California, Earth-Starfleet Headquarters-Third Floor Hallway
December 18th, 2155-1511 hours Pacific Time

As she reached the end of the hall, she heard another volley of weapons fire and a searing pain ripped through her shoulder. She gasped in surprise and clutched it tightly; the pain was nearly blinding. She looked down at her shoulder and noted that she was uninjured. A moment later, panic enveloped her as she realized that she must have been feeling Trip's injury.

Suppressing her reaction to the pain in her shoulder, she hurried down the staircase, holding her weapon at the ready.

 


 

San Francisco, California, Earth-Starfleet Headquarters-Main Lobby
December 18th, 2155-1512 hours Pacific Time

Through his pain, Trip choked down a momentary feeling of panic. He knew he had to stay calm if he was going to survive this. His eyes widened slightly as a thought struck him; T'Pol was probably rushing to his aid. He cursed inwardly. She was going to walk right into the middle of a firefight. Pausing, he closed his eyes and tried to reach her through the bond. He gasped at the intensity of the emotions he received from her in return. Focusing his mind as she'd taught him, he tried to convey a warning of the danger that awaited her; however, the panic and anger surging to him through the bond made it nearly impossible for him to focus long enough to do so.

"Trip!" he heard her shout.

He heard Katie's screamed words as an echo in his mind. That's your problem! You never think! And your thoughtlessness always gets someone hurt! His eyes snapped open when he heard more weapons fire.

"No!" he screamed as he bolted from behind the pillar.

Suddenly, a blast caught him on his left side and he fell to the floor gasping in tear-inducing pain. Clutching at his side with his free hand, he aimed his weapon unsteadily at the outlet on the wall next to the group of MACOs and fired. It exploded in a shower of sparks, knocking all but two of the men to the ground, unconscious.

T'Pol quickly disabled the two remaining men. When she was sure that both men no longer posed a danger, she rushed to Trip's side, panic plain in her hazel eyes. "Trip!"

"I'm still here," he said breathlessly.

He tried to sit up, but T'Pol pushed him back immediately. "You are severely injured. Remain still," she whispered soothingly.

His gaze shifted to his injured left shoulder and he grinned wryly. "I just got that arm out of a sling," he breathed, laughing humorlessly.

T'Pol had to admit that there was a certain element of irony to his injury. "Perhaps your deity is attempting to tell you something."

He chuckled. "What? That if I hang around you, I'm goin' ta get shot in the arm for my trouble?"

She brushed a few stray hairs back from his forehead soothingly. "Perhaps. Or perhaps that you should be more cautious."

Moments later, she looked up to find a medic by her side. The medic knelt down to look over Trip's injuries. For the first time since watching the MACO fire at Trip, she glanced around the room. Each of the MACO soldiers who had attacked Trip were now bound and were being led toward what she assumed was the Headquarters' brig by several security officers. Also, the injured were being treated.

"He's going to be all right," the medic offered.

T'Pol nodded. "Thank you," she said softly, genuine gratitude reflecting in her tone.

Nodding, the man smiled and then motioned for a group with a stretcher. They carefully lifted Trip onto the stretcher, and T'Pol walked with them. When they reached the doors that lead to Starfleet's in-house hospital, they lifted him onto a rolling bed. As they rolled him away, T'Pol slowly released his hand and stared after him in shock.

"Ma'am," the medic said rather loudly. T'Pol turned toward him. "Are you family?"

She nodded without hesitation. "I am his wife."

The medic looked surprised at first, but simply nodded. "The doctors will take a look at him first to see what kind of damage there is. From what I've seen, he's going to need surgery. His shoulder burn isn't that severe, but the blast to his side may have damaged his spleen irreparably."

"Will they not be able to replace it?" she asked, feeling a small flicker of panic.

The medic smiled reassuringly. "Don't worry. The spleen isn't an essential part of the Human body." At her expression, he quickly added. "I'm sure he'll be fine." He then turned and followed the gurney.

Despite his calm features, T'Pol could see the concern in the medic's eyes. The situation was more severe than he was making it out to be. She sought the familiarity of the bond only to find emptiness, causing the panic to once again threaten her control. She reached out to Trip again, this time able to feel a weak presence in the back of her mind. He was unconscious.

She slid into the chair near the doors, relief flooding her as she clung to his mind. She would know instantly if he died. The emptiness would be swift, and madness would consume her within moments. To lose Trip would be as deadly as the removal of her heart, and the grief would suffocate her in nearly the same manner.

"Ma'am." She again looked into the medic's eyes. "Is there anything that I can get you?"

She paused and then shook her head. "No. I will be fine, thank you."

He nodded, hesitating before going through the doors into the ER, leaving T'Pol to her thoughts. I should attempt to meditate, she thought, realizing how greatly the emotions churning within her now were testing her control. She doubted that the attempt would be successful; nevertheless, she closed her eyes and, folding her hands in her lap, sought solace in the meticulously practiced techniques.

 


 

San Francisco, California, Earth-Alley Behind Kat's Place
December 22nd, 2155-0004 hours

Reed turned when he heard footsteps approaching and smiled at the familiar figure of Harris making his way down the alleyway in the darkness.

Harris stopped a comfortable distance away; just close enough so that Reed could hear him. "I assume that Agent Montgomery is going to be at work today," Harris offered, a half-smile crossing his lips. Reed nodded in confirmation. "Did you get all of the files?" Harris asked.

"I did," Reed replied.

Harris raised an eyebrow. "Do you have them with you?"

Reed stared at Harris for a few moments. "I do," he replied patting his trouser pocket.

Harris smirked. "Good work."

"I'm sure you remember our deal," Reed said calmly.

The two stared at each other for several moments before Harris nodded. "I remember."

Reed pulled the data pad from his pocket and handed it to Harris. The older man turned and began to walk away.

"Harris," Reed called. The man stopped and turned. "It was an honor working with you."

Harris grinned, nodding in acknowledgement. "And with you, Lieutenant."

 


 

San Francisco, California, Earth-Starfleet Headquarters Medical-Recovery Ward-Room 24Alpha
December 23rd, 2155-1959 hours Pacific Time

There was a soft knock on the door, and Trip's eyes opened to find T'Pol standing in the doorway. He struggled to sit up, wincing at the pain lancing through his side. She moved forward immediately and pushed him back down carefully.

"The doctor insisted that you are to rest, Trip," she chastised.

He glared at her, and she met his stern look with one of her own. His features softened and he sighed. "Could you help me sit up?" he groused.

Her eyebrows arched and she nodded, supporting him as he adjusted his position so that he was sitting with his back against the raised portion of the bed.

"Thanks," he mumbled.

She paused. "The doctor informed me that you would be allowed to leave the hospital tomorrow afternoon."

He grinned, relieved. "Thank the Lord for that."

"However," she added. "You must be extremely cautious with physical activity until your wound heals further."

He grinned wryly. "I suppose that means no tackle football."

"Yes," she replied deadpan. "Not unless you wish to again be confined to your present sleeping surface."

Trip laughed. "Are you goin' for a record? That's three in one day, T'Pol."

She gave him a tolerant look, but remained silent. Through the bond, he could sense her amusement and his grin widened. He then leaned forward, brushing her lips with his.

"So is Malcolm still plannin' ta take Hoshi ta his folks' place for Christmas?" he asked.

T'Pol nodded. "Yes and I believe he intends for them to spend the New Years holiday in Times Square."

He paused. "You know, I was thinkin' that we could rent a room overlookin' Times Square for the New Years countdown."

She raised an eyebrow and he grinned sheepishly. "A date?" she asked.

"If ya want ta call it that, yeah. A date," he mumbled, his gaze dropping from hers.

She hesitated for a moment before nodding. "That is acceptable," she said slowly.

He looked up, slightly stunned. "I, uh, suppose I'll get it set up then."

She nodded again and gripped his hand tightly. A long silence hung in the air between them before she permitted her free hand to cup his cheek. She then slid her fingers to the contact points along his face.

"Relax," she whispered soothingly.

Trip released a deep breath and smiled. "I trust you, T'Pol."

She nodded and closed her eyes slowly. Trip did the same and he felt all of the tension melt away, their breathing synchronizing and their hearts beating as one.

He gasped in surprise when he felt the familiar sensation of her mind connecting with his, and he again found himself in the familiar white room.

"Imagine yourself where you desire to be, as you did before," she instructed.

He nodded and thought for a moment before closing his eyes. To her surprise, she found herself back on Vulcan overlooking the Fire Plains. The circumstances were nearly identical to those preceding her marriage to Koss.

Trip smiled. Enfolding her in his arms, he pressed his lips to hers in a deep kiss. "This is our place, T'Pol," he whispered. "Here, no one and nothing else matters. Only us."

She nodded. "Our place," she echoed softly. Closing her eyes, she buried her face in his shoulder and inhaled his intoxicating scent, reveling in the illogical comfort that the solidity of his body against hers provided. "Nothing else matters here. Only us."

 

 


Comments:

Reanok

:D Great to see you continue your series this is really good.

Linda

Fast moving, exciting and mostly understandable without having read the parts of the story which came before.  I like to wait until a story is finished than read the whole thing because I loose track of serial stories between episodes.   So I don't know if I will be able to keep up with this one as I don't know where it starts or when it will end.  But it is an enjoyable read. :) 

Asso

Fabulous, from from every angle.:p
The writing? Excellent.
The characters? Poignant.
The plot? Enthralling.
And Trip and T'Pol? Simply: they are like they have to be.:D:D:D

WarpGirl

I liked this one A LOT!!! And not just for the romance. I like Malcolm's cousin, and the fact she calls him "duckling." I cannot wait to see the Reed family christmas, here's hoping Hoshi makes sure they know Malcolm is now hers. My only complaint the scenes are too short.

SavanaSahara

Really enjoying this story! More more more! :)

evcake
Yessss!!! [b]More 'ship!!![/b] I'm enjoying this very much. :D
Blackn'blue
Looking very nice indeed. You are constantly improving your technique. Your characters are fleshing out nicely.

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