If you are seeing this paragraph, the site is not displaying correctly. You can see the content, but your current browser does not support CSS which is necessary to view our site properly. For the best visual experience, you will need to upgrade your browser to Netscape 6.0 or higher, MSIE 5.5 or higher, or Opera 3.6 or higher. If, however, you don't wish to upgrade your browser, scroll down and read the content - everything is still visible, it just doesn't look as pretty.
The Parallel Horizon
Author - Energy4TripnT’Pol | Genre - Angst | Genre - Finale Fix Challenge | Genre - Mystery | Genre - Romance | P | Rating - PG-13
Fan Fiction Main Page | Stories sorted by title, author, genre, and rating
FIX THE FINALE CHALLENGE
The Parallel Horizon
T’Pol sat in the captain’s chair on the Bridge, silently remarking to herself how it had taken ten years to adjust to it. The science officer had no idea of why she would be thinking about her own comforts. To her left, Hoshi Sato sat at the communications station and was attempting to hide a squirm in her chair. On her right, Malcolm Reed had already called down to the Armory to send a team to the beam-in point.
Yet at the Engineering console, an ensign was complaining about a power surge at a plasma relay conjunction. Located near four flickering life-signs and a strong one, T’Pol knew of only one person on the ship – no, in the entire universe -- who would think of connecting scorching plasma to render hostile intruders unconscious.
T’Pol rose from the captain’s seat and walked back to her station. She dismissed the crewman sitting there, sat down, and scanned for life-signs. Sensors were down in that section and nothing could come through. Pressing the comm button, she said, “T’Pol to Captain Archer.”
After a few seconds, he replied, “Go ahead.”
“Are you all right, Captain? We detected an explosion in your section, but sensors are down. I cannot recover any further details.” In reality, she couldn’t bring herself to bring the internal sensors back online. T’Pol was hoping beyond all hope that Trip was all right.
“I’m fine, just a little messy. I still can’t find Trip,” Archer said, and T’Pol imagined that he was walking around the corridors, avoiding debris that was lying on the floor. “Wait a minute – I think . . . T’Pol, let me get back to you. Archer out.”
If T’Pol had been human instead of Vulcan, she might have been tempted to bite her fingers. She now understood the reason why humans did; the tension rising in her body was almost more than she could bear. If the captain wasn’t going to answer her, she would have to go down there and see for herself. She turned her head towards Lieutenant Reed. “Mr. Reed. Would you take over for a moment?”
Reed nodded at her and T’Pol stood up. Walking back to the turbolift, she descended towards the captain’s mess and walked towards the plasma relay from the turbolift as if nothing was wrong. Behind her, Phlox was scurrying his way towards the explosion point. “Excuse me,” he whispered breathlessly as he pushed his way past her. The security team that Reed had called was standing around a figure lying on the floor, and before T’Pol even saw she knew who it was.
T’Pol stopped walking. She wasn’t going to be able to bear this, not after all that she and Trip had been through the last seven years. She had known him for ten but they hadn’t been close the first three years. T’Pol barely managed to stand still as a gurney arrived and the staff lifted the dirtied person onto it. As the gurney began to move towards her, she lifted her feet in reverse and moved away so that the bulkhead separated her from view.
The next half hour seemed more like a zone-out as she wandered around the corridors. She managed to make her way to Sickbay. By the time she arrived, Phlox was back and the aliens that Shran had given the crystal to were nowhere in sight.
As the doors opened, Phlox turned around from the screen above the hyperbaric chamber. “Ah, T’Pol. What can I do for you?”
T’Pol went straight to the point. “What is Trip’s condition?”
Phlox’s face screwed into a severe frown. He sighed and replied, “Not good. Mr. Tucker suffered severe burns to his skin and lungs from the plasma. He’s in the chamber right now. I’ll know more in an hour or so.”
T’Pol paused; it wasn’t the worst news that she was expecting but it still wasn’t the best. “Will he be all right?” she asked softly.
“I’ll put it this way. If Commander Tucker survives, I’ll be surprised. However, I wouldn’t be shocked if he doesn’t have complications for the rest of his life.”
“What happened to the aliens? Did the plasma render them unconscious?”
Phlox smirked. “Commander Tucker is an engineer with good reason. The superheated plasma managed to kill them. Like I said, I’m amazed he survived.”
The screen above the chamber beeped once and drew Phlox’s attention away from T’Pol. “Hmm. I believe that he can come out for a few moments, although he will still be unconscious.” The doctor walked over to the chamber’s controls, leaving T’Pol by the door as she silently wondered why her eyes were turning misty.
Phlox pressed a control, and as he turned to T’Pol he said, “I should warn you, Commander, that Mr. Tucker is still heavily scarred. His appearance might be disconcerting – T’Pol, what’s the matter?”
As the doctor took in the full view of Sickbay, he saw a Vulcan with two tears running down her left cheek and three on her right one. T’Pol crossed her arms and sniffled, trying to hide it. “I believe Commander Tucker’s condition affected me more than I realized at first.”
Phlox tilted his head, gave a small smile, and walked away from the console. “If you were in Commander Tucker’s situation, he would probably be crying a deluge. It’s not anything to be ashamed of. Besides,” he added with a smirk, “there is such a thing as medical confidentiality.”
T’Pol nodded at him and dropped her arms to her side. “Thank you.”
Phlox nodded back and went to the console. “All right. Do you want to see Mr. Tucker?”
T’Pol paused. She wanted to see the Trip Tucker that she knew; she wasn’t sure if the Trip Tucker laying on the gurney was that same person. But she had known him ten years, and he had never changed.
* * * * *
T’Pol stood with her arms crossed in the lounge hiding behind the walkway out to the Charter signing table. Phlox was reading a padd with some information on it concerning the delegates. Jonathan Archer was still trying to memorize his speech and as he paced the floor, T’Pol found her attention drawn to the top button of his dress uniform.
She dropped her arms and stormed to him. “Please, stand still.” As she buttoned it together for Archer, she chastised, “If you hadn’t waited until the last minute, then you would have had time to memorize your speech.”
Archer tried to hide a silent groan but failed. A Vulcan individual’s hearing was much more sensitive than a human’s. Instead, he made the best of the situation and kidded, “You sound like my ninth grade teacher.”
T’Pol stepped back and Phlox stood from his seat, still consulting his padd. He noted, “There are dignitaries here from eighteen different worlds. It’s a good sign. I wouldn’t be surprised if this alliance begins to expand before we know it.” Phlox slightly chuckled to himself and congratulated, “You should be very proud of yourself, Captain.”
“I’ll be proud of myself if I can get this speech out in one piece,” Archer said. T’Pol’s nerves began running high again. Jonathan Archer had been instrumental in meeting and making peace with the different peoples they met over the last ten years. And he now sounded like a school-boy concerned with a report.
“That’s not what I meant,” Phlox said, clearing the misunderstood implication.
“I know what you meant, Phlox, and I appreciate it,” Archer said, glancing up from his padd. “But this is not about me.”
T’Pol almost rolled her eyes as Archer finished. Quickly, she said, “Why is it that humans refuse to take credit where credit is due? There are times when modesty and humility are quite illogical.”
Archer was scrolling through his mind to find something to say in defense and to get his mind off the speech when the steward came down the stairs from the corridor leading to the platform. As he told the group that the crowds were ready for Archer and turned around to leave, Archer looked to his support group. He wished that Trip was standing in the room as well; he knew the engineer always had something good to say.
Yet, Trip wasn’t here and Phlox stood to leave as well. “Well, I’ve got three wives waiting. I’d better go and join them. I’d wish you good luck, Captain, but you’ve always had an ample supply.”
“Thank you, Doctor,” Archer said, and Phlox nodded and left.
T’Pol stood in front of him now, and despite Trip’s condition, nothing was on her face. Archer figured he might as well get something out of her. “Better get out there if you don’t want to miss me screwing this thing up.”
Despite his attempt at “modesty and humility”, she ignored him. “I am going to remain down here if you don’t mind.”
“Never did like crowds, did you?”
T’Pol only looked at him. He briefly smiled, turned around to climb the stairs, and then she spoke. “You look . . .” Archer paused, assuming she was talking to him, and she completed, “ . . . very heroic.”
Archer paused on the steps. This was an interesting turn of events. Last time he’d checked, Vulcans weren’t big on addressing people in that manner. He wasn’t sure exactly what was on her mind when she said that, but he stepped back down to her and wrapped his arms around her.
T’Pol stood perfectly still, somewhat in shock.
After five seconds, he pulled back, left his hands gripping her upper arms, and gave her a grateful glance. Then he walked back to the steps, walked out the corridor and the audience applauded. T’Pol stood motionless with her hands clasped behind her back and watched him as he proceeded to the table. It took them ten years to get to this point. At least they all got to see it.
* * * * *
As Archer walked out, an individual standing by the entrance with a cane leaned against the wall, giving his cane a break. Slowly, he let a smile crawl across his face as he put his cane back down and quietly walked to T’Pol. He chuckled, and then said, “Ten years on Enterprise and Jonathan Archer gives you a hug? Sheesh, now I’m jealous.”
T’Pol spun on her heel. Before she got a chance to talk Trip Tucker was standing by the edge of the chair, leaning on it for support, and talked again. “What? He never gave me one.”
“What are you doing out of the infirmary? I thought the doctor told you to rest,” T’Pol quickly reprimanded as she walked to him, and Trip chuckled at her.
“Ah, come on. Ya know I’m not gonna miss this,” he said softly. A pitch louder, he added, “Sure, my lungs are busted up a little and I’ve gotta walk with a cane, but I mean, hey.” He made his way to a chair with T’Pol next to him, and as he lowered himself he groaned. “Ahh, that’s better.”
The applause subsided in the theater and T’Pol sat down in the seat closest to Trip. “Did Phlox see you on his way out?”
“Yep. And he told me off, too. But,” he shrugged, ending the sentence and leaving the conversation hanging.
“Will you have complications from the explosion?”
Trip sighed and his body relaxed as much as it could. “Yeah. My lungs are messed up, and I’m gonna have trouble breathing. And my chest – don’t get me started.”
T’Pol sat back in her seat. Archer was beginning his speech and she was running out of things to discuss. After a few minutes, the applause began again and he was seated at the table, the Charter laid out in front of him. After he signed and the others followed suit, Archer walked back with another person. Trip stood up with T’Pol’s support and when Archer saw him, he broke off the conversation and smiled as he walked to Trip. “Renegade,” Archer said, extending his hand to Trip’s.
“Yeah, can’t follow an order.”
“I know. Personal experience,” Archer said, rubbing the back of his neck playfully from where the alien had butted him with the rifle. Archer glanced at T’Pol and nodded at her, then looked behind her. Hoshi Sato, Malcolm Reed, and Travis Mayweather came in from the corridor, all smiles partially from the event and partially from seeing the chief engineer on his feet.
Trip smiled back at them, extended his hand, and shook Malcolm’s and Travis’. Even though his skin was still burned, Hoshi gave him a gentle hug and he reciprocated.
Behind him, Archer was shaking a bit as he said, “So, who’s up for dinner?”
The group chuckled with the exception of T’Pol. Trip said, “Actually, I know a place in Sausalito that’s like an intergalactic buffet. They have meatloaf, catfish, Plomeek broth, Andorian crab fatill--”
“Faatill,” Hoshi emphasized.
“Sorry. Anyone interested?”
The group looked at each other, and then Travis said, “What about Phlox?”
“Phlox has three wives, their two other husbands, and all their children. Unless Malcolm’s paying, be my guest,” Trip informed them.
Hoshi and Travis smiled. Reed shrugged. “I suppose I owe a few dinners as it is.”
Archer smiled. “Meatloaf sounds good right about now.”
T’Pol kept quiet as another person walked in. “Captain Archer.”
Soval’s robes stopped swishing as he stopped walking. He glanced over the crowd and singled out one person. “Commander Tucker. I am grateful to see that you are well.”
Trip nodded at him. “Thanks, Ambassador.”
Besides Trip, T’Pol nodded as well. “Ambassador.”
Soval inclined his head, not ignoring her. “I wished to thank you, Captain Archer, for your participation. Many Vulcan officials have voiced their confidence in this alliance because of you. Because of you all,” he said, fixing his wording.
Archer nodded in agreement. “Because of us all,” he echoed.
Soval glanced at the officials coming down the corridor. “I have other business to attend to. Live long and prosper. All of you.” He nodded one last time at the six officers and walked behind them.
Hoshi glanced to the door and, not seeing anyone else come in, motioned her head that way. “Well, now I’m famished. Shall we go?”
They voiced their agreements and Trip and T’Pol began to walk out first with the others behind them. T’Pol paused. “Please go ahead. I wish to speak to Commander Tucker in private.”
Trip looked at the delegates across the room. “Or somewhat. Go ahead and get a seat. We’re right behind you.”
Travis and Malcolm walked out as they started discussing something. Archer escorted Hoshi as he began asking about his pronunciation during the speech. Trip looked at T’Pol and his eyes said “What?” as he said outloud, “So what’s so private that we had to talk . . . in private?”
Giving the crowd enough time to stride towards the exit, she motioned for her and Trip to walk slowly. “After the explosion, many things began entering my mind. Phlox will even testify that I was crying in Sickbay when you were in the chamber.”
“You? Crying? Now I know something’s up.”
She dismissed it. “I don’t believe that if another incident similar to this occurred again that I could . . .”
Trip stopped walking and looked in her eyes. “T’Pol,” he said softly. “What?”
“I don’t believe that I could survive if you were nearly fatally injured,” she finished.
Trip tilted his head. “Oh, honey. After this, there is probably no way that I can be assigned to active duty again. Desk job, maybe. But I promise you, right here and now, that I will not knowingly do anything that would probably result in me . . . ending up like that again. Deal?”
T’Pol’s mind was going over all the ways that the deal was illogical for some odd reason when Trip sighed in desperation. A feeling, one which she hadn’t felt in a long time, entered her mind. She heard his voice but his lips stayed motionless.
“Ya know, to a human, this is a pretty good deal. And it’s not illogical; it’s me.”
“Trip, there is no way that you can guarantee something such as that. Unforeseen circumstances are always present.
Trip sighed aloud again, but then said in his mind, “You’re right. I’ll just jump off that bridge if it comes around. Okay?”
T’Pol paused for a moment, and then aloud she said, “All right.”
“That’s better. C’mon, we better get going. I just remembered no one else knows where the restaurant is or the name for that matter.” Trip tapped his cane on the floor for no reason, but kept his gaze on T’Pol. “One more thing.”
Gently, he tipped his head towards hers and planted a gentle kiss on her forehead. She closed her eyes and reopened them afterwards. He glanced to her brown eyes, almost allowing himself to get lost, but remembered his last sentence and turned forwards.
T’Pol stayed next to him as they walked to the exit where Archer, Hoshi, Reed, and Travis were waiting on them. Travis hailed an air cab and Trip gave directions. They were talking and laughing just like old times until they descended to the nearest station to the restaurant. Trip found himself looking at them as they walked.
These people weren’t just his best friends; they were his family. Captain Archer owed Trip his life on many occasions, as Trip did to the captain. They’d been friends for around twenty years and never gave up hope on the other if something weird happened, quite frequently at that.
Malcolm, Travis, and Hoshi were walking together now, still chatting about who-knew-what. The youngest of the senior staff on the first ship of its kind, other people probably would’ve thought them inept. Yet, they’d saved the lives of the senior staff plenty of times over and easily were some of the most capable people Trip knew.
And T’Pol. He couldn’t perfectly describe everything that she had done for him over the last ten years, but it sufficed to say that she had saved his life too. But she had saved it in a way that the others never could get close to accomplishing. When Lizzie died, Trip thought he was going to go crazy. During the year in the Expanse, if T’Pol hadn’t done all that she did for him, he would have. But she didn’t just save his life; she saved his soul.
And Trip owed her eternally for it.
But as the most recent incident proved, eternity wasn’t forever. But until the day he died, hopefully somewhere near the 80-year range, Trip was going to pay her back. He didn’t know how exactly he was going to do that, but he would.
And paying for Plomeek broth was a start.
Have a comment to make about this story? Do so in the Trip Fan Fiction forum at the HoTBBS!
Nine of you have made comments
This is a nice fix for the accident, and a good beginning for getting TnT together again. From the way they're acting I'm assuming you're also accepting the "6 years apart" bit in the finale. Any chance for a sequel so we can see how he pays her back in other, more tangible ways than a bowl of plomeek broth?
nice. I hope you'll write a sequel to this one :-)
wish that these are the voyagers ended like this..
Wonderful start... sequel please! :-)
Liked this very much. Nice blend of canon and fix-up. I hope you have a sequel planned -- I'd like to see TnT get together once and for all and find out what choices they make now that he's off the active duty list.
I really enjoyed this story. Like Sash said, it's a good mix of flop (canon) and fix. Nice job with a plausible way for Trip and T'Pol to get together after all. However, I had two things nagging at me as I finished reading the story: One, why didn't Trip die? What was different in this scenario so that he didn't die? And two, I think it's a little to quick for Trip to call T'Pol "honey"; the kiss, though, was perfect timing.
All in all, a cute, interesting, and plausible story. I only wish TATV had gone something more like this!
Lovely job and it slotted in nicely as a fix to TATV. I still cannot believe the idiotic notion that six years after Lizzie's death Trip and T'Pol would have had no relationship. I thought the mating bond would have ensured they stayed together plus all they have been through and feel for each other. Ali D :~)
Liked it very much
As much as we like to be like to believe, TnT aren't perfect. They're stubborn, yet they'l be drawn to each other for life. As long as they aren't bitter rivals I think it works. And yes, I'm working on a sequel in my spare time.