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Author - Angel | Genre - Future Story | M | Main Story | Rating - PG
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Rating: PG, mild swearing
Notes: Well, I haven’t actually finished watching TATV yet. It was so bad, I just had to turn it off, but being the spoiler hound that I am, I already know it sucks. So, I decided to try my hand at writing a virtual season five and ignoring that piece of BB trash. Thanks for listening to my rant!
Please let me know what you think. Feedback is much appreciated.
A Virtual Season Five Series
First in the series.
Return to The Virtual Series Five SeriesMENU page
A cool breeze blew in from the bay to drift across the Starfleet grounds. It rustled the hair of those gathered around a freshly turned patch of earth, but they didn’t seem to notice. Slightly ahead and to the right of everyone else stood Commander T’Pol, wearing her formal Vulcan robes, and Commander Tucker in his Starfleet dress uniform. They didn’t touch, but leaned almost imperceptibly toward each other. Both wore glazed expressions and carried dark circles under their eyes as they listened to the words of Admiral Gardner.
“On behalf of Starfleet, and me,” he turned briefly to face the couple nearest him as he concluded the service, “our deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of Elizabeth T’Mir Tucker and her parents. May she rest in peace.”
Slowly but steadily the dignitaries and officials began to depart until only the Enterprise crew and a few select civilians were left beside the new grave. Eventually, even most of them made their way across the open green lawn, but one man silently approached the sullen couple.
“Trip?” Archer began in an almost whisper. “T’Pol?” The Captain started to reach out for his best friends, but pulled himself back when Trip’s eyes turned toward his. The absolute loss behind his deep blue orbs caused Archer to catch his breath. Looking down to avoid facing that pain again, he continued. “I just wanted to let you know that I’ve spoken with Admiral Gardner and we agree. You should both take as much leave time as you need. Stay on Earth; visit your parents, Trip. T’Pol, you could go to Vulcan and visit Mt. Seleya.” He fumbled; seeking the words that would help before realizing there weren’t any. “Whatever you want. Just, take care of yourselves.” The Captain looked them over once again and amended his statement. “Take care of each other.”
The couple’s gaze met briefly before Tucker turned back to his oldest friend. “Thanks, Cap’n, but we’d really rather just get back to Enterprise.”
A puzzled frown crossed Archer’s expression. “Are you sure, Trip? I mean, your parents…”
“My parents are fine, sir. I talked to ‘em again this mornin’.” He released a heavy sigh and tried to relax his face into a gentle smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “Really, Jon, it’s okay. Yeah, I was disappointed that they weren’t comin’ to the service,” his voice dropped to a whisper at the last words, “but I understand. It was just too painful for them. They’ve only just started to recover from losing their daughter.” Trip’s eyes looked down to the small rectangle of dark dirt and stayed there; he barely croaked out, “They couldn’t deal with us losing ours, too.”
Throughout this exchange T’Pol had not moved, or even acknowledged the conversation going on around her, but now she looked up at her commanding officer. “I concur, Captain. We would prefer to return to our duties and Enterprise as soon as possible.”
Archer dragged a rough hand over his clean-shaven face before tugging at the collar of his dress uniform. “All right, then, if that’s really what you both want,” he conceded. “Enterprise leaves orbit in 72 hours. I’ll see you onboard in 48,” he shook his head at the imminent protest, “and not one minute before.”
“Aye, sir,” Trip muttered.
T’Pol gave a curt nod.
As the Captain walked away, he looked back over his shoulder once. His slight shock at the scene of his normally reserved Vulcan First Officer leaning heavily on Trip as his shoulders were wracked by deep sobs was quickly replaced by a feeling of relief. “Thank God they have each other,” he thought before continuing down the path toward his transport.
In another star system and on another world, a young Tellarite man stood proudly before his parents. “I’m sorry you feel that way, but this is my decision and one that I’m sticking to!”
“I don’t understand, Grik. How can you even think to serve on a Starfleet vessel? They stink like yesterday’s garbage and as for the humans, well…” his father trailed off as his already piggish nose squished up further at the thought.
At that, his mother burst into tears. “It’s not right, it’s just not right,” she wailed. The older man went to his wife and cuddled her against his round form.
“Now you’ve upset your mother! That’s it; there’ll be no more talk of this Starfleet officer exchange program. You will serve the Tellarite Space Command just as every other male in our family for generations!” He turned to lead his distraught spouse out of the room, but was stopped by the strength emanating from Grik’s throat.
“It’s too late for that, father. Whether you approve or not, I have already volunteered and been accepted for the program by the TSC. I will leave on Enterprise in a few days time.” Grik squared his shoulders and met his father’s steely gaze.
With a heavy sigh, Viat stared at his son as his wife’s cries became louder. “Fine, have it your way, but so long as you wear that...that...uniform don’t come back here. I’ll have no son in Starfleet.” He turned his back once more and led his mate to have a rest.
Archer entered the shuttle-bay as soon as the green light signaled that repressurization was complete. He strode across the platform to greet his friends as they emerged from the fully loaded craft. His gaze darted across the faces of his crew as they returned from their brief visits planet-side in search of the officers that completed his command staff. At last, he saw Tucker’s tired form.
“Welcome back, Trip,” he said gently while glancing over the shoulder of his engineer. “Where’s T’Pol?”
“She’ll be back later today,” he answered as they made their way to the corridor, trailing behind the rest of the recently returned personnel.
A question furrowed the Captain’s brow. “I thought she was with you.”
Trip slung his duffle bag over his shoulder. “Nah, she spent her time at the Vulcan compound. She said she needed to meditate and that she was gonna try to meet up with Soval.” The disappointment echoed through Trip’s words.
“You don’t sound too happy about that,” Archer commented.
The duo stopped and turned to face each other. Trip looked around quickly to confirm that they were now alone in the passageway. He pulled a hand through his hair. “Yeah, well, I guess I just figured she’d want to be with me, ya know? I sure as hell woulda preferred bein’ with her. I thought we could help each other get through this thin’ better than anyone else, but instead she stayed in that damned compound and I couldn’t even get in to see her.”
“I’m sorry, Trip.” The regret was sincere as the Captain went on. “I’m sure she just needed some time to herself.”
Tucker nodded absently. “Yeah, I know.” He looked down the hallway and gestured vaguely with his thumb. “I better get unpacked, Cap’n. I’ll see ya later.”
“Of course.” He debated whether to go on, but decided he would. “If you’re feeling up to it, there’s a gathering in the Captain’s Mess tonight, 1800, for Travis.”
“Travis?” Tucker questioned.
“He’s been transferred to Earth, along with a shiny new promotion. He’ll be teaching at the academy.” Archer allowed a little bit of pride to show through as he explained.
Both of Trip’s eyebrows went up and a genuine smile softly turned up his lips. “I’ll do my best to be there, sir.”
Captain’s Personal Log:
“We’re on-route to Tellar to pick up our new helmsman. He’s part of the new officer exchange program; to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about having a Tellarite on my bridge, but Starfleet says we’re starting down the path to a true partnership with our stellar neighbors and this is the first step.” Archer paused as he took a deep swallow of his bourbon. The amber liquid warmed him through while he considered how to continue.
“On a more personal note, I’m very concerned for my friends. Trip and T’Pol are back on duty, and while I can’t fault their performance, they seem to be shadows of their former selves. I had hoped they would pull together to cope with the loss of Elizabeth, but it seems as if they’re more distant than ever.”
The Captain depressed the toggle to end recording before he slammed back the last of his drink. Rising slowly from the small desk, he called for Porthos. “Come on, boy. Let’s take a short walk before bed.”
The happy beagle didn’t have to be told twice. He was anxiously waiting at the door before Archer finished standing.
Cold sweat covered his body from head to toe as he struggled to free himself from an imaginary foe. The sheets wrapped around his form mercilessly while he twisted repeatedly from side to side. In one final gesture of futility, he flung himself wildly across the bed and landed hard on the floor.
“Damn!” Trip swore as he woke up on impact with the surface. He thought back to the nightmare that had plagued him since his return to Enterprise. Closing his eyes in concentration, he visualized the image of T’Pol sitting in her white space.
He approached her cautiously, reaching tenderly out to her. Suddenly, her eyes shot open and her face filled with fear. “No! Don’t touch me!” Standing, she turned and ran away.
At first, he hesitated but then he followed. Soon they left the white space to be surrounded by an ever-increasing darkness until finally Trip felt the oppressive black physically pressing in on him. He struggled for breath while at the same time trying to find T’Pol.
His lungs worked hard sucking the air in. Idly he wondered if this is what drowning must feel like when he began to feel light-headed. His hands groped out wildly, reaching for T’Pol even though he could no longer see her or even sense her presence. At last the need for oxygen overwhelmed him and a sense of self-preservation kicked in, forcing him to thrust his body back toward where the white space had been in one violent motion.
And that’s when he awoke on the floor. With a heavy sigh, he dragged himself back up to the bed. “That’s it! I’m gonna make that woman talk to me, whether she likes it or not!”
Lieutenant Reed stood beside Captain Archer outside the airlock. “I don’t know, sir. It’s going to be a difficult adjustment.”
Archer shot the Englishman a look of understanding. “That’s what we do best, Malcolm. We adapt to the new and different. That’s what we’re out here for.”
“Aye, sir,” Reed replied with a tiny bit of skepticism leaking through.
The airlock hissed softly as the pressure equalized. When the seals opened and the door slid aside, it revealed a pudgy, pig-snouted Tellarite wearing a Starfleet jumpsuit carrying the rank of ensign. He looked up sharply at his new commander.
“Captain Archer. Ensign Grik reporting for duty. Permission to come aboard?” His shoulders pulled back tightly at the closest approximation of attention that his physical shape would allow.
Reed and Archer shared a look of confusion over the head of their newest officer before the Captain addressed him. “Permission granted, Ensign. At ease, and welcome to Enterprise.” He gestured toward Malcolm. “This is Lieutenant Reed. He’ll show you to your quarters and help you get settled in.”
“Thank you, sir. I look forward to serving with such a distinguished group of officers.”
The Captain and chief of security gave each other another look of surprise as Archer broke off from the small group to make his way back to the bridge.
“So, tell me, what’s he like?” Hoshi asked before plunging her forkful of salad into her mouth.
Malcolm looked thoughtful for a moment then he just shook his head. “I really don’t know. He’s not like any Tellarite we’ve met before.”
She chewed rapidly and swallowed hard. “How so?”
“You really like to be in the know, don’t you?” Reed laughed. Her eyes widened and her brows went up in feigned shock. “All right,” he continued, “for one thing he was very polite. His respect for the Captain seemed genuine and he didn’t insult me once in the whole hour I spent briefing him.”
Hoshi cocked her head sideways as she contemplated this news. “I can hardly wait to meet him.”
Across the mess hall T’Pol sat staring out the window in distraction while her tea grew cold.
“Mind if I join you?” Trip asked, causing her to almost jump in surprise.
“I did not hear you approach,” she replied softly.
He nodded. “That doesn’t answer my question,” he said.
She rose and gathered up her teacup. “Actually, I was just about to return to my quarters.”
“Even better. I’ll join you.” It was a statement, not a request and she acknowledged the difference with a raised eyebrow.
“Very well then.”
They walked silently to her cabin. She opened the door and Trip followed her inside without a word.
“Now that you are here, what can I do for you, Commander?” she asked when they were finally alone.
Trip moved across the room and stood gazing out at the passing stars. “So, we’re back to ‘Commander’. I might’ve known.”
A slight hiss of exasperation escaped her lips as she clasped her hands behind her. “I don’t know what you mean.”
“Of course you don’t,” he said as he moved quickly to stand directly in front of her. He wanted to reach out and shake some sense into her, but knew that would accomplish nothing. “Just like you don’t know about my nightmares? Wanna tell me why every time I get close to you, you run away? And what’s with the blackness where I can’t even breathe?”
She lowered her eyes as a wave of guilt passed through her. “I am sorry,” she squeaked out in a small voice.
Suddenly, he felt like a total heel for making her deal with him right now. Gently, he reached out to place a finger under her chin and tilt her head up. As soon he touched her though, she pulled back sharply. Her eyes met his in a wild, animalistic haze.
“Dammit, T’Pol! What’s goin’ on!?” He dragged a hand through his hair. “Why are you shutting me out?” His voice became a whisper, “Let me help you.”
“I don’t need help,” she growled between clenched teeth. “Now please go.” She stood aside to allow him access to the doorway.
Trip walked slowly toward the hatch, but paused before he opened it. As he turned back to face her, she could see the unshed tears glisten brightly in his eyes. “Fine, you don’t need my help,” his voice was gravelly with emotion, “but did you ever think that maybe I need yours?” The door opened and he left her alone.
Grik imagined that no Tellarite had ever been happier. He could hardly wait to start his first duty shift at the helm of Enterprise, so he arrived on the bridge more than ten minutes early. He paced eagerly along the back walkway, mentally ticking off the seconds until he would finally sit in the front chair and guide the massive ship along her way through the stars.
Captain Archer emerged from his ready room, cup of coffee in hand, and smiled to himself at the excited young man – no, make that Tellar, he corrected himself. It had been too long since anyone on the bridge had been that cheerful. Sparing a quick glance at the ship’s chronometer, he decided the poor ensign had suffered long enough.
“Okay, Ensign Michaels,” he called to the man currently seated at the helm. “Call it a day. It’s just a few extra minutes, but maybe it’ll be enough for you to get first choice in the galley.”
Turning in his seat, the tall red-headed officer smiled at the Captain. “Aye, sir. And thanks!” He made a hasty retreat for the turbolift, sparing a quick wink at Grik as he passed by.
When the Tellarite didn’t proceed immediately to his post, the Captain turned his chair around. The previously excited ensign now appeared shocked and more than a little frightened. Laughing, Archer said, “Well, come on, Ensign Grik. The ship’s not going to fly herself!”
Grik looked anxiously around the bridge and met the smiling faces of most of the senior staff; T’Pol merely raised an eyebrow in response. He moved cautiously forward, his pace increasing as he got nearer the helm. At last, he took the seat vacated moments before by Ensign Michaels and ran his hands appreciatively over the control panel. As he relaxed into the chair, applause rang out through the command center.
“All right, people,” Archer said with a smile, “back to work. I believe, Mr. Grik, that that is their way of saying ‘welcome to the bridge’.”
“Thank you, sir.” Grik was now certain that no Tellarite had ever been happier.
Trip sat on his bunk, arms resting on his thighs as he held his head in his hands. His shoulders heaved softly as silent sobs were pulled from his chest. He’d never cried so much in his life, but even after days of it, still didn’t feel like he could stop.
The sound of the door chime forced the engineer to pull himself together. He swiped the fresh tears from his cheeks and called out, “Come in,” as he stood to face his visitor.
T’Pol looked frail as she entered Trip’s quarters. She met his eyes and he could see the green rims around her almond shaped orbs that indicated she’d been crying as well. “Trip, may we speak?”
End Episode One
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
Boah, what a cliffhanger! I like it so far, they come by quite naturally. Wonder what Grik's role will be? Go on!
Allready read it on FF.net, please update soon. Like it a lot.
WOW!!! In one story Grik's already played a bigger role then Travis did in 4 years. LOL
Im really lookin forward to seein Trip an T'pol workin through their grief together.
are you doing a whole season? and if so... i love you. i'm very excited about the excited tellerite, also.
Yay! A virtual season 5 - love it! What a great idea. A really interesting start. Thanks.
no,no,no, you can't stop here, I'm so excited, please continue soon. thanks for sharing.
You're gonna stop HERE? Come ON Angel! Be merciful!
Great story, can't wait to read more!!
I really like the idea of a Tellarite onboard! And you've done a great job of bringing a character to life that we've never seen on screen before!
Oh and author to author - BRILLIANT cliffhanger, hahahaha! you're evil :D
I can't wait to read more and I have to aggree that the Telleraite has already played a bigger role than Travis. Great start
I like this idea! More of season five, more, more, more! Um... please. This is excellent, so what should have happened! :)
Nice story!! Let's see more soon.
Great start...not sure that was a whole episode worth, maybe half...but looking forward to the rest.
Wonderful! Thanks for the idea of a VS5. I've read other VS episodes of other shows (e.g. X-Files) and it keeps us fans entertained and happy. I look foward to your next episode and hope other writers will collaberate. I like reading it here rather than ff.net. The format there is irritating. P.S. Is T'Pol beginning to go into Pon Farr? And..the buildup of the angst is good.
Great start. :) I definitely can't wait to hear this conversation!
The Tellerite is an interesting choice! Definitely not one of my favourite species, but so far I like him. Loved your handling of Trip and T'Pol. I'm really looking forward to the next chapter.
Excellent! I really like the Tellarite addition and am curious about his uncharacteristic nature. Could he be a human/Tellarite hybrid? As for T'Pol, thank goodness she has at last gone to Trip but will it be to put things right or to put another crack through the walls of his heart? Can't wait to see what happens next, Ali D :~)
I like this very much. Please continue soon, your story's interesting. I like the new charakter you introduced and you did a great job describing T/T's problems. Nice!
Very nicely written, but what a place to leave us hanging! Poor Trip. Oh, the angst!!
Argh!!!!!!!!! I'm sick of angst! The only way you can make this unhappy reader feel better is by writing a sequal (hint hint). Pleaseeeeee keep writing!
Oh please post a sequel soon!!! ... I like the way you had Trip throw it out there that Tpol consider he needs her. The new character is also a nice turn of events :)
What!!!!!!!!!! You can't do this, you can't leave me hanging, please for the sake of my sanity and for all other important bodily functions, you have to do sequel. But a fantastic job so far angel, my tag name is Archangel, so itslike coming home.