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Through the Looking Glass: Book IV in the Enterprise/Captain Soma Adventures'
Author - Quills | Genre - Action/Adventure | Genre - Alternate Universe | Genre - MU CHALLENGE Fic | Mirror Universe Fiction Challenge | Offshoots | Rating - PG-13 | T
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Through the Looking Glass: Book IV in the Enterprise/Captain Soma Adventures
SPOILERS:This story takes place after the episode “In a Mirror, Darkly”
Trip Tucker ran down the darkened corridor. His breathing labored and ragged, he struggled to continue. He hadn’t slept for nearly thirty six hours and fatigue threatened to overwhelm him. There just hadn’t been a moment he could afford to stop for even so basic a necessity. His life and those he cared for most were in jeopardy, and he wouldn’t stop until they were safe. Looking back into the shadows, he saw the slender form of the woman who had dared to follow him into peril. In spite of the danger, his lips curled into a smile. T’Pol always had more courage than a Klingon, he thought wryly. It was the second thing he had noticed when he first laid eyes on her; the first being what she had defined as a “primal and base reaction, peculiar to emotionally driven species in general and Humans in particular”. Of course, that didn’t stop a night of passion or the eventual affair that had brought the three of them in harms way. Three he reminded himself, for T’Pol carried their unborn child.
They had both made a desperate bid for escape during a moment when their pursuer’s attention was diverted to one of his many attempts to gain power. It would give them the time they needed to reach a ship and make for one of the far flung and unexplored systems, far from his reach. In a twist of irony, it was Tucker who had suggested that they use one of their pursuer’s personal shuttles that he kept, should he need to make an unfettered escape of his own. It was armed, well provisioned and couldn’t be tracked; just what they needed.
Reaching the end of corridor, they both stopped. Tucker turned to T’Pol shaking his head in a reassuring gesture. They would soon be safely out of his reach. Tucker pulled a small cylinder from his faded brown jacket. When this had all started, he had abandoned his uniform for something less likely to attract attention. Turning a knob on the cylinder, he was greeting by a red circle appearing on the wall. Moving the cylinder, he shined the light against the smooth grey metal surface.
“Come on, I know yer here.”
“Trip,” said T’Pol, with an unaccustomed nervousness.
Trip stopped what he was doing and looked back at her once more. Looking into her eyes, he could see the fear she held for what would happen should they be caught. But the fear wasn’t for them. T’Pol understood the course they had chosen. The fear that threatened to overwhelm her Vulcan resolve was for their unborn son, Soma. Tucker swallowed. They had already chosen his name. It was a good Vulcan name and they had decided that he would grow up to be a scientist or a philosopher; something good and noble, far away from sin.
Reaching out, he touched her shoulder, “T’Pol, he’ll be all right. We all will. I promise.”
T’Pol’s brow furrowed, but it was in a sympathetic way. “My foolish Human,” She reached out to touch his face, but he moved away. Even after all this time, he still had trouble with anyone touching him there, especially T’Pol. The radiation burns he received from numerous unshielded warp cores had healed, but they left him badly scarred, inside and out.
“We will never escape him,” she added. “He will not stop looking for us…ever!”
The last word had more emotion than she intended, but she knew it was true. They would never be safe from his reach. Always running, always hiding, this was the life they had made the day they both gave in to the desire in their hearts.
“Don’t say it darlin’. We got a chance. He’s made a lot of enemies after what happened to Forrest.”
“He that almost succeeded,” she countered. “The Defiant brought him closer to total power than he has ever been. His defeat was not total or complete. Command fears him. Why else do you think they promoted him and gave him the Enterprise?”
Tucker gave a low curse. He had to give credit where it was do. His former commanding officer, Captain Jonathan Archer, had managed to survive more than his share of power struggles and personal assassinations. Tucker had been sure…or at least had hoped that Archer wouldn’t make it out of his last bid for power. But as always, Archer had managed to escape relatively unscathed. His position in tact, he was free to re-establish his power base.
“Once we’re away, he’ll never find us,” said Tucker.
T’Pol didn’t reply, but the look she gave him told Tucker that she didn’t believe it. In truth, neither did Tucker. He knew Archer would never give up the chase. Not after what they had done. This was personal and Jonathan Archer settled his personal scores. Tucker looked up at T’Pol. Damn you, he thought. You could have stayed. He would have forgiven ya.
Turning back to the wall, he took a deep breath. It was too late to debate what might have been. All he could do now was get them to safety. Pointing the metallic cylinder, he continued to guide the red light. He needed to find the security point that would open the access panel. It was hidden within the smooth surface of the wall and could only be detected and accessed with a “light key”. Stopping suddenly, a smile formed on his lips for the second time since they had made their ill fated escape to freedom.
“I’ve got it.”
T’Pol’s brow cocked and she leaned over his shoulder. “The frequency will be in the higher EM band.”
“I know, I know,” he said, shaking his head in frustration. Moving his fingers over the cylinder, he adjusted the frequency of the beam. The hum of the cylinder increased as he tried to hold it steady. But between fatigue and fear, his hands trembled while he held the device. A sharp ping sounded and the wall shifted forward and to the left. The sudden separation of the smooth wall’s seal startled him and he nervously dropped the cylinder, letting it roll across the floor. He gasped reflexively, but seeing the access hatch open, sighed in relief. Taking a deep breath he shook his head and let out a low chuckle.
My nerves are definitely shot. I’ll be happy when we’re as far from here as we can get.
Grabbing T’Pol by the hand, he pulled her towards him as he made his way through the hatch. The red glow of the interior caused him to squint after being in the almost total darkness of the access corridor. Straining to see in the confined space, he could make out an access panel on the opposite wall. Moving towards it, he suddenly stopped, feeling T’Pol grasping his arm. Looking back, he nodded.
“I know, I’ll be careful,” Leaning in, he pressed his lips to hers for a moment before turning back to the panel. She squeezed his arm as they both savored a moment they hoped there would be many more of.
The panel was a simple grid layout with alpha numeric keys. The final security measure before gaining admittance to the shuttle they had made a desperate bid to reach. All he needed to do was punch in the correct code; simple really. The catch was that he only had one chance and once he started, exactly fifteen seconds to complete it or both he and T’Pol would die in a very excruciating manner. Overriding the system wasn’t an option. The keypad had any number of security features that prevented it. He had to think for a moment. He knew Archer. They had been friends or as close to friends as one could get with Jonathan Archer. Tucker let his mind wander for a moment as he considered what Archer would choose for a code. It wouldn’t be random; he was too egotistical for that. No, it would have to be personal and significant to him. It seemed an impossible task. Why hadn’t he considered this before now? They had come so far, only to be stopped at the last hurdle. Then, almost instantly, a thought occurred to him. It was an old memory that had been repeated over time. Archer had said it to him many times in his ravings. So many in fact, that Tucker had grown to ignore it. But now, even the slightest possibility required his attention. It has to be. Taking a deep breath, he raised his hand to the pad. Hesitating for a moment, he closed his eyes and swore to whatever higher power might be listening. Opening his eyes, he let his fingers dance across the key pad, striking keys in quick succession. For a moment he waited, not moving or even breathing, as the security lock registered the access code. If he was wrong…a sudden click told him what was about to happen and he exhaled in relief as the access door slid open.
Destiny, thought Trip wryly. Archer could have his destiny and Tucker and T’Pol could have each other.
“You know me so well…old friend.”
Tucker’s head snapped in the direction of the opening hatchway. He didn’t need to look, but the action was reflexive. The sound of that voice was distinct and unmistakable.
“Cap’n” Tucker mouthed, his voice leaving him as he felt his throat constrict in fear. Looking across the open access, he saw the imposing site of Jonathan Archer standing inside the shuttle, a sickening smile playing on his lips. Hesitating for a moment, Tucker considered his options. Should he try to take Archer or make his escape with T’Pol? Archer could see the look of desperation on Tucker’s face…and his smile widened.
“Don’t get any ideas, Trip,” warned Archer. Looking past him, he called out to the darkened corridor Tucker and T’Pol had come from, “Lieutenant.”
Tucker turned, looking over his shoulder. Past T’Pol, he could see a figure moving in the shadows. After a moment, the figure stepped into the light and Tucker recognized him immediately.
“Hello Malcolm,” he said acidly as the Enterprise’s tactical officer stepped into the low red light of the outer security compartment. Malcolm Reed was Archer’s hatchet man and personal bodyguard, and with good reason. He was ruthless; almost as ruthless as Archer himself. Tucker had barely made his escape when Reed had gotten wind of his and T’Pol’s plan. He had thought that he had left Reed for dead. But Reed had obviously survived. Staring at the armory officer’s face, he saw that the armory officer hadn’t come away without injury.
“I see Phlox did a little repair job on my handiwork,” he said, staring at the black patch where Reed’s right eye had met the business end of a plasma torch. “But then anything is an improvement.”
Reed scowled, but made no move towards him, and Tucker knew why. They had them both. There was nowhere to run. Their bid for freedom had failed and they were now at the mercy of a man who didn’t know the meaning of the word. Their suffering would be prolonged and agonizing.
“Trip,” smiled Archer, “you always did manage to have something clever to say.” The smile disappeared. “I’m very disappointed in you. We were friends.”
“Friends?” Tucker scoffed. “You don’t have any friends Jon. You use people as stepping stones to your seat of power.”
Archer pursed his lips and nodded. “True, but those that serve my needs are rewarded and those that stand in my way are eliminated…commander.”
Turning towards T’Pol, Archer’s expression changed. A look of pain and betrayal came over his features as he stared at the Vulcan. “I don’t know which hurts me more, T’Pol, that you left me…or that you left me for him.”
“I was never yours,” she responded icily.
“No, you weren’t. Were you? But you could have been mine. I would have cared for you…protected you.”
T’Pol’s brow arched, “Whom was I endangered from?” The question had a sarcastic tone, but Archer either didn’t catch it or chose to ignore it.
“I loved you T’Pol.”
“That emotion is more alien to you than to the most ardent Syronnite.”
Tucker watched as Archer’s hand slowly came out of the shadows. His eyes widened when he saw what was in his hand; a Varon-T disruptor. Archer had acquired the only one in existence after murdering the inventor. The device was by far the most vicious hand held energy weapon known. Its unique properties literally tore a victim inside out, resulting in a slow and excruciating death.
“No!” shouted Tucker as he stepped forward.
Archer swung his arm, quickly readjusting his aim and training the disruptor on Tucker.
Tucker stopped abruptly. He knew if he moved one muscle that he was a dead man. Looking at T’Pol, he swallowed and then turned back to Archer. “Jon…please…don’t hurt her. It wasn’t her fault. It was mine. I wanted her. You had everything and I just wanted a taste of what it was like.” It was a lie, but Tucker hoped it would convince Archer to spare T’Pol. He knew his own life was over.
“How touching,” smiled Archer. “And you T’Pol? Will you beg me for his life as well?”
T’Pol stared at Archer icily. She didn’t respond immediately, but when she did, Archer’s smile faded.
“I will not give you that satisfaction. Just as I would not give the physical satisfaction you craved in my bed.”
Archer returned the icy stare, his eyes fixed on T’Pol’s, dead and lifeless. “I could have had any woman I wanted, but I chose you. You could have shared in my power and together we could have ruled the empire.”
Shaking his head, Archer looked back at Tucker. “This is going to hurt you more than it hurts me, Trip.”
Before Tucker could act, Archer’s finger snapped back on the disruptor’s trigger. A flash of energy shot out of the weapon, striking Tucker squarely in the chest. Knocked back against the bulkhead, Tucker’s eyes widened in shock and he gasped as a white hot glow began to spread outward. Clutching his chest, he let out a blood curdling scream. T’Pol started to move towards him, but was stopped by Reed’s disruptor jabbed in her back. She stood, watching as her lover slowly dissolved from the inside out.
Archer watched; his face expressionless. No emotion, no feeling. He was as dead as Tucker would shortly be. Seeing the final moments before Tucker’s form would dissolve, Archer leaned down and allowed himself a smile. “The Vulcan whore is next.”
Tucker’s face contorted in twisted agony before his form dissolved in final flash of energy. Archer remained kneeling, looking down at the last spot occupied by his former friend. He had hoped those last words brought him some discomfort. Looking up, he smiled at T’Pol. He could see the anger on her face. Vulcan emotions were much stronger, more primal than humans. She wanted to tare him to pieces.
“Why do you hesitate,” she spat. “Finish what you started.”
“I have no intention of killing you T’Pol.”
She looked at him in confusion, and trickle of fear entered her mind.
“I only said that to make Trip’s final moments more…painful. No, you have something I want.”
“Something you want?”
“Yes,” he smiled, bending down. Reaching out, he touched his hand to her belly.
T’Pol’s eyes widened in horror. “No!”
Lashing out, she swung her hand to strike him. But before her fist could connect, her body slumped over into unconsciousness. Archer caught her body, gently letting it down to the floor. Looking up at Reed, he gave the man a hard stare.
“S-She was going to attack you,” he said, lowering his disruptor.
“Fool, I was ready for her,” said Archer as he checked her pulse. “Lucky for you she’s unharmed.”
Reed swallowed hard. No good deed goes unpunished under Captain Archer’s command.
Standing up, Archer pushed past him. “I want her beamed back to the ship. Take her to sickbay and tell Phlox he’s to start the procedure.”
Archer turned back, and looked at Reed. The look was all the armory officer needed to tell him he was precariously close to suffering Tucker’s fate.
“Then prepare to leave orbit. I have much to do if I’m going to make a suitable empire…for my son.”
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A whole mess of folks have made comments
I really like were youre going with this one. Also, Quills its great that you have started another story becuase i really love theses stories. Now i really liked how you showed Trip/T'pol relationship in the Mirror Universe, but are the evil like Archer or are they good like their counterparts in the real world. Also does Archer control Enterprise or the Defiant. I hope you write soon because your stories are great.
God I want to kill Archer!
Archer is a jack ass!
I really liked the tone of your story!! Nicely done... but one question: Why did you have to kill Trip!!!!! sob!! Damn Archer!
OH, NO! You killed off Trip! Now what?
I think this is starting to unqualify as a TnT story! Don't like that you killed Trip off, but don't do anything to T'Pol.
Truly twisted love it, however, quills *gasp* you've killed Trip off right from the start... drat :-(
This is so totally evil, poor Trip and poor poor T'Pol! What a nasty piece of work this Archer and Malcolm are. Made me shudder. Now I will worry and fret for the baby... Ali D :~)
You killed Trip?! And it's just the prologue! Thank goodness it's a mirror universe and "our" Trip is alive and well . . . at least for the moment. Great start!
Hmmm... I'm sensing badness. Are we going to see Phlox turn Soma into Archer's son?
yes, i'm sensing badness too, but in a good way. i can't for the life of me figure out how trip will fit back into the story, unless he won't, which would make me sad. Flashbacks? please tell me there will be flashbacks--i loove those! really intriguing start! evil MU archer-yes!
I like this website and stories, but the Archer as a villian is difficult to take. Maybe after I see the mirror episodes it will be easier to understand. And killing off Trip? NOOoo. Bad moved.
Great seeing Archer as a 24 carat asshole! Looking forward to more of this...
Intriguing... very intriguing... I hope that there will be more soon!
dang... archers real bad shit now... but what i find most evil is that he had to sicken trip even in his last moment... oh well thats evil i guess : )