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Negotiating Peace

Author - Myst123 | Genre - General | Main Story | N | Rating - G
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Negotiating Peace

By Myst123

Rated: G, General
Contact: mystbbs@earthlink.net
Disclaimer: Star Trek situations, characters, and name are all owned by Paramount. This work is non-commercial, not for sale or profit, and may not be sold or reproduced for commercial purposes.


“I thought our role in that situation was finished,” sighed Captain Archer.

“Jon, it was just a beginning. The Vulcans and the Andorians have too much history to right everything overnight. Negotiations after a century of distrust and hostilities will take time and patience. I hope you feel you can continue to contribute to the process,” responded Admiral Forrest. “This is our opportunity to show the Vulcans we do have a place in space, that we can operate as well, if not better, than they can in certain situations. Now, Shran has asked for you again, more, I believe, as a sounding board and a neutral party than a negotiator. He trusts you and believes you can read Soval better than he can.”

“OK,” Archer agreed, “but I wish they would learn to communicate without me. I want to explore, to see new worlds, not to get tied up in a feud between these two. You’d think with all that Vulcan logic at his disposal that Soval could figure out how to talk to the Andorians without offending them.”

Forrester laughed. “That would indeed be an interesting development, but tact is not a Vulcan strength, is it?”

Archer joined in the laughter, signed off, and went to join Trip and T’Pol for their evening meal.

T’Pol was already seated when Archer entered the Captain’s Mess, but Trip hadn’t arrived. Wanting to wait to tell both his officers the news at the same time, and to brainstorm strategies for working with the Vulcans and the Andorians, Archer engaged T’Pol in small talk about her day. Things were going smoothly for the Subcommander, who had learned to work with her human colleagues without angering them. Archer definitely wanted to discover what methods T’Pol had developed for working with a more emotional species and how that could be applied to the situation at hand. Archer was pleased that his crew had been able to accept the Subcommander as a member of the team, to value her judgments and her advice.

At last Trip arrived and dinner was served. Trip, however, had not had a good couple of days. Many small incidents had slowed work down in Engineering, causing delays in routine maintenance. Trip, as usual, had everything under control, but looked tired. Asked how things stood, he reported that he and his staff finally were caught up on the work, and that he was looking forward to a hot meal.

Archer outlined the information he received from Forrester about plans to rejoin the talks on Andorian to settle the issues between the embittered foes. Archer saw that Trip looked skeptical about the situation and T’Pol had put on her Vulcan front.

“I know we didn’t intend our mission to be about the politics between Andorian and Vulcan, but if we are to join a larger interstellar community, we need to learn to work with and bring together foes. We have an opportunity here I really think we need to grasp, and I’d like the two of you to help me,” Archer stated. Another quick look showed him the two were willing to move forward, with reservations. “Here is what I’d like us to do now. Somehow, T’Pol, you have come to accept and appreciate humans – I’d like you to tell us how you did that, so that perhaps we can apply some of your experiences to this situation between two very different cultures. And I’d like to know what your reservations are about the process – where do you see the problems and how do you think those problems can be addressed, and, one hopes, neutralized.”

T’Pol and Trip exchanged glances, uncertain where to begin. T’Pol was hesitant to reveal that, by studying Commander Tucker closely, she learned how to get him to do what she wanted without him realizing what was happening. Instead of demanding he do things her way, she had determined that simple reasoning worked and peace reigned. Because Mr. Tucker had such influence over all members of the crew, they trusted him when he agreed with T’Pol and her working relationship with everyone improved dramatically. Trip, for his part, didn’t want to let Archer know that T’Pol thought she was controlling Trip by agreeing with his ideas and opinions, but that he was in fact one step ahead of her. Neither believed Archer would be thrilled to find that peace between the two was based upon manipulation and strategy.

“Oh, you know,” Trip muttered, “once there is mutual respect, things kinda fall into place. I’m not sure how our situation would transfer to the Vulcan/Andorian conflict. Best to think of something else.”

“Commander Tucker is correct, Captain,” said T’Pol. “For example, Andorians are far more illogical than humans, and far too volatile. Humans may have their shortcomings, but Andorians are even more uncivilized.”

Archer cringed as T’Pol managed to undo in two short sentences months of subtle negotiations between the two senior officers. Trip, tired and out-of-sorts, acquired a martial light in his eyes, ready to take on the arrogance of a Vulcan. “Why?” thought Archer to himself, “why did I decide to ask these two how to bring warring parties to the table?”

“Shortcomings?” demanded Trip. “And to which ‘shortcomings’ do your refer? And what the hell do you mean by ‘more uncivilized?’ Since when do Vulcans epitomize civilized behavior?”

T’Pol realized she had made a tactical error, but was uncertain what she had done wrong. Surely she had complimented humans as being more rational and civilized than Andorians?

“Commander Tucker, humans and Andorians are both more emotional than Vulcans. Perhaps I misspoke – excuse my error. Andorians have a history of hatred for Vulcans which will be difficult to manage. Humans and Vulcans are much more logical and controlled, and therefore our situation does not easily translate to the situation Ambassador Soval faces.

“Cute, T’Pol,” Trip thought. “Way to save your sorry ass from getting whipped.”

“Nice save, T’Pol,” Archer thought.

“Well,” Archer said aloud, “let’s discuss strategies for bringing the Andorians and Vulcans together.”


T’Pol returned to her cabin with a headache. Funny, before joining Enterprise, she never had headaches. Life in the Vulcan compound was smooth and serene. There were no unexpected traps which caught her unawares. Sometimes she felt herself on a high wire act, such as the one she once observed in a traveling circus at a street fair in San Francisco. Perhaps, though, the headaches were due to her illness. Whatever the cause, T’Pol felt more exhausted after a dinner with Mr. Tucker than a full day of work and problem solving. She changed, meditated, and went to bed.


“Trip, do you have to bait T’Pol the way you do? Can’t you just get along?” Archer practically begged of his chief engineer.

“T’Pol and I get along just fine,” Trip responded, amazed that he, HE, was being held accountable for her comments. What was the captain thinking?

“The last thing we need is for communication and relations within the crew to break down. We need to be strong as a team, not to let minor incidents derail us all.”

“Minor! She all but called us uncivilized and illogical! She can be such a, such a, such a Vulcan!”

Archer felt a headache coming on.


Morning brought Enterprise to within easy reach of Andoria. Archer had determined that, however Trip and T’Pol managed to make things work between them, and therefore on Enterprise, their methods were not going to work as a solution for the Vulcans and Andorians. The secret to their success lay in their non-verbal communications and negotiations, which had more to do with them as individuals than as representatives of human or Vulcan culture – that same recipe was not going to work in the political arena.

At breakfast with the two senior officers, Archer explained his plan. “Travis will take me down to the planet to meet with both parties. I hope to learn what exactly the problems of communication are, and then to be able to find a way for the two to understand each other. T’Pol, you will be in charge while I am gone.”

Trip and T’Pol exchanged glances, perhaps more hostile than those exchanged the previous evening, and agreed. Trip returned to Engineering, where all was working beautifully, making the previous few days of frustration a dim memory. T’Pol stationed herself on the bridge, holding Enterprise in orbit. She instructed Lieutenant Reed to test all tactical systems and Ensign Hoshi to make sure the universal translator was up-to-date on Vulcan and Andorian terminology. That done, she found she had nothing more to do than to wait, and to ponder her relationship with Commander Tucker.

What was it about Mr. Tucker which always caught her by surprise? She believed she had established logical means of predicting his behavior, and then her methods were undermined. She had learned that he became cranky when tired or hungry, so never to engage him in anything controversial under those circumstances. Ah, he had been both tired and hungry the previous evening and had taken undue exception to her references about humans and their shortcomings. In future, she would make sure to never refer to human behavior in any way when discussing the Andorians. That way led to bewildering conclusions on the part of Commander Tucker. Satisfied she had learned to manage this human once more, T’Pol relaxed and again marveled at the comfort of the newly adjusted Captain’s chair. Commander Tucker definitely had his uses. Why the Captain persisted in thinking the chair uncomfortable, T’Pol could not fathom.

Trip banned T’Pol from his mind. The engines were all that mattered. A condescending Vulcan he could do without. She was relegated to the fringes of his memory as he concentrated on the work at hand.


Archer and Travis arrived on Andorian to discover an unusual and beautiful planet. Oddly, there were no reds nor yellow. The blue hue of the Andorians was clearly a result of absorbing those two colors and leaving the beautiful blue of their skin. Blue also described the Andorian character – dreary, low, slightly depressed. Vulcans, with their matter-of-fact logic suppressing their own volatile natures, could not see how their approach to life challenged and frightened the Andorians. Andorians needed the shadows of life while Vulcans needed full sunlight to exist. Their two worlds could not be more different.

Archer made his way towards the negotiating rooms, led by an Andorian guide. He found Shran and Soval, both obviously weary and frustrated. Soval, particularly, looked drained. Asked when the last time he had been out in the sun, such as it was on Andorian, Archer was displeased to hear it had been days, if not over a week. “Are these men idiots?” Archer wondered. “Don’t they know how to take care of themselves?” he judged, conveniently forgetting his own abysmal behavior on the Kreetasan home world.

“Ambassador Soval,” Archer said, “I believe a break is in order. I recommend a trip to Enterprise, with perhaps a quick visit to Vulcan to refresh you. I’ll have Commander Tucker take you in a shuttlepod. If this is agreeable to the Andorians, you should be back in a matter of two or three days, and we can begin discussions again. In the meantime, I would love to see Andoria and learn as much about her culture and topography as possible. Is this agreeable to you both?”

Both parties, unable to agree on anything by this time, allowed Archer to make the decision for both. Archer contacted T’Pol on Enterprise, telling her to have Trip come pick up the Ambassador and take him to the closest M class planet with lots of sun, even if that meant going all the way to Vulcan.


T’Pol wasn’t pleased by the latest communication from Captain Archer. She could imagine nothing worse than Commander Tucker and Ambassador Soval together in a shuttlepod for at least two days, and perhaps more. She tried to express her concerns to the Captain, but he didn’t seem to see a problem with his plan. Enterprise could take Soval to another planet, or a Vulcan ship could do it far more efficiently. But, no, Captain Archer wanted to make sure the Andorians realized that this was truly a break for the Ambassador and had nothing to do with politics. Shran knew and trusted Trip, and would believe Trip when told Soval was going to the destination identified and for the reason stated. T’Pol decided to meditate later to come to terms with the plan presented. She contacted Commander Tucker and gave him his orders. And she told him she would meet him in the shuttlebay for last minute instructions, determined to prevent as many interpersonal problems between the two men as possible.


Trip fired up the shuttlepod. Behind him sat Ambassador Soval, as arrogant and unpleasant as ever. Trip wondered if the Ambassador remembered meeting him more than 15 years before, when he was just a kid tagging along behind Henry Archer. Probably not. Vulcans didn’t notice “inferior” species, did they? And that T’Pol was a piece of work. Lecturing him about protocols for addressing the high and mighty Vulcan by a lowly human of no worth. Normally Trip could let things go, but T’Pol’s need to protect this gods-gift-to-the-universe-Vulcan was really aggravating. What was so special about Soval, the bitter, old Vulcan? “Nothing, that’s what, just nothing.”

“The nearest M class planet with lots of sunlight is less than a day away,” Trip informed his passenger. No response. “Damn Vulcan,” Trip thought. He set the coordinates and left the protection of Enterprise.


T’Pol had never prayed to an invisible god. Vulcans didn’t have a faith in the unknown, but suddenly she wanted to believe that some heavenly being could make sure both Soval and Commander Tucker were safe – safe from each other and safe from the unknown. She really needed to up her meditation time.


Trip scanned the M class planet below. It was the first in a series found in the Vulcan database. He had little faith in the accuracy of the Vulcan data, after more than a year trying to depend upon the information contained within. However, in this case, the planet appeared to be all that had been documented – uninhabited, but with a sun providing vitamin D which Archer had stated was necessary to Vulcan physiology. As all seemed quiet, Trip charted a course for the planet’s surface and headed towards it.


Ambassador Soval felt odd. He had not felt himself in days, but now things were very surreal. Was he really in a human shuttlepod heading for some unknown destination? And had T’Pol allowed this to happen? Who was this human guiding the vessel? He seemed vaguely familiar, but Soval couldn’t place him. Where was Archer? Although Archer was human, he did seem to be capable of logical thought. Soval was less sure of the motivations and capabilities of this human piloting the shuttle.


The shuttle landed softly in a field. Trip checked the readings provided and determined that all was well for now. After his experiences with the unexpected on other M class planets, he planned a quick departure should the wind suddenly kick up or he had the urge to kill the Ambassador. However, Trip was uncertain the latter was any indication of unnatural atmospheric occurrences.

Glancing over his shoulder, Trip suddenly realized that the Ambassador was looking very pale and tired. Surprised to find Vulcans can be vulnerable, he opened the hatch and stepped outside to read the planets atmosphere. All appeared to be normal – a bit warm for Trip but not outside his comfort zone. Climbing back into the shuttle, he contacted Enterprise.

“Commander Tucker, please report,” T’Pol instructed.

Gritting his teeth to stop himself from snapping at her, Trip reported his coordinates and transmitted the planetary readings taken. T’Pol analyzed these and agreed that this planet was acceptable. Trip then turned to the Ambassador, and planned his next course of action.

“Ambassador Soval,” Trip drawled, “Cap’n Archer informed me that you need to be in the sun. I’m goin’ to set up camp. In the meantime, I’ll get a chair out and set you up to catch some rays.”

Soval opened one eye and gazed at this puzzling human. Catch some rays?

Trip marveled at how easy these Vulcan were to read. T’Pol was the embodiment of being Vulcan. “They are all alike,” he thought to himself, conveniently forgetting in his aggravation that T’Pol had proved to be an individual by any standard. He felt no curiosity why he could read Soval as easily as he could.

“You need sun,” Trip told Soval. “Let’s get a chair set up for you and get you comfortable.” Trip matched words to action and soon Soval was basking in the rays of light from a sun on high. The response of Soval’s skin and mood was instantaneous. The warmth and the energy were electric, sparking life back into the Vulcan. Suddenly feeling stronger, Soval opened his eyes and watched this human set up camp. The man was most efficient.

“Who are you?” Soval asked.

Trip was suddenly furious. This pompous Vulcan, who had met him in person at least once and had seen in various situations at least half-a-dozen times had no clue who Trip was. These Vulcans took the cake.

“Apparently, I’m no one. I’m invisible,” Trip said through gritted teeth. Puzzled, Soval tried to understand this communication.

“You are no one?”


Soval wasn’t up to trying to decipher human ambiguity. If this human didn’t want to communicate, that was fine. Soval didn’t care any more. He closed his eyes and raised his face to the sun, feeling the warmth flood his body.

Trip continued to make camp. He set up two tents and installed bedrolls into both. He was concerned that the Ambassador wouldn’t be comfortable sleeping on the ground, so returned to the shuttle to find a cot or an inflatable mattress to provide relief from the hard ground. Looking through the provisions provided, he saw that T’Pol had included her favorite tea as well as an inflatable mattress. Taking the former as a sign that Soval, too, would find this beverage soothing, Trip fired up the camp stove, poured water into a pan, heated it, and made tea for his illustrious guest. Once made, Trip poured the tea into a mug and approached the Ambassador.

“Here ya go, sir,” Trip said. Soval opened his eyes, saw the proffered mug, took it and sipped the nectar within. Sighing, he sat back and thanked this human. Trip then set about making up the inflatable mattress into a bed.

The comm. sounded as Trip was getting things organized. He entered the pod and responded to the hail. It was T’Pol.

“What do you want?” Trip growled at her, angry for no discernible reason but not willing to admit as much.

“How is Ambassador Soval?” T’Pol asked. Trip looked out at the Vulcan sleeping in the sun and decided the man needed to answer questions on his own. Taking the communicator to Soval, Trip nudged him awake, handed him the device, and departed to take a refreshing and much needed walk.

Cautiously, T’Pol asked how things were progressing. “Are you…all right?” she asked Soval.

“Certainly. I’m fine,” was the response given.

“Has Commander Tucker been helpful?” T’Pol queried.

“Ah! Commander Tucker! Yes, that is his name.” Soval was pleased to have that insignificant mystery solved.

“You didn’t know what his name was?” T’Pol asked, with a decided edge to her voice.

“No, should I know him?”

T’Pol gazed at the communication device linking her to Soval. How could Soval be so unaware of others? T’Pol was upset, but managed to absorb that irritation and to continue conversing without showing her dismay and displeasure.

“Commander Tucker is the Chief Engineer on Enterprise. He has more than proved his worth by developing warp 5 capability for humans with no help from anyone. He will take this ship and humans far beyond warp five.” T’Pol could feel herself starting to breath more heavily as she sought to gain acceptance for Mr. Tucker.

“T’Pol,” Soval responded, “I’m well aware of the name Charles Tucker. He is definitely one the high command has in their sights – he is very talented. I didn’t realize that this…volatile human I had seen over the past few months and Mr. Tucker were the same person. How can a man with such gifts be so…undisciplined emotionally?”

“Don’t upset him. Whatever he wants or suggests, please go along with it. I don’t want him to feel anything less than completely appreciated by you. Is that clear?”

Soval almost frowned his confusion. T’Pol was most protective of this human. Yes, he’s a brilliant engineer with much promise for taking warp technology to a level neither humans nor Vulcans had yet known, but was T’Pol really that interested in warp technology? Perhaps she was. Soval felt the need to reconnect with T’Pol and her interests.

“Yes, I’ll take care that he understand his place and know his value.”

“Don’t even think of saying such things to him!” T’Pol said in an almost desperate tone. These men were going to be the death of her. “Just let him know you know his name and that he is a nice man. Nothing more, nothing less. He doesn’t have an ego and doesn’t need it to be stroked. He does need to know he isn’t beneath Vulcan notice.”

“Yes, T’Pol,” Soval assured her. “I’ll try to do as you direct.” “Clearly this human is much more complicated than appears on the surface,” thought Soval. “Best to follow T’Pol’s advice. Sounds like she has learned to decipher human responses. This experience will come in most useful when dealing with humans in the future. Perhaps T’Pol remaining on the human ship will prove to be of great benefit to Vulcans and not a slap in my face.”


Trip finished setting up camp. Soval was still sitting his chair, the communicator turned off and discarded by his side. Approaching the Ambassador, Trip examined him for visual evidence of continued distress. However, Soval looked refreshed, less deathly than just a few hours before. Trip marveled at the healing nature of light. No wonder Andorians and Vulcans couldn’t agree – they depended upon totally different sources for rejuvenation.

“Commander Tucker, I wish to express my appreciation for your assistance,” Soval said, opening his eyes and looking at Trip.

Startled, Trip felt foolish for thinking the Ambassador didn’t know who he was. Looking at the communicator, Trip responded, “So, did T’Pol fill you in on my identity?”

“Subcommander T’Pol did link your name with your person, but I knew your name before. Having never met you, I didn’t connect your name with your person.”

“Well, Mr. holier-than-thou Ambassador, you have met me before, and because I know Vulcans have long memories I can only assume you mean some disrespect by not recalling the event.” Trip, who never held himself in high regard, was furious that this Vulcan couldn’t remember meeting him before. Why this was so important was not explored by Mr. Tucker.


Ambassador Soval felt a headache coming on. The sun had restored him immeasurably, but the human hysteria demonstrated by Commander Tucker proved too overwhelming. Soval needed a rest. Fortunately, the volatile human decided not to talk anymore, perhaps realizing how unnecessary speech was in such circumstances. However, as the silence persisted, Soval was suddenly reminded of an unfamiliar phrase he had encountered while researching human emotions – the “silent treatment.” Uneasy that he had inadvertently upset Commander Tucker, and that T’Pol would demand a full explanation for Mr. Tucker’s displeasure, Soval decided it expedient to discern the source of the silence. Perhaps Mr. Tucker was merely a quiet sort of man. Soval found himself praying to an unseen Overlord about the situation – a most illogical action.


Trip was not pleased with this assignment, nor with this Vulcan. Talk about your insulting behavior! He would have plenty to say to T’Pol about Vulcans when he returned to Enterprise. So rude. So superior.

“Mr. Tucker,” Soval said softly. “Perhaps we can discuss the Andorian situation, and you can provide me with the human perspective on the problem.”

Trip immediately felt horrible. He was so selfish, so self-centered. While he was feeling sorry for himself, the Ambassador had been trying to think of ways to resolve the very threatening Andorioan situation. Trip felt a fool.

“Certainly, Ambassador, anything I can do to help,” Trip responded meekly.

Soval was pleased to see that he managed to communicate with this human, to make all well again. He heaved an internal sigh of relief. T’Pol wouldn’t scold him, and now he knew the identity of this most puzzling human. Soval only hoped this was the end of their association. This human was too difficult to comprehend – too generous and too sensitive. Soval thought, “Give me an Andorian any day.”


Continue to Part 2

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Nine of you have made comments

It that really the end... I think you could have so much fun by continuing this. Very well written and very original. And knowing one of your theories, myst, about the relationship between Soval and T'pol - I think I may have read even more into this.

Please, please, please keep going with this!!!

LOL THAT was great!!! was that really the end?? I know it COULD end there.. but Hey I want more!!! more more!!! oh well....

I agree, Myst. This is only the first chapter.

What happens next?

great story Myst. I really enjoyed seeing how Trip and Soval reacted to each other especially Trip's memories of Henry Archer and how bothered he was Soval didn't recall their first Meeting.T'Pol thinking that she could understand Trip's behavior and the crew was an intersting insight into her character and Trip's insights.I hope you continue this story it was really good.

I really love how this story is developing. I am intrigued as to why it matters to much to Trip that Soval remembers his name. Also, how come he can read Soval's mind so easily? I feel more is going on here and would love to see you build on this foundation. Otherwise it will feel as if the potential for this story was never developed and that would be a crying shame. Please continue and give us lots of reasons to be sublimely happy! Thanks for writing this, Ali D :~)

Oh yeah, I agree with everyone else...you MUST continue this. It was well written and very interesting, so please don't leave us hanging out to dry...

I loved this myst. Very well done and like the others agree that there must be more to this story.

oh you must continue this. please. such an exciting and teasing beginning. I mean yes it is well on its own but it leaves so many ideas ... so many possibilities... please do continue the story.

Can you change how you mark thoughts??? Quotes for talking and maybe *** for thoughts? Got a little confusing in one spot. Otherwise it is a very enjoyable read.

Thanks, Tracy--thenaggingcube

Oh please don't let it be over. Its a great story with alot of potential for T/T. It could also develop Soval as something more than just a human hater. Please, Please, Please a thousand times over continue this story. It deserves that much at least.