Story A Day May 7: “Cave Camping”

Hello, and welcome to  2014 Story A Day ChallengeDay 7! If you’d like to read today’s story without commentary,click here!

I am basing my stories upon Star Trek: Enterprise, and the intriguing interspecies relationship between T’Pol of Vulcan and Trip Tucker, who is very, very human.


This story is a fan fiction extrapolation of an unwrittenscene in the Star Trek: Enterpriseepisode Strange New World.  T’Pol and Trip are property of Paramount; no copyright infringement is intended.

Here’s the episode preview for this story…

Today’s Story A Day prompt is to write a story in bits and pieces – writing the beginning, middle, and ending at various points throughout the day. An additional prompt from author Beth Puglisi was the following ending line:

I clicked off the safety, swearing that if she showed her face here today, my room would be the last one she ever entered.

My own plan calls for me to accompany Trip and T’Pol to the first Earth-like planet they encounter, where a psychotropic pollen affects the landing party…and chaos and fear take over, with potentially disastrous consequences.

The Bits and Pieces part was simple. I homeschool; most of my writing is done this way!

I struggled a bit with the ending line. I had originally planned to write from T’Pol’s point of view today, but there was no way to make the line fit. I could have tweaked it, but I really liked the idea of working it in. So I shifted to Trip, and used his delusional state to gradually and (I hope) believably shift him to a mental state where that could be the ending scene.

Here’s an excerpt of the lightly revised version of “ Cave Camping” (click the title for the full version):

“I think you are confused about who is untrustworthy, Commander. It is you who are holding the phase pistol.”

My fingers tightened on it. I felt strange, staring into her eyes – almost, I could hear slow jazz playing, see her in that cowl, listening, mesmerized, her beautiful eyes shining, then closing…

“I’m not letting go of it either. You try anything, I’ll shoot you in the head. You got that?”

She stayed so still, I could barely feel her breath. “What do you think I intend to try, Commander?”

“That music, for one thing. How’d you get them to play the music from Fusion, that night? Did you think that would distract me, so you could get free and do whatever the hell it is you’re planning with those rock people?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Her voice was flat, but her eyes…her eyes were fierce and said that she had ideas. The music pulsed through me, making me want her powerfully, almost irresistibly.

“Oh no, you don’t. Stop looking at me – stop confusing me!”

“I am afraid to stop looking at you, Commander. You are holding a weapon to my head, and you are quite irrational. The pollen -”

“Stop talking about that damned pollen! Pollen isn’t the problem here – you are, and those damned rock people, and whatever the bunch of you have planned for us!”

“Listen to me, Commander. You are irrational. There is no music, and there are no rock people. We have been poisoned, and we need treatment. Once we receive it, and retreat further into the caves, your hallucinations will dissipate, and you will realize how foolish you are being!”

She started off quietly, calmly, but her voice ratcheted up, getting louder and tenser as she went on, until finally it cut through the music, echoed through the club –

The club? Wait – we weren’t in a club, no, were we?

“What the hell are you doing to me?”

“Nothing!” She shouted it in my face, and she was shaking.

I remembered those five Suliban – and that three weren’t moving, when she was done with them. Had she killed them? With a touch on the shoulder? That was all she’d done, wasn’t it?

And how had she gotten me to my room at home?

I stared around me. My walls, and rock walls, all at once. But that didn’t make sense, did it?

And who was this woman? Woman? No! She was a Vulcan – what was a Vulcan doing here?

“What the hell’s going on here?”

The woman stared at me – stared, and said nothing.

“Answer me!”

She shook her head as I looked around -things were shifting, rock wall, my room….

“You will not believe anything I say. There is no point in further discussion.”

I was alone – alone in my room. Or was it a classroom? A cave?

I didn’t know.

And she was the reason why.


In my mind, an image, of a woman. Beautiful, dangerous temptress. Vulcan.

“Challenge your preconceptions, before they challenge you, Mr. Tucker.”

An echo. Another Vulcan.

And the rock people.

I looked around me, trying to fix my place, focus my mind. It didn’t work.

It was her fault. It had to be.

I looked at the phase pistol in my hand – the only way to stop her before she could do whatever it was that she wanted to do to me – to us. To all humans, maybe.

Here, in my room, I was the last line of defense for all humanity. It didn’t have to make sense to be true.

I clicked off the safety, swearing that if she showed her face here today, my room would be the last one she ever entered.

You can find all of my May Challenge stories at my “official” Story a Day blog. My commentary on the process of creating these stories are here.

Interested in reading more Story A Day offerings, or joining the challenge? It’s not too late!


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