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Parallels - Chapter 6
By Giggling Vulcan
Summary: This is a retelling of The Next Generation episode “Parallels,” But using the Enterprise crew and T’Pol in place of Worf.
A/N- This is the final chapter! Yay! I’d like to thank my mother, and Gene Roddenberry, and Trip and T’Pol for being so gosh darn awesome…okay, seriously. Fair warning, the chapter has a lot of dialogue (like the rest of the story!) and tons of techno-babble. Also, for those of you who made a comment before about it sounding too much like the original in dialogue, I’m sorry, but this one’s pretty close. I couldn’t help it. I was going by the scrip for most of the techno-babble, and you can’t help but sound redundant (I swear, I’ll never type the words ‘quantum fissure’ again!) and carbon copied. Also, some of it might be wrong, because I had to alter it to fit. Because it’s a prequel, they obviously don’t have the technology the Enterprise-C had. I don’t know if an inverse impulse wake even exists…oh well…And I killed someone else! But it was prudent, so don’t hurt me. And now that the story’s over, I’m praying that you won’t slay me in any kind of morbid way. Instead, would you mind scattering my molecules to the local Dairy Queen? *Archer voice* It’s considered humane!
The End of All Things
“Report?” Trip said, immediately crossing to the captain’s chair.
“Full stop, Ensign.” Tucker ordered. He turned to the science station, not the least surprised to see T’Pol already there, fingers flying over the console.
It appears to be a quantum fissure in the space time continuum.” She analyzed. When it came to scientific discovery, T’Pol of Vulcan needed no prompting. That seemed to be a constant, no matter what the timeline.
“On screen.” Trip said.
“The anomaly cannot be seen, but perhaps if enhanced with a warp field, it could be made visible.” She replied.
“You heard the lady, Travis.”
“Aye, sir, forming the warp field.”
Slowly, a glowing blue speck appeared, steadily growing on the view screen. The area around it appeared to be distorted, the stars wavering, almost as if it were a black hole.
“I am also detecting an ion trail intersecting the anomaly, and its signature matches that of an NX-class shuttle pod.” She glanced down at her console, touching a few buttons. She looked up at her fellow officers. “I believe I have an explanation.”
The bridge staff stood around the table in the briefing room, listening as T’Pol staked her claim.
“So what you’re sayin’ is this quantum fissure is a kind of ‘keyhole’ that intersects a lot of timelines?” Trip summarized.
“Precisely. The laws of quantum physics state that there are infinite possibilities with infinite outcomes, and that all of these occur, yet in different timelines, or quantum realities. For example, in one reality, we are standing and having this conversation. In another, we might be sitting.”
“So there are infinite Malcolm Reeds having this conversation?” Reed asked.
“That is correct, yet in some realities, there may be no Malcolm Reed at all.” T’Pol added.
“Bloody hell, that’s confusing!” He interjected.
“So when you entered the fissure, you started shifting between realities?” Travis asked.
“Once again, correct.”
“So, how did Hoshi’s UT cause the shifts?” he asked, obviously perplexed. Trip was way ahead of him on that. Captain he may have been, but he still knew more about mechanics than commanding.
“The universal translator uses a subspace frequency specially designed for itself exclusively. Whenever it came near T’Pol it intensified the quantum flux, pushing her into a different reality, and for to happen, the impulse wake from Shuttle-pod One must’ve caused a break in the barriers between the quantum realities.” Trip’s explanation seemed to be more enlightening than T’Pol’s in informing them of the situation they were really facing.
Travis sighed, “You can take the boy out of Engineering…”
“The question is,” T’Pol began, “how do I return to my normal quantum state?”
They all stood in respectable silence, none having a clue what to do.
“What if we scanned the fissure with a subspace deferential pulse?” Trip mused. “We might be able to locate the quantum state she belongs to and return her to it.”
“Sounds like a start.” Malcolm stated.
“I concur.” T’Pol agreed. “And I suggest we proceed.”
Enterprise was stationary before the quantum fissure, the subspace differential pulse scan taking an agonizing amount of time.
“I’ve analyzed over ten million quantum realities within the fissure, and none have matched my signature.” She apprised, her tone conveying annoyance. The entire bridge was awash with anticipation. Trip paced across the bridge for the umpteenth time, which T’Pol found more annoying than the lack of progress. After a moment longer she addressed him softly. “Captain.” He appeared not to have noticed. She was more than a bit irked now. “Trip!”
He stopped and looked at her expectantly. “Please…desist…” she stated.
“Sorry…” He mumbled, returning obediently to the captain’s chair. When it came to the general way T’Pol constantly assessed his behavioral patterns, the words “hen-pecked” came to mind, but he wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the universe. He smiled slightly as he watched her work, the lights of the console dancing across her smooth features as her eyebrows creased in frustration at one scan result after another. She was so much like his own T’Pol, yet so much different, but he was still absolutely enamored by her, and he knew her own Trip must be as well. Who wouldn’t be?
“Captain!” Reed exclaimed, jerking him out of his reverie. He didn’t need to hear Malcolm continue when he saw the Andorian battle cruiser emerge from the quantum fissure.
“Tactical alert!” He exclaimed. “Activate hull plating and arm torpedo bays one and three. Ready phasers!”
“Sir, we’re being hailed!” Exclaimed Ensign Douglass. Ensign Douglass had taken Hoshi’s position at the communications station. Her voice seemed to terribly out of place in the current command situation that they all realized just how odd it was without Hoshi.
The image that blinked on before them was most definitely not what anyone was prepared for. From the tactical station came a startled whimper as Lt. Malcolm Reed of the U.S.S. EnterpriseNX-01 stared back at the grinning form of Commander Malcolm Reed of the Imperial Army Warship Callouschap, a man with a haggard face and haunted eyes, or at least one eye. The other was fully concealed by a black eye patch. He had a deep scar that divided his cheek and gray stubble that surrounded the cold smile on his face.
“Captain Tucker.” He said, drawing out his words and leaning back in his chair. “It’s been a while…why, I thought my armada would have destroyed you by now!”
Tucker looked about to bridge at his officers. None knew what this alternate Reed was talking about.
“Still with Starfleet, I see!” He exclaimed. “Pity.” He stood and began to pace. “A man like you could go far in the Imperial Army. I thought you were wiser than that. Starfleet was weak, and I see the Andorians have proved that well! Tell me, Captain, how does it feel to be the last human vessel left?”
Tucker looked back at his Reed. His eyeballs were bulging as he gaped at the view screen and was a deathly shade of white.
“I think you’ve got the wrong idea here, Commander.” Trip started, holding up his hands defensively. “There’s been an anomaly—“
“Lieutenant Talas!” Malcolm barked, interrupting Tucker’s explanation. A sultry Andorian woman sauntered into view, dressed in a catsuit even more revealing than T'Pol’s usual state of dress. She recognized the woman as the Andorian who had aided Malcolm specifically in the repairs of the armory. She perched on the armrest of Malcolm’s chair, running her fingers across his stubbled chin in a very unprofessional manner. Trip observed that the Malcolm of Enterprise nearly fell out of his chair.
“Yes, Commander?” She purred.
Focusing his cold grey eyes directly on Tucker, her said stoically, “Destroy them.”
The transmission ended suddenly, leaving the Callouschap looming ominously on the view screen.
“C-captain.” Reed said, obviously shaken. “They’re charging weapons, and a right lot of them, I might say.”
“Increase power to the hull plating! Torpedoes, full spread!”
Blue lances of light shot form the Andorian ship, striking in a critical area. They obviously knew where to hit them. The Enterprise returned fire with high yield phaser emissions, but didn’t seem to make a dent in the well-armored hull of the warship.
“Captain, they are targeting our power systems. It is causing an energy surge within the subspace pulse. The quantum fissure is beginning to destabilize!” T’Pol yelled over the sirens that were blaring.
“Then disengage it!”
“Her fingers flew over the console and paused for a moment. “It is no longer possible!”
Suddenly, the quantum fissure began to destabilize, ripples emitting from its core, badly shaking the ship. The crew grabbed any nearby stationary object, bracing themselves against the jarring waves.
As suddenly as they had begun, the waves stopped.
The crew stood up again, dazed as they looked about the bridge at each other, then back at the quantum fissure.
Their vision was compromised by a blinding flash of light that lasted for quite a few seconds, yet quickly dissipated, leaving a nearly empty star field behind it.
The Callouschap still hovered within range, obviously as confused and stunned as Enterprise’s crew. But the Callouschap wasn’t the only alien vessel in view. Although the second ship wasn’t as alien to them as the Andorian ship, it made it all the more frightening.
It was the Enterprise.
There she was in all of her glory before them, a mirror image of their own ship.
With another small flash, another Enterprise popped up, then another.
“Captain?” Asked Reed again. “As confusing as all of this is, I believe we could use it…as a tactical advantage…”
“Douglass…send out a distress signal…all frequencies…” Trip said lightly, his ability to reason still compromised by the current events.
“Aye…sir…” affirmed Douglass. “Now transmitting.”
“Suddenly, an Enterprise began to fire on the Andorian ship, attacking it timidly, at most.
“Malcolm…fire at will.” Trip commanded.
“Aye, sir. Gladly.” Malcolm replied in a rather rough manner, almost huffily.
While torpedoes exploded against the hull, the Andorian ship fired a few phaser blasts, unsure of which ship to turn the offensive on.
Another Enterprise joined the onslaught, and even more began appearing.
“Sir, the Andorians’ hull plating is offline!” Malcolm exclaimed.
Sure enough, the barrage of weapon’s fire was striking deep pits in the hull as small explosions began to tear through the ship’s systems. As if in a final desperation for survival, the battle cruiser began limping towards the quantum fissure.
“Bloody yank bastard!” Malcolm yelled as his counterpart cowered away, disappearing through the slit in the star field.
“Malcolm! Hold your fire! They’re gone.” Trip commanded.
“Aye, sir.” Malcolm growled.
Trip turned to T’Pol. “Any idea what’s going on anymore?” He asked with a sigh.
“It would appear that the energy surge has broken down the barriers between quantum realities. They are all merging. At this rate, this sector will be completely filled with Enterprises in…three days…”
“Captain…” began Douglass. “We’re receiving….two hundred eighty-five thousand hails.”
“Wish I knew what to tell ‘em”. Trip closed his eyes for a moment to think. “T’Pol, is there any way we can…stop these ships from popping up?”
“In theory, we would have to locate the Enterprise that I originated from. If I piloted the shuttle pod back into the fissure, creating a broad-spectrum impulse wake, it might be enough to seal the fissure and stop the realities from merging with out own.”
“What’re we gonna do with all these?” Trip asked, waving his hand and the thousands of Enterprises on the screen. Some were very near, some were so far away that they were only distant points of light, but they stretched as far as the eye could see, and in every direction.
“The act of sealing the barriers would send the ships back to their normal state, if successful.”
“Then we’ll have to make sure it’s successful.” Trip said imperatively. “Douglass, send a general hail to all ships.”
“Go ahead sir.”
“This is Captain Charles Tucker III of the U.S.S. Enterprise…or at least the one that was here in the first place. First of all, thanks, to those of you who helped us out back there with the Andorians. It feels good to know that your alternate self cares about you. That brings me to my next point, here. It appears we’ve run into a quantum anomaly. We think we’ve got a way to return all of ya’ll back to where you came from, but we’re gonna need your cooperation. We need to find one ship that has a particular quantum signature. I’m havin’ T’Pol transmit that signature to you now. If you have the same one, speak now of f’rever hold your peace and stay here packed tighter’n sardines in a can. Personally, I’d much prefer it if you spoke up. Thanks.”
“Sir, there’s too much comm. traffic. It’s hard to tell who’s talking to who…wait…there’s one responding…”
The view screen blinked to a view of a bridge identical to their own, only with Captain Archer in command, and Tucker nowhere in sight. Trip was startled when he saw Archer, but seemed rather pleased to see him again, just the same.
“…Captain…Tucker…it would appear that we have the signature that you’re looking for.”
“T’Pol believes that if we send her through the fissure in the same shuttlecraft that caused the disturbance, it’ll send all of us back to our own timelines.”
“Our T’Pol has said the same thing.”
“Figures.” Tucker smirked. “We’ll need you to send over Shuttle-pod One. “
“We’ll send her right over.”
“Oh, and Captain?” Trip said in a nostalgic voice. “It’s good to see you again.”
Archer looked confused for a moment, furrowing his brow and glancing over at T’Pol. Seeming to understand, he nodded solemnly and ended the transmission.
Trip crawled out from the inside of Shuttle-pod One, grease splattered, but looking optimistic. Sure, he was captain, but he still had more engineering experience than anyone else on the ship. When it came to such a delicate mission, he was the only man for the job. He ran his fingers through his sweaty hair as T’Pol approached, analyzing a PADD.
“How are the modifications progressing?” She asked, running her eyes over the shuttle-pod.
“She’s all ready to go.” Trip said. “I rigged her with an inverse impulse wake. If it works, it’ll repair whatever happened to the quantum fissure. You’ll need to activate it right before you enter the fissure.”
T’Pol nodded. “There is no predicting where I will end up, or at what time. Time could be restored a few days before the anomaly occurred, or a few days after it.”
Trip nodded, shoving his hands in his pockets. “Well, I guess you’re all set, then.” He said. Coming close to her, he gently caressed her cheek. T’Pol leaned in and pulled his face down to hers, leaving him with a lingering kiss. She drew back and gazed into his emotional blue eyes, imprinting them to her memory as she slowly exhaled. Allowing her fingers to trail down his cheek, she turned abruptly and entered the shuttle, the door swinging soundly shut behind her.
Trip watched the shuttle slowly weave in and out of Enterprises as it made its way towards the fissure, yet his mind was more focused on the woman in the shuttle than the mission itself. She meant the universe to him, and if things didn’t work out, there was a good chance that he’d never see her again. He couldn’t imagine his life without her now. It had been an odd thought to him before when he’d contemplated a relationship with the Vulcan. How could it have possibly worked out? But it did, and the rewards of the hard work were even better than he’d imagined. Following his heart had been the best decision he’d ever made.
“Captain!” Reed exclaimed. “One of the Enterprises is firing on the shuttle-pod!”
Trip involuntarily clutched the arms of the captain’s chair. “What the hell!”
“They’re hailing us!” Douglass piped in.
“Then put the bastards onscreen!”
The screen flashed to another Enterprise bridge, yet this one was dark and filled with smoke. The emergency lighting was the only illumination. Its Captain Tucker ducked as a console exploded behind him, sending an officer flying out of their chair, hitting the floor, most likely dead. This Trip wasn’t that happy engineer he usually was. He looked absolutely savage, his bearded jaw set in desperation, his eyes afire with determination, fear, and agony.
“We’re not goin’ back!” he yelled.
“We got no choice!” Trip barked back at himself, obviously very pissed that they’d attempted to hurt T’Pol.
“Dammit, I said we’re not goin’! You don’t know what it’s like there! Starfleet’s gone…hell, Earth might be gone too, but we’ve been to busy running from the Spherebuilders, who I might add, have turned the whole damn expanse into a ‘paradise for the faithful’, to go check! We’re the only one’s left! Please, ya gotta help us!”
Trip looked heartbroken, staring at himself, seeing the level of savagery and desperation he’d regressed to. “I’m sorry.” He said firmly through clenched teeth. “But there’s nothing I can do.”
“No!” The alternate Tucker yelled, “We ain’t goin’!”
The transmission ended abruptly and the battered Enterprise began firing on the shuttle again.
“Open fire! Try to disable them!” Trip barked.
Two torpedoes lanced from their ship, striking the other one hard.
“Direct hit!...Their hull plating is gone…and their engine core’s overloading!”
Suddenly, the battered Enterprise completely exploded before their very eyes, leaving nothing behind but fiery debris.
“What happened?” Trip asked quietly.
“They’d already taken heavy damage…there was no hope for them in any case.” Reed said solemnly. “Probably from fighting the Xindi and Spherebuilders…”
“Captain, Commander T’Pol is entering the fissure.” Apprised the officer who had taken the empty science post.
Trip closed his eyes and bowed his head, thinking silently to himself, “Please, God, bring her home.”
T’Pol woke up with a splitting headache, lying on the floor of Shuttle-pod One. She sat up, her head spinning, but not as if she was experiencing another shift. This was genuine exhaustion, and the fact that she didn’t know who she was, where she was, or even if she existed rather attributed to that awkward feeling.
Standing up uneasily, she made her way to the helm, glancing at the console and the screen. She saw where she was, halfway between Vulcan and her final destination…home. She was quite relieved to find that there wasn’t a single Enterprise in sight.
Accessing the communications system, she hailed her ship.
“T’Pol to Enterprise.”
“Enterprise here. ”
“Captain…is everything…all right?” she asked tentatively.
“Yes, Sub-Commander. Is there a problem?”
“I do not believe so, Captain, but I have much explaining to do when I return.”
“How was your visit to Vulcan?” The voice most definitely wasn’t the Captain’s…or at least not the captain in this reality.
T’Pol glanced over at a small bag on the floor containing her continuing treatment and a letter of thanks from Dr. Yuris.
“It was quite productive, Commander.”
“So do you think this quantum fissure is something we have to worry about?” Trip asked. He had met her in the shuttle bay and had offered to help her carry her bags back to her quarters after a short assessment with Dr. Phlox. He was absolutely surprised that she’d accepted, but was glad, nonetheless. They were walking at a rather inefficient and illogically slow pace, yet T’Pol had no intention of bringing it to the Commander’s attention.
“No. I believed the inverse impulse wake has sealed it permanently.”
Trip chuckled lightly. “And I was a captain? You *have* to send me a copy of this report.” He said with a grin. “How were my commanding skills?”
T’Pol thought for a moment. “They were…unique…yet highly effective.” She said, causing Trip to chuckle again. He seemed absolutely giddy to see her after her absence.
“How’d things check out with the Doc?” Trip asked.
T’Pol hesitated, then supplied. “Doctor Phlox has officially informed me that I have…gotten my ‘mojo’ back.”
Trip chuckled and shook his head. “That’s the doc for ya.”
They reached T’Pol’s quarters, yet she didn’t key the access code. Instead, she eyed it warily.
T’Pol gave him an icy glare. “I know what you are planning. I will not be surprised.”
Trip gave her a highly confused look, laughing lightly. “Surprised? Why would ya be surprised? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Of course you don’t.” T’Pol said wryly.
Trip paused for a moment as she took her bags from him and opened the door. “Wait a minute…were you just being sarcastic?” He asked in shock.
“Good-night, Commander.” She said. The door slid shut behind her quickly, leaving Trip staring at it. But for the abruptness in which she cut him off…he could have sworn he saw her smile.
Malcolm timidly entered to door, acting as if he was stepping into enemy territory. He was clutching a small package. “Uh…good evening, Sub-commander.” He said.
“Is there something I can help you with, Mr. Reed?” She asked, standing from where she’d been meditating. Malcolm seemed quite surprised by her choice of silken sleepwear.
“Trip had me pick these up at the Vulcan compound in San Francisco for him since he was in Florida. I was supposed to have them in your quarters somehow before you returned…supposed to be a ‘surprise’ for your birthday it seems.” He offered her the parcel which she took.
“Thank you Lieutenant.” She said, turning it over in her hands. “He wouldn’t happen to have anything else planned, would he?” She asked suspiciously.
“Well, he did have a big surprise party planned, but the rest of us talked him out of it. We didn’t think you’d be much for that kind of a celebratory gathering.”
“Once again, thank you, Lieutenant.” She said with a slight sigh.
Malcolm smiled at her, “Anytime, Sub-Commander.” He said. “Good-night.”
“Good-night, Mr. Reed.”
After he left, she sat down on her bed, unwrapping the delicately wrapped parcel. It contained three meditation candles, along with a piece of paper.
“Thought these might be useful to you. I had Malcolm pick them up while I was in Florida with the family. Happy 66th, darlin’.
P.S. Check your messages.”
Curious, she arose, activating her computer. Sure enough, a new message icon was flashing.
“Commander Charles Tucker III cordially invites you to attend something special in the mess hall the night of March 3rd, 0100 hours. RSVP ASAP.”
After deciphering the human acronyms, she sent back a simple message: “I will attend.”
Musing quietly, she crossed to her bags and extracted some of her purchases from the market on Vulcan. She selected a robe of Talaxian silk.
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
Please write and epiloge!!
Awwwww... but come on that can't be the end! But it certainly was cute. Can't wait to read more from you.
ADENDUM- I forgot to mention the gratuitously stolen Teal'C line from Stargate SG-1 *disclaimer* which I don't own either *end disclaimer* lol. Thanks for reading, guys!
Write a gooey, rot-your-teeth-out sequel to this. Please?
Good story, sweet ending. Some very nice dialogue between your characters. Hope to read more from you :-)
Okay,okay, no more execution-threats. ;-)))
Masterfully done and how you kept track of all those Enterprises and timelines just made my head spin! Love how we got our T'Pol back and her dry comment about knowing what Trip had planned. I do hope you write an epilogue, am starved for some Trip and T'Pol goodness. Ali D :~)
Loved the story. Always good to have any kind of a remake. Makes the originals more interesting and all. One thing though.. Talaxian silk? As far as I am aware of, the vulcans had not been to the Delta Quadrant yet. Seeing as its spelled wrong though (should be Telaxian), you could just invent yourself a new species with a similar name... :-D
Great job! As a story it was a bit shaky at the start but it's certainly filled out. Love the ending!