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Reconciling Realities, Round Robin
Disclaimer: All belongs to Paramount
Summary: A Soval Annex Round Robin! Trip and T'Pol meet some interesting characters while on an away mission!
The background to the story: Both MUT'Pol and MUSoval survived the Defiant - MUT'Pol escaped from her tortured, beamed Soval out at the last moment before his ship blew, and took MUTucker along so that he couldn't keep the Defiant going and, well, because she wanted to take him along. They escape in one of the Defiant's shuttles, and somehow get sucked into the RU a couple of years earlier (a combo MU and time travel story!) - maybe the Xindi experiments had torn a hole between the universes? Trip and T'Pol, on a scientific exploration in one of the Enterprise shuttles, finds the Defiant shuttle (perhaps on a planet?). Somehow the MU and RU groups encounter Kov and the other V'tosh ka'tur Vulcans (anyone remember what the name of Kov's ship was?). Soval and his sidekick from Cease Fire hear about the find and rush to the scene. Soval is skeptical about these MU individuals because the VHC has declared time travel (and one assumes MU) impossible; T'Pol doesn't know what to think; and Kov is all intrigued. The two Vulcan universes have to work together to return the MU folk to their own space, but do the MU folks want to go?
Where? On a planet somewhere in the universe.
Who? Well, no informality in the MU!
How? RU Trip and T'Pol are on an exploratory mission and crash land. Soval et al show up because...well, that is what Soval does! The MU folks are drawn into the RU after escaping from MU Archer.
Why? Because we love MU Tucker, T'Pol, and Soval, and we love RU Trip, T'Pol, and Soval, and we want to tell their stories!
Part 1, by myst123
“The gravimetric waves emanating from this sector of space are creating some of the disturbances we are experiencing.”
“Any ideas why?”
“Not at present. I will take this data and run an analysis on it to ascertain if I can logically determine a source or a cause.”
“You do that, T’Pol.” Trip, as he was more frequently of late, was amused by her Vulcan precision. That characteristic had annoyed him tremendously at the beginning, but now he recognized it more as both a cultural trait and her scientific mind organizing and processing information. “Can I help set anything up for you?” Trip had discovered that he enjoyed helping T’Pol with the technical needs of her data gathering, adapting Enterprise’s equipment to allow her to accomplish her missions, and had grown accustomed to anticipating and addressing that aspect of her research. She indicated the adjustments she needed, and he made the changes as indicated. The two continued to work companionably over the next few hours.
Trip and T’Pol had been on this away mission since that morning, and planned to be on the planet for a couple of weeks, examining some recent phenomenon encountered while Enterprise had traveled through this unknown region of space. Archer had left Trip and T'Pol behind while he escorted an ambassador from Denobulan to Phlox’s home world, where the whole crew had been invited to take a well-deserved break. T’Pol, who had visited Denobulan before, had convinced Archer to allow her to explore the recent anomalies the ship had encountered; she wanted to establish whether or not these were caused by the micro-singularities she had long attempted to understand and prove existed, and she persuaded Archer to let her explore the area more fully. Trip, torn between a visit to Denobula and the opportunity to help T’Pol in her understated obsession, had decided to ask Archer if he could accompany the Vulcan. To his surprise, Archer agreed with the latter. The human and the Vulcan were currently standing on a semi-M-class planet, uninhabited by recognizable life forms but one which contained enough oxygen to rule out the need for artificial assistance. Trip loved being on board Enterprise, but he did miss the chance to stretch his legs and stretch his eye; this planet allowed him to do both.
They had landed the shuttlepod on the rim of a canyon. A ribbon of liquid…water?... snaked through the floor of the canyon hundreds of meters below. The rock around them was red and orange and black and green. Hardy trees dotted the surface of the planet, and a vivid blue sky arced above the surface. It was just enough of a desert to make Trip uneasy, but it wasn’t so desolate he was frightened. He noted T’Pol was extremely relaxed and in her element. Both her work and the environment were agreeable in her book, he figured.
The star sun illuminating the planet began its final descent on the horizon. Trip gently tugged at T’Pol’s arm, indicating that they should return to the camp they had established and have some dinner. T’Pol, recognizing that this human was hungry and not too fond of deserts even when the surface was brightly lit, packed up her equipment to ensure their return to camp before darkness fell. The two turned and made their way towards their temporary home.
“Goddamn it, T’Pol! Keep the pod on course! Are you friggin’ trying to kill me? Haven’t I suffered enough at your goddamn hands?”
“Mr. Tucker, there is no need for profanities. I have everything under control.”
“There is a planet fifty thousand kilometers which sensors register as capable of supporting human and Vulcan life forms,” the science officer reported.
“Take us there, Mr. Soval.”
T’Pol watched the approach through the view screen, and noted the reddish glow of the planet. She directed Mr. Soval to alight on the bright side of the planet, to allow the crew of three to assess their situation and establish an encampment before nightfall.
Since the Defiant had encountered Enterprise, T’Pol had struggled to understand the role Vulcans played in the empire built by the violent humans. She trusted no human. Once she had learned that another universe existed in which Vulcans were not only the equals of these barbarians, but often their superiors, she had longed to defeat her oppressors. She had been close to death, under the knife of torture inflicted by Archer and Sato, when suddenly she found herself free. Archer and Sato were gone. She had made her way to the shuttlebay and found the Defiant’s shuttlepods intact and unguarded. Always an efficient manager of time and opportunity, T’Pol had transported Soval off the exploding Enterprise and Mr. Tucker out of whatever part of the Defiant he was inhabiting. She beamed them onto the Defiant shuttlepod, activated the cloaking device, and whisked her and her chosen men away. She was unclear what her goals were in making this decision, but she knew she needed both Soval and Tucker to accomplish whatever plans she would make in future. And, well, she just needed Tucker.
T’Pol landed the shuttlepod gently in a sparsely wooded area mid-way between the planet’s equator and the furthest northern point. Tucker was still upset and grousing, but she ignored his whingeing. She would calm him in her own way later. Soval was as always alert but not quite able to make any decisions. He was waiting for her to set forth a plan.
“This is an acceptable location,” she assured the two skittish, somewhat timid, men. “We will examine the damage to the shuttle in the morning. For tonight, Mr. Tucker will power down all systems, and we will all assemble a meal and then rest. Mr. Tucker, what would you prefer to ingest?”
“Kov, do you feel capable of landing on this planet with minimal thrusters?”
“Yes, Tavin. The ship is damaged, but not to excess. If we land, I can fix it.”
“Well done, Kov. Take us down.”
“Where shall we land, Tavin?”
“Our purpose is to land safely, Kov. Do not be bound by a particular location.”
Kov directed his two assistants, T’Fiel and T’Cra, to make the adjustments and find an acceptable location. The two women were efficient as always, but Kov, used to sensing their conflicting responses, knew that neither was happy with this planet nor the decision to land upon it.
“I understand, V’Las. We will proceed directly to the known coordinates of this anomaly, and we will evaluate and deal with the situation.”
“Soval…*deal with*? I do not understand. Is that a human colloquialism?”
“We will correct any problems we encounter.”
“Acceptable, Ambassador Soval. Report as necessary, but discretely. We do not want the Terrans to blame Vulcans for any perceived deception.”
“I agree, Administrator V’Las. I will keep you informed.”
Soval did the equivalent of a Vulcan eye-roll even as he murmured the platitudes: V’Las could be such an…ass. Soval found that his time on Earth had undermined some of his Vulcan tolerance, and instead of accepting the Vulcan line, he wanted to strangle it.
“Sir, approaching the planet identified as the center of the anomaly," Muroc reported. "It is recommended we land 883.3592 meters to the south of the equator. We will have sufficient light to establish an encampment. Permission to proceed?”
Part 2, by Linda
The starship T’Hain set down to the south of the equator on the planet within the sector of space with the gravimetric waves. The coms officer on the T’Hain looked up at V’Las. “We are receiving a distress call on a Vulcan channel, sir. It is the Vahklas and they have come down on this planet too.”
The sleeves of V’las’s High Command robe swept higher as he crossed his arms. “Casualties? What is the ship’s condition?”
“Several injuries, no deaths, but the ship is beyond repair. They thought at first it would be able to return to space, but the anomalies in this area must have weakened the hull in strange ways. They will all have to be evacuated. We should check our ship for similar damage.”
“You know who they are, do you not?” V’Las addressed the bridge crew in his loud and arrogant fashion. “They are the V’tosh Ku’tar, hardly a priority of ours, but I suppose we must return them to Vulcan. Have them stand by. Soval! I would like you to take a shuttle and assess their condition. Perhaps they would like to stay here and build a colony. I would prefer that to returning them to a world that does not want them and from which they attempted to escape.”
The rim of the canyon was a great backdrop for their dinner. Trip and T’Pol had been talking of old friends after finishing their meal. In Kov’s last letter, he told Trip the Vahklas planned to visit Earth around the time Trip mentioned he would be home on leave. The two engineers had set plans to meet so Trip could give Kov a tour of his home world. Kov was to spend time with Trip at his parent’s home and then visit Liz in south Florida. The climate there might be more to Kov’s liking and knowing both his sister and Kov, Trip thought the two of them would hit it off quite well. Liz had recently broken her engagement to a fellow architect and needed some brotherly companionship. A friendly alien might also distract her from her sadness, Trip admitted to T’Pol. Liz would love T’Pol, why didn’t she come with them? And after all this talk, it was time for the special desert treat Trip had planned.
T’Pol got up from the campfire Trip was tending for his treat to retrieve his ingredients from the shuttlepod. He said there was a packet of some sweets called marshmallows which he intended to roast over his fire. The com beeped while T’Pol was sorting through the pod’s storage cabinets. When she answered the call, she was surprised to hear a Vulcan voice. She had thought the planet uninhabited, but the sensor readings had been erratic, probably because of these anomalies they were experiencing. The voice was familiar…”Captain Tavin? This is Commander T’Pol of the Enterprise.”
“Commander T’Pol, I can hardly believe our luck. It seems your ship is always nearby when we are in need.”
“I would hardly call twice always nearby, and it is only Commander Tucker and I in one of Enterprise’s shuttle pods. We are on the surface 41 degrees 6 minutes north, 57 degrees, 32 minutes west on the planetary grid system, Vulcan standard navigation. What is your location and what is the nature of your distress?”
“We are also on the surface of this planet, 43 degrees, 1 minute North, 36 degrees, 12 minutes West. We are unlikely to ever leave here in our own ship. We have some injuries but can treat them ourselves. No deaths. There is food for a month, perhaps, and our environmental systems are working on two decks. Kov says he can keep them going for five to seven days. We will need to evacuate 80 people over the next month and I suppose we will have to return to Vulcan unless one of the more liberal colony worlds will take us in.”
“Understood Captain. Commander Tucker and I will be at your location in 50.23 minutes. T’Pol out.”
“Mr. Soval, is that a distress call in Vulcan?”
“It appears so Commander. We are only 346 Standard Planetary Navigation Units from that position. I have their ship on the viewer.”
T’Pol took a deep breath. “That is a Vulcan ship? It is not one of our standard vessels.”
Soval leaned toward the screen, employing that annoying habit of slowly scratching his goatee between thumb and forefinger. “Correct. It is not a configuration I recognize. We should arm ourselves; it may be one of those nefarious Terran traps.”
“I agree. Put our pod down 1.5 SPNU from their location. All three of us will approach on foot and observe before we make contact. If it appears logical, we will then ask a single representative to meet us .8 SPNU from their ship. Perhaps they are the Vulcan resistance. If so, we are safe.”
Kov scanned the horizon again. Tavin knew, through the two still intact ship’s sensors, that two Vulcans and one Human were observing them from behind a low hill about half a mile away. Trip and T’Pol’s shuttle should be landing within the next five minutes and Tavin had advised them to put down on the side of the wreck opposite the hidden observers. Ambassador Soval’s shuttle was advised to land next to the Enterprise shuttle so a delegation of four V’tosh personnel could escort Soval’s party and Trip and T’Pol, into the Vahklas safely. The intentions of the observers were still unknown.
Twenty minutes later, Kov was greeting Trip with a very un-Vulcan-like grin. Tavin gave a brief nod of his head to the ambassador and escorted his guests through the wreckage to a still intact cabin where the V’tosh had assembled some refreshments. “We have come to the end of our journey, it seems, or one phase of it. We must discuss what options there are for my people.”
Soval raised his head as if giving great weight to his thoughts before he put them into words. He did not agree with V’Las’s orders but was obligated to follow them. “Captain. Your people have not been an asset to Vulcan these past few years. However, you come from a home world that is not without compassion for those in need. Have you not in the past considered settling your people on some colony world where you could produce some goods which your home world could use? That option would allow you protection of the greater Vulcan community while keeping your less desirable practices isolated until your native Vulcan logic showed you the error of your philosophy or you simply died out from its effects.”
Tavin steepled his hands. “Ambassador. While we are under your protection we will endeavor to keep our…practices isolated from your delicate sensibilities. Yes, a permanent home is our ultimate goal. That seems further off now that we have lost our ship. As you know from the High Command’s…a…constant monitoring of our situation, we have been conducting a small freight business to meet the expenses of operating our ship and have been putting some credits in an account with the object of using it to establish ourselves in a colony on any world which would accept us.”
Soval spoke in a seemingly off-hand manner while considering his water glass with concentration. “This world you have crashed on is not objecting to your presence Captain. It is Minshara class and with the delivery of some materials in exchange for the funds in that account of yours, you could establish yourselves quite well here.”
“What other options do you have for us to consider? I assume there are others?” Tavin was uneasy with Soval’s casual attitude with their predicament.
Soval looked pointedly at Tavin. “There are no other options. Your people made their choice a long time ago.”
“This is a long way from Vulcan. In fact, it is a long way from any inhabited world,” said Tavin with one eyebrow raised.
“Exactly,” said Soval.
“Then it appears that we have accepted your only option. Unless the Enterprise can be of assistance.” Tavin turned to make eye contact with T’Pol and Trip.
“We will pass your request on to Captain Archer and I am sure he will consult with Starfleet,” T’Pol said guardedly while Trip looked on with interest as Kov peered at his captain and his father’s friend Soval over Trip’s shoulder.
T’Pol brushed a stray long hair out of her eyes and fastened it back into her hair clip. “They are Vulcan, but not like any Vulcans I have seen before. What do you think Soval?”
“Do we have much choice?” Soval was just calculating his chances of living out his normal life span to be about 34.56 percent. He had lived his life since boyhood in the shadow of the Terran Empire with quiet Vulcan acceptance, while building up his professional accomplishments as one of the few Vulcans who had been given the trust of the Terrans and offered a commission in Starfleet. He had hoped that if he survived, he could retire to obscurity in some monastic retreat on his home world. His position had had come at a great price – repression of the practice of his culture in any aspect while serving aboard Terran ships. He had hoped the last years of his life could be spent on Vulcan steeping himself in the study of its philosophy and experiencing the esthetic pleasures of deep meditation. T’Pol had all but destroyed that option. His only option now was to join the resistance. Again his Vulcan acceptance of what life threw at him, surfaced. “We should make contact.”
“Go right ahead. I’m just along for the ride,” said Tucker. T’Pol had saved his life on the dying Defiant. In his own way, like Soval, he accepted what life threw at him. Heck, he could always claim he was kidnapped by these two Vulcans. In spite of Terran craftiness and duplicity, the strength of an individual Vulcan could always subdue an individual Human. His claim of being kidnapped would be believed by his Terran superiors over the statements of any Vulcan. He would go along until he could get away from all these Vulcans.
A whole mess of folks have made comments
The interesting beginning! Hope, that continuation will not keep itself waiting... :)
An intriguingly complex beginning. Will an anomaly allow all of these characters to somehow interact with each other? I can hardly wait to find out.
Great start - really looking forward to the next part!
Linda... I like the viewpont of MU Soval that you did. It's different, but still recognizably logical and "Vulcan". If you guys listen to readers requests, can I put a vote in for MU T'Pol meeting our Trip and vice versa... and they don't realize the switch at first? Should make for some fun stuff!
Distracted, your idea would make for extremely interesting exchanges! But we have an obstacle to overcome in that MU T'Pol has long hair (easily remedied if she cuts it to disquise herself), but MU Trip has a scarred face and missing eye. I'm not sure how to disquise that without major surgery. Myst has the next turn - part 3. There are only two of us writing this story. Sure wish there were more!
Thanks for your encouragement on MU Soval. I'd like to get the two Soval's into a discussion. I think that would be very intersting. Gary Graham did their differences so very well. I have those images of his acting in my mind while I try to write dialog for them. An amazing actor, that Gary.
Maybe in a cave, in the dark. Both couples go in and something happens to their light sources... an anomaly perhaps? They get split up, T'Pol's sharp Vulcan ears "recognize" Trip by voice alone, but they've found the wrong one and don't find out 'til they... ahem... TOUCH each other. Yes? No? Maybe so? : )
Good idea. I am emailing Myst about that in case she wants to put that in the part she is writing next. Thanks for the idea!
This is a great plot! So many interesting interactions just waiting to happen/spark. I'm sure the T'Pol/MU-Tucker meetup will be fun - but, I'm D-Y-I-N-G to see Trip and MU-T'Pol interaction. That's a Latinum mine of material there, by Golly (if this were StarGate, I think the ever volitile nyaquidah would be a better compound for the analogy)
I am very much looking forward to updates on this!
I hope the creative juices (time permitting) will start flowing again soon!
Myst and I have been talking about picking this story up again. It may take a little while yet, but many thanks for asking us to continue. Real life just got in the way for awhile. I am not fond of the goatee either, and I didn't like it on Spock in the TOS alternate universe! Guess we all just like our Vulcans clean shaven. I'll ask Myst about her favorite brand of weed killer...
This is really good I hope someone adds on to it.