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"The Bribe"
By Distracted

Rating: G
Genre: Drama
Disclaimer: Not mine. All theirs.
Summary: Soong’s thoughts at the beginning of “Borderland”

There is a certain satisfaction to be derived from the touch of pen on paper. The sheer tangibility of it… the smoothness of the writing surface… the acrid smell of the ink… lends itself to discoveries of importance in a way that transiently existing electronic media cannot. This feeling of mine makes no sense, for I am fully aware of the regular and cyclical destruction of everything I record on these fragile sheets of cellulose, but the data is, after all, permanently recorded within my brain. Once I have organized it and committed it to memory, I have only to call it forth again to bring it once more to life.

A visitor is coming, they tell me. It is almost time. Once I am out of this place, it will merely be a matter of time before I see my children again. They will be young adults in their prime now… strong, intelligent, and resourceful… exactly as they were meant to be… exactly as I designed them.

I am designing other things as well… projects meant to serve as bait. If I have correctly assessed the situation, Captain Jonathan Archer will be the next person I see in my captivity. I have his project prepared… a proposed gene therapy treatment for Clarke’s disease. It is by no means certain that he will contract it as his father did, but the possibility exists. Surely the man will see the benefits of my treatment… if only to spare himself excruciating pain.

The Starfleet confidential database to which I so easily gained access during my most recent escape attempt was actually quite helpful in providing me with sufficient information to guide my projects. Henry Archer’s genetic condition was merely the tip of the iceberg. At first, I didn’t quite know what to make of the fact that Commander Charles Tucker had accompanied Enterprise’s Vulcan First Officer to her home on Vulcan during his leave. After the hero’s welcome they’d all received back on Earth, it would seem that the boy would have preferred to be among humans in order to bask in his fifteen minutes of fame. His psychiatric profile on record shed little light on the situation. The engineer was a surprisingly intelligent but straightforward fellow. There was very little mystery there. He liked engines, and women, and food… in that order, apparently… and his actions in the past had been fairly predictable… until now. What was the draw of a bone-dry blazingly hot planet as compared to thousands of adoring admirers… over fifty percent of them female? There was only one possible answer. It wasn’t the planet.

A file photograph of T’Pol of Vulcan in uniform convinced me, finally, despite my doubts. What human male could resist those attributes if the woman possessing them showed even the slightest interest? They were a couple.

The idea is quite intriguing. The genetic advantages of a Vulcan-Human crossbreed have consumed my attention for the past several days. There are several problems which I am working to overcome, but if I can convince Archer to provide me with laboratory facilities, I am confident that I will find a way to produce a viable hybrid. There is a flaw in my plan, however. Archer has no imagination. I doubt that he will be willing to take the risk. It’s a perplexing problem.

On the other hand, the Vulcan seems a most unusual representative of her species. If Archer won’t be bribed with my cure for Clarke’s disease… perhaps the Vulcan First Officer will see the logic in what I have to offer.

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