|Name: Della Street
Title: TIME AND AGAIN
Disclaimer: References to a F/F relationship, nothing explicit
Fandom: Star Trek: Enterprise
Summary: An accident changes TíPolís perspective
TIME AND AGAIN
"TíPol to Enterprise. Medical
emergency Ė two for immediate transport."
Archer rose instinctively from his
command chair at the urgency in TíPolís voice. He pressed a button
on the arm of his chair. "Transporter room, lock onto Subcommander
TíPolís signal. Two to beam up."
"I canít, sir." Lt. Anderson
was on duty. "The transporter is down for maintenance."
He remembered the lieutenant mentioning something about that yesterday.
TíPol repeated. "We need
"Lieutenant, disengage maintenance.
We need the transporter," Archer directed. To TíPol, he added,
"Weíre working on it, Subcommander. Whatís happened?"
He received no answer, but TíPolís
communicator was still open, and the bridge was silent as everyone
strained to hear. "No! Do not remove it!" TíPol was
giving direction to someone. "Press here. We must stop the
bleeding." For a moment, only muffled sounds could be detected,
and then she spoke again. "Where
is your healer?"
Archer pressed another button.
"Archer to Phlox." No answer. "Computer, where is Dr.
"Dr. Phlox is entering shuttle bay
one," the metallic voice duly reported.
The captain nodded, appreciating the
doctorís efficiency. The words "medical emergency" would
have activated Phloxís communicator automatically.
"Patch everyone in," Archer
directed his temporary communications officer. "How much longer for
transport?" he practically shouted into the intercom.
"Iím sorry, Captain."
Anderson did sound distressed. "The control panelís in pieces. Itíll
take me half an hour to get it back together."
"We do not have that long."
The strain in TíPolís voice was unmistakable.
"If I rush it, your molecules could
end up scattered everywhere," Anderson replied.
"I donít care!"
the Vulcan growled. "Weíll
"Shuttle launched," Mayweather
TíPolís voice was softer now. "Hoshi,
can you hear me?"
Archer paled. In his heart, he had known
who was probably with her, but hearing the name was still a blow.
"This is soaked. Get me another
It was a new voice, not one the captain recognized. "Subcommander."
"Subcommander. She is gone."
It hadnít seemed possible, but the
bridge became even more still as several of the crew held their breath.
The Vulcan seemed displeased at the interruption.
"She is gone."
"Human physiology is different from
yours. She . . . might . . . ."
A long moment passed, and then a subdued
voice came across the communicator. "Subcommander TíPol to
Archer swallowed at the formality.
"I regret to inform you that Ensign
Hoshi Sato died at 1420 hours on the planet Stalscha 4."
Tears filled the veteran officerís
The lift door slid open. ". . . a
piece of crap like that." Trip Tuckerís voice resonated harshly
as he vented to Malcolm Reed. "That engine hadnít been--"
His complaint ended abruptly as he took in the scene around him Ė an
unnatural quiet, except for several crew members openly crying. Archerís
face was buried in his hands. Mayweather gripped his console rigidly, as
if bracing for an impact.
The two newcomers looked at each other.
Tuckerís question was interrupted by
the chirp of a communicator. "Phlox
to Archer. We are approaching the planet surface. I will prepare a death
certificate, after which we will transport the Ė transport her back to
TíPolís voice followed. "Captain,
in deference to Ensign Satoís feelings regarding the transporter, I
request permission to return her body to the ship by shuttle."
Reed felt ill. "Hoshi?" He
lowered himself slowly into his seat.
An hour later, TíPol stood beside the
biobed on which Hoshiís body lay. Around the table were the captain,
Tucker, Reed, Mayweather, Ensign Cutler, and other crew members whose
somber presence barely registered with her.
She focused her gaze on the dark
bloodstain over Hoshiís chest. It covered her heart, where the wooden
spike, released from its springhold by some unknown motion, had impaled
her without warning, the remnant of some ancient defense system that
predated the planetís current peacefulness.
"You should probably change."
She didnít respond.
"Youíll feel better if you
change," Ensign Cutler said again.
"I do not . . . feel." TíPol
looked down, noticing for the first time the blood caking her uniform.
And her hands. She looked down at them, at the reddish tinge that coated
* * * * *
The subcommander didnít seem to be
paying attention. She was staring at her hands.
She looked up. "Ambassador."
"Will you be joining us?"
Soval and his entourage were waiting at
the lift, and TíPol realized that the Vulcan ship had arrived at its
"Of course. I apologize." TíPol
would have felt slight embarrassment at her inattentiveness, but as she
had reminded herself many times, Vulcans didnít feel. She walked
toward the men.
"Perhaps you will meet some of your
human acquaintances," Sovalís aide said, not unkindly. "I
understand that Stalscha 4 is a popular respite for Federation vessels.
The Enterprise stopped here when you were assigned to it, did it
"Yes." TíPol did not wish to
discuss it, but she was not to be so fortunate.
"Ah." Ambassador Soval seemed
to be interested. "Wasnít that your last planetary visit before
rejoining us on Vulcan?"
TíPol nodded once. She suspected that
Soval was well aware of what had happened to her Ė to Hoshi Ė on
"And how long ago was that,
Activation of the transporter relieved
her from having to give the ambassador an answer that he probably
already knew. To her dismay, though, the patter continued on the planet
surface. She responded politely: Yes, she had visited many Terran
outposts over the years. Yes, she did occasionally run across human
acquaintances. No, she had not encountered Captain Archer since leaving Enterprise.
Eventually, Soval tired of questioning her, and began discussing an
upcoming High Council meeting.
Wandering with her two companions amid
the commotion of the market, TíPol listened casually to the
conversation, then halted abruptly. At that moment, TíPol recognized
the extreme irony that Vulcans did not believe in fate. There, not fifty
"Ambassador," she interrupted
whatever Soval was saying. "If I may be excused, I believe I have
indeed observed a former acquaintance."
Soval waved a hand. "By all
means." If TíPol wanted to waste time conversing with Terrans, it
was of no import to him. She was far from essential to their mission.
That thought occupied him briefly. Before her service aboard Enterprise,
he would never have predicted that TíPolís time with the humans
would be the pinnacle of her career. The Subcommander would have risen
to commander, and likely higher, by this time, but she had instead
returned from the Enterprise seemingly devoid of her earlier
ambitions. It was one of many undesirable consequences of serving with
humans, he concluded; given what had happened to TíPol, he would not
be recommending the presence of Vulcans on earth ships in the
* * * * *
"I canít do it, Subcommander. You
"Crewman Daniels Ė or whatever
name youíre presently using--"
"Daniels is fine."
"I do not make this request
He laughed. "Iím sure you donít.
I thought theĖ"
"The Vulcan High Command has
determined that time travel is not possible," TíPol finished for
"Well, then . . . ." He began
to turn away, but she grasped his arm.
"I require your assistance."
"Look, Iím sympathetic. Really.
But I canít. Itís been, what, ten years?"
He shook his head. "Too much
TíPol recognized the finality of his
decision, but that was simply unacceptable. Before he knew what was
happening, she had him in a death grip, and a sharp edge scraped across
Daniels panicked; was she going to kill
him? He hadnít even finished the thought when TíPol retreated again.
She pressed a button, and the sharp edge retracted into a small
"You leave me no choice,
Crewman." She activated a few keystrokes. "I see no reason why
you should exist when Ensign Sato does not."
What? That was totally illogical. What
was the matter with this Vulcan? Against his better instincts, the
crewmanís eyes were drawn to the device.
"Now that I have a sample of your
human DNA," TíPol announced, "I will make it my task to
eliminate your bloodline."
Daniels shook his head. "You canít
do that. That technology wonít be available for another ninety
He could have sworn that the Vulcan
seemed almost smug. "You apparently are not aware of what has
occupied my interests for the past eleven years," she said.
Daniels looked up from the device into
* * * * *
"So, I heard youíre going to
partake of our much-anticipated shore leave, Subcommander."
She recognized the jovial questioner
before raising her head from the science station. "I am
reconsidering," she informed the captain.
"Now, donít be a fuddy duddy, TíPol,"
Tucker admonished her from across the room.
The Vulcan had no idea what a Ďfuddy
duddyí was, but it would not affect her plans in any event.
Archer wagged a playful finger at her.
"Hoshiís not going to be happy. She thinks youíll be spelunking
with them this afternoon."
"Sato to TíPol."
Archer smiled. "Speak of the devil .
. . ."
TíPol paused. She had not realized how
disconcerting it would be to hear that voice again. Meanwhile, all of
the bridge personnel were watching her, apparently anticipating what
they assumed would be a lecture from the popular ensign. Humans like to
"watch people squirm," Hoshi had once said, and TíPol now
saw the truth of that statement.
"Sato to TíPol." Hoshi seemed
a bit impatient.
"What are you doing? Actually,
forget that; it doesnít matter. You were supposed to be here" Ė
TíPol envisioned the young woman checking her chronometer Ė
"twelve minutes ago."
TíPol looked around to see Archer and
Tucker smiling broadly at her discomfort. She was indeed uncomfortable,
but not for the reason they assumed.
"I will meet you in the shuttle
bay," she replied.
"Fifteen minutes," Hoshi
declared. "If youíre late, youíre entertaining all of us
tonight at the campfire. And I mean it. I have a database of Vulcan
party songs with me."
TíPol headed for the lift while the
others laughed behind her. She walked quickly -- there was no such thing
as a Vulcan "party song," but she didnít rule out Hoshi
bringing some sort of vocal piece with her. She hoped the threat would
soon become moot, but she did not want to take a chance. If Hoshi
refused to listen to her, TíPol did not plan on letting the Terran out
of her sight for the next four days.
Fourteen minutes after their
communication, the shuttle bay doors opened to admit the shipís second
in command, a small duffle bag in hand. TíPol slowed her pace when she
saw Hoshi, wearing a green short-sleeved shirt and black climbing pants,
surrounded by four other crew members, apparently the last of the first
round of shore leave.
"Ensign," she said. "May I
have a word with you?"
"Oh, no, you donít." Corporal
Paterson began to chastise TíPol about holding them up with shop talk,
but the Subcommanderís stern expression quickly improved his judgment.
"Nevermind," he finished meekly.
The two women stepped away from the group
to avoid being overheard.
Hoshi would have teased the Vulcan about
her serious demeanor, but something about the look on TíPolís face
gave her pause. "Whatís the matter?" she said instead.
"Hoshi." TíPol had given much
thought to her intentions, but now she realized that she should have
rehearsed the words as well. "I would prefer that you and I remain
on board Enterprise."
"What?" Hoshi was annoyed.
"Stay on board? Do you know how long itís been since we had shore
"Six months, three days."
"Whatever." She hadnít really
wanted the information. "No way Iím going to be stuck here. Who
knows how long itíll be before we get another shot? I read your
scouting report; this place sounds great."
"I . . . have an uncomfortable
feeling about this visit," TíPol said.
"A feeling?" Hoshi was
confused. "What are you talking about, TíPol?" When the
subcommander didnít reply, she frowned. "Look, if you donít
want to be around us, thatís OK. I was surprised when you agreed to go
in the first place. But why donít you give it a chance? You can leave
after the first cave if you want."
TíPol met the young ensignís gaze.
She didnít know what to say. Hoshi would likely be skeptical if she
tried to explain what might happen if they went down to Stalscha 4,
especially given the Vulcanís consistent refusal to acknowledge the
possibility of time travel. "I was hoping for your assistance in
cataloging the databases that we received recently from the Dssarkans,"
Hoshi stared at her, wide eyed, and TíPol
guessed correctly that she was about to be turned down in rather graphic
"I would like to spend time with
you," she added quietly. TíPol hadnít planned to say it; the
words just slipped out.
"Well, thatís what--"
Realization set in, and whatever Hoshi had planned to say, it was
quickly forgotten. "Spend time. . .?"
TíPol couldnít bring herself to
repeat it. Instead, she glanced over at the small group milling around
the shuttle, who were paying no attention to what they assumed was a
last-minute ship issue. Meeting Hoshiís gaze, she laid a hand on the
other womanís bare forearm, and tried to convey her sincerity without
words. It wasnít difficult; she truly was gratified to see Hoshi again
after so many years. So many years.
She could tell that Hoshi was trying to
read her. She had shared more of herself with the Terran than she had
intended, but she would not go back now.
"You mean work together on the
TíPol left her hand on Hoshiís arm.
"Or . . . perhaps in my quarters."
A shy smile spread across Hoshiís face.
"I would love to help you catalog databases, TíPol," she
announced finally. Toning down her grin a bit, she headed over to tell
the group to take off without them.
TíPol found herself almost smiling as
Leaving four friends groaning behind her,
Hoshi quickly returned. "Lead on, Subcommander," she said.
"My life is in your hands."
This time, TíPol did smile.
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