Author's Note: Thanks, as always, for the reviews. I’m trying to wrap up Season One before I take a break to deal with real life for awhile.
Bound and gagged and locked in a dark room by the Kantarans, T’Pol had little to do but think.
She was not afraid, of course. Merely concerned. Also a little uncomfortable.
Fear is a primitive emotion, she had told Mr. Tucker, before admitting that the prospect of a going-away party from the crew had frightened her somewhat.
He had looked utterly unimpressed by her confession, and she had immediately wondered why she had felt driven to make it. It was not even accurate. She had been discomfited at the idea of the party, that was all. But Tucker had insisted, “There has to be something that frightens you,” and she had promptly come up with something.
Why? Why this compulsion to find common ground with a man who immediately developed an attraction to every alien female they encountered who evinced even the slightest trace of competence and availability?
She breathed in carefully, trying to ignore the intrusive discomfort of the gag in her mouth. Jealousy was a primitive emotion, too.
But no, it wasn’t jealousy. It couldn’t be. Jealousy implied that she wanted Commander Tucker for herself, and that was ridiculous, for many reasons. No, what she was feeling was disappointment. She had hoped that Commander Tucker had learned his lesson from his adventure with the Xyrillian engineer.
But he clearly hadn’t.
This was a risk for the mission … a risk for Commander Tucker … and a disappointment for her, as his superior – and as a Vulcan who had begun to hope that Humans were more capable of impulse control than was commonly believed.
But clearly they were not. So it was perhaps reasonable to feel some disappointment. Especially since Commander Tucker’s distraction might mean that he would not notice what T’Pol had – that most of this crew were not what they seemed.
Surely her absence would arouse suspicion eventually. If not in Commander Tucker, then in the Captain. Someone would miss her.
She attempted once again to loosen her bonds, but they were extremely well constructed and appeared to tighten with every movement.
She took another careful breath. For now, she was stuck here. Perhaps she should use this time to carefully re-order her priorities.
Commander Tucker presented the Padd with the list of the remaining components for the Kantarans.
“A protein resequencer?” she said. “That wasn’t on Ezral’s list.”
“They haven’t had any food they haven’t been able to grow in that hydroponics bay for twenty-two years. I think we can spare it.”
“Very well,” she agreed, and handed the Padd back. “Rather than gaining us spare parts and materials, this particular mission has resulted in a fairly significant net loss of resources.”
“But we got an interesting First Contact out of it. And a couple of friends.”
“Indeed.” Commander Tucker appeared just as enamored of Liana as he had ever been, even after learning of her and her father’s deception. The oddly goofy smile he got on his face when the young woman looked at him was just further evidence that the man simply could not help himself. “No doubt you regret the necessity of saying farewell today.”
“I can’t help worrying about them,” Tucker said. “I’d really prefer to make sure they can get that ship running before we go.”
T’Pol said nothing, just turned her attention back to her station. The decision had already been made between the captain and Ezral; she saw no reason to discuss it further.
Tucker stood there another moment, as if surprised that she had nothing to say, then turned and left the Bridge.
T’Pol focused on her long-range scans of the course ahead. She, for one, would be pleased when Enterprise was under way again.
Next installment: Detained.
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