This post is part of Linda G.Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday meme – an unedited stream of consciousness piece that ties into the weekly prompt:“name”.
This passage opens “Phoenix Time”, which I wrote for Story A Day May – the official prompt was to write a story that used a fairy tale, myth, or legend. I also used the guest prompt, which details an opening situation I adapted to suit my setting and genre. I’ve corrected typos here, but it’s otherwise unedited (and, yes, it’s got some very rough edges, so be careful out there, OK?).
Disclaimer: T’Pol, Trip, and Enterprise are property of Paramount; no copyright infringement is intended. I just hate to see favorite characters left untended!
Malcolm Reed was navigating the busy morning corridors, thinking about a big plate of eggs benedict, and maybe a tall glass of orange juice to go with it, when he saw someone lurching through the purposeful motion, weaving erratically.
The man was dressed in a light blue tee, ribbed and fitted, and sleek workout pants – and he looked like he’d gotten the worst end of whatever exercise he’d been getting up to. His face was proof – a black eye nearly swollen shut, and blood dried under his nose and over a distinctly fat lip. He reeled in a punch-drunk fashion, and everyone else seemed eager to pretend he didn’t exist –
Maybe that had to do with the untidy shock of blonde hair, or the drawling mutters as the man lurched along – or that everyone else was ranked ensign or crew, and they didn’t want to tell the third in command that he belonged in Sickbay, or at least in bed, sleeping off whatever scrape he’d gotten himself into this time.
He caromed off the junction Malcolm was approaching as though he didn’t even see it, almost fell, staggered to a clumsy recovery, his muttering never ceasing, but also not exactly coherent.
“Trip?” Malcolm asked, putting out a restraining hand. Man was bent on getting himself into trouble, it seemed.
“Yeah – can’t quite get my bearings….need a navigator -” the man sagged, trying to grin. Malcolm didn’t bother to inform him that he’d been stating his nickname, not commenting on the obvious lack of balance. Security was a tactical concern; jokes could come once he’d assessed the threat.
“Trip. What happened to you?”
The engineer leaned heavily on him. “Was sparring -damn – let my guard down- shoulda known better – shoulda seen it comin’…”
“I should see the other guy, though, right?” He wrangled Trip to the wall, propped him up, making a cursory check of the head.
“Other guy? Other ‘guy’ – damn, hurts too much to smile….other ‘guy’s’ got – pointed ears – and not a mark on her….gotta…gotta get to her -” He struggled to break loose, but Malcolm stopped him easily.
“T’Pol did this to you?” It wasn’t really a question; the Vulcan had the only pointed ears on the ship, except for Phlox’s bat. “What the hell did you do to her this time?”
“Said she’s beautiful when she’s angry- let me go, Malcolm. Gotta get to her – no one knows – “
“Why was she angry?” Malcolm let the other man propel himself off the wall, but caught and guided him, hoping Trip wouldn’t guess that he intended to take him to Sickbay, not help him go after T’Pol. Commander Tucker’s stubbornness and resourcefulness were nearly legendary – matched only by the First Officer’s.
“Because it’s phoenix time, and she’s not ready to admit it -”Trip slumped, half-unconscious, and the rest was lost in muttering that sounded-
Malcolm Reed shivered. Neither Trip nor T’Pol talked much about their private life, or at least not the parts they shared.
But he’d seen enough to know that whatever hold she had on him, Trip was never going to be free of it, or her.
And it didn’t exactly seem safe or simple, being – well, whatever the hell Trip was, to the Vulcan woman. There’d been a time when Malcolm had thought he might give her a go, himself, but now he was glad he hadn’t quite managed it, because Trip seemed to trigger one Vulcan depth charge after another – but, as far as he knew, she’d never slugged him before…
Malcolm kept moving, but wondered whether he should alert someone about the incident. T’Pol was a force to be reckoned with, in the best of circumstances, and there wasn’t a human on this ship who could match her for strength or speed – or, even though he hated to admit it even to himself, prowess. Woman knew every fighting technique from at least thirty worlds, and she was chewing her way through Earth’s –
But what the hell had made a Vulcan angry enough to do this to Trip’s face? She seemed rather – fond?- of it, and the man who wore it, in a detached way. Was there any logic in reshaping it?
Will Malcolm get answers? Will Trip get T’Pol? Will she slug him again? What’s in a name? And what is “phoenix time”?
If you read the full story, you’ll have a better idea…and, if not, I’m always open to guesses.
What do you think is going on here?
Did you enjoy this stream-of consciousness Trip? Come read more, or, better yet, jump in – there’s just a few simple rules.