Title: Phoenix Flame
Author: Thomas Myers
Author's e-mail: MagicCG23@aol.com
Date: Posted on 12/31/03
Series: ENT (Star Trek Enterprise)
Archive: Anyone wishing to post this story to his or her own website,
Summary: T'Pol is killed in an explosion, but something strange is
happening to her body.
Do you know "The Legend of the Phoenix"? I'm not talking about that
fantastic ship that carried humanity to the stars on its wings so many
years ago. I'm not even talking about the city in Arizona. I'm talking
about a great bird. It is a bird that the Egyptians told many tales of.
It is a bird of shimmering light and beauty. Any who see it are
invigorated. Their souls are lifted high.
Do you know "The Legend of the Phoenix"? Have heard the tale of the bird
of immortality? Have you heard tell of its ruby wings and golden plumage?
Forget the literary works you have read. Ignore the writings of such
people as J. K. Rowlings. Forget what you read in those old "Conan" comic
books. They have a clue, but they don't give you the whole tale.
Do you know "The Legend of the Phoenix"? Would you like me to tell you? I
will you tell of the bird of legend. If you have, I will tell you a
version that you may not have heard. The Phoenix is immortal, as you may
have guessed. Oh, it does die, but it doesn't stay dead. The Phoenix is a
watcher. It was once a simple bird. Perhaps it was a canary. Maybe it
was a partridge. It could even have been a sparrow or a nightingale. I
doubt it was a hawk or a kite. Its preferred food is fruit called
It lived its life like normal birds do. It hunted and built its nests and
nurtured its young. One day, Ra, the Sun God came to the bird and told it
that he was impressed by its diligence. He offered it immortality and
great beauty. In exchange the bird would be his servant, forever serving
him. After much thought the bird accepted and now the Phoenix lives. The
Phoenix was charged to observe all the people of all the land and report to
Ra. So the Phoenix carried out its charge. So the Phoenix still carries
out its charge.
So happy was the Phoenix. It could fly like a bird and sing like a bird,
though its voice had become beautiful and unnatural. It was free to do all
the things that birds could do and in exchange, all it had to do was
observe the musings of the mortals and tell its master about them. It did
its job quite well and its master was very pleased. Years and years passed
and its job never ended. There was always something new to see. There was
always some invention or some new style of music. The Phoenix so liked its
The Phoenix decided that it wanted to enjoy this world with its new
immortal life. It found all of the birds it could and tried to join with
them. It played with them and chased them like a predator and then fled
when they played the raptor, and the other birds were amused with it, for
awhile. It was so beautiful. It was so strong. Then the other birds
shunned it. It was too beautiful. Its strength was unnatural. It was too
Years later, the Phoenix came back to those birds and laughed at them.
They are all old and shriveled while it remained beautiful and young.
Still, they shunned him, but there was one bird that did not shun. In
fact, even all of those years ago, she had not shunned him. In return for
its love, the Phoenix granted her gift. He gave her one of his tail-
feathers. She took it happily and knitted it into her own tale feathers.
As he watched, the old bird became young and new again, for the tail-
feather of the Phoenix grants its possessor immortality. Ra, seeing this,
turned the renewed bird into a Phoenix also. So they flew and played and
when a thousand years passed they noticed that they had grown old and
shriveled. They looked to their master in fear. He assured that they were
immortal, but all things must die. That did not mean that they could not
The two, aging birds felt their strength drain completely. They died.
Even as they died, they felt warmth. Their bodies burst into flames that
spread for miles. From the ashes of these flames, two birds were born
On the planet of Niurev, deep within the Delphic Expanse, there is a legend
that seems to have something in common with the Phoenix. The Niur believe
that in the mountains of their home, where the eternal fires burn that
every ten thousand years, someone is killed by the breath of Moroc.
According to legend, it is of no consequence who or how many dies in his
breath, but only one is chosen. That one will stand in death, living
again, to become their new God or Goddess. If the scriptures were to be
believed, the time was now.
Niur Star Patrol noticed a ship falling into orbit of their planet. They
didn't care whom it belonged to. They only cared whom it didn't belong to,
and it didn't belong to the reptilian or insectoid Xindi. That meant that
this newcomer was welcome for this joyous occasion.
Ambassador Soval had said that this region of space was home to extremely
aggressive races. Commander Charles "Trip" Tucker III didn't think that
these people were vicious. In fact, they seemed downright neighborly.
They had cordially invited the entire crew of the Enterprise to partake in
an event called "The Birth of the Child of Moroc". That was what Hoshi
Sato said it meant, anyway. The event lasted a week and a half.
Captain Archer decided on rotating shifts. He accepted their offer. He
wanted to start a relationship between Earth and these people. They were
going to need all the friends they could get if they were ever going to
find this Xindi weapon. Straws were drawn. The crew would go from the
ship to the planet in turns. Just their luck, but Archer, Trip, T'Pol and
Doctor Phlox came up among the first of who would join the festivities.
"Captain, this is like Thanksgiving Day in New York." Trip was rarely out
of the company of T'Pol these days. So of course they would be together at
a bash like this. That this was like Thanksgiving Day was an
understatement. Macy's didn't hold a candle to this. "What do you think,
Archer couldn't help but enjoy this atmosphere. "It certainly is festive."
There were streamers and balloons. There was a massive parade with
marching bands and the whole nine yards. There were acrobatic dancers and
actors dressed to the sixes and sevens. There were fire-eaters and
magicians. There were even games and rides for the kids. Porthos, on his
leash, was clearly enjoying himself. "T'Pol, what is the significance of
"In those mountains over there," T'Pol pointed to a mountain range some
distance away, "there are fire caves, similar to the ones found on Earth in
Azerbajain called The Devil's Breath where there are natural flames that
never go out. Every year, on this day, pressure builds up causing a
rupture within the cavern itself."
"Affirmative. Simultaneously, another explosion occurs elsewhere on this
planet. By some mystery of science, no one is ever harmed this
simultaneous explosion. They do have a legend that once every ten
thousand, someone dies in one of these explosions and is resurrected.
These people advanced at significantly slower rate than Vulcans or humans.
Their written history spans thirty thousand years."
"So when is this next resurrection supposed to happen?"
"According to their calendar, which according to myth is reset every time
this event occurs, today. After the event, there are four days worth of
ceremonies, and another festival scheduled to last for another four days."
Trip got a big grin on his face. "Well, Captain, either we're in for quite
a show or these people are in for a serious disappointment."
T'Pol turned to Trip. "It is more likely that this legend is largely
symbolic. Even still, if the legend were true, which is highly doubtful,
these people would have to be employing the most accurate calendar ever
created. That is, with the exception of the Vulcan calendar." There had
been rumors going around about T'Pol and Trip. He had told Captain Archer
about the neuropressure sessions, but a month or so after the events
surrounding Sim, Trip started hemhawing around these rumors, no longer
denying them. T'Pol had fallen rather silent as well where these rumors
were concerned, but unlike Trip, she didn't concern herself with the gossip
mongering and simply responded to questions with "It's none of your
As much as Archer was attracted to T'Pol, he strangely found himself hoping
that these events surrounding her and Trip were exactly what they looked
like. Maybe he had better leave these two alone. Porthos was becoming
fidgety anyway. "Well, I think I'm going to find Doctor Phlox. The last
time I saw him, he was scrutinizing a lizard in a pet shop window. I guess
he's trying to restock the medical bay."
Later that night, there was a rather impressive fireworks display. In one
hour's time, Moroc would breathe his immortal fire on the people. Trip
found that he was becoming more and more concerned. They said that nobody
ever got hurt in these explosions. Certainly there was a chance that
someone could get hurt, and no one had any way of knowing where the
secondary explosion could occur.
Trip ushered T'Pol away from the noisy fireworks, which were clearly
hurting her ears. They were almost out of the city when the noise was
sufficiently diminished. It was a small park with a fountain in the
center. The sculpture looked distinctly like an angel. It through Trip
for a loop, but then he realized that humans couldn't have been the only
people who imagined people with wings. The park was pleasant and deserted.
Even better, they had a good view of the fireworks from here, without the
added attraction of the noise.
"Half an hour before the big event. I wonder how it happens?" Trip had
racked his brains wondering how a fire could go on for millennia at a time.
"Most likely, it is an area of geothermal activity in which large amounts
of fossil fuels gather and burn off." Of course, T'Pol would know. Vulcan
or not, Trip sometimes wondered how she could cram all of this information
into that head of hers. "Charles?" How come she didn't call him "Trip"?
She never called him "Trip". "There is something that I have been meaning
to show you."
Time out! "Come again?"
"As you know, some Vulcans are capable of something called a mind-meld. I
am not capable of this, but as a Vulcan I do have the capacity for some
telepathy. We do not discipline this skill, and it is marginal at best.
When two people form a bond as we have, we also form a telepathic link."
"You mean like reading each others minds?"
"No. This is quite different. There is more to telepathy than simply
reading minds. Likewise, as Vulcans do not discipline this skill, I'm not
capable of reading minds. Think of it as a union. It is a bond. It is
not a link. We will not be able to sense each other's thoughts, or track
each other's movements. I'm aware that this is true for some telepathic
species, but it is not true of Vulcans."
It sounded an awful lot like marriage to Trip, but T'Pol had explained
enough of Vulcan culture that he knew that it wasn't. Okay. He'd do
anything. She was all he could ever think of. Why the hell not? He tried
to speak but only wound up nodding instead. What was that "show you" part
all about, though? Trip figured that he was about to find out.
T'Pol put her hands to his face. She placed them, palms flat, on the curve
of his jaw. Her fingers came around to the base of his skull. He felt a
warm sensation of happiness. No, it wasn't happiness. This was something
better. This was something stronger. He felt bliss. He felt euphoria.
He used a number of words that just didn't seem to quite describe this
feeling. He realized what she was "showing" him. She was showing him
something that she could never have just told him about. She was showing
him her heart.
He wanted show her his heart, too. He wanted to show her his feelings, his
love and compassion. He found that he could. This experience apparently
worked both ways. He wanted to show her everything he felt. She took it
all, and she gave him all. Trip reeled at the wonderful things he was
feeling. He didn't want this to end. When he opened his eyes, and when
this incredible moment had ended, he found that his lips were pressed
against hers. They had the rudest interruption that anyone could never
For a moment, Trip thought a bomb had gone off. He could have sworn that
the fountain had exploded, but when he got up and looked at it, it didn't
have so much as a burn mark, although it did have some soot on it. A few
blades of grass had been burnt. He looked down to see that his uniform had
been singed, but he was totally uninjured. He ran over to T'Pol now, who
had been thrown a few feet away.
She was covered in a green fluid. It was Vulcan blood. Her right ear was
simply gone and her body looked as though it had been shattered. Panic
started to set in and Trip laid a finger on her neck, checking her pulse.
She had none. He pulled out his communicator, which was mercifully
undamaged, and called for Doctor Phlox. He began to administer CPR (How
did it work on a Vulcan? Wait. Now he remembered where her heart was.),
totally ignoring the blood.
Nothing he did worked. Doctor Phlox would say that she was totally
unresponsive. Dammit, he wasn't a doctor! He was an engineer! What was
he supposed to do? He couldn't lose her. Not after tonight! He wished
that hadn't brought her here. He wished that it was him instead of her
lying there, dead. He wished Phlox would hurry it up. There was still
A crowd began to gather. People had heard the explosion. Trip realized
that the fireworks had stopped some time ago. He couldn't think. He
couldn't do anything. All he could do was hold the woman he loved and cry.
He was glad he had shared that final moment with her. It had been a
moment of supreme understanding, and now that was all he had left of T'Pol.
A sound began to permeate the air. The people! Were they praying?
Doctor Phlox and Captain Archer arrived just in time to be too late.
Porthos shot over to T'Pol and immediately took a defensive posture. He
was trying to protect her from the people.
"What the HELL DO YOU MEAN we can't take her back to Enterprise?" Trip was
furious. The last time Archer saw him this furious was in that trillium D
mining colony when they were interrogating that Xindi slave.
"Not yet, anyway!" The Chief of City Security looked like he could have
done with some aspirin. These people looked human in every respect except
that they had a large brown line going down their foreheads that looked
like a tattoo. "I sympathize, Mr. Tucker. I really do, but the church is
in an uproar. You don't understand. These explosions have never killed
anyone before. The High Priestess would flay me alive if I let you leave
with T'Pol's body."
"You have no right to keep her!"
"I still have to investigate this! Until that's over, I'm afraid that,
yes! I do! I've studied the database that you sent. Even your own laws
recognize that. She stays here until we're certain of what happened."
Trip looked absolutely defeated. It was as if he had simply lost his will
to live. Trip looked at Archer. His voice was on the verge of breaking.
"Captain, you can't let them do this."
"I don't want to, Trip, but I'm afraid Chief Fen's legal interpretation is
correct. I have no choice." It took something out of Archer to say that,
but one more fact remained. "Besides, I want to find out exactly what
happened, also. Don't you?"
"Look, all of you." Chief Fen calmed down dramatically. "I'm terribly
sorry about all of this. Normally, I'd let you take her right now, no
questions asked. The High Priestess is convinced that the prophecy of
Moroc is true and that T'Pol will resurrect."
"What do you believe?" Archer's curiosity was genuine.
"I never bought into it. It always seemed like a bunch of superstition to
me. I certainly hope that there's some truth to it, but we all know that
just isn't realistic."
Archer never expected this to happen. They had come down to this city on
the invitation of the government. Now he was going to leave with one dead
officer, and friend. "The High Priestess has been good enough to allow
Doctor Phlox to examine the body, just so long as no autopsy is performed.
I think I'll go to the temple and see how he's coming along."
Trip stood up. The anger in his eyes was darker than Archer had ever seen
before. "I'm going, too."
"Are you sure you're ready for that, Trip?"
"It doesn't matter. I have to."
The walk to the temple was a quiet one. Chief Fen brought up the rear
while Archer and Trip led a handful of his security officers. The Temple
of the First Shrine of Moroc was a massive structure that was almost as big
as the Vatican. It was Archer and Trip's first visit to this building. In
spite of themselves, they were awestruck when they saw the ninety-foot
vaulted ceiling and the marble pillars that spiraled all the way up. There
was a mural on the floor made of rubies and emeralds. They were high grade
from the looks of them. In spite of the fact that they were set into the
floor, Archer and Trip could see every facet in each one of them. It was
an image of a towering man with wings made of tanzinite.
"Moroc, I presume?" Archer looked over to Fen.
"Yes." T'Pol was being kept in an antechamber and Archer could see why.
There were thousands of people in this cavernous room waiting for a dead
Vulcan to rise. Apparently, no one was allowed to stand on the mural of
Moroc. It took some maneuvering for Archer and Trip to avoid it, but
somehow they managed.
They finally found their way to the antechamber. A was a regular sized
room filled with cushions. Inside, they found several crewmen come to pay
their respects. There was an air of wonder and curiosity in the room.
Doctor Phlox was examining T'Pol with his medical scanner. Archer came up
behind him. "How's it coming, Doc."
"Baffling." Phlox turned to face Archer. "Captain what we have before is
what is clearly the dead body of Sub-Commander T'Pol. She is regenerating,
Captain, not on the cellular level, not on the molecular level, not on the
atomic level, but on the sub-atomic level. I need a Ph.D. in quantum
physics just to understand the dynamics of what is happening to her."
"'Regenerating?'" Trip seemed to come back to life. He also didn't care
where he was or who was listening. "So this legend could be true? She
could--" He broke off. Every crewman had noted the pain in Trip's voice,
but they were too dumbstruck by the events of the past ten hours to care
about rumor mongering.
"I don't know, Mr. Tucker. What I do know is that there is an energy
signature emanating from her that I've never seen before. It is exciting
her cellular regeneration on the sub-atomic level. Synaptic pathways are
being restored on a minute to minute basis. Wounds are literally healing
at an incredible rate. I've never seen anything like this before. The
only thing that comes close is the limb regeneration abilities possessed by
reptiles. This is completely unprecedented."
"Energy? What energy? Let me see that!" Trip snatched the scanner from a
somewhat disgruntled Phlox. "This is the energy you're talking about?"
Phlox looked on the scanner to where Trip pointed. Archer and Fen gave the
scanner a curious glance and came closer. Phlox looked up to Trip. "Yes,
Commander. That would be the energy in question."
"That's theta band radiation. It should cause deterioration in organic
systems. It shouldn't incite any regeneration of any kind." Trip looked
quite frustrated. "This medical scanners no good for figuring this out.
Here. Use an operations scanner." Trip handed Phlox the scanner. The
engineer could have done it himself, but he didn't know if Phlox had to
scan certain parts of the body or not.
Phlox handed the scanner back to Trip. Trip gave it a scrutinizing look.
"This signature's all wrong."
"What is it, Trip?" Archer was holding out hope with everyone else.
"The frequency is completely inverted. It looks like it's on the theta
band, but it's not. I've never seen this energy signature before, but it
looks like what it's doing is reorganizing her matter. What the hell?
This energy has a subspace signature to go along with it. The energy
particles have saturated every molecule in her body. It's like it's
telling them what to do."
"Phlox?" Archer was confused by what Trip had just said.
Phlox stepped in. "Captain, I have no knowledge of physics and thus can
provide no information pertaining to the nature of this energy. I can tell
what it's doing to her. When the explosion occurred, T'Pol was saturated
with this energy. This placed all of her vital functions into some kind of
stasis. I've never seen anything like it. This energy clearly has the
ability to manipulate matter. While in stasis, it appears that T'Pol's DNA
has been imprinted onto each and every particle.
"As a result, the energy appears to have been programmed to follow the
pattern of her DNA. In short, Captain. It's genetically rebuilding her,
and it's utilizing her sub-atomic structure to do it. How all of this is
possible, I don't know, but you can see for yourself the results." He
turned T'Pol's head. "Notice how easily I turned her head. The blood has
not coagulated. After ten hours, well, actually after half an hour, that
should have been impossible without tearing muscle. Also note that her ear
is fully restored. If you'll recall, her ear had been incinerated in the
That settled it. Archer pulled out his communicator. "Archer to
Enterprise." Lieutenant Malcolm Reed answered. "Tell Hoshi to hold off on
her call to Admiral Forrest."
The antechamber was dead quite. Only three people were there this late at
night: T'Pol, Trip, and much to his dismay, High Priestess Ciul. She was
young and quite attractive. Apparently, these priests and priestesses
select apprentices to learn from them and succeed them upon their death.
This woman's predecessor had died of a genetic disorder, putting this woman
in charge before she was ready. Didn't she ever stop praying?
"Charles Tucker, I have heard that you were close to this woman." Oh, Trip
was so hoping that the Priestess wouldn't talk to him. She was the reason
he couldn't take T'Pol back to Enterprise where she belonged. Suffice it
to say, he was ticked.
He looked back at the Priestess. She was wearing an emotional mask of
calm. "That's right. You know she doesn't belong here. She belongs with
us. She belongs on Enterprise."
"She has been chosen by Moroc. What she does is her decision and her's
alone. It has disturbed many people that Moroc has chosen an off-worlder.
They think that he has lost faith in those who serve him. I think that
Moroc chose her because he wants us to understand that it is not blood that
counts so much as the mind."
"You know, I'm getting real sick and tired of all this Moroc crap. This
was a natural accident. God didn't do it. Some kind of energy got pumped
into T'Pol and she got hurt. She got killed. Now you guys are sitting
here and advertising her like you're some kind of infommercial. I'm sick
of all of it." He expected her to go on a tirade of how he had blasphemed
against her lord. He just didn't care what she said.
To his surprise, she said, "I know you are. I realize how painful and
trying that all of this must be to you. You and your shipmates are not the
only ones who have been exhausted and tormented by this event." Trip
started to cry. He started to think of Samantha. He lost her, too. It
had only been a year ago. "Who is Samantha?"
Trip didn't realize that he had thinking out loud. "Oh, she was my kid
sister. She died in the Xindi attack on our planet. I suppose you've been
told about that."
"Seven million were killed." Trip closed his eyes. He tried to shut out
all the bad feelings. He tried to what T'Pol did with her emotions. He
just didn't know how. "Yes, I read the information Captain Archer sent to
T'Pol coughed. Trip was by her side so quickly; Ciul could scarcely see
him move. The Vulcan's eyes were opened wide. She was coughing
incessantly. Trip knew that Phlox was in the other room. "Phlox, get in
As Phlox ran in with Chief Fen and Captain Archer in tow, T'Pol caught her
breath. She grabbed Trip and embraced him. "Trip, what's happened to me?"
Phlox ran his scanner over T'Pol. "She's completely regenerated. This is
amazing. She is a perfectly healthy Vulcan. There is a chemical imbalance
in her brain. It appears to correcting itself, but for the time being she
has absolutely no control over her emotions."
Trip held on to T'Pol. He had no intention of letting her go again. She
was crying. A Vulcan and she was crying. "Somebody please explain." They
told her everything that had happened in the past twenty hours since the
explosion. "I want to see the readings for myself." To Trip's irritation,
Ciul was praying again.
Phlox was about to protest, but Archer beat him to the punch. "Trip; Doc,
give her everything you've found."
Phlox was determined to have his say. "Captain, she has been through quite
an ordeal. She needs time to recover."
Trip didn't have to think on this matter. This happened to T'Pol. She
deserved the chance to find out for herself. "Yeah, Doc, but she's got a
right to that data."
"And she can have it as soon as I'm satisfied that she's fully fit."
Ciul was highly incensed. "Who are you to command a goddess? Do as she
Phlox's eyes widened in indignation. T'Pol was now to be a religious icon?
Trip and Archer both exchanged looks of surprise. T'Pol, a goddess? Had
SHE ever moved up in the world. In spite of his medical opinion, Phlox had
no choice but to comply.
Were they serious? T'Pol looked down at the ridiculous robe she had been
provided by Ciul. It was horribly short. Its neckline was too large. It
barely covered anything. They really thought that she was a goddess. Did
they expect that a goddess would ever wear this? They really thought that
she was immortal. The catsuits she always wore were bad enough, but this?
She thought that the clothes that the Vulcan High Command had forced her to
wear were the worse that she could ever do. The clothes they made her wear
in an unofficial capacity were awful. When she resigned, they were all she
had, and there was no chance to go back to Vulcan to get some real clothes.
She thought that the catsuits were the worse. She was wrong. The problem
with this robe was that it was barely there at all.
When Ciul gave it to her, she asked, "Where's the rest of it?" Ciul
promised to provide something a bit less revealing. That was six hours
ago. At least she had control over her emotions again. At least Charles
was there to give her comfort. She needed it, though she would never admit
it. She tried to leave the antechamber again. "Von Rah Moroc. Von Rah
T'Pol." She closed the door and put her back to it.
"Maybe we could use the transporter." Trip kept throwing ideas for escape
in her direction. She had to admit, the transporter was very tempting.
"You know, you oughta keep that. You look good in a robe." T'Pol looked
daggers at him. If she had a phase pistol, Trip would be stunned on the
floor. She had done it before. He had better believe she'd do it again,
no matter what they felt for each other. "Um, maybe that robe would look
better in the refuse."
Trip looked as though he decided to be serious for the moment. "T'Pol, how
are you holding up?"
"As well as can be expected." T'Pol was tired and irritated. How could
such an advanced culture as the Niur buy into such mysticism? "Charles, I
am glad that you are here with me."
"I've lost you once this week. I don't plan on losing you again; ever."
T'Pol's features softened dramatically. "Nobody ever plans on this."
"I know." Trip suddenly became uneasy. T'Pol knew that the emotional
wounds he had suffered were still too near the surface. If she knew him as
well as she thought she did, and considering the telepathic mating bond
they had shared she should know him quite well, then he was about to change
the subject. "Any other ideas on getting out of here?"
"Not quite. It would appear that unless I desire to have my molecules
compressed into a data stream, then eventually I will have to face the
Escape was not crucial at this moment in time, anyway. T'Pol decided to
take this time to reflect on what had happened to her. Commander Tucker
had mistaken the readings on the scanner for radiation operating in the
theta band. He also quickly discovered his mistake and indeed realized
that he could not identify the energy, but continued to assume that it was
operating in the EM spectrum. T'Pol's own analysis showed that it was not.
First, one needs to be aware of what EM energy is. EM is an acronym that
stands for electromagnetic. What is electromagnetic energy? Simply put,
it is exactly what it sounds like; electrical energy generated by a
magnetic field. What generates a magnetic field? Simply put, every form
of matter that has mass, and not all matter has mass. For example: dark
matter has no mass (at least no mass that can be proven). In other words,
every star, planet, tree, rock and even ships and people generate an EM
field. This is because all mass is a source of gravity.
The EM spectral bands are alpha, beta, delta, theta, gamma and omega. No
radiation has ever been generated on the omega band, but it has been
detected in rare occurrences. What many people do not understand is that
planets cannot be detected over great distances (in light-years, to be
specific). The planet itself produces a signature that is muffled by the
multitude of elements that it is composed of, generating false readings. A
planet produces an enormous EM field, but even this is difficult to detect
unless one's sensors are pointed directly at it. What allows sensors to
easily detect a planet is the fact that EM fields produce a disruption in
The Higgisfield, commonly mistaken for subspace (they are, in reality, two
different forms of energy), is an energy field, which (as far as scientists
know) spans the entire universe. When the Higgisfield was discovered in
the 1990's, many skeptics joked, referring to the theory as nonsensical
references to "The Force". The jokes stopped when in 1999; NASA (National
Aeronautics and Space Administration) successfully used the Higgisfield to
locate a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri. It was the first planet that
humans had ever detected beyond their own star-system.
So if EM energy did not infiltrate T'Pol's body, what did? The readings
indicate that it may have been particles of omicron radiation. When it
interacted with T'Pol's body, it caused a catastrophic expulsion of her
body's natural electrical energy, resulting in severe burns and the
spontaneous explosion of most of the cells in her body. This accounted for
the blood loss and broken bones that resulted upon her "death" and the
various chemical imbalances that occurred upon her revival.
This brought T'Pol to another question. How did she regenerate? There was
clearly protomatter in the matrix. In nature, protomatter is usually found
in nebulae at a stage in which star clusters are forming. Protomatter is
the stage before the development of matter, as its name implies. For
practical use, since protomatter is still in a raw and primal state, it is
highly unstable and unreliable. This means that it is unpredictable.
Since omicron particles are a form of energy that can be imprinted, they
had an unusual effect when introduced to the protomatter. T'Pol's DNA was
literally imprinted onto the omicron particles. The protomatter, since by
its nature it develops, interacted with the omicron particles by preserving
T'Pol's overall functions (it placed her into a kind of molecular stasis).
The omicron particles, which had been imprinted to mimic T'Pol's DNA,
reacted to the protomatter by actually rebuilding her body. Once all of
these alien energies had been exorcised by the course of time, her bodily
functions restored to normal.
In other words, what killed her was that which kept her alive. The door
opened. "Von Rah T'Pol. Notro Da Von Rah Moroc. Von Rah T'Pol."
Shutting the door behind her, Ciul entered with Archer in tow, with an
armful of clothes. T'Pol recognized them as two of her catsuits. T'Pol
took the red one. It was the most comfortable one. She thanked Ciul and
Captain Archer and walked behind a partition to change.
When she returned, Archer was asking Trip if he had learned anything else.
Trip was at a loss to explain what had happened to T'Pol. She walked up to
him and placed a hand on Trip's shoulder. "I believe that I may be able to
shed some light on that, Captain." She spent the next six minutes giving
her findings. When she finished, Trip and Archer both looked somewhat
dazed. "I still need to see the fire caverns for myself, Captain. I am
still at loss to explain why protomatter was present in the readings."
Trip came out of his intellectual daze. "Hold on a second. Omicron
radiation is a stellar phenomenon. How the hell'd it get into your
"I can only guess, but it's possible it is being manufactured within the
fire caverns. Protomatter itself is also a stellar phenomenon. It is
possible that the fire caverns may have been formed after a solar flare, or
even an asteroid struck this planet. The impact could have caused
geothermal shifts forming the caves. Also, stellar materials would have
been carried on a solar flare or an asteroid. How these materials could
have been contained within the planet remains a mystery that I believe we
may be able to solve once we have studied these caves."
Archer turned to Ciul who, judging from the expression on her face, was no
scientist. "Well? Is that permissible?"
Ciul, momentarily struck dumb, took a moment. She was trying to find the
right response to what she had just heard. She failed and decided to
simply perform her role. "She is a goddess," she quickly added, "to us.
Her word is absolute."
"Wait." Trip was still confused. "How do these cascade explosions happen
in the first place?"
"Cascade explosions?" There was an interesting name for it. T'Pol didn't
really know, but she had a theory. "We will note that if an electrical
current is unable to complete a circuit, it will arc to the nearest
conductive circuit. It's possible that the radioactive explosions within
these fire caves follow a circuit as well, and when there is another
available circuit to be detected, it arcs to this area, igniting the
natural atmospheric gases."
"So how come it arced to you and didn't touch me?"
T'Pol had been giving this issue some thought. How come it affected her in
the first place? It had to be the telepathic mating bond. Her body's
natural electrical field was in a state of imbalance at the time.
Electrical anomalies within the planet's atmosphere would have been drawn
to her in small, undetectable amounts. The energy must have arced to the
water within the fountain, which must have possessed a static electrical
charge at the time. With her body in state of electromagnetic imbalance,
she must have completed the circuit. Trip would have been in the same
state of imbalance, however, as he was not the source, his imbalance would
not have been as noticeable. As a result, the energy arced to the more
conductive receiver; namely T'Pol.
T'Pol had no intention of telling Archer or Ciul any of this. Whatever the
scientific ramifications, how it resulted was none of their business. "We
may never be able to answer that question."
"But, then-" T'Pol shot Trip a meaningful look. Trip's eyes widened in
understanding. "Oh." Archer noticed this exchange and decided that he
would be better off keeping his mouth shut. "Okay, now how do we get past
the faithful?" Trip uttered the question that was on everybody's mind.
"That will be tricky." So T'Pol could do short sentences, after all.
This was it. T'Pol stepped outside to face the masses. When they saw that
she wasn't fleeing back inside, they stopped chanting and fell to their
knees. "No! Stand up! Do not turn your eyes from me. Don't just hear
me. See me. Do you know who I am? Do you know what I am? Am I a
messenger from Moroc? Am I your goddess? I do not know the answer to
that. I do know that in any religion, God is the father of all. Would a
father not want his children to stand tall?" Gradually, everyone stood.
The people nearest T'Pol stood back to give her room.
"I come here as a stranger from your land, on the gracious invitation of
your government. I am an alien. I am a scientist. I have no mystical
powers. I cannot heal with a touch. I cannot fly or change my shape. I
cannot walk on water. I cannot create matter from nothing. All that I can
do is tell you what I believe. I can tell you my purpose. I can tell you
my path. I can tell you that it is not here. I believe that you are a
good and accepting people. I believe that you are generous and welcoming.
I believe that you can understand all of this.
"I trust in your faith, as you trust in me. Trust that there is always an
explanation for what happens in your lives. Trust that you control your
own fate. Trust in one another. Work with one another. You have already
achieved warp drive with this philosophy. You have a leader. Her name is
Ciul. She is young and inexperienced but she is good and compassionate.
Trust her, for all that she does, she does for you. I cannot lead you. I
have other people who need me, now more than ever.
"I have a mission that must take me from this planet. I cannot stay.
Light-years from here, there is a planet that is threatened with
annihilation. The lives of seven billion people depend on Enterprise.
That ship needs me. Seven billion people need that ship. You know the
threat. They are the Xindi. Do not fear them. Do not hate the name. In
all societies there are good and decent people. In all societies there are
cruel and cowardly people, and of the Xindi, I must face them with the crew
of Enterprise. That is my path and my purpose. It is what I was meant
"Look on me, and see that I am not as you are. Listen to my words and hear
that I do not believe as you do, or as you were taught. Could you ever
truly accept me as your goddess? I do not belong here. I believe that you
truly know that. I have a mission. I must carry it out. Perhaps someday
I will return here, but that will not be for a very long time. I do not
T'Pol, Ciul, Archer and Trip began to move forward. The throngs of people
stood aside to make way. Chanting began again. The words were different
this time. "Vahdi Cora Non Palla T'Pol." Ciul leaned to T'Pol's ear and
said, "It means 'Honor and Strength to the Warrior Maiden.' They are
wishing you well on your quest, and they pray for your safety."
"Captain, this is absolutely fascinating!" There had been ridicule behind
T'Pol's back since Enterprise left Niurev. Most had welcomed her home,
glad that she was still alive. Hoshi had given her data pad. A story from
Earth mythology was programmed into it that was named "The Legend of the
Phoenix". She had taken the time to read it and immediately understood why
Hoshi had given it to her. For now, she was busy interpreting her findings
from the Niur fire caves, and Enterprise's planetary scans.
"What have you found?" Captain Archer had been in the command center ever
since they left orbit three hours earlier. Trip, who was sitting near the
door, perked up also.
"Captain, it would appear that these stellar phenomena are being
manufactured in the planets core. I did not know that this was
scientifically possible, but from my readings and observations of the
energy fluctuations within the core, it would appear that this planet was
not created by matter from the sun as normally occurs. It would appear
that this planet was created from the collision of two planets. They were
most likely gas giants. Over the eons, the matter from these two destroyed
worlds coalesced into a new astral body. How this occurred defies
explanation. Usually, when an event like this occurs, an asteroid field is
formed. It never becomes anything more."
They spent another hour going over the readings before Archer decided that
it was time to call it a night. T'Pol and Trip were left alone. "Um,
T'Pol. About what happened a few nights ago, before we were, um,
interrupted. I wanted to tell you how much that moment meant to me, even
T'Pol stopped him. "From the support and devotion you have shown me over
these past three days, you have told me all that I need to know." Before
they left for their individual quarters, Trip shared a kiss with his
goddess. They both hoped that there would be many more.