WIPpet Wednesday: Disparate Bindings; Tangled Pulls


Are you ready to WIPpet?!
Are you ready to WIPpet?!

Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday, a weekly blog hop which encourages writers to move their WIPs (works-in-progress) to publication by posting excerpts related to the date. It is hosted by the lovely K.L. Schwengel,maven of bad boys, stock dogs, and flying monkeys!

It’s July, and July is an emotionally slippery month for me. It holds birthdays, death anniversaries, and the entire lifetime of our second child. It’s bisected by a much-anticipated annual out-of-state gathering, Unschoolers Rock the Campground.

I’ll be riding the waves this month. I’m also participating in CampNaNoWriMo. I’ll finish my current WIP, The Stars are Fire, and add more words to another, Perchance to Dream.

Since both of these are ragged and extremely rough, I’m going to continue with snippets from my Story A Day May Challenge: Star Trek: Enterprise fan fiction exploring the interspecies relationship of T’Pol and Trip, in a project titled The IDIC Romance.

Disclaimer: T’Pol,  Trip, and all the rest of Star Trek are property of Paramount; no copyright infringement intended. I just want to play with them, and I’m careful!

A bit about the challenge:

Story a Day is just that- a story every day in May. To make the challenge more interesting for myself, I used all of the prompts offered, throughout the month.

The stories are sequential, with various tones, POVs, and voices, due to the particular prompts that were in play during the writing.

For those keeping track:

  • This is the final installment of Story #3, Vermilion Threads . The prompt was to write a story of about 640 words. An additional guest post was to use the words “vermilion” and “musky” (both used in previous WIPpets). “musky” (both used in previous WIPpets).

WIPpet Math:

Today is July 2, 2014.

Today’s math…

  • 14 sentences, for the last two digits of the year. Yup, that simple! =D

This snippet is the aftermath of T’Pol’s meditation on her first hours of compulsory duty aboard the human starship Enterprise in the pilot episode:Broken Bow Part 1. It follows immediately after last week’s WIPpet,Trip, Stumble, and T’Pol.


I opened my eyes, considering the flame, and my fingers reached again to hover over the thread. Only now did I realize that Trip – Commander Tucker – had not intended an intimate gesture, but only to shake my hand in the manner of a human greeting. Although I knew I couldn’t return it, Awakened to him as I was, I allowed a moment of remorse that I hadn’t found some way to acknowledge his welcoming ritual, especially since there had been some element of challenge in it, something that spoke to those moments when our souls had communed with the surging music.

My own fingers, the restless indicators of my own inappropriate longing for him, danced away from the token of my bondage to Vulcan, to the PADD. I traced the vermilion piping on Trip’s uniform with paired, trembling fingers, then dared to caress his image’s face. I longed to sample the texture of his human skin; to feel the interplay of his muscles as they shifted in what seemed to be an endless dance, conveying emotions I didn’t have enough data to identify or comprehend.

I drew a deep breath, staring into those intensely blue eyes- the color of Earth’s sky on a sunny day – and imagined, for an uncontrolled moment, that he was here, in this room, meeting my gaze and accepting my touch.

I was intended to marry Koss, but I was Awakened to Trip. There was no logic in deluding myself – about the realities of the situation, or my own emotional agitation. They were as real as the strange scent of my new quarters, the too-chill temperature, the too-yellow quality of the ambient lighting, the unaccustomed vibrations of the humans’ primitive Warp 5 engine, the prototype of which they were so unaccountably and unabashedly proud.

I knew what my world demanded of me, and why. There was a logic to it that was a part of me, that had been whispered into my ear, as an infant: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few – or the one.” But now I looked at Trip’s image, and the thread Soval had given me, and I asked myself a question I knew ran counter to what it meant to be Vulcan.

Do I wish to honor my obligations to my family and my homeworld, or surrender myself to the pull of this human on my soul?”

What will T’Pol decide? What is Trip‘s reaction to T’Pol’s presence on Enterprise? Will this assignment change the course of both of their lives?

Yup, you guessed it…you’ll need to either read below, watch the series, or wait for next week, to learn more, from Trip’s point of view.


Story A Day commentary…

Full version of the story…

These posts are the seeds of a project that will germinate over the next months, so input is especially valuable. Already, new stories are weaving themselves into the fabric. No need to feel shy; I’m a friendly sort, and will keep my phase pistol on stun ..for the most part.

Want more WIPpets?

I’ve kinda left poor Captain Archer out of these stories, thus far, but someone made this nifty video…



  1. It’s been a loooong time since I’ve watched Star Trek: Enterprise, but I love that you’re sharing fanfiction!!! Eden has posted some too, and I love it, because then I’m not the only one who’s done so for WIPpet Wednesdays 🙂

    Really beautiful writing and voice. I’m drawn into her emotions feel for her. Awakening to someone that you aren’t supposed to be with, how that is ‘wrong,’ yet it doesn’t feel that way at all. The heart and brain at war. Boo 😦

    • Eden’s the one who got me into Star Trek in the first place, waaay back when we were 13. She got me into Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, too!

      I love when people share their fanfic passions. I’ve spent most of my life writing Trek stories, but for decades, I really only shared them with Eden.

      The response I’m getting to these posts is extremely gratifying. I’m not offending those who know enough about T’Pol and Trip to call me on gross mischaracterisation, and I’m also getting a lot of great feedback from non-Trekkie types. It’s cool that I can bridge that a little, because that shows me that I do have stories that transcend the genre and touch more universal truths.

      I don’t think that T’Pol has the remotest clue just how tangled up those two threads are going to get, at this point. I think she’s probably thinking she’ll never see him again after this eight day mission, and it’s more a case of reconciling herself to the arranged pairing…

      And yet, you’re right. Trip is wrong by cultural standards, but he doesn’t “feel” wrong – which I’m sure T’Pol will tell herself is illogical…

  2. I love this bit, ” to feel the interplay of his muscles as they shifted in what seemed to be an endless dance, conveying emotions I didn’t have enough data to identify or comprehend.” You are doing an awesome job of showing us how difficult it is for someone from a culture where emotions are held in such tight check, to be dealing with cultures where just the opposite is true.

    • I was trying to perceive expressions the way T’Pol would. So glad it worked; I really loved that bit, too – it’s my favorite of the whole snippet. Since Vulcans are hand-centric, I could imagine that watching the emotional shifts in Trip’s face would lead her to want to touch and feel them in a way that was more concrete and sensual.

      She really is almost completely inexperienced at “reading” humans, or understanding their choices and behaviors on other than an intellectual, surface level, at this point.

      Of course, humans being what they are, and Trip being an especially emotive human, she is about to get presented with a smorgasbord of opportunity to increase her understanding- or, more likely, to get all tangled up in trying…

      You’ve hit the nail on the head with that last line. There is almost know attention paid, in Vulcan culture, to the expression or identification of even one’s own emotions, and it is particularly bad form to reveal them before others. In the spirit of not giving attention to what they would avoid, Vulcan discipline prefers suppressing or releasing emotion without lingering in examination of it.

      As a result, T’Pol often can’t even put names to her own emotions, let alone those of a rampantly emotional alien species…

      Think this’ll cause her trouble, along the way? Nah, of course not! ;D

    • Thank you. Whenever I go back and reread, I see new ways to make it better…but T’Pol knew what she was doing and thinking and feeling here, and that really helps.

  3. Aww. 😦 Isn’t there a way she can do both? I mean, yeah, too bad for Koss, but wouldn’t he be able to logically process the whole Awakening thing? Wouldn’t any of them? Or would her actions in going to the bar in the first place be too illogical to forgive, even when viewed as a natural curiosity about the being she’d be serving with soon?

    *sniffle* Poor T’Pol

    • No, she really can’t .

      The only option she has for getting out of her arranged marriage is to choose a challenger at the wedding. Oh, and it’s a life-or-death battle (and Vulcans are a lot stronger…).

      At this point, the idea of being Awakened to a human – a member of what is seen as a primitive species – would seem impossible to the Vulcans. And that’s if she could or would speak about it. There are privacy taboos, and cultural conditioning, and the simple fact that her breaking protocol wasn’t logically motivated, and what that would mean for her.

      Curiosity is not valued by Vulcans of her time. She’s unique that way, and it’s as much a liability as her too-apparent emotions.

      She had no idea, when she slipped away to go exploring, that she would be assigned to a human vessel over a year later, so it would hardly make a logical reason.

      An emotional appeal would only prove her illogic. It’s out of the question.

      Marrying Koss isn’t intended to be an emotional connection, but an arrangement that will serve the stability of her society. There are reasons for this, and they are as old as her civilization.

      So far as she knows at this point in her life, she would have to forsake her way of life in order to truly accept her attraction for Trip, let alone act on it.

      Of course, life can be surprising…

      But, yeah, at this point- poor T’Pol indeed. Seems logical to sniffle a bit for her, since she won’t sniffle for herself.

      • Oooh… I guess I’m too accustomed to Spock? Maybe? He seems, from what I remember, which comes mostly from the first round of movies, to be an exception to several of these rules to a certain degree. Or was that more the influence of inter-cultural relations that developed as time went on? At any rate, Vulcans are certainly interesting and I’m glad one of the WIPpeteers is around to explain them to me. 🙂

        • Well, Spock is a whole ‘nuther story. For one thing, he’s half human – he can’t be as emotionally controlled as a person who is wholly Vulcan (although, illogically, he DOES try, especially in his younger, pre-movie days).

          And there was that matter of him dying, and being reincorporated, so that, for the fourth movie, he was – well, not quite firing on all thrusters, as McCoy sp sensitively put it.

          And yes, T’Pol’s time on Enterprise NX-01 was a century before we first meet Spock on the Enterprise NCC-1701. The Vulcan of her day have known humans for less than a century, and humans aren’t that far beyond the third word war, and the Eugenics War. Understandably, this rash young species was rather alarming, as they got closer and closer to deep space exploration.

          These Vulcans have definitely held the humans back, and appointed themselves as chaperones, in a manner that comes across to most humans as arrogant and condescending- something the Captain and Trip both express often in the early part of the mission.

          During the course of the series, the relationship between the species, and Vulcan attitudes about their own culture shift, but I don’t want to say more.

          And I’m willing to talk about Vulcans, pretty much anytime! Just ask my long-suffering, non Vulcan-fascinated spouse! =)

  4. Ummmm….she better decide Trip. I love the passion that you create here, the passion, the logic, and the holding back of emotion. It’s very apt for a Vulcan.

    • I’m with you. Trip is a much better way to go. Not an easy way, but at least one where she matters, as herself, and there’s lots of room to grow and learn.

      Not so much with an arranged marriage to some architect she barely knows, who stirs nothing in her, and isn’t intended to. Not so much that thread that speaks of bonds and expectations she never chose for herself, and has never before have a choice in…

      T’Pol was speaking very clearly when I wrote this scene. I’m glad it came through as apt. It did feel right (hey, I’m no Vulcan!).

  5. Ah, sigh. I do feel for her. Lovely. There’s such a gentleness in the story, a quiet sense of longing and of her unfolding, even to herself. Really nice.

    • I feel for her, too. She never had quite fit effortlessly into the Vulcan way; and the unepected Awakening hasn’t made it easier. She can’t talk to anyone about it, because she was breaking protocol when it happened. And the humans…well, she wouldn’t know how, and they wouldn’t understand.

      More than that, this is supposed to be an 8 day mission, and then she’s expected to go home and see to the duty of marrying Koss…

      She’s mightily disturbed at herself for even asking such a question – but, even so, she needs to ask it, and answer it.

      Already, she’s not who she was when she set foot on this ship.

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