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The Sacrifice-Ch 13
Disclaimer: In Chapter one.
A Successful Failure
With most of the Xindi soldiers focused on the second team, Trip had managed to keep in the shadows and away from the soldiers. Two soldiers ran past him to a third. Trip listened in as the three talked, his translator working well. “What about the prisoner… she should be guarded!” one of the Xindi said.
“Leave her alone… these people want to download our databanks. They’re human, they want to know where the weapon is. We have to stop them. The prisoner isn’t as important. We will come back here to interrogate her as soon as this is over with,” said another one of the Xindi. Trip looked over past the wall that hid him as the two other soldiers nodded.
“Yes sir,” they both muttered in unison before running past the officer with their weapons in hand. The third sighed, looking down the corridor from where the other two had come from.
“This place is starting to become a real annoyance,” mumbled the third soldier before he followed the other two down the opposite corridor. Trip smiled at the Xindi’s comment.
“It’s bout ta get even more annoying buddy… just wait and see,” he whispered then ran down the corridor the others had come from.
T’Pol had been moved back to the interrogation room where she laid alone on the cold metal floor. The Trellium D was gone but she could still feel the emotions controlling her. Her mind was going a mile a minute as she thought of Enterprise… of Charles Tucker. She had made a mistake. She should have told the commander how she felt before this all happened. She should have told Charles the truth as soon as he’d woken up from that coma when saved thanks to Sim. The Xindi would not always keep her for questioning. It was only logical that they would dispose of her once she tells them what they want. Even if Charles was alive… she doubted she’d ever get the chance to tell him how she felt. She had never felt regret before… but now it was hitting her full force. She silently cursed that Trellium D that had done this to her.
She lay in a fetal position, feeling her head swarm with emotions she couldn’t even begin to understand. Fear, anger, sadness and pain were completely controlling her it seemed. All control she would normally have was broken once again. T'Pol kept her eyes closed tight as she used her ears to listen for footsteps. She could hear only one coming. The person was running. Soon the door swung open. The person stopped for only a moment then ran to her. In that moment, she gathered all her strength and grabbed him and threw him to the floor then jumped on top of him. It was then that she finally opened her eyes as her hand went to his neck only to see a pair of baby blue eyes staring back at her. She moved her hand away from his neck as if it had burned her and jumped to the other wall. Her eyes were wide in fear.
The man sat up, his breathing was hard and he was sweating.
“Hey T’Pol… nice of ya not ta kill me.
“You okay? They didn’t hurt you did they?” He added, his worry showing through.
T’Pol shook her head in disbelief. “No! You're dead! You can’t be….” her voice trailed off as she thought of the message. Could this be part of the trap? Or was this real?
The man before her smiled. “Here? Well I am… if ya can’t believe that then just think of me as a friendly ghost here ta haunt ya. You don’t honestly think I could leave your side for even a second, do you?” He teased her while moving his hand to her cheek momentarily before adding with a frown, “now come on… we’ve got to go.”
T’Pol tried to control the fear on her face but was unable to. The man before her seemed uncomfortable as he got up and saw her face closer up. She could sense his worry and anger. He seemed to want to say more but was holding back. “Vulcan’s don’t believe in ghosts.”
He chuckled. “Well they don’t believe in time travel either so….” He stopped there and sighed. “Look… it’s really me T’Pol… in the flesh.” He moved her hand into his and looked into her eyes. “And if I can help it I’m never leavin’ ya again… I die for one day and you’ve already gotten into trouble… can’t have another person I care about lose their life to the Xindi, too, now can I?” His expression grew serious for a quick second as he took a step closer to her. Just then a chirp came from his side pocket. He quickly took the communicator out and opened it. “Tucker here.”
“Trip, Vassion couldn’t find her and neither could I. Please tell me you had better luck finding T’Pol.”
“She’s right in front of me, Cap’n. She’s okay.”
T’Pol held her breath as she realized the man before her was not just a figment of her imagination or another dream. He was real. Charles Tucker was alive. “Thank god,” sighed the captain. “Okay… the other team had to retreat. They couldn’t get to the information. The Xindi soldiers overwhelmed them. It’ll be harder to get out… you’ll have to find a back way.”
“Aye, sir… what about you and Ambassador Vassion?”
T’Pol’s eyebrows rose. Ambassador Vassion? He was alive as well?
”We’re already on the way out. Think you can handle things yourself?”
“I think we’ll be fine, Cap’n. I’m sure I can find a way out. Don’t worry about us.”
“I’ll try not to,” came Captain Archer’s reply. Both chuckled then the comm went dead.
T’Pol watched Charles closed his communicator and put it back into his pocket. “Shall we Sub-Commander?” he asked while taking a step to allow her to go before him. She hesitated.
“I saw you die,” she pointed out.
Charles let out a small sigh and moved a hand to her cheek. “I know T’Pol… and I promise to explain as soon as I can. We have a lot to talk about. But for right now we gotta roll before we find ourselves surrounded by a bunch of very angry Xindi.”
T’Pol cocked her head. “Roll?”
Charles rolled his eyes. “As in leave… as in going, which is what we need to be doing… now!” T’Pol did not ignore the urgency in his voice since she could tell that they were in trouble. She nodded then ran out the door, Charles right behind her. They had run through corridor after corridor when he ran across one room. He stopped and peeked back to see a large computer room about the size of the situation room on Enterprise. When T’Pol realized he was no longer running with her she, too, stopped and turned around to look at him. “What are you doing, Commander? I thought we had to ‘roll’?”
Trip smiled but kept his eye on the room. “I think this is it. This is where the second team was shootin’ for. Come on.” He ran inside the empty room and quickly worked the controls. T’Pol walked in after him.
“I do not understand. Second team?” she asked. He looked up at the screen.
“Yeah, they were supposed to get the information on the weapon’s location. My god… I think I got it! It’s here! Where the hell is my disk?” He moved his hands around in his coat and took out a small data chip, which he inserted into the computer. It was then that they heard the alarm.
Captain Archer and Ambassador Vassion ran out of the base to catch up with the other team. Kalore stood in the woods before them as gunfire shot past them from behind. “Where’s Trip?!” he shouted to Kalore.
Kalore frowned. “I haven’t seen him yet,” was Kalore’s answer.
Archer eyes shot open wide. “What?! Where the hell is he?!”
Trips hands flew over the controls as fast as he could as he began to download the information onto the disk. At last he looked back at T’Pol. “Just a little more time… just a little more time. Come on, come on… hurry… hurry.”
With that the screen went black as the alarm flared. Trip smiled.
“Can we depart now?” T’Pol asked him.
He nodded. “Yeah darlin’. We can depart now.” Trip took the chip from the computer and held it in his hands. “Okay! Let’s get outta here!”
The two ran side by side down the corridor once again. Finally they could see Xindi run through the halls. Trip stopped and pointed his gun at the men coming towards them. The other Xindi pulled their weapons out as well. Fire flew through the corridor as everyone ducked for cover.
“We’ve got to get back there!” Archer shouted in a panic. Vassion and Kalore held him from moving.
“No, we can’t! It’s too dangerous,” Kalore protested.
“Trip and T’Pol are still in there! We have to save them!” Archer shouted at the top of his lungs but they still held him back. Archer struggled out of their hold but it was useless… they wouldn’t let go. But neither could Archer… he couldn’t let go of Trip. Where was he?!
Trip searched around the room they’d jumped into for another way out. It was a rather large place for a storage room. It was filled with all kinds of equipment and supplies. It was then that he saw a small rectangular window. He closed the metal door to the storage room and looked around at the boxes for something to stack up in order to get to the window so close to the ceiling. It didn’t take long for him to notice a medium sized hard wood table. He ran over to it to see if it was sturdy enough… then sighed in relief when it was. Trip then quickly pushed the table towards the small window. “Hurry! They’ll get through that door soon enough.”
The door was metal but T’Pol could see them trying to burn through it. She turned to see Charles readying the table. He waved her over and so T’Pol ran to him as fear once again gripped her. She couldn’t control it yet and that was starting to scare her even more. “Charles, they’re coming!”
“Get up there! Hurry T’Pol!” Charles urged her. T’Pol nodded and jumped on the table. Charles joined her and began to push her up and out of the window. Her hands grabbed the sides of the window as he hoisted her up. He held her up until she could move through the small window herself. When she was half in and half out Charles finally let go as T’Pol wiggled through to the other side. As soon as she had successfully gotten out she turned to see Charles climbing out himself.
She grabbed him, pulling him up to the window so that he could get through just as the door blew open and phaser fire once again blew towards them. Pipes over the window busted and a fire knocked Trip off the table and away from T’Pol’s grasp. The Vulcan looked out the window in horror to see him being attacked by two of the Xindi soldiers. Charles managed to knock out one of the soldier’s weapons and dove towards it. He failed as the other Xindi grabbed his legs and pulled Charles towards the soldier. Instinct kicked in instantly as she jumped back inside to help Charles. Charles moved over looking up at the Xindi and it was then that she could see his neck was burned. His hand moved to the wound and Charles winced.
Meanwhile T’Pol knocked the Xindi soldiers back. The Xindi lunged towards her but she grabbed his clothes and threw him into the wall, successfully knocking him unconscious. It was then that she noticed one soldier in particular that she knew quite well. It was the man that had talked to her before… the one that had tortured her. T’Pol ran towards the weapon that had been knocked out of the other Xindi’s hands. She dove forward, falling to the floor as her hands grabbed for the weapon and pulled it up to her chest. She then pulled up the weapon and shot him straight in the chest before he could shoot her with his own weapon.
T’Pol froze as she saw the Xindi soldier lying on the floor on his back. His eyes closed as his last breath escaped his lips. For a single moment everything stood still. Her hands held tightly to the weapon right before something hit her face and knocked her out of the trance she had been in. She fell to the floor immediately, looking up to see another soldier stand over her. Her weapon was still in her hands and before this other soldier could react she shot him as well.
T’Pol got to her feet, dropping the weapon as she saw the barely conscious chief engineer lying on the cold metal floor groaning in pain. She quickly took Charles in her arms and moved him over her shoulder and ran back onto the table. T’Pol moved Charles up to the window as he again tried to get through. When Charles had moved through the window and she heard something fall out of his jacket. The science officer paid no mind to what had fallen and helped him out then followed. Her back ached as she moved through the small window once again. The Xindi soldiers behind her were once again coming towards them. She took all the strength she had for one last pull up through the window and safely to the other side. As soon as they were both out they ran as fast as they could side by side.
Inside the room a liquid from the gunfire dripped down to the floor when small fires had been made. The fire and the liquid moved towards the boxes faster than normal as the liquid made its trail. Finally the fire reached one of the boxes and the room where both Trip and T’Pol had been in blew and debris went flying through the air.
Archer had seen the small explosion and immediately feared the worst had happened. “T’Pol! Trip! No!” he cried and finally got out of the grip Kalore had on him. He ran towards the explosion, Kalore and Vassion right behind him. “Trip! T’Pol!” Archer soon stopped when he heard some groaning coming from on the debris before him. He looked down to see a large metal bulkhead being pushed aside. “Trip!”
Archer jumped beside him and helped him up. He could see the man was in pain but he seemed to be ignoring it. “Hey, Cap’n.”
“Where’s T’Pol?” was Archer’s next question. Trip looked beside him to see T’Pol pushing another bulkhead off her and sit up. Archer looked at the woman with concern. “You okay T’Pol?”
“I am not damaged but I believe the Commander is. A pipe carrying some type of liquid burst and the Commander was burned,” she told Archer. Archer looked back at Trip and then noticed the burns on his face and neck.
“Trip… you okay?” Archer then asked the man.
Trip sighed. “My back is killin’ me since my wounds have been aggravated… and my neck and face burn but other than that I’m just fine, Cap’n,” he muttered in some annoyance. Archer ignored it and helped his friend up. T’Pol too stood when Vassion took a step closer to Trip.
“Trip! Your neck! The implant!” Vassion pointed out. Trip’s eyes shot up as his hand moved to the place behind his ear on his neck. “The implant’s damaged! We should get you back to the base!”
“Implant?” questioned T’Pol. Both Vassion and Archer looked over at the confused Vulcan.
“Trip was executed by the use of radiation. The implant is used to help get rid of the radiation while it protects the brain from further damage. We must hurry before the implant is damaged beyond repair!” Vassion said. His voice was filled with worry and Archer knew right away that Trip was in trouble. They quickly helped Trip walk since he seemed a little out of it as they hurried back to the base. Archer and T’Pol followed.
It was then that Trip thought of the data chip he’d saved the location of the weapon on. He stopped to pat at his coat and realized it was gone. “Dammit! No! Where is it?!”
“What Trip?” asked Archer.
“I saved the location of the weapon on a chip… I put it in my pocket,” Trip explained while patting his pockets.
“It fell out of your jacket when we escaped, Commander. I didn’t have time to get it for you.” T’Pol answered. Trip looked at her wide-eyed.
“But that would have helped end the mission! That was more important than anything!”
“More important than your life?”
“You’re damn right!”
Archer took a step between them. Perhaps he was wrong before. Maybe they weren’t in love with each other… or maybe he was just jumping to a conclusion that he liked better.
“Easy Trip. We’ll find the weapon without it. Don’t worry… we’ll find the weapon. We don’t need the data chip.” Archer wished T’Pol had been able to get that chip but he would rather have his engineer back. They could find the weapon without that data chip. At least they knew Trip was safe… that was all that mattered. Then a frown appeared on his face. Or was he? With the implant damaged… Archer shook his head. Trip will be fine. Vassion would repair the damage. Archer had to believe that Trip would be okay. He had to believe that Trip was going be fine, because he would be. They just had to get back to the base… they just had to hurry. Trip would be fine. He had to be.
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