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Deceptions and Truths
Author - plumtuckered | D | Genre - Drama | Genre - Romance | Main Story | Rating - PG-13
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DECEPTIONS AND TRUTHS
Rating: PG-13, Darma, Romance
A/N - This story follows "Guilty Until Proven Innocent". I am not a doctor so if certain parts of this story are not medically plausible, please remember it is fiction. ( As always, I don't own the characters of Enterprise and all reviews are welcomed and appreciated.
Commander Charles Tucker III covered his mouth and yawned. He looked around the situation room display table at his crewmates. His eyes settled briefly on Sub-Commander T'Pol, who stood across from him. It had been two months since his return from Krios Prime. Since Princess Kaitaama had said that the Vulcan science officer cared for him. He looked down at the cup of coffee he held in his hand. During those two months, T'Pol had spent more time helping him in engineering but she had never displayed any feelings for him, good or bad. Sure, they hadn't argued as much, but there were still no signs that the princess was right. Also over those two months, Trip had seen hints that made him suspect that perhaps there was something going on between the captain and the science officer. He knew there were secrets they shared between them. Trip sighed. If his best friend was interested in T'Pol, then Trip knew his own feelings would go unrequited. He took a sip of his coffee and tried to ignore the empty feeling in the pit of his stomach.
"Good morning," greeted Captain Jonathan Archer as he exited the turbolift and joined them at the table. He took a moment to acknowledge each one of them then continued. "I received a message this morning from the Talazorian province of Kreenit. It seems the prime minister of the province has extended an invitation to us to join him for a celebration tomorrow welcoming home their world's leader. The away team will depart this afternoon. I'd like all of you to join me. I think Enterprise can survive a couple days without her senior officers on board."
Trip tried but he couldn't control his grin at the good news. "All of us, sir?"
Archer chuckled at his chief engineer. "All of us, Trip. Seems they have quite an impressive shipyard. They specifically mentioned you in the invitation. That is, if you're interested in looking at some warp 8 engines?"
"Warp 8," Trip repeated in dismay.
"You clearly impressed the Talazorians, Commander, when they toured Enterprise yesterday. They are a highly intelligent species and difficult to impress. You should be pleased," said T'Pol. She looked across the display table at the engineer.
"You're not implying that I've become a good diplomat, are you Sub- Commander?" Trip teased. The other officers, including the captain, turned their heads to the Vulcan science officer, waiting for her response.
T'Pol lifted an eyebrow and tilted her head slightly. "I have re-evaluated your abilities, Commander. Your methods are quite unorthodox by Vulcan standards, but they are surprisingly effective."
Trip smiled at her. "Thank you."
"I was merely stating a fact, Commander," T'Pol replied evenly. She then turned to the captain. "With your permission, sir, I will accompany the commander on the tour of the shipyard."
"Actually, T'Pol, Prime Minister Yar asked if the rest of us would join him for dinner. Except for Dr. Phlox. He has been invited to spend the evening at their medical research facility."
The Denobulan doctor grinned happily in response.
"Very well," said the sub-commander with a nod of her head. She glanced across at Trip then looked back at Captain Archer.
"Should I assign a security team to accompany us, Captain?" asked Lieutenant Malcolm Reed.
Archer smiled and shook his head. "That won't be necessary, Malcolm. I don't think we'll be in any danger in their dining hall. Besides, they'll have their own security out in force tomorrow. From what I understand, High Premier Colthera has been in negotiations on Vulcan for nearly six months now. Her homecoming is going to be quite the celebration."
"Aye, sir. I'll make sure there are phase pistols stored in the shuttlepod before we depart."
"Alright everyone. Bring your overnight bags; we depart at 15:00 hours. Dismissed."
As Trip turned to leave, he slapped Ensign Travis Mayweather on the back.
"Bet you're anxious to get off the ship, huh Travis?"
"Yes, sir, I am," smiled the ensign.
"How about you, Commander? I bet you're excited to see all those beautiful engines," said Ensign Hoshi Sato. She winked at Travis with a huge smile on her face.
"Very funny, Hoshi," Trip responded.
Several hours later, Shuttlepod Two gently touched down on the landing pad just outside the city of Kreenit. Prime Minister Yar greeted Archer with a firm handshake as the captain exited the pod.
"Welcome, Captain!" he said cheerfully. He turned to his two companions. "You remember my lead warp physicist, Dr. Chimra?'
"Of course," replied Archer taking the other man's hand. "Nice to see you again, Doctor."
"And this is the head of our medical research program, Dr. Kronell."
The captain took the woman's hand and smiled at her. He then turned to his officers.
"Dr. Kronell, these are the members of my senior staff. Ensign Mayweather and Ensign Sato, Lieutenant Reed, our ship's physician, Dr. Phlox, Sub- Commander T'Pol and Commander Tucker."
After the introductions, Trip took a moment to look around. The Talazorian landscape was breathtakingly beautiful. The city was surrounded by lush green mountains that reminded him of Earth. The flowers, however, were quite unique. Trip couldn't help but marvel at the many variations of colors.
"You know, Sub-Commander, I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing new worlds," he gasped in awe.
"Talazor is indeed aesthetically pleasing, Commander," T'Pol replied evenly.
"Yep. That's just what I was thinking." He looked down at her and grinned.
"Commander Tucker, if you're ready, I will take you to our shipyards now," offered Chimra. "We have a lot to show you in just a matter of a few hours." He moved to stand next to the engineer.
"Have a good time, Trip. We'll see you later," replied Archer. Yar motioned the captain and the rest of the team toward a small transport vehicle. T'Pol glanced up at Trip briefly before she joined them.
"Prime Minister, since they'll be passing by the medical lab, I will accompany the commander and Dr. Chimra. I have a few things to see to before I give Dr. Phlox a tour of our facility," said Dr. Kronell.
"Very well, Kronell," nodded the prime minister. "Dr. Phlox will be with us when you're ready for him."
Trip watched the group depart then turned to follow Chimra and Kronell to another transport. While they walked, he glanced at his hosts. The Talazorian people, although similar in appearance to humans, were taller and bigger boned. The few he'd met on the ship all had blonde hair and light eyes. Trip noticed the only real distinctive difference between them as a species was the ridge that ran down the center of their chins. Chimra's was wide and had notches while Kronell's was narrow and smooth. They also had very dark brown skin.
Chimra opened the transport door and Trip nodded his thanks then climbed in. Kronell circled around and entered on the other side so that Trip was seated in the middle. Chimra turned to face Trip.
"I'm sorry, Commander Tucker," he said quietly. Trip felt a pinch on his arm. He swung around to look at Kronell. She was holding a hypospray in her hand.
"What are you doing?" Trip demanded. He shook his head to clear his blurring vision but to no avail. Slowly his world began to spin and then it went dark.
He could hear voices talking over him but he couldn't open his eyes. Trip couldn't move at all. He knew he was lying on his side on a cold hard surface but he didn't know where. The smells reminded him vaguely of sickbay. He tried to concentrate on the voices. He recognized Kronell's. She was saying something about his brain chemistry being similar but she couldn't guarantee anything. Guarantee anything? What did that mean? Trip's mind was racing as he felt the fear building inside of him. Then the voices became more distant then faded away completely.
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