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.
Author - Kelly Meding | Genre - Drama | Main Story | Rating - PG-13 | T
Fan Fiction Main Page | Stories sorted by title, author, genre, and rating
by Kelly Meding
Summary: Post-ep for "Strange New World." Two POV's on what happened in the cave.
Time off. Time to think. Time to reflect.
Time to wonder.
Travis didn't remember a lot of what happened in the cave. He remembered rock people and Trip pointing his phase pistol at T'Pol. He'd been impotent to stop either one of them, although he'd felt inclined to side with Trip. Trip had tried to protect them, hadn't he?
Travis left Sick Bay at the same time as Ensign Cutler. She turned right, toward the turbolift. Travis found himself turning left. He wandered down the corridor to one of the access tunnels. He stopped in front of a gray panel and punched in a code. The panel slid away and he entered, stooping only slightly.
He felt more at home in the bowels of a ship than on the ground. He'd been excited at the concept of sleeping under stars. Perhaps that's why he hadn't protested more when Trip said they were staying. Travis suppressed an irrational pang of anger at Trip. He knew what happened wasn't Trip's fault. Travis had free will. He could have gone back up with the captain and Porthos.
And he did.
Of course, T'Pol had to roll out her Vulcan logic and ruin the mystery of the life pod.
"Damn Vulcans," he said.
His voice echoed back softly as he reached a juncture in the access tunnels. Two jeffries tubes branched off to either side of him. A vertical shaft cut upward through most of the lower decks. Travis swung over onto a rung of the inset ladder, and he began to climb.
Travis let his mind wander back to the quasi-scorpion that had played footsie with Trip. He was just glad the creature was inclined to run from them, rather than attack. He chuckled as he remembered Trip's reaction. *You wanna shoot a bug?* *Nah, I just wanna stun it!*
Travis wanted to focus on those moments, to keep his memory from proceeding to the people he "saw." To the rock creatures and Ensign Novakovich's mad dash back into the wind. That horrible ache that engulfed his body, worse than the flu. Trip accusing T'Pol of a Vulcan plot and pointing that...that damn phase pistol at her.
He reached the end of the shaft and his upward climb ceased. It opened up into a small storage bay-his Sweet Spot. Travis placed his hands on either side of the mouth of the shaft and pushed. His stomach flip-flopped as gravity decreased and he floated upward. He twisted his body in mid-air and found himself sitting upside-down on the roof of the bay.
He thought being here would help him forget; bury the disturbing memories. But he knew that was wrong. He should remember and learn from his mistakes in the cavern. He recalled the "creature" running up the wall and T'Pol snapping at Trip. Travis didn't know who'd been more shocked-the Vulcan or himself.
Could it have done that kind of damage if it was set on stun?
That was the question that had sent Travis to this secluded part of the ship. He knew the answer, but didn't want to entertain it. Because Travis had seen Trip's eyes, seen them clearly even in his half-conscious state. Trip had sincerely believed T'Pol was the enemy. Travis didn't know what kept Trip's finger from pressing the trigger. Travis had heard Captain Archer's voice, saw T'Pol shoot Trip, protested as she tried to inoculate him.
Travis rubbed his right shoulder where the nerve was still sore.
He was glad T'Pol shot first. Travis never saw the actual setting on Trip's pistol, but he knew.
He knew it was not set to stun.
There was also the embarrassment over what had happened on the alien planet. No matter how much Captain Archer insisted he was acting under the influence of a mind-altering narcotic, Trip couldn't help but see it as his own fault. He was a Starfleet officer. He'd been trained for those types of situations and should have been able to control his emotions.
He snickered. He sounded like T'Pol.
T'Pol. He wanted to blame her, too. Her and her whole damned race. But it was really his own mistrust of Vulcans that had fueled his delusions on the planet. If he had accused her of sabotage when under the influence, didn't that mean that somewhere, on some basic level, he really believed that she could do it?
A passing crewman shot him a funny look as she hurried on by. Trip rolled his eyes and finally reached his quarters. He went inside and headed straight for the bed. All he wanted now was to sleep until the dull ache in his chest went away.
The aftereffects of the phase pistol didn't hurt that much and the doctor had taken good care of him once he was back on the Enterprise. No, he knew that part of the discomfort was psychosomatic. His mother would have said it was all in his head. Trip wouldn't have argued with her. He would have nodded along, promised to find out what was really bugging him, then crawled off to suffer alone.
Which was what he was doing now.
He stretched out on his bunk, not bothering to take off his boots. Trip had placed a star map of Earth's solar system above his head, so he would never feel too far from home. His eyes wandered to each of the planets, marveling that just two days ago, they had found another planet almost identical to his home. One hundred years ago, no one would have dared think it possible.
Trip chuckled. It started as a tickle in his throat. Pressure built up and it worked its way into his chest, becoming full-blown laughter. His left hand clutched at the uniform fabric above the spot where he'd been shot, but he never stopped laughing. Tears formed at the corners of his eyes and his chest began to ache again, this time from lack of oxygen. Surely anyone who entered would think the Chief Engineer had gone mad.
He continued to laugh, even as the absurdity of his statement gave way to the fear hidden behind it. The laughter was no longer joyous-if it had even been so-but was now almost a sob. Fear crept into his mind and heart, and Trip was defenseless against it. He had come to close to killing T'Pol yesterday. He had almost shot numerous times, but a tiny voice had kept him from doing it. Perhaps the voice of reason, perhaps a part of him that really wanted to believe T'Pol was on their side.
Trip rolled onto his side and curled his knees up to his chest. The hysterical laughter diminished, leaving him totally spent. The loss of control on the planet had frightened him. Space was vast. He truly believed it would not be the last time he lost control like that, and that thought frightened him above any other.
"Screw it," he said.
He hated the "what if" game. The fact was he hadn't fired his weapon at her. T'Pol shot him to save all of their lives and Trip was grateful for that. Of course, he'd sooner shave his eyebrows than tell her that to her face.
Trip thought he should do a log entry on the events in the cave, but decided it could wait. As sleep stole away his thoughts away, he amused himself with one memory from yesterday he would always cherish. T'Pol losing her cool and raising her voice. Some memories, no matter how you created them, were priceless.
Have a comment to make about this story? Do so in the Trip Fan Fiction forum at the HoTBBS!
Four of you have made comments
I loved this introspective piece. I could really imagine Travis and Trip reacting in this way. It would be good to have a companion piece with T'Pol's thoughts. Thank you so much for a nicely balanced and well written piece. Ali D :~)
'He was glad T'Pol shot first. Travis never saw the actual setting on Trip's pistol, but he knew.
He knew it was not set to stun.'
They were just chilling. I don't know exactly why, but they were, and that makes you a damn good writer. Loved it.
I love that you chose to do Travis's view point, so powerful to have an outsiders view point. Instead of having two sides of the event, having only one side and the way it is percieved. I agree with Avelynn Tame; "He knew it was not set to stun." was spine numbing. Very well written, and not over-cooked, well done!