Story A Day May 30: “#215”

Hello, and welcome to my 2014 Story A Day ChallengeDay 30 (already?!)! If you’d like to read today’s story without commentary,click here.

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

Notes:

This story contains profanity. Reader discretion is advised.

POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT!

This story is a fan fiction extrapolation of an unwritten scene based upon the  Star Trek: Enterprise episode, Zero Hour.

T’Pol and Trip are property of Paramount; no copyright infringement is intended.

Today’s Story A Day prompt is to write a story that incudes “#215”.

Zero Hour is the cliffhanger ending of Season 3. It shifts the focus from the season-long Xindi arc to other things…deeper things.

A few things hinted at aren’t directly addressed, though – such as T’Pol’s very tentative reference to her “slightly emotional” state, and Trip’s offer to listen, if she wants to talk…

This extrapolated scene assumes that that conversation happened, in the aftermath of the pivotal missions of this episode – the destruction of the Xindi weapon and Sphere 41, and the Captain’s presumed death (leaving a visibly shaken T’Pol in command of Enterprise as she returns to Earth).

The prompt (#215) is extremely open-ended; here it refers to the dose of trellium-D in a hypospray – the two-hundred fifteenth time T’Pol has ingested what is, to her, a deadly neurotoxin.

This story is long – over 4500 words, and I think it wandered more than it will. I did some moderate revision, deleting a section that went off on a tangent.

I’m not sure I quite captured the moment in the way I envisioned it…and I’m not sure that I didn’t, either. I’ll need a little more space and time to know, I think…

One more day…I’m going to miss this – and I’m going to be relieved to dial down the intensity, too…

Maybe that has something to do with the ambivalence I’m feeling…

And now, an excerpt of my story,#215”.For the full version, click the title.

Trip didn’t need the name that flashed on the screen. He’d looked at that formula for weeks; so had she. The stuff had damn near killed her; had killed over a hundred of her former crewmates.

“Why the hell is there trellium in your room, T’Pol?” He’d promised himself he’d stay calm, but, dammit, he was scared now. Scared, and confused.

“You’re hurting me.” He was squeezing her hand, hard. He loosened his grip, but didn’t let her go. She didn’t seem to want to try to get away, either.

And she hadn’t answered the question. But her head was turned, and tears rolled down her face.

Other pieces fell into place; another picture formed…

That dream – Surak statues collapsing, disintegrating into trellium-laced fragments.

Secure the trellium…and feel…

Her admission that she’d done something she couldn’t undo, and that she felt ashamed of…

Oh, pepperpot – oh please let me be wrong! Why couldn’t she just be pregnant?

“T’Pol?” He asked, softly, afraid to ask anything more; afraid to hear what she said next.

She drew in a sharp breath, as though he’d struck her, and, somewhere, she found her Vulcan armor, more or less. Her face, still streaked in tears, went emotionless in a way that he hadn’t seen it in a long time. “When it became prohibitively difficult to reach it in Cargo Bay 2, it seemed logical to secure it here.”

“How the hell is that logical? This stuff is poisonous to you – out of the whole crew, only you. This seems like the worst possible place to keep it – and why the hell do we need to secure it, anyway – and in a hypospray? T’Pol, there are things you’re still not telling me.”

Her stare fixed on him – no. She was focused on him, but her eyes were boarded up like windows before a hurricane; opaque, Vulcan.

“For over three months, I injected it, daily or more frequently, into my jugular vein. It would be difficult for me to achieve that objective if I could not reach the compound, or if it were not in a hypospray.” She sounded like she was giving a status update when she had nothing to report.

“Three months? Your jugular?! ” Trip couldn’t just sit there and watch her. She was perfectly still as she damned herself, as though this were all perfectly logical, as if it made sense, as if it was a matter of necessity. He was still missing something, dammit! He jumped up, only half aware that he’d jostled the table, and damned near knocked the candle over. He stood there for a minute, not knowing what the hell to do next. He couldn’t think past the crashing in his head, past her sitting there like one of those crumbling Surak statues from the dream. Statues made of trellium, goddammit- aww, hell, T’Pol – tell me it’s not going to kill you, tell me you’ve stopped tell me you- we- can get past this…

Tell me it’s not my fault you did this.

She just sat there, silent, still, a statue woman with feet of clay. Whatever he’d thought was beneath the changes in her, it wasn’t this…this….self-destruction. Like trying to negotiate with the Xindi at Azati Prime. Like hiding in here- oh, pepperpot, were you sitting here pushing this poison into your blood while I was out there, too scared to ring the bell?

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 is here.

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