Happy December! May it be filled with so much love, laughter, sharing, and joy that it flows out from you and embraces others.
I wanted to give my readers a gift, so I’ve created a special Advent calendar that doesn’t stop on December 25,and espouses the concept of IDIC – Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. Each day, I post a stream-of-consciousness flash fan fiction story. Read none, one, some, or all – suit yourself!
A note: After today’s main feature, there’s three more paragraphs from Catsuit, with thanks to commenters Erin Zarro, Fallon Brown, and Dale Cooper.
OK, briefing time:
Spoiler zone ahead! If you don’t want to know what happens – please skip these. I want to delight, not ruin anyone’s fun.
Calendar art by Annalise S. Burton,used with permission and compensation.
I don’t own Trip, T’Pol, or the franchise that conceived them. These stories are a gift freely offered.
Honest, respectful feedback always welcome!
And now, we lift today’s tab…
T’Pol sat cross-legged at her meditation table, watching the flame flicker with her erratic breaths. The blue-veined rock sat within the mortar and pestle, with the promise of emotions to immerse herself in, here in this private space, where none would know.
Was there danger in hiding what she was doing? Shouldn’t she have told someone, before she began this course of action?
Perhaps it would have been wise. But who was there to tell? Not Doctor Phlox. He would remind her of the damage she’d sustained- not only from this substance, but from a forced mind-meld, and Rajiin’s mental invasion. He might even remind her of the Crossing.
It was true that she’d been compromised.
It was also true that there was value in being able to feel, to have at last something that approached a common frame of reference with her human crewmates.
Perhaps she could tell him. There were times, when they practiced neuropressure, and he spoke of the upgrades he was planning, and avoided any mention of the deep grief and anger she could feel in him, that she wanted to reveal herself, and the steps she was taking. But he was unpredictable, and strangely protective of her. He might not understand as she wanted him to, and then he would almost certainly inform the Captain, ‘for your own damned good.’
“This is not helpful,” she told herself, and proceeded to pulverize the rock before stirring the dust into her bowl of plomik broth. It added an unpleasant grittiness, and the taste was far from agreeable. Perhaps, she could find a way to bypass her digestive system.
Once she’d eaten the broth, and the first chilling heat began to spread outward from her stomach, she turned to her desk, where the two datapads waited..
Two reports, one from Lieutenant Reed, and the other from the MACO corporal, both delivered confidentially, and independently of one another; both containing information that was alarming in its implications. The reports unintentionally corroborated one another; it was therefore logical to assume that both accounts were true.
Jonathan Archer had held an innocent Xindi arboreal named Graylick hostage, terrorized him at the point of a weapon. What the reports described was an escalating obsession with this mission on the Captain’s part, and a capacity to ignore his own moral code to achieve his objectives.
It reminded T’Pol of the compulsive behavior the humans had once displayed when they encountered a singularity. It was most worrisome, now. Would this behavior continue to escalate?
T’Pol rose restlessly, driven by her concern and indecision. Should she confront the Captain?
She stood at the window, then turned back to her table. There was the trellium, and she wanted it, wanted more of the pleasant icefires, the glow of feelings that would envelop her when Trip came, and his strong, capable, gentle hands moved over her body. It was becoming difficult to suppress her physical responses to his touch; only by channeling it into new and more intimate postures could she do so.
More. She wanted more.
She was chewing a mouthful of rock dust – a known psychotropic toxin, for her species – when she made the connection.
She and the Captain were the same.
T’Pol shivered with realization, and fear – but she didn’t stop until she’d emptied the mortar’s basin, and filled herself with feelings.
Will T’Pol confide in Trip?
Will she be able to contain her physical response to him?
Is this mission in trouble?
As promised…three more paragraphs from Catsuit, wrapped in Triaxian silk.
He left them all sitting there,but he still felt their eyes on him. Maybe this would put Jon’s mind more at ease. There wasn’t a damned thing that could undo it; Lizzie was dead, his hometown was destroyed. But all those seven million others had families, too. Probably couldn’t walk a city block anywhere on Earth without meeting someone who lost someone, just like he did.
What the hell good did it do to dwell on it? Better to find these damned Xindi, and stop them before they followed through. And, if he could get his hands on even one of them…well, he might not let go until he got revenge for his baby sister – damn, Lizzie, how the hell can someone as alive as you be dead? How the hell does this make any kind of sense? Trip swiped at his eyes – couldn’t let anyone see –
“Are you well, Comman- ” Trip crashed hard into baby blue silk that looked like a shimmering shell through the diffraction of tears. T’Pol looked into his eyes; hers were unshuttered like they’d been at Fusion, when he’d thought he was falling into her even though they hadn’t said a word and she was three tables away. Damn, he was falling in again…