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The Forgotten Time
Author - enterpriseScribe | F | Genre - Humor | Genre - Romance | Main Story | Rating - R | T
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The Forgotten Time
The room was empty and dark save for the two people in the third row. Flickering white light from the black and white movie played over their shadowy skin, but they weren’t watching the screen, and the soundtrack was non-existent.
Both were turned in their seats to meet each other’s eyes, half their faces lit up by the scattered cinematic light, the other halves in shadow. He reached up and stroked her cheek once with unbearable tenderness, his clear blue eyes locked hungrily onto her dark, liquid ones. The moment seemed endless. Her heart was pounding like it would shatter into a million pieces. Electric sheets of adrenaline played over her sternum and the backs of her hands, her palms fused to the tops of her thighs.
She was riveted by the gentle face of this man who had slowly been becoming the core of her existence, a connection swirling gently but inexorably into being like the formation of a new galaxy of dusty silvered stars. Since her encounter with Trellium-D, T’Pol had been experiencing a chaotic tangle of intermittent, disorganised emotions that rose and fell in response to charged situations, especially those concerning Trip Tucker.
Gazing keenly at this human who had so changed her life, her feelings suddenly and silently fused into an inexplicably white-hot beam of thunderstruck resolution:
She loved him. She loved him with absolute totality. She never wanted to part from him.
The air was thick with static electricity. T’Pol could feel it pressing softly on her eyelashes and lips, raising the hair on the back of her neck. This new, clear emotion melted everything around the two of them into the blackness at the perimeter of the room. Heat hovered between their two bodies, a warm, magnetic tension. A deliciously disturbing sense of cold water splashing down her insides mingled with a warm, heady feeling of homecoming. She wanted to cover his mouth with hers. She wanted to tell him how she felt and feel his arms tighten around her.
She wanted to hear him tell her that he loved her.
The static pressed firmly against her skin. The pulsing energy between them built to a high-pitched keen. She tried to speak, to lift her hands, but she was transfixed in place. Trip’s eyes were pleading. He made no move.
As they stared at one another, haunted, she felt her whole body being suddenly pulled, as if by a tractor beam. She was forced smoothly back and upward, through the thick windows and out into the smothering silent suction of space. Trip’s face was strangely as crystal clear viewed from the cold airless outdoor blackness as from seven steamy inches away seven seconds ago. She reeled onward into icy infinity, but their eyes stayed riveted on one another. His face impossibly far away.
And sad. Desperately sad.
T’Pol jolted awake.
* * *
Trip pressed the turbolift button. He idly scanned his way down a PADD containing a list of items he was bringing to this afternoon’s senior officer meeting. Though the meeting wasn’t until 1300, Captain Archer had just summoned Trip to his ready room and he didn’t sound too happy. Trip hoped he wasn’t in for another harangue about getting the repairs completed. The Engineering team had been working full tilt since the Xindi conflict had finally ended, but they sill had a long way to go. Mainly what his staff needed was some R & R… seems saving the universe was a tiring job.
Lately, he’d been falling into bed like a ton of bricks every night at 2100. Insomnia no longer being an issue, he had thought briefly about ending his neuropressure sessions with T’Pol. No point in taking up her free time now that he was sleeping again. But he got the feeling lately that she needed the quiet intimate time they shared several nights a week even more than he did.
These days he found himself feeling protective toward her, though if she knew that, she would probably scorn his concern. That was one Vulcan who knew how to handle herself. Usually. However, since they had entered the Expanse, she had been growing ever more erratic… a little here, a little there, until sometimes he felt he barely knew her. Living with humans was a major transformation for a Vulcan, no matter how open-minded, he told himself. She’s just adjusting to the strain of having so many nervous and stressed humans venting their emotions all over the place for the past eight months.
The turbolift door opened, breaking off his reverie. Trip looked up.
T’Pol was standing there, hands clasped behind her slim torso, staring at him in an unsettled, edgy sort of way.
“Mornin’ Sub-Commander,” Trip grinned as he stepped into the lift, “Going up?”
T’Pol lifted her chin and looked ahead. She seemed uncomfortable. “I am going to the bridge,” she said in her characteristic clear, even tone.
Following her lead, Trip also faced forward. She was in one of her funny moods this morning. Several second passed in silence as the turbolift resumed its course. Then, turning, both took a breath and spoke at once.
“Say, how would you like to—”
They both stopped, T’Pol looking even more awkward, Trip glancing down and laughing.
T’Pol took a breath to steady herself. Her dream of the night before had unsettled her to say the least. The memory of the strong emotions that she experienced while asleep still tugged powerfully at her mind, though her actual emotional state was normal enough this morning. Since the Trellium addiction, she always felt somewhat out of sorts. Daily, hourly emotion was not something one could become accustomed to overnight. It was a constant struggle to blend both control and indulgence of these new sensations.
The dream seemed to her to be a subconscious warning that she was allowing a vital opportunity to slip away. Her older self from the other Enterprise had admonished her against taking Trip for granted. Now, T’Pol felt strongly that she had to do something to bring a simmering situation to a head, but she had no idea how to begin. And the stunning strength of her remembered emotions, still making her blood run alternately icy and fevered, was not helping. T’Pol opened her mouth, still undecided as to what to say.
Too late to speak, the door opened again and Hoshi entered the lift. She glanced from one to the other, as if sensing the atmosphere was a bit strained.
“Mornin’, Hoshi,” Trip said.
“Good morning, sir,” Hoshi said with a smile and raised eyebrows as she took her place between the others. T’Pol gave the other woman a short nod in greeting.
After a few moments of silence, still looking ahead, Hoshi asked, “Are you two coming to movie night tonight? My pick this week… Wuthering Heights. Best movie ever made, in my opinion.”
At the mention of movie night, T’Pol started visibly, and then just as quickly regained her composure. Trip looked at her strangely for a moment, and then replied to Hoshi.
“Never seen it myself. An oldie isn’t it? A Western or something?”
The lift had reached the bridge.
Stepping out of the turbolift, Hoshi glanced back at the two senior officers with a cheeky grin. “Nope, it’s a romance. 2100 tonight.”
T’Pol gave Trip an almost frightened glance and then quickly walked ahead of him to the science station and busied herself with the first thing that came to hand.
Jonathan Archer was pacing agitatedly up and down the width of the small room. When the door chime rang, his head jerked up.
The door hissed open, admitting Trip into the room. “Sorry to keep you waiting, sir. We had a problem with some EPS conduits down in Engineer—”
Trip stopped short.
Crewman Daniels was sitting calmly in the visitors’ chair.
“Good morning, Trip,” Daniels said heavily, extending his hand as he rose from the chair. Nonplussed, Trip shook hands, looking from Daniels to the Captain.
“Cap’n?” Trip queried.
Archer had stopped pacing and stood behind his desk. He leaned forward to place both palms heavily on the tabletop. “Sorry to get you out of Engineering right now, Trip,” the captain started as he looked up. His resigned, yet pissed-off, tone of voice was one Trip had heard before in the presence of the enigmatic Daniels. The captain clearly did not enjoy involving Enterprise as a pawn in this man’s temporal games. And given the nature of time manipulation, secrecy and working blindfolded was usually the order of the day. “As you can see, it’s been a peculiar morning.” Archer turned. “Mind filling us in now, Daniels?”
“Not just yet; we’re still missing someone. Would you please ask T’Pol to join us?”
The captain gave him a long look that said, ‘don’t push it’, as he turned slowly to the comm panel. Eyes on Daniels, he activated it and said, “T’Pol, please report to the Captain’s ready room.”
“Aye, Captain,” came T’Pol’s measured response.
A few seconds later, T’Pol entered the room. Assessing the scene, the only indication she found anything out of the ordinary was a slight slowing of her step. She looked to the Captain, one dispassionate eyebrow raised.
Daniels clasped his hands together and took a breath. Glancing once at the glowering Captain, he began.
“Jonathan, I am sorry to disturb you and your crew again. I’m sure you’ve seen more than enough of me for a while.”
“That’s an understatement,” muttered the Captain.
“Indeed.” A small smile curved Daniels’ lips for an instant, and then he sobered. “This last battle has been one in which this crew and its allies gave many of their finest to benefit billions of lives. My superiors weren’t certain of a positive outcome, but Enterprise proved herself to be more than equal to the task. For that, we want to give you our heartfelt thanks.” Daniels paused looking at each of them. Under his patient, earnest gaze, the captain seemed to soften a little.
“What can we do for you today, Daniels?” Archer sank into his desk chair. It was going to be one of those days. He could tell.
“Well, it’s a matter of clean up. After any major temporal adjustments such as we have seen recently in this part of the timeline, my team and I are responsible for sorting out final details before closing the mission. Tying up ‘loose ends’, if you will.” Daniels stopped again.
Archer, Trip, and T’Pol waited for the other shoe to drop. Instead, Daniels suddenly turned to Archer.
“Jonathan. Would you mind giving us a minute?” He gestured to include Trip and T’Pol.
“Why?” the captain demanded.
“This being a temporal matter in the final stages of fine-tuning, it wouldn’t be prudent of me to involve any more persons than are absolutely necessary. In this case that’s Commander Tucker and T’Pol and myself.”
“If it involves my crewmembers, it damn well involves me too, Daniels.” Any diminishing of his irritation had ceased, his voice testy and loud again.
“Please, Jonathan,” Daniels requested. “I only need to speak to them for a moment.”
“LOOK,” Archer started to rise up out of his chair.
“Very well,” Daniels conceded. He quietly activated a small device in his hand and the Captain froze in mid-motion.
“Hey, what’s the big idea?” shouted Trip, starting towards Daniels.
Daniels put his hands up in a gesture of acquiescence. “He’s fine… he’s simply been temporarily taken out of the timestream. It’s just simpler this way.”
“Well, put him back!”
“Commander,” came T’Pol’s deliberate tone. “Perhaps we should hear what crewman Daniels has to say.”
Trip looked over his shoulder at the Vulcan. She was calmly standing with her arms crossed, regarding the two men with a neutral expression. Daniels leaned back to half-sit on the edge of the captain’s desk. His mild face looked fatigued and he ran his hands over his short receding hair. Captain Archer was still behind the desk, weirdly positioned rising halfway out of his chair. He looked as if someone had hit the pause button on a video recording. He looked uncomfortable. Trip sighed.
“Well, let’s hurry this up then. I don’t feel right leaving the Cap’n like that.”
“Right,” Daniels began tiredly, but efficiently, “We have managed to repair most of the major temporal damage caused by the transdimensional sphere-builders. However, there are still dozens of micro-incursions to be resolved.”
“Hold on,” Trip put his hand up, “What the hell is a ‘micro-incursion’?”
Daniels pushed off the edge of the desk and stood up to pace the room, warming to his topic. “Micro-incursions are the tiny temporal eddies left in the wake of a serious timeline alteration.” Daniels paused, struggling to frame his words in 22nd century terms. Trip and T’Pol waited. “Any major event will cause a chain reaction down the length of the timeline.” Daniels took a PADD from his pocket. Though it was smaller and sleeker, it looked much like the one Trip still had in his own hand. Daniels consulted the screen, pulling up various crisscrossed timeline illustrations. “So, when we perform a major temporal repair, we hope to see the results work their way down the length of the timeline in question.” His hands gestured expressively. “If the repair is carried out well, this process self-corrects most of the events throughout history. However, some things are always left out: tags of alternate events that are still erroneously present in the timeline.”
“I thought you guys were supposed to have time travel down to an art,” Trip interrupted.
“We aren’t talking about fixing an EPS conduit here, Commander. This is time itself, including all the people and events occurring over thousands of millennia. There are bound to be some lingering issues after a major temporal repair is performed. While many of these issues are inconsequential, some micro-incursions have the potential to set off future events of their own, and therefore, they must be reset manually,” Daniels finished. He looked at the other two to see if they grasped the situation thus far.
Trip’s mind flashed to the movie the crew had watched two weeks ago. Back to the Future III… a classic film he had seen many times. He recalled how at the end of the movie, though Marty and the Doc had set everything more or less back to rights in the Old West, there were still some minor permanent changes to the 20th century. For example, the ravine where Marty apparently plunged to his death back in 1885 was still called “Eastwood Ravine” in 1985… ‘Clint Eastwood’ being his pseudonym while living in the past.
“I think I get what you’re talking about,” Trip said. “So where do we fit in?”
Using the PADD, Daniels brought up an animated image of several timeline threads twisting over one another, each one affecting the next.
“The future of your current timeline as planned out by the transdimensionals and the Xindi Reptilians was grim, to say the least. I won’t go into much detail, but shortly after Earth was destroyed, the Xindi culture degenerated into a short and bloody civil war. Enterprise survived the destruction of Earth, and became involved in fighting the Reptilian factions alongside the other four Xindi species. At one point in the alternate timeline, about a year from now, a Reptilian guerrilla operative places an experimental trans-duodynetic particle converter at a critical junction in Enterprise’s power matrix. When this device detonates, it destroys the ship and tears a hole in the fabric of space-time, causing an axionic anomaly that eventually destroys most of the life in the quadrant.”
“Impressive,” T’Pol commented. Trip’s face tightened and he said nothing.
“Yes, obviously it yielded far more destructive power than the Reptilians were hoping for. The Xindi civil war was cut short at that point as the accident instantaneously wiped out every living thing within a 10 parsec radius of the flashpoint.” Here Daniels stopped and looked out at the stars as if trying momentarily to fathom the violent nature of intelligent life.
“Well,” Trip broke the heavy silence, “Good thing we managed to rewrite history then. ‘Cause that’d be hell of a way to go.” A smile momentarily played over his mouth as he glanced over at T’Pol and then faded as he met Daniels’ serious eyes.
“Therein lies the problem, Commander.” Daniels stood up to face Trip and T’Pol. “We haven’t managed to rewrite history as well as we need to yet. That bomb is still part of Enterprise’s future.”
Fade in ominous music.
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A whole mess of folks have made comments
Great start! Wonderful dream desciption. Some how it reminded me of Matrix Revolutions. Can't wait for more. :)
Oh, I like, I like! :-) Great characterizations, Archer booted out of the timestream for a moment, and Trip and T'Pol hopefully saving the day! Great stuff! I'll be waiting for more!
What an opening! Then what a start to your story. I shall be looking out for the next installment. Great stuff!
I really enjoyed this, and also love your writing style, it flows really well. Very exciting - can't wait for the next chapter!
ooooooohhhhhhh fun stuff. now i have a mission for u- should u choose to except it: update- pronto!! :)
So, when can we see chaper 2? This has definitely got me hooked! :) Great start!
HA! Love it! A pause botton on Archer -- I think you should patient it. Great start looking forward to more :-)
Can't wait for more... this is real interesting so far! ;)
Wow! What a start!!!!
"To Be Continued (soon)" - promised?!
Great so far. God I wish I had a device that could pause out Archer. I love it. Please update soon.
Intriguing story so far.
I'm wondering why this couldn't have been said in front of Archer. I don't normally complain about him being taken out of the picture, and the idea of him being frozen is kind of funny, but everything Daniels' has said so far isn't T/T specific. I was thinking at first that he might have said something about their relationship being one of the "incursions" but he didn't. I guess you're going to answer all these burning questions in the next chapter, right?
Oh, and I was happy to see that the sequence in the beginning was a dream. I like my fanfiction T'Pol to be as realistic as possible.
This was really fun to read though. I loved it. Please update soon!!! :-)
Gripping, when's the next chapter?
Very intriguing story! I'm hoping the T/T has to do with Lorian. But then I'm always hoping that. :)
Oh, wow! I can't wait for more...this was definitely a creative whiz-bang opening!
What a lot of supportive people!! Thanks so much for the great comments, guys. You've made my day!
More will be added soon.....
Wow, that's a lot of techno babble! LOL So when's the next chapter. Don't keep us waiting too long!
Wow! Great beginning - I can't wait for more!!
Excellent start. I loved Polly's dream and frozen Archer. Can't wait to read chapter 2.
woh.. you left us hanging... next chap soon please...
very good --you sucked me right in and i can't wait until you write more. also bonus points for the use of the word "harangue"!!!
Excellent! Can't wait to find out what happens next, this has all the makings of a complex and very engrossing story and I am hooked. Bravo! Ali D :~)
I liked that Daniels hit the pause button on Archer. Made me chuckle. Hmm, I wonder why Daniels wanted to speak to T/T alone?... ;-)
"Fade in ominous music."-lol.
Good start, I can't wait to see where you take this.
Excellent! Please write the next chapter soon, I can't wait to find out what happens next.
Wow.....you've gotta write more soon! That was awsome!!!!!!
Ooh, great stuff! Your dialogue and narration was great and your characterization was spot on too. Plus you've left me way curious about what happens next and how T/T will be involved.