"The Andorian Incident"
Author's Note: I've had to rewrite this a bit from the fanfic.net version because I realized I'd forgotten an Andorian back in the room. I hate it when that happens.
T'Pol followed a visibly angry Archer back to the room where they had been held, where Tucker was holding a phase pistol on a sulking Andorian. "You are free to go," Archer told the Andorian. "Your comrades are on their way to their ship. Mr. Reed here will escort you to them." The Andorian blinked at him for two seconds, before leaving with the armory officer stalking behind him.
The Elder said, "Where is our initiate?"
"Oh, he'll be along eventually," Archer said. "I'm guessing he's not actually attached to the spy station you have here, or he would have been a lot more effective at what he tried to do. So I assume he's just a particularly gung-ho initiate? Or are you people even really monks?"
The Elder frowned. "Excuse me?"
Archer smiled without mirth. "There's a huge spy station carved right into the mountain behind this sanctuary. I find it hard to believe you've never noticed. Were the construction crews as quiet as you are?"
The Elder said nothing.
"A spy station?" Tucker said. One eye was now swollen shut where he'd been butted by the Andorian's gun. "Exactly what the Andorians were looking for in the first place?"
"Yes," Archer said grimly.
Tucker gave her a disbelieving look, before he turned his attention back to the captain. "And now they're just ... leaving?"
"I have no reason to hold them," Archer said.
Tucker grimaced, his hand rising involuntarily to his swollen face. "With respect, sir, they knocked the hell out of you. And they were threatening to kill people."
Lieutenant Reed suddenly raced back in. "Captain," he said, rather breathlessly. "I believe Crewman Baratto may be going into shock. He needs medical attention."
"Let's get Phlox down here," Archer said, and held out his hand for Malcolm's communicator. While the captain called the ship, T'Pol observed Reed sidling up to Commander Tucker. "Looks like you could use a little attention from the good doctor, too," the tactical officer said, under his breath.
Tucker lowered his voice even further. "Why we would just let them go?"
"It was the captain's decision," Reed said, in a tone that clearly suggested it would not have been his.
Tucker turned his eyes to her, then, as if he hoped she could explain, but she looked away. She would not have let the Andorians go herself, but she thought she understood the impulse. After all, why would Archer wish to aid Vulcans who had lied so baldly to him -- had even watched him come back from two beatings without saying a word? Handing their secrets over to the Andorians with his blessing was perhaps his very human way of 'getting even.'
And the Vulcans had lied, to a degree that shook her foundation of beliefs.
Because Vulcans did not lie.
Not that she was unfamiliar with the occasional need to prevaricate. One didn't work in intelligence as she had without accepting the logic of occasionally setting aside one's own moral purity for the greater good. But that was a special yoke highly-trained intelligent agents accepted, a reasoned sacrifice. It was not supposed to be the Vulcan way. It was not supposed to be Vulcan policy.
Had Soval known about this? What would have happened if she'd asked him before they undertook this visit? Would he have found some logical reason why they shouldn't go?
She stared at the Elder, but he would not return her gaze. He'd known. Of course he'd known. And the others?
None of them would look at her.
They'd let the Andorians beat Archer repeatedly. He might have been killed. For that matter, any one of them might have been killed at any moment. Did these monks truly consider this spy station worth dying for?
"Captain," she said. "Perhaps it would wise to leave promptly. Given the lengths to which my government has gone to protect their treaty violation, it is possible they are also prepared to use deadly force to protect their secret."
Tucker said, "I sure wouldn't want to have take on a Vulcan cruiser."
"Which is undoubtedly on the way," Reed said. "I did notify Starfleet about the Andorians."
Archer looked at her for a long moment, and she watched him realize that things might be even worse than he had thought.
He would never trust her people now.
Then again, she might not either.
"Actually, I'll get Baratto and transport up with him," Archer said, with a grimace. "Perhaps I should communicate our little discovery to Starfleet Command sooner rather than later. Get everyone else together and return on the shuttlepod as quickly as you can."
She nodded and noted that Reed and Tucker were already poised to follow her. They headed for the door.
"You shame Vulcan."
It was the Elder. She stopped and turned. Most of the monks were now staring coldly at her, like the Elder who had just spoken, and for a mad moment she wondered if they were upset that she hadn't requested the stone of J'Kah. But no, of course that was not it. She had allied herself with these humans. That was her error.
"I am not the one who has shamed Vulcan today," she returned coolly, and resumed her course.
"Damned straight," Tucker added under his breath, apparently for her benefit. And then they were jogging along the hall, intent on their objective.
It was illogical of her to take the slightest pleasure in Tucker's comment. Nonetheless she was conscious that she found it agreeable. Perhaps this was because she suspected there would be very little approval coming from any of her Vulcan colleagues for some time to come.
Author's Note: In researching to see what others had done (partly to avoid repetition and partly because I really couldn't figure out where to stick a missing scene) I came across another nice missing scene for this episode: "Infinite Diversity" by Starbaby at Trip T'Polers. And I think she really picked the perfect spot. So go enjoy that one, too. I didn't want to copy her, so I stuck this scene on at the very end but BEFORE that shot of the shuttlepod taking off. So technically it's not a post-ep. At any rate, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Next installment: Breaking the Ice.
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