WIPpet Wednesday: Tigress by the Tail?

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday –K.L. Schwengel’s weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date.

WIPpet Math:

Today is May 7, 2014.

  • Today’s math…
  • 5+7+7= 19 shortish sentences. (adding the digits of the date: month, day, and year) .

This month, I’m offering up a taste of my Story A Day May Challenge. I’m exploring my fanfiction concept for Star Trek: Enterprise, and the interspecies relationship between T’Pol and Trip, in a project tentatively titled The IDIC Romance.


This story is a fan fiction extrapolation of the Rigel Ten scenes in the Star Trek: Enterprise series pilot,  Broken Bow.  T’Pol and Trip are property of Paramount; no copyright infringement is intended.

This snippet is told from Trip’s point-of-view. He’s been paired up with the most frustrating woman he’s ever met – she’s intoxicating and infuriating, all at once – and, after acting like she was the boss, and facing down five aliens without batting her pretty eyes, she got clobbered with the butt of a weapon, and now they’re both locked up in some kind of cell, alone…

These two have had a previous encounter – although they never spoke, they shared an intensely arousing stare when she appeared in a jazz club where he was meeting friends, and then she disappeared as quickly.

Now, a year later, Trip is the Chief Engineer on the first Warp Five starship, and the Vulcans have saddled them with a “chaperone” – that same lovely woman who’s occupied prime real estate in his fantasies ever since that night…

Only now she’s distant, imperious, and clearly not happy to have been assigned to this mission – and he can’t seem to find a way to broach the topic of that night, and what they had shared , which seemed to go a lot deeper than just a longing glance…

Until now, that is…

“T’Pol, we need to talk.”

“We are talking, Commander.”

“No, not like this. Not Subcommander and Commander. Trip and T’Pol – or, better yet, the people we were a year or so ago – the first time, at Fusion.”

” I don’t know what you mean.” But she turned half away, and swallowed hard.

“The hell you don’t. At least look at me when you lie to me, or can’t you lie to my face like other Vulcans?” I had ways to deal with powerful emotions, too – and I was going to be damned sure this infuriating woman knew it.

She moved so fast that she had me off the floor before I realized she’d gotten up. She shoved me across the cell, slamming me back against the wall. She leaned in close, and there was something raw and dangerous in her voice. “It was a foolish mistake. I should not have left the compound.”

Her knees buckled, and I pulled her close to keep her from falling. Her eyes were huge, wide with surprise, the way they’d been, that night. I couldn’t resist anymore – I kissed her. Her mouth opened -hot, tentative, tasting of things I didn’t have names for…


I had to do a bit of searching to find a Trip video with no spoilers…

What will happen next? Will the kiss open the lines of communication? Lead to deeper conflict? Where will the feelings between them lead? Read the full story…


Read more of The IDIC Romance explorations…

Read my commentary on the Story A Day Challenge

These posts are the seeds of a project that will germinate over the next months, so input is especially valuable. No need to feel shy; I’m a friendly sort, and will keep my talons sheathed…for the most part.

Want more WIPpets?

Has Trip got a Tigress by the Tail? Only time will tell!



    • Alana,

      How cool that I was your first! Are you gonna tell your husband (cause, well, we Trek nuts tend to start foaming at the mouth when we turn someone….lol!). I love love love the interactions between T’Pol and Trip. I knew there had to be a lot more to their story -it’s an ongoing theme in the series, but we don’t see nearly enough of it, IMO. And that got me thinking, and then those two got into my head – Trip all in a rush, and T’Pol stealthily, trying to reason with me – and they haven’t left yet…

      Not that I’m complaining. You see, they keep having interactions like this one, and I find it very entertaining to sit back and see hat they might do next…

    • Kathy,

      When ReGi said that, I agreed. But I’ve been thinking about it, since, as I write more of this story, and think a lot about Vulcans.

      Now, I’m not so sure it’s un-Vulcan, at all.

      It’s made clear throughout both the original series and Enterprise that Vulcans do indeed have emotions. It’s a matter of control; of not allowing those emotions to rule them –

      But that’s an ideal. And sometimes people fail their ideals.

      Logic and control can only go so far, even for Vulcans. Even Soval, the Ambassodor, raises his voice to a yell when Starfleet decides to allow the Enterprise to return the Klingon in the pilot episode.

      I think it’s less un-Vulcan, as it is a side of themselves they’d rather not show to others. Maybe their discomfort with humans is part of this – humans touch that part of them, and are a constant and unsettling reminder of what they’ve been, and still could be.

      For sure, Trip brings out that side of T’Pol – later in Broken Bow, when he starts yelling at him, she gets in his face, and very nearly yells back. And then there’s that touching…

      She’s definitely had her emotions stirred up by this mission and this man – they’re both way outside of her comfort zone. And you’re right. She’s not exactly being logical, just now…something she’s going to experience to an unsettling degree, going forward…

  1. Wow, I really enjoyed the snippet. Will definitely read the whole thing.

    I used to watch Enterprise, back in the day. I really like both Trip and T’Pol. This Awakening stuff…is that part of canon, or something you made up? Curious b/c I remember the pon farr but nothing else about Vulcan mating rituals.

    • Erin,

      I never saw it until last spring. That’s when I fell in love – I like my Vulcans complicated, and T’Pol is definitely that! =)

      The Awakening is an extrapolation. When pon fa is first introduced in the original series “Amok Time”, Spock explains that the childrens’ minds are locked together through touch, so that, at the proper time, they would meet.

      Several novels discuss the fact that Vulcan sexual maturity occurs much later than it does in humans (probably not surprising, since they can also live more than twice as long…

      Various things in Trek point to a strong telepathic component to their pairbonding.

      My theory, based on all of this, is that there is a time – before the initial onset of pon farr and the compulsion to mate – that the mind is gradually Awakening to telerotic awareness. Within a well-matched couple, this would draw them more and more toward one another, and maybe many couples choose to marry then rather than waiting…

      But in a culture that practices child marriages, there’s also bound to be some bad matches that can’t support that kind of closeness. Spock and T’Pring, for instance, or T’Pol and Koss.

      For several reasons, T’Pol and Koss Awaken, but not to one another. As for why it would be Trip, or any human, I think it has to do with the timing, with the slipping away (pretty bold move, on her part!), with being on Earth and not on Vulcan (and I’m theorizing she’s the youngest one there, and maybe the only one not partnered), with the music, and with the way Trip is, which certainly seems to attract her even when she’s agitated by it).

      Clearly, even just looking at canon, there’s a strong push-pull between these two characters, from the outset of the series. There has to be a lot more to the story than what we saw. I like playing with what that might be. =)

      Thanks for reading, and commenting. As you can probably tell, Trek is something I’m deeply passionate about!

      • Oh, wow, that sounds very logical and possible to me. I admit I’m not as familiar with it as you, but from what I’ve seen — yeah. I like the idea of the Awakening thing, and how maybe it could come into play with T’Pol and Trip.

        Now I need to sit down and read everything you’ve written this month. I’ve been meaning to. Just need to carve out the time. I am enjoying it immensely.

        • Erin,

          It makes me so happy that you’re enjoying it. I take my fan fiction very seriously. I love having fun with it, but I deeply believe that the characters must be treated with integrity. It’s an expression of love on my part, and appreciation for the decades of nourishment Star Trek has given me.

          I intend to start posting on fan fiction sites once the challenge season cools down, and I can investigate a little more. But the fact that the stories will be fee will never mean I skimp on them. They are, whether people see it or not in my “saleable” pieces, the heart and soul of my writing life, and a huge chunk of my internal creative world.

  2. So this is happening during the time period of the pilot? Hmm… not sure what I think then. I do like the fact that they are both at odds with each other and themselves, but… and interesting seeing you use first person. I think it works though

    • Eden,

      It’s one of those snippets that can be hurt if you know the characters and the epsiode, but not the backstory for the imagined elements, I think.

      Trip has not been making this easy for T’Pol- nor has she for him. He thinks it’s intentional, but it’s more like she doesn’t think to wonder what he’s feeling, and certainly not while they have a job to do. Vulcans aren’t made that way.

      This snippet takes place just after T’Pol talks to the Captain, “Something about live food”, and sends he and Hoshi to another level. Trip decides that T’Pol is not his boss, and, when he can’t stop her by grabbing her shoulder the way she did his, he walks off, ignoring her increasingly urgent calls. He finally turns around when she says, “Trip!” in a voice he never imagined hearing from a Vulcan.

      That’s when the Suliban jump him. He tries to fight, but the one he hits seems boneless. He’s caught with his arms pinned, and they make him watch T’Pol face off against five. He didn’t know she could fight until she renders three unconscious…and then they hit her with the butt of a gun, and drag them both to a cell on another level. She’s only about half conscious when they’re tossed inside.

      There’s a conversation about her ability to fight, and she chastises him for not heeding her warning…and then he tries again to make her talk. This whole mission is unsettling, she’s suffering a concussion (I’m guessing; at least, she’s rattled!), and he’s having a very strong and unpredictable affect on her.

      Not her finest moment.

      There has to be something physical between them before they get to that decon chamber, and I think it has to happen here, while they’re alone in the cell. I mean, I don’t believe for a second that those two just stood there docilely not looking at each other- not with the way their friction and tension oozes out all over even while the Captain’s unconscious. There has to be a basis, something left unfinished, between them, simmering away between them during the battle and exacerbated by her taking command once they make it to the shuttlepod.

      I’m absolutely sure that Trip wouldn’t be slipping fingers beneath the waistband of her undies and playing with her ears, if he didn’t have some inkling she wouldn’t report or kill him for it. Also, he’s a gentleman, more or less. An impulsive kiss when she winds up in his arms- sure, because he didn’t really think it through. But the decon scene….he was pretty deliberate, there. And she was more so, and bolder than he was.

      So there was something we didn’t see, between scenes. Logical, no?

      If you have a better idea of what doesn’t work….there will be rewrites.

      I’ve found that I tend to fall into first person when I really identify with the character and the moment. I “get” both of these characters for different reasons. Trip is one of the easiest male characters I’ve ever written…he’s just the kind of guy I like, except for lacking a beard and being blonde (which are pretty minor issues). I get his decency, and his tendency to get in his own way, and that he’s sometimes a jerk, but doesn’t want to be. He has a tendency to do the wrong thing for the right reason, and he’s looking for a deep connection with a woman rather than a quick thrill, even when he tries to pretend otherwise. He’s that nice guy the girls want to be friends with…

      And T’Pol is a lifetime rebel who hasn’t quite gotten to the point where she realizes that the problem isn’t making herself conform; but realizing that she can let go of what doesn’t work for her and still be Vulcan…but Trip is sort of a one-human crash course in that…

      It’d be interesting to see if your opinion would change if you read it through….or not.

    • ReGi,

      It’s not one of her finest moments, Vulcan propriety-wise, for lots of reasons.

      She has a bit of history with Trip that’s unresolved -as in she snuck out and went to a jazz club, he was there, and she Awakened – what I imagine is the beginning of telerotic awareness for Vulcans, as they get close to their marriageable age. She should have Awoken to her Promised, Koss, but she’s not on Vulcan, and there are other reasons, which may be revealed later, why that doesn’t happen. Anyway, she Awakens to Trip, and something passes between them to the pulsing of slow jazz, and, although they don’t touch or speak, they are linked by it. She runs away from the club, but can’t escape what’s already done.

      So she’s already off balance when she’s assigned to Enterprise against her wishes, and he’s there. Also, the only other time she spoke with Captain Archer, he threatened to knock her on her ass. She’s in a hostile environment filled with irrational people taking foolish chances, and if anything happens to them, the Vulcan High Command will blame her.

      She hasn’t had time to meditate, I’m thinking, and she’s paired with Trip – who alternately tries to get her to talk in public places about what her people hold as deeply personal; she’s drawn to him, but committed to someone else; and he doesn’t accept her greater knowledge and authority-

      And that’s when the Suliban jump them. She tries to warn Trip, so he can escape and tell the Captain, but he picks then to start ignoring her, and he’s pinned quickly. She faces five. She gets two with neck pinches and throws a third – and then she takes the butt of a sidearm to the head…

      So, when she puts Trip against that wall, she’s more than a little addled. Her knees buckling might be emotional overwhelm, or the result of moving way too fast for what her body was ready for, after a blunt force trauma. Trip took some advantage of it, but he didn’t cause it. He’s more or less a gentleman…mostly.

      And I don’t think she submits to emotion here, as much as she’s conquered by it.

      The next paragraph has her reaction… maybe I’ll share that next week, or you could follow the link to the complete story and read it for yourself. =D

      • Oh, I wish I had time. Truly. The season my life has passed into, though, is one of fine balance. We finally bit the bullet and added more therapy for one of my special needs kids, so we’re up to 13 appointments a week. It doesn’t leave me a ton of personal time. :-/

        • ReGi,

          Uh, yeah. 13 appointments a week is a LOT. I hope the therapy is useful and happy. These stories will be there, when and if you can get back to them…and, due to the confusion about the snippet I shared last week, I’ve decided to go back to the beginning, and see if that doesn’t make the reality I’m playing with a bit clearer (and you can get the story, that way, bit by bit!

    • Amy,

      No need for even half-shame. Besides, that means I was your first, right! I hope I got you off to a good start.

      I’m enjoying playing between and beneath the scenes as they appeared on film, because there’s obviously more to the relationship between these two, from the first, than meets the eye…

      I can’t take a lot of credit for the snippet’s quality. The whole story packed a wallop, and Trip insists that’s just how it happened! He seems (mostly) trustworthy, so I took his word for it!

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