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And Baby- Ch. 9
And Baby Makes Four
By Samantha Quinn
All disclaimers in Part I.
A Glimmer of Hope
That thought process was nearly the only one they could form. To T’Pol’s great dismay, she was having difficulty forming the most basic of thought processes. Small fragments of conversation floated in and out of T’Pol’s mind and she was certain they went together. However, the harder she tried to tie them together, the less she could actually remember.
“What do you recall about the Gabbaccian dining experience on our ship?”
“I recall them being there. . .” Malcolm’s voice trailed off uncertainly.
“Do you recall anything else?”
“No. Do you?”
“Well, Sub-Commander, you’re the science officer. Do you have any guesses as to why both of us have somehow lost our memories?”
“It is merely conjecture, Lieutenant, however, I do have a theory.”
Malcolm sighed exasperatedly. “Mere conjecture is more than we have at the present, Sub-Commander. Please share whatever guesses you might have.”
“The Gabbaccian doctor when he visits usually has two instruments with him. He has confessed to taking DNA samples with one of the instruments. After he takes his samples, he routinely injects us with a sleep inducing agent with the other instrument. I propose that the sleeping agent contains some type of memory erasing agent.”
“How would they benefit from erasing our memories?” Malcolm questioned.
“I am uncertain. I am certain, however, that the agent is a short term memory distortion device only. My long term memories are still in tact. Are yours?”
Malcolm paused long enough to consider. After having completed his mental review of the entire Reed family Naval history, he was certain that his long term memory was still in excellent condition. “Yes, Sub-Commander, my long term memory is still in tact. However, all I remember about the Gabbaccians are that they were friendly when they came aboard.”
“I see. Obviously some change occurred between our original contact and our current situation,” T’Pol remarked. “However, I am unable to recall any events leading up to our present situation.”
Malcolm did not respond for a moment. When he did speak, the softness of his tone was the only indicator of his emotion. “Sub-Commander, do you suppose Commander Tucker is alright?” He turned his head to face the Vulcan as he asked his question. Malcolm had learned that the Sub-Commander showed emotion through slight changes in her facial expressions. They were very subtle. Nonetheless, as the security officer Malcolm made it his job to recognize such small differences. It could determine the difference between life and death.
To Malcolm’s great dismay, T’Pol closed her eyes briefly before responding, “We have not given them additional reason to harm the Commander.”
Malcolm suspected that he would have shivered even if he had been fully clothed.
The object of Malcolm and T’Pol’s concern was experiencing similar memory distortions. Unfortunately, he still recalled quite readily the incident with the leeches. There had been one other unfortunate instance when T’Pol had stretched in her bonds. As punishment, the Gabbaccian had employed a trail of beetles from the base of his neck to his belly button. Flesh eating beetles at that. True, they had removed the beetles before they had done permanent damage. Still, the sensation of the beetles gnawing through his skin was a memory Trip would have been relieved to have forgotten. *If I hadn’t disliked bugs before, I certainly do now,* Trip thought irritably.
The Gabbaccians didn’t seem to want him dead yet. After all, they had sent in their doctor several times to “Make certain he still lives,” in the words of Nantuck. Not exactly the most cheerful thought, but one that kept him alive nonetheless.
Although, Trip reflected, the whole experience did have one positive aspect. T’Pol had shown more human like affection that he would have ever believed possible. The very belief that she had not insisted on breaking free was itself a very human reaction. After all, if she and Malcolm broke free they could possibly get back the ship. How exactly Trip didn’t know, but he was certain that she could have at least tried, if she truly valued the principle of logic as much as she claimed. *And staying prisoner because someone else might get hurt isn’t logical. It’s emotional, pure and simple.* Her words still reverberated in his mind from the beetle incident: **I was not intending to escape. Hurting the Commander is not necessary.** Even Jennair had noted the care both she and Malcolm had for him. *When we get back to the Enterprise, I am definitely never going to let her live this experience down. She’s acting pretty damn human, if you ask me.*
Of course, Trip was not entirely certain they’d make it back to the Enterprise at all. **Happy endings, right? Must think happy endings.**
“Dad?” Aron was startled out of his reverie by the sound of his four year old son’s voice.
“Yes, Leland?” He asked the child.
“What’s the matter? You seem sad.”
“I am disturbed,” the father admitted to his son.
“How come?” the child demanded.
Aron sighed. Leland was not quite old enough to learn mental shielding techniques yet. He could not be trusted with such knowledge. Not yet. “I am torn, my son. Between what I must do and what I wish to do.”
Leland cocked his head and looked at his father in confusion. “Why can’t you do both?”
Aron regarded the child for a moment and finally nodded his head slowly. “Yes, child, that may be exactly what I do. Why don’t you go play now?”
“Okay, Dad. Feel better soon!”
As the child scrambled away from his father, Aron turned back to work on the petri dishes. The Vulcan DNA had caused him some problems over the past several days but he was relatively certain he could compensate for the differences this time. **I will follow my son’s advice. I will ‘do both.’ ** Aron thought to himself as he began the mixing of Malcolm and T’Pol’s DNA. **I will give my Captain the killing machine he wants, but I will also provide an antidote in the form of a child with T’Pol and Commander Tucker.**
Aron had been observing the Enterprise crewmembers for some time now and he realized the compassion they felt for one another. He was certain that compassion would translate into love for a child. **Unfortunately, the offspring of Lt. Reed and Sub-Commander T’Pol will not benefit from such love.** Aron noted. **No, that child will be raised in one of our training camps where her manipulated DNA will be reinforced with proper guidance.**
The Gabbaccians had long since solved the nature versus nurture controversy. **Neither nature nor nurture takes precedent over the other. Simply manipulate them both.** Children were raised at a young age to do whatever task they had been conceived for before their birth. Thus, the apprentice and master relationship became a son and father relationship. Such was the case with young Leland. Although the boy called Aron ‘father’, he did not share any genetic material with Aron. Nor did any Gabbaccian sons with the men they called fathers.
The child of Reed and T’Pol was going to call Atal her father. Atal was the head of Gabbaccian security on their homeworld during this time period. He had gone down in history as one of the most ruthless dictators in Gabbaccian culture. Atal had advanced the Gabbaccian empire further than anyone else had been able to do. In addition, Reed and T’Pol had gone down as experts in tactical and command situations. After studying them, it had been determined that they would be the most fit parents for the child of Atal. To top it all off, the child was to be female. Something that had been illegal since the Female Rebellion and subsequent annihilation two hundred years ago.
**But Commander Tucker was quite the surprise.** Aron mused as he carefully weaved the copper and iron strands together. **What Nantuck has determined to be a weak spot for T’Pol and Lt. Reed may end up being a weak spot for the entire Gabbaccian empire.**
Satisfied with himself, he determined that he had never seen a blond haired Vulcan before. **Since the child will be special, it is only fitting that she looks unique.** With a sigh, Aron hoped that T’Pol and Commander Tucker were ready to become parents.
Trip also noticed the slight incline of Sodan’s head, as though he were speaking with someone who wasn’t there before he dashed out of the room. **He must be the engineer of this ship,** Trip noted although he could not remember if that was true. **And he might be a bastard, but he still knows that the engineer has to be with his engines during a time of crisis.**
Of course, with Sodan gone, Trip was now alone. The opportunity he had been waiting for had finally arrived. Trip was convinced that while his life was expendable to the Gabbaccians, for some reason neither Malcolm nor T’Pol’s was. Thus, Trip figured, if he could break free, neither of his shipmates would pay for his actions. Up until now, he had been under close watch. With Sodan gone, he could test his theory.
Slowly, Trip pulled at his bonds. Hearing no alarm and feeling no punishment for doing so, Trip began to pull more furiously at the bonds, determined to break free. As he did so, he idly wondered who was attacking them. **I hope they’re on our side.**
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