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Author - A-Rhea King | B | Genre - Action/Adventure | Genre - Alternate Universe | Genre - General | Main Story | Rating - PG-13
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Black Widow is part of an Alternate Universe created by A. Rhea King for the Enterprise crew during the first season of the series. We liked her stories well enough to create the "Alternate Universe" category. Eventually we will add more of her stories, but if you'd like to find out about the relationships established for this story, go to "Find" at www.fanfiction.net and type in A. Rhea King under "Pen Name." Click on her name and all her stories will come up.
By A. Rhea King
Rating: PG-13, General, Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe
Trip and Phlox ran through the halls, hearing someone screaming. The screaming grew louder as they came closer to it. They ran around the corner. One of the security was standing in the open door of the Brig, weapon at ready. The two ran in, finding the second guard inside. Archer was screaming ‘Bionq’ and pounding on the clear wall with his fists and head. He had beaten the wall so hard that it the skin on his forehead and fists were raw and each hit sent blood splattering across his face and the wall.
“Captain, calm down. Calm down,” the guard said.
“Commander, you two will need to restrain him again,” Phlox said.
Trip entered the security code. Archer rushed him but he caught Archer with his arm. He and the guard struggled with Archer to get him into a corner. Archer screamed, punched and clawed at them. Trip grunted when Archer bit his arm and almost let go. He and the guard finally managed to get him held back. Phlox squeezed between them. He grabbed Archer’s chin and forced him to turn his head so he could get to his neck. Phlox pressed the hypospray against Archer’s neck and stepped back. Archer’s fight quickly lost intensity until he fell limp into Trip and the guard’s arms. The two walked him to his bunk and laid him down. Trip spun when Phlox grabbed his arm. Where Archer had bitten him, blood was staining his uniform.
“Hold still, Commander.” Phlox stood.
Phlox rolled up his sleeve revealing a quickly bruising, bleeding bite. Trip looked away while Phlox worked, seeing the blood still on the wall.
“Clean the wall, Ken,” Trip ordered the crewman.
“With all due respect, sir, why? It’s just going to happen again in another few hours.”
“I’ll restrain him once I’m finished here, Ensign,” Phlox told him. “I won’t let him keep hurting himself like this.” Phlox finished with Trip and sat back down on the edge of the bunk to tend to Archer’s injuries.
The guard turned to leave and stopped. He looked back at Trip.
“What about Navta, sir?”
Trip turned. Outside the cell Navta was huddled in a corner with her ears covered. Trip walked over to her and crouched down. She started crying as he picked her up.
“I want my daddy, Trip. I want him back,” Navta whimpered.
“I know, honey. So do I.” Trip looked back at Archer.
His body had succumbed to the sedation, but not his mind. In a whisper he was still calling ‘Bionq’.
Archer leaned back in his desk chair, continuing, “…the Andorians are at least trying, Admiral. This misunderstanding is very sensitive and deserves our attention, which is why I asked Ensign Mayweather to accompany me instead of T’Pol. I didn’t want the presence of a Vulcan to make them any more uncomfortable. I think that if we can convince the Vulcan High Command to bend some on this, they could be looking at finalizing the peace treaty as early as the end of the year. I would caution them against entering Andorian space until this matter is resolved. Perhaps we should set up a monitoring perimeter along their borders to encourage both sides to—”
Archer’s companel beeped.
“Computer pause,” Archer ordered. He waited for the computer to beep before answering it. “Yes?”
“Sir, I’m picking up a distress signal,” Hoshi told him.
“Tell Travis to set a course to intercept.” Archer tapped the control and got up. He walked onto the bridge, standing behind Travis.
The change of course brought them into view of an attack.
“Hoshi, hail the ship broadcasting the distress.”
Hoshi tapped her controls and nodded to him.
“This is Captain Archer of the starship Enterprise.”
“Please help!” a woman’s voice cried. “All systems are failing. Please help.”
“We’re within weapons range, sir,” Reed told Archer.
“Fire on the attacking vessel.”
“Her ship’s gonna blow, Cap’n,” Trip said.
“Get down to the transporter, Trip. Get her out of there.”
Trip leapt up from his station and ran to the lift. The attacking ship starts firing on Enterprise. Reed returned fire. The ship suddenly turned and leapt to warp.
Archer stepped up to helm and tapped the companel. “Trip, status.”
“I have her.”
The woman’s ship exploded.
“Take her to Sickbay. I’ll be there shortly.” Archer tapped the companel. “T’Pol, was that ship in our database?”
T’Pol checked and shook her head.
“Resume course, Travis. You have the bridge, T’Pol.”
Archer walked over to the lift.
“I’m Captain Archer,” Archer said. “And you are?”
“Bionq,” she said.
“Have we met before?”
“No. I would recall if we had.”
“Why was that ship chasing you?”
“I don’t know. I’m a seamstress. I don’t have anything of value.”
“How is she, Doc?”
“I’m okay. Just shaken.”
Archer glanced at her with open suspicion.
“She is, Captain,” Phlox answered.
“Show her to the guest quarters when you’re done. Where were you headed?”
“Kastun. It’s the next system over.”
“We can drop you off. Excuse me.”
Archer turned to leave.
“If you’re not to busy later, I’d love to hear about your species.”
Archer stopped and turned.
“Over supper, perhaps.”
“It’s our last meal of the day.”
“You make it sound so final, but I would love to join you. Just you and I?”
Archer didn’t reply right away. “I think so. I’ll see you then.”
Bionq nodded once. Archer turned and left.
Bionq watched the steward came in with their plates. The man left and Archer began eating. He noticed that Bionq didn’t eat or take her eyes off him.
Archer swallowed the bite in his mouth before asking, “Not hungry?”
Bionq shrugged. “I just don’t want to eat yet.”
“Perhaps you’d like something different?”
“No. Thank you.”
“What species are you?” Archer asked her.
“It’s not important. How long have you been a captain?”
“A while. How long have you been a seamstress?”
Bionq stood, walking over to the port windows. She looked over her shoulder at Archer. “We’re going so fast. We should slow down so we can see the stars while we dine. Don’t you think?”
“How long is a while?”
“It must be exciting to travel around space, meeting other aliens. Have you met a lot of species?”
Archer stood and walked up to her. He pulled his hands behind his back, staring down his nose at her.
“I saw you at the Sata Linus and you are anything but a seamstress. Why was that ship shooting at you?”
Bionq turned to face him. Her smile deepened. “There’s no fooling you, is there, Captain Archer?” Bionq leaned close to him. “Can you keep a secret?”
“It depends on the secret.”
Bionq stood up on her toes, moving in as if to kiss him. She exhaled a red mist before he pulled away, drawing a breath as he did. Archer closed his eyes, swaying. Bionq moved close, wrapping her arms around him. Archer didn’t try to pull away. Bionq breathed out another cloud of red mist.
“You need to relax. Hold me, Jonathan.”
Archer obeyed, looking at her. “You’re beautiful,” he murmured.
Bionq nodded. “I know. I’m told that all the time.” Bionq pulled a hypospray from her pants pocket and pressed it against Archer’s neck.
He closed his eyes again, smiling.
“Better?” she asked.
Bionq didn’t look away from him, sliding her hand down to put the hypospray back in the bag. It caught on the edge as she let go. Bionq pulled a device from her shirt pocket and held it up to her mouth.
“Are you there?” Bionq asked.
“What’s taking so long?”
“I’m paying you enough so stop complaining. Where are you?”
“Watching you through the window.”
“Are you certain you can transport at warp?”
“Yes. We’ve stolen enough cargo at warp. We know what we’re doing. Are you ready?”
“Yes. Transport both of us.”
“Were are we going?” Archer muttered.
Bionq dropped the device back in her pocket. The hypospray fell out of her pants when she shifted her weight to move closer to Archer. She grabbed for it, but was already being deconstructed. It hit the floor and rolled under the table.
“Yeah?” he started to turn toward her station but found her standing behind Travis.
“Did Captain Archer talk to you last night about departing?”
“Departing? No. Why?”
Trip almost laughed, but his wife looked far too serious for this to be a joke. “Have you scanned the ship?”
“A crewman discovered all sensors have been tampered with. External visual sensors were brought back online a few minutes ago.”
“Did we drop out of warp last night?”
“Ensign Burke said we did not.”
“Well he couldn’t have left at warp, T’Pol!”
“Yes. I know. Which is why I’m concerned.” T’Pol turned, looking at the screen. She tapped the companel on helm. “Security teams, report.”
One after another they reported not finding Captain Archer.
“Did they check his quarters?” Trip asked.
“Yeah. I’ll report back in a flash.”
Trip walked back onto the lift.
Trip walked into Archer’s quarters. Porthos ran up to him, hopping and prancing.
“Where’s your daddy, pup?” Trip asked him.
He walked into the bathroom and came back out. Trip walked over to the desk companel, tapping it.
“He’s not here. Porthos is the only thing in here.”
“He wouldn’t have departed without asking someone to tend to Porthos.”
Trip looked out the windows. He turned back to the companel.
“Do you have sensors back yet?”
“Scan for Bionq. I haven’t seen her all morning.”
“She is not onboard either.”
Trip shook his head. “Something tells me that wherever Bionq is, so is Cap’n Archer.”
“How could she have abducted him at warp?”
“I don’t know, but she must’ve found a way.”
“Return to the bridge. We must determine a course of action.”
“Someone’s gotta tell Navta and Brila, T’Pol.”
“You are in charge of that.”
Trip scowled, mouthing, ‘Thanks, dear.’
“Bionq must have been working with the Andorians. This happened after Captain Archer spoke them and he’d mentioned they were unhappy when he told them he couldn’t promise he could make the Vulcan’s discontinue mining on their borders.”
“We don’t know it was them, yet, Malcolm,” Trip argued.
“Charles is correct,” T’Pol added. “We cannot jump to conclusions. And besides, the Andorians are more prone to killing someone than abducting them.”
“Perhaps it was the Suliban again.”
“It could be any one of a number of enemies we’ve acquired over the years, Lieutenant. Again, we cannot jump to conclusions. The first thing we must do is confirm her identity and then determine whom she was working for.”
“How? We know nothing about her. Her ship blew up. We don’t have anything.” Trip argued.
“She couldn’t have vanished without a trace, Charles. We will start with questioning any allies we have to see if they have seen this woman and her species.”
“That’s a lot of allies.”
“And since we’ve already lost twelve hours since his abduction, I suggest you start inquiring now. Captain Archer was last seen in the Captain’s Mess, so I’m going to go down there and scan it for any clues.”
“Gonna dust for fingerprints and search of the hidden compartment with the gun too?” Trip jabbed.
“I beg your pardon?”
“T’Pol, she is gone without a trace. Vanished. This is like some old mystery movie with a dead end case.”
“If you two are prepared to accept the fact that we will never see our Captain again, then I will conduct this search alone.”
T’Pol turned and walked to the lift. Trip and Reed looked at each other.
“We’ll start calling people,” Trip told her before the door shut.
Phlox and T’Pol watched the screen, waiting.
“Here we are,” Phlox said when readings began to roll across the screen. He tapped the controls in front of the screen and a different screen came up. His brow furrowed.
“What is it?” T’Pol asked him.
“There were four doses in this hypospray and only one was used. It contains pheromones mixed with another substance that the computer can’t identify.”
“What would pheromones be used for?”
“The make-up of these pheromones is similar to the Hartiku arachnid. They’re used to induce euphoria and lure a mate. I believe she used this mixture to get Captain Archer to go quietly. If he were injected with the amount of pheromones that is contained in one of these doses, Bionq could have convinced him to jump out of an airlock at warp four.
“Perhaps I should see if I can find her finger prints in her quarters after all. We may be able to utilize the information to find her.”
“I would suggest we find out as much information as possible about her before we have to take Archer back, T’Pol. She has apparently had much experience at this and she may be expecting us to pursue her.”
T’Pol turned and left.
Trip walked into the mess hall and slid a cup into the resequencer.
“Coffee. Very strong. Lots’a sugar.”
Coffee poured into the cup.
“It’s a bad thing if we’re both drinking coffee, very strong, Trip.”
Trip turned. Reed was sitting at a table alone, watching him. Trip picked up his cup and joined him.
“This is crazy. No one has ever seen this woman or her race. It’s like she’s the only alien of her kind!”
“Maybe it was all make-up.”
“Wouldn’t Phlox have noticed if it were when he scanned her?”
“I would think, but then, I’m an armory officer, not a doctor.”
“This is like trying to find a needle in a haystack in the dark.”
“Worse, yet I don’t have a good analogy to define it.”
Trip smiled, sipping from his mug. He looked out at the stars.
“If we could just figure out how she knew Archer was on this ship, maybe we’d have a starting place.”
Travis ran into the mess hall, running up to the two.
“I know where I’ve seen Bionq!” he panted.
“What?” both men asked.
“T’Pol asked me to finish up the report to Admiral Forrest and I suddenly remembered where I saw her. She was working in this game room next to the dining hall we met the Andorians at. I remember because she kept coming to the door and staring at us. And I saw her talk to the Andorians when we left and then follow us. Captain Archer noticed the same thing; he mentioned it when we were leaving the port. I lost sight of her when we went out onto the landing dock.”
Reed and Trip looked at each other.
“I’ll go tell T’Pol. Order helm to bring us about.” Trip jumped up and ran out of the mess hall.
“Do you want me to go?” Travis asked.
“No. I’m sure we can find it, Travis,” Trip answered.
The two stepped out of the shuttle pod. Three suns shone down on the desert planet, heating the planet like an oven. Trip shut the hatch and the two walked into the spaceport. It wasn’t like most ports. It was bright, day or night, clean and orderly. The hum of the travelers and residents buzzed around them. They found the game room and stopped just inside. Around them aliens of all kinds were drinking and gambling at a variety of games. The two watched scantily clad females cater to the customers, flirting and using their charm to lure customers into gambling. T’Pol led the way to the counter at the back. Trip stood close to her, looking around for any alien that looked like Bionq.
A tall female walked up to them. “What would you two like?”
“I need to speak to the owner of this establishment,” T’Pol requested.
“He’s not here.”
“One of your co-workers abducted our Captain. We need to inquire about her.”
The woman smiled. “I’m sorry. I can’t help you. Would you like something to drink?”
Trip turned, drew his phase pistol, grabbed her arm and pressed it into her chest.
“Perhaps you misunderstood what my wife’s askin’, ma’am. We need to speak to the owner. Now.”
T’Pol looked around them as the room went silent. She turned to face the crowd.
“We need to find a woman that worked here.” T’Pol held up a PADD with Bionq’s picture on it. “We do not wish to cause a commotion, simply get as much information as we can about this woman.”
There was a silence. T’Pol saw a large, squatty alien stand and start through the crowd. He walked up to them, putting his pudgy fists on his hips.
“Let Elir go and I’ll talk to you.”
Trip let the woman go. He kept his back against T’Pol’s and his phase pistol in hand. The crowd around them returned to gambling and drinking.
“What do you want to know?” the man asked.
“Are you the owner of—”
“How long has Bionq worked here?”
“For years. She’s one of my best employees and brings in good money. She can get any man to gamble here.”
“Do you know where her home world is?”
“Lady, I run a business. You want information, you have to pay for it.”
Trip grabbed the alien, threw him on the bar and sneered into his face with his phase pistol pressed under his jaw. “We don’t have time for you to feel capitalistic.”
The room went silent again.
“I don’t know where she comes form. I’ve seen four in my entire life, all females and Bionq has never talked to me about her home world. I don’t even know what her kind calls themselves.”
Trip looked at T’Pol. She nodded once and he let the man go.
“Have you seen a ship like this?” T’Pol changed the picture on the PADD, showing it to him.
“Yeah. The Urel brother’s own that ship.”
“Where are they?”
“I don’t know. I have seen them in days.”
“Thank you for your cooperation.”
T’Pol and Trip headed for the exit, ignoring the stares as they walked out.
“We don’t have any more information than before, T’Pol,” Trip said.
“Then we must continue looking.” T’Pol looked at the ship on the PADD.
The two stopped and turned. One of the servers from the game room ran up to them. She looked nervously back.
“I have some information, and I’ll give it to you if you get me off this space port. Just put me down on any place with a ship.”
“Are you captive here?” T’Pol asked.
“I owe him money and at the wages he pays, I’ll owe it for the rest of my life.”
A particle stream barely missed hitting Trip’s head. The three looked down the hall. The owner of the game room and two large aliens were running toward them, aiming their weapons at the three.
“Run,” T’Pol said, grabbing Cyrn’s arm.
The men opened fire on them, sending the crowd into a panic. Trip pulled his communicator from his pocket.
“Trip to Mayweather.”
“Go ahead, sir.”
“Have the shuttle pod ready to leave as soon as we’re on board.”
The three ran out of the building onto the landing pad. T’Pol looked back when she heard a soft cry and saw Cyrn fall. She spun, firing back at the men. Trip grabbed Cyrn up, slung her over his shoulder and ran for the shuttle pod. T’Pol covered them.
“T’POL!” Trip yelled.
T’Pol turned and ran onto the shuttle pod, pulling the hatch closed. Travis launched the shuttle pod, heading toward the sky. T’Pol turned, watching Trip bandage Cyrn’s wound.
“I know you need to speak with her, but try not to be too long. Cyrn has a degenerative disease and it’s caused her to become anemic. I can’t stop the bleeding and she doesn’t have very long to live.”
“Does she know?”
“I’ve told her.”
T’Pol walked up to Cyrn. She looked up at T’Pol with a faint smile.
“Thank you,” Cyrn whispered.
“Were you close to her?”
“She wasn’t really close with anyone. She made me nervous.”
“She’d breath this mist in men’s faces and they’d do anything she’d ask. That made me nervous.”
“Do you recall seeing this man?” T’Pol lifted the PADD, showing her a picture of Archer.
“Yes. About four days ago. She and I were working the same game table and she kept looking at something. I asked her what she was looking at and she pointed him out. Then she kept going to the door to stare and followed him when he left.”
“Do you know if she was working with anyone? The Andorians, perhaps?”
“I don’t know. I’m sorry.”
“You’ve provided a great deal of information, Cyrn. Thank you.”
T’Pol nodded once and left.
“T’Pol, I just talked to a freighter cap’n that saw the Urel brother’s ship. He said it was at a space port two light years from our current location and gave me the coordinates.”
“Have you altered course?”
“Alert me when we arrive.”
“It’s going to be two hours, T’Pol. Have you slept yet?”
T’Pol didn’t answer right away. “I will rest shortly.”
“T’Pol, you need sleep, honey.”
“I promise to join you as soon as I’ve spoken with Doctor Phlox.”
“I’m going to our quarters now. If you’re not there in ten minutes, I’m coming to find you.”
“I am sure you will. I will be there shortly.”
“All right. See you in a few.”
T’Pol turned to Phlox and knew from his stern expression that the news was not good.
“Cyrn has died?” she asked.
“Did she have any requests as to how we should dispose of her body?”
“She asked to be cremated and spread in space. Where she could be free forever.”
“Make it so.”
Phlox nodded, leaving. T’Pol looked up at the main screen, mentally saying a prayer for Cyrn.
Trip and Reed walked between the spacecraft on the landing dock, comparing each one to the one on their PADDs.
“There,” Reed said.
Trip turned, looking in the direction Reed pointed. The two walked up to the side hatch.
“Are you moving that piece of junk?” someone asked.
They turned. Standing behind them was a toad like alien. Next to him was a nine-foot, gangly alien with six arms. In five of his six hands he held tools.
“Are you the Urel brothers?” Trip asked.
The toad laughed in snorts. The tall aliens laughter was slow and sounded forced. They stopped laughing at the same time.
“We look like brothers?” the toad alien asked.
Trip started to answer.
“OF COURSE NOT! What a stupid question. This ship has been here for a week. We want it moved. Now.”
“It’s not ours. Do you know where the aliens are that own it?”
“That junk’s been here for six days,” the toad alien said. “We were ordered to ship it off to the yards today, but if you pay the docking fee, it’s yours.”
“We don’t want to buy it, we need to find the owners.”
“Chances are,” the gangly alien began with a slow drawl. He pointed at the locking mechanism with a tool. “They aren’t coming back. That was shot from the outside.”
Trip and Reed glanced at the ship and back at the aliens. Trip grinned. “Tell ya what. You two write down that we paid the docking fee, sell it yourselves and pocket the money, minus the docking fee. All we need is to get in and see if we can find out where the owners of the ship went.”
The two aliens looked at each other. The toad alien shrugged. The gangly alien walked over to the hatch and with his tools began prying the door open. The second it was cracked open a horrid odor hit escaped. The gangly alien, Trip and Reed retreated, but the toad alien didn’t appear to mind the scent. He forced the door open and two corpses fell out on top of him. He began squealing and flailing. The gangly alien pulled him free from the corpses and the four stood back, staring at them.
“They died trying to get out,” Reed said. “We have to see if…”
Trip grimaced. He walked forward, stepping over the corpses and into the craft. There were no other bodies. He walked over to a terminal and tapped it, transmitting the computer’s data to Enterprise. He made a hasty retreat into fresh air.
“He’s not in there.”
“Do we have to report this? Can we still sell the craft?” the toad alien asked.
Trip and Reed both looked at him.
“Knock yourself out,” Trip said.
Reed and Trip turned and started to walk away. The heard a thud and turned. The gangly alien was lying on the landing dock.
“WHY DID YOU TELL HIM TO KNOCK HIMSELF OUT FOR!” the toad alien yelled.
The two walked away, ignoring the toad alien yelling at them.
Phlox, T’Pol, Trip and Reed leaned on the situation monitor together.
“The last log indicates that they were headed to that planet,” Trip said. “It also mentions they transported Bionq and the Captain off Enterprise three days prior to that. At warp. That means she’s got a week and two days on us.”
“This log entry was interesting,” Phlox said, tapping the screen. “One of the aliens reported that from the time they were transported on board to their last entry, Bionq kept giving the Captain shots of something. They were disgusted by how open the two were with their physical contact. Assuming that she was injecting him with the same mixture as what was in the hypospray, I don’t understand why she would continue giving it to him. She already had kidnapped him, quietly I might add. Why not simply restrain him?”
“There is something in this information that we’re missing,” T’Pol stated.
“T’Pol, there are four ships approaching at warp,” Travis reported.
“Hail them, Lieutenant,” T’Pol told Hoshi. She walked around to stand behind Travis.
“They’re arming weapons!” Travis said.
Trip and Reed ran to their stations, preparing to defend Enterprise. The ships dropped out of warp and began firing on Enterprise.
“Disable their engines, Mister Reed.”
Malcolm shook his head. “They have shields like I’ve never seen. I’m not even making a dent. They’re targeting our engines.”
Enterprise rocked, sparks flying around them. The ship shook as it abruptly dropped from warp to a stand still.
“They’re hailing us, T’Pol,” Hoshi told her.
On screen a humanoid appeared. He was dressed in a smart, wrinkle free uniform. Everything about him was immaculate. There was a bone ridge that ran along his chin and across the bridge of his nose.
“Why are we under arrest?” T’Pol asked.
“For conspiring with a known felon and enemy of the Vistae government. Are you the captain?”
“I am commanding in his place.”
“Prepare to be boarded and go with the guards peacefully. Failure to comply or attempt of escape will result in the death of you and your crew.”
“I will not go with you until I know why I am being arrested.”
The screen changed back to space as the four ships opened fire on Enterprise.
“Get them back, Lieutenant Sato.”
The attack stopped when the alien appeared on the screen.
“I will go, but one my crewmen will accompany me to serve as my council,” T’Pol told him.
“I don’t care if your entire crew goes with you, but if you refuse to comply again, I have orders to destroy your ship. Have I made myself clear?”
“Yes. Send your guards.”
Two guards from the ship were transported next to her. T’Pol looked at Trip. He turned to Reed.
“You have Enterprise, Malcolm.”
Trip joined T’Pol. The guards grabbed a hold of their arms and the four were transported off Enterprise.
“Enter,” he said.
Two Vistae guards led Trip and T’Pol into the room.
“I’m Investigator Eofek. Have a seat.”
The guards roughly shoved them into chairs and stood at attention behind them. Eofek continued reading the PADD without hurry. He sat the PADD aside and turned to the window behind him. The Vistae city beyond was beautiful; it’s architects renowned in this sector. The combination of nature with instillation art made the city feel like a garden rather than the planet’s bustling capital. Under normal circumstances, Trip and T’Pol would have been appreciative of what they’d seen so far.
“It is Sub-Commander T’Pol and Lieutenant-Commander Tucker, if I’m not mistaken.”
“Yes,” T’Pol answered.
Eofek nodded, sighing. He stood and walked around to the front of his desk. He sat down on the edge, looking from one to the other.
“A Vulcan, I recognize. My people have been trading with your people for many years.” He looked at Trip. “But your kind I have never seen before. Human is what you call yourselves, correct?”
“Why do you care?” Trip snarled.
Eofek wrapped his fingers around the edge of his desk. He leaned forward only as far as his arms allowed, holding Trip’s gaze.
“Dear human, this is not the time to prove you can be obstinate and annoy me. Our laws are swift and harsh, and I doubt that your wife would like to see you dead, do you?”
Trip stared at him. Eofek leaned back, watching Trip for a moment. Eofek reached back without looking and picked up the PADD. He looked at it again, frowning.
“It appears that your wife here is renowned for upsetting Vulcans.” Eofek smiled. “But then, without a little imbalance in life, nothing is worth working for, is it, T’Pol?”
T’Pol shifted in her seat. “Why have you had us brought here? Why did your ships fire on us?”
“Originally, I had ordered your captain to be arrested for aiding Bionq. I ordered your ship destroyed if the captain of your ship resisted. But since I issued that order, several Vulcan dignitaries have contacted me and I have discovered Bionqetes Doriche Estiel abducted your Captain Archer right off of your ship. Bold, even for her. That explains why you’ve been asking so many questions and collecting information on her. Most of the Vulcan ambassadors I spoke with went so far as hypothesizing which of your many enemies paid Bionq to abduct Captain Archer. I’m curious, what have you learned about Bionq so far?”
“You had our ship shot at!” Trip bellowed. “You had us drug here, against our will, and you expect us to just talk to you!”
Trip and T’Pol looked at each other. Trip sighed.
“All that we’ve managed to gather so far is that,” Trip started, “she’s works in the game room on Sata Linus, she has worked there for several years, and no one really knew her. The guy that owns the place considers her his best employee and wasn’t too loose lipped about her, but then, he kept another alien named Cyrn as an indentured servant, so it’s likely he probably forced her into kidnapping Cap’n Archer or is working with her.”
Eofek shook his head. “Jadek reported your theft of his slave, but I’ve chosen to look the other way on the matter. He’s greedy and one day I’ll catch him running one of his illegal deals. I wouldn’t recommend returning to Sata Linus again, however. He’ll have you shot on sight and make it look accidental, as usual.”
“We don’t intend on it,” T’Pol replied.
“Where is Cyrn?”
“She was shot during the escape. Our doctor also found she was in the final stages of a degenerative disease. She died aboard Enterprise.”
“Did you get a chance to speak with her about Bionq?”
“She couldn’t tell us much.”
“Surely, if she worked with her, she must have said something. Didn’t Bionq talk to her about anything?”
“She said she avoided being alone with Bionq. That Bionq made her nervous.”
Trip shook his head. “Naw. Everything else was pretty much gibberish.”
Eofek smiled. “This gibberish, as you call it, can often times reveal evidence.”
“She told T’Pol that Bionq kept watching Cap’n Archer, which is normal for someone who is going to kidnap someone.”
“While I did not know Bionq was working right under my jurisdiction, everything else you’ve said so far is common of others that have given statements regarding the investigations of her other victims.”
“You… You know she kidnaps other aliens? Are you working with her?”
“No, I am not working with her.” He clasped his hands together. “I have been trying to locate and kill or arrest Bionq for ten years. She has become an obsession of mine. Always just beyond my grasp, just out of reach. She targets and abducts male captains. The captains go missing anywhere from four to eight weeks, although two were missing for twelve weeks. At which time their bodies in hotels, resorts, some place with public accommodations. And Bionq disappears until her next victim is kidnapped and their body is found. You’re captain has been missing for—”
“Two weeks,” Trip finished. “We only have two weeks left before she murders him?”
“Maybe three or four. I don’t know what the difference is between the ones she keeps longer and the ones she doesn’t. We did find her second to last victim alive, which is rare. He was able to talk a little before he died. He believed she was his wife, which is normal when any male exposed to Acrynov pheromones.”
“Why is that normal?”
“Acrynoves do not mate like other species. The female attracts a male, seduce him into her bed and when pregnancy is confirmed, the female kills the male. But they do it by secreting a toxic venom, not in the manner Bionq murders her victims.”
“They’re damned black widows,” Trip muttered.
“We found a hypospray that had pheromones and another substance mixed with it,” T’Pol told Eofek.
“Those are her specialty. The drug in the hypospray is a narcotic, highly addictive. Before she kills her victims she injects them with a lethal dose of the narcotic.”
“She kills them with a drug overdose?”
“Not that the overdose wouldn’t kill them, but no. She stabs them to death while having intercourse with them. Forty to fifty stab wounds total. Chances are, you won’t find your Captain until she lets you, and he’ll be dead.”
Trip shook his head. “We’ll find him before then.”
“Commander, I’ve been searching for this woman for ten years and I haven’t found her or the victims before she murdered them.”
“It’s not your cap’n that she kidnapped and whose life is in jeopardy. We’ll find her before she kills him.”
Eofek pursed his lips, staring at the two. He suddenly stood and walked around his desk, tapping the controls.
“In that case, I wish you both luck finding her. Before you leave stop at the front desk and my secretary will give you copies of my files on this case. Should you find her in my jurisdiction, I will help you apprehend her. I’ll alert the surrounding authorities that you’re looking for her, but don’t expect them to help. Most could care less about this. I would strongly advise you to shoot to kill, because if a male finds her, she will kill him.” Eofek looked at them. “I’ve also included where to find her sister. A female should talk to her, not a male.”
“It sounds as though you have a personal interest in her capture.”
Eofek smiled. “If you’re suggesting that she’s murdered someone I knew, you’re wrong. I’m a law enforcer doing my job.” Eofek looked at her again. “It’s my job to keep the peace in my jurisdiction and bring criminals to justice. Thank you both for your patience.” Eofek motioned to the door. “You’re free to leave.”
Trip and T’Pol got up and followed the guards out of the room. Eofek sat back down and returned to his work.
T’Pol glanced at the small PADD in her hand as she walked. She looked up, watching the house numbers. She stopped at the gate of one and walked up to the door. T’Pol tapped the doorbell. The door slid open, revealing a woman that looked like Bionq. Behind her the sound of children laughing filled the air.
“May I help you?”
“Are you Antina Doriche?” T’Pol asked.
“Yes. Who are you?”
“I would like to speak with you about your sister. Bionqetes Doriche Estiel.”
The woman looked away. “I don’t know anything about my sister or want to.”
“I can tell there are hard feelings between the two of you, but she has abducted my captain and my crew and I are in a hurry to find her before she harms him.”
“Don’t you mean kills him?” Antina asked.
“You are aware that your sister is a murderer?”
Antina motioned T’Pol to come in. She walked into a room where a male Arcynov was watching a program on a large monitor hanging on the wall.
“Kej, I need to speak with this alien. Watch the children.”
He got up and went outside. Antina led T’Pol across the hall into another room and shut the door.
“Are you a law enforcer?” she asked, walking around to a terminal and sitting down.
“That’s a first. Everyone else that comes here are law enforcers.”
Antina motioned to the chair in front of the monitor. T’Pol walked over and sat down.
“I don’t know why I keep these files. I guess because every time someone comes asking for Bionq I can give them this and they’ll go away.”
“What is it?”
“These are files she sends me of her ‘husbands.’ She sends me pictures of every single one. This one arrived yesterday.” Antina tapped a control.
Archer’s picture came up. Archer was lying in a bed, apparently asleep. He looked safe and content.
“Is he your husband?” Antina asked T’Pol.
“No. I’m his first in command, but he has a daughter and a female he is very close to aboard our ship.”
“Usually the men she kidnaps don’t have anyone.” Antina sat down on a chair, staring at the floor. “One was. I remember going to the funeral. He had a wife and four children. Bionq stole him away from them and killed him.”
“Was she always like this?”
“No. It happened about sixteen years ago. When we mate, we release this hormone to aid pregnancies. Sometimes the gland that secretes the hormone stops functioning and if left untreated, it causes us to develop any number of symptoms depending on how soon it’s detected. That happened to Bionq. She was an astrogeologist, specializing in comets and asteroids. She was on a deep space mission and no one noticed her erratic behavior until she had an emotional breakdown and tried to kill several of her crewmen. Then they found the imbalance and sent her back here. We committed her because there is no cure after the hormone has affected the brain. But she escaped and got off the planet. That was fourteen years ago and she’s been murdering captains ever since.”
“Do you know where she might have taken him?”
Antina shook her head.
T’Pol got up and walked over to her, crouching by her. Antina looked into T’Pol’s eyes.
“Think hard. His life is at stake and we need him back.”
“He won’t be the same person when you get him back. He’ll be addicted to Tepriozyl.”
“Our Captain is strong. Please, Antina, think.”
Antina looked out the window. She looked down at T’Pol. “Our aunt willed her a farm before she was committed. She’d gone there a couple times on vacations. I’ve told law enforcers this, but they apparently haven’t found her or looked for the place.”
“Where is it?”
“I don’t know, exactly. It’s in the Dawroq system, but I don’t know which planet. I’ve only been there twice when I was very young.”
“What do you remember of the place?”
“There were lots of trees.”
“Like a jungle?”
“Do you recall any geological features?”
“No. It was near a town, probably less than an hour away. I remember too that there were two markets, but our aunt got really mad at us when we went to this one. She said that respectable aliens never go to that market and punished us for going to it.”
“Is there anything else unique about this town that you can recall?”
“How many inhabited planets are in the Dawroq system?”
“Four planets and six moons.”
T’Pol stood. “Thank you for your help.”
“Do you want that information?” Antina asked, pointing at the monitor.
“Yes. May I transmit it to my ship?”
Antina nodded. T’Pol walked around and sent the information to Enterprise. T’Pol rose and Antina led her back out into the hall. T’Pol looked back when she heard laughing. She saw Kej outside playing with children. T’Pol stopped outside the door.
“Is Kej your mate?”
Antina smiled. “We’re the talk of the neighborhood. We’ve lived together for ten years and I haven’t killed him. I love him.”
“There is no shame in love or sparing your mate, regardless of what a custom may dictate.”
“You have a mate?”
“He’s privileged to have you. Especially if you’re willing to search like this for your captain.”
“Thank you for the compliment and your help.”
Antina nodded once, stepping back. T’Pol turned as the door closed and walked back down the street.
Trip walked into Sickbay, watching Phlox. He was staring intently at the monitor before him.
“You wanted to see me?” Trip asked.
Phlox nodded. “Let’s wait for T’Pol to get here.”
Trip pulled up a stool and sat down. He looked at the screen, which meant nothing to him. The Sickbay doors opened and T’Pol walked in. Trip smiled at her, taking her hand when she stopped beside him. Phlox turned to the two.
“I’ve been going over the information Investigator Eofek gave us about the drug that was in the hypospray and it is very disturbing.”
“How so?” Trip asked.
“The drug is called Tepriozyl and is a recreational drug with no remedial value. It heightens the user’s senses; they feel everything three times greater. It’s also easy to overdose on because once a person has enough in their system, they don't feel the symptoms of the drug shutting down their vital body functions; such as their heart, liver, kidneys. Addicts are hard to neutralize because they don’t respond to any pain. For example, the shock from a knife wound in the chest wouldn’t kill an addict; the addict would die from bleeding to death. And it is highly addictive. Most users are addicted after the first dose, no matter how miniscule of an amount.”
“You think Cap’n Archer will be addicted to this?”
“I don’t think he will, I know he will.”
“You have means to help him overcome this addiction, do you not?” T’Pol asked Phlox.
Phlox looked to the side. “Yes.”
“But?” Trip asked.
Phlox looked at the two. “But the medical reports I’ve been going through indicate that there is a ninety percent relapse rate, increasing by one percent every time the addict relapses. The mortality rate of addicts is eighty percent within three years of their first recovery, generally due to overdosing on Tepriozyl or another drug.”
“We’re going to bring him back alive, but it isn’t going to matter, is it?” Trip asked, looking back at Phlox. “We’ve already lost him.”
“Captain Archer is stronger than the odds,” T’Pol said. “We will find him and he will recover. He has enough friends aboard this ship that he will not relapse.”
Trip looked up at her. She turned and left Sickbay. Trip looked at Phlox. He was staring at the floor.
“You don’t believe that, do you?”
“I don’t know, Commander. I agree that Captain Archer has a strong will, but this drug may be stronger. Only time will tell.” Phlox looked at Trip. “I’d be prepared to be T’Pol’s second in command for anywhere from six months to two years. This could be a very long, difficult recovery and not just for Captain Archer.”
Trip nodded. “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there, Doc. Thanks for updating us.”
Trip got up and left.
Trip and Reed stared at the Dawroq solar system on the view monitor. T’Pol stood next to Travis.
“What have you determined?” T’Pol asked Hoshi.
“Antina was a little off. There are three inhabited planets and about a dozen moons,” Hoshi replied. “A few trillion aliens and several hundreds of kilometers of mountainous woodlands.”
“Oh no. We don’t have our search cut out for us or anything,” Trip added.
“Pessimism will not bring Captain Archer back.”
“Won’t find him at this rate, either.”
“We will search towns that have farms of any kind within two hours of them.”
“T’Pol, that’s not gonna help.”
T’Pol glanced up at Trip with a disapproving look. She walked over to her station and worked the controls. A star chart of the system appeared on the view monitor with flashing red dots.
“We will dispatch three person teams to each of these coordinates to search.”
“It’s going to take a while to get them there by shuttle pod.”
“They will be transported.”
“T’Pol, a lot of the crew don’t like the transporter.”
T’Pol looked up with a very cool stare. “Do a lot of the crew wish to find our Captain dead?”
Trip didn’t answer. He knew the subtle look of anger in his wife’s eye.
“No,” Trip answered.
“You and Lieutenant Reed will form the teams. Lieutenant Sato, Ensign Mayweather and I will remain on board with minimal crew. All communications will go through Lieutenant Sato.” T’Pol cleared the star chart of the view monitor.
“What if Bionq runs?” Reed asked.
“I will pursue her.”
“You could be chasing her for a while.”
“On the contrary, if she does not have Captain Archer and he is not alive, she will not leave this solar system alive.”
The two stared at her for a moment. Reed pulled up a roster and he and Trip began forming teams of three. T’Pol walked back to the Captain’s chair and sat down. She stared at the sun in the distance, keeping her concern buried deep.
“Sir, we’ve covered nearly the entire town,” one of the crewmen told Reed. “We’re never going to find him.”
“You haven’t searched the entire town,” someone said.
Reed turned. An alien in bright clothes watched them. He had his arms folded across his stomach with his hands tucked into his sleeves.
“Have you seen either of these two?” Reed handed the alien the PADD.
He took it, looked at it, and handed it back.
“Perhaps. What will you pay for the information?”
Reed shook his head. “I’ve nothing. Sorry to have wasted your time.” Reed started walking away.
“I like the fabric of your uniform,” the alien said.
Reed stopped short. He turned and walked back to the alien.
“I can arrange for two bolts to be sent down.”
“Done. Have you seen her?” Reed held up the PADD.
The alien took the PADD, looking at her face. “Yes. She usually shops in the market on the far end of town. The one that aliens don’t go to unless they’re hiding, running or both.”
“Do you know where she’s staying?”
“For another bolt, I might.”
“For five I could use the layout of the area around where she’s at too.”
“I’ll even provide blueprints.”
Reed smiled. “Thank you.”
“Oh no. Thank you. Follow me.”
Reed and two crewmen followed the merchant through the crowd.
The house was small, but it wasn’t the main house on the property. It was the guest cottage on the backside far from traffic and travelers. There was a building where farm animals were once kept, but now housed stale hay and a hovercraft. Ancient mountain forests surrounded the house, filled with the sounds of night creatures singing in chorus. A sliver of a moon couldn’t penetrate the thick boughs and branches of the trees, but with each gentle breeze patterns wavered over the dark ground.
A twig snapping silenced the chorus, and then little by little the chorus started up again. Among the trees humanoids moved with stealth, each one armed, closing in on the house from all directions. Each one had a scanner aimed ahead of them. They paused only to disable the alarms that riddled the forest around the cottage and stopped at the edge of the trees. One lifted their hand to their lips. With a soft click the communicator’s soft light revealed Trip’s features.
“Everyone in position?” Trip whispered.
One by one hushed voices replied ‘yes.’
“We’re moving in. Keep the perimeter secure. If either one tries to escape, kill her, stun him. Do not hesitate. She will kill you if you do. Understood?”
Multiple voices replied, “Affirmative.”
Trip motioned to his left. He and another human walked toward the door. In the dim light Trip joined Reed outside the door. The two worked on the control panel outside the door. Reed stopped, holding two wires apart. He looked at Trip.
“Ready?” Reed told Trip in a whisper.
The three checked their weapons.
“Are you certain you want to be the one to shoot her?”
The door opened and the men entered. They flicked on flashlights and crossed them over the top of their phase pistols as they moved through the house. They entered the bedroom, shining the flashlight on the bed. There was only one humanoid shape in the bed.
“DIIIIIIIIIIIIEE!” erupted from behind them.
The two turned. Bionq was charging Reed with a knife raised over her head. Behind them the humanoid sat up in the bed.
“Lights!” he yelled.
Lights came as Trip fired at Bionq. The particle stream burned a hole into the woman’s heart. She dropped to the floor.
“BIONQ!” Archer shoved between them, running to her. He fell to his knees beside her.
Reed and Trip were stunned by his degraded appearance. The photograph Bionq had sent to her sister didn’t show his blood-shot eyes or how much weight he’d lost or how sick he looked.
“Bionq?” Archer said.
“Cap’n,” Trip said, “she’s dead. She was going to kill you.”
Archer picked up her wrist, finding no pulse. He laid her wrist down, pulling the knife from her hand unnoticed.
“You killed my wife,” Archer growled.
“Cap’n, she’s not your wife.”
With a scream Archer spun to his feet, the knife aimed at Trip’s chest. Reed stunned him. He fell back two steps, dropping the knife and gripping his stomach. He glowered at Trip and lunged again, his hands wrapping around Trip’s throat. Archer’s weight threw Trip off guard and the two crashed to the floor. Archer lifted Trip up by the throat and beat his head against the floor as he strangled him.
“YOU KILLED MY WIFE!”
Reed fired again but it didn’t have any effect. He fired two more times before Archer began show any sign that the shots were affecting him, but it took four shots before he finally fell unconscious. Trip pulled Archer’s hands from his neck and gulping in air.
“Are you all right?” Reed asked.
Trip nodded, getting up. He pulled his communicator out of his pocket.
“Trip to crew. Bionq is dead and Cap’n Archer is unconscious. Everyone prepare for transport. T’Pol, get a lock on to the Cap’n and transport him directly to Sickbay.”
“Stand by,” T’Pol replied over the communicator.
Trip and Reed stared at Archer until he was transported away.
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Three people have made comments
OOOOOOOOOoooooo! Read the second part soon! :)
I didn't understand the ranking of the Enterprise officers. How did Hoshi get upgraded from Ensign to Lieutenant, and T'Pol get downgraded from Commander to Sub-Commander, and Trip get downgraded from Commander to Lieutenant-Commander (which I think is one rank below Commander, isn't it?). Also, please explain how Archer has a daughter and a female close to him? Is there another fanfic somewhere that we can read to find out about this? And did you write another somewhere showing how Trip and T'Pol are husband and wife? Please comment.
Holly, I've sent this comment along to A.Rhea King because she has her own site. However, to answer your question: as the notice in red at the top of the story says, A.Rhea King created an alternate universe for the "Enterprise" crew starting in season 1. The characters in this story reflect that universe. You can find all her stories, including those establishing the background for this one under her pen name at Fanfiction.net We think she is worth the effort--and so do the editors of Strange New Worlds: IX who have included one of her stories.