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.
Enemy of the State-Ch 16
Enemy of the State
Soma pushed the door aside. He had already searched four other storage lockers and still hadn’t found what he was looking for.
“I don’t understand,” he said, a tinge of frustration creeping into his voice. “I spent half my childhood crawling all over this ship. You’d think I’d remember where they keep things.” Shaking his head, he let out an audible sigh. “Maybe I’m getting Bendi Syndrome.”
Closing the locker door, Soma looked over to his right. A large cargo door was at the end of the dimly lit corridor. Deciding that the storage lockers were a dead-end, he started for the cargo hold, approaching the door slowly. For reasons he couldn’t explain, Soma had a feeling of dread as he neared the door. It was almost as if he sensed that danger lurked behind it. The feeling caused memories to surface. He recalled fears he had as a child when he would play in the empty access crawlspaces. The ship’s open ducts and echoing chambers created noises to freeze any little boy’s heart. Shaking himself, he chided himself for allowing his mind to wander.
Studying the large framed portal, he noticed several deep grooves near its base. Following them up, he could see they matched the frame along the portal. Newly installed? he mused. Examining the bolts in the frame more closely, gave him further evidence for his conjecture. They were shiny, like they had been recently fabricated. Someone reconfigured this cargo bay with a reinforced door…Why?
His curiosity piqued, Soma reached out to touch the access panel. His hand made contact with the smooth manual access panel. Pushing it in, he rapped his hand around the release trigger. As he flexed his arm and started to pull the access lever he heard a piteous cry from behind.
Turning sharply, he looked to see who had screamed his name. In the dim light of the narrow corridor, he could see a small figure in the shadows. As it moved he started, balling his hands in fists as old childhood fears crept back into his subconscious. Before he could react, the figure stepped into the light.
“Mother?” he said, and almost immediately regretted saying it. He should not have called her that, not when he wasn’t sure if she was alone or not. Soma couldn’t help it though. She had startled him.
“Are you alone?” he asked.
“Yes,” she answered.
He sighed in relief. His unintended outburst had not fallen on any other ears. “You scared the hell out of me!” he said shaking his head.
“I apologize,” she said softly. “But you were about to enter that room.” She pointed to the cargo hold and he noticed an apprehensive look on her face.
Soma glanced over his shoulder curiously. “What’s in there?”
“That is where we are storing the Trellium D which we have acquired,” she answered, a slight tremor in her voice.
Soma’s eyes widened and he looked back at the cargo bay door. “Good lord!”
“If you had opened that door, you would have been exposed.”
He shook his head somberly, “Thanks for the warning.” He had forgotten all about the Trellium D. He recalled reading the reports on it. A substance that proved effective in protecting ships from the Expanse’s anomalies, but also proved to be lethal to Vulcans. The Enterprise had encountered the Vulcan starship, Selaya, while traveling through the Expanse. What they found was frightening. The entire crew of the Selaya had been reduced to homicidal maniacs after lining their ship with Trellium D. It was the reason Captain Archer chose not to use the material to line the Enterprise. It would have driven his mother to the same fate.
T’Pol cocked her head as she gave Soma a questioning look. “What are you doing down here?”
Soma blew out a sigh as he looked at the row of storage lockers. “I was trying to find your old Vulcan portable scanner,” he explained. “The one you brought with you when you first came aboard Enterprise.”
Her expression grew more curious. “Why would you want that?”
“It may come in handy while we’re on Vulcan,” he explained. “The software architecture might be more compatible than Starfleet ones. I thought I’d bring it along in case we have to interface with any database systems.”
Her brow arched in acknowledgment. “Logical.”
“I was taught by the best,” he said, smiling at her.
She eyed him briefly and then spoke. “However, you will not find it here.”
“No?” he said, making no attempt to hide his surprise.
“It is in my quarters.”
“Really? I could have sworn…” he shook his head. “I guess old age is catching up with me. I remember it being down here.”
“Given the fact that you come from another time period, it’s reasonable to assume that your memories are accurate for it. Perhaps it will be moved down hear at some point.”
“Well, I was just a little kid then.”
T’Pol was uncertain if she should ask him about his past…and her future. Knowing who he was to her proved difficult enough at times, but her interest had been piqued.
“Why would you have an interest in my scanner when you were a child?”
He gave her bashful smile. “I…uh…I used to sneak down here and play with it,” he said looking away. “I’d pretend I was a Vulcan scientist studying humans…in their natural environment…like you.”
He glanced back up at her. Regardless of his age and his rank, she still had the affect over him that all mothers have over their children. He was surprised to see a faint smile on her lips. Ever since she had discovered that he was her son, she had found herself strangely envious of how much Soma was like his father…and how little like his mother. She wondered if Commander Tucker had a stronger bond with their son, which explained the overt influence on his development. But when she heard Soma’s explanation about her scanner, an emotion came to the surface. It was strong and distinct. She recognized it immediately…pride.
T’Pol straightened and her smile melted into her stoic masque of non-emotion. “If you wish, I will bring it with me tomorrow.”
Soma smiled. “I’d like that very much.”
She remained quiet for several long moments. She seemed as if there was something she wanted to say. Soma waited, but when nothing seemed to be forth coming, he decided to change the conversation.
“So, what are you doing…”
“I should retire,” she said cutting him off abruptly. “We have an early day tomorrow and I would like to…meditate before retiring.”
Soma shook his head. “I’m gonna clean up down here. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Good night,” she said nodding.
Soma watched T’Pol walk towards the exit. She stopped and turned back, looking at him. Although, for a moment, he swore she was looking past him. Turning back, she exited the corridor.
Soma looked around. There were several crates he needed to move back into place, before he headed back to his quarters. Bending over, he pushed one of the poly-alloy containers against the wall. It weighed in excess of four hundred pounds and would normally require a loader to move it. However, it proved little effort for Soma’s Vulcan strength.
As he bent down to move another container, a small metallic object caught his attention. It was lying on the floor, several feet away, where T’Pol had been standing. Standing, he walked over and picked the tiny object up. Bringing it up to his face, he examined it closely. It was an ampoule, very similar to the ones Doctor Phlox used in sickbay. How did this get down here, he mused. He didn’t recall seeing any medical equipment in any of the storage lockers. Turning, he looked at the cargo door and suddenly a disturbing thought occurred to him. When he was about to open the door, he heard his mother call out to him. It was quite clear and distinct. But he also remembered hearing something else, something less distinct; a tiny pinging sound…like the sound of a small piece of metal hitting the deck plating.
Looking down at the tiny ampoule, he closed his fist around it as he squeezed tightly.
Soma stood outside her quarters, contemplating what he would say. Anger, frustration and fear…especially fear, threatened to overwhelm him. He had hoped he was wrong, but knew the medical scanner couldn’t lie. He was just grateful that Phlox wasn’t in sickbay to ask him any questions. This was going to be hard enough as it was.
T’Pol heard the door chime. Rising from her bed, she pulled her robe tightly to her body as she walked to the door. Tapping the control panel, she signaled the door to open and was greeted by the unexpected face of her son.
“Jonathan?” a hint of alarm in her surprised expression. ”Is something wrong?”
Soma smiled weakly at her. “May I come in?”
“Of course,” she said stepping aside.
Soma entered the room, glancing around as he continued to struggle with his duty. Looking towards the wall, he could see her meditation candles. They looked unattended as if they had seen too many nights of neglect. Apparently she didn’t return to her quarters and meditate as she intended. Looking up, he saw the IDIC symbol she kept by her meditation tools, a symbol of the unwavering devotion to diversity.
T’Pol studied Soma as he stood quietly with his back to her. She sensed his apprehension, but it mirrored her own. She didn’t know how she could be certain…but she knew why he was here and it terrified her.
“Why?” he said, the soft tone filled with a dire pleading.
“I-I do not understand,” she replied, trying to feign ignorance.
Soma made no attempt to turn. He couldn’t look at her. He simply raised his arm, holding his hand out. T’Pol’s gaze moved up Soma’s arm, across his hand and stopped…at the small ampoule he held in his fingers.
“Recognize this?” he asked, a bitter tone now permeated his words.
Swallowing hard, she continued to stare at the ampoule. It’s silver metallic color glistened in the soft light of the room. She felt a warm sense of urgency form in her body
Soma turned slowly, his jaw set in a hard expression. He stared at her with penetrating eyes, daring her to tell him she had never seen the ampoule before.
“Why?” he asked for the second time. This time the word was filled with anger.
T’Pol hesitated; she wasn’t sure what to say to him. “Y-You don’t understand,” she answered finally.
“You’re right,” he replied turning to face her. “I don’t understand. I don’t understand how you can do something so foolish…so…illogical!” He stressed that last word for her benefit as well as his own.
She looked at him for a brief moment, before turning away. Emotions rose to the surface, threatening to overwhelm her, but she would not give in to them. She was a Vulcan. Logic and reason dictated her actions. Looking back Soma, she swallowed hard as she forced her dry mouth to say what needed to be said.
“My reason is logical.”
“Logical?” he said, the look of disbelief apparent. “It’s logical for you to expose yourself to a toxic substance? It’s logical for you slowly destroy yourself? Where is the logic in that mother?”
She looked down at the ampoule he still held in his hand, fixing her gaze on it as she replied. “I don’t want anyone else to die on my behalf.”
Soma’s face tightened into a masque of confusion. “What are you talking about?”
Her eyes locked onto his as she tried to mirror the hard expression he held.
Soma stared at her as the explanation slowly sunk in. “Your trying to…to build up an immunity to the Trellium?”
T’Pol took a deep breath, holding it for a moment. When she finally released it, she sighed, nodding her head gently.
He remained silent as he stared at her. She watched his eyes. They were a piercing grayish blue color that stood out in stark contrast to his olive skin. Their color made his stare even more acutely felt.
“Please speak to me.”
Soma shook his head. “What do you want me to say?”
“Say that you understand,” she replied. “That you will not interfere.”
Soma stiffened as a rush of anger threatened to overtake his already frayed control. “You’re asking me to lie to Captain Archer?”
“Not a lie,” she corrected. “An omission.”
He turned away once again. He couldn’t…he wouldn’t look at her. “If the captain knew what you were doing, he’d relieve you of duty and confine you sickbay. And quite frankly I agree. I cannot allow your…experiment… to jeopardize this mission. I have a duty...”
“So do I!” she said angrily.
Soma turned back, a shocked look on his face. He had never heard her yell like that.
T’Pol approached him, stopping only when she was inches away. “I will not be the cause of anymore deaths aboard this ship,” she said sternly. “If I can build an immunity to the Trellium then Captain Archer can use it to protect the ship. We do not know how long we will have to remain in the Expanse. You said yourself, that once this mission is complete, Enterprise will have to continue on its search for the Xindi weapon.”
“But you don’t know if you can build an immunity to it,” said Soma.
“Do you know for certain that I cannot?” she countered.
“It’s never been tested,” he said in exasperation, shaking his head. “When Enterprise returned from the Expanse, Captain Archer turned over all the information collected on Trellium to the Vulcan Science Directorate. They deemed it toxic and the tests they could perform were inconclusive do to a lack in test subjects.”
“Then you do not know if I will be successful or not,” she said flatly. “I must try…Jonathan…I have seen too many people injured or killed because of me. Even a Vulcan cannot completely banish the emotions those losses bring.”
Soma bit his lip as he looked at her. She was so beautiful, intelligent and strong. Strength was her greatest trait. Not physical strength, although as a Vulcan she had that in abundance. No, it was strength of character that he admired in her. “You never told me you experimented with it.”
She looked at him and saw the wounded expression on his face. She knew it all to well. Hadn’t she seen it herself as a child every time she looked in the mirror after finding yet another glaring flaw in the perfect image she held of her own father, Ambassador Soval. “I can only conclude that it was something I did not believe you needed to know. Jonathan…I do want you to know that this was not something I did arbitrarily. If there were another way, I would have taken it. You must trust me.”
He looked at her again. The pained child still there but joined with the adult man. “I’m sorry,” he said taking a deep breath. Looking away, he walking past her and headed for the door.
She desperately wanted to stop him…to plead with him not to go to Captain Archer with her secret, but she couldn’t move. Her body felt completely numb. She just watched as he
Stopping, he looked back at her for a brief moment. She could see the anguish on his face. He would go to Archer and report his findings. She knew what would happen then. The captain would relieve her of duty and in all likelihood confine her to sickbay. As she stood motionless, continuing to watch him, she was suddenly startled as he reached down and gently laid the ampoule on her end table.
Not turning to look at her, he spoke. “Report to the transporter room at 0600 hours, Sub-Commander.” When he finished, he quietly exited her quarters allowing the door to close behind him.
She stood quietly for several moments as she stared at the door. She had gotten what she wanted most…. but it felt hollow. He was her son and she had come to know what kind of man he was, a good man and a man of honor and responsibility. It made the lie she had told him all the more simple to fabricate. She had used his own sense of duty and responsibility to deceive him. She merely had to tell him what she knew his sense of honor would accept and believe. The truth was not as palatable. Though she held the Enterprise and its crew in high regard, the truth was she had no altruistic reasons for using the Trellium. It was desire and nothing more. A desire that she could not contain or control and which held her in a grip that she could not break free of; a desire that had held sway over her since she first felt its addictive, narcotic effects aboard the Selaya. The emotional release it brought her was like nothing she ever experienced. To give that up…it was…it was unthinkable.
Walking towards the door, she stopped at the end table. Looking at the ampoule, she took a deep breath and kneeled slowly. Picking up the tiny cylinder, her hand began to tremble as she felt the rush of desire once again…the need for emotional release overwhelming her and a low sob broke from her throat. As she clutched the tiny metallic object in her hand a shame filled tear rolled down her cheek and she suddenly realized…not all emotions were welcome ones.
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
Quills! You made me cry! :( Poor Soma... he loves her so much. It must be hard for him to see her like this.
They say: what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.
Let's hope that B&B guys understand this... Let's hope that the "damage" will be undone.
Look what you've done! Making me and Triplover cry. It isn't right. I was hoping the story she told Jonathan was true, it was the only thing that made sense. She's no idiot, or succomber to a feeling of exhilaration from emotion.
And, no liar! (unless it's Trip and they're in the mess hall)
In a word, compelling. I find myself checking daily for a new update. This story is addictive! Thank you.
Sorry...but that's exactly what you'll find out in 'Damage'. T'Pol is nothing more or less than a junkie and like all junkies she will lie, steal and cheat...even hurt those she loves to feed her addiction.
However, in her defense, it will be revealed that she was not a willing participent. She became addicted when she went aboard the 'Selaya'. From there it all went downhill. She probably thought she could resolve the matter on her own, but just managed to get deeper and deeper into it.
If she had told Soma the truth...he would have had her relieved of duty and down in sickbay.
Great job blending your Soma story together with the Enterprise series, I like your take on what's going on with the crew, you capture the essense of each of the characters very well! I wish you were one of writers for the show, the episodes this season would have been alot more exciting!
Since you caught me attempting to pumped up your ego a bit (guilty as charged)...will we see your next chapter out anytime soon? Hmmm what must I do to make you write faster dammit!
I'll certainly try to get it out faster. I want to finish the story by the summer hiatus. Both this story and Triplover's Soma/Enterprise story(which takes place after this one)"Shadows"
Just for your edification...if Enterprise goes for a 4th season (which I think it will) I am going to have my agent submit a few script. So, if I'm really lucky, I will be one of the 'writers' of sorts...but don't hold your breath. They don't take outside scripts very readily when they have in house writers.
I'm hoping for the best Quills! They should be begging you to help!!!! Heck, your better than most of them already! If they don't make you one their making a BIG mistakes. (Hey, you could probably even get them up to eight season!) :)
Crossing my fingers for you! Just a thought, but if one of your scripts gets picked up for season four, would you be honored if I ask you for an autograph! Seriously!!!
Quills, be prepared!
If you actually become a bona fide scriptwriter for Enterprise you are gonna get a lot of requests for autographs...
People will want to have a little piece of the person who wrote the best Ent eps ever...(I don't recommend you give real pieces of yourself...how will you type without fingers!?!)
Brilliant Chapter, by the way. T'Pol's behavior is very disturbing but utterly believable. I think it's wonderful that you've woven the Trellium-D stuff into this...it's something other than T/T getting together that will be left unresolved...something darker which will be 'resolved' in the show rather than by some miraculous fanfic method...I really like the approach you're taking with this.
Firstly good luck, i hope you get a script accepted its better than some of the trash this season! b4 u ppl say ne thing i mean like stratogem it was C*** sorry. This stuff's well gd you could definatly help,
Amazing story btw, its the first of your i've read (blame ivy i found it from her site) but i'm loving it. This is amazing! More please
Last thing; Autograph plz!
forgot to continue my first point, although i h8 it wen Trip gets hurt similitude was an amazing episode, and once i lernt its meaning the title made perfect sense too. Sorry for any speleling mistakes