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Lies of Omission
Author - Angel | Genre - Future Story | L | Main Story | Rating - PG | Virtual Season 5
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Lies of Omission
Notes: Sorry this took so long. It’s been crazy around here lately! Hope you enjoy, and remember, feedback! Lots and lots of feedback!
A Virtual Season Five Series
Third in the Series
Return to The Virtual Series Five SeriesMENU page
“Hello Mother, Father. It has been an interesting few weeks on Enterprise. We’ve been in orbit around Earth now for twenty days. So far, we’ve hosted five diplomatic dinners, given nearly two dozen official tours of the ship, and the senior staff has been invited to speak at three separate conferences for Starfleet.” Grik paused for a moment.
He sighed as he imagined the response his letter was likely to receive and wondered again why he was bothering to compose it when it probably would go straight into the delete file without ever being opened. But some part of him wanted to believe that his parents were reading his letters, even if they never responded.
“All is well with me. I have adjusted to life on-board a starship and find it feels like home already.” Pausing again, he looked at the chronometer flashing at him from the corner of his computer monitor. “I’m due on duty soon. Be well. Your son, Grik.”
As the young officer signed off, the hatchway opened and a tall dark-haired man entered. “Hey, Grikster!” he announced jovially. “How goes bridge duty?” The man walked casually over to the second bunk in the room and plopped down to pull off his boots as he talked.
A bright smile lit up the Tellarite’s face. “Hello Tommy. It’s good; in fact, I need to be going or I’ll be late!” Jumping up, the pig-faced pilot grabbed his data padd and waved goodbye to his roommate.
Clouds swirled in the late winter sky over San Francisco. That was okay with Samuels though, they matched his mood. He pondered the cold wind and gray atmosphere as he walked to his apartment after another long day of negotiations. ‘Never, in my wildest dreams did I imagine that more time would be spent arguing over the temperature of the conference room than in actual alliance talks! It’s too cold for the Vulcans, too hot for the Andorians, and the Tellarites don’t care what the temperature is, but the lighting level is all wrong!’
He kicked aimlessly at the ground as he walked, growling softly in frustration. ‘How are we ever supposed to reach any kind of long-lasting agreements if we can’t even compromise on the damned facilities!’
Turning a corner, Nathan Samuels was surprised when he nearly bumped into a group of three men headed the opposite direction. Without looking up, he offered the best manners he could scrounge up at the moment and mumbled a, “Sorry,” before attempting to circle around the trio.
However, as the Earth diplomat maneuvered to the side, so did the other men, effectively blocking his path. This time he looked up to meet their gazes. Now a primal fear ran down his spine as he noticed the men all wore cloaks that hid their faces. “Um, excuse me, gentlemen,” he tried as he shifted back in another attempt to pass them.
Swiftly, the group surrounded him and began to tighten the circle they’d formed. Deep inside Samuels felt panic start to rise up in his chest, but his politician’s brain kept looking for another way out. “What do you want? I’m a very powerful man. I can get you almost anything.” He held his hands up in a gesture of backing off as he turned in place to face each of the men in turn.
Without having uttered a word, the men advanced on him. Somewhere in the darkness, a muffled scream was heard.
Sweat poured off of Trip’s forehead as he grunted with exertion. His partner was in a similar situation. As the pair moved together their breath came heavy and fast. Finally, seizing the moment, Trip reached out and grasped her arm. Swinging hard over his shoulder, she was thrown to the mat and he was declared the victor of the round.
A slight ‘oomph’ escaped her lips as T’Pol landed flat on her back. Looking up into her opponent’s eyes, she smiled inwardly at the mirth she found there. “Your technique has improved considerably. In fact,” she continued as she rose up from the undignified position he had left her in, “you seem to be enjoying your success a little more than is necessary.”
He laughed aloud at her discomfort. “Thanks. I’ve kept up practicing with the MACO’s and you’re right. I did enjoy that!”
She had turned away from him slightly before hearing the MACO comment, at which she immediately faced him again. She remembered watching him work out with one MACO in particular and the feelings that exercise had evoked. A small scowl crossed her features before she schooled them back into their normally stoic appearance.
Whether from the scowl or from the emotions flooding across their bond, Trip picked up her sudden mood change. Again he laughed, although softer this time. He leaned in closer to her so that only she would hear him in the crowded gymnasium. “What’s wrong, darlin’? Jealous?” He shook his head and smirked. “No need to be. I’ve limited myself to sparring with only males, other than you, of course. But if it’ll make ya’ feel better, I’d be happy to slap your…” he said as his eyes slid down over her curves to land on the softly rounded area just below her hips.
“That will not be necessary, Commander,” she interrupted in clipped tones before he could complete the thought. She turned away from him again to pick up a towel from the nearby bench. As she hid her face deep in the terrycloth, she allowed herself a full smile.
Captain Archer sat back in his chair on the bridge of the Enterprise. He sighed for what seemed like the hundredth time that hour as the boredom of their most recent assignment wore at his patience for the twentieth straight day.
Intellectually, he understood the need to bring them home right now. The galaxy was a hotbed of political unrest and while Enterprise was Starfleet’s flagship, she was also very high profile and had been involved in way too much controversy lately. She needed a break. Her captain, however, felt penned in.
As he pushed himself up to pace the bridge yet again, Hoshi suddenly looked up. “Captain, Admiral Gardner for you. It’s urgent, sir.”
The first thing that Trip noticed about his friend’s appearance was the drawn, tired expression he wore. Next was the heavy hunch to his shoulders. Obviously this was a man under a great deal of stress. Odd, since only a short time ago the same man was bored stiff to be commanding a ship that seemed to be endlessly orbiting her home planet.
As the senior staff filed in and took their customary seats around the conference table to be briefed on a recent communication from Starfleet, T’Pol caught Trip’s eye and they shared a questioning glance toward the Captain. He shrugged his shoulders almost imperceptibly and she felt a rush of concern aimed at their commander flood across the bond. They moved to take their seats, side by side, so that the briefing could begin.
“I’ll get straight to the point,” Archer began seconds later. “I just received word from Admiral Gardner that Earth’s ambassador to the coalition conference, Nathan Samuels, has been kidnapped.” Shocked looks quickly circulated around the table accompanied by a raised Vulcan eyebrow.
Frustrated, the Captain dropped down into his chair at the head of the table. “Starfleet received a copy of a message sent to Earth’s government demanding that the conference be halted and that all aliens be removed from the planet within forty-eight hours or Samuels will be killed.”
“It’s must be Terra Prime, sir,” Reed offered. “After all, it’s not as if they haven’t made their feelings on the issue clear. This is just another tactic.” He cast a downward glance toward Tucker and T’Pol with his last statement.
Archer raised his gaze to meet his best friend’s and his first officer’s. The look of pain evident in Trip’s eyes was almost as fresh as it had been the day of Elizabeth’s funeral. “That was Starfleet’s first thought, too, Lieutenant. However, they don’t believe that’s the case this time.” He paused for a moment as he took a deep, steadying breath. “Evidence of a Romulan phase weapon discharge was uncovered at the location they think Samuels was taken from.”
The doors to sickbay opened with a soft whoosh several hours after the briefing ended. Before they had re-closed, Phlox emerged from his office to see who had come to call at this time of the night. “Ah, Commander Tucker,” he started with his usual broad smile firmly in place. “What can I do for you this evening?”
“Hey, Doc,” the engineer began as he looked bashfully down at the deck plating. “Got anything to help me sleep?”
The physician gave the young man a good look and noticed his haggard appearance, the wrinkled t-shirt and bare feet under loose fitting sweatpants. He raised an eyebrow in question. “I thought you used meditation with T’Pol to aid in sleeplessness these days, along with neuropressure when needed of course.”
Sighing, Trip met his friend’s gaze. “Yeah, well, let’s just say I didn’t feel like sharing the reason I’m having trouble sleeping tonight with her.”
Now a look of concern crossed the Denobulan’s features. “Would you like to tell me the problem?”
“Not really, but you probably aren’t going to let me be until I do, are you?” Knowing he had little choice, Trip inwardly admitted that he did want to tell someone, and who better than Phlox, under doctor-patient privilege of course. “This is just between us, right, Doc?” At the nod from his doctor, Tucker went on.
“I couldn’t relax tonight because I’ve been feeling guilty ever since that meeting with the Captain about Samuels. See, I hadn’t even realized it until Malcolm mentioned Terra Prime, but it’s been a few days since I thought about Elizabeth.” He hung his head low in shame. “I mean, it’s been over a month now since the funeral and I guess I just got comfortable with my life again and almost happy even. Then, Mal brought up those bastards and my world came crashing down all over again, but this time it seemed worse cause I hadn’t even realized that she hasn’t been in my thoughts lately.”
Tucker looked up expecting to see a look of mortification on the face of his friend, what he found was calm understanding. He trudged on. “So, now I feel guilty for not thinking of her enough and I feel like I got caught with my britches down for it. Plus, the one person I usually go to when I feel like crap I can’t talk to cause it’d just hurt her to know that I’ve been neglecting our daughter’s memory. Does any of this make sense?”
Phlox laughed softly and placed a caring hand on Trip’s shoulder. “You make yourself miserable, Commander. It is perfectly normal to begin to move on with your life. I daresay that Elizabeth’s life is enhanced by your willingness to continue living. So, there’s no reason to feel guilty for being happy. As for discussing this with T’Pol, you may find that she is in a similar state, only even more confused than you are by it since she has had much less acceptance of emotions like guilt in her life.”
He paused as he walked over to a cabinet and slid back the glass panel door. Reaching in, he retrieved a small bottle and brought it back to his friend. “Here, you can take two of these for tonight, but no more.” Trip furrowed his eyebrows and pursed his lips as he reached for the tablets. “Talk to her, Commander. Help each other through this as you have the past weeks. I think you’ll find that grieving and recovering from the loss of your child is going to be an ongoing, life-long process that never completely goes away. You must cling to each other on the difficult days as much as you enjoy each other on the pleasant days.”
Nodding hesitantly, Trip took the pills. “Thanks, Doc. I’ll see her tomorrow. Promise.”
Samuels woke up in pain. He couldn’t pinpoint where on his body hurt. It just hurt everywhere, like when you have the flu and every joint and muscle aches, only ten times worse. He tried to open his eyes, only to discover that he’d been blindfolded. His mouth was dry and tasted terrible, but at least he wasn’t gagged. “Hey! Is there anybody there?”
“Shut up, human.” A gruff voice echoed around him. The low hum of machinery filled up the background noise and a steady vibration rumbled through the ground.
“Do you know who you’re dealing with? I’m Nathan Samuels, Earth Ambassador…”
A swift backhand across the mouth effectively stopped his speech. “Of course we know who you are. Do you think we randomly kidnap humans off the street?” Now a low whisper against his ear maintained his silence, “Now, you will do as you’re told, or you will die.”
Reed walked briskly along the cold streets of San Francisco. He was headed toward Starfleet Command to be brought up to date on the investigation, but he wanted to take the long way. He’d started at Samuels’ apartment to trace the route the older man would’ve taken home in reverse.
When he came upon the kidnap site, it was guarded by armed personnel from Starfleet, MACO’s, and Earth’s government. He approached confidently and nodded cordially to the officer in command. “Lieutenant Reed, Enterprise.” His greeting was succinct, but all that was necessary. The officer moved aside and let him into the roped off area.
The Englishman didn’t expect to find anything new, but sometimes just being in a place where a crime had occurred caused ideas to form. He cast his eyes around, the surrounding area was untouched. There didn’t seem to have been a struggle at all.
Finally accepting that he wouldn’t learn anything here, he continued on his way to Command. As he reached his destination, he noticed a group of the delegates standing along the walkway in deep discussion. There were several Andorians, a few Tellarites, and seemingly the entire Vulcan party.
“It would be illogical for the kidnappers to return Mr. Samuels,” Soval was saying as Reed came closer.
“Not everyone uses logic to determine their actions, Soval,” came the response from Ambassador Thoris of the Andorian delegation. “Kidnapping is not a logical means to achieve a desired outcome.”
The Tellarite Ambassador spoke up, “I don’t care about logic or emotions, Samuels has been a fine spokesman for our meetings, despite being human, and I for one want to see his safe return!”
“Agreed,” Soval responded. “The Vulcan government stands ready to assist Earth in any way to see to it.”
Thoris nodded enthusiastically, “As does that of Andoria.”
“Good, then we are in agreement. Our governments will offer services to Earth’s leaders,” Vego, the Tellarite concluded as Reed passed by the unlikely grouping. He shook his head at the aliens and thought of the irony that they should finally agree on something and kidnapping and murder threats are all it took to motivate them.
After shifting himself around surreptitiously for what felt like days, Samuels had managed to maneuver his blindfold’s edge enough that he could finally see past it. At first, the brightness of the room startled him, but as his vision cleared he noticed his surroundings.
Control panels lined the walls and a central console took up most of the middle of the room. It seemed he’d been left alone for the time being since he didn’t see anyone around, when a figure emerged from the far side of the center controls.
As he moved further into Samuels’ line of sight, the politician could barely keep silent. The first things he noticed were the pointed ears and the slight green tint to the skin.
Thirty-six hours after receiving the ransom message, Earth’s leaders were in a quandary. “We do not negotiate with terrorists, sir,” Admiral Gardner repeated to the President for the twentieth time.
“I am well aware of our policies, Admiral,” President Stein responded. “But, dammit, Nathan is a good man, he’s served our planet for most of his life…”
“And he’s your friend,” Captain Archer added softly to the end of the President’s tirade.
A quick glance at the starship captain revealed the sad truth. “Yes,” the President acknowledged.
“Sir, we appreciate that,” Gardner said. “But it doesn’t change anything. We can not give in to these demands.” The officer finished softly as he placed a compassionate hand on the shoulder of his friend and leader.
Stein dropped his head in loss. “I know. But what the hell am I supposed to tell his wife?”
A sharp inhalation gave away the fact that he could see. The guard approached and roughly pulled the blindfold the rest of the way off as he aimed a phase pistol at Samuels’ head. Another man, presumably in charge, spoke up. “So, you’ve managed to get a peek. No matter, you won’t be around long enough for anyone to find out what you know.”
“But..but you’re Vulcan,” he managed to stutter out around his shock.
A joyless laugh echoed around the chamber. “No, but that’s pretty funny. We,” he raised his arms to indicate their surroundings, “are Romulan.”
Samuels’ face went pale and he began to pray.
The door chime was loud in the quiet of his quarters. Trip pushed himself up from where he’d been feigning sleep to answer, “Come in.”
“Why did you not tell me that you could not sleep?” T’Pol asked softly as she sat down beside him on the bunk.
They sat in silence a moment, side by side on his bed. “It’s not a big deal. I’ll be fine.” Glancing up, he saw the raised eyebrow of doubt. “I’m sorry if I kept you up. I’m still trying to learn to control this bond between us. I guess when I’m tired, it’s a little harder.” He offered her a quirky smile of apology.
Leaning closer, she said, “Trip, if there’s something I can do to help…”
“It’s nothing,” he jumped up from his place and began pacing the room. “I just…I don’t know,” he admitted with frustration as he dragged a hand through his hair.
She rose to move beside him again. “I can feel your hesitance to share this problem with me.”
Meeting her gaze, he held it for a long minute. Stepping closer to her, he reached out and gently grasped her upper arms. “What are we, T’Pol?” he whispered.
A look of fear and uncertainty flitted across her features before being tucked safely away again, but he saw it. More than that, he felt it. “What do you mean?” she finally managed.
“Don’t hand me that. You know what I mean. What are we? Are we friends? Are we lovers? Are we in love?” He pulled her closer until they were mere inches apart. “I know that we have this bond, and I know how I feel about you, but we’ve been through so much. Is there any way to come back from all the hurt and pain and build something good? I need to know where we’re going, if anywhere.”
She reached up to tentatively stroke her fingers along his cheek. As she did, he closed his eyes and leaned into her hand. “I don’t know, Trip.” His eyes shot open and she knew he was afraid of what she might say next. She decided to try another tactic. “Why can’t you sleep?”
“You already know, don’t you?” he asked, surprised.
T’Pol nodded slightly. “I know enough. I know it has to do with Elizabeth and that you’ve been feeling tremendous guilt.”
“Damn bond,” he muttered. “Yeah, I feel like I’ve abandoned her because I’ve started to be happy again.” At this last, he looked deeply into her eyes.
She leaned in and gave him a chaste kiss. “You don’t need to feel guilty for being happy. It would be illogical for us to stop living. That would not serve her memory.”
“That’s what Phlox said,” Trip muttered.
“I know. That’s what he told me as well when I spoke with him earlier this evening.” Trip looked up sharply. “I’d been having difficulty meditating and went to him for a relaxing agent. He also suggested I speak with you,” she finished softly.
After a short moment of silence while she debated how to continue, T’Pol went on. “We are good friends with a powerful past. Before we decide what the future holds for us, perhaps we should concentrate on the present?”
Trip looked down at her and smiled. He ran the fingers of his right hand lightly through her hair and gently stroked the tip of her ear as he did. A slight tremor shook her body as she closed her eyes. “I think you’re right, darlin’. We should work on the here and now.” With that, he leaned down and kissed her, softly at first but it quickly became more heated.
She returned the kiss with equal fervor as her hands began to roam his body. As they slid over the taut muscles of his back, she pulled him in closer.
His arms closed tightly around her tiny waist before his hands tangled into her dark brown locks. They began to move as one toward the recently abandoned bunk just as the intercom chirped.
“Archer to Commander Tucker.” No response.
“Archer to Commander Tucker.”
Trip dragged himself away from T’Pol’s embrace and punched the com button with more force than was needed. “Tucker here, sir.”
“Sorry to call you at this hour, Trip, but I need all the senior officers on the bridge.”
They shared a worried look before he responded. “Aye, sir. I’m on my way.”
“One more thing, Commander. You don’t happen to know where T’Pol is, do you? She’s not answering hails in her quarters.”
Another shared glance and T’Pol spoke up. “I am here, sir. I will be on the bridge shortly.”
After a brief pause, Archer’s answer came back. “Very well. Archer out.”
Trip and T’Pol were the last to arrive on the bridge a short time later. As the officers gathered around their commander, his expression was grim and Trip thought his friend had never looked older.
“We got a call from Admiral Gardner a little while ago.” The Captain paused as if unsure how to go on. He breathed deep and pulled a hand across his face. “Columbia received a distress call but when they responded all they found was a buoy alongside Nathan Samuels’ body in an uncharted area of space. Captain Hernandez will be bringing him home for an autopsy and funeral.”
Tucker held his hand up in disbelief. “Wait a minute, when you say he was found in space, you mean on a planet or something, right?”
Archer turned sad eyes on his friend. “No, Trip, I mean space. From all outward appearances, it seems he was jettisoned out into open space and left to die.”
“Oh my God,” Hoshi whispered.
End Episode Three
Have a comment to make about this story? Do so in the Trip Fan Fiction forum at the HoTBBS!
A whole mess of folks have made comments
First, yeah. I first read this on FF and I just loved it. I'm glad that I got the chance to read it again here. Great job.
LOVE LOVE LOVE EVIL ROMULANS YAY FOR ROMULANS MORE ROMULANS WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Loved the T/T scene first of all. Second of all... Poor Samuels! I'm echoing Hoshi's, OMG all right.
Oooooooo, me like! Too bad this is just a virtual season five. (*pout pout*) ;)
Wow, that's one heck of a cliffhanger! You are going to update soon, right?!?!
Thank you for posting...I've been waiting! Great writing...love the Grikster! :-) Hope your next "episode" won't be long in coming.
Thank you for posting...I've been wondering what was going to happen! Great writing...love the Grikster! :-) Hope your next "episode" won't be long in coming.
Ack! I didn't mean to post twice...Operator Malfunction.
Just means I really, really like your story Angel ;-)
GREAT ending!! What a cliffhanger; hope to see more soon. I'm enjoying this story!
Another great chapter. Can't wait for more.
Damn these episodes of yours are turnin out just like a real episode,,,, ; ) Ya know with TnT getin interupted an all, LOL.... Loved the Play training session they had,,, and Trip feelin guilty about movin on was great but not as great as T'pol bein open no with Trip about here feelins to,,,,,,, And curse those damn pointy eared bumpy foreheaded evil cousins of the Vulcans,,,, Ya really got me wonder what the Romulans are gona screw with next.
Loved it all.
I want to thank you for this series - love it! Eagerly awaiting the next episode. I really enjoy all of your work. I read everything that you write.
I love your stories, especially this one. I am curious as to how it will end. You're a great writer... keep up the good work! I'll be impatiently waiting for the next installment.
Great third chapter! Am curious however. why did the big,bad and pointy Roms nuke a perfectly good planet?
We're getting there, be patient!
This is really enjoyable... My only "AAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!" moment, of course, was Archer, as usual, interrupting our favorite couple just as they are starting to communicate effectively! LOL
Anyway, this is lots of fun! Keep up the good work!
Oh my god. Master of suspence. You need a medal.
Um, i'm writing something to, and does anyone know t'pol's father's name?