Author's Note: I thought about skipping this episode, partly because I had already done my thing with "Commander Tucker Has a Baby" (although that one goes AU, obviously), and partly because I couldn't see how to do it except as a post-ep. But then I thought I could throw a scene or two in right after the missing scene on the DVD version. If you don't have access to that, here it is, courtesy of the wonderful Chrissie's Transcripts Site:
TUCKER: Are you certain you made the correct sensor modifications?
After throwing up into the situation room toilet, Trip felt a lot better. Maybe he really could help Reed tune the UV sensors now.
But Malcolm greeted him with a mixture of pity and distaste. "Sub-Commander T'Pol has agreed to help me recalibrate the sensors. You should go see Phlox. What if this is related to that thing on your wrist? I don't see how he can be so certain you didn't catch some bug over there."
"Indeed," T'Pol said.
"Fine, I'll go see Phlox," Tucker said, with a parting glare at the first officer. Anything to get away from more of her sneaky little attacks. And just where was the logic in all that sarcasm?
In the turbo lift, he did his best to ignore the little flutter of vertigo/nausea as it started. How the hell was he supposed to function like this?
He headed straight for sickbay. "Doc, please tell me you can give me something for nausea."
Phlox looked up from his monitor. "Ah, Commander. I was just studying the DNA of your embryo. Did you realize that the vast majority of the space-going species we are familiar with originate on Minshara-class planets? These Xyrillians are a quite remarkable exception."
"Yeah, I noticed. Come on, Doc, I'm losing everything I eat. That can't be good for me or the baby."
"Well, let's take a look at you," Phlox said, and pointed for him to lie down on the imaging chamber table.
"You must have a hypospray or something for me," Tucker said, as the table slid into the chamber. He hopped up impatiently as soon as he had slid out again. "I can't do my job like this!"
Phlox smiled tightly. "You've gained over a kilogram. Obviously you're not losing everything you eat."
"That's not how it feels."
"Normally I would have something that could help you weather these symptoms, but I'm afraid I can't be certain what affect our drugs might have on a Xyrillian embryo. I think it's best if you just try to eat frequent small meals, nothing too spicy, and get plenty of rest."
"That's the best you can do?"
"With any luck, the worst of it will pass soon."
"With any luck, this embryo will be gone soon. We just have to find the damned Xyrillians!"
"I certainly hope we do. If nothing else, I'd like some good information about how to safely get you through this experience."
Trip felt a chill that had nothing to do with morning sickness. "What do you mean, safely?"
Phlox looked uncomfortable. "I don't know how a Xyrillian fetus gestates in one of their own males, let alone a human male. Right now it's integrated into your pericardium in a rather significant way. Will it begin to detach on its own, or am I going to have to go in and try to do it surgically?"
"Wait a minute. Are you saying this thing could kill me?"
"Oh, I rather doubt it. There were plenty of adult males on that ship, yes? So it hardly makes sense to think they sacrifice their lives to help the females reproduce. But do contact me right away if you start to experience a sudden rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, dizziness, faintness, unusual fatigue..."
"My heart started beating pretty damned fast the minute you said something about surgery."
Phlox smiled and scanned him. "You're perfectly fine. A little stress is quite understandable under the circumstances. Perhaps you could think of this as a brand new way to explore strange new worlds...."
"I prefer the old-fashioned way." Trip sighed. "And I'm hungry again."
"Then by all means eat. Remember: frequent, small meals. Don't let yourself go too long without food and that may help keep the nausea at bay."
"Too bad my station isn't the mess hall. Actually, strike that, when I smell Chef working with raw meat in there it makes me want to gag."
"The fetus's way of defending against parasites, perhaps. Isn't the wisdom of the body remarkable?"
"Wisdom?" Trip said. "Whose wisdom? You ever seen Invasion of the Body Snatchers?"
"No, I can't say that I have."
"Well, I'm not watching it again until this whole thing is over with. I'm having a hard enough time with this already."
Ugh. It really did smell like Rigelian sausage in the mess hall. He loaded up a plate, took a glass of milk, and escaped into the less aromatic atmosphere of the captain's mess. It was still a little early and he hadn't been officially invited to the captain's table, but he doubted Archer, who often ate lunch at his desk, would mind lending it out to a frazzled engineer. A steward popped his head in but Trip waved him away. "Don't worry, Daniels, it's just me. I just need a little quiet time."
"Whatever you say, Commander," Daniels said, and left.
The door slid open. T'Pol stepped in.
Trip sighed. "No, Sub-Commander, I didn't ask permission to eat here, but I didn't think the captain would mind."
She lifted an eyebrow. "I simply wished to inquire if you were all right."
Her brow furrowed. "You went to see the doctor?"
"Yes I did. Why? Are you fishing for new information to use against me?"
"Fishing," T'Pol repeated softly, before apparently managing to place the metaphor in context. She sat down at the table. "I assure you, that has never been my intention."
"Could have fooled me." He eyed his cooling food unhappily and sighed. "What can I do for you, Sub-Commander?" Anything to get her to just shut up and leave, already.
Daniels popped his head in again. "Sub-Commander?"
"Thank you, but I am not here for a meal, Crewman," she said.
"Ooookay," Daniels said, with an odd little smile, and disappeared again.
"Perhaps we should reduce your duty hours until you are feeling better," she said.
"If I ever do," Trip said morosely.
"I'd rather try to work my regular shifts, if you don't mind. I'll make sure I have capable back-ups available in case I have to run for it or drop a baby in the Jefferies Tube or whatever the hell is going to happen."
"We should be able to find the Xyrillians."
"I sure hope so. And then I hope they can get this thing out of me without anybody being the worse for it."
"That would be ideal."
"'Course you'd lose your main source of entertainment."
She tilted her head. "I beg your pardon?"
He shook his head and finished chewing a bite of his sandwich. "I take it on Vulcan it's the women who have the babies? Or do you create them in test tubes or something so you can still fit into your skinny little uniforms?"
Her eyes narrowed. "As among humans, Vulcan women bear their own children unless a health condition precludes it."
"And then what? Slap a diaper on them and ship them off to logic camp?"
"Generally speaking, a woman stays at home with her infant for at least the first two years."
Huh. That wasn't what he'd expected. "Guess you drill all that logic into them yourself, then."
"Young children are not particularly receptive to logic. The brain must first develop the capacity for abstract thought. However, discipline and emotional control can be encouraged beginning quite early in life with proper parenting technique."
"No doubt," he said sourly.
"May I ask you a question?"
Tucker sighed, and spoke around a mouth full of food. "Why stop now?"
"If this condition is truly as unexpected and unsought as you claim, why do you continue it at all?"
"What do you mean?"
"Why not simply ... terminate it?"
Trip had no easy answer for this. For one thing, Phlox had not offered the option. For another ... "What if I run into Ah'lenn again one day? What am I supposed to tell her? Hey, I was pregnant with your kid for awhile, but, you know, having it just wasn't very convenient..."
"It's not convenient."
"And you get on our case for eating the flesh of animals? It's a baby we're talking about here."
"If events truly unfolded as you say, this pregnancy amounts to a violation."
"Are you calling me a liar again?"
"No, I'm calling you a victim. If indeed you were not seeking sexual contact with this alien..."
"Look," Trip said hotly. "This is bad enough without thinking I'm some kind of poor helpless victim. She seemed like a nice lady. I prefer to think she didn't mean for this to happen, that it was just some big dumb accident. Now do me a favor, Sub-Commander, and BACK THE HELL OFF. I've got enough to deal with right now without being harassed by you!"
T'Pol stared blankly at him for a moment, then got up and left without another word.
Great. He sighed. Probably he'd be getting a friendly little warning from Archer later about making nice with the first officer.
He was just plain going to steer clear of ALL alien women from now on. Yes, he was. By now he'd learned that lesson, but good.
Next installment: Terra Nova.
Like it? Hate it? Just want to point out a typo? Join the discussion now.
Disclaimer: Star Trek in all its various forms and its characters are the property of CBS/Paramount. No copyright infringement is intended by the authors of this site, which is solely for the purpose of entertainment and is not for profit. This site is owned by CX and was opened to the public in February 2008.