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Author - Triplover | D | Genre - Alternate Universe | Genre - Angst | Genre - Mystery | Genre - Romance | Main Story | Rating - R
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Disclaimer: When I own all this I’ll be sure to go outside and watch the pigs flying cause it’s never gonna happen.
This story is a sequel to Reflection
Dedication: I’d like to dedicate this to Christopher Reeve, a man who has always been an inspiration to me, and will always be my hero…. He is and always will be the real Superman.
He’d had the dream many times before. He could almost see what happened, his mind able to wander to his daughter Sindy. He could see her. He reached out to touch her but was unable. There was nothing he could do as he watched. Watched it over and over in his mind, tortured by the memory and tortured by his pain. “Sindy!” He called trying to stop her from entering. She ran in while the guard was distracted. It was a dare from a few of the other kids she’d been with. Why would she do that? Why would she do something so stupid? He followed her inside the corridors, which led her to other doors, many other doors. But she had to pick the last one didn’t she? Why that one? Out of all the many doors she could have wandered in, she had to wander in the most dangerous one. Starfleet should have been more careful! But how could they? She had his card. She swiped the card in swiftly and the door opened without anyone knowing inside.
She smiled when she saw the lieutenant. She began to walk towards him, about to leave her hiding place, but then moved back before he could see her. He was busy working on the project. He was reading some schematics, while punching in the information to the computer to test it. It was a new means of fuel, it would be faster, easier, better, but it was not meant to be. It was working at first. He watched the young lieutenant light up when he could see it working. He was very pleased, but it was not meant to be. It began to fail. Slowly working towards a small explosion that would affect that young lieutenant and him as well for the rest of their lives. “Oh shit!” the lieutenant cried as he backed away from the console. He moved over to the comm., hitting it hard.
The other lieutenant in the room was busy trying to stop the fire that erupted from the console. He turned back to his friend. “There’s nothing I can do! It’s too much; we got to get out of here! Radiation levels are increasing!”
He watched his little girl scream in fear as the console the young Lieutenant had been working on exploded, sending sparks all around her. She jumped from her hiding place just as one of the beams nearby was blown loose and began its fall downward right on the young girl. He turned around, unable to watch his daughter pinned under the beam. “Sindy,” he whispered.
Jolen Croft sat up quickly. He didn’t want to see the rest. He couldn’t see the rest. He just couldn’t. He stood, getting out of bed quickly and closed his eyes trying to calm himself down. He was sweating, gasping for air even though the air was full, all around him. Finally his breath became soft and he was no longer gasping. Tears fell down his face as he looked over at the picture before him. There was a picture of his wife and daughter. That was so long ago.
So many years had passed him and yet he could not let go of her. He just could not let go. He looked out his window and let out a sigh. He couldn’t stop thinking about the man that did this to him, that caused him all this pain. They said there was nothing he could have done, that the beam was too heavy to move. They said that both of the men there could have done nothing to save her. He wished he could have been there, he wished he could have seen what happened with his own eyes.
He wanted to make the man who’d let his daughter die pay. No one else had made him pay, but Jolen… Jolen wanted justice to be served. He killed his only child and for that he should pay dearly. And yet after so much time there was no justice. The Lieutenants got nothing. What he wanted most of all was denied him simply because it had all been a simple mistake. That was no longer true. Justice had been served… finally. Still, there was more left to do. Justice may have been served but it was not complete. There was still another. Simple mistake….
Jolen wouldn’t call the death of a young innocent girl simple. It didn’t matter if it was a mistake or intentional. The second lieutenant should pay. He should pay for the crime just as his friend had. They were careless. They should have checked to see if anyone else was in the room before they conducted a dangerous experiment. Why couldn’t they have just checked? Why couldn’t he have just checked? More tears fell down Jolen’s eyes as he picked up the picture of his family. One tear fell on the glass of the picture frame, landing on the little girl being held by her mother. “Sindy,” he whispered.
“She didn’t deserve to die.”
Jolen whirled around, surprised to see the man before him. “Mr. Daniels, what are you doing here?”
“I made you a promise Mr. Croft. I intend to keep it. You said in order to have your loyalty you wanted me to do something for you. I found Peter Miller for you, now I believe I have located your second target.”
Croft smiled. “Where?”
Captain Jolen Croft walked onto the bridge of his cargo ship and smiled at his first officer, an Andorian. “Shrith, what’s on scanners?”
Shrith smiled back up at him. “We detected a ship nearby. It might be Starfleet.”
Captain Croft folded his arms. “I see. On screen.”
Shrith made a few adjustments and the small dot appeared on the screen.
“Magnify.” Shrith did as told and magnified the object on screen to its highest magnification. The captain walked closer to the screen. “It does look like a Starfleet vessel, but we’ll have to take a closer look. Cloak Mr. Shrith, then let’s move in closer to that vessel.”
Shrith nodded. “There’s an ion storm nearby. Should we go around it?”
The question gave him an interesting idea instantly. He chuckled to himself before shaking his head. He would have to thank Daniels for this. He turned to look at Shrith. “No, go inside it. Let it damage our vessel as much as possible. Preferably the engines.”
“Captain?” Shrith asked in confusion.
Jolen smiled. “Just trust me. I know what I’m doing.”
Shrith smiled back before carrying out his commands. “Aye sir.”
Jolen cleared his throat before patting the man on his back. “I’ll be in sickbay. From now on my name is Captain Tybris Urith.”
Jolen nodded. “When I was younger I made up a character named Tybris Urith in one of my old stories. I used to want to be a writer until I realized the wonders of engineering. I’ll need the name if I am to do what I plan on doing.”
“And exactly what is the plan?” Shrith asked.
Jolen grinned. “All in due time Shrith, all in due time.”
“You know, one of these days you’re going to have to tell me what’s going on between you and T’Pol,” said Malcolm before taking a sip of his coffee. He and Trip sat in the mess hall near one of the windows.
“Who said there was anythin’ goin’ on?”
“Oh I don’t know, everyone!” Trip rolled his eyes, making Malcolm let out an annoyed sigh.
“You must admit something between the two of you. Everyone can see it, and by everyone I mean the entire crew. You just don’t realize how much chemistry there is between the two of you. Just you two, being in the same room together can change the atmosphere. You stand next to her at briefings. You’re always so protective of her. And hell, she’s just as protective of you! Everyone can see it Trip. You’re in love with her. And as impossible as it may seem, I think she’s in love with you too.”
“Why is it so hard for you to believe that we’re not a couple?” Trip asked him, trying to hide his amusement. “In fact, what makes you think that I’d even WANT to date a Vulcan?”
Reed frowned. “After everything we’ve been through together, I think I’ve gotten to know you quite well. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that your taste in women is about as normal as two Klingons singing ‘You Are My Sunshine,’ which is probably why you’ve been so lucky in love. Only you would fall in love with the one woman on board that is completely different from anything anyone of us has ever been with before.”
Trip chuckled shaking his head. “You just don’t give up do ya? Why do I have to be in love with anybody?”
“Because you are you,” Malcolm said, as if that would answer it.
Trip again laughed. “You’re really upset about this aren’t ya?”
“You’re bloody right I am! We’re supposed to be friends, Trip! Why won’t you tell me what’s going on? For nearly a month you’ve been spending all your extra time with T’Pol. What am I supposed to think?”
Trip paused. “Malcolm, please, just don’t bug me about this, okay? Not now. Just leave it alone.”
Malcolm nodded sighing. “Fine. For now, but you haven’t heard the end of this.”
Trip grinned at his friend. “Knowin’ you, I’m sure of that.”
Trip Tucker walked into his quarters, sore from such a long day. He ran a hand through his hair, feeling the dirt that had settled. He needed a shower big time. He began to undress, first his uniform and boots, then his undershirt, leaving him in his underwear. He walked toward the bathroom just as a person stepped from behind the wall.
Trip jumped in surprise. “T’Pol! Don’t do that to me! Why didn’t ya tell me you were here?”
T’Pol, who was covered only with a towel folded her arms. “I hope you do not mind, I took a shower here. My shower is still broken.”
Trip let out a sigh. “I’m sorry, I’ve been meanin’ to get to it but things have been pretty stressful lately, the warp coil’s givin’ us a little trouble and then there’s these problems we’ve been havin’ with the plasma manifold….”
“I understand, Trip. Just get to it when you find the time.”
Trip nodded. “You got it. I’ll take care of it myself.” Tucker wrapped his arms around her, pulling her to him before kissing her softly. “Can’t have my baby all smelly, now can I?” he teased.
T’Pol raised both eyebrows. “Trip.”
Trip let go and gave her a small smirk. “Sorry, but you could always take another shower,” he offered.
T’Pol frowned. “I thought you were about to take a shower.”
Trip’s smirk turned into an all out grin. “It is big enough for the two of us, T’Pol.”
For a minute T’Pol was still frowning until finally she let her arms fall to her sides, the frown melting away. “This wouldn’t have something to do with that dream I told you about, would it?”
The engineer cocked his head to one side, still looking at her. “Every girl has her fantasy,” he told her while again grabbing her to pull T’Pol against him. “I’m just tryin’ to make it a reality.”
T’Pol leaned in to kiss him, the kiss growing with each second. Finally they broke. “I will need a shower now that you have gotten me dirty again.”
“That’s the best news I’ve heard all day.”
Trip kissed her one last time, moving his tongue into her mouth. T’Pol moaned softly before deepening the kiss. When they broke away, T’Pol moved a hand down his chest. “I’ll start the shower. I suggest you finish undressing in the meantime… unless you wish to shower in your underwear.”
Trip chuckled shaking his head as he followed her into the bathroom. “You are one hell of a woman, T’Pol. I musta done somethin’ really good to get you!”
It had been too long, way too long. They needed to get inside. Now! They needed to get inside now! “I don’t care about the radiation! We’ve got to get her outta there! We can still save her.”
Admiral Forrest glared back at him. “You’re out of line, Lieutenant!”
“She’s already dead!”
There was a long pause, but Trip wouldn’t accept what he was saying. “Please, we can’t just leave her in there,” he begged.
“Lieutenant, if we open that door radiation will leak into this entire building. We would all die. We must wait until it dissipates. We already had to evacuate the entire section, there are thousands of people here, we’d never get out in time.”
“So, we just let an innocent child die?”
“There’s nothing we can do.”
Trip looked at the door before closing his eyes, trying to hold back the tears. “She doesn’t deserve that. Sindy doesn’t deserve any of this.”
Forrest walked over to him and dropped a hand on his shoulder. “I know Lieutenant. I know, but Sindy Croft is dead. This isn’t your fault.”
“Oh yeah? Then why does it feel like it is?”
Trip opened his eyes. He breathed in deeply, holding the breath. It seemed like he would never have a good dream again. It was always something. Dreams about Lizzie, dreams about Sim, dreams about Jane Taylor… dreams about Sindy Croft. He finally let out a breath just as a tear fell down his face. He was happy now. He had so much. Why was he having these nightmares? Dammit! Ever since she mentioned that young girl’s name he’d been unable to stop thinking about the way she died.
More than that, ever since he’d heard the news about Peter Miller he’d been unable to think about anything else. It seemed so odd the way things happened. Almost everyone Peter cared about… dead. It wasn’t much of a surprise when he committed suicide himself after finding each and every one of his family members dead. Trip just couldn’t believe all that could happen in only a few months. It seemed like the entire world was against him. It was a horrifying thought to think you could lose everything in a year. The guy didn’t deserve to go through that. He’d been a good man, and he’d been Trip’s friend for many years. If Trip had been in his position he probably would have done the same. He couldn’t imagine living in the world without the ones he cared about most, namely… T’Pol.
He turned to see T’Pol lying next to him in his arms. He had her. He was happy. Why were his dreams haunting him like this? Why were they trying to ruin what he had? He had so much. Trip tried to hold back more tears but they fought him. They fell down his face and slid onto the pillow. He wiped some of them away and tried to breathe normally. Don’t live in the past. You have everything you could ever want. Just be happy; just stop thinking about the past. There’s nothing you can do. Don’t let it haunt you; don’t let it ruin your life. What happened, happened, there’s nothing you can do to change that now.
He rubbed his face lightly, wiping away the wetness around his eyes. Who was he kidding? He couldn’t run away from his past. It would never work, because his mind would always go back to what happened so many years ago. The first real mistake he ever made, a mistake that ended up costing one young girl her life. He should have figured something had to go wrong then. At the time he’d been dating one of the best girls he’d ever known. Her name was Kelly Fuller. He was going to even marry her. He’d been contemplating what to say, he was going to pick out a ring. And that’s when the accident happened, changing his plans and his life.
He became a different man after that accident. He became an entirely new person if he was truthful with himself, because that’s when he began to pull away. He distanced himself from his friends. He ignored his feelings. When it came to everything else he’d still be just as passionate as ever but when it came to despair, when it came to his feelings about that accident, he pushed the feelings away. They ate him up inside too. For a long time he was lost. In fact, he never really did get over it, if what happened not but a month ago was any indication. He was willing to die, just to make sure no one else died because of him.
It was ironic really. Things had been going so good for him. Guess it was going too good, because then that accident happened and everything was ruined. His relationship with Kelly died that night after the accident. A lot of things died that night. It was then that things took a turn for the better. He met Jonathan Archer; he was assigned to the Enterprise. And there was of course his relationship with Natalie.
Everything was getting better somehow as the years dragged on. But of course, things would not stay that way. Natalie had left him, and then he had to ruin things once again with that cogenitor. He had to ruin everything by imposing his feelings of right and wrong on another race, almost destroying everything Enterprise had been working towards. Then on top of it all, the cogenitor committed suicide, almost ruining his relationship with the Captain. That news had killed another part of Trip.
He tried to move on. He tried to get over it, and keep going. At least this time the blow hadn’t been as bad as it had been when he had pretty much killed Sindy Croft. That’s when Lizzie had to die. His world was spiraling out of control with no hope of anything getting to what had once been normal for him. He missed the good old days. He tried to handle it. He tried to keep going, but he couldn’t do it, and when T’Pol had been there he broke down. All that anger, all that pain just shot out of him like a bursting pipe that had been building up with pressure, and he’d felt better too. A peace he had never felt before came over him and it was all thanks to T’Pol. With everything that happened, he’d found a way to deal, to live.
But of course something else had to happen. He found himself in an accident. Captain Archer had Sim created in order to save him, and Sim ended up dying because of that accident that had put him in a coma. How could anyone live with that kind of a track record? That was three deaths so far, all because of him, and one death that had almost put him over the edge. One would think that was it. How much could a man handle?
That of course was when they had to run back into Sim, who was very much alive. Trip had been relieved that he was alive, even if he didn’t show it. Inside, deep inside, he was happy to see his clone alive. That meant he was only at fault for two deaths, at least he was… until Sim again gave up his life in order to save him. Trip wondered if he’d ever have a good nights sleep again. So many were dead. Eighteen people were killed on Enterprise. Seven million back on Earth, and there was the three lives taken all because of him. All because of a chief engineer named Charles Tucker the third.
He should be happy now. He should be relaxed. He was sleeping with a beautiful woman that loved him. He had more friends than a guy could ask for and he was on the most crucial mission next to the mission in the Expanse. They were truly making history everyday. And yet he wasn’t happy. He wasn’t relaxed, because in the back of his mind he couldn’t get the deaths out of his head. Three people dead, all because of him. He didn’t deserve this life; he didn’t deserve to have such a beautiful woman lying next to him. He didn’t deserve so many loyal friends, all right behind him if ever he were in need. It always happened while he was recovering. Something to throw him back into the darkness he was trying so desperately to escape, but just as he would finally escape he was right back where he started. Would he ever truly escape? He could pretend everything was okay all he wanted.
He could joke, laugh, smile; it didn’t really matter because inside he knew that something was wrong. Everything was wrong. Nothing seemed fair to him, and just the fact that he was truly laughing, joking and smiling made him guilty, because there were three people in the universe that would never do that again. How could he be truly happy? How could he relax even while lying next to what made him feel complete? It could all be gone at any time. Something else could happen that would bring him back into the darkness, along with the knowledge that he’d hurt yet another person. The fear of destroying more innocent lives weighed heavily in his mind. A fear he would never escape.
“Trip?” the woman next to him whispered as her eyes fluttered open. Trip looked down into those beautiful brown orbs before kissing her lips.
“Go back to sleep, T’Pol. I’ll wake ya up in time for duty.”
T’Pol nodded, still half asleep, before nuzzling even closer to him. He rested his head against hers and closed his eyes at the feel of her beside him. He would never hurt T’Pol. That was one thing he’d promised himself from the day he fell in love with her. He’d never hurt her. He’d do whatever he could to protect her, even if he lost his own life in the process. He wouldn’t be able to live with himself if he caused her pain, but that would never happen, because he wouldn’t let it. Of that he was sure.
Captain Archer threw his water polo ball against the wall. It hit the wall hard, making a loud noise before bouncing back into Archer's hands. He threw the ball harder; it made the same noise before coming back to him. His dog Porthos looked up at him, whining. Archer paused and looked over at the dog. “What is it boy?”
The dog simply cocked his head, staring at his master. The look made Archer smile and he dropped his hand to pet his dog. “I know what you want. You want cheese. Well, you’re not getting it any time soon. The Doctor’s been nagging me about it lately. Sorry boy.”
The dog barked playfully, then walked over to his bed and plopped down in a huff. He yawned before closing his eyes to sleep. Archer shook his head and began throwing the ball against the wall once again.
Jonathan threw the ball again and again until he heard the comm go off on his desk. He dropped the ball and walked over to the console and tapped the comm panel. "Archer here."
Hoshi's voice came in from the comm., a cool crisp voice he had learned to trust completely. “Sir, there’s a cargo vessel trapped in an ion storm nearby. It’s asking for assistance.”
That got his attention immediately. “Of course, tell them we’re on our way! I’m coming! Inform the senior staff to report to the bridge."
Archer ran to grab his uniform and got dressed; nothing like starting the day with saving yet another helpless vessel.
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