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A Different Kind of Communication - Part III
A Different Kind of Communication
Rated PG-Mild language
Warning: Because these are memories, there is much dialogue intermingled from the show. Just so you know.....
April 7, 2005
*** T'Pol remained sleeping, her head lying comfortably against Trip's thigh. The warmth and softness of the fabric only relaxed her restraints further. Her mind remained an open book for Trip's enjoyment. Fascinated, Trip couldn't help but watched the scenes unfolding one by one. Absently his hand stroked her back, finding this a freeing sensation that allowed him greater access to her thoughts.
The scene now before him was that of T'Pol's quarters. There Tolaris was alone with T'Pol. Trip thought about the other Vulcans he'd met and compared them to T'Pol. When he considered V'Lar, the elderly Vulcan Ambassador, she seemed very much like T'Pol. Structured, determined and unyielding but with an ingratiating manner, which made her logic more tolerable. Then Trip's mind went to the Vulcans he encountered on that ship. Where Kov was jovial as well, his mastery of emotions seemed wary and unsure. Tolaris was the only one that seemed steely certain of his control. Trip remembered discussing with the captain, the good points for having T'Pol spend some time with him. However seeing them alone in her cabin like this, made Trip very jealous. He almost turned away from the scene totally but his human emotion of curiosity forced him to watch it play out.
T'Pol's quarters were dimly lit, only the meditation candles illuminating the center of the room. Tolaris sat opposite T'Pol on the meditation cushions within a foot of one another. Trip wondered if he was going to get some neuropressure too. Trip watched as the two sat discussing a new type of meditation technique.
"This form of meditation is more restful and it allows you to improve your dreaming with less negative thought patterns." Tolaris said his face wearing a warm smile.
"It is a level above contemplation to achieve?" T'Pol asked clinically feeling very uncomfortable in the presence of these Vulcans without logic.
"It is a different place but not higher. I cannot explain it to you. I will have to guide your mind through it if you'll allow me." Tolaris lifted his right hand demonstrating to T'Pol the procedure. T'Pol again felt uneasy. She desperately needed to improve her control and wondered if this type of meditation could help but she dreaded the thought of being touched. She felt that at least this person was a disciplined mind and would limit his intrusion on her senses. T'Pol nodded softly.
Tolaris reached up and placed his fingers to her temples. "Relax and achieve first level." He stated closing his eyes to monitor her progress.
"Good ..." He encouraged her upon reaching first level quickly. T'Pol took a deep breath and relaxed her shoulders further.
Trip watched with concern. He felt a growing pain in his head. (Sympathy) He thought by what he saw before him.
T'Pol groaned and reached her hand up to the strange Vulcan's arm. She tried to tear his fingers from her face repeatedly. "No ... No ... No!"
Tolaris took his other hand and braced it on the back of her head not allowing his contact to be broken. The onslaught continued T'Pol wrenching from the pain. "NO.......NO!"
Trip felt the sudden urge to jump up and help the defenseless woman, but then realized T'Pol was safe in his lap. This was merely a memory of something he never knew. His stomach sickened at the thought of her being attacked and him unable to help her. He turned his eyes back to the scene wanting to know the outcome, but not really.
T'Pol rose to her knees trying to get away from him. He rose likewise and forced her down and back onto her back. T'Pol reached her legs up and caught Tolaris in the chest with her feet. He rolled backward and T'Pol scrambled for the far side of the room. She drew a weapon from behind the cushion and sat poised to defend herself from another attack.
Tolaris step forward to reengage the meld but noted the dagger ready to strike.
"You will leave my quarters immediately!" T'Pol stated in anger to the Vulcan male. His looks to her were that of a man cut off from sex. He was no better than the Human's version of a rapist. His eyes seethed with unfulfilled urgency. He started a forward movement and saw T'Pol cock back the dagger in defiance. He reviewed this a moment then turned to exit the room.
"This is not over... I will return!" Tolaris snapped at the coiled woman.
"You will die." T'Pol hissed back at him with assuring defiance. Tolaris exited the room. T'Pol hearing the door close, slumped into a pile on the floor. A moment later, T'Pol forced herself across the room at a crawl. She knew if she didn't get medical attention quickly, she would be unconscious soon. She reached up and found the com button on the edge of her desk. She pressed it.
"T'Pol to Phlox"
"Phlox here" The doctor returned through the com.
"I am in my quarters... I have been attacked." T'Pol's voice was weak showing her already deteriorating state.
"On my way."
T'Pol crumpled on to the floor in a heap. She was unconscious when the doctor and medics arrived. He stabilized her with a few hyposprays and quickly packed her off to sick bay.
**** At next look, the scene was sickbay. T'Pol was coming out from behind a curtained off area, fastening the top of her military gray uniform. Dr. Phlox was present reviewing the data on his tricorder.
"Your Neurolytic enzymes are considerably higher than last month." the doctor conveyed a concerned observation.
"The treatment's no longer effective?" T'Pol asked coming to a stop across the room from him. Trip noticed T'Pol's hands trembling as she tried to steady them. She finally moved them behind her to hide the evident symptoms.
"I told you it was just a matter of time before we'd need supplemental medication." The doctor's voice still seemed hopeful. "This conference is a perfect opportunity. Some of your finest physicians will be there. It is essential I speak with them."
"It's too great a risk. I'd be taken off Enterprise." T'Pol searched the floor considering her options while absently taking a few steps towards the doctor. Her eyes then met him again.
"I think I can question them without revealing that you're infected."
"It's too great a risk." T'Pol returned staring him directly face-to-face. She moved forward to emphasize her disapproval.
"I'm afraid we have no other choice.... Without further treatment you could, quite possibly die." Phlox returned unabated by her defensive stance.
**** Trip looked down at T'Pol in shock. Having worked with her so closely he thought he knew everything about the young woman. All this time he thought her biggest difficulties were dealing with human emotions. Now he's finding out just how difficult her time aboard Enterprise has been. He wondered what had become of this, when it happened and why she never shared this with him. It started to make Trip feel that maybe they weren't as close as he thought. And even though these thoughts saddened him, the compassion he felt for her coupled with the fear of losing her again were more overwhelming than any selfish motivations. He concentrated heavily on her, tried to sense any illness, not knowing why just acting on impulse. She seemed, resting comfortably. There was no sense of distress in the young woman's face or soul.
Trip returned his attention to the scene ahead. Now Phlox, T'Pol and the captain were in his ready room. The captain seemed angry at the two after having spent time speaking with a high ranking Vulcan physician.
"I have no intention of lying to you Captain." the doctor seemed somewhat leery at that statement.
"Then when were you going to tell me you contracted a serious illness?" Archer's glare turned to T'Pol, who was to this point remaining silent beside the Denobulan.
"Sir?" T'Pol continued to play ignorant.
"They handed you something ... a pad I think. Does that ring a bell? You left a fingerprint. That was enough for them to run tests." Jon's face showed marked disapproval. T'Pol's grew even with shame.
"Why did you lie to them?" the captain asked both directly shifting his eyes back and forth between them.
"It's none of their concern." T'Pol returned evening her demeanor.
"It is if they can help you." The captain was emphatic and moved around the chair to get closer to his first officer. "How long have you known about this?" The captain now sensing this was not a new problem.
"And you never thought that maybe you should come to me and let me know that one of my officers has a potentially fatal disease!" The captain then paced to stand in front of the doctor. He glared at him and saw the doctor's eyes go to the floor.
"I believe your culture embraces the concept of doctor/patient confidentiality." T'Pol clearly seeing the doctor taking Archer's wrath then spoke up.
"The disease is not contagious. If we had told you there's nothing you could have done."
"You still haven't explained to me why you lied to the Vulcans?" Archer asked glancing back at T'Pol. "And why would you think they'd be more apt to help you if you said it was for a Denobulan colleague."
"Pa'Nar syndrome is an illness that carries a stigma, on Vulcan." Dr. Phlox relayed with a hint of distain in his voice.
"If the High Command was to learn I was infected, I would most likely lose my commission."
Trip listened to the interaction in front of them. He didn't know until this moment that it was a year later. He learned in detail about the Sub species of Vulcan's, who were able to perform mind melds, finding also that T'Pol was not one of them. He watched the captain as he continued to berate the two before him.
"Why would you take that risk?" The captain asked confused.
"It wasn't by choice." T'Pol whispered back shamefully. "One of the men on that ship....." T'Pol trailed off.
A look of recognition came upon the captain's face. He stepped forward again pointing a finger at the young woman. "You were attacked, I remember. I'm sure the High Command will understand."
"I have no intention of telling them." T'Pol returned evenly.
"Why not?" The captain wanted to know.
"I have my reasons." With that T'Pol made it clear the conversation was over.
***** Trip's heart swelled and became heavy in his chest. Logically he knew he couldn't help her but deep inside he wished he could have been there to protect her.
( why didn't I sense it!) He mentally berated himself. All this time Trip assumed he had an exclusive view of T'Pol. Now he knew his was only a different glance. Because of his absence, the woman he loved now had a fatal illness and was having to struggle with it alone. As crazy as it seemed, Trip knew these were memories, but felt the pain and anguish of them as real as if they'd been happening to him right here and now. He wondered how T'Pol managed to deal with all this on her own.
The scene changed once again. It was night. The captain, Soval and T'Pol were now scurrying through ruins trying to avoid Andorian phaser fire.
"Captain!" She whispered forcefully.
"Stay here! That's an order." He returned as forcefully. "No offense, but my ears are less likely to draw fire than yours." And with that he disappeared around a column and into the night.
"What is their fixation with our ears?" Soval asked rather perturbed.
"I believe they're envious." T'Pol returned a bit amused.
Soval looked at her displeased. "Do you realize you have picked up a slight Human accent?"
T'Pol looked at him then down to the ground embarrassed. Soval had always been like a father to her. When her own father was murdered, Soval fulfilled his obligations to the Vulcan by overseeing her education. For it was tradition for a Vulcan male to be assigned to take over in the place of the lost parent. Much like humans assigned the responsibility of their young's future to a godparent. Trip could relate to that analogy. He now understood why Soval's word had so much more affect on her. He returned his gaze to the scene ahead. It was Soval who took T'Pol into the Ambassador service after her devastating time on Risa. She was told it was to redirect her career to a less stressful area, but T'Pol knew it was so the elderly Vulcan could keep his protective eyes on her. He had been one of her father's closest friends during their military days and knew T'Pol from birth. His words were most stinging when they were of disapproval.
"You were one of the most promising members of my staff T'Pol. If you stayed in San Francisco you'd be the assistant counsel by now. You might even have a diplomatic posting of your own." He continued to berate her actions.
"I'm aware of that." T'Pol returned simply, and Trip had the distinct feeling he was watching your average father daughter discussion.
"Then why have you remained on Enterprise?" Soval was not letting this drop.
"We believe they needed our help when they first developed warp drive. That hasn't changed. Also my work with the Ministry ..." T'Pol started with the explanation but fell short knowing that by now both Soval and the Ministry knew she was no longer spying on the Humans.
"Captain Archer's record is evidence of that, but there are others to assist them." Soval returned not bringing her deception up.
"I find the work gratifying." T'Pol moved to the other side of Soval and continued to guard their position. The ambassador followed her with his eyes not wanting to end this inquiry.
"Gratification is an emotional indulgence. You disagreed with the recommendations that Archer's mission be canceled after the tragedy at Paraga 2, why?" He showed a bit of anger with that statement.
"I was on board Enterprise at the time I felt my opinion would be welcomed." T'Pol returned knowing that her station had allowed her the force she needed to silence the High Command.
**** Trip remembered the incident on the bridge when Soval tried to end their mission. His mind played the scene out once again. The two Vulcan officers who came aboard Enterprise were out of place there. T'Pol knew why they were there though. They were her bodyguards. The decision to cancel their mission could have proved dangerous for one in her station. Soval had ordered their presence on the bridge for this announcement to ensure their safety. Trip concentrated again and realized it was actually for the Humans' safety. This puzzled him.
Trip knew of the Vulcans non violent beliefs, but was now learning about their reactions to being attacked. If T'Pol had been attacked, her logic would dictate for her to defend herself. A Vulcan defending themselves against a human would undoubtedly end up with a human dead, or so they feared. It was for that reason that no Vulcan female was unescorted on earth. Trip couldn't understand why T'Pol was allowed to be on a ship full of Humans by herself. If their beliefs were that true, it was not logical to place her in a supposedly dangerous environment. It wasn't until Trip remembered the protective order she received from Soval that he realized the depth of her control.
Trip saw the Vulcans from a different angle this time. They stood at tactical points that would allow them a clean shot at anyone who tried to harm the female. They watched, their eyes scanning the bridge for any signs of trouble as Soval relayed his devastating decision. When T'Pol stepped up beside Archer and confronted the ambassador with the illogical deeds of the High Command, all eyes fell to her. Trip could see, moreover feel the pride of the bridge crew as T'Pol defied her own people and stood up for her shipmates. Trip remembered the pride he felt and now knew T'Pol could sense that as well. He didn't understand at the time why both Soval and the two Vulcans present retreated at her words. Now knowing, what could they say when a daughter of Surak speaks to them of true logic.
When Trip came back to the scene before him it was of T'Pol sleeping in her quarters. She still wore the short outcroppings of the military cut of a few years ago. The door chime sounded and T'Pol came quickly awake and to a sitting position on the bed. She motioned the light sensor to come up and slipped her left hand beneath the far end of the covers where she kept her weapon at ready.
"Come in." she stated and the door swooshed open. In from the hallway walked the captain in his pajamas. Trip thought instantly, (What the hell's he doing here?) and he watched this scene with great interest, jealousy starting to brew. There had been rumors that possibly the captain and T'Pol had something special between them early on, but those rumors died out when Trip started asking her out to movie night.
"I can't be certain, but Crewman Fuller may have seen me come in here." The captain started a bit embarrassed.
"She tends to be discreet." T'Pol returned evenly. "What can I do for you?"
"I think you put it over the top. Forest said none of the others could believe it when you went to bat for us, not to mention that little listening post lecture you gave Soval." Archer knelt down before her, his hand touching the bunk between her legs. It was an innocent gesture, Archer probably didn't even realize he did it. But Trip did and he watched with continued interest.
"You spoke to the admiral?" T'Pol leaned forward.
"He woke meet up in the middle of the night. Can you believe that?"
"I assume with good news." T'Pol, again trying to catch the gist of his visit.
"I think you put it over the top." Jon repeated and looked appreciatively into her young face. He tapped the hand that Trip had been watching a couple of times on the bunk's edge then rose to stand. As he moved toward the door T'Pol sat staring straight ahead. Contemplating his news she replied.
"The hell you don't!" Archer returned sticking his head around a corner, then leaving as quickly as he came.
**** Trip felt T'Pol nuzzle his thigh and readjust her hand to a more comfortable position. He could sense from her true peace for the first time in a long while. From the moment they enter the Expanse, he realized the stress to her was greater than any single crew member on the ship. The distortions within the Expanse were especially hard on Vulcans. She had said that to him many times when explaining away her outbursts. But as the scene changed in front of them he would now know exactly why they were so difficult.
Now the scene before him was that of the Admiral's office on earth. The admiral, Soval, Archer and T'Pol all stood arguing about the logic of the Enterprise's mission. The ambassador seemed quite determined to have the Humans view a tape. As Trip watched, he saw images of the last few hours of the crew of a ship named the Van'Cara. According to Soval, this ship entered the Delphic Expanse and quickly ran into problems. As the tape played, Trip watched in horror as he saw numerous Vulcans violently murdering one another.
When he looked over at T'Pol's face he noticed a look of fear. This was odd to him in that he'd never seen the young woman afraid of anything. But now being confronted with what he understood as the true Vulcan spirit, she displayed the terror that every Vulcan felt about losing control. Trip had often thought that T'Pol's strict adherence to emotional control was a bit over the top. Now he could feel the fear she felt then. Know the awful truth about what their minds would be like without logic. Trip watched her movements closely. The hand tremoring she had displayed earlier was now back but worse. She gripped tightly, clasping them together behind her back. Trip couldn't help but remind himself of the problem. (The Pa'Nar).
*** Now the scene changed once again. The captain, Malcolm, T'Pol and a MACO were fighting their way through the badly damaged passageways of the Seleya. They fought valiantly against numerous monster- like creatures that crept through the hallways. Upon closer observation, Trip realized they were the crew now stripped of their minds, they were on a murderous rampage and the away team was the prey. At this point, T'Pol herself was acting irrational and having to be dragged to their next destination. Her mind was a jumble, caught between loyalty to the captain and paranoia of everything and everyone around her. Archer attempted several times to help her focus on the job at hand, but when their escape plan called for the possible destruction of the Seleya and all aboard, she went ballistic and became a prisoner.
As the scene played on, T'Pol grew more and more violent. By the time the captain had stunned her, she was actively trying to hinder their escape. Upon entering Sickbay, T'Pol was just recovering from the phaser fire. She screamed, clawing and scratching in a manic way. Her hands, finding the Captain's throat, closed in on it tightly. It took him, Dr. Phlox and two security guards to get her strapped to the gurney, sedated and into the stasis chamber. Even after her treatment, when T'Pol would sleep, her dreams were filled with those creatures. Throughout her nights in sickbay, Phlox continually monitored her for dreamlike states. Several times a night she would awaken screaming in terror. Trip didn't know of this, until now.
***The scene abruptly changed to that of a shower. T'Pol was relaxing beneath the warm water of the shower head. She seemed to be soothed by its flow. A hand followed by another lay gently on her back and began stroking lightly across her shoulders. Trip grew interested, knowing not of this memory. Who was this stranger caressing her skin? As he watched, Trip's eyes grew wide to see it was him. He knew they'd never done this and wondered where this memory came from. The concept though reminded Trip of their night together. He longed once more for her touch, wanting his arms around her as well. Trip watched intently as he saw the two locked in heated passion. The kisses and caresses grew fevered, hands roving breathing growing short. He noticed T'Pol grabbing rather roughly at the Trip before him. Then saw her throw the young man up against the shower wall. Once more she attacked this other Trip with fevered kisses and wandering hands before pulling away and revealing a now monster like form. This T'Pol had become like those aboard the Seleya, and Trip now realized he was watching her worst nightmare. This creature then grabbed at the young engineer's throat strangling him with great fervor. As the young man before him struggled, the view then changed to a quite panicked T'Pol sitting upright in her bed, a look of terror in her eyes. She curled into a ball pulling the coverlet close up around her and searched the room frantically with her eyes to gain some sense of reality.
***Her hands shook, her body seemed frail. Those were all the symptoms she'd been dealing with. But now to her, she was losing her mind as well. Just like those aboard the Seleya. Trip watched as he saw his beloved trying to deal with the circumstances this strange place had brought. He watched as she got up from her bunk and dressed quickly.
T'Pol made her way hurriedly to the shuttle bay. She grabbed the components of one EV suit and headed down another tunnel for cargo bay 2. Several hundred meters before she reached the door, she donned the suit and check that all connections were tight. T'Pol activated the oxygen supply and continued her way to the Cargo Bay. Entering she found significant damage to the ladder and tried to find another way to get to the base floor. In this cumbersome suit she climbed over the damage railing and attempted to access the lower part of the ladder by putting her foot on some stacked crates that were within reach. Instead of sustaining her weight, they gave way quickly and T'Pol went tumbling to the floor. As she hit, her oxygen line was dislodged and she began gasping for breathable air.
T'Pol reached around clumsily and fumbled with the hose. She was close to blacking out, panic was setting in and she fought to maintain control to accomplish her task. Within moments she got the hose reconnected and took a few recovery breaths to stabilize her oxygen level. Rising she made her way over to the cases that held the Trellium. Trip watched puzzled as T'Pol rifled through the cases and searched for the exact container she desired. She opened it pouring a few medium chunks of the mineral into her gloved hand, then re-secured the cap, placing it back into the lead line container. T'Pol then took her prize from the area and made her way to a nearby science lab.
Trip studied her movements. (What would she want with Trellium? it's deadly to Vulcans.) Trip's thoughts were clearly in conflict. T'Pol knew this substance to be dangerous, felt its affects before, but clearly risked her life to obtain it.
He watched as T'Pol, hands shaking violently placed a large rock size portion into a laser discriminator. She had a desperate look in her eyes, one which Trip had seen only a few times before. Her body was hunched, her eyes were locked on the laser beam as it reduced the mineral to a thick syrupy substance. He watched as the rock disappeared, filling the hypo spray ampoule as it melted away. T'Pol scrambled to load the ampoule into the cartridge then pressed it hard to her neck. A hissing sound filled the room, as if amplified for effect. Trip saw T'Pol's eyes close and her body leaned forward onto the table surface. Within moments her shaking had subsided, but her problem was far from gone.
Trip recognized the problem for what it was. T'Pol's need for the drug was not that of simple relief, but addiction. This too he had not known and couldn't begin to fathom of someone he'd always seen as strong and unyielding.
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A whole mess of folks have made comments
Wow! That was a lot to take in! Hope Trip can assimilate it all... Good luck with your taxes - hope you finish early **wink, wink**
I love the story more with each new chapter!!!!
Nice one!!! very well characterized
Got my taxes done...Like the H&R block software. Getting a refund... Yippie! Chapter 4 may be out a bit sooner... Will try. I am glad that this dream sequence is just about over. I have had the reality ending written since day one, and I think it's the best. I am going to write "a day after" chapter just to bring together a few points, so this story will have 6 chapters total....Then I can get "addendum" out... Thanks for the feedback...I'm glad you like it. The writing has been great therapy for me. I've been going through some really sad times here with illness and it's a great way to get a way from the bad things....T.
This has to be the longest dream sequence I've ever read. Not that I'm complaining, mind you, I like this story! Can't wait for more! :)
Glad you got your taxes done, so we can see the next one sooner.
Absolutley fabulous! I have long wished there were some way Trip could find out all those things that had happened that she kept from him and this is a perfect way for him to do so. Oh my goodness, how am I going to survive the wait until Thursday? Excellent, and thank you for a wonderful piece of writing. Ali D :~)
I really love this series. I love watching T'Pol's evolution through Trip's eyes. I'm looking forward to the next installment!
I'm really enjoying this series so far :) Can't wait for the update..
WOW I really like this way you came about have Trip find out about everything that happened to T'pol. I cant wait for when she finds out that he found out, would also like for her to have the same chance at seein Trips life. Great story, cant wait for the next update. :)